Daily news - 3rd June 2021

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UK news

COVID-19: Nearly half of UK adults going through pandemic job loss are drinking more alcohol - survey

The figures could increase further when the furlough scheme is wound down later this year | ITV, UK

English councils start banning smoking outside pubs and restaurants

Five local authorities take matters into own hands amid Covid outdoor eating culture | Guardian, UK

Oxfordshire considering smoking ban for outdoor hospitality seating

The strategy aims to reduce the overall prevalence of smoking in Oxfordshire to below 5% by 2025 | Evening Standard, UK

'It's Crazy' – Patients Say the UK's Medical Cannabis System Is Not Working

Despite production of medical cannabis increasing by 700 percent, just three people have been prescribed weed on the NHS | VICE, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs plans to (a) conclude its inquiry and (b) produce its recommendations on Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs | They work for you, UK

Alcohol Alert – May 2021 - audio

A rundown and discussion of last month's policy news | IAS, UK

In conversation with... Lindsey Richardson - podcast

Lindsey Richardson discusses a trial testing whether changing the timing and frequency of income assistance payments made to people who use drugs could mitigate drug use escalation and related harms around payment days | Buzzsprout, UK

Can we take the high out of psychedelics?

The psychedelic revolution is underway. This scientist wants to make it less trippy | WIRED, UK

Stop and search: Young people fear being ‘targeted’ in the future if they complain about police conduct

Data obtained from 38 of 45 UK police forces raised questions about officers’ behaviour during stop and searches of ethnic minorities | i news, UK

Leon Reid: Ireland sprinter denies eight drugs and firearm offences at Bristol Crown Court hearing

Reid, 26, appeared at Bristol Crown Court via video-link with 17 other defendants on Wednesday | BBC, UK

Justice Minister welcomes seizure of 15 million cigarettes

The seizure of 15 million cigarettes and four tonnes of tobacco en route to Northern Ireland has been welcomed by Justice Minister Naomi Long | BBC, UK



International news

Opioid Agonist Therapy reduces mortality risk among people with opioid dependence

A new global review has found that receiving Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) is associated with lower risk of multiple causes of death among people with opioid dependence | University of Bristol, UK

2021 Global Day of Action: Undoing the ‘war’, building the future that our communities have always deserved

Every year, on 26 June, the Support. Don’t Punish campaign mobilises in reaction to this violence and this loss [associated with the 'War on Drugs'], to build sustainable alternatives that end cycles of punishment and marginalisation, and rather advance our communities’ health, human rights and well-being | IDPC, UK

Police in Spain seize 860 kilos of black and odourless cocaine

Three people arrested after seizure of drug disguised as charcoal in northern region of Castilla y León | Guardian, UK

Afghanistan's poppy problem - audio

Laila Haidari set up Kabul's first independent drug rehabilitation centre in 2010. Having helped her own brother to quit his heroin addiction she wanted to help others. More than 80% of the world's illegal opium and heroin comes from Afghanistan. International criminal groups have exploited years of warfare and lawlessness to expand production, but the insecurity has also led to poverty and increased drug addiction inside Afghanistan | BBC, UK

When Peru mistook missionaries for drug traffickers - audio

In April 2001 the Peruvian Air Force mistakenly shot down a small passenger plane as it flew over the Amazon jungle. The Peruvians believed the aircraft was carrying drugs. Onboard was a group of American missionaries. Mike Lanchin spoke to Jim Bowers, who survived the crash, but whose wife and baby daughter were killed | BBC, UK

European Commission puts e-cigarettes to the test

In a report published on 20 May, the Commission said the latest assessment of the risk of e-cigarettes by SCHEER (Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks) supported “the careful and precautionary approach taken so far.”| EurActiv, Belgium

Disseminating the European balanced approach on drugs through training: EMCDDA drugs schools and the next generation of drug professionals

11 JUN 2021. A conversation with former European Drugs School students on their careers and the legacy of the school | EMCDDA, Portugal

People who use methamphetamine likely to report multiple chronic conditions

Medical, mental, and substance use issues all more prevalent among adults who use methamphetamine | EurekAlert, USA

“Stay in touch”: Phone- and text-based continuing care check-ins after residential alcohol use disorder treatment

Continuing care is critical for helping prevent alcohol use disorder relapse risk following residential treatment. Yet because of limited resources, many residential treatment programs do not offer follow-up with their patients. This study tests whether resource-light follow-up approaches using infrequent phone calls or text messages can improve continuing care outcomes compared to more resource-heavy frequent provider phone check-ins | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Amazon Ends Most Marijuana Testing for Employees, Backs MORE Act

Amazon said on June 1 that it will stop drug testing many of its workers for marijuana and will instead “treat it the same as alcohol use.” It is also formally joining the movement in support of cannabis legalization, and will actively lobby Congress in support of legislation to end federal prohibition | Filter Magazine, USA

America Has a Drinking Problem

A little alcohol can boost creativity and strengthen social ties. But there’s nothing moderate, or convivial, about the way many Americans drink today | The Atlantic, USA

Ex-FDA Head Falsely Claims Kratom Is “Fueling” the Overdose Crisis 

Drug warriors have long deployed disinformation to justify panics and crackdowns. Kratom, an unregulated plant-based product used by many to manage opioid consumption and withdrawals, has not been spared | Filter Magazine, USA

Fentanyl Test Strips Empower People And Save Lives—So Why Aren’t They More Widespread?

Fentanyl test strips (FTS) are a simple, inexpensive, and evidence-based method of averting drug overdose. FTS are small strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in any drug batch—pills, powder, or injectables | Health Affairs, USA

Biden announces 'National Month of Action' -- that could include free beer -- to get more Americans vaccinated by July 4

The month of action includes a partnership with Anheuser-Busch that could mean free alcohol for every American 21 years of age and older. Anheuser-Busch, the national brewer that produces Budweiser, announced Wednesday it will give away free alcohol if the nation reaches Biden's goal to have 70% of US adults receive at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4 | CNN, USA

Portugal’s drug reforms 20 years on

ACT advocates for drug reform look to the architects of Portugal’s decriminalisation model for advice | SBS News, Australia

Up-scheduling and codeine supply in Australia: analysing the intervention and outliers

Over-the-counter codeine products were up-scheduled to prescription only in Australia fromFebruary 2018. This trend study aimed to identify changes in codeine supply before and after the February 2018 imple-mentation | Addiction, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The WHO's opposition to vaping could cost millions of lives

Awarding ministers for banning e-cigarettes is incredibly dangerous | UnHerd, UK

Martyn P’s story

Martyn got off drugs with Forward's help, and now works as a prison Peer Mentor | Forward Trust, UK

Your Help Needed! Medical Workforce Addiction Recovery Affinity Groups

This post is a request for your help. I’m involved in the formation of an addiction recovery affinity group (AKA employee resource group) in a hospital | Recovery Review blog, UK

World No Tobacco Day exposes Big Public Health’s failure

Today marks “World No Tobacco Day”, a World Health Organization initiative to draw attention to the dangers of tobacco, what governments and health agencies are doing to combat it, and to encourage smokers to quit | Spectator, Australia