Daily news - 10th September 2020

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Almost half of Britons drinking more due to Covid, survey finds

Loneliness, depression and anxiety behind rise, with 44% of cannabis users also smoking more | Guardian, UK [See more in International and Blogs sections below]

Cancard: backed by police, designed with doctors, made for patients

From 1 November this year, over 1 million adults will be eligible to apply for a new exemption card, Cancard, which has been designed by medical cannabis patients to protect them from prosecution | CDPRG, UK

Drug Consumption (Safe Facilities Report)

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the United Kingdom Government regarding the Scottish Affairs Committee report on safe drug consumption facilities | They work for you, UK

Men and Alcohol: Key Issues

The Men and Alcohol: Key Issues report summarises the contributions and key findings and presents recommendations for research, policy and practice from the SHAAP and Institute of Alcohol Studies 2019/2020 'Men and Alcohol' seminar series | SHAAP, UK

‘Dual diagnosis’: is the chasm in service provision getting bigger?

It’s the widest and most persistent chasm in the UK’s substance use and mental health service provision – caring for people with both sets of problems, the major part of the substance use caseload. At the turn of the millennium, government’s aim was not just to make progress, but to engineer a “radical rethink” | They work for you, UK

Low & no alcohol sales surge as part of Brits’ ‘behavioural change’

Shoppers have spent a whopping £5.4m on low & no spirits since the start of 2020 – a whopping 19% (£880k) rise on the same period last year – with £3.5m of that spend happening since the beginning of lockdown, latest Nielsen data reveals [w/e 15 August 2020] | The Grocer, UK

NHS APA conference lives sessions

The NHS Addictions Provider Alliance have made recordings of the sessions from their virtual conference held on 9th September available online | NHS APA, UK

Monitoring and reporting drug-related deaths; Dr Copeland of NPSAD talks to the SSA

Dr Copeland: “NPSAD is The National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths which was started in 1997 partly with direction from the Home Office to collate and analyse information on drug-related deaths across the UK | SSA, UK

You have a choice - John - video

September 2020 is Recovery Month across the world and Turning Point have many activities planned to celebrate those that are in recovery and encourage anyone looking for support with addiction to reach out and start their recovery journey | Turning Point, UK

Recovery College Summit

Fri, September 25, 2020. 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM BST. A half-day online Recovery College Summit with like-hearted people who hail from all parts of the recovery ecology | Recovery College, UK

Drug and alcohol problems in remote and rural Scotland: responding during Covid and beyond - webinar

Friday 11  September 13:00-14:00. Rural and remote Scotland presents unique and persistent challenges in the delivery of services. Innovations and hard-won progress have meant unique local service configurations have developed over the years | SDF, UK

Cornwall's Drug Dealers Are Teaming Up to Combat Big City Drug Gangs

With more urban gangs selling drugs in the UK's rural areas than ever before, drug dealers on the south-west coast are uniting to fight back | VICE, UK

Four charged over cross-Channel cocaine seizures

Four men have been charged with drugs smuggling after Border Force seized two cocaine hauls at Dover on the same day | BBC, UK

Three jailed over £2.6m Lancashire cannabis farm

Three men who ran a £2.6m cannabis farm from a trading estate in Lancashire have been jailed | BBC, UK

'County lines' drug ringleader jailed for 21 years

The leader of a sophisticated multi-million pound drug supply network has been sentenced to 21 years in prison | BBC, UK

Weapons seized by Cheshire Police as seven arrested in drugs raids

Police have seized weapons and made seven arrests in dawn raids following an 18-month investigation into drugs gangs | BBC, UK


International news

GDS: the world’s largest drug survey

The GDS Special Edition on COVID-19 was developed as part of a global effort to better understand the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives with a specific focus on the use of alcohol and other drugs, mental health and relationships. Over 55,000 people took part. The survey ran for 7 weeks in (May – June 2020) See the GDS COVID-19 Special Edition: Key Findings Report| GDS, UK

GDS 2020: Are psychedelics your medicine?

Last year GDS2019 explored the acceptability of psychedelics in psychiatry. While those with past experience of these substances were much more likely to choose psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, amongst those without such personal experience, myths about harms such as brain damage were identified as significant barriers to acceptance | GDS, UK

Nearly half of Australians are drinking more alcohol during the coronavirus pandemic - and cannabis use has increased too

Two in five Australian survey respondents reported drinking more alcohol since February, while about half of the cannabis-users surveyed said they increased their consumption over the same period | Mail Online, UK

International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders are lifelong physical, behavioural, and cognitive disabilities caused by foetal exposure to alcohol. In a special bulletin created to mark International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day, Drug and Alcohol Findings presents the evidence and background on how ‘alcohol-exposed’ pregnancies can be prevented | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Principles for the responsible legal regulation of cannabis

