Daily news - 11th November 2020

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UK news

English drinkers can consume a week’s worth of alcohol for the same price as a high street cup of coffee, campaigners warn

Cider is the cheapest available product in England and is being sold for as little as 19p per unit of alcohol, meaning that consumers can reach the weekly low-risk drinking guideline of 14 units of alcohol for just £2.68 | AHA UK, UK

Small change: alcohol at pocket money prices AHA pricing survey 2020

The cost of alcohol to our health and society is significant: alcohol is the leading cause of ill-health, early mortality, and disability among 15-49-year-olds in England.1 The harmful use of alcohol is associated with more than 200 health conditions, including seven types of cancer and heart disease | AHA UK, UK

Exploring the factors that influence harmful alcohol use through the refugee journey: a qualitative study

Drawing on interviews with people with current experience of seeking asylum in the UK, the report sheds light on a little understood topic, and highlights how refugees and asylum seekers who do experience harmful alcohol use in the UK do not arrive with these issues, but rather develop them as a result of destitution, or being placed under a condition of 'No Recourse to Public Funds' (NRPF) | SHAAP, UK

Children living with 'toxic trio' issues more likely to be victims of crime

Children living in homes where with an adult experiencing one or more of the "toxic trio" of mental illness, domestic abuse or substance misuse, are more likely to be victims of crime, research has found | Children and Young People Now, UK

Saving a lost decade: How a new deal for public health can help build a healthier nation

In this report, we argue that the decision to remove health protection functions from Public Health England to a new National Institute for Health Protection presents an opportunity to reimagine and design a better public health system | Policy Exchange, UK

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence reforms for the 2019 parliament

The APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence has now been reformed for the 2019 parliament with Danny Kruger MP as chair, Lord Crisp as co-chair, and the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry (CEP-UK) providing the secretariat. Minutes of the inaugural meeting will be published on this site in due course | APPG, UK

Call You and Yours - How has your relationship with alcohol changed this year? - audio

How has your relationship with alcohol changed this year? In surveys more than one in four say they drank more in the lockdown - turning to alcohol to ease worry and stress | BBC, UK

Kids as young as 11 prescribed nicotine patches on the NHS to quit smoking

Doctors issued almost 2,000 prescriptions to under-18s last year, some to children as young as 11 — which means they could be in Year Six | The Sun, UK

County Lines Drug Trafficking

What steps she is taking to tackle county lines drug trafficking and safeguard vulnerable children from exploitation | They work for you, UK

Small Breweries Relief

I, like the vast majority of Members of this House, am proud to speak up for the excellent independent breweries of my constituency | They work for you, UK

Coronavirus: NI Executive fails to reach decision on restrictions

The NI Executive has failed to reach a decision on whether to extend or change Covid-19 restrictions regarding the hospitality sector | BBC, UK

Homeless plan for Afan Valley hotel abandoned amid local fury

Plans to house homeless people in a hotel in Port Talbot have been dropped in the face of local opposition | BBC, UK

Sales of low-alcohol drinks are soaring, and these are the best to buy

[Limited number of free articles per week] Dry January, Sober October… Low-vember? Zoom drinks don’t have to be boozy to be fun | Telegraph, UK


International news

Coaching is the key to effective therapists

One-off training ticks the boxes but just doesn’t cut it if the aim is to produce effective counsellors and therapists. We ask whether managers “have to take a deep breath” and accept that it takes post-training expert coaching sessions ideally informed by performance with clients to really make a difference | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Former drug addict saves man's life after overdose

Mike Egan, who is the survivor of a 20-year battle with heroin himself, saved an opiate user from certain death in Limerick city last Friday, after he administered a number of doses of Naloxone to the dying man | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders

This guide reviews interventions for people living with substance use and mental disorders who are at risk for or living with HIV. Selected interventions are in alignment with goals of the federal “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” (EHE) initiative | SAMHSA, USA

Effect of e-Cigarettes Plus Counseling vs Counseling Alone on Smoking Cessation

In this randomized clinical trial that was terminated early after enrolling 376 of a planned 486 participants, individuals randomized to nicotine e-cigarettes plus counseling, compared with counseling alone, had significantly greater 7-day point prevalence abstinence at 12 weeks (21.9% vs 9.1%, respectively), although the difference was no longer statistically significant at 24 weeks | JAMA Network | USA [See also blogs section below]

Clinical, Bronchoscopic, and Imaging Findings of e-Cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use–Associated Lung Injury Among Patients Treated at an Academic Medical Center

This case series of 31 patients found that EVALI typically presented as a flu-like illness with elevated inflammatory markers and an organizing pneumonia pattern on computed tomography imaging. Bronchoscopy showed lipid-laden macrophages and had a high rate of false-positive results for infection | JAMA Network

The DRAM, Vol. 16(12) - How do we cope? The impact of COVID-19 stress on drinking

The phrases “unprecedented times” and “new normal” are used all too frequently these days as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten our country and those around the world | BASIS, USA

