Daily news - 19th January 2021

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UK news

Study finds national data may be underestimating illicit drug use in young people

A study published on Monday 18 January in the publication Addiction suggests that the UK government’s current national population-based data may be understating illicit drug usage among young people by as much as 20% | University of Bristol, UK

Can it ever be safe to leave children with dependent drinkers?

Relapse is common after treatment – so is it simply too risky to leave their children with the most severely problematic drinkers, even if they have done well in treatment? What mixtures of support and control have been tried, and how well did they work? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The role of Facebook groups in the management and raising of awareness of antidepressant withdrawal: is social media filling the void left by health services?

[Open access] To illustrate the growth and activities of Facebook withdrawal groups, we examined 13 such groups. All were raising awareness of, and supporting individuals tapering off, antidepressants and were followed for 13 months. A further three groups were added for the last 5 months of the study | Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, UK

'Shameful' budget cuts by Hartlepool Borough Council slammed by national substance misuse provider

Treatment experts UK Addiction Team (UKAT) called the local authority ‘heartless’ after reducing its substance misuse treatment budget from just over £3.2 million in 2016/17 to £2.4 million this year | Hartlepool Mail, UK

Study Drug Sessions - Insights on psychedelic microdosing

Laura provides insight into two microdosing studies that she has been involved with | Drug Science, UK

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

Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 14:00 GMT. We will be discussing the following paper: Thurnell-Read, T. 2011. ‘Common-sense’ research: Senses, emotions and embodiment in researching stag tourism in Eastern Europe. Methodological Innovations Online6(3), pp.39-49 | SARN, UK

E-scooter rider given ban for drink-driving on Isle of Wight

A woman is thought to be the first person in the UK to be found guilty of drink-driving while using an e-scooter | BBC, UK

Harry Baker murder trial: Victim 'dealt drugs and carried knife'

A teenager who was stabbed to death by a "murderous gang" gave free crack and heroin samples to drug users and carried a kitchen knife in his pants, a court heard | BBC, UK



International news

Smoking prevalence among hospitalized COVID-19 patients and its association with disease severity and mortality: an expanded re-analysis of a recent publication

The purpose of this study was to expand the analysis by calculating the prevalence odds ratio (POR) of smoking among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, while the association between smoking and disease severity and mortality was examined by random-effects meta-analyses considering the highly heterogeneous study populations | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

America's opioid crisis continues – tracking supply chains could help tackle the synthetic epidemic

As the USA's devastating opioid epidemic rages on, scientists work to track the use of potent synthetic drugs. Monitoring their circulation and supply is critical to solving the crisis | Geographical, UK

'Will it get me high?' As edible hemp hits Australian menus, customers still wonder

From granola to icy poles to wine, Australian producers and chefs are embracing hemp – no psychoactives allowed | Guardian, UK

Ana Liffey Drug Project Report - Drug-Related Intimidation in Dublin's NEIC

Tue, 26 January 2021, 14:00 – 15:00 GMT. Ana Liffey Drug Project invite you to the launch of Debts, Threats, Distress and Hope: Towards Understanding Drug-Related Intimidation in Dublin’s North East Inner City, a report from the Drug-Related Intimidation Initiative | Ana Liffey, Ireland

Young People in Drug Policy Advocacy 3 – Youth Organisations for Drug Action

Youth Organisations for Drug Action (YODA) is a European network that brings together organisations at the forefront of harm reduction and drug policy reform | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Naltrexone use decreases the risk of hospitalization in persons with alcohol use disorder

Naltrexone, used either alone or together with disulfiram or acamprosate, is associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization due to alcohol use disorder (AUD) when compared with non-use of AUD drugs, a new register-based study shows | Medical Express, Finland

When Physical and Social Pain Coexist: Insights Into Opioid Therapy

The US opioid epidemic challenges us to rethink our understanding of the function of opioids and the nature of chronic pain. We have neatly separated opioid use and abuse as well as physical and social pain in ways that may not be consistent with the most recent neuroscientific and epidemiological research | Annals of Family Medicine, USA

For many, January is a month to rethink how much they imbibe, whether they’re worried about heavy drinking or just looking for a reset | NYTimes, 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

Mexico’s Fentanyl Crisis Reached New Heights in 2020

Trafficking of the deadly opioid fentanyl skyrocketed in 2020 throughout Mexico, solidifying the synthetic drug’s status as a top criminal economy and the country’s role as an international trafficking transit point | Insight Crime, USA

Toronto doctor creates blueprint for reducing addiction stigma in the Muslim community

Series of seminars held inside GTA mosques tackle misconceptions, religious issues | CBC News, Canada

The challenges of addressing addiction, drug use in small-town Nova Scotia

When people think of addiction and drug use in Canada, their minds might turn to cities like Vancouver, Toronto, or even Halifax | CBC News, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 109: The myth of the vaping controversy

We are now used to hearing experts of all disciplines, from virologists to behavioural psychologists, interviewed in the media about COVID-19. There is general agreement on personal safety measures like social distancing and hand-washing. But even at this basic level, questions arise. As it becomes clear that the virus can be carried in airborne droplets, should the recommended distance in the UK remain at 2 metres rather than I metre plus or even 3 metres? | NSP blog, UK

The cannabis industry could give the UK economy the boost it needs after Brexit and Covid

The cannabis industry has been forecast to be on an explosive growth trajectory, not only benefiting big corporations but creating new jobs | Independent Voices, UK

Can wine ever be good for you?

I’m all for respecting wine’s risks. But let’s not discard its soulful pleasures | Guardian, UK

Op-Ed: We Should Not Allow a Marijuana Free-for-All

Harms from cannabis are real -- they must be recognized and mitigated | MedPage Today, USA

Ketamine and Chronic PTSD Symptoms

Repeated ketamine infusions reduces symptoms | Psychology Today blog, USA

Philip Owen Professorship sparks hope during overdose crisis

A conservative politician and a drug user activist may seem like an unusual duo. Yet, Dean Wilson and Philip Owen’s improbable partnership started a transformation in the public understanding of substance use as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue that has lasting impacts to this day | BCCSU blog, Canada