Daily news - 29th September 2020

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UK news

A quarter of adopted UK children affected by drinking during pregnancy

Survey by Adoption UK finds 17% of adopted children are suspected of having foetal alcohol spectrum disorder | Guardian, UK

Alcohol and drug use disorders in patients with cancer and caregivers: effects on caregiver burden

The aim of this study, supported by Alcohol Change UK, was to establish the prevalence of alcohol and drug use disorders in a large cohort of advanced cancer patients and their caregivers. Secondary aims were to evaluate the relationship between these problems and patient physical and psychological symptoms and carer burden. An overarching purpose of the study is to establish a large accurate dataset to determine if screening would be required for certain cohorts | Alcohol Change UK, UK

How has COVID-19 changed the use of illegal drugs? An overview of the results so far

Since we published our original article in May 2020, several large-scale studies have started to shed light on COVID-19’s impact on drug use across the world. Crudely, use of ‘party drugs’, including MDMA, cocaine, amphetamine and ketamine, has fallen during COVID-19, whereas use of cannabis, a drug commonly consumed in the home, has increased | SSA, UK

Mental health and health behaviours before and during the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdown: longitudinal analyses of the UK Household Longitudinal Study

There are concerns that COVID-19 mitigation measures, including the ‘lockdown’, may have unintended health consequences. We examined trends in mental health and health behaviours in the UK before and during the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdown and differences across population subgroups | BMJ, UK

Dundee's drug problem remains 'a challenge'

The Accounts Commission found improvements had been made in some areas but the city still has Scotland's highest rate of drug deaths | BBC, UK

Wales to ban smoking on sidelines of children's football

Welsh FA to ask junior clubs to adopt no-smoking rules for parents and other spectators | Guardian, UK

Covid: Parliament stops alcohol sales after 10pm

The Houses of Parliament has said it will not serve alcohol on its premises after 10pm despite not being subject to England's Covid-19 hospitality curfew | BBC, UK

Coronavirus: Early pub closing 'putting shop workers at risk'

Shop workers are being put at greater risk of violence, verbal abuse and coronavirus infection by pubs shutting at 10pm, a retail union has warned | BBC, UK

Precursor chemical licensing

Updated: Added a message about the current problems with the licence application system | Home Office, UK

New Forward initiative helps employers access Kickstart funding

The Forward Kickstart Programme will help organisations of all sizes across the UK to access Kickstart grants, even if they cannot offer the 30 placements required to qualify | Forward Trust, UK

University Chapel to light up for International Recovery Day

The whole of September is Recovery Month. The idea for this began in the US, and has been observed in the UK for more than a decade. It culminates in International Recovery Day on September 30 | University of Chester, UK

How Could Vaping CBD Help You to Quit Smoking?

Since their staggeringly successful introduction to the global market, vape products have established a reputation as an effective alternative to cigarettes. A growing number of smokers have successfully used vape products to quit smoking | Canex, UK

Jersey set for first medicinal cannabis clinic

The company, Medicann says it is training several doctors in the island to be pain specialists, who will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to private patients. The medicines would then be dispensed by an island pharmacy. Medicann says its clinic will be up and running in the next few weeks | ITV, UK

Medical Cannabis and the UK: Becoming a global leader - event

Sunday 4th October 2020.  7.00 – 8.30pm. Speakers: Jo Churchill MP, Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care (Invited). Michael Abbott, CEO, Columbia Care. Tony Diver, Daily Telegraph (Invited). Dr Mikael Sodergren, Imperial College. Henry Hill, Assistant Editor, ConservativeHome (Chair)| ConservativeHome in partnership with The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis

Wrexham drugs raids: Eight arrested in police operation

Officers from North Wales Police went to eight properties in Caia Park, Acton and Rhosddu as part of the Operation Lancelot drugs trade investigation | BBC, UK


International news

Dutch Developments: Coffeeshop Owner and Cannabis Cultivator sees Potential in Dutch ‘Weed Experiment’

With the ‘controlled cannabis supply chain experiment’ the Netherlands seems to be moving slightly towards legalisation. The experiment, starting in 2021, has been a widely discussed topic in the Dutch cannabis world | Volteface, UK

'Supporting Recovery - Supporting Communities' The Role of Recovery Month - webinar

Sep 29, 2020 03:00 PM in Dublin. Recovery Month 2020 - Reflections and Learning | Ballymun Recovery, Ireland

Statement on the EC Communication for the new EU Drug Agenda and Action Plan (2021-2025)

The EU Drug Agenda is an important milestone, which will set out the political framework, priorities and actions for implementing EU drugs policy over the next 5 years. As such it should respond to the challenges and needs in the area of drug policy and practice, build on previous efforts and relevant policy documents and allow sufficient opportunities for input and participation from civil society experts in the field | Correlation European Harm Reduction Network, The Netherlands

EMCDDA releases study findings on the impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, use and services in the eastern ENP region

