Daily news - 4th February 2021

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UK news

UK Alcohol sales surged by 30% in January

Analysis conducted by market research company Kantar found that the closure of pubs and clubs during the nationwide lockdown has led to an increase in the number of people drinking at home, with the percentage increase in alcohol sales equivalent to £234m | Independent, UK

Police contact 2,000 numbers on drugs supply phone

More than 2,000 numbers found on a suspected drug dealer's phone have been messaged by police and asked to seek help for addiction | BBC, UK


In the past two weeks, we have announced a transformative cross-governmental package to address the underlying causes of reoffending: £80 million to increase the number of drug treatment places for prison leavers; and £70 million investment to cut reoffending by supporting people from prison into accommodation | They work for you, UK

‘Don’t Wait’ NHS campaign launches encouraging people to quit smoking

NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and NHS Lothian have partnered together to support those who wish to quit smoking, by launching their campaign, ‘Don’t Wait’ | Daily Record, UK

Biggest UK Peer Mentor Survey Ever

Russell Webster and Revolving Doors Agency are launching what we hope will be the largest ever survey of service users working as volunteers in the UK. Mainly aimed at people volunteering as peer mentors or recovery navigators, it seeks to find out the level of support service user volunteers receive from the organisations benefiting from their volunteering. It also aims to highlight best practice for a new guide Russell will be co-producing with people with lived experience of this role. Could drug and alcohol providers encourage their recovery navigators to take 10-15 minutes to complete the survey | Russell Webster and Revovling Doors, UK

Reporting of Substance: A discussion on developing media guidelines

Thu, 11 March 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 GMT. A discussion about developing media guidelines for reporting on alcohol, drugs, addiction and recovery | Adfam, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs and Scottish Recovery Consortium, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Men’s alcohol consumption when becoming a father

Thu, 25 February 2021, 12:30 – 14:00 GMT. Elena Dimova - "Exploring men’s alcohol consumption in the context of becoming a father: A scoping review" | SHAAP, UK

Psychedelics and the Nature Connection with Dr Sam Gandy

Thu, 25 February 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT. Dr Gandy will reveal how psychedelics can promote pro-environmental behaviours that are needed to prevent further ecological destruction | Drug Science, UK

PhD Symposium Session 3.1: Addiction and Cognition

Session 3.1 of the PhD Symposium focused on the impact of cognitive aspects on addictive processes and included four presentations | SSA, UK

Beckham-backed cannabis skincare firm to sell shares on London Stock Exchange

A company backed by David Beckham, which uses compounds found in cannabis to make skincare and athletic products, plans to sell shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) | BBC, UK

Covid: Teesside drugs supply lines hit by pandemic

Illegal drug supply chains on Teesside have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, police have said | BBC, UK

Duo jailed for importing cocaine from Amsterdam

Arron James Collins, 35, and Bertram Jack Fallon, 31, used encrypted messaging services to arrange drugs shipments, Bristol Crown Court heard | BBC, UK


International news

Managing to extract therapy from punishment

Key studies on the role of management in the treatment of problem drinking to safeguard the community or in criminal justice settings, where the “system usually communicates to the offender that treatment is punishment,” making staff competence and the managers who sustain that competence critical. Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell C5 | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Prevalence and trends in tobacco use among adolescents aged 13–15 years in 143 countries, 1999–2018: findings from the Global Youth Tobacco Surveys

Tobacco use is a leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Little is known about recent prevalence and trends in tobacco use among adolescents globally. We aimed to assess the recent global prevalence of tobacco use in young adolescents and the secular trends in prevalence between 1999 and 2018 | Lancet Child and Adolescent Health Journal, UK

China Turns Blind Eye To Lucrative Cartel Chemical Trade, DEA Says

Agency experts tell VICE World News that China and Mexico are not doing enough to help stem the global trade in the chemicals used to make fentanyl and meth | VICE, UK

