Daily news - 1st October 2020

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UK news

Quit smoking this Stoptober

Resources, information and tips to help you quit smoking this Stoptober | NHS, UK

Sober October

Have a Sober October or try a Sober(ish) October to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support | Macmillan Cancer Support, UK

How the Covid-19 pandemic is fast-tracking the move to digital platforms within addiction services

The Covid-19 pandemic is transforming the way that addiction treatment services are delivered. Social distancing measures mean that in-person support meetings have been scaled back across member services and digital technology is playing an increasingly vital role in the delivery of treatment | NHS APA, UK

Alcohol use increased during lockdown, but smoking declined

Smoking declined, but adverse alcohol use generally increased during the UK’s coronavirus ‘lockdown’, according to new research | University of Glasgow, UK

Problem Drug Use

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State to declare problem drug use a public health emergency;to require the Secretary of State to review the effects of welfare sanctions on people who use drugs;to make the Department for Health and Social Care the lead department for drugs policy;... | They work for you, UK

Joint statement from CQC’s Chief Inspectors, and Deputy Chief Inspector and lead for mental health services

This statement sets out how we will regulate during the next phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. From 6 October, we will begin to roll out our transitional regulatory approach, starting with adult social care and dental services | CQC, UK

Most patients welcome advice from GPs on changing their behaviour to improve health

Most patients are open to receiving advice on behaviour change from their GP. That is especially true if the advice is personally tailored and relevant to their illness. A good doctor-patient relationship is also important for the way advice is given and received | NIHR, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of rescheduling psilocybin | They work for you, UK

Licensing: Closing Time - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to amend the Licensing Act 2003 to allow local authorities to take action against premises that are not enforcing the 10 pm closing time | They work for you, UK

Two thirds of Brits claim thirst for pubs unaffected by 10pm curfew and table service rules

New restrictions including the Government’s controversial 10pm curfew don’t appear to have dampened drinkers’ enthusiasm for visiting pubs, according to new research | Morning Advertiser, UK

New drivers could be given zero-alcohol limits under new plans to stop accidents

[Limited number of free articles per week] Young drivers could also see restrictions on how many passengers they can carry | Telegraph, UK

Here's how our services have been celebrating Recovery Month

Every September Change Grow Live celebrates Recovery Month. From poetry, to carpentry, film-making to walking, our services have been getting creative as they mark the occasion this year. Read on to hear more about their brilliant Recovery Month 2020 activities and personal experiences of what recovery means to the people we support | Change Grow Live, UK

Pulse 9: Recovery Online

Learning from lockdown and the value of remote and digitally-delivered support for people with substance misuse problems | Forward Trust, UK

Tackling fear and misinformation may help increase hepatitis C testing in prison

Liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major public health burden. The World Health Organisation is aiming to eliminate HCV as a public health problem by 2030 and testing in prisons is central to this campaign | NIHR, UK

National Hepatitis C ODN Stakeholder Event

Tue, 6 October 2020. 13:30 – 17:00 BST. This half-day event will feature presentations on a range of topics of relevance to hepatitis C ODNs | HCV Action, UK

'Compassion, trauma and hope': a fresh perspective on addiction – in pictures

Nik Roche’s photos of addicts living on the boundaries of society capture a community whose complex circumstances deserve more than just a glance | Guardian, UK

Perceptions and attitudes of strategic decision-makers and affected families across Scotland towards Drug Consumption Rooms to prevent drug-related deaths study – recruiting family member interview participants!

We are conducting a study to explore perceptions and attitudes towards Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs). This is being led by the University of Stirling and involves partnerships between the University of Stirling, Figure 8 Consultancy, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Glasgow Caledonian University and Liverpool John Moores University | DRNS, UK

County lines: Teenage drug dealers posed as key workers during lockdown

Teenage county lines drug dealers posed as key workers during the coronavirus lockdown to evade police, London authority bosses have revealed | BBC, UK

Drugs: Smuggling

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the (a) short-term and (b) long-term effects of Operation Venetic on the (i) availability, (ii)) price and (iii) purity of drugs in the illegal market, by drug type and (iv) levels of violence associated with the illegal drug market | They work for you, UK

Gambling Commission new rules to stamp out irresponsible 'VIP customer' practices

The Gambling Commission has announced strict new guidance for operators in order to clean up the malpractice of so-called VIP schemes – stating that if the guidance is followed there should be no irresponsible incentivisation of high value customers in the future | Gambling Commission, UK


International news

Jacinda Ardern admits cannabis use in heated New Zealand debate

Labour prime minister faces National leader Judith Collins in televised election clash | Guardian, UK

Gone to pot: New Zealand cools on legalising cannabis

With a crowded election cycle, non-committal politicians and a pandemic to worry about, public support for a yes vote in the referendum is eroding | Guardian, UK

