Daily news - 17th November 2020

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Alcohol Awareness Week 

Alcohol Awareness Week 2020 will take place from 16-22 November 2020 on the theme of Alcohol and mental health | Alcohol Change UK, UK


UK news

Naloxone: Police to carry emergency drug overdose spray

The nasal spray Naloxone counters the effects of overdoses from opioids such as heroin | BBC, UK

Police issue Ceredigion drug warning after three overdoses

Police are warning that illegal prescription drugs laced with opiates are circulating in Ceredigion, following three overdoses in three days in the area | BBC, UK

Welsh Peer-Led COVID19 Impact Report Reveals 25% Suffered Relapse in Spring Lockdown

As spring’s national lockdown was announced, professionals troubled over how such unparalleled change might affect people in recovery. The lack of connection, loss of routine and pause on vital coping mechanisms would surely shake the resolve of even the most resilient service users | Volteface, UK

Covid: Lockdown 'causing drugs gangs to recruit locally'

"County lines" gangs could be using children in care across north Wales to distribute drugs to get around lockdown restrictions, it is claimed | BBC, UK

Novel benzodiazepines: prevalence and harms in the UK

Updated - Addendum to novel benzodiazepines report November 2020 added | ACMD, UK

ACMD members' register of interests

Occupations, career history and interests of the members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) | ACMD, UK

Connecting London - Alcohol Awareness Week 2020

Connecting London is a partnership of Change Grow Live services across the London area. During Alcohol Awareness Week, we'll be hosting events and activities on Zoom and sharing resources | Change Grow Live, UK

Is my drinking a problem?

Knowing if your drinking is a problem can be confusing and vary a lot between individuals. Most of us feel we know when we have overdone it but trends of problematic drinking can creep up on us and it is often hard to know when our relationship to alcohol is having a negative effect on our lives | BDP, UK

Free counselling service, as relapse concerns increase

Acorn Transformational Counselling service will be offering free sessions to those currently in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction | DDN, UK

Saving Lives: The First UK Safe Injecting Facility by Peter Krykant - free event

Tue, 17 November 2020. 10:30 – 12:00 GMT. Peter Krykant will talk about his safe drug consumption facility in Glasgow that provides supervised spaces for people to inject drugs | UWL Addiction Studies, School of Human and Social Sciences, UK

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

Wed, 2 December 2020. 15:00 – 17:00 GMT. This seminar explores the latest evidence on nudges in alcohol policy, chaired by Dr Gillian Shorter of Queen's University, Belfast. New research will be presented by Professor Mark Petticrew (LSHTM), and Lucy Bryant (Institute of Alcohol Studies), as well as insights from the gambling field from Philip Newall, PhD (postdoctoral researcher at CQUniversity's Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory) | IAS, UK

Simon Amstell - My Experience with ayahuasca - free event

Thu, 26 November 2020. 16:00 – 17:30 GMT. English comedian and writer and director, Simon Amstell will be joining Drug Science to discuss his personal experience with Ayahuasca | Drug Science, UK

Registrations open for the Launch Event – Consultation on the Implementation of the Ten Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards for Scotland - free event

20 November 2020 / 13.00 – 14.30. Registration is now open for the launch event of the Consultation on the Implementation of the Ten Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards for Scotland | SDF, UK

Qualitative Methods Journal Club Meeting #2

SARN is supporting Professor Carol Emslie (SARN Co-Chair) and colleagues at the Glasgow Caledonian University Substance Use Research Group to host the upcoming series of the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) funded Qualitative Methods Journal Club (QMJC) from November 2020 – April 2021 | SARN, UK

Leah Heyes: Teenagers detained after girl's drugs death

Two teenagers who admitted supplying a drug that killed a 15-year-old girl have been detained in young offenders institutions | BBC, UK


International news

Harry Shapiro on the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction - podcast

Harry talks about the latest Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report | Global Health Perspectives, UK

Money or mission; which works best for patients?

