Daily news - 24th September 2021

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UK news

A new way of working: ending rough sleeping together (PDF)

The Kerslake Commission examined lessons from the emergency response which supported people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their learnings aim to help all agencies involved in supporting those who are rough sleeping, or homeless and at risk of rough sleeping, to understand what worked during the pandemic and what is now needed to embed the good practice that was shown during the past year | Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping, UK

Characteristics of women who stop smoking in pregnancy

Experimental analysis of data from the Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS), April 2018 to March 2019 | PHE, UK

Diversion from Prosecution

On 17 June 2021, the Scottish Parliament agreed a motion on tackling drug-related deaths. In relation to myself, as the new Lord Advocate, the Scottish Parliament indicated, first, that it would support a review of guidance on recorded police warnings and, secondly, that a statement on the principles and practicalities of diversion would be beneficial | They work for you, UK

Is Scotland’s new Class A drug possession policy the right answer?

A member of the Scottish Drugs Forum and the Scottish Tory justice spokesperson appeared on Scotland Tonight to discuss the new approach | STV, UK

Warnings for Class A drugs is good step but there's still more to do

Continued attempts to punish rather than support people who are often traumatized shows up in many negative results, most noticeable of these being the tragic toll of drug deaths in Scotland | National, UK

Why Bristol Uni is taking a more progressive stance on drugs

The uni is going to focus on harm reduction and not punishment when dealing with drugs on campus | Bristol Cable, UK

Understanding Addiction - video

The first film in our series of nine is an introduction to the concept of addiction, explaining the science behind it, presenting key words, and featuring select moments from interviews with seven people who have each been exposed to a different type of addiction | True Tube, UK

Stardawg Is the Weed Dividing the UK's Smokers

England’s weed smokers don’t have a whole lot of choice. Unless you’ve got a Bitcoin wallet and a dark web market link, chances are you’ll end up buying Stardawg at some point | VICE, UK

Awakn Life Sciences acquires Exclusive Rights To MDMA Research From Imperial College London

This was the world’s first published study assessing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for addiction | Awakn, UK

Implementing MAT – Living experience perspectives

8th October 2021, 13.00 – 14.30. This webinar will give the first insight into SDF research on the current living experience of people in medication assisted treatment (MAT) in a range of health board areas – Ayrshire and Arran, Grampian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Lothian and Tayside and in HMP Perth | SDF, UK

Recovery Games 2021 Grand Finale

Thu, September 30, 2021, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST. To Mark the end of Recovery Month and Recovery Games there is a Free celebration on Zoom – you must register to be part of the spectacle with highlights of the games this year and a chance to vote | Aspire et al, UK

Dylan Garbe-Ashton: Police cleared after Powys man's death

Dylan Garbe-Ashton, 20, had taken cocaine before his arrest and hit his head following a seizure at the Newtown custody suite | BBC, UK

Northampton cannabis burglary killing: Four found guilty

Christopher Allbury-Burridge, 33, died from a stab wound when armed men tried to break into his home in the Kingsley area of Northampton on 11 December | BBC, UK

Leader of drug gang that exploited children in Darwen jailed

Usman Akhter, 37, of Sarah Street, Darwen, was convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis and jailed for 13 years at Preston Crown Court | BBC, UK

York e-scooter rider banned for drink-driving

He pleaded guilty to drink driving at York Magistrates' Court and was disqualified from driving any kind of vehicle for 23 months | BBC, UK


International news

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to what extent the UK delegation at the forthcoming Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will (a) have its policy positions determined by his Department in advance and (b) have leeway to determine its own policy positions during the Conference | They work for you, UK

Experts to study secret doping of amateur athletes in East Germany

The doping of amateur athletes in the former state of East Germany is the focus of a new study involving experts from the University of Stirling and Aarhus University in Denmark | University of Stirling, UK

Cannabis regulation: Lessons from the illicit tobacco trade

Since 2013, a number of countries and local jurisdictions around the world have legalised and regulated their cannabis supply chains for non-medical use. Lawmakers, regulators, researchers, and advocates continue to design, enact, implement and revise regulatory frameworks for medical and recreational cannabis. And yet lessons from regulating other psychoactive substances, including tobacco products, are not always fully considered | IDPC, UK

Italy set to hold a referendum on decriminalising cannabis

Italy is set to decide whether to decriminalise cannabis in a referendum next year after Italian activists gathered half a million signatures, the threshold required by law to trigger a nationwide vote | Euronews, Belgium

Vape makers struggle to stay in business after FDA bans flavored e-cigs

Small- and medium-sized e-cigarette makers and vendors are fighting to keep their doors open after the Food and Drug Administration ordered them to stop selling more than 6 million flavored vapes | Politico, USA

Can Primary Care Help Youth Better Access Medication for Opioid Addiction?

