Daily news - 27th July 2021

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UK news

Government response to the independent review of drugs by Dame Carol Black

Details the government's response to parts 1 and 2 of Dame Carol Black's independent review of drugs | Department of Health and Social Care and Home Office, UK

Boris Johnson pledges to target drug abuse in anti-crime push

Alcohol tags - which are intended to detect from sweat if the wearer has been drinking - are to be trialled on prison leavers in Wales in an effort to reduce alcohol-related crime. The document also says Project Adder - which targets drugs gangs, offers help to addicts and increases the use of drugs testing when arrests are made - will be expanded from five areas of England to 13 | BBC, UK

Role of community drug and alcohol services in physical healthcare for people who use illicit opioids: a qualitative study of clinical staff in the UK

Clinicians participating in this study serve a patient group with unmet physical health needs, but lack the resources to respond effectively to these needs | BMJ Open, UK

Drug deaths in Scotland 'expected to have risen further' during pandemic

The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland is expected to have risen further during the pandemic, it has been reported | Herald, UK

Vending machines for drug users ‘can save lives’

Innovative projects aim to reduce the number of people dying from drugs in Scotland | STV News, UK

Blackpool drug warning: 'High-purity ecstasy' leaves two in hospital

Drug users in a seaside resort have been warned about "a batch of high-purity ecstasy" after two men were taken to hospital on Saturday night | BBC, UK

Smoking-related poverty concentrated in the North and Midlands

A new report - Estimates of poverty in the UK adjusted for expenditure on tobacco – 2021 update (PDF) - commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health finds that 3 in 5 of all households containing smokers living in poverty live in the North and Midlands while fewer than 1 in 5 are in London and the South East | ASH, UK

Managing kratom dependency with Buprenorphine during covid-19: A case report

This paper describes a case report where buprenorphine was successfully used for the management of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependency during the Covid-19 pandemic in a specialist community substance misuse treatment service | Drug Science, UK

Alcohol withdrawal in acute hospital settings: the SSA talks to Rachel Coleman

"The overall focus of my PhD is measurement and management of alcohol withdrawal in acute hospital settings. There’s been a decrease in specialist inpatient beds for alcohol withdrawal and alcohol treatment and at the same time there’s been an increase in alcohol-related admissions in general as well as admissions for alcohol withdrawal to acute hospital settings..." | SSA, UK

Could the UK ever become cigarette free? - video

The UK could be cigarette free within a decade if Tobacco firm Philip Morris gets its way. The chief executive of Philip Morris International told the Mail on Sunday that cigarettes should be banned, similar to petrol cars. [Interview with Professor Ian Hamilton, University of York] | GB News, UK

Coronavirus: Irish pubs and restaurants to resume indoor service

Customers, including those from Northern Ireland, must have official proof they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 within the last 180 days | BBC, UK

How Amy Winehouse's legacy is helping women in addiction recovery

"This is the first place that I've been able to call home, like really relax and feel safe and just be myself" | BBC, UK

Dan Carden MP becomes Adfam ambassador

Adfam is delighted to announce Dan Carden MP as our Ambassador. Earlier this month, Dan Carden, the MP for Liverpool Walton, opened up about his own alcohol dependency and impact on his family in a powerful and moving speech in the House of Commons | Adfam, UK

Raising awareness of Hepatitis by pedalling in the park

The city’s drug and alcohol service is working together with the Hepatitis C Trust to raise awareness of the virus and encourage people to get tested | Forward Leeds, UK

Got a Few Minutes? Take This Survey About Your Post-Lockdown Drug Use

The quick, confidential poll will help improve harm reduction advice for drug users in the UK | VICE, UK

Psychology research project - can you help?

