Daily news - 17th February 2021

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UK news

Studies of alcohol sales and consumption in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic published

Public Health Scotland today published findings from two studies commissioned to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – and related restrictions – on alcohol consumption in Scotland during its first few months. Briefing paper here (PDF) | Public Health Scotland, UK

Covid: Children's NSPCC calls about drugs and alcohol soar

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of children needing help because their parents are misusing drugs and alcohol, a charity says | BBC, UK

Mental health disorders and alcohol misuse more common in LGB people

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB*) people are significantly more likely to have mental health conditions and report alcohol and drug misuse than heterosexual people - according to a new study led by UCL researchers in collaboration with the University of East Anglia and City, University of London | EurekAlert, UK

Drug Science submission to the WHO enquiry on vaping

Fifteen years ago, the World Health Organization developed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which aims to provide governments with guidelines for reducing tobacco use | Drug Science, UK

Supporting isolated service users in East Kent to get tested for Covid-19

Recovery workers in East Kent are now able to request postal Covid-19 tests on behalf of service users, thanks to the initiative taken by Thanet Team Leader, Sam Blake | Forward Trust, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to help ensure that people using vapes don't start using cigarettes | They work for you, UK

Qualitative Methods Journal Club - Meeting 4 (hosted by GCU)

Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 14:00 GMT. This is the fourth in a series of Qualitative Methods Journal Club meetings hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Substance Use Research Group, organised by the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN). The Journal Club is funded by the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) | SARN, UK

Developing the first UK parents' training programme for FASD

Tue, 20 April 2021, 12:00 – 13:00 BST. Researchers at the University of Salford are currently involved in three research projects directly related to FASD, and in terms of funding and activity represent the most active FASD research group in the UK. This talk by one of its members, Alan Price, will provide a brief introduction to the field of FASD, followed by a description of our past and current projects... | Public Health Seminars University Of Salford, UK

London Stock Exchange Kanabo Group PLC to the Main Market

London Stock Exchange today welcomes Kanabo Group Plc (“Kanabo” or the “Company”) to trading on the Main Market. Kanabo (LSE: KNB) successfully completed an IPO of £6 million that was oversubscribed, giving it a market capitalisation of approximately £23.4 million on admission | London Stock Exchange, UK

Suspected drug drivers may escape justice because police forced to ration forensic toxicology

[Limited number of free articles per week] Forensic science regulator says those suspected of drug driving 'tolerated and allowed to present continuing threat to communities' | Telegraph, UK

Essex police officer finds cannabis factory when viewing house with estate agent

The officer was being shown around the house in the Colchester area when they came across the plants in the garage | BBC, UK

Drugs 'worth £200k' found at airport among pond equipment

A man and woman have been arrested after drugs with an estimated street value of £200,000 were found at East Midlands Airport | BBC, UK

Drug smugglers jailed after cocaine plot ended in North Sea rescue

Two would-be drug smugglers have been jailed after their plot to import cocaine using a water scooter ended with them stranded in the North Sea | BBC, UK

International news

Organisations set the context for crime-reducing treatment

Key studies teasing out organisational-level influences on treatment for drinking problems which aims to reduce crime and safeguard family and community. Asks, “Is small beautiful?”, explores how supervision responsibilities might undermine therapy, and pursues the implications of transitioning to family- rather than patient-focused treatment. Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell D5 | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Italian ex-football star Sartor 'grew marijuana plants'

A former Italian football star, Luigi Sartor, has been put under house arrest after police allegedly found him growing marijuana with an accomplice | BBC, UK

A drugs trip: The United States of Cannabis

Kiran Moodley visits Montana to find out more about the political and social factors behind cannabis legalisation. And asks whether what’s allowed in Montana – could soon be the law across all 50 states? | Channel 4, UK

FG Seanad leader backs call for minimum unit pricing on alcohol

House told that time to introduce move is now instead of waiting until NI acts in tandem | Irish Times, Ireland

Digital Interventions for People With Co-Occurring Depression and Problematic Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 

This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the effectiveness of digital interventions addressing depressive symptoms and alcohol use simultaneously among people with co-occurring depression and problematic alcohol use | Alcohol and Alcoholism, The Netherlands

Imprisonment for up to 15 years for using the word “drug” on the Internet

On February 10 the deputies of the Russian parliament adopted, in the third and final reading, a bill to increase the sentence for “inciting use of drugs” on the Internet to 15 years. Earlier, the deputies adopted a bill on administrative fines of up to 1.5 million rubles ($20,000) for “drug propaganda” on the Internet | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Radiomics shows cocaine fuels coronary artery disease risk

Radiomics--the extraction of very detailed quantitative features from medical images--provides a refined understanding of how cocaine use and other risk factors affect the course of coronary artery disease, according to a study published in Radiology | EurekAlert, USA

Smoking cessation and counseling: A mixed methods study of pediatricians and parents

Pediatric providers play an important role in parental and youth smoking cessation. The goal of this study was to understand smoking cessation attitudes of parents and the behaviors, confidence and self-efficacy of pediatricians related to providing smoking cessation counseling to parents and youth | PLOS One, USA

Harmful alcohol use rising during pandemic, UArizona Health Sciences researchers say

A six-month-long study led by researchers in the Department of Psychiatry found hazardous alcohol use increased monthly for those under stay-at-home orders | EurekAlert, USA

Study explores the effects of alcohol and cannabis on aggression-linked brain circuitry in teens

Alcohol and cannabis use during adolescence is a well-known risk factor for alcohol use disorder (AUD) and cannabis use disorder (CUD) during adulthood. Whether early drug use plays a causative role in predisposing teens to AUD and CUD is unknown, but researchers are investigating the possibility that it may have an impact on neural development | News Medical, USA

New hope for treating chronic pain without opioids

According to some estimates, chronic pain affects up to 40% of Americans, and treating it frustrates both clinicians and patients -- a frustration that's often compounded by a hesitation to prescribe opioids for pain | Science Daily, USA

How a Chemsex Activist Teaches Yoga as Harm Reduction

In the context of a neocolonial global marketplace commodifying South Asian religious practices, yoga and mindfulness have been utilized by abstinence-based recovery. But one yoga teacher, massage therapist and chemsex activist is about to flip the script | Filter Magazine, USA

Uprooting the Drug War: Initiative Details Harms to Immigrants and Much More

Imagine this: Two people walk down opposite sides of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Both are stopped by police and found with an identical, relatively small quantity of marijuana. One person is frustrated; they will now have to pay a civil fine, plus they lost their weed. The other person is terrified; they may now face detention and deportation to a country they can’t even remember | Filter Magazine, USA

Uprooting the drug war

New campaign website launched featuring reports and advocacy resources | Drug Policy Alliance, USA

GHB – get the facts

New resources including a poster and social media guide on GHB | Penington Institute, Australia

Methamphetamine contaminated homes - a health risk?

Methamphetamine or ‘ice’ is manufactured in illegal laboratories by ‘backyard chemists’, using different recipes based on the chemical ingredients available. Stories about ‘backyard’ methamphetamine labs regularly appear in the media... | ADF, Australia

Blogs, comment and opinion

“The Adventurous Tasters,” a Story for Fat Tuesday

The place: Paris. The year: 1850. “It was mardi-gras, and copious libations of flaming punch had prepared the natives for anything or everything.” So began a tale reprinted widely by newspaper editors across the globe | Points blog, USA