Despite medication being the gold standard for treating opioid use disorder, nearly two-thirds of young adult patients with OUD had no such documented treatment, according to a study of more than 300,000 youth patients between the ages of 16 and 25. Their access to medication must be improved, and primary care doctors are well-positioned to be that access point | Health City, USA

Study identifies mechanism by which nicotine withdrawal increases junk food consumption

New data collected by University of Minnesota Medical School researchers demonstrate a clear connection between nicotine withdrawal and poor eating habits | Medical Xpress, USA

Marijuana abstinence could lower negative effects of cannabis on sperm

While marijuana use may impact some genes linked to autism in men's sperm, abstaining from cannabis consumption over time may significantly lower many of those effects, according to a study by Duke Health researchers | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug Supply Assessment: Q3 2021

This report provides up-to-date information regarding the drug supply in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | NPS Discovery, USA

Psilocybin Study for Tobacco Gets Federal Funding

Apsilocybin study to treat tobacco addiction is being funded by a U.S. federal drug research agency as a ‘high-risk clinical study’, the first time a complete investigation into the possible therapeutic benefits of a classical psychedelic has received federal funds since the War on Drugs was declared in the 1970s | Truffle Report, USA

WV Harm Reduction Workers Form Coalition Amid HIV, Syringe Crises

West Virginia harm reduction workers are launching a new statewide coalition. “Mountain State Harm Reduction” will provide overdose prevention and HIV-related services to people who use drugs, a move that comes as a new law threatens the existence of the state’s syringe service programs (SSP) | Filter Magazine, USA

Ottawa board of health wants national emergency declared over drug ODs

The board also asked the federal minister to declare the current "drug overdose crisis" to be a national health emergency | Ottawa Sun, Canada

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

Updated. Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use is a major cause of preventable disease, illness and death in Australia. This report consolidates recent information on the availability and consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Australia, and related impacts, harms and treatment | AIHW, Australia

Penington Institute bulletin - October

Three pieces of new research dovetail nicely this month to remind us that, alongside their desired outcomes, programs and treatments can also sometimes have unintended consequences for individuals | Penington Institute, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Scotland Steps Towards Reform

This week, Scotland’s Lord Advocate announced that Police in Scotland would now be allowed to issue recorded warnings for possession of Class A drugs, as an alternative to arrest. This is already an option for Class B and C drugs, but Dorothy Bain’s announcement means warnings can now be used for alldrugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act | Transform blog, UK

Scotland is right – punishing drug users won’t help, they need care as much as cancer patients do

[Free registration required] The latest policy initiative in Scotland represents a broader move to pivot problem drug use towards health rather than crime | Independent voices premium, UK

Benoit Gomis: Why we can’t let cannabis become the next Big Tobacco

The momentum for cannabis regulation is growing around the world. The US is debating federal legalisation. Eighteen states—around a third of the US population—have already legalised non-medical cannabis since 2012. Uruguay legalised recreational use of cannabis in 2013... | BMJ opinion, UK

An insight into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

I never really understood what FASD was until I started fostering. What am I saying? I’d never heard of it, never mind understood it! | Adoption UK blog, UK

An open Letter to Michael Gove from New Local

Dear Michael, Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Your cross-Whitehall role to drive improvements that genuinely build back better and new responsibility for UK-wide government relations means your position is pivotal to the Government fulfilling its ambitions | New Local, UK

People and Dancefloors in Malta

Narratives from the dancefloor, more specifically people attending electronic music events, are rarely given much attention and space. On the contrary, media portrayals of electronic music events and people who attend such events are usually negative and frequently linked with illicit substance use, violence and disturbance of otherwise quiet neighbourhoods | People and Dancefloors | People and Dancefloors, UK et al

How the Pandemic Affected Me

Hello, my name is Christopher Johnson. I wrote this letter to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted my recovery. Before the pandemic, I was in recovery for 9 months... | BASIS, USA