Daily news - 2nd October 2020

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UK news

Young motorists face tougher night driving, alcohol and passenger restrictions

The UK Government has launched a consultation into whether new drivers should face tougher restrictions on how much alcohol they are allowed to drink before driving, as well as how many passengers they are allowed to carry | Sunday Times, UK

Pubs, bars and restaurants report Covid curfew sales dive

Sales at 7,000 chain outlets down 37% after 10pm limit imposed in England, Wales and Scotland | Guardian, UK

Bars and pubs across Britain ban MPs until 10pm curfew is lifted

[Limited number of free articles per week] Bars and pubs across the country are campaigning against the new 10pm curfew as of this week. Some are even going so far as to ban MPs from their premises until the restrictions are lifted | Telegraph, UK

Medical Cannabis and CBD: challenges and opportunities

This report sets out some of the thorny ethical, regulatory and legal hurdles the UK faces in terms of medical cannabis. It also touches on recent developments in the UK relating to cannabidiol (CBD) and includes thoughts from experts and campaigners, both in the UK and abroad, on how one might approach this new and rapidly-expanding field of medicine | Dac Beachcroft, UK

Addiction Journal Current List - October 2020

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue. Each key finding is below the article title, with a link to the abstract | Addiction, UK

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal smoking product on the market. Updated product list | PHE, UK

How to regulate stimulants - Book launch - webinar

Join us on 22nd October at 20:00 (GMT+1) as we lay out the only realistic alternative to prohibition for stimulant drugs - a new and unique contribution to the drug policy debate | Transform, UK

Women in Psychedelic science - free event

Tue, 13 October 2020. 16:00 – 18:15 BST. The purpose of this Drug Science symposium is to showcase the inspiring work of women in psychedelics | Drug Science, UK

East Belfast: £80,000 drug seizure linked to UVF seized

Drugs with an estimated street value of more than £80,000 have been seized during police searches of properties in east Belfast and Dundonald | BBC, UK

Oisin Murphy: Champion jockey fails drugs test and says he will fight to clear his name

The 25-year-old Irishman denies taking the drug and says he is awaiting the result of a B sample following the test in France in July | BBC, UK


International news

Corrupt police officers helped ship cocaine into Europe, say officials

Lawyer and doctor also suspected of being in ‘crime syndicate’ after 3.5m tonnes of drugs seized | Guardian, UK

European Drug Report 2020: Key Issues - video

High availability across all drug types, drug production within Europe and highly potent substances are among the concerns addressed today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in its European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments. In its latest annual review — marking 25 years of monitoring — the agency describes the drug situation at the end of 2019, along with recent changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 | EMCDDA, Portugal

COVID-19 survey among people who use drugs in three cities in Norway

Little is known regarding what people who use drugs (PWUD) know about COVID-19 related issues and changes in the drug market due to COVID-19. We therefore conducted a survey to explore these issues | Science Direct, Norway

Opioid abuse in Syria seeps into Turkish borderlands

After nearly a decade of war, aid workers in Syria say untreated trauma and the abuse of pain medications are leading to addiction problems they don’t have the resources to treat – both inside the country and outside its borders | The New Humanitarian, Switzerland

Rates of Alcohol-induced Deaths Among Adults Aged 25 and Over in Urban and Rural Areas: United States, 2000–2018

Age-adjusted rates of alcohol-induced deaths among adults aged 25 and over were stable from 2000 to 2006, then increased 43% from 10.7 per 100,000 in 2006 to 15.3 in 2018 | CDC, USA

Changes in Adult Alcohol Use and Consequences During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US

This study examines individual-level changes in alcohol use and consequences associated with alcohol use in US adults, as well as demographic disparities, from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic | JAMA Network Open, 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

Would menthol cigarettes be banned if the typical consumer was young, white and upper-middle class?