In recent years, discussions on the legal regulation of drugs – and in particular of cannabis – have moved in from the margins of drug policy debates. As of today, over 50 countries have adopted regulatory frameworks for medical cannabis, while a growing number of jurisdictions have regulated adult non-medical use, with many more poised to follow | IDPC, UK

Medicinal cannabis could be available prescription-free in Australia by next year - but you won't be able to smoke it

The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced plans to amend Poisons Standard for cannabidiol to give patients easier access to the drug over the counter | Mail Online, UK

Bollywood star Rhea Chakraborty in custody over drug allegations

Actor accused of supplying drugs to her boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput, who killed himself in June | Guardian, UK

The association of waterpipe tobacco smoking with later initiation of cigarette smoking: a systematic review and meta-analysis exploring the gateway theory

There is a concern that waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) can lead to the later initiation of cigarette smoking, a concept referred to as the ‘gateway theory’. The objective of the study was to systematically review the literature for the association of WTS with later initiation of cigarette smoking | BMJ Tobacco Control, UK and Lebanon

No amount of alcohol at any stage of pregnancy is safe for your baby, HSE experts advise

The HSE Health and Wellbeing, Alcohol programme is hosting a webinar for health professionals about international Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day, (today 9th September). The webinar’s purpose is to share and raise awareness about the latest evidence and practice in relation to preventing and responding to FASD | HSE, Ireland

Minister Feighan welcomes clarification that drug and alcohol support groups can continue to operate

Sligo/Leitrim TD and Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan has today welcomed clarification that drug and alcohol support groups, such as AA, NA or Smart Recovery in Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and North Roscommon, are not subject to the recently introduced regulations relating to indoor events, which limit attendees to no more than six people | Letrim Observer, Ireland

Youth e-cigarette use is down, but 3.6 million still use e-cigarettes

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with various partners, released two papers today in Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) highlighting recent changes in U.S. e-cigarette use and sales | CDC, USA

Tobacco smoke-exposed children have higher rates of hospital admissions

Children who are exposed to tobacco have higher rates of hospital admissions after visiting emergency departments or urgent care facilities, according to a new study by University of Cincinnati researchers | News Medical, USA

Researchers use virtual reality to train bystanders to respond to overdoses

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a virtual-reality video that trains people to give overdose victims naloxone, the lifesaving opioid-reversal medicine. And a study the researchers conducted shows the virtual training works as effectively as an in-person session | Medical Xpress, USA

Reformulated OxyContin's benefit against abuse remains unclear a decade later

A decade after Purdue Pharma LP changed OxyContin in an attempt to make it more difficult to abuse, U.S. health officials found there isn't enough evidence to show an overall benefit | Medical Xpress, USA

Association of Alcohol-Induced Loss of Consciousness and Overall Alcohol Consumption With Risk for Dementia

The findings of this study suggest that alcohol-induced loss of consciousness is a long-term risk factor for dementia among both heavy and moderate drinkers | JAMA Network, USA

STASH, Vol. 16(9) - Does substance use change what you are like?

Huxley’s reflections on ingesting mescaline in 1953 has much in common with how many people talk about psychoactive drugs today, such as in the recent Netflix series The Midnight Gospel. But can substance use actually change your personality or your attitudes towards life? | BASIS, USA

The Incredible Story of Zürich’s Journey to Harm Reduction

Drugs, troublemaking, bad grades. At the close of 1968, Sidi was expelled from school. Now, the party could begin in earnest | Filter Magazine, USA

Addictions recovery home in Cape Breton encourages healing through gardening

An addictions recovery home in Cape Breton has recruited an expert from Slovakia to help women heal through gardening and farming | CBC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Forget the stereotypes. Our survey shows many young people are drinking less alcohol in lockdown

Lockdown and other public health measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 haven’t driven us all to drink (and other drugs), as many news stories would have us believe | Conversaton, Australia and UK

I was terrified lockdown would send me back to the bottle. The reality proved fantastically different

When my alcohol addiction was at its worst, I went from my bed to the supermarket and back, and my house felt like a prison. In lockdown I learned to love where I live | Guardian, UK

Addiction treatment shrinks during the pandemic, leaving people with nowhere to turn

COVID-19 has overshadowed the U.S. opioid crisis, but that doesn’t mean opioid addiction has gone away. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis has gotten worse. Drug overdose death rates rose 13% in the first half of 2020. COVID-19 threatens to dismantle an already frayed addiction treatment system, creating a crisis on top of a crisis | Conversation, USA

How a Pandemic has Shifted the Conversation Around Harm Reduction

COVID-19 has drastically impacted our country at a time when we were already facing another public health crisis — the opioid epidemic. The Wellbeing Trust estimates an increase of 75,000 ‘deaths of despair’ from suicide or substance use due to the pandemic and its social implications | in Training, USA