Daily news - 2nd March 2021

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DDN March 2021 out now

Early trauma is an incredibly complex subject and yet it is the common thread that runs through so much of our work. Adverse Child Experience (ACE) studies have highlighted the links between addiction and neglect, abuse and violence, yet how often do we use this knowledge to develop our responses? Dr Suzanne Zeedyk (interview, p6) said in a recent online event by Favor UK that ‘we’re not curious enough about the scars people carry, and that feeds denial’ | DDN, UK

Medical experts call for 'safe' drug consumption rooms

Scotland should introduce "safe consumption rooms" to tackle a record number of drug deaths, senior medical professionals have said | BBC, UK

Open consultation: Proposed changes for calculating alcohol-related mortality

his is a consultation to gather views on our proposed changes to the methods used to calculate and update attributable fractions for alcohol-related mortality and hospital admissions. This consultation closes at
11:59pm on 12 April 2021 | PHE, UK

February 2021 with special guest Dr Rachna Begh [emerging evidence in e-cigarette research - podcast ]

This podcast is a companion to the electronic cigarettes Cochrane living systematic review and shares the evidence from the monthly searches. In this episode Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Nicola Lindson interview Dr Rachna Begh about the findings from her ongoing UK Management of Smoking in Primary Care, MaSC, study | University of Oxford, UK

Sexualised drug use among LGBT people: a mixed methods study of reasons for engagement and associations with physical and psychological wellbeing [PhD thesis]

Sexualised drug use has previously been researched among men who have sex with men (MSM) in relation to sexual health and sexual risk behaviours. The topic has received more attention due to the emergence of chemsex as a public health issue, which is a particular form of sexualised drug use, but little research has been conducted to understand any possible relationship with psychological health | Hibbert, M, UK

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor urges ministers to investigate drug-free addiction treatment

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor has urged the Scottish Government to investigate a drug-free treatment to break the cycle of addiction | Sunday Post, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposed restrictions on (a) advertising and (b) promotion of on foods high in fat, salt or sugar on alcohol marketing and advertising | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Smuggling

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what quantity by weight of (a) cannabis, (b) heroin, (c) morphine, (d) cocaine (including crack), (e) benzodiazepines, (f) synthetic cannabinoids, (g) amphetamines, (h) MDMA, (i) LSD, (j) magic mushrooms and (k) anabolic steroids were seized by (i) the police, (ii) Border Force, (iii) prison services, (iv) armed forces and (v) other government agencies... | They work for you, UK

Britain’s licensed premises closing at more than one an hour

Nearly 12,000 licensed premises have closed in Britain since December 2019, the new edition of the Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners reveals—an average of around 30 a day and the highest rate on record | CGA, UK

Rugby stars George Kruis and Dominic Day back Britain as medical cannabis pioneer

[One month's access free - registration required] Britain should take advantage of Brexit by appointing a “cannabis tsar” to help it become the leading country in Europe for medical cannabis, according to a group of business leaders and cross-party politicians | The Times, UK

Exchange Supplies training for level 2 Needle and Syringe Programme Practitioners  

This course, which is now endorsed by NICE, is free, and covers the core knowledge and skills required by all practitioners delivering tailored injecting equipment supply | Exchange Supplies, UK

Key findings, Addiction Journal - March 2021

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue. Each key finding is below the article title, with a link to the abstract | SSA, UK

Street Drugs Discussions: A deep dive on the regulation of stimulants

Fri, 5 March 2021, 13:00 – 15:00 GMT. Steve Rolles and Roz Gittins will be discussing stimulant regulation, harm reduction and the use/misuse of these drugs. Furthermore, they will extrapolate on the role of pharmacists and policy makers to reduce the harms of stimulant use | Drug Science, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Drinking transitions during lockdown

Wed, 28 April 2021, 12:30 – 14:00 BST. Dr Emily Nicholls (University of Portsmouth) and Dr Dom Conroy (University of East London) will deliver a presentation entitled: "Understanding drinking transitions during lockdown: social inequalities, alcohol and the COVID-19 pandemic" and we will then open to Q+A and wider discussion | SHAAP, UK

