Daily news - 19th July 2021

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UK news

More vulnerable adults supported through ‘Changing Futures’ programme

Essential support and treatment for vulnerable adults facing a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, poor mental health, domestic abuse, or contact with the criminal justice system | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Eddie Hughes MP, UK

Drug addicts should get 'safe rooms' to take illegal drugs, says royal college of psychiatrists

[Limited number of free articles per week] The president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has urged minister to consider new tactics to combat rising drug deaths | Telegraph, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has received representations seeking a review of (a) drug policy and (b) Drug Consumption Rooms from the Scottish Government's new (i) Justice Secretary and (ii) Lord Advocate | They work for you, UK

PHE Reproductive Health, Sexual Health and HIV Innovation Fund 2021-22

Inequalities in sexual health, reproductive health and HIV remain a public health priority in England. To support voluntary non-profit sectors to develop effective ways to address these inequalities in key populations, we are pleased to be running the Public Health England (PHE) Reproductive Health, Sexual Health and HIV Innovation Fund 2021-22 | PHE, UK

FASD Month 2021

FASD Month is fast approaching, and we need your help! In September, we have lots of exciting things planned, and you can help us by taking part in a video we are planning on our theme “FASD Think Differently” | Adoption UK, UK

Addiction Audio: cannabis, opioids, and the gateway hypothesis with Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson talks to Rob Calder about his recent systematic review and meta-analysis on whether cannabis use increases the likelihood of later life opioid use or opioid use disorders. Jack talks about the limitations of the literature, the influence that the gateway hypothesis has had on policy and on some of the different types of studies that explore this issue | SSA, UK

Drug death memorial in Glasgow city centre this month

A memorial event for people who have died in a drug related death will take place in Glasgow this month | Glasgow Times, UK

Alcohol set to be banned from some parts of Bristol

City council backs radical ideas in four-year drug and alcohol strategy | Bristol Post, UK

Ann Murray, the illegal poteen distiller who lived in a cave

Getting away from the rat race and spending your days spinning, knitting and distilling your own alcohol might sound like the ideal existence for some | BBC, UK

Isle of Man holidaymaker who hid drugs in car wheel is jailed

A holidaymaker who travelled to the Isle of Man with cocaine and cannabis hidden in his car on the first ferry to arrive after the easing of Covid border restrictions has been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Heroin-Assisted Treatment and the United Nations international drug control apparatus (PDF)

There is now a powerful evidence base for heroin-assisted treatment (HAT). In view of the present epidemic of drug-related mortality, the treatment should have a more significant role in public health policy | GDPO, UK

Police call for cocaine users to be banned from football matches after Euros mayhem

Exclusive: ‘Cocaine use is yet to be addressed in football,’ expert warns after worst tournament for crime | Independent, UK

Free cocaine, meth and heroin for everyone: One city’s plan to tackle its drug problem

The province of British Columbia is the nexus of Canada’s drug overdose crisis and in its fifth year of a public health emergency | Independent, UK

Coming out about illicit drug use: ‘The hush-hush attitude has to end’

A campaign to decriminalise illicit drugs is asking people to speak up about their recreational use as a way to de-stigmatise and change the conversation | Guardian, UK

From slave plantations to pitchside advertising

Our research shows that Heineken, the world’s second biggest brewer and a major sponsor of Euro 2020, has ties to the slave trade. How should a company reckon with its own past? | Tortoise Media, UK

ISSDP Webinar: Writing for Drug Policy Journals

Fri, 30 July 2021, 2:00 AM – 3:30 AM BST. The purpose of this webinar is to equip drug policy scholars with the skills and know-how to successfully publish peer-reviewed articles in drug policy relevant journals | ISSDP, UK et al

Court decision halting Dublin injecting centre 'a real setback' for Cork 

The chairwoman of the Cork Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (CLDATF) has said public drug injecting “has not gone away” despite a court ruling halting long-awaited plans for a safer injecting facility in Dublin | Irish Examiner, Ireland

The 50th Sunday Special – Safer From Harm - podcast

We discuss the Merchants Quay Safe Injection Site, the things that can be done now to mitigate the delays and the how some of the learnings from COVID can and should be used to drive this lifesaving model forward | Tortoise Shack, Ireland

Final EMCDDA annual accounts for the financial year 2020

These accounts have been drawn up and signed off by the Accounting Officer on 31 May 2021 and approved by the Director on 1 June 2021 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Advancing safer alternatives to nicotine

Experts at Global Forum on Nicotine 2021 say public health and tobacco control must unite in fight against smoking-related deaths, diseases | Guardian, Nigeria

Benzodiazepines, 'z-drugs' increase death risk when taken with opioids

A new study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers of more the 400,000 Medicare patients taking medications for insomnia found that the risk of death is increased when either benzodiazepines or 'z-drugs' are taken with opioids | Medical Xpress, USA

