Daily news - 8th July 2021

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Review of drugs part two: prevention, treatment, and recovery

This is Part 2 of my independent review for government, setting out a way forward on drug treatment and recovery. Part 1 laid bare the extent of the illicit drugs market in the UK, worth almost £10 billion a year, with 3 million users and a supply chain that has become increasingly violent and exploitative. This is explored further in Part 2, which concludes that the public provision we currently have for prevention, treatment and recovery is not fit for purpose, and urgently needs repair | DHSC, UK

Drugs: Review urges more funding for addiction treatments in England

The government has been urged to boost spending on recovery services and treatment for drug addicts by an independent review | BBC, UK

Methadone alternative rolled out after Scottish prisons trial

A drug used in a pilot scheme to help prisoners affected by heroin addiction is to be rolled out across Scotland | BBC, UK

Middlesbrough heroin addiction clinic secures funding until March

A scheme which gives supervised diamorphine injections to heroin addicts is to be extended after securing new funding | BBC, UK

Student drug behaviour in 2021

This unusual year reflected on students’ drug use behaviour. The initial reduction in party drugs use such as MDMA during the first lockdown was quickly replaced by an overall increase in all drug use when students were back for the new academic year | Student Futures Commission, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Coronavirus

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in (a) opioid and (b) alcohol use during covid-19 outbreak | They work for you, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of classifying vaping under the same rules and regulations as smoking | They work for you, UK

Scientific and ethical challenges to defining what constitutes ‘proportionate evidence’ for the regulation and accreditation of applications to treat addiction

There are important scientific and ethical challenges to defining what constitutes ‘proportionate evidence’ for the accreditation and prescription of apps to treat addiction. Potential unintended consequences include issues of opportunity costs, whereby the use of low-quality apps may delay the use of effective support. Conversely, heavy-handed regulation could stifle innovation if it deters developers from adding new components if each change required another expensive and time-consuming trial | Addiction, UK

Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership 2020-21: Whole System Evaluation Report

Merseyside is one of the 18 areas allocated funding in 2019 by the UK Government to establish a Violence Reduction Unit. To inform the continued development of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) ...the Merseyside Academics’ Violence Prevention Partnership were commissioned to evaluate the VRP as a whole, and selected work programmes | University of Liverpool et al, UK

Assessment and Screening: slides for medical education

This is the third in a series of slides designed for use in medical education as well as for all people interested in addiction. This slide set covers assessment and screening in addiction treatment settings and has been designed in collaboration with Drug Science | SSA, UK

Medical Cannabis Saved Her Son’s Life. Now She Wants To Help Others Too

Billy Caldwell made history when he received the first medical cannabis prescription in the UK, but his mother says the fight is far from over | VICE, UK

HCV Action's Spring 2021 Member Survey

As health professionals with an interest in hepatitis C care, we would be grateful for your views in the survey to inform how we campaign about hepatitis C care. The survey will help us to understand what is happening on the ground with regards to hepatitis C testing, treatment and follow-up, and offers an opportunity to raise any other issues you think we should be aware of | HCV Action, UK

ONS Research Excellence Series - webinar

Tue, 13 July 2021, 11:00 – 12:00 BST. Conducted by the Institute of Alcohol Studies and University of Liverpool, using data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, the team set out to examine the socio-economic distribution of alcohol-related violence, including subtypes like alcohol-related domestic violence, and of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour (ASB) | ONS, UK

Humankind awarded contract to deliver the new drug and alcohol treatment services in Cumbria

We are thrilled to announce that we have been successful in our bid for the North and South Cumbria Addictions service, commissioned by Cumbria County Council | Humankind, UK

Clerkenwell Signs First Multi-million Pound Contract with International Psychedelic Bio-tech Company

Clerkenwell Health have signed their first multi-million pound contract to design and run multi-phase trials with Psyence Group | Psilocybin alpha, UK

Brewdog defies watchdog to reuse banned ad again

Controversial beer company Brewdog has ignored an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ban on a "misleading" ad by reposting it on social media | BBC, UK

My summer of love: ‘Under the spell of ecstasy, strangers went straight to limitless intimacy’

We danced in water features, stupefied with drugs. And while my big crush was unrequited, the whole season was irresistible fun | Guardian, UK

Isle of Man police chief says Merseyside drugs gangs could face jail

Gangs from Merseyside involved in trafficking drugs to the Isle of Man could face jail on the island without ever having travelled there themselves, the Manx chief constable has said | BBC, UK


International news

Trafficking victims held as slaves in Spanish cannabis factory supplying UK had no knowledge of Covid pandemic

Eight men and two women were forced to work in filthy conditions in marijuana plantations near Barcelona to supply the drugs to Britain and Holland | i news, UK

