Daily news - 8th September 2021

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UK news

Kettering drugs overdoses linked to hazardous substance

Police have warned that a "potentially dangerous batch of crack cocaine and heroin" has led to four overdoses in a town in a few days | BBC, UK

Medicinal Cannabis

It is in some ways a pleasure to speak in this debate, but in others it is a huge disappointment that we are still debating this issue years after we thought it was in fact settled | They Work for You, UK

'Why is medicinal cannabis not available on the NHS?' Asks Lib Dem MP - video

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine calls on the government to ensure medicinal cannabis is available on the NHS to help 'who are in pain.' | GBNews, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential implications for his policies of the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping’s inquiry into the UK Tobacco Harm Reduction Opportunities Post-Brexit: Achieving a Smoke-Free 2030 | They Work for You, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping’s inquiry into the UK Tobacco Harm Reduction Opportunities Post-Brexit: Achieving a Smoke-Free 2030, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of in-packet targeted communications to smokers on (a) availability of reduced-risk alternative products and (b) the potential effects of other products on health | They Work for You, UK

CLERO Recovery College

Thu, 16 September 2021, 12:00 – 14:30 BST. The College of Lived Experience Organisations (CLERO) sponsored by Aspire is holding an interactive event on 16 September, hosted by Cormac Russel. There will be conversations with Ed day, Collective Voice, NHS APA, Adfam, PHE  and the ESUCG based around recommendations within the Dame Carol Black pt2 report | CLERO, UK

Volunteer at BDP

We would particularly welcome applications from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups (particularly Somali and Polish speakers), people with historical lived experience of problematic drug and alcohol use (including supporting a loved one), and people from the many diverse communities that make Bristol unique | BDP, UK

Drugs: Major Welsh bust recovers large cannabis haul

Five people have been arrested and a large quantity of cannabis seized in a major drugs operation across south and mid Wales | BBC, UK


International news

International expert consensus on electronic nicotine delivery systems and heated tobacco products: a Delphi survey

A Delphi survey was conducted among international experts in tobacco control and smoking cessation. The first part addressed statements or recommendations about ENDS, the second about HTP, both divided into four categories: regulation, sale, use and general issues | BMJ Open, UK

The worldview-changing drugs poised to go mainstream

The growing legitimacy of psychedelics as therapies promises to transform how we view the extraordinary, writes Ed Prideaux | BBC Future, UK

The cannabis industry is booming, but for many Black Americans the price of entry is steep

Social equity rules can reduce barriers to entry for communities most affected by discriminatory drug laws | Guardian, UK

Scammers hijack Maggie Beer’s image to peddle hemp gummies and CBD oil

The ads falsely promise to help with a range of health complaints, and in one case a Beer fan was billed $500 for a product advertised at $80 | Guardian, UK

The illicit trade of cocaine from Latin America to Europe – from oligopolies to free-for-all?, Cocaine Insights 1

Well-defined locations of production in South America and large consumer markets in the Americas and Europe lead to trafficking routes from a circumscribed origin to specific, even if far-flung, destinations. While some parts of the world play a crucial role as transit regions, the routes, modalities and networks employed by criminal actors continue to evolve, diversify and become more efficient | UNODC and Europol, Austria

Two More California Cities Preparing To Ban Flavored Tobacco and Vape Products

After San Francisco approved a similar ban, teen smoking rates increased | Reason, USA

Legalization of cannabis threatens clean indoor air and public health

Most localities that allow onsite cannabis smoking lounges do not protect nonsmokers from the ill effects of secondhand cannabis smoke, researchers report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine | EurekAlert, USA

Marijuana Possession Arrests Plunge in NYC Post-Legalization

Marijuana arrests in New York City have dropped to the single digits since former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the state’s legalization bill on March 31—with just eight arrests recorded in the city in the second quarter of 2021 | Filter Magazine, USA

More and more drug charges are being dropped as Toronto considers decriminalization

As the City of Toronto moves forward with decriminalizing carrying certain substances for personal use, charges pertaining to drug possession across the province are being dropped at unprecedented rates, according to new data | BlogTO, Canada

Number of Australians drinking wine, spirits and RTDs up significantly in 2021 while beer drinking holds steady

New data from Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Report shows the proportion of Australians who drink alcohol increased by 4% points to 69.7% in the 12 months to June 2021 driven by increases in the number of Australians drinking wine, spirits and RTDs | Roy Morgan, Australia

Medicinal cannabis company Little Green Pharma gets green light for psychedelic drug production

A WA-based medicinal cannabis company has been given regulatory approval to produce psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance found in magic mushrooms, to supply for medical research | abc.net.au, Australia

Opioid addicts waiting two years for help in Southland and Otago

The Southern District Health Board is experiencing longer wait lists across its Mental Health Addiction and Intellectual Disability services but the Specialist Addiction Service simply doesn’t have enough staff to keep up, with some 200 patients waiting for opioid substitution, or methadone, treatment | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

What is FASD Awareness Month?

Alcohol can harm children even before they are born. Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition with lifelong cognitive, emotional and behavioural challenges. In this blog, Joanna Buckard, Specialist Project Co-Ordinator at The National Organisation for FASD, shares more about FASD Awareness Month and explains why it is needed | AHA blog, UK

More calls for reform of the Misuse of Drugs Act

The Drug Deaths Task Force was established in 2019 in response to the ‘shocking escalation of drug-related deaths’ in Scotland over recent years. Its remit is to identify changes in practice and law that could support a reduction in drug-related deaths and improve outcomes for those affected by problematic drug use on Scotland as a whole | Transform blog, UK

Canada’s marijuana legalization provides lessons to the world on selling cannabis

In October 2018, Canada became the first G20 country to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Over the past three years, the province of Ontario — to name just one Canadian jurisdiction — has moved away from having a significantly under-serviced retail market to one that is heavily saturated | Conversation, Canada

From October, it will be all but impossible for most Australians to vape — largely because of Canberra’s little-known ‘homework police’

After a misstep, it’s about to become illegal to import e-cigarettes without a prescription, which means that, for most Australians, it’ll become all but impossible to vape from October 1 | Conversation, Australia

Let’s stop pretending we are shocked people take illicit drugs

[Free registration may be required] Sydney loves cocaine. Melbourne and Canberra aren’t far behind, according to sewage drug monitoring reports. Yet when another celebrity is caught snorting the stuff, everyone acts appalled and it’s called a scandal | SMH opinion, Australia