Daily news - 14th September 2020

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UK news

‘It’s everywhere’ – alcohol’s public face and private harm: The report of the Commission on Alcohol Harm (2020)

The Commission on Alcohol Harm was established to examine the current evidence on alcohol harm, recent trends in alcohol harm and the changes needed to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. The Commission’s remit was also to examine the need for a new comprehensive alcohol strategy for England, which takes account of the strategies in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to consider UK-wide priorities in areas where policy is not devolved | AHA UK, UK

‘Hidden health crisis’ of drinking must be addressed as problem becomes ‘more urgent’ during covid

[Three free articles available a month] A new Government strategy is needed to tackle the issue and the conversation around drinking must change | Telegraph, UK

Home delivery firms blamed for enabling problem drinkers

Tighter rules needed on online alcohol orders to protect underage teenagers, warn charities | Guardian, UK

Research report YouGov / Portman Group survey on UK alcohol consumption post the COVID-19 lockdown (PDF)

Fears that the hospitality industry reopening would fuel an increase in drinking were unfounded. The vast majority of Brits are continuing to drink moderately and within Government low risk guidelines of 14 units a week | Portman Group, UK

Genetic links to drug and alcohol use among young people

Young people who are genetically predisposed to risk-taking, low extraversion and schizophrenia are more likely to use alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis, or other illicit drugs, according to a new UCL-led study | UCL, UK

Collaboration to identify novel treatments for alcoholic hepatitis

New research from Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction will harness CN Bio’s Liver-on-Chip technology to advance the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of alcoholic hepatitis and uncover novel targets for drug discovery and development | Imperial College London, UK

Call for action to prevent deaths from chronic diseases

Campaigners want more to be done to tackle tobacco use, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets | STV, UK

Watchdog tells Met Police that officers shouldn't stop and search just because they 'smell cannabis'

A police watchdog has ruled that officers shouldn't stop and search just because they smell cannabis - after upholding a complaint from a member of the public | MyLondon, UK

Peers call on Jenrick to explain opposition to smoke-free zones

Communities secretary echoed arguments of tobacco companies when he warned Manchester council over smoke-free zones | Guardian, UK

Tobacco: Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answers of 30 January 2020 to Question 8193 on Tobacco: Research and Question 8194 on Smoking, when the Government plans to announce the call for evidence to assess further the effectiveness of heated tobacco products in helping people to quit smoking and reducing associated health harms | They work for you, UK

Bibliography on COVID-19 and Addiction

This downloadable document lists articles found in PubMed from searches on 1 September 2020 involving addiction-related topics and COVID-19 | Addiction, UK

Professor Malcolm Lader OBE 1936-2020

Emeritus Professor Malcolm Lader OBE began his career as an MRC scientist at the (then) Institute of Psychiatry in the early 1960s, and he remained at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry for his working life. He was appointed Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 1978. He is best known for his studies on the dependence and abuse of benzodiazepines, which had a major impact upon the extent of their use as prescription medicines | KCL, UK

Hull rehab project fears future cuts to drug and alcohol budgets due to pandemic

A rehabilitation centre in Hull thinks fundraising will become even more crucial if the financial impact of the pandemic on local authorities leads to less money for drug and alcohol services | ITV, UK

Graham talks about rediscovering the things you enjoy - Recovery Month Tips - video

In this latest film Graham discusses how to rediscover activities you like and discovering new things. It’s also about focus and fulfilment | Humankind, UK

Bristol Beer Festival bears 'great' safety responsibility

About 600 tickets have been sold for the Bristol Craft Beer festival which is taking place at the Lloyds Amphitheatre this weekend | BBC, UK

The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund launches with £500,000

The Cambridge Building Society has today launched a charitable fund with initial funding from the Society of £500,000. The Fund is available for local groups, charities and organisations who need financial support with their work to tackle home and housing needs | Cambridge Building Society, UK

Grace Handling: Not proven verdict in teenager ecstasy death trial

A verdict of not proven has been reached in a trial against a teenager accused of killing a 13-year-old girl by supplying her with ecstasy | BBC, UK

Deeside: Liverpool-based gang used lie detectors, threats and drug 'hotline'

Eighteen members of a gang which flooded north Wales with millions of pounds of drugs have been jailed | BBC, UK

Drugs seized in Sheffield by team to tackle armed gangsters

A report by one of South Yorkshire's most senior officers tells the county's crime commissioner of increasing drug gang violence and use of firearms | BBC, UK

Cocaine worth £1m seized in investigation into suspected NI crime group

Five people have been arrested as part of an investigation into an NI crime group suspected of attempting to import cocaine worth £1m | BBC, UK

Mason Greenwood: Man Utd forward says nitrous oxide inhalation was 'poor judgement'

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood says it was "poor judgement" to inhale nitrous oxide, after "historical pictures" of him doing so were published by the Sun | BBC, UK


International news

AWAKN Life Sciences Launches Clinical Research Division with Prof. David Nutt & Dr. Ben Sessa Identifying Suitable Studies Across Europe & North America

AWAKN's purpose is broadening access to psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and integrating these services into mainstream mental healthcare in Europe across three business divisions of Clinical Research, Therapeutic Clinics, and Practitioner Training | Yahoo Finance, UK

