Daily news - 21st June 2021

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UK news

Misuse of Drugs Act Debate - video

The debate in the House of Commons on the Misuse of Drugs Act, from Thursday 17 June | BBC Parliament, UK

Drug-related Deaths - video

The debate in the Scottish Parliament on drug-related deaths, from Thursday 17 June | BBC Parliament, UK

Rise in violence and sexual exploitation against children and young people ‘linked to County Lines’

New research into the criminal exploitation of children has revealed an increase in self-harm and suicide attempts among children and young people admitted into hospital with clear links to County Lines in the illegal drugs trade | University of Nottingham, UK

Whys and What Ifs: Writing and Anxiety Reduction in Individuals Bereaved by Addiction

Research has shown that writing can help reduce anxiety in individuals who have experienced trauma or complicated grief. This small case study asked if writing could also reduce anxiety in those bereaved by addiction | Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, UK

Pregnancy: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that (a) advice to expectant mothers on alcohol consumption in pregnancy is clear and consistent and (b) all pregnant women are given information on the dangers of fetal alcohol syndrome | They work for you, UK

Berwyn Prison: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the availability of illegal substances at HMP Berwyn | They work for you, UK

Greenspace programmes and problem substance use

Tue, 22 June 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 BST.In the seminar, Wendy will discuss how greenspace programmes are increasing in popularity, but there is still little understanding of the mechanisms by which these programmes are successful, particularly for people who use drugs | DRNS, UK

BBC’s Time tells truth about gritty prison life reveals reformed convict saying drug dealers do ‘rule the roost’ in jail

A reformed convict has told The Sun that BBC's gritty new drama Time tells the accurate truth about prison life - admitting that drug dealers do "rule the roost" in jail | Sun, UK

Paul Shepherd: Ex-footballer guilty of drugs and gun offences

Police stopped his car in April 2020 and found cocaine. Officers later found a pistol and a rifle at his home in Leeds, the National Crime Agency said | BBC, UK

Gangland figure jailed after Johnstone drugs factory raid

A man has been jailed after a major police operation cracked a drugs and gun gang in the west of Scotland | BBC, UK


International news

‘I’m living proof’: how Melbourne’s drug-injecting room has changed – and saved – lives

Despite established benefits, a proposed second facility in the city is facing fierce opposition | Guardian, UK

MDMA Gangs Are Literally Polluting Europe

Drug makers in Belgium and the Netherlands are poisoning nature reserves and damaging wastewater plants as they compete to supply the world with stimulants | VICE, UK

Should unhealthy food and drinks be allowed to sponsor sports?

It all started on Monday when Portugal captain and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sat down for a press conference ahead of his teams Euro 2020 match against Hungary the following night | BBC, UK

‘I am very shy. It’s amazing I became a movie star’: Leslie Caron at 90 on love, art and addiction

The legendary actor reflects on her riches-to-rags childhood, confronting depression and alcoholism – and dancing with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire | Guardian, UK

Global alcohol action plan 2022-2030 to strengthen implementation of the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol

The Global strategy contains a set of principles that should guide the development and implementation of policies at all levels and sets out priority areas for global action | WHO, Switzerland

Passive smoking and air pollution linked to arthritis and poor therapy response

There is increasing evidence that environmental air pollution is associated with people developing inflammatory arthritis. At the 2021 EULAR congress, a large population-based study of French women reports passive exposure to smoking during childhood or adulthood increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis | Medical Xpress, USA

Does cannabis affect brain development in young people with ADHD? Too soon to tell

At least so far, the currently limited research base does not establish that cannabis has additional adverse effects on brain development or functioning in adolescents or young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) | Medical Xpress, USA

Expert: Cannabis Dispensaries Need to ‘Become More Like a Pharmacy,’ Otherwise Pharmacies Should Be Access Points for Unbiased Cannabis Dispensing

To recognize National PTSD Awareness Month in June, Pharmacy Times interviewed Jordan Tishler, MD, president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, faculty at Harvard Medical School, and a cannabis specialist at inhaleMD, on how medical cannabis can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans and the general public | Pharmacy Times, USA

Vitamin D Deficiency Strongly Exaggerates the Craving for and Effects of Opioids – Supplements May Help Combat Addiction

Vitamin D deficiency strongly exaggerates the craving for and effects of opioids, potentially increasing the risk for dependence and addiction, according to a new study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) | SciTech Daily, USA

Overdose Deaths Rose During The War On Drugs, But Efforts To Reduce Them Face Backlash

Every time Shani Damron, 34, buys methamphetamines or heroin on the streets of Huntington, W.Va., she knows the risk is extreme | npr, USA

Could Amazon start selling cannabis?

Amazon has announced it will no longer test most job applicants for marijuana use, save for employees who fall under regulations of the Department of Transportation like delivery drivers. They’re also throwing their support behind the MORE Act, which could radically change the national cannabis landscape | KCRW, USA

Health Canada announces new restrictions to prevent youth vaping 

As youth vaping continues to rise, the Government of Canada is taking action to address it. While youth smoking is at its lowest level in decades, vaping is putting a new generation of Canadians at risk of nicotine addiction and the other harms caused by vaping | Government of Canada, Canada

The potential impacts of community drug checking within the overdose crisis: qualitative study exploring the perspective of prospective service users

As drug checking becomes more integrated within public health responses to the overdose crisis, and potentially more institutionalized, there is value in critically questioning the impacts of drug checking as a harm reduction response | BMC Public Health, Canada

Towards an Australian Prompt Response Network for emerging drugs

This seminar will explain the processes involved in building the network and facilitating collaboration across jurisdictions while supporting, being sensitive to, and avoiding duplication of, existing efforts to communicate information regarding events of concern and emerging substances | NDARC, Australia

Study finds tiny cannabis capsules could help treat neurological diseases

A team of researchers led by Curtin University has discovered a new way to improve the absorption rate of medicinal cannabis when taken orally, which could potentially be used to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries in the future | Curtin University, Australia

Cigarette poverty: Kiwi smokers reusing 'horrible' tobacco as prices soar

New Zealand's war on tobacco and its ill-fated smoke-free goal for 2025 is causing poorer Kiwi smokers more harm than good | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Keeping that human connection during the pandemic

Our drug and alcohol work in Glasgow is all about relationships. We’ve worked hard to keep that human connection without face to face support | With You, UK

My son got medical cannabis on the NHS three years ago – so why are others still struggling?

This abominable situation is putting the power of some of these children’s wellbeing at the hands of criminals | i news opinion, UK

Second-hand smoke: when you work in others’ homes, where do their rights end and yours begin?

Imagine someone walking into a cafe, sitting down at a table and lighting up a cigarette. In the UK – and other countries where smoking in indoor public places is banned – that would be almost unthinkable. In the 15 years since smoking bans came into effect across Britain, smoking inside has gone from a fact of life to an aberration, and the nation’s health is all the better for it | Conversation, UK

Christopher Snowdon: The WHO’s war on e-cigarettes proves it has no interest in an evidence-based approach to tobacco harm reduction

The World Health Organisation’s decision last month to give a special award to India for banning the sale of e-cigarettes was proof that the agency has no intention of taking an ethical and evidence-based approach to tobacco harm reduction. This puts it squarely at odds with countries such as the UK and New Zealand which have successfully embraced vaping as part of their tobacco control strategy | Conservative Home, UK

Expert reaction to the first draft of the WHO’s Global alcohol action plan 2022-2030 to strengthen implementation of the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released the first draft of their global action plan to strengthen implementation of the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol endorsed in 2010 | Science Media Centre, UK

It’s not our health that concerns you, guys. It’s women having fun

The WHO’s alcohol action diktat plays into a much wider contempt for females | Guardian, UK

Alcohol and men’s health: why ‘man up!’ is not an answer

In this blog, Dr Tony Rao explores the ways in which drinking can impact men’s health and why drinking to ‘cope’ is never the answer | Alcohol Health Alliance blog, UK

A drink at the bar

As you would expect from a former Old Bailey judge, Graham Boal QC is searingly honest about the challenges he has faced — and overcome. His autobiography, to be published by Quiller this week, is called A Drink at the Bar. In case that’s too cryptic, he has subtitled it A Memoir of Crime, Justice and Overcoming Personal Demons | A Lawyer Writes, UK

Take the Drug Addicts Out to the Hospital Parking Lot and Shoot Them

If the title does not repulse you, I think there may be something wrong with you. That is the point of this post | Recovery Review blog, USA

Could MDMA become one of the greatest drugs ever?

It could help people suffering from trauma, people who drink too much, couples in therapy and, importantly, the rest of us | The Psychedelic Renaissance, USA