Daily news - 1st June 2021

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UK news

New treatment standards for drug users

New standards for treatment for drug users will ensure everyone has access to the support which works best for them. The 10 new standards, published today by the Drug Deaths Taskforce, will reinforce a rights-based approach for people who use drugs and the treatment they should expect, regardless of where they live | Scottish Government, UK

Funds open for drugs services

Four separate funds - worth a total of £18 million - to support improvements to drugs services are open for applications | Scottish Government, UK

National drugs mission funds: guidance

Information and guidance for the National Drugs Mission Funds to reduce drug related deaths and harms | Scottish Government, UK

Impact of minimum unit pricing on alcohol purchases in Scotland and Wales: controlled interrupted time series analyses

As a policy option to reduce consumption of alcohol and the harm it does, on May 1, 2018, Scotland introduced a minimum price of 50 British pence (p) per unit of alcohol (8 g) sold; Wales followed suit on March 2, 2020, with the same minimum unit price (MUP). We analysed household purchase data based on bar codes to assess the impact of these policy options in the medium term for Scotland and in the immediate term for Wales | Lancet, UK

Minimum unit alcohol price has 'lasting impact'

The introduction of minimum pricing of alcohol has had a lasting impact in Scotland and is starting to have an effect in Wales, a study has found | BBC, UK

The future of UK music festivals

This inquiry considered Government policy to support music festivals due to take place this year and the economic and cultural contribution that music festivals make to the UK. It includes a look at drug-related harm at festivals and the role of drug checking | UK Parliament, UK

Festivals facing ‘lost summer’ over lack of Government insurance scheme – report

The DCMS Committee also warned of a possible increase in drug-related deaths | Evening Standard, UK

Festivals face spike in drug deaths from lower tolerance of illegal substances due to Covid, MPs warn

Festivals face spike in drug deaths from lower tolerance of illegal substances due to Covid, MPs warn | i news, UK

On World No Tobacco Day ASH calls on Government to do more to protect young people and consult on raising the age of sale to 21

On World No Tobacco Day [31st May] Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is calling on Government to heed findings from a major study in The Lancet that three quarters of the world’s smokers have their first cigarette by 21 and the average age of regular smoking is 19 | ASH, UK

Guidance - Serious Violence Duty: strategic needs assessment guidance

The Serious Violence Duty: draft guidance definition of serious violence is the same as the definition used in the government’s Serious Violence Strategy, but with concern about specific types of crime including county lines drug dealing | Public Health England, Department of Health and Social Care, and Home Office, UK

Drugs: Misuse - Question for Home Office

Crispin Blunt - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs entitled Reducing opioid-related deaths in the UK, published in December 2016, which cited research findings that drug consumption clinics…| UK Parliament, UK

#37 - Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) - podcast

This week’s episode features Richard ‘Rick’ Doblin, who is the founder and director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) – a non-profit research organisation he established in 1986. Somewhere between getting an undergraduate degree in psychology and a doctorate in public policy, Rick, having had discovered psychedelics, began his fight against unjustified criminalisation of psychedelic drugs | Drug Science, UK

Public Health England: ‘Preventable bacterial infections remain a problem’

Bacterial infections may be less likely to make the headlines than fatal overdoses and blood-borne viruses, but they are a source of considerable suffering among people who inject drugs. Natalie Davies looks at the latest figures from Public Health England, which indicate a treatment gap and a prevention gap | SSA, UK

Our successful ‘click and deliver’ naloxone service delivers lifesaving kits in the post to reduce drug-related deaths

Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (Scottish Families) has issued 348 naloxone kits in its first year of running its online ‘click and deliver’ service. People order online and receive their lifesaving kit in the post a few days later | SFAD, UK

What I wish I’d known before my son's fatal drug overdose 

[Limited number of free articles per week] Seven years on from losing her 16-year-old son, Fiona Spargo-Mabbs has used the tragedy to share a powerful message | Telegraph, UK

Institute of Alcohol Studies: Alcohol and the Sustainable Development Goals

Thu, 10 June 2021, 15:30 – 17:00 BST. The seminar will run for 1.5 hours and will consider the impact of alcohol on the SDGs | IAS, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Greenspace programmes for problem substance use

Tue, 15 June 2021, 12:30 – 14:00 BST. Wendy Masterton discusses her research on greenspace programmes for problem substance use | SHAAP, UK

Business focus: London’s green rush? City financiers tune in to the cannabis industry

The crushed velvet sofas and mahogany panels of Mayfair may seem a world away from skinning up a joint in the park but London high finance and cannabis are colliding in what’s been dubbed a 21st-century green rush | Evening Standard, UK