McKinsey 'settles for $573 million over role in opioid addiction crisis'

[Limited number of free articles per week] The consulting firm agreed to pay to settle claims that it helped fuel the opioid epidemic by providing marketing advice to drugmakers | Telegraph, UK

World Cancer Day: know the facts – tobacco and alcohol both cause cancer

On World Cancer Day, marked on 4 February, WHO/Europe is focusing on the need to minimize exposure to both alcohol and tobacco. While many people understand the risks of developing cancer associated with smoking, many remain unaware that alcohol also causes cancer | WHO, Denmark

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan Makes Alcohol Policy Key Element of Cancer Prevention

The European Commission has launched “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan”. The ambitious plan aims to reduce the cancer burden in the European Union affecting patients, their families and health systems. It will address cancer related inequalities between and within EU Member States with actions to support, coordinate and complement Member States’ efforts | Movendi, Sweden

The fight for a Drug Consumption Room in Slovenia

“In Slovenia, we still don’t have official DCR. Initial ideas of opening DCR in Ljubljana date from the middle of 90s. In 2004 NGO Stigma filed an official application for opening drug consumption room to the Governmental Office for Drugs, who unfortunately did not materialise the idea at the time | Correlation Network, The Netherlands

France to begin its first experiment with medical marijuana

France has moved forward with its first medical marijuana experiment after identifying the companies that will supply products to 3,000 patients for two years, starting in March. Advocates hope the move will lead to the drug's legalisation for medicinal purposes | RFI, France

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Nonsmoking Adults: United States, 2015–2018

During 2015–2018, 20.8% of nonsmoking U.S. adults aged 18 and over were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) as measured by cotinine in the blood | CDC, USA

Patients with lung cancer reduce smoking rate after enrollment in phase III clinical trial

The first comprehensive, prospective study of smoking habits in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were enrolled in a phase III early-stage trial revealed that there was a high rate of smoking reduction and cessation following study entry | EurekAlert, USA

Rescheduling drugs to lower risk of abuse can reduce use, dangers

Many nations place drugs into various schedules or categories according to their risk of being abused and their medical value. At times, drugs are rescheduled to a more restrictive category to reduce misuse by constricting supply | Medical Xpress, USA

Oregon Decriminalization Begins, But It Won’t Be Enough to End ODs

Across the state of Oregon, people found by police to be in possession of small amounts of any controlled substance—from cocaine to methamphetamine to heroine—are no longer subject to criminal penalties. The successful November 2020 ballot measure decriminalizing possession took effect February 1 | Filter Magazine, USA

Australia won’t legalise ecstasy and magic mushrooms to treat mental illness

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has decided it won’t recognise ecstasy and magic mushrooms as legitimate medicines to treat mental illnesses | abc.net.au, Australia

The legal and illegal ways people are turning to psychedelics as the drug regulator rejects reclassification bid

In Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital, down the hall from the cancer day unit, there's an unassuming room known simply as "The Retreat". | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Deaths from alcohol-specific causes rise to record high in 2020

Yesterday’s release of alcohol-specific death statistics for 2019 included provisional data which showed – shockingly – that there were 5,460 deaths from January to September 2020, a 16.4% increase compared with the same period in 2019. The death rate (12.8 per 100,000 people) is now at its highest point since 2001 | Collective Voice, UK

Booker prize winner Shuggie Bain sheds light on a growing issue for young people in lockdown

I’m seeing more young people affected by their parent’s drug and alcohol use. We need to support these families through this difficult time | We Are With You, UK

Statement on Biden’s ONDCP Appointees & First 100 Days Priorities

In response to the White House Office of National Drug Control Strategy (ONDCP) announcing its first wave of President Biden’s appointees and outlining the administration’s priorities for the first 100 days, Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement | DPA, USA

What the War on Drugs Can Teach Us About Fighting COVID-19

We can’t eliminate the virus, but we can reduce its harm to our lives and livelihoods | Reason, USA