Daily news - 4th June 2021

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UK news

Drugs minister pledges to finally address the menace of street drugs - the main driver of Scotland's drug deaths

Drugs policy minister Angela Constance to urgently seek a new prescribing approach to tackle street Valium | Daily Record, UK

University study highlights alarming rise in usage and costs of antidepressants

Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have warned there is an urgent need for the country's mental health interventions to create strategies optimizing the use of antidepressants after conducting a study which has highlighted an alarming rise in relation to usage and costs | Medical Xpress, UK

All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group Inquiry: The Future of Cask Beer

The press release highlights the devastating impact of the Covid  pandemic on  pubs and the wider hospitality sector – and correspondingly on the sales of cask and draught beer | APPBG, UK

A fifth of people caught with cannabis in West Mercia charged

Campaigners say enforcement of the law dictating cannabis use is a "postcode lottery" and have called for possession of the drug to be decriminalised altogether | Oswestry and Border Counties Observer, UK

Boy who helped change UK cannabis laws to visit Jersey in 1,000 mile campaign

The boy who played a pivotal role in changing UK medical cannabis laws is visiting Jersey this weekend, as part of a campaign which could see a 'not-for-profit' clinic set up in the island | Bailiwick Express, Jersey

Ask David Anything

Tue, 8 June 2021, 17:00 – 18:30 BST. This intimate event is a rare opportunity to have your burning questions answered by Professor David Nutt face to face... well, screen to screen! | Drug Science, UK

Share your best tips for giving up smoking

We would like to hear your advice on how best to quit smoking | Guardian, UK

Drill rapper pays tribute to his court ban

A drill rapper who was banned from using words like ‘whipping’ and ‘trapping’ because they glorify drug dealing has released a new musical track about the court order | Court News, UK



International news

The medical cannabis opportunity

Medical cannabis is experiencing a surge of demand in Europe – but a lack of the usual harmonised regulatory framework and diversity in attitudes to cannabis from country to country could pose a challenge | PharmaTiimes, UK

‘The jobs went, the drugs moved in’: America’s addiction nightmare – in pictures

From opioids to crack, families have been torn apart by the drug crisis rampaging through the US – as the stark work of these three photographers shows | Guardian, UK

Kelly Osbourne started taking heroin as teen following tonsil surgery

Osborne told the Red Table Talk that she relapsed on her almost four-year sobriety this year | Independent, UK

New study reveals how smoking during puberty can cause negative consequences in offspring

Smoking in early puberty in boys may have negative consequences for their future generations of offspring, a study from the University of Bergen (UiB) shows | EurekAlert, Norway

People who use methamphetamine likely to report multiple chronic conditions

People who use methamphetamine are more likely to have health conditions, mental illness, and substance use disorders than people who do not use the drug, according to a new study by researchers at the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU School of Global Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Association of New Perioperative Benzodiazepine Use With Persistent Benzodiazepine Use

In this cohort study of more than 2.5 million patients who underwent 1 of 11 surgical procedures from 2009 to 2017, benzodiazepines were prescribed for 2.6% of patients. Among benzodiazepine-naive patients prescribed a perioperative benzodiazepine, the rate of persistent benzodiazepine use was 19.5% | JAMA Network, USA

Prevalence and correlates of daily blunt use among a national U.S. sample

Smoking blunts (i.e., hollowed out cigars or cigarillos filled with marijuana) presents serious health risks, including exposure to carcinogens and carbon monoxide and nicotine and marijuana dependence | BASIS, USA

Secret shopper study sheds light on barriers to opioid treatment for women

After a 2020 Vanderbilt University Medical Center study showed women have a difficult time accessing treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), investigators analyzed comments received from the study's participants to further shed light on barriers to care | Medical Xpress, USA

Adolescents may develop some substance use disorders more quickly than young adults