Looking back on 25 years of annual reporting on the drugs problem in Europe

In this brochure, the EMCDDA's Scientific Director takes us on a journey through 25 years of annual reporting on the drugs problem in Europe. The journey begins with the first report describing the drug situation in 1995 and leads us, over key milestones, to the latest European Drug Report 2020 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Issue 133: September 2020 - Drugnet

Latest news and publications from the EMCDDA | EMCDDA, Portugal

U.S. senators aim to stop sale of drugs online by going after tech's legal immunity

Two U.S. senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that aims to stop the sale of opioids and illicit drugs online by amending a key federal law that protects internet companies - the latest in a series of bills to go after tech’s legal immunity | Reuters, USA

Lung injuries should be a warning about vaping's risks

The patients, most of them young, began showing up at hospitals in the spring of 2019. Some were coughing, out of breath or feverish. Some were vomiting or had diarrhea. Some ended up in intensive care, needing oxygen | Medical Xpress, USA

Study explores link between methamphetamine use and risky sexual behavior

Recreational use of the illicit drug methamphetamine has long been associated with increases in overall impatient and risky behavior. Now, a new study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers affirms that meth use increases not only sexual desire but also, specifically and measurably, the risk of casual sex without a condom for those who have an increase in sexual desire | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabinoids associated with negative respiratory health effects in older adults with COPD

Researchers publish first data on the impact of cannabinoids on the respiratory health of individuals with COPD | EurekAlert, USA

Heart Infection Projected to Kill One in Five People Who Inject Opioids by 2030

In 10 years, one in five people who inject opioids is predicted to die from a preventable heart infection, according to a simulation model developed by Boston Medical Center researchers. For some groups of people who inject, the infection is predicted to be far deadlier than overdose | Filter magazine, USA

“We Will Strap You Down”—A Hospital Illegally Forced Me Into a Detox Ward

It will go easier on you if you cooperate with them,” said the nursing assistant sitting beside my bed. Clearly, she had seen this before | Filter Magazine, USA

Snifftok Is Where Teenagers Go to Post Videos of Themselves High On MDMA

We asked some of them why they want footage of themselves gurning, tripping and K-holing up on TikTok, for the whole world to see | VICE, USA

Cuomo Calls For Arrests Of Public Drug Users, Alarming Harm Reduction Advocates

Minutes after Governor Andrew Cuomo implored local governments to rethink the role of police in public safety after mass protests against racist police brutality, Cuomo said police officers should arrest people injecting drugs on city streets during a Tuesday press conference in Manhattan | Gothamist, USA

Addiction, Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Resource for Ottawa’s Three Largest Post-Secondary Schools

This fall for the first time in Canada, universities and colleges will have access to an all-in-one online resource to increase awareness and understanding of mental health, addiction and the stigma surrounding them | CCSA, Canada

Vaping up, cigarette use down, among Canadian youth

While vaping increased significantly among Canadian youth over a six-year period, cigarette use remained stable or decreased, a University of Waterloo study says | University of Waterloo, Canada

Vancouver's Insite drug injection clinic will stay open

In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that not allowing the clinic to operate under an exemption from drug laws would be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms | CBC, Canada

New OPP data shows fatal overdoses on the rise across the province

Ontario Provincial Police have released a report highlighting the impacts of opioids across the province, including in the northwest region | TB NewsWatch, Canada

People who are dependent on opioids have a 15-year gap in life expectancy

The life expectancy of people in New South Wales (NSW) dependent on opioids is approximately 65, a deficit of about 15 years, finds a new report | NDARC, Australia

Please Explain podcast: New Zealand's vote on marijuana may spark law reform debate in Australia

According to Harm Reduction Australia, New Zealand’s upcoming referendum on legalising cannabis could significantly impact drug law reform in Australia and may even trigger marijuana tourism when borders between the two countries reopen | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Is there any evidence that closing bars at 10pm will stem the spread of coronavirus?

Without clear statistics to support the policy, it appears to have been plucked out of thin air, like so many others | Guardian, UK

Sober October: 17 ways to unwind after a stressful day – without hitting the booze

Thousands of people will attempt to give up alcohol next month and for many it will be the hour after work that ruins their plans. Here’s how to relax without reaching for alcohol | Guardian, UK

Current drug laws aren’t working, it’s time we end the criminalisation of drug use

My Private Members Bill seeks immediate, practical changes designed to help problem drug users and calls for the decriminalisation of possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use | Politics Home, UK

Undecided on the cannabis referendum: 10 pros and cons of legalising the drug

The latest poll shows a drop in support by New Zealanders for the recreational use of cannabis ahead of this month’s referendum on the issue | Conversation, Australia