Daily news - 18th August 2020

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Coronavirus frequently updated resources

COVID-19 and addiction: webinars, podcasts and online discussions | SSA

Treatment and recovery services – and COVID-19 | Collective Voice

COVID-19 Information Hub | Scottish Drugs Forum


UK news

"The Future of Public Health": A keynote speech by the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 

Tuesday 18th August 2020. 11.30 - Event start. The conversation will be broadcast through YoutubeTwitter and Facebook | Policy Exchange, UK

Deaths by cause in 2019 - delay in publication of statistics (Updated on 17th August 2020)

Drug-related deaths in Scotland, 2019 and Volatile Substance Abuse and Helium Deaths in Scotland, 2019 willl now be published in December 2020 | NRS Scotland, UK

NHS cannabis guidelines challenged in court

The parents of a three-year-old boy with severe epilepsy are going to court to mount the first legal challenge to the guidelines on prescribing cannabis on the NHS | BBC, UK

'We get them online for 40p': Warning over 'dangerous fake' anti-anxiety drugs

Counterfeit versions of benzodiazepines such as Xanax are circulating on the dark web | Sky News, UK

The One Show - 17/08/2020

Watch from 16 minutes in. Looks at the issue of drugs being advertised online via social media platforms. Includes an interview with Dame Carol Black | BBC, UK

Lived Experience Advisory Group for Family and Friends

Adfam, a charity working to support those affected by a loved one’s addiction, is currently seeking members for their Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) | GamCare, UK

Have your say on the services provided by Drug and Alcohol Findings

If you can spare a few minutes, please complete this survey for Drug and Alcohol Findings – sharing what they are doing well and what they could do better | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The SSA PhD Symposium: Inge Kersbergen

Dr Inge Kersbergen is an SSA funded fellow at the University of Sheffield and has been on the PhD symposium organising committee since 2019 | SSA, UK

Senior/experienced representatives from the UK voluntary and charity sector (Ref - PHRPC/20/04)

The PHR programme funds approximately £13m of UK based Public Health research every year. It is keen to fund research that is of importance and relevance to Public Health practice | NIHR, UK

Celebrating success - Fay Smith in Slough (PDF)

Fay Smith is a nurse and hepatitis C champion in our Slough service. Fay became interested in HCV after doing some independent research and learning that our clients are at significantly higher risk of contracting the virus and less likely to engage in treatment | Turning Point, UK

Leeds heroin dealer ordered to repay £137,000

Yusuf Kara, 31, was jailed for 10 years and four months after police found 56kg of heroin hidden inside bags and suitcases at his home address | BBC, UK


International news

Voices from the borderlands 2020: Illicit drugs, development and peacebuilding

Voices from the borderlands 2020 gives light to some of the voices of people involved in illicit drug economies in seven borderland communities of Afghanistan, Colombia, and Myanmar. Together these are three of the world’s largest drug producing countries, all with years of violence conflict and in the midst of some form of peace process | GCRF, UK

Addictions in the COVID-19 era: Current evidence, future perspectives a comprehensive review

In the context of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, an up-to-date review of current challenges in addictions is necessary. While large scale disasters may have an impact on substance use and addictions, the use of some substances is also likely to modify the risk of COVID-19 infection or course. Many countries have imposed lockdowns. Whether this quarantine or the end of lockdown measures will have an impact on substance use is discussed | Science Direct, UK

The research output on interventions for the behavioural risk factors alcohol & drug use and dietary risk is not related to their respective burden of ill health in countries at differing World Bank income levels (PDF)

Alcohol and drug use (A&D) and dietary risks are two increasingly important risk factors. This study examines whether there is a relationship between the burden of these risk factors in countries of specific income bands as defined by the World Bank, and the number of primary studies included in Cochrane Systematic Reviews (CSRs) conducted in those countries | Journal of Global Health, UK

Ryan Reynolds-backed gin bought in $610m deal

Drinks giant Diageo has bought the gin brand he co-owns, Aviation American, along with three other spirits as part of a $610m (£460m) deal | BBC, UK

