Daily news - 25th September 2020

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UK news

Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey 2019: Substance Use (Smoking, Alcohol & Drugs)

Initial results from the smoking, alcohol and drugs modules in the 2019 Young Persons Behaviour and Attitudes Survey, Northern Ireland | Department of Health (Northern Ireland) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, UK

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Updated in line with regulations limiting the number of people permitted to attend a support group to 15 | PHE, UK

2020 Comprehensive Spending Review: Joint representation on local public health funding to HM Treasury (PDF)

Despite continued rhetoric that “prevention is better than a cure”, 1 funding for the functions and services that prevent ill-health, improve population health and enable community health creation continues to be threatened. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, local public health services were struggling to keep up with growing demand and health inequalities were widening. [Letter signed by 55 charities in the public health sector] | Cancer Research UK, UK

Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support

AFS has produced guidance for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) and Public Health teams on Alcohol Death Reviews. These are reviews of cases where people have died, undertaken collaboratively with statutory, third sector and recovery community input. They examine how systems could adapt to better meet the needs of people who are at risk of dying, now or in the future | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

New research finds smokers more likely than non-smokers to be without work, and to earn less when in work, forfeiting £14bn a year in lost income

A new analysis by Landman Economics for health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) finds that the collective impact of joblessness and lower earnings for smokers amounts to £14.1bn a year | ASH, UK

Lockdown: Pubs to stay open after 10pm for 'orderly close'

Pubs in Wales will not have to close at 22:00 as was thought - but will have to stop serving alcohol at this time | BBC, UK

Prescription of alcohol in emergency homeless hotel accommodation during the COVID-19 lockdown

During the COVID-19 lockdown in London, a number of people experiencing rough sleeping were temporarily housed in emergency hotel accommodation across the capital. As part of the city-wide substance misuse approach, individuals at risk of unplanned alcohol withdrawal were prescribed, provided with and purchased alcohol as a means of harm reduction | SSA, UK

Dangerous Driving: Sentencing

As set out in the government’s White PaperA Smarter Approach to Sentencing, we will be increasing the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs to life imprisonment | They work for you, UK

County lines and child criminal exploitation - EDM

That this House is alarmed at the expansion of county lines networks, recently exacerbated by covid-19; calls for clarification of laws to ensure that all young people who are groomed, coerced and controlled into committing crime are recognised as victims of trafficking and exploitation | UK Parliament, UK

Sturgeon to ask Johnson for cash to close Scotland's pubs against Covid

Nicola Sturgeon is asking Boris Johnson for the financial firepower to let her close Scotland’s pubs after admitting the new 10pm curfew isn't good enough | Herald, UK

It's all about the partnership - video

Our strategic partnership group representing Royal Voluntary Service, We Are With You, Addiction NI, Developing a Caring Wales and the Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team from Uni of Bedfordshire explore what makes a good partnership | Drink Wise, Age Well, UK

Will the FCA's new plan mean cannabis companies can come in from the cold?

How does the UK’s legal and financial establishment feel about the cannabis industry? | City AM, UK

APPG report lays bare “disastrous impact” of VI-1s

A new report from a committee of MPs into the impact of VI-1 wine import certificates has warned that the red tape will cause chaos and price hikes | Harpers, UK

Investigating THC Syrup: Cannabis with the Consistency of Cough Medicine

Weed in liquid form has hit the UK, but is it a sweet dream or a damp squib? We explored the who, the how and the high | VICE, UK

County lines raids: 1,000 arrests and £1.2m drugs seized

More than 1,000 people have been arrested and an estimated £1.2m worth of drugs seized in a police crackdown on so-called "county lines" gangs | BBC, UK

Eleven Met officers injured in Barnet drugs raid were 'all armed police'

They were all injured by a substance, believed to be sulphuric acid, in Barnet on Wednesday afternoon but have all been discharged from hospital | BBC, UK

Greek prison Scot Conor Howard granted bail over drugs charge

Conor Howard was detained at the airport in Corfu at the end of August on his way to visit his parents in their holiday home | BBC, UK


International news

Concurrently addressing two risk factors for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy

Now added to the Effectiveness Bank, an analysis of a programme subsequently rolled out across the United States for women at high risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy. What do the findings tell us about the risk-reduction impact of trying to increase motivation and commitment to change both risky drinking and ineffective contraception use? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Gardaí seize €3.5 million worth of cocaine in north Dublin

