Daily news - 11th January 2021

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UK news

Call for UK prisons to trial free cannabis to see if it cuts drug deaths

Exclusive: police commissioner says move may also decrease violence and help inmates beat opioid addictions | Guardian, UK

Pharmacist led homeless outreach engagement and non-medical independent prescribing (Rx) (PHOENIx) intervention for people experiencing homelessness: a non- randomised feasibility study

Homelessness and associated mortality and multimorbidity rates are increasing. Systematic reviews have demonstrated a lack of complex interventions that decrease unscheduled emergency health services utilisation or increase scheduled care | International Journal for Equity in Health, UK

Child removal fuels female drug deaths

[Free one month trial available] A rapid rise in drug deaths among working-age women in Scotland is being driven by those who become lonely after their children are taken into care, researchers have found | The Times, UK

MSP in plea for more rehab funding after record drug deaths in Edinburgh

The Scottish Government is being urged to increase funding for rehabilitation beds to reduce drug-related deaths in Edinburgh and the Lothians after latest figures showed they had reached a new record high | Edinburgh Evening News, UK

Dry January: Will lockdown cause more people to give in?

Dry January, when drinkers aim to abstain from alcohol for a whole month, was designed to "reset" people's relationship with booze | BBC, UK

Jersey launches new medicinal cannabis sector

The first licenses for commercial cultivation of medicinal cannabis have been issued in the Channel Islands | ITV, UK

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, financial year ending 2020

Amended report: In section 7.3 of 'Seizures of drugs, in England and Wales, financial year ending 2020', the text 'The Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England is published by NHS Digital and contains results from a biennial survey of school children aged 7 to 11' has been amended to 'The Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England is published by NHS Digital and contains results from a biennial survey of school children aged 11 to 15' | Home Office, UK

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector

Updated the 'charity meetings' section to include recent government guidance about lockdown restrictions in England and Wales | Charity Commission, UK

Precursor chemical import and export authorisation wallchart

Updated wall chart showing newrequirements from 1 January 2021 | Home Office, UK

DARC Research Webinar Series 2021: January

Wed, 20 January 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT. Katie Anderson: ‘We were just partying and then it turned into a therapy session’: The experiences of couples who take MDMA together | DARC, UK

Suspected Class A drugs 'worth £120,000' seized in Tobermore

Suspected Class A drugs with an estimated street value of £120,000 have been seized by police following a search of a house in Tobermore, County Londonderry | BBC, UK


International news

Young people who vape are ‘three times as likely’ to become cigarette smokers later in life

Young vapers are much more likely to become daily cigarette smokers in the future, according to a new study | i news, UK

Honduras president took bribes from drug traffickers, US prosecutors say

Juan Orlando Hernández allegedly said he wanted to shove drugs ‘right up the noses of the gringos’ by flooding the US with cocaine | Guardian, UK

Hezbollah denies any role in production of amphetamines

Sheikh Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, said there was "no credibility" to the allegations | BBC, UK

Typical 'drug runners' in Dublin suburb just 10 years old

The typical age of drug runners in a large Dublin suburb has fallen from 13 to just 10 in recent years, research indicates | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Youths who use tobacco products before 18 can become daily cigarette smokers

An analysis of a large nationally representative longitudinal study by University of California San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science report that starting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, before the age of 18 is a major risk factor for people becoming daily cigarette smokers | News Medical, USA

Marijuana use typically drops at the beginning of the year, then climbs in summer and fall

Marijuana use increases throughout the calendar year, with use up 13 percent on average at the end of each year (2015-2019) compared to the beginning, according to a new study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence | EurekAlert, USA

More than half of people using cannabis for pain experience multiple withdrawal symptoms

More than half of people who use medical marijuana products to ease pain also experience clusters of multiple withdrawal symptoms when they're between uses, a new study finds | EurekAlert, USA

Free all non-violent criminals jailed on minor drug offences, say experts

Non-violent offenders serving time for drug use or possession should be freed immediately and their convictions erased, according to research published in the peer-reviewed The American Journal of Bioethics | Medical Xpress, USA

Marijuana stocks boom with new hopes for legalization as Democrats take power

MORE Act may have new life with Democrats in control of Congress and the Presidency | Fox Business, USA

