Daily news - 1st July 2021

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UK news

E-cigarettes more helpful than nicotine replacement treatments for dependent smokers

E-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine replacement treatments in achieving long term smoking reduction and cessation, according to the results of a clinical trial by Queen Mary University of London | Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Researchers call for mandatory health warnings on alcohol labels

A new world-wide study has found that large alcohol labelling using negative health warnings similar to that used on cigarette packets could help people change their drinking habits. Researchers are now calling for clear health warnings on all alcohol labels to be made mandatory instead of voluntary to help people make informed choices | Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

Invitation to Membership of the Recovery Connectors Group

Ahead of the Dame Carol Black Report pt2 being released, CLERO (College of Lived Experience Recovery Organisations) are making a call to join the network of recovery and harm reduction organisations where lived experience features at their core. This collective, with the support of Dr Ed Day (National recovery Champion), are hoping to offer a strategic voice to the report. To join compete this form. This is currently a UK wide collective of over 30 community organisations which are coming together to support what is hoped will be a sea change in the addiction and recovery landscape | CLERO, UK

MAT Standards implementation explained - video

Everyone who needs treatment should expect the same response wherever they are in Scotland. Working to ensure access to the right treatment, when it’s needed, and where its needed, marks a step-change in tackling drug-related deaths | Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

Developing Heroin Assisted Treatment in Scotland – learning from current practice - SDF Webinar - video

The Scottish Government has made its intentions clear regarding the provision of Heroin Assisted Treatment across Scotland. This will add another important intervention in our response to the on-going public health emergency which is Scotland’s drug related deaths crisis | SDF, UK

Football clubs ditch gambling firms' shirt logos after backlash from public

[Limited number of free articles per week] Football clubs are scrapping sponsorship deals with gambling and drinks firms amid fears that the Government is set to ban betting logos on shirts, new figures reveal.... | Telegraph, UK

Heroic Hearts Project announces new study with Imperial College London into the physiological and psychological effects of psilocybin on veterans

The Heroic Hearts Project UK (HHPUK) have this week announced a world-first observational study on the psychological and physiological effects of psilocybin on veterans with traumatic brain injury | Volteface, UK

Simon Amstell: How Magic Mushrooms Became My 'Medicine'

Psychedelics got the comedian through his late 30s – and provided the subject of his new stand-up show 'Spirit Hole' | VICE, UK

Inside Wick police station for special Naloxone training to help drug overdose victims

Police officers in Caithness will have the option to carry a life-saving drug after the county was added to a national scheme to help tackle drug deaths | John O' Groat Journal and Caithness Courier, UK

Drug and Behavioural Addictions: COVID-19 and Beyond

Wed, 7 July 2021, 08:55 – 13:30 BST. Through seminars and discussion, this symposium will explore the impact of COVID-19 on various forms of addiction and their treatment | Bryan Singer, UK

Impact of COVID-19 on people who use drugs

Tue, 24 August 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 BST. DRNS is delivering a knowledge exchange event on the impact COVID-19 has had on people who use drugs in Scotland. The session will be held virtually on August 24th 10am-12pm | DRNS, UK

Isle of Man crime rises by 18% due to drug seizures and violence

Gary Roberts said the pandemic had changed the way drugs were being imported, with a large increase in smaller amounts sent through the post | BBC, UK

Oswaldtwistle cannabis farm: Four men arrested in raids

Four people have been arrested after police literally followed their nose to find what is thought to be among Lancashire's biggest ever cannabis farms | BBC, UK


International news

Release and Harm Reduction International's submission to the OHCHR

Release and Harm Reduction International's submission to the OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) call for input on the “promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers”, pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 43/1 | Release, UK

UN Highlights Role of Drug War in Racist Policing

The report speaks to how drug control props up racist systems and explicitly calls for states to remove laws and practices that act as incentives to perpetuate racial discrimination in law enforcement and the criminal justice system – including by reforming drug policies, laws and practices with discriminatory outcomes, in line with international human rights standards | Talking Drugs, UK

E-cigarettes and smoking in Irish teens: a logistic regression analysis of current (past 30-day) use of e-cigarettes [Ireland]