Menthol could be exacerbating deep social inequities according to a paper just published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research | Medical Xpress, USA

The COVID-19 cannabis health study: Results from an epidemiologic assessment of adults who use cannabis for medicinal reasons in the United States

Clinical indications for medicinal cannabis include chronic conditions; thus users (MCUs) are at an increased risk of morbidity and mortality resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). The study aimed to provide data on cannabis use and self-reported behavioral changes among MCUs with preexisting chronic conditions in response to the pandemic | Journal of Addictive Diseases, USA

As a former marijuana smoker, the prime minister has plenty of company in New Zealand. But she stopped short of backing legalization in a referendum this month | New York Times, USA

Ann Arbor, Michigan Decriminalizes Psychedelics—But Cuts Key Defunding Provision

On September 21, the City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan voted unanimously to decriminalize naturally occurring psychedelics. It becomes the fourth US city in two years to adopt such a reform. However, lawmakers added a late amendment to the resolution that alters its scope | Filter Magazine, USA

California Renews Non-Rx Pharmacy Syringe Access—But How Accessible Are They?

Californians will continue to be permitted to purchase sterile syringes and needles at community pharmacies without a prescription, thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom’s September 29 signing of a bill to renew an exemption that would otherwise have expired at the close of the year | Filter Magazine, USA

Mexico, plagued by cartel wars, on cusp of legal cannabis 'green rush'

For Guillermo Nieto, a Mexican businessman who grew up smoking pot, the cannabis greenhouse on his family’s vast farmlands in Guanajuato state is part of a bigger dream. One that involves deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies | Reuters, USA

'It gave me back my life': Calgary Drug Treatment Court shows low recidivism rates, cost savings

76% of grads had no new substantive convictions after graduation | CBC News, Canada

'Our goal is to keep people safe': Saskatoon safe consumption site opens Thursday

The province’s first safe consumption site is ready to open Thursday | CTV News, Canada

Stepping up: A Vancouver fire department officer decided simply reversing overdoses was insufficient

When fentanyl began sweeping the local drug supply in the early years of B.C.'s overdose crisis, Vancouver’s fire department saw the effect acutely | Globe and Mail, Canada

Philip Morris CEO flags cigarette sales to end within 15 years

André Calantzopoulos made the announcement at the 2020 Concordia Annual Summit last week as he discussed the state of the industry | C store, Australia

Revealed: Drug law change sees sharp fall in drug users prosecuted; bias against Māori remains

A "watershed" change to drug laws last year has seen a significant drop in police prosecutions for drug use and an increase in warnings and alternative resolutions | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Collective Voice responds to the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review

The 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review was planned to set out the government’s financial settlement for departments over the next four years. However, the government has taken the decision to postpone the expected Autumn Budget in light of the Covid-19 crisis, and the future of the Comprehensive Spending Review, is not yet clear | Collective Voice, UK

Why Drinkaware campaigns on the link between alcohol and breast cancer

I read an important study recently on alcohol’s effects on breast cancer in women. In it, the authors share overwhelming evidence on the causal link between drinking alcohol and breast cancer, but they also give examples of studies that show public awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for breast cancer is still low | Drinkaware blog, UK

What happens to your body when you drink alcohol, from first sip to the morning after

[ Limited number of free articles per week] A fifth of Brits have been drinking four nights a week during lockdown but, with pubs closed at 10pm, this could be the time to cut back | Telegraph, UK

Will the Government assess the impact of drug seizures?

Recent weeks have seen a series of high profile drug busts in the UK. Some of these have been linked to a pan-European police infiltration of mobile phone networks (Operation Venetic), while others follow a Home Office-led operation to target county lines supply | Transform blog, UK

European Commission SCHEER scientific opinion on e-cigarettes - a guide for policymakers

On 23 September 2020, the European Commissions’ Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) provided its Preliminary Opinion on Electronic Cigarettes | The Counterfactual blog, UK

We need to talk about Ireland's problem with alcohol

The intersection of culture, age and alcohol is a risk for the future brain health of our country | RTe opinion, Ireland

The Implications for Individuals With Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19

Because it attacks the lungs, COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape. People with opioid use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use disorder may also be vulnerable due to those drugs’ effects on respiratory and pulmonary health | Future of Personal Health, USA