Daily news - 1st February 2021

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UK news

Letter from Baroness Williams to ACMD (accessible version)

Thank you for your advice of 18 February 2019 on 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), in which you set out the ACMD’s view that DNP is not a drug but a poison and recommended that the government work together with poisons experts to find a solution to DNP poisonings | Home Office, UK

Taskforce to Receive 10,000 Free Naloxone Kits

Ethypharm, the speciality pharmaceutical company focused on CNS and critical care medicines, has confirmed its offer to supply 10,000 Naloxone kits across 2021 to The Drug Deaths Taskforce | Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

New psychoactives within polydrug use trajectories—evidence from a mixed‐method longitudinal study

To provide public health‐related research evidence on types and usage patterns of new psychoactive substances (NPS), developmental pathways into NPS and decision‐making factors for, and associated harms of, NPS use | Addiction, UK

Ep 4: Lockdown drinkers? COVID-19 and alcohol use -podcast

In this episode guests talk about the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol use | Dr James Morris, UK

Government trying to persuade young cocaine users it's as 'uncool' as heroin

[Limited number of free articles per week] 'The interesting thing is that heroin has become unfashionable. The question is, how do you make cocaine use less fashionable' | Telegraph, UK

‘There are people who aren’t going to survive’ - addiction fears in lockdown

The coronavirus lockdown has impacted upon all aspects of life, but there are concerns that for those living with an addiction, the months of isolation have hampered their recovery | ITV, UK

Will giving up alcohol improve my sperm count? - audio

When planning to have a baby, women are expected to give up a lot. But is there evidence men should give up alcohol, coffee and other vices to improve their chance to conceive? | BBC, UK

UK sex workers face rising violence and hardship during pandemic

Some women have taken up sex work for the first time because of money worries, while others who had left the trade have returned | Guardian, UK

Sian Berry: I’ll end cannabis stop and search if elected London mayor

Green Party candidate unveils raft of policies aimed at creating ‘real public health approach to drug use’ | Independent, UK


International news

‘Dangerous data’ part 1: Why the heat?

Each Monday over the next eight weeks we divide up the hot topic released last week on controlled drinking as a treatment goal and serve it in bite-size chunks. The series starts with part 1, “Why the heat?” on what the controversy was about and why chinks in the abstinence-only consensus aroused such passion | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Amsterdam drugs: Tourists face ban from cannabis cafes

When international visitors are eventually able to return to the canals that crisscross the medieval streets of Amsterdam, they may find one of the Dutch capital's famous tourist attractions off limits | BBC, UK

Vaporiser maker to be first medical cannabis firm listed in London

Kanabo issues prospectus for London Stock Exchange after clearance from FCA | Guardian, UK

Drug overdose deaths, addiction neuroscience and the challenges of translation

In this article, we argue that the rapid rise in drug overdose deaths in America is a tragedy that draws attention to fundamental conceptual and experimental problems in addiction science that have significant human consequences | Wellcome Open Research, UK

Oregon set to decriminalise heroin and LSD as Joe Biden eyes opportunity of federal cannabis legislation

[Limited number of free articles per week] The possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, meth and other controlled drugs for personal use will cease to be a crime in Oregon | Telegraph, UK

‘They should be up there on the priority list’: Some states are vaccinating cannabis workers against Covid

Most states where it’s legal consider cannabis an essential industry, but will their workers jump the queue for the Covid shot | Independent, UK

US soldiers taken to hospital after drinking antifreeze they mistook for alcohol

[Limited number of free articles per week] Soldiers from Fort Bliss in Texas drank the substance which can cause severe kidney damage and death | Telegraph, UK

Why does South Africa keep banning alcohol? - audio

South Africans have faced three alcohol bans since the start of the pandemic. The government says it needs to ease pressure on its healthcare system | BBC, UK

EMCDDA enters new phase as it embarks on 2021 activities

This year, the EMCDDA will embark on a new five-year Roadmap under its Strategy 2025, kicking off with an ambitious range of activities for the period 2021–23 | EMCDDA, Portugal

With Biden Team Focused On Other Crises, Experts Say Drug Epidemic Is Exploding

In the weeks after winning the November election, Joe Biden began naming officials to tackle the vortex of crises his administration would face on day one | NPR, USA

An update on the evidence for Alcoholics Anonymous participation

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the world’s most widely available and widely used mutual-help program, which has helped countless millions of individuals recover from addiction through its 85-year history | Recovery Research Institute, USA

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link: Using a “cascade of care” approach to evaluate gaps in the opioid use disorder treatment pipeline

