Daily news - 13th October 2020

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UK news

New studies identify risk factors associated with alcohol-related cirrhosis

A consortium, involving researchers from the University of Liverpool, has published two new studies that identify risk factors associated with alcohol-related cirrhosis | University of Liverpool, UK

Coronavirus: When and how are pubs allowed to open?

Pubs in parts of England placed under ''very high'' alert for coronavirus transmission must close, unless they operate as a restaurant | BBC, UK

Behind The Scenes | Club Drugs - event

Thurs, 22 October, 2020 at 9:30am BST. Led by a member of our engagement team this Behind The Scenes event will explore how we have been reacting to the changing face of new psychoactive substances and 'club drugs' over the past few years, as well as exploring our continued outreach work engaging with festivals and night clubs to provide harm reduction support to the masses | BDP, UK

Women in Psychedelic science - 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

What’s Your Poison? - event

Five free streamed talks, open to all, exploring the history of specific intoxicants. Seminars will take place on Wednesdays at 1–2pm UK time (BST/GMT) over the secure and user-friendly platform Crowdcast. Find out more and book your slot below; spaces are limited so don’t delay, choose your poison today…| Intoxicating Spaces, UK

Driver 'swerving' on M6 Toll near Lichfield had '£20k cocaine'

A search of the vehicle, which Aden was driving without insurance, uncovered a cannabis grinder from a black bag and a block of a "hard, white substance" in a carrier bag in an internal compartment | BBC, UK


International news

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 12 October 2020

Criminal justice outcomes five years after treatment generate discussion about the potential limitations of ‘time-limited’ treatment. Prevention of alcohol-related harm across the life course highlighted with examples of risk-reduction efforts before a child is born and during the teenage years. Emergency departments test intervention for distributing the ‘overdose antidote’ naloxone to patients at risk of future overdoses | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

A New Robot Dealer Service Makes Buying Drugs Easier Than Ever

The Televend service, available on Telegram, automates the entire process and is open for business 24/7 | VICE, UK

The 'Acid King' Convicted of Running the Biggest LSD Ring in History

A new book tells the story of William Leonard Pickard, who was accused of manufacturing enough acid for 400 million trips | VICE, UK

The impact of nationwide alcohol ban during the COVID‐19 lockdown on alcohol use‐related internet searches and behaviour in India: An infodemiology study

[Open access] To control the spread of COVID‐19, India imposed a nationwide lockdown in phases including lockdown 1.0 (25 March–14 April) and 2.0 (15 April–3 May). Among other restrictions, it involved a complete ban of alcohol sales. We aimed to examine and interpret the changes in online search interest for keywords representing different alcohol‐related themes during the lockdown period in India | Drug and Alcohol Review, UK

No starting date set for minimum unit pricing on alcohol

Two years after legislation passed, ‘difficult stuff’ not done, says Alcohol Action Ireland | Irish Times, Ireland

Over €1.4 million worth of cannabis seized in Dublin

The drugs were found following the search of a premises in Coolock last Friday | Journal, Ireland

Electronic cigarette use and tobacco cigarette smoking initiation in adolescents: an evidence review

In 2013, the Tobacco Policy Review Group published Tobacco Free Ireland, a report which set a target for Ireland to reduce smoking prevalence to less than 5% by 2025. Since e-cigarettes’ launch in the European Union (EU) in 2006... research on their potential benefits in terms of tobacco-related harm reduction, and on the public health harms of e-cigarettes, has grown. This systematic evidence review outlines what is known to date about using e-cigarette and initiation smoking tobacco cigarettes | HRB, Ireland

A New EU Drug Strategy is Being Prepared by the German Presidency

The new security-focused EU Drugs Agenda proposed by the EU Commission was criticised by civil society and member states. The German EU presidency is now in charge of revising it | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Majority of tobacco giants failing to advance harm reduction

The first Tobacco Transformation Index, released last week and made possible with funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, finds that the majority of the 15 largest tobacco companies are not making substantive progress in phasing out cigarettes and other high-risk tobacco products and transitioning smokers to reduced-risk alternatives | Cape Business News, South Africa

More young adults are abstaining from alcohol

Between 2002 and 2018, the number of adults aged 18-22 in the U.S. who abstained from alcohol increased from 20% to 28% for those in college and from about 24% to 30% for those not in school, say researchers at the University of Michigan and Texas State University. And alcohol abuse among both groups decreased by roughly half | Medical Xpress, USA

Two deaths a day: S.F. drug overdoses fueled by fentanyl are spiking, figures show

At the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office, the bodies just keep coming. Roughly two every day. Each one requires yet another autopsy and yet another call to a devastated family with the same terrible message: Your loved one died of a drug overdose | SF Chronicle, USA

Addiction Audio: Reefer Madness with Wayne Hall

In the podcast, Professor Wayne Hall from the UQ National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research, talks about the 1939 melodrama film Reefer Madness | University of Queensland, Australia

Endgame: centre hopes to stamp out smoking in Australia

A roadmap to eradicate cigarette smoking in Australia will be the focus of a new University of Queensland and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)-funded $3 million Centre of Research Excellence | University of Queensland, Australia

CREATE a new path to a smoke-free Australia

IN 1950, two landmark articles were published by researchers in the United States and the United Kingdom demonstrating the relationship between smoking and lung cancer. Yet, today, 70 years later, tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death globally | MJA, Australia

Holding the line

Don’t give in to pressure to water down proposed regulations around prescription-only vaping, e-cigarettes, Senator tells government | AJP, Australia

Cannabis referendum: Medical Association now neutral

The New Zealand Medical Association has backtracked on its stance opposing the cannabis referendum, and apologised to doctors who feel they were misrepresented. It now says it is not taking a position on the referendum | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Medical Cannabis | Opportunities and Obstacles

Despite prohibition and negative stigma over the past century, enthusiasm is growing for cannabis as a good treatment choice for many patients | CMC, UK

Rising supermarket sales mask overall decline in alcohol sales during lockdown

As the country was just entering a nationwide lockdown in response to COVID-19 we all became familiar with photos of shelves stripped of products | Portman Group blog, UK

The Trip Report 12/10

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

What if a Pill Can Change Your Politics or Religious Beliefs?

A new mental health treatment using the psychedelic compound psilocybin raises questions about medicine and values | Scientific American opinion, USA

COVID changed the way we use drugs and alcohol — now it’s time to properly invest in treatment

During crises and disasters, alcohol and other drug use often changes. But the changes are not straightforward and impacts may be different for different groups of people | Conversation, Australia

Annual Overdose Report 2020: Guest piece by John Ryan, CEO Penington Institute

Penington Institute’s Annual Overdose Report 2020, released on International Overdose Awareness Day, has revealed that close to 11,000 Australians have died of overdoses in just five years | Pain Australia, Australia