Daily news - 6th November 2020

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UK news

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Updated guidance in line with national restrictions commencing 5 November 2020 | PHE, UK

Peter Krykant and drug consumption van facility - Early Day Motion

That this House is concerned to learn that Peter Krykant, who recently set-up a drug consumption van in Glasgow city centre, has been charged and cautioned by Police Scotland; understands that Mr Krykant set up the facility in an attempt to help and support people with addictions; firmly believes that the work he is doing helps to reduce harm and save lives... | UK Parliament, UK

Designing a family support service within a wider treatment service

As part of the 2020 NHS APA Virtual Conference, Tracy Braddock from Inclusion and Kersti Dolphin from Adfam gave a presentation on the design of One Recovery Bucks' family support service | NHS APA, UK

A citizen’s jury on alcohol dependence and anti-discrimination legislation

... A citizen’s jury is also sometimes called a ‘mini public’ and it is a group of people who are representative of a population, in our case England. And what the process does is, it introduces an issue to the jury who hears evidence from witnesses including people for and against the issue | SSA, UK

Psilocybin for Anorexia Nervosa - Clinical Insights - video

In July 2020, Drug Science launched the Medical Psychedelics Working Group (MPWG) – a consortium of experts, leading researchers and policy specialists. The overarching goal of this group is to create a rational and enlightened approach to psychedelic research and clinical treatment. To achieve this, education and destigmatisation will be critical in changing the public’s perception of psychedelic science | Drug Science, UK

Drug regulation - with Transform - podcast

In this episode Suzi talks to James Nicholls, the CEO of an organisation called Transform, who are a think-tank working in drug policy reform. The conversation covers what is meant by various different types of drug policy, from regulation to decriminalisation to legalisation, as well as discussing what evidence-based drug policy might look like, both in terms of cannabis and stimulants, both of which have been the subject of publications by Transform | Say why to drugs, UK

Drug markets during COVID-19 (PART 2 - Autumn 2020) - survey

We want to know how the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting the supply of drugs. Responding to this short survey will inform Crew, helping us to support people who take drugs with the best information during this uncertain and difficult time | Crew, UK

What Not To Wear star Susannah Constantine reveals alcohol battle

Former What Not To Wear presenter Susannah Constantine has revealed she is an alcoholic and has been in recovery for almost seven years | BBC, UK

How LSD changed The Beatles forever

It was a moment of cultural significance when The Beatles, who were deemed as four whiter than white characters who could never put a foot wrong, admitted their affinity for the psychedelic drug LSD | Far out Magazine, UK

Police fish 100 wraps of cocaine and heroin out of the Thames after dealer threw stash in the river during chase

Police clamping down on drug activity were forced to dip in to the River Thames to collect evidence thrown away by a suspected dealer fleeing officers | Mail Online, UK


International news

New Zealand narrowly votes no to legalising cannabis in referendum

Yes campaign garnered 48.4% of votes, while the no vote won 50.7%, meaning the referendum does not pass | Guardian, UK

Putting UK Drug Policy into Focus - full film - video

A short film exploring some of the misconceptions fueling the persistence of punitive drug policy in the UK. This was my first film making effort so apologies the editing is a bit rough around the edges. A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the film. Launch on 5th November in collaboration with the European Harm Reduction Conference and Harm Reduction Journal | Dr Adam Holland, UK

Cannabis Use Appears to Encourage, Not Replace, Non-medical Opioid Use

A study published in the scientific journal Addiction suggests that, contrary to what some are claiming, people in the US may not be substituting cannabis for opioids | Addiction, UK

EU study on electronic cigarettes under fire

Stakeholders have strongly criticised a recent EU study on electronic cigarettes for being selective in its findings when it comes to their health implications. The European Commission, though, insists that the study was based on the latest and up-to-date evidence | EurActive, Belgium

The Birth of Harm Reduction Informs the World’s Need for Safer Nicotine

It was 1986 in the UK. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, and in wood-paneled rooms near the Houses of Parliament, ministers were being briefed on a significant public health threat: HIV | Filter Magazine, USA

Germany firmly rejects recreational marijuana legalization bill as hope fades for reform

The German federal parliament rejected a bill to legalize a “strictly controlled” adult-use cannabis market, dealing a major setback to recreational marijuana reform efforts in that country | Marijuana Business Daily, USA