Drugs county lines fight 'to last a generation'

The fight against gangs exploiting children to deal drugs is likely to last a generation, a senior police leader has said | BBC, UK


International news

Ten recommendations to foster the UK’s medicinal cannabis market

In this article, EPR summarises the list of 10 recommendations for the UK Government, published by experts in the medicinal cannabis industry, to ensure the UK capitalises on the opportunities afforded by the market | EPR, UK

The war on drugs - audio

The first 'war on drugs' was launched by US President Richard Nixon in 1971. He described drug abuse as a 'national emergency' and asked Congress for nearly four hundred million dollars to tackle the problem. Claire Bowes spoke to one of Nixon's policy advisors, Jeffrey Donfeld, about an approach to drugs which he describes as more 'find them and help them' than 'find them and lock them up'. And how he convinced the President to roll out a nationwide programme of methadone treatment for heroin addicts | BBC, UK

Mike Tyson reveals magic mushrooms ‘saved my life’ and hopes psychedelics can now change the world

Former heavyweight champion calls psilocybin an ‘amazing medicine’ | Independent, UK

Gardaí arrest two men and seize €1.35m worth of cannabis herb in Meath operation

Detectives from the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau searched a car and a house during the operation | Journal, Ireland

Fears mount that forensic lab backlog could derail drugs prosecutions

Surge in demand follows ‘remarkable’ rise in drug seizures in 2020 and preceding years | Irish Times, Ireland

A Health Led Approach to Drug Policy 2021

Wed, 9 Jun 2021, 18:30 – Thu, 10 Jun 2021, 18:30 BST. Join National & International Leaders in Health Led Approaches to Drugs discussing policy developments in 2021! | Tallaght Drug and Alcohol Task Force, Ireland

Ireland leads the way on tobacco cessation programmes

As a recognized global leader in tobacco control, Ireland has worked hard to develop comprehensive treatment for tobacco dependence. The country’s efforts are underpinned by ambitious goals: it aims to be tobacco free by 2025 with a smoking prevalence equal to or lower than 5% | WHO, Denmark

WHO supports people quitting tobacco to reduce their risk of severe COVID-19

The World Health Organization’s 'Commit to Quit’ tobacco campaign has made resources from its Quitting Toolkit freely available to more than a billion tobacco users, less than 5 months into the year-long campaign | WHO, Switzerland

Police stops in Europe: everyone has a right to equal treatment

A new paper by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveals the differences between people’s experiences with police stops. It shows that Black people, Asians and Roma are still more likely to be stopped and searched by police, which also affects their trust in policing | FRA, Austria

Drugnet Europe - May

Monthly roundup of drug policy news from EMCDDA | EMCDDA, Portugal

Alcohol adspend to beat market with 5.3% growth in 2021 as hospitality opens up

Alcohol adspend in 12 key markets* will grow by 5.3% in 2021, ahead of the 4.9% growth of the ad market as a whole, as brands recover from a much steeper drop in 2020, according to Zenith’s Business Intelligence – Alcohol: Beer + Spirits report, published today. Alcohol advertising will then grow roughly in line with the market, with 4%-5% annual growth in 2022 and 2023 | Zenith Media, USA

NC lawmakers seek to outlaw unethical addiction treatment practices

Sen. Jim Burgin, R-Harnett, the sponsor of Senate Bill 408, called patient brokering "an insidious, corrupt, deadly practice" that preys on people trying to recover from opioid or other substance addictions | WRAL.com, USA

BAT publishes new review of vaping products and their potential health effects

To mark World Vape Day, BAT has today published a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence for vaping products (e-cigarettes), their potential health effects and their role in Tobacco Harm Reduction | News Medical, USA

Simple protocol can improve medicinal treatment for opioid addiction

Unintentional overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, with many people knowing at least one person who has struggled with drug dependence | Medical Xpress, USA

The DRAM, Vol. 17(6) - Are Sexual Minority Youth at higher risk of experiencing suicidality when they drink?

