Daily news - 24th May 2021

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UK news

Drug addicts with Hepatitis C 'more likely' to die from overdoses

Rachel Halford, of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “This study highlights people who have Hepatitis C are also at high risk of drug-related death and this is increasing | Daily Record, UK

Narcos Scotland: Blue Plague, the specifically Scottish killer drug that is lethal on our streets

The polydrug effect, the mixing of “blues” with other drugs, is the specifically Scottish twist that sets our death rate apart from all other nations | Daily Record, UK

Adfam Families Practitioner Forum - Stigma and Substance Use

Thu, 27 May 2021, 10:00 – 11:30 BST. We are pleased to be joined by Professor Harry Sumnall from the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University to present on a new research study on the stigma experienced by people affected by substance use | Adfam, UK

London borough bans ‘laughing gas’ nitrous oxide over anti-social behaviour

Officers can fine people £100 for using laughing gas in Tower Hamlets | Independent, UK

This Is Where You Are Most Likely To Be Charged If You Are Caught With Weed in England

Official figures reveal some police forces are five times more likely to charge for cannabis possession – and it could be linked to deprivation | VICE, UK

Drugs gang caught after police cracked encrypted phones

Two members of a crime gang were caught after police cracked encrypted phones during a major drugs and firearms investigation | BBC, UK

Cannabis growers 'digging up roads to steal power'

Criminals running cannabis factories are using "fake" labourers to dig up roads and illegally tap into the electricity supply, police have said | BBC, UK

Driver high on drink and drugs caused Skye fatal crash

A driver high on cocaine and alcohol caused a crash which killed a father and seriously injured his teenage son | BBC, UK

East Belfast: Man charged after £350k worth of cocaine seized

A man has been charged with possession of a class A drug after cocaine with a street value of £350,000 was seized in east Belfast on Saturday | BBC, UK


International news

Call for Proposals COVID-19, Health, and Human Rights: Responding to securitised approaches in Malaysia and Sri Lanka

Harm Reduction International is launching a call for proposals to support advocacy, campaign, and/or communications initiatives by NGOs, civil society groups, activists, artists, or community networks in two countries: Malaysia and Sri Lanka; aimed at raising awareness on the human rights and public health fallacies of the COVID-19 response and its impact on marginalised groups, as well as countering the over-expansion of emergency and executive powers | HRI, UK

Petition calls for smoking ban on all Spanish beaches

More than 283,000 back call to rid Spain’s coastline of smoke and discarded cigarette butts | Guardian, UK

Damiano David: Eurovision winner denies taking drugs during event

The lead singer of the Italian band who won the Eurovision Song Contest has denied taking drugs, following online speculation over competition footage showing him leaning over a table | BBC, UK

Canadian soldier allegedly fed cannabis cakes to gunners in live fire exercise

Bombardier Chelsea Cogswell faces 18 charges at a court martial for serving edibles to unsuspecting members of artillery battery | Guardian, UK

A conviction for €4 worth of cannabis 'just defies logic', say campaigners

Possession of any amount of cannabis is illegal under Irish law | The Journal, Ireland

Opioid Overdoses from the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Fentalog Study Group

This report provides new information regarding comprehensive drug testing of clinical biological specimens collected after suspected opioid overdoses in various cities across the United States | NPS Discovery, USA

The WAGER, Vol. 26(5) - Packs! Crates! Treasures! Video game loot box properties and gambling-related problems

Many popular video games offer loot boxes that, when opened, give the player one or more randomly-generated items meant to enhance a player’s experience | BASIS, USA

Yes, Pot Is Legal. But It’s Also in Short Supply

[Limited number of free articles per week] Cannabis corporations are rushing to meet what is expected to be a “tidal wave” of demand in New York and New Jersey | NYTimes, USA

As fentanyl overdoses spike, county gives public tool to save lives

With the number of drug-related deaths growing at an alarming rate locally, San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten on Friday signed an order that will allow the general public to possess and administer a nasal spray that could reverse the symptoms of overdoses | San Diego Union Tribune, USA

Bill to Decriminalize Possession and Personal Use of Psychedelics Headed for Full Senate Vote

On Thursday, a bill that would decriminalize psychedelic drugs will move forward to a full vote of the California State Senate after passing the Senate Appropriations Committee in a 5-2 vote | East County Today, USA

Up in smoke: Okanagan lab offering free cannabis analysis

A fully accredited laboratory in the Okanagan is offering to test any strain of cannabis for free | Global News, Canada

Retention in opioid agonist treatment: a 15-year retrospective cohort study

This presentation summarised retention in opioid agonist treatment, and its relationship with person, treatment, and prescriber factors | NDARC, Australia

Drug and Alcohol Research Connections - May issue

Latest research and policy news from the collaborative network of alcohol and other drug research centres | NDARC, NDRI and NCETA, Australia

Vaping problem in schools at 'almost epidemic proportions'

A vaping problem of “almost epidemic proportions” has arrived in Christchurch after first hitting Auckland schools two years ago | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

MPs know our drugs policies don’t work – only reforming them can reverse 50 years of deadly failures

Our attitude towards drugs has not changed for 50 years. Westminster needs to stir from its stupor and act to stop the suffering | i news opinion, UK

Nothing to mourn; just a drug addict

A tweet from a colleague affected me this week. The subject was stigma in substance use disorders and he related how, at the funeral of a relative who had died very young from a heroin overdose, a family member callously slandered the dead man and skillfully ‘othered’ him. The message was ‘he was not at all like us’. | Recovery Review blog, UK

Alcohol and the Army: failing, learning, winning

Rob Page grew up in the Army, where camaraderie, family and belonging are the lifeblood and bonding activities are punctuated by – or permeated with – alcohol | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

I took LSD in my twenties. What on earth was I thinking ?

[Limited number of free articles per week] Psilocybin is a Class A drug, not authorised for medical use - but magic mushrooms are easily come by. Shouldn't it be the other way around? | Telegraph, UK

If the US wants to lead on climate, it needs to re-think Colombia

Latin American country moves closer to re-starting controversial strategy apparently to counter drugs trafficking| David Hill, UK

Vaping and e-cigarettes are glamourised on social media, putting young people in harm’s way

Despite their widespread reputation as a “safer” alternative to cigarettes, e-cigarettes (also known as electronic cigarettes or vapes) are far from harmless, particularly for adolescents, whose developing brains may suffer lifelong adverse effects from nicotine-containing products | Conversation, Australia