Daily news - 13th January 2021

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UK news

New Horizons grant awards announced, exploring new areas of alcohol harm

We are thrilled to announce the four research studies funded under our New Horizons grant programme, following our open call for applications in May 2020 | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Workforce development and multiple disadvantage – new briefings published today

Ensuring the workforce is equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes is an essential part of providing effective services and support for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. System-wide workforce development is one of five collective strategic priorities identified by Fulfilling Lives partnerships and intended to create sustainable change | Fulfilling Lives, UK

Drug Policy Voices

New website for a project which aims to include the voices of a variety of people with experience into debates about drug policy and reform. We want to understand your experiences and integrate your opinions into these debates | MMU and University of Leicester, UK

Coronavirus advice for people experiencing homelessness

Groundswell have developed resources to support people experiencing homelessness during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including help for people dependent on drugs | Groundswell, UK



International news

Study finds one small alcoholic drink a day raises risk of irregular heartbeat

According to their report in the European Heart Journal, people who consumed as little as 12g of ethanol a day – equivalent to a 330ml beer, a 120ml glass of wine, or 40mls of spirits – were 16% more likely than teetotallers to develop atrial fibrillation over the course of the study | Guardian, UK

World's largest illegal dark web marketplace is shut down by police

[Limited number of free articles per week] DarkMarket allowed customers to purchase items such as hacking software, illegal drugs and stolen card information | Telegraph, UK

Psychiatry Trainees' Attitudes, Knowledge, and Training in Addiction Psychiatry—A European Survey

Despite a growing spread of PSUDs in European countries, addiction psychiatry is a relatively poorly trained field within psychiatry training programs. Further research should investigate reasons for poor training and timings of the educational activities to optimize experiential education training in addiction psychiatry | Frontiers in Psychiatry, UK

We travel to Europe’s first psychedelic mushroom retreat

Lockdown has scuppered even the best laid plans. Far from going on holiday somewhere exotic, or embarking on an adventure of self discovery, we’re stuck in a country where walking in the park with a flask of tea may get you arrested | City AM, UK

New York will legalise recreational cannabis, Andrew Cuomo vows

Move will ‘raise revenue and will end the over criminalisation of product’, governor says | Independent, UK

'The war on drugs funded policing': behind a Netflix documentary about crack

In a myth-busting new film, director Stanley Nelson looks back on the crack epidemic on the 1980s and how the government harmed the black community | Guardian, UK

Philippines: Anti-'drug war' priest charged with sedition - video

A Catholic priest in the Philippines is set to stand trial on charges of "conspiracy to commit sedition" over an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte | BBC, UK

Effect of Exposure to e-Cigarettes With Salt vs Free-Base Nicotine on the Appeal and Sensory Experience of Vaping

In this randomized clinical trial, 119 adult nicotine or tobacco product users rated puffs from e-cigarettes in nicotine salt (benzoic acid added) and nicotine free-base (no benzoic acid) formulations. Salt vs free-base nicotine formulations resulted in statistically significant higher ratings of appeal, sweetness, and smoothness, and lower ratings of bitterness and harshness | JAMA Network, USA

Acrolein and other toxicant exposures in relation to cardiovascular disease among marijuana and tobacco smokers in a longitudinal cohort of HIV-positive and negative adults

This longitudinal study included 245 participants over age 40. 33 plasma and 28 urine metabolites of nicotine, ∆-9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds were assayed by liquid or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Exposures and health outcomes were assessed from surveys and medical records | Lancet, USA

The top cannabis research studies of 2020

Back in April, one of my students asked for an extension on an assignment, citing extended work hours at her retail store. I initially scoffed at the poor excuse: “What businesses are open during the stay-at-home order?” I asked, thinking I caught them in a lie. “The pot shop over by campus,” they responded. “We’ve been slammed.” | Leafly, USA

Blueberries, Xanny Bars, Clazzys: My Anxiety-Driven Benzo Journey

Ihave been doing Valium since the age of 16. They were called “blueberries” where I was from, and there were so many in our high school in Nova Scotia, the local news even covered it | Filter Magazine, USA

'Joints For Jabs:' This Group Wants to Give You Weed With Your Covid Vaccine

'Jabs for Joints' is one D.C. activist group’s solution to encourage COVID-19 vaccines and legalize cannabis legislation | VICE, USA

Nicotine Naysayers | Could Nicotine Restrictions Do More Harm Than Good? | RegWatch

The Canadian federal government announced late last year that it’s moving to restrict nicotine levels in vaping products that are manufactured, imported, or packaged for sale in Canada | Regulator Watch, USA

‘It’s very alarming’: Ontario seeing unprecedented spike in stimulant-drug deaths

Opioid-related death rates have soared to record levels across Canada in 2020, but stimulant-related deaths are also on the rise — and experts are calling for action | TVO, Canada

Mexico moves to create world’s largest legal cannabis market

The reforms would allow the legal cultivation of marijuana on Mexican soil after decades of violence between drug cartels and authorities | Aljazeera, Qatari

New campaign highlights risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy

A new public education campaign launches today to inform the Western Australian community about the risk to babies from alcohol use during pregnancy. The campaign's key message of "any amount a mother drinks, the baby drinks" challenges the inaccurate belief that a mother's placenta protects a developing baby from alcohol | Government of Western Australia, Australia

Psychedelic medicine: a mental health game changer

Mental health disorders are widespread, so it’s critical we have a breadth of effective therapies available. Now, plant-based psychedelic compounds are showing emerging promise | University of Melbourne, Australia

Warning that SA youth drug program could breach detainees' human rights

The State Government is at risk of breaching human rights standards that ban medical experimentation on prisoners if it goes ahead with its plan to trial mandatory drug addiction treatment on detained children, South Australia’s Youth Training Centre Visitor has cautioned | InDaily, Australia

Massive jump in dangerous stimulant masquerading as MDMA - audio

New Years meant new year celebrations, and music festivals. Drug-checking group Know Your Stuff has been out and about checking what's in drugs. Deputy Director of the group Jez Weston joins Jesse Mulligan | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Clinicians’ attitudes to recovery

Which teachers were the best when you were at school? Likely the ones who believed in you, connected with you, who had a vision for where you could go and who enthusiastically helped you get there | Recovery Review blog, UK

The Lancet Public Health Commission on gambling

Gambling is pervasive in society and is provided by increasingly powerful supra-national corporations, whose reach transcends national boundaries. The development of commercial gambling practices is deeply tied to technological development, and leaps in communication technologies have resulted in the expansion of commercial gambling | Lancet comment, UK

Sensationalism in Defense of Anti-Narcotics is no Vice: Revisiting the Cinematic History of Reefer Madness

In a recent appearance on the Fiber Nation podcast, I was asked about the significance of Reefer Madness: Tell Your Childrenthe cult-classic film from the 1930s | Points blog, USA