[Open access] Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among Irish teenagers has risen significantly. In 2019, prevalence of current use (last 30 days) among 15–17-year-olds was 17.3%. We examine social determinants of adolescent e-cigarette current use | Journal of Public Health, UK

Leon Reid: Sprinter set to be nominated for Tokyo but also needs spot to be ratified by Irish Olympic bosses

Irish Olympic bosses must decide whether to ratify sprinter Leon Reid's nomination for the Tokyo Games after he was among Athletics Ireland's nominees | BBC, UK

The 2019–20 Irish National Drug and Alcohol Survey: main findings (PDF)

The National Drug and Alcohol Survey (NDAS) collects information on alcohol and tobacco consumption and drug use among the general population in Ireland. It also surveys people’s attitudes and perceptions relating to tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use and records the impact of drug use on people’s communities. The 2019–20 NDAS collected information from 5,762 people aged 15 years and older across Ireland | HRB, Ireland

Cocaine use in Ireland 'has doubled since 2003'

Cocaine use in Ireland has doubled since 2003, with more men aged between 25 and 34 using the drug than ever before, new research has found | Irish Examiner, Ireland

ONDCP Releases Data on Coca Cultivation and Potential Cocaine Production in the Andean Region

“The Biden-Harris Administration is working with our partners in South America to advance holistic approaches to reduce the supply of cocaine and strengthen local communities,” said Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Regina LaBelle | The White House, USA

Research Adds to Weight of Evidence on People Checking Drugs They Sell

It’s not just people who use drugs making use of drug test kits and machines—people who also sell the substances can, and often do, check their wares for purity and potency. While the near-ubiquity of fentanyl in opioid supplies (besides others) has changed the drug-checking landscape, there’s still much value in accessing the harm reduction strategy, experts say | Filter Magazine, USA

Unprecedented increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic – with substantial regional variation

After experiencing a slight decrease in 2018, drug overdose deaths increased again in 2019, setting an all-time high. Preliminary reports from states and cities indicate that overdose death rates are further increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Cannabis poisoning rates increase among children after legalization

Significantly higher rates of child intensive care admissions for unintentional cannabis poisonings have been seen following legalization of the drug in Canada | News Medical, Canada

Substance Use on the Jobsite: Challenges and Support Measures - podcast

Listen to our podcast conversation with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction to learn more about the use of opioids, cannabis and alcohol on the jobsite; the challenges faced by workers and employers; and how workplaces can support their employees’ health and safety | CCOHS, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nothing About Us, Without Us

On March 25th 2021, the ERANID Recovery Pathways research team shared findings from the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands on the various pathways people take to recover from addiction. The event was well attended with over 150 attendees from all across the globe. Delegates included people in recovery, including some of those who participated in the research, addiction professionals, community recovery organisations etc | Rec-Path, UK

Smoking cessation support for dual users of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes

The latest Cochrane review in October 2020 concluded with moderate confidence that e-cigarettes with nicotine help more adults to stop smoking than nicotine replacement therapy or nicotine-free e-cigarettes | Lancet comment, UK

How the United States Fueled a Global Drug War, and Why It Must End

June 2021 marks 50 years since Richard Nixon declared “drug abuse” the United States’ “public enemy number one.” It is a grim anniversary that resonates not only in the United States but all over the world | Open Society Foundations, UK

The war on drugs cannot be won

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is often used by proponents of zero tolerance approaches and harsh law enforcement to celebrate the so-called War on Drugs, famously declared by US President Richard Nixon fifty years ago | Richard Branson blog, UK

The plants that change our consciousness

How three plant-derived drugs – caffeine, opium and mescaline – shape society | New Statesman, UK

Somos review – the show that flips the script on brutal cartel crime epics

This Netflix drama centres on the people who are usually peripheral casualties in crime shows like Narcos – the residents of Allende, who were all killed in a horrific real-life massacre | Guardian, UK

“There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Then there’s the Herald Sun…

Melbourne’s Herald Sun has dug itself deeper into the abyss of creative storytelling – under the guise journalism – with a fresh frontpage banner designed to continue its campaign of fear, hysteria and moral panic over a proposed injecting facility in the city of Melbourne | AOD MediaWatch, Australia