New studies show progress and opportunity with opioid painkiller usage and risk

Having surgery means placing complete trust in a team of professionals, and counting on them to fix what's wrong while keeping surgical risks as low as possible | Medical Xpress, USA

After heart attack, pot smoking raises post-op dangers

Election Day 2020 saw marijuana legalization continue its march across the United States, but a pair of new studies warn that smoking pot could increase risk for heart patients | Medical Xpress, USA

COPD Patients Who Switch From Smoking to Vaping See Long-Term Benefits

Researchers at the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction (CoEHAR*) in Catania, Italy have just published a groundbreaking study. It shows that smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who switched to vaping reduced their yearly flare-ups by about 50 percent, significantly improved their cardio-respiratory health, and increased both their ability to exercise and their quality of life | Filter Magazine, USA

Where the Biden Administration Will Stand on Drugs and Harm Reduction

President-elect Joe Biden was a primary architect of the War on Drugs, with a “tough on crime” legacy from the 1980s that laid the groundwork for the mass incarceration crisis terrorizing so many Americans today | Filter Magazine, USA

Since you asked: What role does drug enforcement play in the rising incarceration of women?

Women are being jailed at higher rates than ever. We explore whether drug arrests and substance abuse could be having an impact | Prison Policy Inititaive, USA

Preliminary patterns in circumstances surrounding opioid-related deaths in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic

Within Ontario, the first wave of the pandemic was managed with public health restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which included physical distancing measures that resulted in reduced capacity for pharmacies, outpatient clinics, and harm reduction sites providing care to people who use drugs. Despite the intention to reduce the impact of COVID-19, there is concern that these measures could lead to unintended harms | ODPRN, Canada

Alcohol harm reduction is saving lives during COVID-19

When Canada and many other countries starting locking down in March, people were advised to stay home and physically distance. But what does that look like when you don’t have a home and are dependent on alcohol? What if you lose your sources of income like panhandling or collecting bottles to earn money, the drop-in centre you frequent closes, or the local liquor store no longer accepts cash?  | University of Victoria, Canada

Naloxone To Save More Lives Under Amended Drug Law

The life-saving drug Naloxone will be more readily available to help those at risk of experiencing an overdose, giving more Victorians the chance to recover and sparing more families the heartache of losing a loved one, under a Bill to amend drug laws | Premier of Victoria, Australia

Drug rehab funding a win for rural NSW

A $10 million pledge for a new drug detox and rehabilitation centre in Dubbo has been welcomed as a major step towards addressing the harm illicit drugs are doing in rural NSW | The Young Witness, Australia

Has legalising medicinal cannabis made a difference?

The University of Sydney is launching CAMS20 - an online survey of Australian medicinal cannabis use over the past 12 months. This survey will provide an updated snapshot on how Australians are currently using cannabis medicinally | University of Sydney, Australia

Australian health fund becomes the first to offer rebates for medicinal cannabis

Private health insurer Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) has announced a partnership with West Australian-based medicinal cannabis manufacturer Little Green Pharma (LGP) | 9 News, Australia

Posters and Poster Presentations - The 2020 Annual NDARC Research Symposium

A 'People's Choice' Award is also on offer to all poster and poster presentations. You can only vote once. Please do so here | NDARC, Australia

Law banning vape advertising and sales to under-18s comes into effect

The Cancer Society is happy that marketing of vapes to young people and non-smokers will cease on Wednesday, thanks to new laws coming into force | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand

No Smoke, No Vape, No Youth Uptake

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) have re-launched their youth vaping education website ‘Don’t Get Sucked In’ to align with the new vaping legislation coming into effect on 11 November 2020 | Scoop, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Forward Leeds delivers a fresh approach to dual diagnosis

Forward Leeds is the city’s alcohol and drug service. It is a partnership led by the charity Humankind and delivered with Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) and the charities BARCA-Leeds and St Anne’s Community Services. Lee Wilson, the service’s Operations Director, describes how Forward Leeds has driven innovation and collaboration across the system to support some of the city’s most vulnerable inhabitants, including people struggling with both mental health and substance use problems | Collective Voice blog, UK

Expert reaction to the randomised control trial on e-cigarettes for quitting smoking

The randomised control trial published in JAMA looks at the effect of e-cigarettes plus counselling vs counselling alone on smoking cessation | Science Media Centre, UK

Editorial: New research strengthens the case for e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids

Using FDA-approved treatments increases the likelihood of success, but many smokers who use these therapies still struggle to remain tobacco free, says Nancy Rigotti, an investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital | EurekAlert, USA

Drugs and Digitization: Investigating Opiate Addiction in the U.S. Civil War Era in the Age of Mass Digitization

In the American Civil War’s wake, thousands of veterans became “enslaved” to morphine, opium, and laudanum. These powerful and addictive medicines were used in nineteenth-century America to dull the pain of amputations, suppress diarrheal sicknesses, and help the war-weary cope with anxiety and depression | Points blog, USA