Daily news - 7th June 2021

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UK news

Drugs policy minister looks at ‘safe’ consumption and users’ checking centres to reduce deaths

Scotland’s new drug policy minister, Angela Constance, says she wants to introduce users’ checking facilities in Dundee and Aberdeen as part of a national effort to reduce the country’s shocking death toll | Courier, UK

A Content Analysis and Population Exposure Estimate Of Guinness Branded Alcohol Marketing During the 2019 Guinness Six Nations

[Open access] Alcohol marketing was highly prevalent during the 2019 Guinness Six Nations Championship and was a significant source of exposure to alcohol marketing and advertising for children, likely influencing youth alcohol experimentation and uptake | Alcohol and Alcoholism, UK

The Final Push: A Tobacco Control Strategy for a smokefree society in Oxfordshire 2020-2025 (PDF)

Stopping smoking is the best thing an individual can do for their health and well-being and having a comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy is the best thing we can do for the public’s health. We are therefore pleased to present the Oxfordshire Tobacco Control Strategy, which aims to reduce the overall prevalence of smoking in Oxfordshire to below 5% by 2025. In doing so, we will achieve our vision to inspire the first smoke free generation in Oxfordshire | Oxfordshire County Council, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent representations her Department has received from the (a) Lord Advocate and (b) Crown Office in Scotland on drug consumption rooms | They work for you, UK

Blue plague victims open up on battle with drugs

Scotland's deadly street "blues" curse claims three quarters of our drug deaths - but many GPs don't prescribe safe pharmaceutical supply | Daily Record, UK

Harm reduction month: vaping and public health

In this last in our series of articles for harm reduction month, Rob Calder discusses vaping as harm reduction and the implications for the public health agenda. With just a small detour for a discussion of recovery from other research areas | SSA, UK

Professor Karl Friston - Institute of Neurology UCL - video

Prof Karl Friston calls upon the UK government to reschedule psilocybin | MyPov and CDPRG, UK

Reaching Family Members in Large Numbers – Using the internet as a tool to enhance conversations with family members - webinar

22nd June 2021, 2pm UK. Ed Sipler - Health Development Specialist, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland, UK.This Webinar will explore the findings from AFINet’s Project 1 – Reaching Family Members in Large Numbers. One of the outcomes of this project was the publication of The Pocket Guide for Family Members and the development of a You Tube clip with key messages from the booklet. This Webinar will explore the development of these tools and their use in enhancing conversations with family members | AFINet, UK

Ask The Family! Report Launch and Virtual Exhibition Tour

Thu, 10 June 2021, 09:30 – 11:00 BST. Come along to our Ask the Family launch event to hear about our findings and join a guided tour around our virtual exhibition | SFAD, UK

Hoppy days: our pick of the best no- and low-alcohol beers and ales

The days of anaemic alcohol-free lager being the only option are long gone – these days, you can find something you’ll like in almost any style of beer | Guardian, UK

Rapper Nines charged with four drug-related offences

The artist, real name Courtney Freckleton, was arrested on Thursday after searches were carried out at addresses in London and Hertfordshire | BBC, UK

Barrister who practised while suspended over drugs avoids disbarment

A barrister who practised while suspended following his high-profile conviction for possession of drugs that led to the death of his boyfriend has been sanctioned again | Legal Futures, UK

Police foil cannabis Dairy Milk factory at student home

They had allegedly been mixing Cadbury's Dairy Milk with cannabis butter to make their own brand | Nottingham Post, UK

Drug dealers caught after undertaking police on M6 hard shoulder

Drug dealers were caught with cocaine with a street value of £500,000 after undertaking a police patrol car as they sped along a motorway hard shoulder | BBC, UK



International news

Encrochat messaging app leads detectives to drug dealers

Drug dealers were caught after a secure text messaging service called Encrochat was infiltrated by French detectives | BBC, UK

Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine Is a Problem in New York, But Not for Most Users

Social media panic about opioid-tainted coke is unfounded, says one drug expert, but certain groups are still at risk | VICE, UK

Turkey experiments with cannabis crops to boost hemp production

While cannabis remains taboo topic, economic crisis means Turkey is trialling hemp for industrial use | Guardian, UK

