Daily news - 14th October 2020

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UK news

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2019 registrations

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales from 1993 onwards, by cause of death, sex, age and substances involved in the death. These statistics should be published at the above web address early this morning | ONS, UK

UK shoppers spend £261m more on alcohol amid Covid pub curfew

Supermarkets and corner shops are busiest since wave of stockpiling in March | Guardian, UK

Pub bosses prepare to launch legal challenge against ‘draconian and dramatic’ lockdown restrictions and demand government shows the scientific evidence they are based on

The UK hospitality industry is mounting a legal challenge to the government's lockdown restrictions, aiming to stop its plans to close pubs and other venues to tackle the rise in coronavirus cases | Mail Online, UK

25,000 fewer licensed premises open now than before lockdown

Britain has almost 25,000 fewer restaurants, pubs, bars and other licensed sites open than it did prior to Covid-19 lockdown in March, new research from CGA and AlixPartners has found | Morning Advertiser, UK

Coronavirus restrictions: Is a pasty enough to keep a pub open?

How much food makes a "substantial meal"? It's a question many people in Liverpool are asking themselves | BBC, UK

Youth Drug Diversion Scheme to be rolled out forcewide – Thames Valley

Thames Valley Police and partners are rolling out a drug diversion scheme for under 18’s forcewide as part of work being delivered by the Violence Reduction Unit. The scheme aims to reduce the harm caused by the use of drugs and drug related offences. It gives those young people found in possession of small quantities of illegal drugs the opportunity to take part in a tailored diversion to address their drug use as an alternative to facing prosecution | Thames Valley Police, UK

32. Drug Consumption Rooms with Peter Krykant - podcast

Peter Krykant previously used intravenous drugs whilst living homeless in Birmingham. His lived experience has shown him the benefits of drug consumption rooms; to prevent the spread of bloodborne diseases and protect people who use drugs from accidental overdose | Drug Science, UK

Benzos - What can be done? - SDF and the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce Webinar - video

Scottish Drugs Forum, with the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, hosted 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

Laughing gas 'can cause paralysis', warns Wales' top doctor

Chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton said the costs of misuse can be "astronomical" | BBC, UK


To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of smoking amongst the population in England during the COVID-19 pandemic | They work for you, UK

Brexit Bill 'likely' to mean court challenge for Scots minimum alcohol price

The Scottish Government is "likely" to face a court challenge if it seeks to raise the minimum alcohol price under controversial plans for a UK single market, MSPs have been warned | Scotsman, UK

Exploring new ways to support people

Andrew Cass, Services Manager at Wirral Ways to Recovery, explains how the service has been exploring new ideas and ways of working | Change Grow Live, UK 

Grief school: Substance Misuse

Fri Oct 30th, 9.00am, 45 minutes. This Grief School panel discussion brings together experts and those who’ve lost someone due to substance misuse, from drug addiction to alcohol-related illnesses. The discussion will be led by Jane Slater, Campaign Manager with Anyone’s Child (an initiative from Transform Drugs) | Grief School, UK

Refugees' experiences of harmful alcohol use - Report Launch

We warmly invite you to join us online on Tuesday 10 November 2020 from 14:00-16:00 GMT for the launch of a new University of Edinburgh and SHAAP report: Exploring the factors that influence harmful alcohol use through the refugee journey: a qualitative study | SHAAP, UK


The CJA Awards, now in its sixth year and generously supported by the Hadley Trust, celebrate outstanding individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution towards creating a fair and effective criminal justice system | CJA, UK

More than 1.5 million have gaming disorder as cases overtake problem gamblers

[Limited number of free articles per week] Problem gaming has overtaken gambling addiction as the number of people suffering 'disorder' hits more than 1.5 million | Telegraph, UK

Louth festival drug dealer 'wanted to make people happy'

A dealer caught with a stash of drugs at a music festival claimed he just wanted "to make people happy", a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020

Official Launch Event. Wednesday 4th November 2020 from 10:00am GMT / 12:00pm CAT, to 14:30 GMT / 16:30 CAT, with live- streaming from London, UK and Lilongwe, Malawi. GSTHR Executive Editor Harry Shapiro (UK) and Project Director Professor Gerry Stimson (UK) will introduce the report with a host of guest speakers from across the world | GSTHR, UK

Why professionals, depressed and anxious, are developing substance use disorders

The Covid-19 pandemic, with its own deadly consequences, is making the US drug epidemic even worse – and many of its victims include white-collar professionals | Guardian, UK

Bootleg alcohol kills 44 people in Turkey in past week, report says

Turks are going for cheaper liquor options as taxes rise on alcohol | Independent, UK

UN accused over failure to investigate 'war on drugs' killings in the Philippines

Human rights groups calling for a probe into president Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-narcotics crackdown say abuses continue | Guardian, UK

