Daily news - 30th September 2021

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UK news

UK drug laws used as tool of systemic racism, says ex-No 10 adviser

Simon Woolley says failure of drugs legislation is having a devastating impact on public health | Guardian, UK [ BMJ article (PDF) ]

Tobacco and alcohol may increase likelihood of using illegal drugs, new study shows

The use of legal drugs (tobacco and alcohol) may lead to the use of cannabis, a new study led by the University of Bristol and published in the journal Addiction has found. The study also found evidence that cannabis use may lead to smoking initiation, and opioid dependence could lead to increased alcohol consumption. Additionally, there might be shared risk factors that influence the use of multiple substances | University of Bristol, UK

Effective practice guide Substance misuse: Based on: a joint thematic inspection of community-based drug treatment and recovery work with people on probation (PDF)

Almost half the people on probation are thought to have a drugs problem and, crime committed by class A drug users costs society over £9 billion a year. There is also evidence to suggest that a significant number of those entering prison have problematic drug use | HMIP, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to tackle misinformation on the harms of vaping relative to other nicotine delivery and tobacco products | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Children and Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is he taking to tackle alcohol consumption among children and young people | They work for you, UK

‘I Get High With a Little Help From My Friends’ - How Raves Can Invoke Identity Fusion and Lasting Co-operation via Transformative Experiences

Psychoactive drugs have been central to many human group rituals throughout modern human evolution. Despite such experiences often being inherently social, bonding and associated prosocial behaviors have rarely been empirically tested as an outcome. Here we investigate a novel measure of the mechanisms that generate altered states of consciousness during group rituals, the 4Ds: dance, drums, sleep deprivation, and drugs | Frontiers in Psychology, UK

How are employers in the drug and alcohol treatment sector using the apprenticeship levy?

There are a number of promising workforce recommendations from the Dame Carol Black review (DCBR) including a commitment to fund training for those working in the sector... | Addiction Professionals, UK

Barriers to treatment for pregnant women who use drugs

Women who use drugs can find it difficult to access appropriate services. Just 31% of people in treatment in England last year were women. This can be even more difficult for women who are pregnant. The SSA’s Rob Calder talks to specialist midwife Anna Ferguson about best practice in working with pregnant women who use drugs | SSA, UK

Covid lockdowns may have changed the way we drink alcohol for ever, from solo drinking to the new sobriety

It was called “the big lockdown lock-in”. Spirits sales rose by £566.8m during 2020, as so-called “ginfluencers” on Instagram sparked a trend of muddling-from-home. “Quarantine rules are airport rules, start drinking at 11am if you want to!” crowed the memes | i news, UK

Coming off anti-depressants may not cause relapse - study

Many people who have taken anti-depressants for at least two years may be able to stop them without relapsing, but most will still need long-term treatment, a UK study suggests | BBC, UK

#46 - Human Behaviour with Dame Theresa Marteau

Theresa Marteau is a British health psychologist, professor, and director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge. Her initial research found that people usually don’t change their behaviours despite receiving information about preventable diseases like type 2 diabetes or certain types of cancer. Hence, she decided to redirect her focus on the non-conscious rather than conscious processes that could improve people’s health behaviours e.g. reducing glass size to reduce alcohol consumption | Drug Science, UK

Tiny Rebel: Brewery rapped over beer packaging rules

The Portman Group said it received complaints from the Metropolitan Police, Alcohol Focus Scotland and a member of the public, leading it to review eight beers | BBC, UK

Working in Drug Science

Wed, 6 October 2021, 18:00 – 21:00 BST. A free and comprehensive virtual event where you'll learn everything you need to know about Drug Science and how to get involved | Drug Science, UK

The Greens Celebratory Garden Party - TODAY

Thu, 30 September 2021, 11:00 – 12:00 BST. The Greens, 21 Murdock Road, Sheffield S5 8BU. We will be holding a garden party at The Greens to celebrate the end of recovery month and to showcase the work we do here at The Greens, please come and join us and have a look round | The Greens, UK

County lines drug gangs will be eliminated in two years, says policing minister

[Limited number of free articles per week] Officers put squeeze on dealers using trains, forcing criminals on to roads, where they can be more easily identified | Telegraph, UK

County lines probe in Derbyshire and Sheffield sees 13 arrests

Thirteen people have been arrested as part of an investigation into county lines gangs moving drugs from Sheffield into north Derbyshire | BBC, UK

