Daily news - 28th September 2020

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UK news


Stoptober is back for 2020, with the primary aim of encouraging the nation’s smokers to make a quit attempt for the month of October and beyond.For materials that can be used all year around, please visit our smoking cessation page.You will also find useful 'How To' guides here to support you in developing and planning marketing campaigns using resources from the Campaign Resource Centre | PHE, UK

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – Membership

Details of the council's committees and latest meeting minutes | ACMD, UK

Smoking, employability, and earnings

This report sets out findings from a analysis conducted by Landman Economics for ASH looking at the impact of smoking on employment and earnings in terms of lost income across the UK | ASH, UK

Insight: The coronavirus hangover and Scotland’s alcohol timebomb

Scotland faces a new health crisis, with support services faltering just as the nation has turned to alcohol to take the edge off the pandemic, writes Martyn McLaughlin | Scotsman, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing a levy on tobacco industry profits to achieve the Government’s objective for a smokefree England in 2030 | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Government has made on its ambition of a smokefree England in 2030 | They work for you, UK

Videos: Alcohol and mental health

A panel of experts explored how reshaping our relationship with alcohol can help us do better in challenging circumstances, like the ones we all face | Phil Cain, UK

Are you sober curious? How to give up or cut down on booze, for October and beyond

[Limited number of free articles per month] Reducing your alcohol intake doesn't have to be painful or boring, and the benefits will last far beyond the end of Sober October | Telegraph, UK

Labour MPs are demanding drug reform, and here's why

As data reveals disproportionate cannabis cautions for Black people, a Labour campaign backed by 20 MPs is calling for comprehensive drug reform. Campaign co-founder Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, explains why | Huck Magazine, UK

Professor Malcolm Lader OBE, 1936-2020

Professor Malcolm Lader OBE died on 7 August 2020 following a short illness. Professor Lader was a leader in addictions research with a focus on psychopharmacology. He became world renowned for his research on benzodiazepines when they were being promoted as a harm-free alternative to barbiturates. His work on dependence and withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs still informs clinical practice and research today | SSA, UK

Peter Krykant: A practical guide to safer drug consumption spaces - free event

Wed, 7 October 2020. 11:00 – 12:30 BST. Peter Krykant is a Glasgow activist motivated by the UK’s largest outbreak of HIV in thirty years condensed amongst PWID in Glasgow and Scotland’s Drug Death crisis, inspired by evidence and lifesaving projects from around the world Peter decided to set up an unregulated drug consumption van on the streets of Glasgow. Come and listen to him talk about his experience, what motivates him and how you can help | Recovering Justice, UK

Stop the Deaths Photo Project

The simple act of sharing a photo of yourself, colleagues or friends with the #StopTheDeaths logo spreads the initiative’s message wide across the globe - encouraging others to take notice, and take part | SDF, UK

Ex-drug addict who 'almost died' from ketamine addiction to conquer Mount Everest to celebrate recovery

Thomas Delaney, who lives in Glasgow, has developed an unlikely friendship with climbing legend Conrad Anker | Daily Record, UK

Teenage boy dies in York after taking drugs

Paramedics were called after he was found by a member of the public in an alley off Hospital Fields Road in York at 04:00 BST on Sunday | BBC, UK

Inquest into suicide of gambling addict will explore if UK state failed him

Parents of Jack Ritchie succeed in widening inquest to look at support for addicts and industry regulation | Guardian, UK

Leader of £58m Hunsdon drug smuggling ring jailed

A man said to have run the UK arm of a "truly massive" international drug-smuggling operation has been jailed | BBC, UK

County lines raids: Teenager arrested at Basingstoke train station

A 15-year-old boy was among those arrested in an operation against so-called "county lines" drug gangs | BBC, UK

How Victorians saw the plight of the poor through a moral lens

As a huge database of magic lantern stories go online, researchers reveal how they were used to educate, entertain … and deliver social propaganda | Guardian, UK


International news

'A miracle if anyone got clean': Australia's drug users fight for treatment during pandemic

Lockdown is a risky time for those battling addiction, and wait times for drug and alcohol treatment have ballooned | Guardian, UK

The feminisation of alcohol marketing

Blue means boy, pink means girl. Gendered signals like these begin the second we’re born and continue through the course of our lives. From childhood to adulthood, marketers use gendered stereotypes and tropes to convince us to buy their products – and it does seem to work | BBC, UK

Price of vice: Norway eyes cut in 'sin' tax on alcohol, sugar to spur spending

The Nordic country's ruling party has proposed cutting its famously high "sin" taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and sweets and other consumer goods after the coronavirus lockdown showed how much business is lost every year to Norwegians flocking to neighbouring Sweden to snap up such items at cheaper prices | Reuters, UK

Deepika Padukone: Bollywood star questioned in drugs case

Bollywood star Deepika Padukone is being questioned by India's narcotics board in an investigation linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput | BBC, UK

Pablo Escobar: Money hidden in wall found in drug lord's house

A nephew of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar has said he found a plastic bag with money worth $18m (£14m) hidden in the wall of one of his uncle's houses | BBC, UK

Day services for people who are homeless in Dublin: a review commissioned by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) (PDF)