Key studies on how treatment organisations affect implementation and effectiveness of psychosocial therapies. Explores the effects of high staff turnover, how to reduce it, and the importance of services being ready for change, and asks whether change driven by money rather than humanitarian mission is just as good for the patients | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Proposed NSW police powers to search convicted drug dealers labelled 'unjust

Proposed law would allow police to detain and search anyone convicted in the past 10 years without a warrant | Guardian, UK

Bali tourists could be jailed for drinking in proposed law change

Indonesia's House of Representatives continues to mull over a draft bill that would ban booze and threaten those found producing, distributing and storing it with jail sentences of two to 10 years | Independent, UK

New WHO/Europe factsheet: policy action needed to reduce cancers attributable to alcohol use

This factsheet, “Alcohol and cancer in the WHO European Region: an appeal for better prevention”, emphasizes causal links between alcohol use and a range of cancers, including some of the most common types, such as female breast cancer and colorectal cancer. It also makes clear that alcohol-attributable cancers and deaths can be reduced through implementation of cost-effective policies, such as increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages and restricting marketing and availability of alcohol | WHO, Denmark

Making “bad trips” good: How users of psychedelics narratively transform challenging trips into valuable experiences

[Open access] We study the significance of stories about bad trips among users of psychedelics. Drawing on narrative theory, we describe the characteristics of such stories and explore the work they do | IJDP, Norway

UK on the Brink of a Psychedelic Therapy Revolution

Bristol, the English city that produced street artist Banksy, will soon see the opening of the world’s first psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic of its kind | Filter Magazine, USA

E-cigarettes can significantly alter a body's response to viruses, study finds

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have found that people who use e-cigarettes have significantly altered immune responses to influenza viruses, a worrying discovery as flu season approaches and COVID-19 surges across the U.S. | Medical Xpress, USA

Chronic alcohol use reshapes the brain's immune landscape, driving anxiety and addiction

Deep within the brain, a small almond-shaped region called the amygdala plays a vital role in how we exhibit emotion, behavior and motivation; it's also strongly implicated in alcohol abuse. Now, for the first time, a team has identified important changes to anti-inflammatory mechanisms and cellular activity in the amygdala that drive alcohol addiction | Science Daily, USA

Peptide is a key mediator in the regulation of compulsive alcohol drinking

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified that a peptide, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating mediator is involved with compulsive consumption of alcohol | Medical Xpress, USA

Alcohol consumption before bedtime can impact quality of sleep

Think twice before drinking that holiday nightcap. Sure, that late-night cocktail or final glass of wine or beer before bed may help you feel sleepy, but it won't guarantee a good night's rest | News Medical, USA

Study published on strategies hospitals adopt to address opioid epidemic

While the world's attention to public health remains focused on COVID-19, Berkeley Franz, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, continues to focus her attention on one of the largest public health crises in the United States today—the opioid epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

Mexican Senate Scrambles to Approve Marijuana by Court-Mandated Deadline

Several Mexican Senate committees on Friday tentatively approved a revised bill to legalize marijuana during a joint hearing, with a formal in-person vote scheduled next week. | The New Station, USA

Access to cannabidiol without a prescription: A cross-country comparison and analysis

[Open access] Recent legislative change has allowed increased access to cannabis products in many jurisdictions. In some locations, this includes over-the-counter (OTC) and/or online access to products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with therapeutic properties. Here we compared the availability of CBD products and the associated legislative and regulatory background in nine selected countries | IJDP, Australia

APSAD Webinar Series

Through November in place of the annual conference APSAD is holding a series of webinars on alcohol and other drug issues | APSAD, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 106: Back to front

As we have seen with the Trump playbook, seeding the media with conspiracy theories is the last gasp of the desperate and deluded. This is a favoured tactic of all anti-tobacco harm reduction organisations: anybody supporting THR must, by definition, be in the pocket of Big Tobacco and/or be a part of a ‘front organisation’ | NSP blog, UK

Working with older adults to better understand alcohol risks

How we built our new over 50s alcohol health check tool | We Are With You, UK

Notes on Criminal Economics

In this blog I would like to address an important but often overlooked issue: the way the proceeds from criminal activity interact with the national economic model, and vice versa. The focus will be on the kinds of “Washington Consensus” reforms that have been applied in many developing countries since the 1970s | GDPO blog, UK

Nick Hopkinson: Tobacco industry collaborators sending equality up in smoke

It is widely believed that the American humourist and mathematician Tom Lehrer abandoned comedy because Henry Kissinger was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for bombing Cambodia. A bold new entry into the beyond-satire stakes is an online gender equality conference held by the Financial Times in partnership with, of all people, Philip Morris International (PMI) | BMJ opinion, UK

Clarifying ‘Chemsex’

The term ‘chemsex’ was coined in the UK to describe a pattern of sexualised drug use by men who have sex with men (MSM) | 360 edge blog, Australia