Alcohol and junk food companies are exploiting the pandemic

Alcohol and junk food companies have used the pandemic to “ingratiate” themselves with the public and governments – yet their products are driving diseases that exacerbate a COVID-19 infection | Open Democracy, UK

Alarm over drug-related killings in Manila during Covid-19

There’s alarm in the Philippines over an escalation in shadowy killings during the pandemic in a suburb of the capital, Manila | BBC, UK

Prohibition in India - audio

How Indian women in the 1990s campaigned to stop the sale of alcohol in the state of Andhra Pradesh to protect women from domestic violence and safeguard family finances | BBC, UK

Jimmy Carter reveals his son smoked cannabis with Willie Nelson at the White House

Former US president recounts the story in documentary called ‘Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President’ | Independent, UK

Trump uses Fox News interview to accuse Biden of taking drugs

Fox News will broadcast an interview on Saturday night in which Donald Trump accuses Joe Biden of taking performance-enhancing drugs | Guardian, UK

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2019 (PDF)

NSDUH is a comprehensive household interview survey of substance use, substance use disorders, mental health, and the receipt of treatment services for these disorders in the United States. Approximately 67,500 persons are interviewed annually | SAMHSA, USA

Proclamation on Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, 2020

During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to ending the opioid crisis in our country, and we pledge to help our friends, family, and colleagues with addiction as they work toward a drug-free life | The White House, USA

Older patients at increased risk for substance use, comorbid psychiatric disorders

Substance use is increasing among elderly patients, a population also presenting with increasing needs related to comorbid psychiatric disorders, according to a presenter at the Psych Congress 2020 Virtual Experience conference | Healio, USA

National survey uncovers doctors' misconceptions about nicotine risks

According to a Rutgers-led national survey, most doctors misperceive the risks of nicotine, the addictive chemical in tobacco products | Medical Xpress, USA

Study on microdosing psychedelics finds benefits outweigh challenges

LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is a mind-altering substance in a class of drugs called hallucinogens. Experiments in the 1950s using LSD showed promise, in terms of psychological benefits, but were shut down due to social and political pressures. By 1966, this drug had become a symbol of counterculture. It was deemed illegal in the United States as a result of its increased recreational use | York University, Canada

Pakistan plans hemp production with eye on global cannabis market

Pakistan has unveiled plans to allow the industrial production of hemp, spurring hopes farmers and businesses in the conservative Islamic country will be able to tap into the lucrative global cannabis market | Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Naloxone National Reference Group

Current resources from the Naloxone National Reference Group or NNRG | NNRG, Australia

Drug on-the-spot fines save justice system thousands of dollars

Festival drug users being fined has saved the criminal justice system nearly $200,000 but experts say the scheme could be unfair to those in disadvantaged circumstances | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Australian cannabis coverage increases 18,850% in 11 years

We did the math. And triple-checked it because the stats seems completely unrealistic. But it stands – Australian-based cannabis news and articles per year has grown 18,850% since 2010 | Pondering Pot, Australia

Drug use drops sharply in Victorian prisons during COVID-19 visitor ban

Victoria's Department of Justice and Community Safety told nine.com.au the number of positive drug tests between March and August were less than a quarter of pre-lockdown levels | 9 News, Australia

'Mole' in the legal system: Jail for counsellor who swapped clean samples for drugs

A former drug counsellor has been jailed for more than a decade for brazen offending that undermined Victoria's legal system and included providing clients with clean urine samples in exchange for cash and drugs | The Age, Australia

Scientists warn vaping raises the risk of breast cancer

In another hammer blow to the vaping industry, scientists from a group of American universities, including Yale, Johns Hopkins and Princeton, found exposure to e-cigarette vapour creates a "tumour-promoting environment" in the breast and elsewhere in the body | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug deaths in Scotland are an epidemic – yet Westminster is blocking reform

Scottish proposals to deal with the worst fatality rate in Europe have been dismissed. This can only fuel calls for independence | Guardian opinion, UK

Alcohol and your brain: study finds even moderate drinking is damaging

It’s a well-known fact that drinking too much alcohol can have a serious impact on your health, including damaging your liver. But how much is too much? | Conversation, UK

If the government believes in ‘levelling up’, stop blaming individuals for making the ‘wrong choices'

Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking and poor diet do play a part in health, but they don’t have anywhere near the impact that social determinants do | Independent voices, UK

Launch of the Sapphire Clinics medical cannabis dermatological service

Sapphire Medical Clinics can offer treatment with medical cannabis to patients with rare and challenging skin conditions as the UK’s first dermatology service in this space | CDPRG blog, UK

Discussing the need for evidence-based drug policy

Science for Democracy co-founder and former Italian Senator Marco Perduca tells MCN about the need for evidence-based drug policy | Health Europa, UK

Drug policy is still trapped in the past

The chilling opening sequence of Chernobyl shows a control room on the brink of catastrophe: dials spin, walls shake, staff plead for a change of instruction | Transform Drug Policy Foundation, UK



And finally...

‘Pothead’ mouse pictured ‘comatose’ after gorging on cannabis leaves

Colin Sullivan, from New Brunswick, Canada found the animal passed out on it’s back after it stole the leaves from his plants for two days straight.