There are persistent gaps in the addiction “science-to-practice” pipeline that lead to marked differences in treatment availability and quality. A cascade of care is one way of assessing where gaps in the provision of empirically supported addiction care exist | Recovery Research Institute, USA

This New Psychedelics ETF Could Be One of the Hottest Ideas of 2021. Here’s Why

Psychedelics may be one of the top investment stories of the New Year. The US FDA is supportive of the research, calling psilocybin a breakthrough therapy. Dozens of studies show such treatments are beneficial, including those conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine and New York University | Baystreet, USA

Oregon's new drug law goes into effect Monday. Here's what it does:

Ballot Measure 110 goes into effect Feb. 1, and all eyes are turned to Oregon as it becomes the first state to decriminalize the personal possession of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and oxycodone | Statesman Journal, USA

New York’s Two Marijuana Legalization Paths: Will Lawmakers Get It Right?

After two years of false starts, could 2021 be the year that New York finally legalizes marijuana? All the stars seem to be aligned: Governor Cuomo and leaders in the legislature have endorsed legalization, voters elected a historically progressive state legislature, and neighboring New Jersey voted for legalization last November | Filter Magazine, USA

Federal judge bans Tampa pharmacy from prescribing opioids

Prosecutors say the pharmacists at WeCare Pharmacy ignored “red flags” in writing and filling thousands of narcotics prescriptions | Tampa Bay Times, USA

Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says he's hopeful decriminalization will lead to fewer drug deaths | CBC News, Canada

‘Everyone deserves respect’: Rooming-in program to launch soon to support mothers struggling with substance use

There are many barriers faced by pregnant women who are or have struggled with substances. One of the most persistent obstacles is stigma | Calgary Herald, Canada

Montreal safe injection site loses clientele amid fears of curfew fines

Montreal safe injection sites are seeing a sharp decline in users since Quebec's 8 p.m. curfew came into effect, and organizers are worried it could lead to a spike in overdoses | CTV News, Canada

‘We know it works’: Cannabis oil can be legally sold over the counter from Monday

Low dose cannabis oil can be bought over the counter at pharmacies from Monday for the first time, but don’t expect to find any for at least six months as none has been approved for sale yet | SMH, Australia

Black market cigarettes a growing boom trade in WA, warns ex-top border cop

The founder of Border Force's illegal tobacco squad says one in five cigarettes smoked in Australia is illegal and demand has spawned a smuggling trade worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year, with a recent record-breaking case in Western Australia | Brisbane Times, Australia

‘Just get over the marijuana stigma': The benefits of building houses with hemp, according to experts

Hemp is useful for a lot of things, but did you know that it can also be used as a building material? | Buisness Insider, Australia

Blogs, comment and opinion

New treatment stats for prisons and young people show increasing unmet need

The release of two important Public Health England 2019/20 datasets – substance misuse treatment in secure settings, and young people’s substance misuse treatment – underline the urgent need for political commitment to the reform and renewal of England’s drug and alcohol treatment system | Collective Voice, UK

Opioid replacement treatment. Great! What’s next?

In opioid use disorder treatment, there’s been a persistent (though not always acknowledged) tension between what’s good for public health and what individuals and their families want from treatment | Recovery Review blog, UK

One month alcohol-free - what's happening in your body?

A month alcohol-free sees many people with more energy, a boosted mood and extra cash in their pocket - but there are lots of brilliant benefits under the surface too... | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

During lockdown, drinking has become a worryingly easy way to punctuate the day

Like many others, I turned to alcohol out of stress and boredom. I had to draw a line | Guardian opinion, UK

Documenting a Life Beyond Addiction - podcast

Graham is a photographer and has been open about his history of addiction and incarceration. Lately Graham and I have been focusing on projects and exhibitions about recovery from addiction, so this interview discusses some of that work, as well as drug policy more broadly and ways to shift dominant narratives in art and media | The Impossible Network, USA

SHAD Interview: “The Monopoly Option: Obsolescent or a ‘Best Buy’ in Alcohol and Other Drug Control?” with Robin Room

Points continues its series of interviews with authors from the latest issue of ADHS’s journal Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, published by the University of Chicago Press. Today we feature Dr. Robin Room, Distinguished Professor at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia) | Points blog, USA

Tasmania's was on drugs is far from over

[Limited number of free articles per week] In 2015, then Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched a national task force in an effort to tackle the rapidly growing and deadly scourge of crystal methamphetamine - also known as ice | Examiner.com, Australia