Daily news - 18th January 2021

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UK news

COVID-19: evaluation of hepatitis C homeless interventions

An evaluation of hepatitis C test and treat interventions targeted at homeless populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform future service delivery | PHE, UK

A quarter of adults reported drinking more during first lockdown

A quarter of people in the UK reported drinking more than usual during the first lockdown, particularly those who were younger, female and suffering from anxiety, finds a study by UCL researchers | Medical Xpress, UK

Experts counter charity advice not to drink for two weeks after Covid jab

[Limited number of free articles per week] 'A normal, healthy lifestyle, with minimal drinking is okay for the vaccine to have an effect,' experts say | Telegraph, UK

Members' Business (Virtual): Scotland's Drug Deaths Crisis - video

That the Parliament considers problem drug use across the country, including in the Central Scotland region, to be a national public health crisis; believes that every life lost to drug and alcohol misuse is a preventable tragedy; notes the views that more action could be taken at a national and local level to prevent this... | Scottish Parliament, UK

Brexit Has Taken Away My Son’s Life-Changing Medicinal Cannabis

With two weeks’ notice, we lost access to the only treatment which has given Alfie any quality of life. We need urgent assistance | Huffington Post, UK

Justin Clarke - cannabis, autism and me - audio

In this fascinating interview, Justin Clarke gives a unique insight into how cannabis helps him cope with the sensory overload and anxiety commonly experienced by people with autism (ASD) | Cannabis Voices, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) processes, (b) public consultation exercises and (c) other procedures his Department plans to undertake in the production of its next Tobacco Control Plan | They work for you, UK

You Me At Six: Why rock stars don't need to drink

"You walk into a dressing room and there's beers on ice and beers in the fridge. You're there to entertain people and there's a party atmosphere - so you end up drinking every day." | BBC, UK

Start-up Clean Co raises £7m to capitalise on the rise of low-alcohol drinks

[Limited number of free articles per week] The cash injection will help CleanCo expand overseas and invest in marketing in the UK | Telegraph, UK

Study Title: Understanding risky drinking and abstinence in UK police: an interview study

The purpose of this study is to develop our understanding of UK police employees’ own personal experiences of risky drinking or abstaining from alcohol. We are not interested in police employees’ experiences of drinking whilst working | University of Liverpool, UK

The Student Psychedelic Conference

Sat, 30 Jan 2021, 14:00 – Sun, 31 Jan 2021, 20:00 GMT. Our wonderful panelists will be covering a diverse range of topics from patient experience of psychedelic trials, the impact of globalization of ayahuasca, and what psychedelics can tell us about the mind and brain | Drug Science et al, UK

Cannabis factories uncovered in two Bedfordshire villages

Four people have been arrested and more than a hundred plants seized after police raids on two cannabis factories in Bedfordshire villages | ITV, UK


International news

UFC ditch marijuana ban but fighters warned to ‘temper enthusiasm’ after Usada rule change

Fighters will now not risk a ban by taking the drug in the build-up to fights | Independent, UK

'Here in Botswana, dry January has been mandated by the government'

[Limited number of free articles per week] Despite few Covid deaths, strict restrictions remain – but at least nature has offered some solace | Telegraph, UK

Principles of care established for young adults with substance use disorders

Supplement published in Pediatrics highlights evidence on how best to address this unique age group | EurekAlert, USA

FDA issues warning letters to firms selling e-liquids which lack premarket authorization

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 10 firms who manufacture and operate websites selling electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products, specifically e-liquids, advising them that selling these products, which lack premarket authorization, is illegal, and therefore they cannot be sold or distributed in the U.S | News Medical, USA

A good time to quit: Smoking and vaping amid COVID-19

As COVID-19 infections continue to rise and cold and flu season take hold, physicians are adamantly advising patients to do all they can to remain healthy—including not smoking or vaping | Medical Xpress, USA

Trump Administration Will Let More Doctors Prescribe Buprenorphine To Fight Opioid Addiction

The Trump administration introduced new addiction treatment guidelines that give physicians more flexibility to prescribe Buprenorphine to patients struggling with opioid addiction | npr, USA

Alcoholics Anonymous in the age of COVID-19: 'We are building a bigger tent'

“AA has been taken apart and put back together again by COVID." | Ottawa Citizen, Canada

Awakn Life Sciences Appoints CRO to Conduct Phase II Study of MDMA as a Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Awakn Life Sciences announced today the selection of contract research organization ('CRO'), PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ: PRAH), to conduct a Phase IIb trial studying the effectiveness of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy as a treatment for patients with Non-Physically Dependent ('Harmful Use') Alcohol Use Disorder | Newsfile, Canada

Photographing Beyond ‘Needle-in-Puddle’

With so many crises making news these days, we see a rise in harmful imagery. A journalist considers the result | The Tyee, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

The Black Review – a once in a generation opportunity to level up our treatment and recovery system

We welcome the enthusiasm and rigour Dame Black has brought as the Independent Reviewer, and her whole-person approach to treatment and recovery, acknowledging mental health support, housing and routes into employment as vital elements of an effective system, alongside the core of evidence-based pharmacological and psycho-social interventions | Collective Voice blog, UK

For 50 years, zero tolerance to drugs has failed – yet Britain refuses to change

The 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act has needlessly criminalised thousands of people, and done nothing to tackle abuse | Guardian, UK

Is the winter over for rehab in Scotland?

In the midst of winter here in Scotland when days are short, snow is on the ground and we’re in lockdown, it’s easy to get low. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about residential rehabilitation and where it fits into treatment options | Recovery Review blog, UK

Two weeks alcohol-free - what's happening in your body?

By this point you’re almost half way through your dry month! Where are you likely to be at after an amazing two weeks booze-free? | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Tim Dowling: I missed the dry January deadline. Wine it is, then

‘I noticed you’ve just decided to press on,’ says my wife. ‘I’ll probably give up for February instead,’ I say. ‘It’s shorter.’ | Guardian, UK

Taking a Break from Alcohol Can be Good for Your Health

As the New Year rolls in, many people examine their lifestyle choices, including their relationship with alcohol. These observations often lead to New Year’s resolutions, such as participating in “Dry January.” | NIAAA Director's blog, USA

OPINION: An empathy gap is fuelling the overdose crisis

Last month, just before Christmas, the BC Coroners Service did what they’ve done every month now for nearly five years – they released their report on the number of drug overdose deaths in the province | Vancouver is awesome, Canada

Give cannabis producers more packaging and labelling flexibility

While efforts to legalize recreational cannabis nationally have stalled in the United States, New Zealand, Mexico and Israel, Canada’s legal market continues to evolve | Conversation, Canada

Glamorous alcohol ads hide ugly truth

New Zealand deserves a far more robust framework controlling how this drug, that causes so much harm to so many, is being marketed and sold | nr opinion, New Zealand