Daily news - 9th July 2021

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UK news

New cross-government unit to tackle drug misuse following major independent review

The new unit aims to end illegal drug-related illness and deaths | Department of Health and Social Care, Home Office, Public Health England, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, and The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, 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

Associate Feature: Pharmacy's role in reducing drug deaths and preventing harm

Pharmacists, and pharmacy teams, already play a big role in supporting and providing treatment to people who use drugs, as well as offering harm reduction services and advice | Holyrood, UK

Call for calorie content labelling on alcoholic drinks

The Alcohol Health Alliance and the charity Alcohol Focus Scotland want changes to be made to labelling laws | BBC, UK

Cannabis-laced sweets find prompts police warning

Officers found the illicit sweets, along with a "significant amount of drugs and cash", during a search of industrial premises in Horbury on Wednesday | BBC, UK

'Fake pills' leave several seriously ill in Swansea hospital

Swansea Bay health board said they were taken to Morriston Hospital after overdosing on Wednesday | BBC, UK

Two drug dealers sentenced in attempt to smuggle £19.4 million cocaine

The Canterbury Crown Court sentenced two men from the northwest on Tuesday, after a failed attempt to smuggle 243 kilos of cocaine on an empty passenger coach into the UK | Independent, UK


International news

Predictors of recruitment and retention in randomized controlled trials of behavioural smoking cessation interventions: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis

To investigate predictors of participant eligibility, recruitment and retention in behavioural randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for smoking cessation | Addiction, UK et al

Exploring the experiences of social workers in working with children suspected to have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is one outcome from prenatal alcohol exposure. Social workers are likely to encounter children with the condition, due to the greater likelihood of prenatal alcohol exposure among children in social services settings. This study explores the experiences of social workers in working with children suspected of having FASD and the support offered to social workers, the children and their families | Adoption and Fostering, UK

Jada Pinkett Smith’s drug abuse led her to ‘pass out’ on The Nutty Professor set

Actor revealed that she would regularly mix a cocktail of alcohol, cannabis and ecstasy | Independent, UK

Standoff as drugs task force fights suspension by Department of Health

An unprecedented standoff has emerged between a local drugs task force and the Department of Health after the department suddenly suspended the body | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Lord Mayor of Cork: 'I'm proud of my brother's recovery from heroin addiction'

Fianna Fáil's Cllr Colm Kelleher also said Ireland needs to start talking about supervised injection rooms and needle exchange programmes as part of the solution to the heroin problem | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Alcohol’s Harm to Others: Does the Drinking Location Matter?

Frequent drinking on licensed premises and outdoors was most clearly associated with experiencing harm from others’ drinking, suggesting that these are important arenas for preventive efforts. Women, young individuals, those with low educational level and the most frequent drinkers are important target groups for preventive efforts | Substance Use and Misuse, Norway

In memoriam — Tomas Zabransky

It was with great sadness that the EMCDDA learned this week of the passing of its long-term friend and colleague Tomas Zabransky MD, PhD. Dr Zabransky was a highly-esteemed Czech epidemiologist, who played a key role in developing the country’s drug policy | EMCDDA, Portugal

Like Many Drug Policy Reformers, I’m Driven by Personal Tragedy

I have a million stories about my older brother, Billy, that exemplify the harms of the United States criminal justice system. I spent years trying to shepherd him through it, as a person who was dual-diagnosed with bipolar disorder and substance use disorder | Filter Magazine, USA

As overdose crisis rages on, wait lists grow in recovery programs for women with children

Amid mounting evidence that keeping moms and newborns together during addiction recovery is beneficial to both, the overdose crisis is highlighting a lack of facilities to accommodate them, says a leading expert in addiction at the time of birth | CBC News, Canada

Ontario spending $32.7M to combat addictions as opioid crisis continues

Funding will expand mental health and addiction resources for Ontarians | CBC News, Canada

Health officials crack down on high potency nicotine vapes

Health officials are cracking down on the sale of high potency nicotine vapes. New federal regulations come into effect July 23 that will ban retailers from selling them | CBC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Dame Carol Black review is a major opportunity to revitalise how we support people who use drugs

Part two of the review provides ambitious recommendations for a treatment system in need of a boost | With You, UK

Phoenix Futures response to Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs - Part 2

This is a highly anticipated report that arrives at a critical time for the many thousands of people directly affected by substance use problems and the millions indirectly affected as a family member, friend or carer | Phoenix Futures, UK

Forward Trust respond to the Dame Carol Black Review on addiction treatment

Speaking on the review, Mike Trace, The Forward Trust CEO said: “The Carol Black review is an important moment, not just for drug policy but for addiction treatment. For some time, the addiction treatment system in the UK has been struggling with the ‘perfect storm' of rising demand and funding cuts... | Forward Trust, UK

The Black Review: A shared mission for transformational change

"As organisations which see the impacts of drugs and alcohol on people, families and communities on a daily basis we have come together to advocate collectively for change | Collective Voice, Adfam, the English Substance Use Commissioners Group and the NHS APA, UK

The Black Review: A shared mission for transformational change

As organisations which see the impacts of drugs and alcohol on people, families and communities on a daily basis we have come together to advocate collectively for change | Collective Voice, UK

The government must invest in treatment for people with drug problems, as new report shows stark consequences of cuts

A new report confirms how devastating funding cuts for addiction services have been, say Ian Hamilton and Alex Stevens | BMJ Opinion, UK

Even if you lack sympathy for drug users, investing in better treatment services makes good economic sense

Resourcing treatment has the potential to provide gains to society more generally, for example reducing crime | Independent voices, UK

The Independent Review of Drugs: our response

Alcohol Change UK welcomes the publication today of the second report of the Independent Review of Drugs by Professor Dame Carol Black [8 July 2021]. While the review focused on drugs, many of its recommendations apply equally to alcohol treatment and support services, which are usually jointly commissioned and delivered alongside drug treatment | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

More accurate estimates for the burden of Alcohol on the Ambulance Service: around 1 in 6 callouts in Scotland are alcohol related

More than 16% of ambulance callouts in Scotland were alcohol-related in 2019. This is what we found in our new study using data provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and is three times higher than previous estimates. The burden was even higher over weekends (18.5%), peaking on Friday and Saturday nights when the percentage of alcohol-related callouts was 28% | IAS blog, UK

Why you should always have a glass of water with every alcoholic drink

Here, experts share their thoughts on why serving up some water is a win-win scenario, whatever’s in your other glass | Independent, UK

What Fighting COVID and Fighting Drug Addiction Have in Common

In both cases, harm reduction is a better strategy than draconian rules that feel virtuous but don't actually work | Scientific American opinion, USA

Why marijuana should not be banned for athletes

U.S. Track and Field (USATF) confirmed Tuesday that Olympic hopeful Sha'Carri Richardson will not compete in Tokyo after she tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana | Medical Xpress, USA

With rising human drug use, a collateral rise of dogs ingesting cannabis and opioids

In the past few years, opioids and cannabinoids have received a great deal of attention from the media and public health authorities | Conversation, Canada

Safe injecting room in CBD makes sense for city’s recovery

At the Salvos we see the human impact of lockdowns first-hand. This week, we have been delivering food parcels to hundreds of casual workers across the city who literally have nothing to eat because they have no work | SMH opinion, Australia