Mount Sinai launches psychedelics research center

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has launched a new center for psychedelics research. The Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research pursues a multipronged clinical and research approach to discovering novel and more efficacious therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other stress-related conditions in the veteran and civilian population | EurekAlert, USA

North America Psychedelic Drugs Market Could Exceed $6.8 Billion By 2027

In the few places where cannabis is legal, it can be incredibly lucrative. In 2019, the nascent worldwide cannabis sector pumped out approximately $15 billion in sales. By 2024, that number is expected to triple | PR Newswire, USA

Best Music Playlists For Psychedelic Therapy Are Explored In New Johns Hopkins Study

Psychedelic therapy sessions often incorporate music—and typically that music is of the classical genre. But new research out of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests there may in fact be no special value in playing a Mozart concerto or Chopin étude for tripping patients | Marijuanna Moment, USA

Mexico Set to Become World's Largest Legal Cannabis Market

New law aims to boost civil liberties and curb drug cartels | Bangkok Post, Thailand

Should WA loosen its control of medicinal cannabis prescriptions? Here are the arguments

A call to cut more red tape over the prescription of medicinal cannabis that contains THC, to bring WA in line with the eastern states, has been met with varying levels of scepticism by doctors | WA Today, Australia

Helping Victorians Recover From Alcohol And Drug Use

Victorians will have better access to specialist drug and alcohol treatment close to home thanks to a $52.1 million investment from the Andrews Labor Government for new residential rehabilitation facilities | Mirage, Australia

MDMA, psychedelic mushroom studies to move to recruitment phase

Several studies into psychedelics' potential to treat mental illness will begin recruiting participants for trials in 2021 as Australia's work in the field moves out of the shadows | Canberra Times, Australia

Tasmania could become the first state in Australia to raise smoking age to 21

Anti-smoking campaigners hope Tasmania could this year set off a chain of events that would see the legal smoking age increased to 21 across the country | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Too much pain? The Price of Politics in the treatment of childhood epilepsy

It was 5 years ago in 2016 when Nick Clegg, the then deputy prime-minister of the United Kingdom became aware of a group of patients suffering with the severe nerve-wasting syndrome, multiple sclerosis, who were using cannabis to treat their condition | Drug Science, UK

Of death and statistics

“One death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic.” Coinage of the world’s most heartless quotation is disputed. But most agree that Joseph Stalin was sufficiently indifferent to human misery on an industrial scale to make him the likeliest author | Catholic Herald, UK

Scotland's drug-deaths crisis is a question of values in more ways than one – Karyn McCluskey

It’s that time of year again when we’re all thinking about cash, whether that’s our personal spending Christmas hangover, or organisations setting budgets for the next financial year | Scotsman, UK

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

At one week alcohol-free you might be starting to see changes on the surface – no hangover, more energy, brighter skin – but what’s going on inside your body one week into your booze-free journey? | Acohol Change UK blog, UK

‘I deserve a glass’ – and four other lies you should stop telling yourself about drinking

As stress rises, so does our alcohol consumption. Here’s how to change your relationship with drink for good | Guardian, UK

In many ways, families are the real victims of alcoholism

My freedom from this mad merry-go-round only arrived when I understood the three C’s: ‘didn’t cause it, can’t control it, can’t cure it’ | Guardian, UK

An Epidemic Within a Pandemic – More Questions Than Answers

Our substance use care infrastructure and workforce has never been in particularly good shape. It is largely held together by passionate people who care about the work and who serve in the face of a myriad of barriers and challenges | Recovery Review blog, UK

Opinion: It Will Take More Than Expungement To Achieve Social Justice In Cannabis Reform

It’s been a great start to the year for social justice in cannabis reform, with the expungement of 500,000 low-level cannabis offences in the state of Illinois. This has given us reformers a boost of optimism for 2021, but is this enough? | Volteface, UK

We are all addicts now: a call for compassion

Over the past 20 years, our use of the word ''addict'' has changed dramatically. Whereas it was once a term reserved for people prostrate in the gutter, now we all claim to be addicted to something – iPhones, MasterChef, pilates, Twitter – even lemon myrtle hand sanitiser | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia