Daily news - 29th June 2021

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UK news

Services now ‘on their knees’, says Carol Black

Funding cuts have left treatment and recovery services ‘on their knees’, commissioning has ‘become fragmented with little accountability for outcomes’ and partnerships between local authorities and health and criminal justice agencies have deteriorated across the country, Professor Dame Carol Black told the Westminster Social Policy Forum’s Tackling drug addiction and substance misuse – latest thinking on prevention, supporting recovery, policy and findings of the independent review event | DDN, UK

NICE and PHE publish comprehensive draft guideline to tackle the health burden of smoking

Healthcare staff should give clear and up-to-date information on e-cigarettes to people who are interested in using them to stop smoking, according to draft NICE guideline recommendations out for consultation. NICE worked with Public Health England to develop this guideline | NICE, UK

Homeless people offered free e-cigarettes in trial

Homeless people are being offered free e-cigarette starter packs in a trial aimed at helping them quit smoking | BBC, UK

Vaping, smoking cessation and emergency departments: the SSA talks to Caitlin Notley

Professor Caitlin Notley was recently awarded NIHR funding to conduct a study on delivering smoking cessation using vaping products across five hospital emergency departments. The SSA caught up with Professor Notley to find out more | SSA, UK

Managed Alcohol Programmes (MAPs)

Read the event report for Dr Hannah Carver & Professor Tessa Parkes' webinar on Managed Alcohol Programmes (MAPs) | SHAAP, UK

Euro beer placement rules unclear for non-religious

The Euro 2020 organiser will not say if footballers can give secular reasons for withholding their apparent endorsement for a beer brand in press conferences | Phil Cain, UK

Rev Richard Coles calls for end to glamourising of alcoholism on TV

Vicar, whose partner died of alcoholic liver disease, hits out at inaccurate depictions of excess | Guardian, UK

ONS Research Excellence Series

Tue, 13 July 2021, 11:00 – 12:00 BST. Conducted by the Institute of Alcohol Studies and University of Liverpool, using data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, the team set out to examine the socio-economic distribution of alcohol-related violence, including subtypes like alcohol-related domestic violence, and of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour (ASB) | ONS, UK

Gateshead GP suspended for fake drug prescriptions

A GP who wrote fraudulent drug prescriptions has been suspended from the profession for a year | BBC, UK

£2m of drugs seized from organised criminals in Teesside since May

More than £2m of drugs have been seized in Teesside since May in a crackdown against organised crime, police said | BBC, UK


International news

Mexico marijuana: Top court decriminalises recreational use of cannabis

Mexico's Supreme Court has decriminalised the private recreational use of cannabis by adults, calling the current prohibition unconstitutional | BBC, UK

Juul, accused of marketing to teens, settles vaping case for $40m

The settlement, announced on Monday by the North Carolina attorney general, Josh Stein, is the first reached by the company with a state government. A trial was set to start in July | Guardian, UK

Coastguard seizes half a tonne of cocaine floating off Algeria coast

Fishermen alerted authorities to ‘suspicious’ items floating in the sea | Guardian, UK

Webinar: EMCDDA drugs schools and the next generation of drug professionals - video

Objective: A conversation with former European Drugs School students on their careers and the legacy of the school | EMCDDA, Portugal

Temporal Trends in Opioid Prescribing Practices in Children, Adolescents, and Younger Adults in the US From 2006 to 2018

 In this cross-sectional analysis of US opioid prescription data, opioid dispensing rates have decreased significantly for children, adolescents, and younger adults since 2013. Overall, rates of high-dosage and long-duration prescriptions decreased for adolescents and young adults but increased in young children | JAMA Pediatrics, USA

Are Sweet Dreams Made of These? Understanding the Relationship Between Sleep and Cannabis Use

This literature review summarizes the existing literature on the association between disrupted sleep and cannabis toward the goal of addressing the question of the chronology of these reported effects | Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, USA

The NFL Steps Forward To Support Cannabis Research

On June 8th, a commission formed between the NFL and the league’s players’ union, announced that it would award up to $1 million in grants for researchers to investigate the therapeutic potential of marijuana, CBD, and other alternatives to opioids for treating pain | Forbes, USA

Police honour former drug addicts

The city police organised a number of programmes to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Saturday. Cops honoured several former substance abusers who returned to mainstream and became a source of inspiration for other drug addicts | Tribune, India

Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in Australia, 1999-2019

There were 61,780 drug-related hospitalisations among Australians in 2018-19, equivalent to 0.54% of all hospitalisations in Australia | NDARC, Australia

Trends in drug-related hospitalisations in New South Wales, 1999-2019

There were 19,636 hospitalisations with a drug-related principal diagnosis in NSW in 2018-19 | NDARC, Australia

Queenslanders prescribed opioids increased tenfold in 20 years

Although the number of Queensland medical practitioners prescribing opioids increased more than 11-fold between 1997 and 2018, the number of people dispensed dosages associated with increased risk of accidental overdose has declined | Medical Xpress, Australia

Psychedelics are back in use for cutting-edge medical research after being banned for decades

Before LSD became synonymous with hippies and flower power, scientists used psychedelic drugs for cutting-edge medical research and treatments | abc.net.au, Australia

Four Angels Law enforced from today

Drivers who are caught with a combination of illegal drugs and alcohol in their system will face harsher penalties, under the Four Angels Law which is in force from today | Liberal NSW, Australia

Early warning system for dangerous drugs reaches online audience of more than a million in a year

An early warning system alerting people about dangerous drugs has reached an audience of more than a million people via social media since it was launched a year ago | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Five things we’d like to see in the Dame Carol Black review (part 2)

In 2019, the Home Office commissioned an independent review, led by Dame Carol Black, to examine drug issues. Part one was published in early 2020 and provided a detailed analysis of drug supply and demand | Paul Townsley at Humankind, UK

Why ignore evidence in the debate about e-cigarettes?

Industry-sponsored research can contribute to scientific knowledge. Conflicts of interest are everywhere | The Great Vape debate, UK

Crispin Blunt MP Interview: “Evidence-based policy will always be conservative” | James Flanders

Traditionally drug liberalisation goes against the ideology of the Conservative Party, but MP, Crispin Blunt, has fought against this narrative throughout his career | Mallard, UK

Women: drinking and recovery

When it comes to drinking problems, men and women have differences. Women tend to binge, have higher pre-existing trauma levels and can suffer more (or different) kinds of stigma and discrimination | Recovery Review blog, UK