Daily news - 28th May 2021

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Have a good Bank Holiday weekend. See you again on Tuesday.


UK news

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDAC)

Drugs and alcohol misuse are a major factor in nearly two-thirds of the cases in which a local authority is taking parents to court due to suspected child abuse or neglect. This briefing outlines what is different about Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, which uses a problem solving approach to help parents become free from substance misuse, so they can be safely reunited with their children | Centre for Justice Innovation, UK

Youth perceptions of Brand variant names on standardised cigarette packs, and responses to replacing these with numbers: a focus group study in Britain

[Open access] Tobacco companies use brand variant name on cigarette packaging to differentiate, and create interest in, their products. We explored young peoples’ reactions to brand variant names on cigarette packs and perceptions of replacing these with numbers, a proposed policy in Turkey | DEPP, UK

Steroid Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the harms caused by Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs | They work for you, UK

Addiction in Psychiatry

Drug usage is currently extremely high and it is particularly prevalent amongst those suffering from mental health conditions. Despite this, many healthcare workers are not trained to recognise the signs of substance misuse and are often unaware of how to treat this distinctive patient group appropriately | Drug Science, UK

Black people 12 times more likely to be prosecuted for cannabis, new analysis shows

 ‘Young people are dying on our streets while police are looking for a spliff’ | Independent, UK

50 years of the Misuse of Drugs Act and the ACMD

A post marking 50 years of the legislation which introduced a drug classification system and established the UK’s official drugs law and policy advisory body. Despite several amendments over the past five decades, the framework of the Act remains central to drug law today | SSA, UK

Current List - June 2021

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue. Each key finding is below the article title, with a link to the abstract | Addiction Journal, UK

Drugs seized in crackdown on county lines gangs

Police in Scotland made 20 arrests and seized drugs worth £65,000 during a UK-wide crackdown on county lines crime gangs | BBC, UK



International news

Number of smokers has reached all-time high of 1.1 billion, study finds

Governments told to focus on stopping young from taking up habit that killed 8 million people in 2019 | Guardian, UK

Spatial, temporal, and demographic patterns in prevalence of smoking tobacco use and attributable disease burden in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

Ending the global tobacco epidemic is a defining challenge in global health. Timely and comprehensive estimates of the prevalence of smoking tobacco use and attributable disease burden are needed to guide tobacco control efforts nationally and globally | Lancet, UK

QMJC May 2021: It’s all about Whanaungatanga: Alcohol use and older Māori in Aotearoa

This article considers the role and social meaning of alcohol amongst older people within Māori communities in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Herbert, Stephens and Forster applied indigenous research methods in their explorations of alcohol and social relationships; and, more specifically, a Māori-centred research approach to their study (assisted by members of the authorship team identifying as Māori) | SSA, UK

A cannabis empire that caused chaos on Native land - video

Last summer, hundreds of Chinese immigrants flocked to Shiprock, New Mexico, for what they thought were well-paying jobs on legal hemp farms - but they soon they found themselves caught up in an illegal marijuana operation in the heart of the Navajo Nation | BBC, UK

Racial/Ethnic, Social, and Geographic Trends in Overdose-Associated Cardiac Arrests Observed by US Emergency Medical Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this cohort study of 83.7 million EMS patient encounters, overdose-associated cardiac arrests rose about 40% nationally in 2020, with the largest increases among racial/ethnic minorities, in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, and in Western states | JAMA Network, USA

Overdose deaths up 42% in 2020; largest increases among Black and Latino communities

Based on cases handled by emergency medical services, the number of people in the U.S. who died due to drug overdoses was 42% higher in 2020 than the average number of overdose deaths in 2018 and 2019 | Medical Xpress, USA

UC opioid study identifies at-risk populations in America

The opioid epidemic is taking a deadly toll on people in disproportionate clusters, according to a new national study by the University of Cincinnati | UC, USA

Increased Substance Use Among Young Cancer Survivors Highlights Need for Focused Efforts for Interventions, Pain Management