Youth and young adults are more susceptible to the harmful effects of substance use due to ongoing neurocognitive development. When initiating drug use at an early age, these at-risk groups may be at increased risk for a more rapid transition to substance use disorder compared to adults | Recovery Research Institute, USA

California Senate Approves Bill To Legalize Possession Of Psychedelics Like Psilocybin And LSD

A bill to legalize possession of psychedelics in California was approved by the California Senate on Tuesday | Marijuana Moment, USA

New York Bill Would Create State-Sponsored Psychedelics Research Institute

A New York lawmaker introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require the state to establish an institute to research the therapeutic potential of psychedelics | Marijuana Moment, USA

We Must Divest From the Failed Drug War Locally, Nationally and Globally

By every measure, the global drug war has failed. It has failed to decrease drug use and sales. Drug-involved overdose deaths continue to soar around the world. And violence related to the illicit markets created by prohibition wreaks havoc on individuals and communities | Filter Magazine, USA

Competencies for Canada’s Substance Use Workforce Video Series

CCSA's Behavioural and Technical Competencies for Canada’s Substance Use Workforce describe the behaviours, skill sets and knowledge required for regulated and unregulated professionals who work with people who use substances | CCSA, Canada

Vermont decriminalizes buprenorphine, used to treat opioid use disorder: What to know

Gov. Phil Scott signed into law H.225, a bill that replaces criminal penalties with civil penalties for possession in quantities of 224 milligrams or less of buprenorphine | Burlington Free Press, Canada

‘Test your drugs’: Port Coquitlam is now the centre of the Tri-Cities’ overdose crisis

Community groups are responding to the problem but some B.C. doctors say drug testing should be expanded, along with mental health supports | TriCity News, Canada

Memorial wall to remember addictions victims

“We hope it will help to bring people together, to support each other,” said Stephanie Poitras, a member of SOYA's committee to build a Memorial Wall | The Sault Star, Canada

Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) associated with lower risk of multiple causes of death for 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. The review found that people with opioid dependence were less likely to experience overdose-related, suicide, alcohol-related, cancer, and cardiovascular-related mortality while receiving OAT | NDARC, Australia

Mindframe guidelines

The Mindframe for Alcohol and Other Drugs project uses research evidence to reduce stigma associated with AOD use, increase help-seeking behaviour in people who may require treatment or support, and minimise harm | Mindframe, Australia

What the young boy who became the face of Sydney’s heroin epidemic looks like today

Andrew Johnson, the boy who was pictured shooting heroin in a drug-infested laneway and sparked change in Australia, has spoken out for the first time | news.com.au, Australia

Airport Watch launched at Gold Coast Airport to target growing crime threat

The Australian Federal Police is today launching a rebooted Airport Watch program at Gold Coast Airport to coincide with increasing domestic travel and the potential for growth in organised crime and drug trafficking throughout the aviation environment | Mirage News, Australia

ACC urged to change cannabis policy as people turn to black market for pain relief

ACC is being called on to change its approach to the funding of medical cannabis products, with advocates saying the current process is cruel and outdated | NZHerald, New Zealand

Overcoming major hurdles in Indonesia's war on drugs

Drug abuse and trafficking have dragged Indonesia into a more serious situation, as several state apparatuses were found guilty of drug crimes | Antara News, Insonesia


Blogs, comment and opinion

How Many People Carry Take-Home Naloxone?

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of take-home naloxone (THN) ownership and carriage | Russell Webster, UK

‘Being sober wasn't a thing in the Nineties’

[Limited number of free articles per week] The first of the Primrose Hill set to clean up, Davinia Taylor reveals how she gave up alcohol and sugar to become a wellbeing ‘bio-hacker’ | Telegraph, UK

Politics and Science Are Both Catching up With Big Marijuana | Opinion

As Congress readies a few doomed federal marijuana legalization bills, top Democrats in Colorado— the first state to legalize marijuana—are staking out a surprisingly different path | Newsweek, USA