Medical marijuana certification for patients with sickle cell disease: a report of a single center experience

[Open access] Fifty patients received certification for medical marijuana, whereas 29 (58%) obtained it from the dispensary. Obtaining medical marijuana was associated with a reduction in admission rate and an increase in use of edible cannabis products | Blood Advances, USA

Cannabinoids, including CBD, may interact with prescribed drugs

Researchers have published a list of 57 medications that may interact with cannabinoid products, including cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The list includes commonly prescribed medications, such as anticoagulants, pain relievers, and birth control pills | MNT, USA

Intention to Quit Vaping Among United States Adolescents

In 2019, 25.2% of high school students in the US reported current use (ie, past 30 days) and 11.7% reported daily use of electronic nicotine products (ie, e-cigarettes, vaping) | JAMA Network, USA

Smartphones can tell when you're drunk by analyzing your walk

Your smartphone can tell when you've had too much to drink by detecting changes in the way you walk, according to a new study | Medical Xpress, USA

National Patterns in Prescription Opioid Use and Misuse Among Cancer Survivors in the United States

In this cross-sectional study of 169 162 adult respondents, cancer survivors with an incidence of cancer or cancer treatment in the past year had a nearly 2-fold higher likelihood of prescription opioid use compared with respondents without cancer | JAMA Network, USA

Evidence reviews support avoiding opioid prescriptions for sprains and strains

Two new evidence reviews related to acute musculoskeletal injuries like strains and sprains suggest other forms of treatments are as effective as opioids and have less risk of harms to patients | Medical Xpress, USA

Rx Opioid Users Have More Labor Rights Than Heroin Users

In the United States, access to disability accommodations and protections are not guaranteed to all employees with opioid use disorders. Instead, as the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently clarified, heroin users and unprescribed pill users are deprived of the wins of the disability rights movement | Filter Magazine, USA

Alcohol Harm Reduction: A World of Growing Possibilities

In her early professional life, Louise liked to unwind with wine. She loved the way it looked in a glass; its pleasant flavors; the way it helped complete meals | Filter Magazine, USA

After Legal Win, What’s Next for Magic Mushrooms?

Canada granted permission for psilocybin to be used for end-of-life therapy. But it’s just the beginning | VICE, USA

How many Canadian kids suffer harm linked to vaping and cannabis?

Canadian pediatricians saw dozens of children and teens harmed by vaping and recreational cannabis last year—numbers some experts say may underestimate the problem. Yet, when it comes to vaping, many pediatricians remain unsure of how to raise the issue with young patients | Medical Xpress, USA

Asia's prisons are filling up with women. Many are victims of the war on drugs

It was dark when the plane touched down in Hong Kong from Phnom Penh. Noor Yuni swiftly cleared immigration and collected her luggage. But as she approached the "nothing to declare" lane, a customs officer pulled her aside, she says | CNN, USA

The Youth19 Rangatahi Smart Survey (Youth19)

The Adolescent Health Research Group (AHRG) carried out Youth2000 surveys in 2001, 2007 and 2012 with a total of over 27,000 young people from New Zealand high schools, kura kaupapa Māori, alternative education and teen parent units. Youth19 builds on this work, retaining core Youth2000 questions and methods that will allow us to track stability and change over time. We are also examining emerging topics (such as social media and vaping) and exploring new research areas in two distinct Health Research Council-funded projects | AHRG, New Zealand

New youth survey welcomed

While it was sad to see from the survey’s findings that an increasing number of young people are struggling with their mental health (and particularly over the last eight years), we’re encouraged by the reduction in youth substance use when it comes to alcohol and tobacco | NZDF, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Chief Exec's Blog - Myths and Legends of Residential Rehab

Phoenix Chief Exec Karen Biggs addresses the myths and legends of residential rehab and highlights the tangible truth | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

The day I realised I was a midlife 'grey-area' problem drinker

[Free registration maybe required] Alcohol-related hospital admissions soaring for over-40s is no surprise to writer Kate Baily | Telegraph, UK