Day services provide a range of non-accommodation related support services for homeless people and for people at risk of homelessness. Most day services support homeless people in meeting their basic needs | Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), Ireland

Cocaine addiction: Impact of genetic mutations elucidated

Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, Inserm and the Paris Public Hospital Network (AP-HP) recently demonstrated that two gene mutations involved in the conformation of nicotinic receptors in the brain appear to play a role in various aspects of cocaine addiction | EurekAlert, USA

Withdrawal syndrome following discontinuation of psychotropic drugs: What we know

Studies on psychotropic medications showed that psychotropic drugs including benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, ketamine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and gabapentin may cause withdrawal reactions which can occur after abrupt discontinuation or gradual tapering | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis use for menopause symptom management

New study documents increased use and interest in cannabis for managing menopause symptoms | EurekAlert, USA

New study highlights success of a mobile clinical and outreach van in helping people on the street with opioid addiction

A novel mobile health program created in early 2018 by the Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has proven to be an effective model for bringing opioid addiction treatment services directly to marginalized individuals, particularly the homeless, a population that faces the highest risk of near-term death from drug overdose | Medical Xpress, USA

New Mexico Survey: High School Students Are Vaping More And Smoking Less

In line with data from across the globe, newly released data New Mexico Department of Health 2019 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, have indicated that as vaping rates have increased, the use of other forms of tobacco has decreased | Vaping Post, USA

In a family plagued by addiction, I was determined to help my teen recover from surgery without opiates | NYTimes, USA

Medical Cannabis Use For Mental Health Increased During Covid-19 Pandemic, Study Finds

Covid-19 is taking a serious toll on mental health. Polls from the CDC and other organizations show that the pandemic has greatly increased mental health issues like anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts | Forbes, USA

Covid-19 Spurs Rise in Cigarette Smuggling, Japan Tobacco Says

The pandemic has sparked yet another problem, Japan Tobacco International Inc. warns: more illicit trade in cigarettes | Bloomberg, USA

Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms (2015–2017) [report]

This report provides a summary of key findings about the costs and harms of substance use in Canada from 2015 to 2017. Data include the costs of various substances such as alcohol, tobacco, opioids and cannabis. The data are also broken down into four categories: healthcare costs, lost productivity costs, criminal justice costs and other direct costs | CCSA, Canada

Toronto's Drug Checking Service

[New website] Toronto’s drug checking service offers people who use drugs timely and detailed information on the contents of their drugs, helping them to make more informed decisions. This service also shares information on Toronto’s unregulated drug supply with harm reduction workers and clinicians to help them tailor the care they provide to people who use drugs, while informing research and policy | Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, Canada

Pharmacists push to include naloxone kit with every opioid prescription - video

A group of Canadian pharmacists want to make it mandatory for anyone who purchases an opioid prescription from a pharmacy, to also receive a naloxone kit and be shown how to use it | CityNews, Canada

Low level alcohol use during pregnancy can impact child's brain development

New research from the University of Sydney finds that even low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have an impact on a child's brain development and is associated with greater psychological and behavioural problems in youth including anxiety, depression and poor attention | EurekAlert, Australia

Vaping and e-cigarette study hopes to uncover any effects on lung health or exercise ability

Over 200,000 Australians have either taken up the habit or switched from traditional cigarettes, but the effect e-cigarettes have on people's health and lung function still remains a mystery to researchers | abc.net.au, Australia

It's one year since the ACT legalised weed. Here's how it's gone

Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the Australian Capital Territory legalising the possession, use and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis - an event that some predicted would lead to rampant stoned driving in the nation's capital | Triple J Hack, Australia

Is there ROOM for improvement? Development and outcomes of the Routine Opioid Outcome Monitoring study

This seminar provides an overview of the development of the Routine Opioid Outcome Monitoring Tool, and shares findings from a pilot implementation effectiveness study conducted with 23 pharmacies from New South Wales and Victoria | NDARC, Australia

The 2020 NDARC Annual Research Symposium

Thu 5th Nov 2020, 12:00 am - Thu 26th Nov 2020, 12:00 am AEDT. NDARC will host webinars every Thursday in November to showcase, ‘Research, policy and practice: Resilience through times of change.’ | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The children arrested in county lines drugs operations are the real victims

Vulnerable teenagers are being exploited in moving crack cocaine and heroin from urban to rural areas. Success should not be measured by the number of children arrested, but by the size of the market – which is thriving | Independent voices, UK

More Than My Past

More than My Past, run by the Forward Trust, is a national campaign. It places a spotlight on inspirational stories from people who have overcome offending and addiction. There are currently over 30 eye-opening stories on the site | The Exceptionals blog, UK

Dear Richard Madeley: 'How can I stop my partner drinking so much?'

[Limited number of free articles per month] I live in the north of England and my partner lives in Gloucester. We have a loving relationship and I am considering moving in with her there | Telegraph, UK

Opinion: We cannot let concerns about cross-border shopping stop us controlling a minimum price of alcohol here

Eunan McKinney of Alcohol Action Ireland says public health demands the commencement of minimum unit pricing must proceed | Journal opinion, Ireland

Opinion: The Double Standard for Nicotine and Cannabis

The U.S. House of Representatives may soon vote on a historic measure to end federal prohibition on cannabis | Prescott News, USA