Officers from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) conducted a search at a location in Swords, Dublin, where they found the drugs | Journal, Ireland

Public consultation on the preliminary Opinion on electronic cigarettes

The European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) publish today the preliminary Opinion on electronic cigarettes. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on the scientific evidence online before 26 October 2020 | European Commission, Belgium

Young People in Drug Policy Advocacy Part 1: Stop “Protecting” Young People From Drugs and Start Listening to Them

It’s common for governments to use ‘protecting the youth’ as a justification for punitive drug policies. The policies governments are propagating, however, are not evidence-based and show little knowledge of how young people use drugs | Drug Reporter, Hungary

FDA adds abuse warning to labels for Xanax, Valium

Reacting to an upsurge in abuse of benzodiazepine sedatives such as Valium, Xanax and Ativan, U.S. officials on Wednesday added a "Boxed Warning" to the drugs' labels, cautioning about the danger | Medical Xpress, USA

Three genes predict success of naltrexone in alcohol dependence treatment

Considering a patient's genetics could inform clinicians which medications would be most effective in controlling cravings and treating alcohol use disorder | Medical Xpress, USA

Combination of alcohol and nicotine during pregnancy increases health risk in newborns

University of Houston researchers have found that during early pregnancy, the mix of alcohol and nicotine significantly alters the gene regulatory pathways of the developing fetus, which can lead to major deficiencies in brain development | News Medical, USA

LBG individuals use stimulants at higher rates than heterosexuals

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals report higher rates of medical, non-medical, and illegal stimulant use compared to heterosexuals, mirroring patterns seen in other substance use | EurekAlert, USA

Q&A: COVID-19 is worse for drug users, according to survey

Is the COVID-19 pandemic likely to affect the health and well-being of people who use illicit drugs such as opioids, cocaine and methamphetamines? Yes, and it's a key public-health issue, says Sarah Larney, a newly recruited researcher at the Center de recherche du Center hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) | Medical Xpress, Canada

The Shameful Closure of North America’s Busiest Safe Consumption Site

We Canadians may like to think of ourselves as more progressive than our southern neighbours when it comes to drug policy | Filter Magazine, Canada

Northern B.C. has the highest overdose death rate in the province. For one grieving mom, enough is enough

Nicole Lindsay, whose son died of drug poisoning, wants the next provincial government to save more lives | CBC News, Canada

Synthetic drugs re-emerge in NZ after spate of deaths, prompting urgent warnings

The synthetic cannabinoid AMB-FUBINACA has re-emerged in New Zealand, prompting urgent warnings from health experts | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Geoff Leeming obituary

My former colleague Geoff Leeming, who has died aged 76, lived and worked in Plymouth for nearly 50 years, contributing to the lives of vulnerable people through his work with Devon Probation Service and then at the Harbour Centre, Plymouth’s substance misuse charity | Guardian, UK

The 'new normal' for children affected by their parent's drinking: what's happening and how can we help?

Piers Henriques from charity Nacoa asks what's happening to the hundreds of thousands of UK children living with a heavy-drinking parent during COVID-19, and how they can get the support they need and deserve | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Support is needed for drinkers most at risk of harm from alcohol, says Drinkaware

Last week, Drinkaware published its annual impact report, which shines a light on our activities and impact throughout 2019. From community interventions to large-scale awareness campaigns, Drinkaware reached more than nine million people through our website and social media alone... | Portman Group blog, UK

The public health impact of Covid-19 beyond infection

In this article, Professor Maria Rosaria Galanti from Karolinska Institute provides her opinion on the adverse consequences of Covid-19 | EUSPR blog, France

The Points Interview: David Black

Psychedelic Tricksters: A True Secret History of LSD tells the story of various people who made that, beginning with the discovery of LSD’s hallucinogenic properties in 1943 by Albert Hoffman | Points blog, USA

Patterns of alcohol use in adolescents: early predictors and adulthood outcomes

Alcohol is one of the leading risk factors for death and disability in young people. Although people usually first start drinking alcohol at around 15-16 years of age, this can vary, and adolescents often follow different patterns or “trajectories” of drinking. The age at which an adolescent first consumes alcohol and how quickly they escalate their alcohol use may be important predictors of alcohol-related problems in early adulthood | NDARC blog, Australia