Updated Trend Reporting for the NPS Benzodiazepine Clonazolam Based on Data-Mining for 8-Aminoclonazolam (PDF)

The objective of this public announcement is to provide updated information on drug testing trends to laboratory personnel, medical examiners and coroners, clinicians, public health and public safety, law enforcement, and other related communities regarding the NPS benzodiazepine clonazolam | NPS Discovery, USA

Researchers urge healthcare providers to routinely ask patients about cannabis use

Nurses and other healthcare providers should talk to patients about their cannabis use the same way they talk about other habits like smoking and drinking: routinely and without judgment | EurekAlert, USA

Modeling Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Opioid-Related Morbidity and Mortality in the US

In this decision analytical model of the US population aged 12 years or older, under status quo, an estimated 484 429 individuals were projected to die of fatal opioid overdose over 10 years. A combination of reducing opioid prescribing, increasing naloxone distribution, and expanding treatment for opioid use disorder was associated with an estimated 179 151 lives saved when compared with the status quo | JAMA Network, USA

Another tragedy tied to opioids: Eye disease

The number of drug addicts who developed vision-endangering eye infections quadrupled between 2003 and 2016, according to researchers | Medical Xpress, USA

Switching from cigarettes to tobacco heating products may reduce risk of developing diseases

New research by BAT has found that smokers who switched completely from smoking cigarettes to using BAT's flagship tobacco heating product (THP), glo, substantially reduced their exposure to certain cigarette smoke toxicants over three months | News Medical, USA

Evaluation of Secondhand Smoke Exposure in New York City Public Housing After Implementation of the 2018 Federal Smoke-Free Housing Policy

In this cohort study tracking indoor air quality inside the homes of 263 nonsmoking families and in common areas across 10 New York City public housing buildings vs 11 matched low-income buildings not subject to the smoke-free housing policy, no differential change in air nicotine or levels of particulate matter between housing types was found | JAMA Network, USA

One strange trip: Are psychedelics cannabis 2.0? Not even close

What’s past is prologue – or is it? It seems like only yesterday when the cannabis industry was one of the fastest-growing segments of the stock market, attracting billions of dollars from investment banks and investors (mostly retail) hoping to hitch a ride to untold riches | IR Magazine, USA

President Lopez Obrador urges review of U.S. drug cooperation in Mexico

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday his government would review cooperation over drug policy with the United States and how its agencies operate in Mexico after the recent U.S. arrest of a top military official | Reuters, USA

Twice as many people in Canada now die from unintentional poisoning than from transport-related injuries

Unintentional poisonings have surpassed motor-vehicle collisions as a major cause of preventable death in Canada | Parachute, Canada

Methamphetamine and heroin availability down since March, prices up: survey

Illicit drugs are harder to get and cost more since the coronavirus pandemic, says UNSW Sydney’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre | NDARC, Australia

An age of anxiety and drug use in COVID-19

UNSW's Dr. George Dertadian says the anxieties, stresses and strains people are dealing with in the pandemic could be influencing the use of drugs in society | Medical Xpress, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nevermind the president – the US election has made history thanks to some states decriminalising drugs

Voters in Oregon passed a law that will see possession of small amounts of drugs like heroin, cocaine and LSD decriminalised. But the state was not alone in its mature and considered policy pivot | Independent voices, UK

Police and social workers in US will not thank legislators for legalising drug use

Some states in America have legalised the use of cannabis for personal use ('New Jersey votes to legalise marijuana for personal use’, 4 November). Going further, one state has legalised cocaine and other hard drugs for personal use | Independent letters, UK

Fantastic Fungi review – how mushrooms could save the world

With it spectacular footage of growth and decay and impassioned speeches about the magic of mushrooms, this documentary is a treat for the eye and ear | Guardian, UK

Joanna Harcourt-Smith, socialite and author who went on the run with Timothy Leary – obituary

[Limited number of free articles per week] She fled with the king of the counter-culture to Afghanistan and stood by him when he was sent back to prison | Telegraph, UK

Beyond the Quarantine Effect: The Multiple Dimensions of Cannabis in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, millions of people already used cannabis drugs to help relieve depression, anxiety, and boredom. It should be no surprise, then, that cannabis sales are exploding during a pandemic that has forced us all to stay home, stay away from each other, and, if we’re being honest, stay anxious about an uncertain future | Points blog, USA