Daily news - 12th November 2020

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UK news

Childhood vulnerability to victimisation in England and Wales: year ending March 2017 to year ending March 2019

Victimisation and negative behaviours of children aged 10 to 15 years living in a household with an adult who reported experiencing domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental ill-health (the so-called "toxic trio" factors) based on findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) | ONS, UK

Understanding high mortality rates among people with multiple and complex needs: exploring underlying factors and opportunities for prevention in Newcastle and Gateshead

People facing multiple and complex needs such as homelessness, substance misuse, repeat offending and/or mental ill health experience severe health inequalities and much higher death rates than the general population. Our recent research project with Fuse and our peer research network  shines a light on these deaths, exploring the underlying reasons and potential to target preventative interventions | Fulfilling Lives, UK

Why we are calling on the Government to reschedule psychedelic drugs to enable researchers to develop vital new treatments for depression and PTSD - video

Treatment resistant depression, PTSD and trauma can be extremely difficult to treat and many people stay on high doses of antidepressants or even resort to ending their lives. Research has shown that drugs like psilocybin can heal people after 1 to 3 supervised treatments. However, research is being severely hampered by bureaucracy due to the scheduling system currently in place. We desperately need the Government to change this, as was the case with medicinal cannabis | MyPOV, UK

Medicinal cannabis farm promises to be 'community company'

Hamish Clegg, CEO and co-founder of Hilltop Leaf, says the development will bring dozens of jobs, many of them highly skilled, to the south of Scotland | ITV, UK

Stress of Covid-19 sees unhealthy boozing levels soar in North East

Campaign is launched after worrying figures reveal 400,000 people in the region are drinking more since coronavirus outbreak began | Chronicle, UK

Leah Heyes: Mother warns cheap drugs sold 'on our doorsteps'

A mother whose teenage daughter died after taking ecstasy has warned that cheap drugs are being sold "on our doorsteps" in rural towns | BBC, UK

Newly trained dogs heading for prison wings to sniff out illegal drugs

Over 170 specially trained sniffer dogs are heading to prisons across England and Wales as part of the government’s comprehensive plan to crack down on violence and crime behind bars | Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, UK

Parents caught up in UK drug gangs – to protect their children

They’re ordinary mums and dads who should be worrying about how their child is doing at school. Instead, they’re driving around in the dead of night, handing over cash stuffed in envelopes to the drug gangs who are exploiting their children | Channel 4, UK

Calling on parliament to stock more alchol free drinks

Following the United Kingdom Parliament’s decision to stop the sale of alcohol in the House of Commons during the coronavirus pandemic, Club Soda and a selection of British alcohol-free drinks brands have written to the Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, calling for Parliament to stock more alcohol-free drinks in the Parliamentary estate’s bars | Club Soda, UK

I Got Addicted to Dark Web Opiates During Lockdown

A month into the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, we asked drug users how quarantine had affected their drug use. The responses mostly chimed with what various studies into lockdown drug use have shown since: people were taking fewer party drugs, but more weed, booze and psychedelics | VICE, UK

Guinness recalls alcohol-free beer just two weeks after launch

The brewer described the recall as "precautionary", but said "microbiological contamination" might mean some products were unsafe | BBC, UK

Coronavirus: Wetherspoons calls rules 'baffling and confusing'

JD Wetherspoon has criticised "baffling and confusing" Covid-related restrictions for the pub industry after revealing a sharp fall in sales | BBC, UK

The Student Psychedelic Conference - event

Sat, 30 Jan 2021, 14:00 – Sun, 31 Jan 2021, 20:00 GMT. Drug Science Student Society, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and The Southampton Psychedelic Research Society are proud to announce ‘The Student Psychedelic Conference’. This online transatlantic conference will take place over two days on 30th and 31st January | Drug Science, UK