The study is interested in 1) how rates of trauma might differ between males and females, and 2) how rates of trauma might differ between offending and non-offending histories. The project aims to find out how many substance users have experienced trauma so we can better understand your experiences and needs. It should take around 15 mins to complete and participation is greatly appreciated | University of Bath, UK



International news

Wine-lovers to save £130m as Brexit frees imports from red tape

[Limited number of free articles per week] Bottles will become cheaper after UK moves to scrap paperwork imposed on winemakers by EU | Telegraph, UK

‘Urgent need’ for age restrictions on TikTok vaping videos, Australian study finds

Researchers find 63% of e-cigarette content on video-sharing platform portrays vaping positively [See BMJ Journal article at the end of this section - Australia] | Guardian, UK

Drug use in Dublin: ‘People are passing all the time. It’s disgusting, for me, for them’

Addicts are injecting on the streets as permission for a facility has been set aside | Irish Times, Ireland

Blind pensioner spared jail after growing cannabis calls for the drug to be legalised for people in pain

Speaking from her home following the conclusion of the case, Ms Corrigan argued that cannabis should be legalised for people in pain, such as her | Irish Mirror, Ireland

World Hepatitis Day 2021 - Hepatitis can’t wait

World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. This year’s theme is “Hepatitis can’t wait”, conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030 | WHO, Switzerland

Online consultation on the Global alcohol action plan, first draft

The WHO Secretariat will host a web-based consultation on a the first draft of the Global alcohol action plan 2022-2030.  The consultation will be running from: 15:00 CET 26 July to 23:59 CET 3 September 2021 | WHO, Switzerland

Emergency department visits related to opioid overdoses up significantly during COVID-19 pandemic

Emergency department visit rates because of an opioid overdose increased by 28.5% across the U.S. in 2020, compared to 2018 and 2019, recent Mayo Clinic research finds | Medical Xpress, USA

New York Initiative Reduces Barriers to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Ithaca-based program to evaluate components of its comprehensive service delivery model | Pew Trusts, USA

Goal-setting and positive parent-child relationships reduce risk of youth vaping

Adolescents who set goals for their future and those with strong parental support are less likely to use e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, according to a study by UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine physician-scientists | Medical Xpress, USA

Vaping on TikTok: a systematic thematic analysis

[Open access] The rising popularity of TikTok among adolescents may influence their awareness and perceptions of e-cigarette use via user-generated content. This study aimed to examine how e-cigarette/vaping-related videos are portrayed on TikTok | BMJ Tobacco Control, Australia

Impact of Melbourne’s second wave of COVID-19 and associated restrictions among people who inject drugs: findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System

To assess the impact of this lockdown on people who inject drugs, a second round of IDRS interviews were conducted in Melbourne in December 2020. Participants were asked about their perceived change in: use of drugs, access to treatment and harm reduction services, and price, purity and availability of the major drug classes | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Should Cannabis be legalised?

According to a YouGov poll, over 30% of British adults have admitted to smoking cannabis in their lifetime | Politics.co.uk, UK

A Small Victory Against Misleading Reporting on Cannabis in the British Press

“The peculiar relationship between drugs policy and evidence in Britain is caused largely by inaccurate, misleading and sensationalist reporting in the press. Our politicians’ inability to deal with this subject, even to engage in serious debate about it, is all about their fear of being dubbed ‘soft on drugs’ by the newspapers. The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has upheld one of my many complaints about inaccurate reporting." | Peter Reynolds, UK

New First Wednesday’s Report Indicates Advocacy Success

First Wednesdays in collaboration with data from Crunchbase and Seedrs last week released their report titled ‘The European Cannabis Investment Ecosystem (ECIE), examining “the scope and scale of major, EU-wide investments by venture capitalists and retail investors” | Volteface opinion, UK

An Olympic controversy: Do marijuana and athletics mix?

Track and field star Sha'Carri Richardson's medal-winning hopes were dashed when she tested positive for THC, the main intoxicating compound found in marijuana, disqualifying her from the Tokyo Olympics with a one-month suspension | Medical Xpress, USA

British Columbia’s “Safe Supply” Program A Tacit Admission That Drug Prohibition Kills and Legalization Saves Lives

The Wall Street Journal reported today that British Columbia has decided to address its growing drug overdose rate (largely fueled by fentanyl‐​tainted drugs) with a program called “Safe Supply.” | CATO Institute blog, USA