New programme to educate school children on dangers of gambling

Families bereaved through gambling-linked suicides have launched a new education programme to alert schoolchildren to the dangers of addiction | ITV, UK


International news

Wayne Jenkins from behind bars: 'I sold drugs as a dirty cop'

For the past four years, Jessica Lussenhop has been reporting on the rise and fall of a corrupt squad of Baltimore police officers. Just as she was completing her podcast series on the story, she got a very unexpected call from prison | BBC, UK

Budget 2022: Minimal changes to income tax, price of alcohol unlikely to rise

Room to manoeuvre in €4.7bn package limited with €1bn available for new spending | Irish Times, Ireland

First cannabis-based product under MCAP to be available from next month

The first cannabis-based product to be made available through the Medical Cannabis Access Programme will be accessible from mid-October | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Methamphetamine from Afghanistan: ‘signals indicate that Europe should be better prepared’, says new EMCDDA report

Europe should be better prepared for the prospect of methamphetamine coming from Afghanistan, according to a new report published today by the EU drugs agency | EMCDDA, Portugal

Methamphetamine from Afghanistan: signals indicate that Europe should be better prepared

Europe should be better prepared for the prospect of methamphetamine coming from Afghanistan. This report examines the relatively recent emergence of methamphetamine production in the country and identifies actions that may be taken in Europe to mitigate the risks | EMCDDA, Portugal

NPS Update - podcast

Keeping up to date with New Psychoactive Substances is hard! We've assembled a crack team of experts to help us do just that | TIAFT, USA

EMS ketamine use on agitated patients on cocaine increases intubation 5.75-fold

Study examines powerful sedative used for ‘excited delirium’ and effects of illicit substances on ensuing hospital intubations | EurekAlert, USA

Inside Out From Women’s Prisons: Resisting Punitive Drug Policies

Women are disproportionately affected by the prison industrial complex and repressive drug laws. Gender inequality, poverty, marginalization and weak governance/criminal justice systems compound this situation. This video aims to bolster collective power to advocate for prison/drug policy reform and women-centered harm reduction services from a feminist and intersectional perspective | WOLA, USA

It works, but why does it work? Perspectives on change in 12-step and non-12-step mutual-help groups

There has been substantial growth of recovery mutual-help groups that adopt non-12-step philosophies. Findings from this study suggest that these newer groups may support change in many of the same ways as 12-step groups. Better understanding how these groups work can provide more options for people with substance use disorders and inform both clinicians and policy makers in supporting people seeking recovery | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Study of recovery community organization participants over time shows peer-based recovery support activities are associated with modest improvement in recovery capital

This study represents the first large-scale study to systematically collect electronic data from a national sample of recovery community organizations and to examine whether service utilization is associated with potential improvement in recovery capital over time | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Vape Advocates and Prohibitionists Temporarily Unite to Slam the FDA

On September 28, a string of mainstream public health organizations including the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association, together with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), sent a letter to Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) | Filter Magazine, USA

How Splitting and Sharing Got the OK at Canada’s Overdose Prevention and Supervised Consumption Sites

Never underestimate the power and dedication of a group of fearless and motivated harm reductionists. Early in the process of expanding overdose prevention sites (OPS) and supervised consumption sites (SCS) in Canada, people who use drugs and harm reduction workers began highlighting how arbitrary rules and regulations at OPS/SCS were barriers to access | Filter Magazine, USA

VIDEO: Importation of nicotine e-cigarettes to be banned

But Dr Alex Wodak from the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association says the government has got it wrong | abc.net.au, Australia

Concerns raised over drug trafficking and seafarer welfare on foreign ships

An Australian senator who headed an inquiry into foreign shipping says he fears there are increased amounts of drugs being trafficked on foreign flagged vessels | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

What to do when you are bereaved through alcohol harm

In this blog, Gill Harmon, Virtual Family Support Practitioner at Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, takes a look at how losing someone to alcohol harm can affect bereavement and how seeking professional support may be beneficial to those who have experienced loss | AHA blog, UK

The missing ingredient Australia needs to kick its smoking addiction for good

From October 1, Australians who use e-cigarettes and other vaping products containing nicotine will need a doctor’s prescription to buy them from a local pharmacy or to order them from overseas | Conversation, Australia