Tobacco firm frustrated over delay in menthol ban investigation

‘Inaction’ causing release of new products to replace banned menthol flavours, says BAT | Irish Times, Ireland

Uzbekistan launches national “Commit to Quit” campaign for World No Tobacco Day 2021

On 28 May, WHO, alongside the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan and the Uzbekistan Medical Students’ Association (UzMSA Phenomenon), launched the “Commit to Quit” nationwide campaign online in association with World No Tobacco Day, with the aim of expanding access to services for those looking to quit tobacco | WHO, Denmark

How harm reduction advocates and the tobacco industry capitalized on pandemic to promote nicotine

Scientific papers suggesting that smokers are less likely to fall ill with COVID-19 are being discredited as links to the tobacco industry, reveals an investigation by The BMJ today | EurekAlert, USA

Opioid Tapering Is Not the Solution to the Overdose Crisis

The lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors assume that the fault of the overdose crisis lies with manipulative marketing and medical mismanagement of patients and communities | Pain News Network, USA

Drug Use Is Perfectly Compatible With Good Parenting

Many of us are parenting while using drugs. Sometimes with a single drink at dinner; sometimes with criminalized substances; sometimes chaotically so. But often it’s invisible, because we’re doing it in the closet | Filter Magazine, 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

‘India home to 12% of world’s smokers’

“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India is home to 12 per cent of the world’s smokers. There are approximately 120 million smokers in India and more than 10 million people die each year due to tobacco in India,” said Dr Suresh Goyal, senior consultant of pulmonary medicine at Ivy Hospital, in an online awareness session | Tribune, India

Qantas infiltrated by organised criminals, says intelligence report

Crime agencies believe Qantas has been infiltrated by bikies and other organised crime groups to facilitate drug importation and other activities that pose a risk to national security | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

What has psychology taught us about alcohol so far and what should we do next? – Part 1 of our series on the Palgrave Handbook

Taking a psychological approach to alcohol consumption involves researching individuals’ thoughts and behaviours about drinking, within the cultures and communities they occur in. The Palgrave Handbook of Psychological Perspectives on Alcohol Consumption summarises a broad range of research in this exciting field, and sets an ambitious agenda for the future. In this post we introduce the key questions that are answered in the handbook | IAS blog, UK

Public throws support behind leading scientists’ calls to change UK regulations on psychedelic drug research

Leading scientists and MPs believe psychedelic drugs could prove hugely beneficial in palliative care/ for people with terminal conditions. To this end, the majority (68 percent) of the British public now supports calls to change restrictive UK regulations on the clinical study of these substances | CDPRG blog, UK

My team’s research shows magic mushrooms treat depression, but undoing the stigma will be a bigger challenge

Bringing psychedelic therapy into mainstream treatment will present some major challenges | i news, UK

Cannabis for ADHD: An emerging therapeutic option

I remember the first time I heard cannabis and ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] mentioned in the same breath. I had just joined my local cannabis club in Southern Spain and was chatting with one of the guys hanging out there | Project CBD, UK

Stopping antidepressants: what is the best way to come off them?

In this blog for patients and doctors, Dr Mark Horowitz, training psychiatrist and Clinical Research Fellow at University College London, looks at the latest Cochrane evidence on how to safely stop antidepressants and explores the implications for patients and doctors having to navigate this area so neglected by medical researchers | Cochrane blog, UK

50 years in, the war on drugs is an unmitigated disaster

There’s arguably no piece of legislation in the modern era which has been more ineffective, needlessly cruel or morally insane than the Misuse of Drugs Act. Last week saw its 50th anniversary | Politics.co.uk, UK

Steve B’s story

After we supported him into recovery, Steve became a Forward volunteer - an experience which helped him get a job | Forward Trust, UK

The Recovery We See

There was this thing going around the internet a few years called “the Dress,” millions of people around the world saw it  and chimed in on what color that they perceived the dress to be | Recovery Review blog, USA

NZ should (almost) be proud of drug checking progress

Dr Fiona Hutton asks: what’s wrong with reducing the harm related to illicit drug use and stopping young people from being hospitalised or dying? | Newsroom, New Zealand