Daily news - 8th October 2020

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UK news

Youth smoking and vaping in Wales: Findings from the School Health Research Network 2019 Student Health and Wellbeing survey (PDF)

This report presents data on smoking and vaping obtained from 119,388 11-16 year olds from 198 secondary schools in Wales between September and December 2019. Prevalence estimates were explored by gender, school year, family affluence, and across local Welsh Health Boards. In 2019, 11% of 11-16 year olds reported ever having smoked a cigarette, while the proportion of adolescents smoking at least weekly remained at 4% | SHRN, UK

E-cigarettes: 'Young people vape less but still smoke'

E-cigarette use among young people has fallen for the first time in Wales, according to research by Cardiff University | BBC, UK

Stoptober campaign evaluation

Updated with 2019 campaign evaluation | PHE, UK

Coronavirus: When and how are pubs allowed to open?

Pubs in Scotland will be severely restricted under new measures announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to try to halt the spread of Covid-19 | BBC, UK

Benzos: What's Happening? - SDF and The Drug Deaths Taskforce webinar - video

Scottish Drugs Forum, with the Scottish Drugs Death Task Force, present two webinar events on the use of illicit benzodiazepines; the link with fatal drug overdoses; and means to address the challenge of benzodiazepine use in Scotland | SDF, UK

Celebrating Visible Recovery - audio

In the final episode of Hooked, Melissa and Jade speak about celebrating visible recovery | BBC, UK

What’s in a word? A forum on language, drugs, alcohol and the media - event

Tue, 20 October 2020. 10:00 – 12:00 BST. Join Adfam, Scottish Families, and the Scottish Recovery Forum for a conversation about language in the drug and alcohol sector and beyond | Adfam, UK

Great news for SMMGP

We are pleased to announce that our Clinical Director, Dr Steve Brinksman has been co-opted onto the Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) Technical Committee | SMMGP, UK

Drug dealers ‘regularly left calling cards at university flats’ as three students die

Local sellers dropped self-made ads under doors, directing students to Instagram accounts where they could order ketamine and MDMA | Independent, UK

'Untouchable' county lines dealers claiming slavery to escape justice

[Limited number of free articles per week] Rising tide of violence as police and prosecutors fail to investigate youths' defence of trafficking, report warns | Telegraph, UK

County Meath: Police seize drugs, cash and guns

Irish police have seized drugs with an estimated street value of more than 950,000 euros (£868,000) | BBC, UK


International news

New Zealand Cannabis Referendum 2020 - webinar

Thu, 8 October 2020, 20:00 – 21:30 BST. On Saturday the 17th of October, the nation of New Zealand will host a referendum on whether to legalise cannabis or to keep it criminalised | Drug Science, UK

QMJC September 2020 - College student knowledge of blackouts and implications for alcohol intervention: A qualitative analysis

In this article the authors examine college students’ knowledge of blackouts (“periods of alcohol-induced anterograde amnesia”) due to drinking and investigate their suggestions for intervening on this risk behaviour, through discussions in eight focus groups | SSA, UK

The talking route to recovery

Online course on treatment research begins its look at therapies in which human interaction is the intended active ingredient – ‘psychosocial’ therapies, the mainstay of alcohol dependence treatment. Read about the American Psychological Association’s “impressively wise overview” - but question their list of the most important things to do in therapy - and explore the implications of unexpected findings from the largest UK trial | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Elderly couple kidnapped, smuggled into Canada and held hostage by ‘cocaine ring'

‘My understanding from the family is that they’re shook up, but doing fine,’ says friend Justus Martin | Independent, UK

Cheap booze: Government still stalling on minimum alcohol pricing as limits on off-licence hours unlikely

A minister has said it would risk “undermining the effectiveness” of minimum pricing if it’s not implemented at the same as Northern Ireland | Journal, Ireland

Drug-related homicide in Europe: data protocol

This report is part of the EMCDDA activity around the development and improvement of drug supply indicators, which are designed to reflect developments in drug markets as well as the markets’ wider harms and impact. The protocol in this document provides a framework for standardised drug-related homicide data processing, allowing an improved understanding of the broader ramifications of drug markets and international comparisons | EMCDDA, Portugal

Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine: United States, 2009–2018

The rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine was stable between 2009 and 2013, then nearly tripled from 1.6 per 100,000 in 2013 to 4.5 in 2018 | CDC, USA

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

Study finds older adults using cannabis to treat common health conditions

Data indicates 61 percent of patients who used cannabis began after age 60 | EurekAlert, USA

SJC expands insanity defense to include chronic alcohol or substance abuse

The state’s high court Wednesday expanded what is commonly known as the insanity defense to include people suffering from the psychological impacts of chronic abuse of alcohol or drugs | Boston Globe, USA

We Are Nurses, Not Police. The US Methadone System Expects Otherwise

Recent public attention to police brutality, systemic racism and oppression has brought calls for changes to a policing structure that manifestly fails to promote community health and safety | Filter Magazine, USA

Public Injection Isn’t the Problem—It’s Stigma and Prohibition

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for police to double down on the war on drug users while speaking to reporters about law enforcement in the state | Filter magazine, USA

Field Trip Health, Another Psychedelic Therapy Company, Goes Public

Welcome to the era of psychedelic stocks. Toronto-based Field Trip Health became the third psychedelic therapy and drug development company to hit the public markets on Tuesday | Forbes, USA

Clinical characteristics of patients with alcohol dependence comorbid with hypertension among regular drinkers: An internet-based, cross-sectional study in Japan

[Open access] While evidence suggests a strong association between alcohol and hypertension, little is known about the profile of patients with alcohol dependence comorbid with hypertension. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics and health problems of this population through a web-based questionnaire survey using a research company’s panel of adults in Japan | Alcohol, USA

Sackville drugstore giving out tools to make injection drug use safer

Guardian pharmacy gives out more than 1000 clean needles in six weeks to rural drug users | CBC News, Canada

Alcohol & Other Drug National Workforce Survey 2019-2020

Findings are now available from the first national survey of the AOD workforce for over 10 years | NCETA, Australia

Legalising cannabis in Aotearoa New Zealand: What does the evidence say?

To help people decide how they will vote in the upcoming referendum, we have summarised what we know about the possible impacts of legalising cannabis | Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Hope on the Fringe

I confess to having always enjoyed party conference season. This is an annual ritual where the main UK political parties gather at a major city with the aim being to enthuse their membership and map out a vision attractive to the voting public | NSP blog, UK

The evidence behind medical cannabis – where are we now?

We have seen that there is early promise for medical cannabis in the clinical setting, but there is currently not enough high-quality clinical data to support further guidance | Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, UK