Daily news - 15th January 2021

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UK news

Factors associated with drinking behaviour during COVID-19 social distancing and lockdown among adults in the UK

Online cross-sectional survey of 30,375 adults in the UK from 21st March to 4th April 2020 (sample weighted). Logistic regression models were used to examine sociodemographic, drinking and COVID-19 factors associated with i) drinking less and ii) drinking more (versus same as usual) | DAD, UK

Different behaviours could reduce death and health risks in alcohol drinkers

A large study of UK adults who consume alcohol regularly has found that different patterns of alcohol consumption – including drinking wine, consuming alcohol with food and spreading alcohol intake over three to four days – could be associated with a lesser risk of alcohol-related negative health outcomes such as death | University of Glasgow, UK

Fabrication shadow over NICE-recommended family therapy

Alleged fabrication of research data by a leading researcher has cast a shadow over behavioural couples therapy, notable for its superior record of protecting families from the fallout from problem drinking. The researcher may have paid with his life; have relatives living with a problem drinker also paid through misplaced faith in the methods he championed? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Coronavirus: Licensed Premises

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason takeaway alcohol sales from pubs and restaurants are not permitted in the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown on the same basis as the previous lockdown; and if he will permit those sales | They work for you, UK

Vape store body lobbies government for essential retailer status

The lobbying effort has been ongoing since the first national lockdown in March, but the association has redoubled its efforts, warning that former smokers who have made the switch to electronic alternatives “could be tempted back” | The Grocer, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Health inequality theory & the ‘alcohol harm paradox’

Wed, 20 January 2021, 12:30 – 14:00 GMT. Jennifer Boyd, University of Sheffield, will deliver a presentation entitled: "Beyond behaviours: How health inequality theory can enhance our understanding of the ‘alcohol harm paradox’" and we will then open to Q+A and wider discussion | SHAAP, UK

What’s Your Poison?

Six free streamed talks, open to all, exploring the history of specific intoxicants. Seminars will take place on Wednesdays at 1–2pm UK time (GMT) – with the exception of the session on Wednesday 3 February, which will be held at 5–6pm UK time (GMT) – over the secure and user-friendly platform Crowdcast | Intoxicating Spaces, UK et al

Cannabis in 2021: Investment in the UK, the New Leaf of Opportunities

Thu, 28 January 2021, 18:30 – 20:00 GMT. The New Leaf Opportunities campaign aims to demonstrate that the cannabis sector, estimated to be worth £2.31bn by 2024 , must be considered by the government as an area of growth to focus on | Volteface, UK

Share your experiences of dry January during the Covid pandemic

We would like to hear from people on how they are finding dry January during the pandemic | Guardian, UK

Jersey police reintroduces specialised drug squad

Jersey police will reintroduce a specialised drugs squad focusing on drug related investigations in the island over the next year | BBC, UK


International news

CBD Company CiiTECH to join the New Leaf Opportunities Campaign

It has been announced that Israeli CBD company CiiTECH has become a partner of the New Leaf Opportunities campaign – a movement that aims to highlight the economic benefits of making the UK a European hub for cannabis | Canex, UK

Illicit tobacco trade: Nearly 370 million cigarettes seized in 2020

International operations involving the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) led to the seizure of nearly 370 million illegal cigarettes in 2020. The majority of the cigarettes were smuggled from countries outside the EU but destined for sale on EU markets | EU REporter, UK

A Deadly ‘Ketamine Cocktail’ Is Causing Overdoses on the Streets of Bangkok

Thai police are hunting for the source of a deadly ketamine drug cocktail known locally as “k powdered milk” that has caused a wave of overdoses in Bangkok, as authorities scramble to learn more about the potent substance | VICE, UK

Salvador Cienfuegos: Mexico clears ex-defence minister over US drugs link claims

Authorities in Mexico say they will not pursue criminal charges against ex-Defence Minister Salvador Cienfuegos, who was accused by the US of collaborating with a drugs cartel | BBC, UK

France to ask public opinion on recreational cannabis

An online questionnaire is being launched to gauge public opinion on recreational marijuana use, before parliamentary debates on the issue | The Connexion, France

HHS Expands Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is publishing Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder*, to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) by exempting physicians from certain certification requirements needed to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment | HHS, USA

People With SUDs Have Increased Risk for COVID-19 and Worse Outcomes

People with a substance use disorder (SUD) at any time in their lives are 1.5 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than those without an SUD, and those with a recent SUD are more than 8 times more likely | NIDA, USA

Genetic studies of alcohol consumption could be spoiled by people who misreport their behavior

