Daily news - 22nd July 2021

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UK news

New opioid substitution treatment best practice resources
Public Health England has launched 3 new opioid substitution treatment (OST) best practice resources:

Best practice in Optimising Opioid Substitution Treatment (BOOST) elearning programme

This resource aims to provide workers with the information they need to deliver good quality OST to and with service users. It has been developed in partnership with Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh), Collective Voice, NHS Addictions Provider Alliance, drug and alcohol treatment providers and people with lived experience | PHE, UK

OST guide for drug treatment and recovery workers

Advice for drug treatment and recovery workers to help them to deliver safe and effective OST to service users | PHE, UK

OST service self-assessment tool

Community drug service providers and commissioners can also now use this tool, which features good practice examples and resources, to help them deliver OST in line with clinical guidance | PHE, UK

Knowledge & Library Services (KLS) Evidence Briefing: What are the facilitators and barriers to the uptake of low dead space injecting equipment for people who inject drugs? [From June]

This briefing summarises the evidence on the facilitators and barriers to the uptake of low dead space injecting equipment from 1st January 2000 to 31st May 2021 | PHE, UK

Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2021: health in coastal communities

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty’s second annual report presents an analysis of the health and wellbeing of England’s coastal communities. [Includes information on alcohol and other drug use in rural communities] | Department of Health and Social Care, UK

Lord Chancellor outlines government plans to rebuild criminal justice

Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland spoke at the Centre for Social Justice to outline how the government is rebuilding the criminal justice system and looking to its longer-term future. [Includes statements on drug use in prison] | Ministry of Justice and The Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, UK


To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 19 February (HL13296), whether work on producing a cross-addiction strategy has now resumed; and if so, when such a strategy will be published | They work for you, UK

Waiting for the Van - audio

In September 2020, drug policy activist Peter Krykant decided he'd had enough. The former heroin addict, turned frontline campaigner, bought a minivan and kitted it out with sanitisers and needles, a supply of naloxone- the medication used to reverse an opioid overdose- and a defibrillator | BBC Sounds, UK

Scotland's drug death toll: Needle vending machines added to homeless centres in Edinburgh

A charity is the first in Scotland to install injecting equipment for drug addicts in a bid to curb overdoses, blood-borne infections and save lives | Edinburgh Evening News, UK

How to reduce the risk of harm when taking cocaine

Sometimes it can feel like everyone and their mum is taking cocaine | Metro, UK

Alcohol-related violence, anti-social behaviour and deprivation - presentation - video

Lucy Bryant (IAS) and Dr Carly Lightowlers (Liverpool University) discuss their research findings on the socio-economic distribution of alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour in England and Wales | IAS, UK

Announcing Nacoa’s ‘Widening Access’ Project

Nacoa is proud to be working to help people from Punjabi and/or Sikh background alongside organisations Bac-In, Sab Ke Seva, No More Pretending, Sikh Recovery Network, and Punjabi Al-Anon | NACOA, UK

Overdose antidote to be distributed

Naloxone, more commonly known by its brand name of Narcan, was previously available only through a prescription but can now be picked up from the Alcohol and Drugs Service. The Homeless Shelter and other support organisations will also receive the medicine | Jersey Evening Post, Jersey


International news

Opioid crisis: US drug giants reach $26bn settlement

Four US drugs giants have agreed to pay $26bn (£19bn) to settle claims they helped fuel an opioid addiction crisis | BBC, UK

US may extinguish the Juul in the vaping crown

[Limited number of free articles per week] The vaping start-up used to be a hot stock, writes Danny Fortson in San Francisco, but now it is on the brink of going up in smoke | Sunday Times, UK

Survey on the abuse of over-the-counter drugs and drug diversion

The main aim of the survey is to understand the patterns of drug diversion in the European general population, focusing on the misuse of OTCs. The survey is available in English, French, German, Polish and Spanish | University of Hertfordshire, UK

Pandemic-based approach to methadone treatment restrictions should remain

When the COVID-19 pandemic ripped through New England and the rest of the United States in early 2020, substance use disorder treatment centers were forced to make massive changes to minimize the spread of coronavirus | Medical Xpress, USA

Real-time stress detection devices could help fight alcohol relapses

Wearable devices can detect people's stress, according to new Washington State University research, opening potential new interventions for people with addictions | EurekAlert, USA

NPS Discovery Toolkit » Metonitazene

This toolkit includes basic drug information, date of first appearance, prevalence, temporal trends, geographical trends, demographics, poly-drug combinations (including with other NPS), metabolism, methods for identification and confirmation, reference concentration ranges, and much more | NPS Discovery et al, USA

What International Drug Users Remembrance Day Means to Me

Today, International Drug Users Remembrance Day, is one day among all the others when the people we have lost continue to pop up in our thoughts through little memories, good or bad. It’s a day to acknowledge and value all the lives needlessly lost worldwide | Filter Magazine, USA

Brookline, Mass. Bans Tobacco, Vape Sales to Anyone Born in 21st Century

On July 19, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey approved a law in the town of Brookline that would prohibit the sale of all “tobacco products” to anybody born after January 1, 2000 | Filter Magazine, USA

50-year war on drugs imprisoned millions of Black Americans

As a teenager, Alton Lucas believed basketball or music would pluck him out of North Carolina and take him around the world. In the late 1980s, he was the right-hand man to his musical best friend, Youtha Anthony Fowler, who many hip hop and R&B heads know as DJ Nabs | Sentinel, USA

The Bulletin - August edition

The stories in The Bulletin are about the frontline issues faced by workers grappling with the complexities of drug use and health. This month’s edition discusses Naloxone - who can get their hands on it, and the barriers to access which remain. Also data collection – what does it achieve and what are the requirements on services around Australia? Plus what it feels like to save someone who’s overdosing | Penington Institute, Australia

ACC Data Reveal $636k Daily Cost Of Alcohol-related Crashes   

Alcohol-fueled crashes cost New Zealanders $636,000 in lifetime ACC costs every day for the last five years on average new figures show | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Expert reaction to study looking at cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia in Denmark

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry looks at cannabis use disorder in schizophrenia in Denmark. Here three experts discuss the findings | Science Media Centre, UK

Irish Examiner view: Drug use is more than a policing issue

The surge in the supply and consumption of crack cocaine is likely to be a significant discussion point today. A new report from the Health Research Board (HRB) showing a 400% increase in people seeking treatment for addiction to crack cocaine coincided with last night’s RTÉ investigation into the crack cocaine epidemic in Ballymun, Dublin | Irish Examiner opinion, Ireland

The recovery exchange principle

The first real-life Sherlock Holmes may well have been French criminologist Dr. Edmond Locard (1877-1966), whose 1910 seven-volume treatise on forensics laid the foundation for modern criminal investigation. Locard postulated an “exchange principle,” contending that any human contact with a person, place, or thing leaves physical traces of that encounter that can form the basis of criminal detection | William L White Papers, USA