Daily news - 29th July 2021

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UK news

People who inject drugs appreciated the efforts made by drug services to continue to provide support during the pandemic, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded LUCID-B study published (pre-proof) in the International Journal of Drug Policy has found. But for many, the pandemic worsened already precarious and isolated lives | NIHR, UK

We’ll publish drug strategy by end of the year, government says

The government has promised to publish a ‘long-term’ drug strategy by the end of the year, at the same time as it sets out measures to expand drug-testing on arrest and make people arrested for drug-related offences take part in ‘visible’ unpaid community work as part of its new Beating crime plan | DDN, UK

Policy paper: Beating Crime Plan

This document sets out the government’s plan to deliver the change that Britain needs, with less crime, fewer victims, and a safer country. [Includes a range of actions on tackling drug issues] | Home Office, UK

More drug addicts to be offered treatment instead of punishment

[Free one month trial available] Drug users will benefit from extra investment in treatment as a trial to shift away from repeatedly punishing addicts is expanded. The programmes will be offered in five city centres to ensure more black and ethnic minority people benefit | The Times, UK

Must Know: Treatment and recovery for people with drug or alcohol problems

As elected members, you are ideally placed to champion investment into reducing drug and alcohol harm in your local area, engaging the local community and collaborating with officers. The purpose of this guide, developed in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), is to raise awareness about drug and alcohol related harms and empower councillors by providing an introduction to treatment and recovery services, key considerations, signposting to useful resources, as well as any questions you need to ask to support effective decision making | LGA, UK

People who inject drugs: HIV and viral hepatitis monitoring

Updated with 2011 to 2020 data and Health Protection Report 15(13) | PHE, UK

ACMD advice on Sunosi

In April, a letter from the ACMD to Kit Malthouse recommended that the control of Sunosi under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was not required at the time. There is now a response from Kit Malthouse to Prof Bowden-Jones | ACMD, 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

To understand how clinicians working in addiction services perceive their responsibilities for physical healthcare of clients who use opioids, and how physical healthcare could be improved for this group | BMJ Open, UK

Buprenorphine for the management of kratom dependency during covid-19: A case report

[Open access] We describe 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, Policy and Law, UK

Cannabis part of the future says tobacco giant

The UK's largest tobacco firm says it sees cannabis as part of its future as it tries to move away from selling traditional cigarettes | BBC, UK

Medical cannabis clinic ‘making sick people smile again’

More than 1000 people with chronic pain have asked Scotland first medical cannabis clinic for help | STV News, UK

With You to work with Liverpool City Council to deliver ADDER accelerator programme

Liverpool was announced as one of Government’s ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) Accelerator programme locations. Liverpool will receive up to £2.4m investment in reducing the everyday harm of drug use to people and communities across Liverpool. With You are the lead provider in delivering ADDER for Liverpool City Council with key stakeholders including Merseycare NHS Trust, YMCA Together and Merseyside Police across Liverpool's health and social care infrastructure | With You, UK

Mayor of London pledges support to eliminate hepatitis C in London

This week on World Hepatitis Day, 28th July, Sadiq Khan sent a video message of support to all those working to test and treat people living with hepatitis C across London. The London Joint Working Group on Substance Use and Hepatitis C (LJWG) and the GLA are bringing together organisations who are working towards the goal of eliminating hepatitis C in London by 2025, with a Routemap to Elimination | Mayor of London, UK

80 take-home kits a day to reverse effects of drugs overdose

Two-thirds of ambulance clinicians in Scotland have now been trained in supplying members of the public with a treatment that can reverse the effects of a drugs overdose | Evening Telegraph, UK


International news

World Hepatitis Day 2021

Hepatitis is a global issue and requires a global response. The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2021 is ‘Hep Can’t Wait’ – a reference to the urgent need to eliminate the spread of the virus | SSA, UK

Why cannabis is still a banned Olympics substance

US sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson will be missing the Tokyo Olympics because she tested positive for marijuana during the US Track & Field trials. With cannabis legal in many states across America, why is it still outlawed in sports? | BBC, UK