Nudge Theory and Alcohol Policy: how nudge might shape drinking - event

Wed, 2 December 2020, 15:00 – 17:00 GMT. Nudge theory interventions have proven increasingly popular with policymakers and politicians in recent years. By understanding how individuals make decisions about their health and consumption, policymakers can design 'nudges' to alter the choices we make | IAS, UK


International news

Tobacco retail environment and smoking: a systematic review of geographic exposure measures and implications for future studies

To review the geographical exposure measures used to characterize the tobacco environment in terms of density of and proximity to tobacco outlets, and its association with smoking-related outcomes | Nicotine and Tobacco Research, UK

Engaging with policymakers and the public to promote ethical drug policy - video

Recording of webinar for the European Harm Reduction Conference 2020 organised with Policy Bristol and the Harm Reduction Journal. Featuring: David Nutt, Ann Fordham, Magdalena Harris, Neil Woods, Nuno Capaz and Prun Bijral | Drug Policy in Focus, UK

Diego Maradona: Argentina legend to be treated for alcohol dependency

Argentina legend Diego Maradona will be discharged from hospital on Wednesday and taken to a recovery clinic to be treated for alcohol dependency | BBC, UK

Legalising access to psilocybin to end the agony of cluster headaches

Approximately 8 million people worldwide are afflicted with possibly the most excruciating condition known to medicine: cluster headaches. Patients endure immense suffering, and many commit suicide to escape the pain. Current medical options are inadequate | OPIS, Switzerland

Calls to city 311 lines can predict opioid overdose hotspots

Researchers found that calls to the 311 line—used in many cities across the United States to report non-emergency issues—tracked closely to places and times in Columbus in which opioid overdose events were on the rise | Medical Xpress, USA

What should N.W.T.'s alcohol strategy include? Experts weigh in

Health minister wants managed alcohol program at Arnica Inn after pandemic success | CBC News, Canada

Opioid-related deaths in Ontario up among younger men during pandemic, reports

Deaths jumped by nearly 40% in first months after COVID-19 hit province | CBC News, Canada

Looking through the door of meth labs

Methamphetamine ‘cooks’ in domestic labs are most likely to be male, Caucasian and about 30 years’ old, according to University of Queensland researchers | University of Queensland, Australia

Regulation of vaping and smokeless tobacco products

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 has created a framework for the regulation of vaping products and smokeless tobacco products in New Zealand | Ministry of Health, New Zealand

Vaping banned in Christchurch's parks and playgrounds

The Christchurch City Council decided on Thursday to add vaping to its existing smokefree policy, which prohibits smoking in outdoor public places in the city | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Britain legalised medicinal cannabis - and then left it to stagnate

There's a bill going through the House of Lords which will decide how the country will regulate its medicines after January 2021. It's called the medicines and medical devices bill. Among other things, it will decide how a post-Brexit UK will maintain a high degree of patient access to the best medicines, guarantee patient safety and high manufacturing standards, and ensure British regulators do not stifle global investments into our life sciences industry | Politics.co.uk, UK

Access to Medical Cannabis from a Patient's Perspective

Patients feel they have been criminalised, demonised and misunderstood by a medical system that has been built around the dissemination of education on the harms of cannabis but not the benefits | The Cannabinoid Journal, UK

Alcohol isn't like sushi

I’m off work for a few days this week, so while I’ve been catching up on jobs around the house I’ve also been catching up on my podcast listening. One of those I’ve made time for is Suzi Gage’s ‘Say Why To Drugs’ | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Integrating Addiction Treatment in Primary Care: Training Needs and Novel Approaches

Addiction is a chronic medical condition that carries significantly elevated risk of morbidity and mortality, as the sequelae of substance use disorders (SUD) can be severe and life-altering. While evidence-based treatments for SUD exist, many people face barriers to accessing care | Harvard Medical School blog, USA

A Safe Retreat from the War on Drugs

The threat of punishment and discrimination doesn’t drive people to quit or avoid drugs, but rather to hide their use, including from their doctors. There is a better way, and jurisdictions like the US state of Oregon may have found it | Project Syndicate, USA