Nearly Half of State Incarcerees Suffer From Substance Abuse: Survey

Despite recommendations by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare to provide access to behavioral or medical treatment for incarcerees struggling with addiction, only 33 percent of state inmates and 46 percent of federal incarcerees participated in any alcohol or drug treatment program while they were behind bars, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) | Crime Report, USA

Surgeon general: No 'value' to locking people up over marijuana use

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Sunday said he does not think there is “value” to incarcerating people for marijuana use, as the Senate considers a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level | The Hill, USA

Communities struggle with meth outside spotlight of opioid crisis

Increases in methamphetamine use in Western North Carolina affects 'misery index,' even if death rate is lower than opioids | North Carolina Health News, USA

“I Rarely Vape Until Cocktail Hour”—Patt Denning’s THR Journey 

Dr. Patt Denning has been a leading harm reduction advocate for over 30 years | Filter Magazine, USA

New Study Suggests Cannabis’ Wild Ancestors Likely Came from China

The analysis identifies East Asia as a potential source of genetic diversity for the growing market for medical and recreational marijuana | Smithsonian Magazine, USA

Differences in Cannabis Perceptions among Canadian Adolescent Boys and Girls [report]

Examines how gender differences in cannabis perceptions and behaviours can increase the risk of cannabis-related harm among adolescent boys and girls. It also outlines how adults can provide support. Anyone working with youth, including educators, counsellors and public health professionals, will find this report helpful. Key findings are highlighted in the infographic | CCSA, Canada

Province expands access to safer alternatives to toxic illicit drugs

As B.C. ushered in Canada’s first permanent safer drug supply program, the parents of an Oak Bay teenager who died of a drug overdose said if prescription opioids were available for their son, he would be alive today | Times Colonist, Canada

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia annual report

In 2019–20, cannabis was reported as a drug of concern in one-third (33%) of all closed treatment episodes, either as a principal or additional drug of concern | AIHW, Australia

Excess caffeine intake may be linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis

University of South Australia researchers have a bone to pick when it comes to drinking too much coffee as new research finds that excess caffeine may be linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis | Medical Xpress, Australia

Health experts ‘very concerned’ by dangerous new TikTok challenges

Health experts are concerned that vaping products are being marketed towards young teenagers on social media, and it’s fuelling uptake of the harmful practice among youths | 3AW, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drugs services: the need for radical action and a population health-based approach

While Hannah Shead and her colleagues were waiting to take part in a ‘Thank You’ parade at a rainy Devon County Show, a woman came charging up to them, ‘I came to you with my child 24 years ago and you saved my life’, she said | Kings Fund blog, UK

MEAM welcomes Changing Futures announcement

Today the government has announced the 15 local areas which will form part of its Changing Futures programme, in a bid to improve the wellbeing of people experiencing multiple disadvantage | MEAM blog, UK

The truth about ‘Woke Coke’

The “woke coke” story surfaced again last week. Like it did last month. And last year. It’s the one about how middle-class users are buying very expensive, ethically sourced cocaine from dealers who allege their product is fair trade and cartel-free. The media obviously love the story, and not just because it rhymes | UnHerd, UK

Alcohol-related deaths are soaring – British drinking is out of control

Alcohol is the second leading cause of premature death, but our government still considers off-licenses as important as pharmacies | Independent Voices, UK

When did humans start experimenting with alcohol and drugs?

Humans constantly alter the world. We fire fields, turn forests into farms, and breed plants and animals. But humans don’t just reshape our external world – we engineer our internal worlds, and reshape our minds | Conversation, UK

The Euro 2020 football fan with the flare deserves a break

It might not be clever to snort coke and stick a firework up your bum – but Englishmen on a bender play their part in our history | Guardian, UK

LSD and nicotine could be more important to healthcare than we think

As a global society, we are living in reliably unreliable times, bathed in the dubious glow of a bonfire of certainties. Please allow me to add another set of conventions to the pyre: our most maligned and restricted drugs might heal us | Euronews, UK

Irish Examiner view: Journalist's death compounds power of drug gangs

Earlier this week, gardaí seized up to half a tonne of cocaine, which was disguised as charcoal and concealed bags of fuel destined for Ireland | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Interview #6 Dona Dmitrovic – Reflections on the historic 2001 Recovery Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the start of the New Recovery Advocacy Movement

I first met Dona as she got PRO-A off the ground in those early years of the recovery movement here in Pennsylvania. PRO-A was one of the first statewide Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) in the nation | Points blog, USA

Yes, young people are drinking less. But that may not entirely be good news

Australia is slowly changing its toxic relationship with alcohol. Non-alcoholic drink sales are spiking, the number of us drinking more than two standard drinks per day has dropped, and the number of us abstaining altogether has increased | MamaMia, Australia