Hearts from donors who died of drug overdoses ARE safe to use in transplant surgeries, two new studies find

Researchers examined data spanning more than ten years and found no significant difference in mortality between patients whose heart donors did and did not use illicit drugs | Mail Online, UK

Construction to begin on €30m medical centre for Dublin’s homeless

A new €30 million medical centre for Dublin’s homeless population should be constructed by 2024, after being beset by delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic | Journal, Ireland

Recall of Various CBD Food Supplements due to the Presence of Unsafe Levels of delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Unsafe Levels of delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were detected in certain batches of CBD food supplements listed in the table below. The implicated batches are being recalled | FSAI, Ireland

EMCDDA launches new resources to help European countries beat viral hepatitis

On World Hepatitis Day, the EU drugs agency launched a new set of resources to help European countries meet health targets to eliminate viral hepatitis. The resources, presented in an online toolkit, are part of a wider EMCDDA harm-reduction initiative supporting countries in their efforts to prevent and control infectious diseases among people who inject drugs | EMCDDA, Portugal

DrugNet Europe - July

Latest edition of the drug policy newsletter from the EMCDDA | EMCDDA, Portugal

Children exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke may experience viral respiratory infections

Children whose parents regularly smoke or vape marijuana may experience viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, more frequently than those whose parents do not smoke, according to a study published in the journal Pediatric Research | News Medical, USA

Ease access to opioid addiction medication, new research suggests

With overdose deaths surging during the COVID-19 pandemic, new findings from researchers at Oregon Health & Science University suggest easing access to a key medication to treat addiction | Medical Xpress, USA

The opioid epidemic isn’t unsolvable

There are real, evidence-based solutions to the drug overdose crisis | Vox, USA

Uber reduced alcohol-related traffic deaths in the U.S., study says

This study found that ridesharing decreased alcohol-related traffic deaths by 6.1 per cent in 2019 and saved 214 lives | Vancouver Sun, Canada

Is there a “social cure”? Family and friends matter for recovery capital

There is a long history of research and clinical experience showing how family and friends impact substance use and outcomes during addiction treatment and early recovery | Recovery Research Review, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Government responds to the Black Review

The government has published its initial response to the second part of Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs | Collective Voice blog, UK

SNP can’t blame anyone else for drug death toll

[Free one month trial available] Appalling record has only got worse since party has been in power yet ministers keep trotting out the same old excuses | The Times comment, UK

Expert reaction to WHO report on nicotine and tobacco products

Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Senior Research Fellow in Health Behaviours, University of Oxford and Prof John Britton, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology, University of Nottingham give their reaction to the recent report | Science Media Centre, UK

Opinion: Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympics Ban Demonstrates There is Still Work to be Done to Change Public Opinion on Cannabis Usage

When discussing cannabis reform, it’s often in relation to the immediate spheres of society, where prohibition has taken priority over harm reduction, and consumers are at immediate risk of harms perpetuated by existing policy. Undoubtedly this is an important focal point, especially in the UK where we still have some way to go with respect to how we perceive and respond to adult use | Volteface opinion, UK

Health information and warnings on alcohol packaging in Ireland: it is time to progress the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018

Findings from the 2019–2020 Irish National Drug and Alcohol Survey are a reminder of the burden of alcohol-related harms in Ireland, with two-fifths of drinkers engaging in heavy episodic drinking at least once per month (six or more standard drinks on a single occasion) and 14.8% of the general population meeting the criteria for an alcohol use disorder | Irish Journal of Medical Science letter, Ireland

Personal Reflection about a World on Drugs

Growing up in Colombia during the 1970s and early 1980s was an eye-opening experience. As a teenager living through the daily tensions of a country in constant social turmoil and violence, the thought of worrying or even thinking about marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, and their impact on the world was irrelevant. Illicit drugs and awareness campaigns were not part of the country’s social, health, or educational policies | Points blog, USA