A team of researchers with members affiliated with multiple institutions in Australia and China has found evidence that genetic studies of alcohol drinking could be tainted by people under study who misreport their behavior | Medical Xpress, USA

The effect of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation and cigarette smoking initiation: An evidence-based rapid review and meta-analysis

[Open access] Low certainty evidence suggests that e-cigarettes appear to be potentially effective for smoking cessation. The use of e-cigarettes in adolescents may be associated with smoking initiation. No serious adverse events were reported | TID, USA

CBP, FDA Seize Counterfeit, Unauthorized E-Cigarettes

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport working in conjunction with agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that they have seized 33,681 units of e-cigarettes with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $719,453 | FDA, USA

Over 200 Drug Policy, Harm Reduction, Health Care, and Community Groups Call on Biden Administration to Prioritize Public Health Solutions to Curb Overdose Crisis and Dismantle Drug War

Over 200 drug policy, harm reduction, health care, and community based organizations from across the country today sent a letter to Rahul Gupta, Team Lead for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on President-Elect Biden’s Transition Team | DPA, USA

Pandemic Hits Harm Reduction Workers Hard—Particularly “Peers”

Afew weeks back, Soma Snakeoil, an artist and the founder of Los Angeles-based organization the Sidewalk Project, came across a man overdosing on a street corner. She asked his girlfriend what he had taken and administered naloxone, but he was still non-responsive | Filter Magazine, USA

NYC Public Housing Residents Denounce Crackdown on Smoking in Their Own Homes

“You either become somebody who lays down and takes it, or you just get to that point that you can’t take it anymore and you have no choice but to stand up and fight back.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Watch: A Visually Stunning Chemsex Support Campaign

ASpanish HIV/AIDS organization has launched a colorful video campaign meditating on queer men’s chemsex experiences and their pursuit of support | Filter Magazine, USA

Montreal police now using naloxone in fight against deadly drug overdoses

Drug-related overdose are on the rise in the city, according to Montreal police. In the last year alone, overdose deaths have more than doubled from 28 fatalaties in 2019, to 64 in 2020 | Global News, Canada

Drug law reformer Matt Noffs calls for drug fines to be means tested

Wealthy drug users, such as city bankers and residents of Vaucluse, should be fined more than the poor in Redfern, said Matt Novus, a leader in drug law. .. | Eminetra, Australia

The sector that’ll grow 480% this year, expert says

There is a sector in Australia that’s about to grow its revenue by 478% in the current financial year, according to one analyst | Motley Fool, Australia

Drug checking group says most users won't take MDMA if it's revealed to be eutylone

A drug harm reduction service says most people would refuse to take drugs they had purchased if they weren't what they thought they were | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Dry January is not a solution. It is part of the problem

Abstinence from alcohol ultimately just perpetuates the very cycle drinkers are seeking to break | Prospect Magazine, UK

From a punitive to public health drug approach

In May 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a man in Singapore was sentenced to death for a drug offense via a remote hearing on Zoom | Inquirer, USA

Recovery and Community with Anna Byberg and Matt Statman - podcast

A conversation about recovery in the context of community | Recovery Review blog, USA 

Op-ed: A year after legalization, Illinois’ pot industry is a mess

A year ago, the Illinois legislature became the first in the country to legalize commercial marijuana. In the lead-up to the passage of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, lawmakers declared Illinois would be the first state to “get it right” and “set the standard” when it comes to social equity in the marijuana industry | Chicago Tribune, USA

New Year, New Regulations, and Big Government’s Attempts to Block Tobacco Harm Reduction

A new year and new resolutions. In 2021, many Americans will attempt to lose the weight gained after weeks – and months – of stay-at-home orders. Some may have been inclined to reduce their Zoom time, but for many smokers the beginning of a new year marks a resolution to quit smoking | Inside Sources, USA

Review: “Drug Use For Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear”

Dr. Carl Hart’s timely Drugs for Grown-ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear attempts to ignite a shift in our collective consciousness—much like the psychoactive substances he chronicles | Points blog, USA

A mental disorder, not a personal failure: Why now is the time for Australia to rethink addiction

The year 2020 has challenged us all. The bushfires and then the pandemic forced us to reflect on what’s important, how we respond to crises as a community, and the ways we connect and support each other | Monash University, Australia

Cognitive Impairment and AOD Problems

It’s estimated that between 20-80% of people seeking help for alcohol and other drug use will experience some level of cognitive impairment | £^)edge blog, Australia



And finally...

Tooth tartar could uncover the drug habits of ancient people

Want to know whether an ancient Sogdian smoked cannabis or a Viking got high on henbane? A new method, which analyzes drug residue in the tartar of teeth, may soon be able to tell | Science, USA