Daily news - 21st August 2020

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UK news

PHE survey deadline extended to Friday 28 August
Commissioners and providers have another week to complete the PHE surveys on drug treatment spend and workforce capacity, the results of which will be used to inform the second part of Dame Carol Black’s review and the current Treasury spending review | PHE, UK

NICE extends consultation period for new quality standard on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

In line with recommendations by the UK's Chief Medical Officer and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the quality standard looks at the assessment and diagnosis of FASD, as well as prevention. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to discuss the risks of alcohol consumption with expectant mothers and to share information on supportive care if needed, such as counselling or help to stop drinking | NICE, UK

Middlesbrough heroin injection scheme to be extended

The heroin assisted treatment programme, based in Middlesbrough, focuses on high risk addicts who are committing crimes to pay for drugs and for whom other treatments have failed | BBC, UK

MEAM Approach evaluation: year 3 report (PDF)

MEAM has commissioned Cordis Bright, an independent research and consultancy organisation, to conduct a longitudinal evaluation of the MEAM Approach work | MEAM, UK

Cannabidiol improves blood flow to brain’s hippocampus

Researchers say the findings could be an important discovery for conditions which affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and could help better target therapies | UCL, UK

Investigation launched after Home Office psilocybin rescheduling response

MP Crispin Blunt has launched an economic investigation following the Home Office’s response to the recent call for the rescheduling of psilocybin | Health Europa, UK

Hooked: Mental Health - video

Melissa & Jade talk about managing mental health & addiction. Actor & comedian Joe Tracini describes how being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder affects his life | BBC Sounds, UK

Free event - Protecting students from drug related harm in 2020

Wed, 16 September 2020. 16:00 – 18:00 BST. This free webinar will provide attendees with a full breakdown of our recent drug use survey among students and discuss in detail how Covid-19 has impacted on their patterns of drug consumption | Neurosight and the Students for Safer Drug Policy (SSDP), UK

Suspension for ex-magic circle lawyer caught with cocaine for second time

Matthew Podger, who worked for top commercial law firms in London, tried to cover up his second police caution for possession — only to be rumbled by an anonymous letter to HR | Legal Cheek, UK

Complaints over smell from East Yorkshire cannabis farm

The site in Welton, East Yorkshire, grows medicinal hemp which is available on prescription for chronic pain and epilepsy | BBC, UK


International news

Episode 1: On women who use drugs - podcast

In this first episode, we talk with Rosma about her experiences going through over 17 different types of drug treatment and rehabilitation programmes in Indonesia.  She bravely opens up about how she started using drugs, struggles with her family, and why she believes it is important to talk about her difficult experiences | IDPC, UK

Foreign Office condemns lashing of British man serving drug sentence in Singapore prison

Ye Ming Yuen first arrested in 2016 over alleged drug trafficking involving quantities of cannabis and crystal meth | Independent, UK

Pricing survey finds weekly alcohol limit can be reached for under €8

Irish people can reach their weekly limit for low-risk alcohol consumption for less than €8, according to a new price survey of the nation’s off-licences | Journal, Ireland

Another 13 pubs found selling alcohol without any food

Some 139 premises suspected of breaching Covid-19 public health guidelines since July | Irish Times, Ireland

Drugnet Ireland

The latest policy, research and news | HRB, Ireland

Overview and Methods for the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System — United States, 2019

Health risk behaviors practiced during adolescence often persist into adulthood and contribute to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Youth health behavior data at the national, state, territorial, tribal, and local levels help monitor the effectiveness of public health interventions designed to promote adolescent health | CDC, USA

Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Within Syringe Service Programs — United States, 2019

In 2013, 55% of U.S. syringe service programs (SSPs) had implemented overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND).In 2019, among 263 SSPs responding to an online survey, 247 (94%) had implemented OEND | CDC, USA

Association of Depression With Past-Month Cannabis Use Among US Adults Aged 20 to 59 Years, 2005 to 2016

In this repeated cross-sectional study of 16 216 adults, those with depression increased their rates of cannabis use significantly faster than those without depression. In 2005 to 2006, individuals with depression had 46% higher odds of any cannabis use and 37% higher odds of near-daily cannabis use, while in 2015 to 2016, individuals with depression had 130% higher odds of any cannabis use and 216% higher odds of daily cannabis use | JAMA Network, USA

Your in-laws' history of drinking problems could lead to alcohol issues of your own

The statistics are sobering. More than 14 million American adults suffer from some form of alcohol use disorder (AUD), a chronic inability to stop or control alcohol use despite the negative consequences. This is according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a part of the National Institutes of Health | EurekAlert, USA

Global Office Hours

Welcome to Global Office Hours, a free worldwide resource that brings academic expertise and mentorship from around the world to anyone with an internet connection. Global Office Hours is virtual guidance designed for students, young investigators, and other early-career scholars interested in psychology, addiction, and gambling | CHA, USA

Synthetic Cannabinoid Drug For Covid-19 Approved For Phase-1 Clinical Trials

As Covid-19 continues to take lives on a daily basis, the search is ongoing for solutions that might prevent, cure or treat the deadly disease | Forbes, USA

'A Pandemic Upon an Epidemic.' Syringe Services Struggle to Provide Care to Those Battling Drug Addiction Amid COVID-19

Americans who struggle with drug addiction have turned to syringe services programs (SSPs) for decades—not only to exchange used needles for clean ones but also as a first step towards treatment | TIME, USA

Crack, Mass Incarceration and Black Trauma: Jeffrey’s Story

Jeffrey Calhoun has been shot seven times and sent to prison three. Had he not been granted clemency by President Obama, he would still be in prison today | Filter Magazine, USA

Research: Youth often use cannabis as harm reduction, may help stop injection drug use

New research is shedding light on how cannabis use among some young people may be an important way to reduce the harms of other substance use | BCCSU, Canada

Coronavirus stimulus payments have unforeseen consequences for this remote community, say leaders

For the last few months traditional owner John Wilson has been devastated to see an upsurge in alcohol-fuelled violence tearing his remote Northern Territory Indigenous community, Peppimenarti, apart | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s Blog 103: Tobacco Harm Reduction from A to A

Imagine the shock waves reverberating around the world if the WHO announced that every man, woman and child in Brazil, Bangladesh, Nigeria, the Philippines and Indonesia has been wiped out by COVID-19. That’s around a billion people – the same number the WHO continue to estimate will die from a smoking-related disease by the end of the century | NSP blog, UK

Fatal flaw in minimum alcohol pricing

The Irish Times cites a spokesman for Alcohol Action Ireland calling on Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly “to introduce minimum pricing of alcohol products” (“Alcohol selling for ‘pocket money prices’, says lobby group”, News, April 20th) | Irish Times letter, Ireland

Taming Cannabis in France

The push to legalize cannabis in France, where the drug is widely consumed but prohibited, is gaining momentum | Points blog, USA

Combatting alcohol misuse among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic

About half of college students drink alcohol and about one-third binge drink. This puts them at increased risk of a broad range of negative consequences including increasing their risk for contracting and spreading coronavirus | NIAAA blog, USA