Taking the high road: Nevada will no longer discipline fighters for marijuana

Nevada’s state athletic commission, the most significant regulatory body for combat sports in the United States and perhaps the world, unanimously voted against disciplining boxers and mixed martial arts fighters who test positive for marijuana, the organization announced Wednesday | Guardian, UK

Drug-sniffing dogs sent into early retirement by cannabis legalisation

Drug-sniffing dogs are being sent into early retirement all over the country as more states legalise marijuana | Independent, UK

The injecting centre that saved Lisa’s life

Three years ago, when Lisa Townsend walked into a medically supervised injecting centre, she had been addicted to heroin, on and off, for 25 years. The benefits of supervised injecting facilities are well established, but that centre is one of only two of its kind in Australia, and plans for a third – in Melbourne’s CBD – have provoked a backlash | Guardian, UK

EMCDDA Best practice portal update (3/2021)

According to the just published EMCDDA European Drug Report cocaine is the second most commonly used illicit drug in Europe and the number of people entering treatment for the first time has risen over the last 5 years | EMCDDA, Portugal

Secret Farmhouses and Talcum Powder: This Is How Dealers Are Smuggling Heroin Into India

As India slowly opens up its borders, dealers are taking high risks to smuggle the most abused opioid in the country | VICE, India

Researchers use video conferencing app to study memory effects of high-potency cannabis

Even before the pandemic made Zoom ubiquitous, Washington State University researchers were using the video conferencing app to research a type of cannabis that is understudied: the kind people actually use | News Medical, USA

Pregnant e-cigarette users more likely to give birth to low-birthweight infants

Women who use electronic cigarettes during pregnancy are 33% more likely than those who don't to give birth to low-birthweight infants, according to a new study by a team of researchers from UCLA and other institutions | News Medical, USA

Happy? Sad? Stressed? How Drinking Became the Answer to Everything

[Limited number of free articles per week] Alcohol has become so normalized there’s hardly a situation when a drink doesn’t feel appropriate, experts say. Now we’re marketing it to one another | NYTimes, USA

Advocates Mobilize Around Besieged Atlantic City Syringe Program

On July 6, New Jersey harm reduction organizations met at Firefighters Memorial, a small park between City Hall and the county building in Atlantic City | Filter Magazine, USA

Connecticut’s Adult-Use Marijuana Legalization Protects Youth, Students

The Connecticut bill signed into law on June 22 legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis for adults 21 and older has also broken significant ground for young people. With the implementation of SB1201, residents under 18 will no longer face arrest for possession of small amounts of cannabis | Filter Magazine, USA

Rhode Island Approves Supervised Drug Consumption Centers

An idea that would have once been unthinkable in the Rhode Island General Assembly found broad support in the final week of the legislative session: giving users a safe, supervised place to take their drugs | WBUR, USA

CAMH releases updated national clinical guidelines for treatment of opioid use disorder

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), in collaboration with subject matter experts and medical regulatory authorities across Canada, have released updated national clinical guidelines for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Opioid Agonist Therapy: A Synthesis of Canadian Guidelines for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, harmonizes existing provincial and national guidelines, evidence-based practices, and expert opinions into one document aimed at providing consistent and high-quality care to people with opioid use disorder | CAMH, Canada

On-Premise Cannabis Use: Public Health and Safety Considerations [Policy Brief]

Describes public health and safety considerations for on-premise cannabis use in locations such as bars, cafés and lounges. Developed in partnership with Alberta Health Services, the brief discusses health impacts of cannabis use, availability and accessibility, exposure to second-hand smoke and vapour, and implications of intoxication | CCSA, Canada

Disruption to ecstasy and other drug use and markets in Australia after COVID-19 restrictions in 2020

After COVID-19-related restrictions were introduced in Australia in early 2020, use of ecstasy/MDMA, related stimulants, and other licit and illicit drugs appeared to mostly remain stable, or decrease | NDARC, Australia

This was the summer of terrible drugs

KnowYourStuffNZ drug checking service was in huge demand this summer festival season. We doubled the number of tests from last summer and attended more events than ever before. KnowYourStuffNZ checked 2,744 samples at 27 events between April 2020 and March 2021 | KnowYourStuffNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

We back Dame Carol Black’s call for once-in-a-generation change in drug treatment

Dame Carol Black’s independent report on drugs calls for a radical change in the UK’s approach to drug use | Change Grow Live, UK

Pro-Needle Exchange but Anti-Vaping? The Hypocrisy of American Healthcare Policy

You don’t have to be a doctor, or even play one on TV, to see the conflict: American healthcare policy that promotes taxpayer-funded needle exchanges for drug addicts, but opposes vaping as an alternative for smokers | Inside Sources opinion, USA

Dr. Lilian Lewis Shiman (1931–2021)

Lilian Shiman was a pioneering temperance historian and the author of two books and multiple articles on the topic. She began work on her dissertation in the 1960s when the English temperance movement was almost an unknown research field and without any women scholars | Points blog, USA