The expansion of contactless drug dealing, the increase in the use of licit drugs and the adaptation of drug treatment protocols during lockdown are among the findings highlighted today in a new EMCDDA report [below] | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA trendspotter briefing: Impact of COVID-19 on drug markets, drug use, drug-related harms and responses in east European Neighbourhood Policy countries

Since the beginning of 2020, the world has been experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has led to the progressive introduction of social distancing and other control measures by national governments | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA and Kosovo seal new agreement in Pristina

The EMCDDA and Kosovo* are signing a new Working Arrangement today which will pave the way for greater cooperation on monitoring the drug phenomenon in Europe and beyond its borders. Dignitaries attending the ceremony in Pristina are: Kosovo’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Agim Veliu; Minister of Health, Armend Zemaj; and the new EU Ambassador in Kosovo, Tomaš Szunyog. EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel will participate in the ceremony virtually | EMCDDA, Portugal

11th European Society for Prevention Research Conference and Members'
Meeting - Make prevention science relevant for all: co-production and impact - free conference

7th - 9th October. The conference program our scientific committee led by Dr Elena Gervilla has prepared in the challenging circumstances this year is really stimulating. To our relief and pleasure a great number of abstracts have been submitted and will be presented in a variety of formats in this online event | EUSPR, Spain

Germany to ban cigarette street ads from 2022

 Germany will finally ban outdoor tobacco advertising from 2022, the parliament announced Friday, becoming the last country in the European Union to do so | ABS CBN, USA

International Recovery Day

Until now, recovery communities have been limited to uniting and celebrating recovery by holding local rallies, walks, and other events... We invite you to join our International Recovery Day community worldwide by registering on this site today. We will then send you a token by email that will allow you to launch your own virtual firework on September 30th, 2020... to be joined by countless others in recovery launching their own fireworks from all around the globe | IRD, USA

Tests indicate modern oral nicotine products elicit lower toxicity responses than cigs

New research by BAT indicates that modern oral products (MOPs) showed lower toxicity responses in certain assays than traditional cigarettes | EurekAlert, USA

Study pinpoints heating element in vaping devices as cause for lung injuries

Early results of an experimental vaping study have shown significant lung injury from E-cigarette (eC) devices with nickel-chromium alloy heating elements. The findings were consistent, with or without the use of nicotine, vitamin E oil or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which have previously been thought to contribute to the life-threatening respiratory problem | News Medical, USA

Myths about fentanyl spread more prolifically online than articles correcting them, study finds

News articles containing misinformation about fentanyl—falsely suggesting that people can overdose and die from simply touching the synthetic opioid—are shared and spread far more widely on social media than stories that attempt to correct such myths, a new study from researchers at Northeastern University finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Ottawa opioid crisis still very real as OPS officers revive two with naloxone

Police officers have successfully revived residents using naloxone 80 times this year | Ottawa Matters, Canada

Global NGO network outlines 20 ways to make cannabis industries equitable

Current legal markets have been captured by corporations and fail to address the racist war on drugs, the International Drug Policy Consortium warns | Mugglehead, Canada

Arrests of narcotics police highlight Sri Lanka’s drug menace

More than a dozen officers from a key national narcotics unit were recently found to be involved in a drug operation | Aljazeera, USA

Trends in the availability and type of drugs sold on the internet via cryptomarkets, May 2019 - May 2020

This bulletin series reports on trends in the availability and type of substances sold on the internet via cryptomarkets over the last 13 months (a new bulletin is released typically every four months). The current bulletin focuses on analysis of listings from 1 May 2019 to 31 May 2020 | NDARC, Australia

Half a million Australians could soon have access to medicinal cannabis

Half a million Australians suffering debilitating diseases or chronic pain could soon get their hands on medicinal cannabis, which has been notoriously difficult to access | News.com.au, Australia

Why more people are turning to medicinal cannabis

On a back country road in northern NSW, up a nondescript dirt driveway, sits a highly secret facility | SMH, Australia

Cannabis referendum: Is proposed legal limit too high?

Opponents to cannabis legalisation say the amount people could buy each day would make those with heavy addictions worse. But those who support it say buying up to 14g of dried weed would be just like any other shopping trip, and would not be used all at once | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Domestic Abuse And The Misuse Of Prescribed Medication

Graeme Dixon on the under-reported links between domestic abuse and the misuse of prescribed medications | Russell Webster, UK

If Labour really cares about left-behind communities, it'll push to reform our drug laws

Drugs are universal. Not everyone takes them, but their effects are felt by all - and in some communities more than others. Whether it's a friend, family member or a person on the street, the harm of drugs reach all corners of our society | Politics.co.uk, UK

Post-lockdown trends: The moderate majority continue to drink responsibly, as Brits cautiously return to pubs

Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have maintained an array of activity to ensure we continue to monitor drinking behaviours in the UK. The Portman Group has its own activity tracker measuring the impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s drinking choices and we continue to examine polls commissioned by an array of external organisation including Drinkaware, Alcohol Change UK and Public Health England to give us the broadest possible picture of what’s going on | Portman Group blog, UK

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 1. Although people usually first start drinking alcohol at around 15-16 years of age 2, 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