Alcohol Action Ireland welcome NO reduction in alcohol excise duties in Budget 2021; regret alcohol’s continued affordability

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, today (13 Oct) welcome that Budget 2021 has not reduced alcohol excise duties and that the Ministers, guided by public health alcohol policy, have not acquiesced to the extensive lobbying of the alcohol industry, who had sought a 15% reduction, which would have stimulated greater alcohol use | Alcohol Action Ireland, Ireland

The price of a packet of cigarettes is going up by 50 cent

It’s the fifth Budget in a row to see the price increase by that amount | Journal, Ireland

European Drug Report 2020: Key Issues - survey

This year, the European Drug Report consists of the Trends and Developments report (available in English) and a Key Issues publication (available in 24 languages). Feedback from our audiences is very valuable in the continuous process of improving our products. This is why we would like to invite you to answer our short survey. Please spare a few minutes to help us better understand your needs | Europa, Belgium

Corona concerns prompt thousands to quit smoking

Around 10 percent of Finland's population still smokes, according to the tobacco policy group ASH Finland | Yle, Finland

Evaluation of Respiratory Symptoms Among Youth e-Cigarette Users

In this cohort study of 7049 adolescents in waves 3 and 4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health, the odds of wheezing in the past 12 months were higher for adolescents who had used e-cigarettes during the past year compared with those who had not used e-cigarettes. In the adjusted model, the association of e-cigarette use with wheezing was not significant | JAMA Network, USA

Demographic Characteristics, Cigarette Smoking, and e-Cigarette Use Among US Adults

Understanding how electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are used by current, former, and never cigarette smokers may inform public health actions and tobacco regulations. Therefore, we examined the distribution of e-cigarette use, also called vaping, in the 2018-2019 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, the largest nationally representative tobacco use survey of US adults | JAMA Network, USA

A call for more comprehensive smoking cessation programs for cancer patients who smoke

Programs designed to help cancer patients stop using tobacco should be considered as important and impactful as providing the right drug at the right time and at the right dose to patients, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center | Medical Xpress, USA

“I Can’t Be Friends With You Anymore”—How Stigma Isolates Young Drug Users

One of the last memories I have of hanging out with my friend Jana (not her real name) was Halloween. We were in seventh grade, arguably too old to be trick-or-treating | Filter Magazine, USA

Elizabeth Warren Advocates to Formalize Barriers for Pain Patients

Five lawmakers, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, have renewed their demands for the DEA to double down on its policy of limiting pain patients’ access to their medication. Their position is premised on a misunderstanding of the ever-worsening overdose crisis—which is currently driven by an illicit heroin and stimulant supply adulterated by the synthetic opioid, fentanyl | Filter Magazine, USA

Windsor police first to respond to at least 14 overdose calls without life-saving drug that could prevent them

Arming certain units with naloxone being considered by Windsor police, union says | CBC News, Canada

Cigarettes on prescription flagged as part of bold new anti-smoking plan

Smokers could be made to buy cigarettes with a prescription or at a pharmacy, in a bold new anti-smoking plan aiming to phase out smoking in Australia | 7 news, Australia

Drivers using medicinal cannabis to get green light

Victoria's medicinal cannabis users could be free as early as next year to drive with the substance in their bodies as the state government considers major changes to drug-driving laws | Brisbane Times, Australia

Decriminalise cannabis and use the money to help drug addicts, retired psychiatrist says

Dr Stuart Bramhall, a former child and adolescent psychiatrist living in New Plymouth, wants a yes vote on the cannabis referendum in order to support publicly funded drug rehabilitation | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Addressing the social determinants of health: what can we do to tackle health inequalities

Amy Stephenson, Head of Health Wellbeing at Turning Point, considers how the COVID pandemic has shone a light on health inequalities and what we can do about it | Turning Point blog, UK

With more people seeking support for alcohol-related issues since the lockdown, the government must be prepared for the after effects

What legacy will the coronavirus lockdown leave on treatment services? With the numbers of those seeking support for their drinking on the rise, Laura Bunt, Deputy CEO at We Are With You explores how services have adapted to our changing world and what support from the government is needed | AHA UK blog, UK

Screen time is as addictive as junk food – how do we wean children off?

Social media addiction isn’t a failure of parenting. It’s a feature of the tech industry | Guardian opinion, UK

Boston’s future depends on solution for the Methadone Mile

There is a very alarming trend in Boston. We have the famous “Methadone Mile” in our city and the conditions in this area — known as “Mass and Cass” — are worsening. As a lifelong resident of this amazing city, I am saddened | Boston Herald, USA

Points Election Update

It almost seems, given the existence of much more pressing matters, that a Points election preview is not even worth our time. As a personal matter, I’ll take that stance explicitly at the end of all of this. But as a drug historian, writing to folks interested in drug policies, such matters are always worth some of our time | Points blog, USA