Daily news - 30th June 2021

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UK news

Drugs: Review to recommend policy overhaul to health-based approach

An independent review into the UK's drug policies is likely to recommend a more health-based approach, the BBC understands | BBC, UK

PRIDDY toolkit

Alcohol is not an equal opportunities substance. Two people may score the same on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) but their journeys with alcohol may follow different paths. The Predicting Risk in Drinkers: Drinking and You (PRIDDY) Toolkit is designed to help workers identify individual risk factors that may suggest a person is more likely to experience harm from alcohol. The PRIDDY Toolkit brings the evidence base together into one tool and will equip workers to deliver more personalised and meaningful advice | Humankind, UK

Six in 10 Brits want pub gardens to ban smoking and vaping as tolerance wanes

A survey of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Swedish Match, producer of tobacco-free nicotine pouches ZYN, and found tolerance for smokers has gone up in smoke | Mirror, UK

Use of e-cigarettes among adults in Great Britain, 2021

This fact sheet analyses how behaviour and attitudes to e-cigarettes among adults aged 18 and over have changed over time. The data are taken from an annual survey, Smokefree GB, carried out for ASH by YouGov. The survey first started asking about e-cigarette use in 2010 and this update includes the results of the 2021 survey carried out in February and March 2021 | ASH, UK

Hotels offering rooms to homeless in pandemic reap reputational reward

Pandemic-hit hotels that offered their rooms to homeless people see more business benefit than choosing to support healthcare workers | University of Bath, UK

Licensing laws: Extended pub opening times to pass final Stormont hurdle

Long-awaited plans to extend opening times for pubs and nightclubs in Northern Ireland will pass their final hurdle at Stormont on Tuesday | BBC, UK

Convicted drink drivers to be offered automatically  to undertake rehabilitation course

Anyone who completes the approved rehabilitation training, known as the course for Drink Drive Offenders, will also have their disqualification period reduced by up to 25% | Belfast Telegraph, UK

Collective Voice appoints new Independent Chair

Collective Voice is delighted to announce the appointment of Lea Milligan as its first Independent Chair. Lea is the Chief Executive of mental health research charity MQ | Collective Voice, UK

Trio jailed for cannabis farm in former Coventry nightclub

Three men have been jailed for running an industrial-scale cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry | BBC, UK


International news

South Africa bans alcohol for two weeks

The South African government has prohibited alcohol sales for 14 days as part of Covid-19 restrictions, a move that could boost illicit trade, an industry group warned | The Spirits Business, UK

Militarism, Prohibitionism, Drug War: A Formula for Massacre

On the 6th of May, agents of the Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro entered the community of Jacarezinho to execute prison warrants. They went with helicopters, assault and sniper rifles, ignoring a Supreme Court ruling that suspended police operations in shantytowns during the COVID-19 crisis | Talking Drugs, UK

How Len Bias’s death helped launch the US’s unjust war on drugs

The college basketball star became a symbol of the fight against drugs in the 1980s. But it ended up ushering in a discriminatory legal system | Guardian, UK

Man who jumped from moving plane says he bought ‘a lot’ of crystal meth before boarding

As rolling plane was stopping, man twisted himself free of another passenger’s grasp, falling onto tarmac and breaking his right leg | Independent, UK

Alcohol use among young Australian adults in May–June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic: a prospective cohort study [Australia]

[Open access] To estimate change in young people's alcohol consumption during COVID-19 restrictions in Australia in early-mid 2020, and test whether those changes were consistent by gender and level of consumption prior to the pandemic | Addiction, UK

DrugNet Europe: Issue 142: June 2021

This month's latest news and publications from the European agency | EMCDDA, Portugal

DC Council Takes Final Action to End Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products; Historic Move Will Advance Health Equity and Save Lives

With a final vote today to end the sale of flavored tobacco products – including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars – the DC Council has taken truly historic action to protect kids from tobacco addiction, advance health equity and save lives, especially among its Black residents | Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, USA

Fetal alcohol exposure data underscore need for public health interventions

While alcohol consumption during pregnancy may result in harm to developing embryos and fetuses, a new study led by the Yale School of Public health finds that a significant number of pregnancies that result in live birth still involve alcohol exposure | Medical Xpress, USA

This new harm reduction policy could help save drug users' lives

Early in the pandemic, many of the initiatives and tools geared toward keeping drug users safer — like community-run programs that offer needle exchange and drug safety test strips — were forced to limit operations | MIC, USA

The Supreme Court Is Forcing Mexico to Legalize Weed, Sort Of

The country's highest court voted that the prohibition of marijuana was unconstitutional after legalization law stalled | VICE, USA

Impact of COVID-19 on cigarette consumption for adults in China

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily targets the respiratory system. Smoking tobacco is also harmful to the respiratory system. It is unclear how the pandemic has affected the prevalence of tobacco use and addiction — particularly for China, which has the highest number of smokers in the world | BASIS, USA

Why Rhode Island Cannabis Activists Want Worker-Owned Co-Ops

This may be the year Rhode Island legalizes marijuana for adult use. But state lawmakers and the governor, having struggled to negotiate an agreement, will likelypunt the issue until at least September | Filter Magazine, USA

851 British Columbians died of toxic drugs in first 5 months of year, coroner reports

The 851 British Columbians who died of toxic drugs between January and May of this year make this the deadliest first five months of a calendar year since a public health emergency was declared in 2016 | CBC News, Canada

B.C.'s safer supply program needs more choice, say drug users and advocates

Lack of choice leads some people who use drugs back to the dangerous street supply | CBC News, Canada

NDARC researcher shortlisted for Cancer Grand Challenges funding

A diverse, global team including Professor Hayden McRobbie from NDARC has been selected for the final stages of Cancer Grand Challenges – and is in with a chance of securing a share of £80m of funding to take on one of cancer’s toughest problems | NDARC, Australia

Ice consumption reaches record high in Sydney, overtaking use in regional NSW

Consumption of the drug ice has surged to a record high in Sydney and overtaken use in regional areas for the first time in years | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Business is booming for drugs such as cannabis – but it’s profit not health that motivates this new industry

Policy changes and a shift in attitudes towards narcotics has meant there’s money to be made from the sale of these products. However, caution is needed to protect users from any potential harm | Independent voices, UK

Prison And Drugs In Europe

As readers will know, people in prison report high levels of lifetime prevalence of substance use before imprisonment and increased levels of consumption, especially of heroin, cocaine and amphetamines, compared with the general population | Russell Webster, UK

The Trip Report 29/06

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Expert reaction to clinical trial of e-cigarettes to quit smoking

A clinical trial published in Addiction looks at e-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement treatment as harm reduction interventions for smokers who find quitting difficult | Science Media Centre, UK

Is It Time To Rethink Nicotine for People With Mental Challenges?

What causes some people to take up smoking while many others go their whole lives without ever trying a cigarette? While race, gender, socioeconomic status, and familiarity with tobacco due to family members smoking all increase risk of initiation and use, one indicator stands out. Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are over twice as likely to use tobacco products as their mentally healthy counterparts | Inside Sources, USA

Decriminalizing drug use is a necessary step, but it won’t end the opioid overdose crisis

Media, policy-makers, advocates and the public claim that decriminalization will make drug use safer and save lives. But can it? | Conversation, Canada