Sexual minority youth (SMY) experience higher rates of suicidality than their heterosexual peers. Previously, researchers have studied the high prevalence of suicide among SMY using a minority stress framework, which suggests that stigma and discrimination contribute to chronic stress, harmful coping patterns, and, ultimately, impaired health | BASIS, USA

Emotional regulation technique may be effective in disrupting compulsive cocaine addiction

An emotion regulation strategy known as cognitive reappraisal helped reduce the typically heightened and habitual attention to drug-related cues and contexts in cocaine-addicted individuals, a study by Mount Sinai researchers has found | Medical Xpress, USA

NY Assembly Passes Bill Ensuring Prisoners Access to Methadone, Bupe

New York made history on May 26 by passing legislation that will ensure people incarcerated within the state have access to medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD). The bill now sits on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk to be signed into law, which advocates expect he will do | Filter Magazine, USA

Poisoned Drugs Claimed the Lives of 254 First Nations People Last Year in BC

The toll of the crisis is felt more in Indigenous communities, on and off reserve | The Tyee, Canada

California Prisoners Save Two Fellow Inmates From Overdose by Administering Naloxone

The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department has said prisoners at a California jail helped to avert a “potential tragic outcome” by administering doses of Naloxone, known as Narcan, to two fellow inmates suffering from possible overdoses on May 26 | Herald Sun, Australia

Trends in, and characteristics associated with, trouble accessing sterile needles and syringes among people who inject drugs in Sydney, New South Wales

This bulletin highlights the percentage of participants amongst a sample of people who regularly inject drugs in Sydney, NSW who reported having trouble accessing sterile needles in the past month, from 2011-2019 | NDARC, Australia

New clinical trial to test the effectiveness of e-cigarettes and nicotine replacement products to help people quit smoking

The ‘Quit Smoking Study’ will test how well e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, compared with nicotine lozenges or gum | NDARC, Australia

Risk of lung cancer increased almost 10-fold among Australians smoking as few as 1-5 cigarettes per day

May 28th, in advance of World No Tobacco Day, The Daffodil Centre released an Australian first study, with findings showing tobacco smoking significantly increased the risk of 12 types of cancer and that 1-in-7 current smokers will get lung cancer in their lifetime | The Daffodil Centre, Australia

Online interventions for suicidal behaviours in the Emergency Room - video

This presentation reported on the findings from a study referring individuals who present to ED with suicidal behaviours to online interventions | NDARC, Australia

Is it time to face the facts about alcohol and cancer?

We know all too well the cancer risks posed by smoking, the sun and asbestos, but for many of us, alcohol somehow slips under the radar | SMH, Australia

AODstats - Victorian alcohol and drug statistics

Relaunched website. AODstats provides information on the harms related to alcohol, illicit and pharmaceutical drug use in Victoria. This information provides a convenient statistical and epidemiological resource for policy planners, drug service providers, health professionals and other key stakeholders | Turning Point, Australia

Time to Sweat – McGowan Government crackdown on impaired drivers

New offence for drivers caught with both alcohol and drugs in their system | Mirage News, Australia

Cannabis treatment for sick dogs lags behind US, but Colorado expert urges caution

Paddy is a 15-year-old golden retriever, much loved but slow on his legs | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 111: Stop talking about stopping

Globally most smokers know or at least have a strong inkling their habit is bad idea. They may have lost family and friends to cancer or some form of lung disease. They themselves may now be easily out of breath where once they were active sportspeople. They tell researchers they want to quit. But millions don’t. Why? | NSP blog, UK

UK cannabis campaigners take note: in the US, change came from below

Sadiq Khan’s decriminalisation commission could put pressure on the government to change its policy | Guardian opinion, UK

Some things worth knowing

Here are some things/experiences that came onto my radar in the last week. I don’t think there’s much linking them, but some bits and pieces may be of interest to others | Recovery Review blog, UK

Diary of a sober shamer

From every day drinker and 'sober shamer' to CEO of an alcohol charity - read Richard's story | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Stop demonising and marginalising people with drug problems - it’s Scotland's epidemic

Sunday Mail columnist John Niven says we need to listen to the experts on drug issues – not public opinion | Daily Record opinion, UK

50 Years of Britain’s Bad Drug Policy

On this day in 1971, Britain adopted the Misuse of Drugs Act. Half a century later, drug-related deaths are at a record high – it's time to accept that the prohibitive approach is harmful and demand something different | Tribune Magazine, UK

We’re Overlooking a Major Culprit in the Opioid Crisis

Pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers have been part of the problem—but so have policy makers | Scientific American opinion, USA

[Limited number of free articles per week] The summer I was 26 years old, I moved into my parents’ home in the Chicago suburbs because I could no longer care for myself | NYTimes opinion, USA

A night out isn’t only about alcohol

Drinking alcohol is a common practice on a night out for young adults. Public health researchers are often concerned about the ‘harms’ associated with drinking on a night out and advocate for measures to reduce harms, such as restricting the availability of alcohol | Turning Point blog, Australia