Adolescent and young adult cancer survivors were more likely to misuse substances including drugs and alcohol compared with their peers without a history of cancer, which may be a result of overprescribing from doctors or inefficient pain management | Cure Today, USA

Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul E-cigarettes

Juul Labs seemingly started out with the aim to reduce smoking, but the company's e-cigarettes came to symbolize something very different: a teen vaping epidemic | NPR, USA

Workplace drug testing exacerbating hiring troubles for employers, WA businesses say

The Work Health and Safety Act, passed in WA in November 2020, has prompted a number of regional businesses to adopt drug testing  to meet their workplace safety obligations | abc.net.au, Australia

Blood of drug users can reveal origin of drug

UvA chemists have now shown, in close cooperation with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), that it should be possible to determine the origin of the drug by analyzing blood samples of users | Mirage, Australia

Victorian cannabis inquiry looks to learn from ACT experience

The parliamentary inquiry into cannabis use in Victoria has been hearing from a range of stakeholders this week, with ACT politician Michael Pettersson discussing his private members’ bill to regulate personal use and cultivation, which passed in the territory in 2019 | Cannabiz, Australia

One in three drivers test positive to drugs as Mackay Road Policing Unit ramps up testing

One-third of all drivers being drug tested by the Mackay Road Policing Unit are returning a positive reading — uncovering a startling detection success rate for the region | abc.net.au, Australia

Vaping, e-cigarettes not going to be healthy in long-term, researcher warns as teen use rises

In 2019, a survey of 30,000 year 10 students found more than a third had tried e-cigarettes, with three per cent saying they vaped daily — higher than the rate who consider themselves regular smokers | TVNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

50 years campaign: Momentum is building

Our first target was to encourage 50 MPs to sign our statement for reform. We are delighted that we have more than achieved that goal, and the number is increasing daily. Now, working with Release, DrugScience, LEAPUK and our other partners, we will focus on expanding the coalition of individuals and organisations who are prepared to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ | Transform blog, UK

How did we let Richard Nixon declare a war on drugs...

It is 50 years today since the UK’s Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 passed into law. This was also the year in which Richard Nixon declared ‘War on Drugs,’ a battle cry which has been taken up by governments around the world, with catastrophic consequences for the safety, health and wellbeing of every population living under a criminal justice; as opposed to a health-centric; approach to drug control | CDPRG blog, UK

Patients’ experience of ketamine treatment for depression: the ‘Ketamine and me’ project

Is ketamine a viable treatment option for those with ‘treatment resistant depression’? The potential is there, but recent evidence is mixed | Mental Elf blog, UK

How Forward’s enterprise support is creating new opportunities for economic growth

Forward's Social Enterprise Development Manager, Tev Souleiman, reflects on Forward’s Enterprise Support over the past year and shares our plans for the future | Forward Trust, UK

From a punitive to public health drug approach

In May 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a man in Singapore was sentenced to death for a drug offense via a remote hearing on Zoom. This incident personifies the approach to drugs in Asia | Inquirer opinion, USA

Thomas Kerr and Garth Mullins: The Vancouver model of decriminalization leaves out those who need it most

People who use drugs and the organizations that represent them were only consulted after the most critical elements of the submission to Health Canada were drafted | Vancouver Sun opinion, Australia

CBD injecting room a disaster for a city on the brink

If we didn’t know it already, the current seven-day lockdown demonstrates the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. What is becoming clear as the rest of the economy roars back to life is that the impact of coronavirus is being disproportionately felt in Australia’s CBDs and the City of Melbourne | Age opinion, Australia

WHO’s Latest Tobacco Report - An ‘epic Fail’ For Public Health

Asia Pacific’s leading tobacco harm reduction advocacy group, CAPHRA, is deeply disturbed by the World Health Organisation’s recently released ‘Tobacco Product Regulation Report’. It says WHO’s negative and obstructive approach towards safer nicotine vaping products continues to impact smoking cessation rates, costing lives globally | SCOOP, New Zealand