Ambleside chef turned coronavirus lockdown drug dealer jailed

Liam David Ellison, 29, turned to dealing cocaine and cannabis to make money during lockdowns, Carlisle Crown Court heard | BBC, UK

Ex-BBC producer who supplied drugs for VIP sex parties jailed for 21 months

Alexander Parkin, 45, was a “go-to guy” for illicit substances on the gay chemsex scene, offering drugs including meth, ketamine, and GBL to people he met through his interior design business | Evening Standard, UK

Nasir Patrice: Youth 'used sword' to kill at drug flat, jury told

A 16-year-old boy used a "metre-long" sword to kill another teenager at a flat being used by drug dealers, a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

‘Dangerous data’ part 5: Inquiries reject fraud allegations

Establishing fraud seemed the only way to fatally undermine the Sobells’ findings vindicating controlled drinking as a treatment goal, but inquiry after inquiry cleared the couple. Mary Pendery’s part in the campaign to discredit the findings ended with murder by a drunken former patient | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

WA could keep border checks and tracking post-Covid to stem flow of drugs

Premier Mark McGowan says he is not ruling out continued use of the G2G tracking pass as a result of the state’s fall in drug importation | Guardian, UK

Minister Donnelly’s deferral of minimum pricing totally unacceptable

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, has today (Monday, 1 March), criticised the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, for his cavalier deferral of minimum unit pricing (as reported by Sunday Times, 28 Feb) | Alcohol Action Ireland, Ireland

COVID - 19 and people who use drugs: Essential interventions to save lives and protect people (PDF)

There are many people fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with all their might, but not all of them get much public attention. Among them are the frontline workers who continue to provide much-needed health services to people who use drugs. Every day, they stand up for a group of the most vulnerable people in society: people whose drug dependence often goes hand-inhand with social and health grievances, such as HIV infection, unemployment or homelessness | Correlation Network and Pompidou Group, The Netherlands and France

CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers® Campaign Returns With New Ads

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign enters its 10th year today with new ads that encourage people who smoke to quit. The Tips campaign is the nation’s first federally funded tobacco education campaign and has helped more than 1 million U.S. adults to quit smoking and inspired millions more to try to quit | CDC, USA

Addiction as a brain disease revised: why it still matters, and the need for consilience

The view that substance addiction is a brain disease, although widely accepted in the neuroscience community, has become subject to acerbic criticism in recent years | Neuropsychopharmacology, USA

Prescription opioid misuse tied to increased suicide behaviors in youth

Youth with prescription opioid misuse (POM), especially current POM, have an increased risk for suicide-related behaviors, according to a study published online March 1 in Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

The value of studying supply chains for tobacco control

Tobacco control research and advocacy has yet to capitalize on understanding the tobacco industry supply chain. The objective of this narrative review is to expose the processes, actors and supporting industries involved in tobacco production, laying the groundwork to expand the scope of tobacco control beyond the transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) | Tobacco prevention and cessation, USA

Most People With Addiction Outgrow It Naturally. We Need to Hear Them

All life studies of people’s drug use show that most people who develop addictions—a small minority of drug users—move past their addictions on their own over time, usually without total abstinence. People everywhere have experiences to share of such natural, developmental recovery; just try asking people you know, for example about past smoking | Filter Magazine, USA

Rhode Island Senate Approves Bill Allowing Safe Consumption Sites For Illegal Drugs

The prospect of safe consumption sites (SCS) for mitigating the United States’ historic overdose death toll has long been delayed by the federal obstruction of a Philadelphia-based organization’s bid to open the first sanctioned site. Now, hope may be found a few states over: Rhode Island, where residents are witnessing an exacerbated fatal overdose crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic | Marijuana Moment, USA

Belize Officials, Police Help Hide Drug Planes

Belize is grappling with reports that corrupt officials have been facilitating the nation’s use as a transit point for cocaine | Insight Crime, USA

Dozens of 'Black Balloons' on display to raise awareness of overdose deaths

Cards put up along Churchill Drive in week leading up to Black Balloon Day on March 6 | CBC News, Canada

Opioids: How NZ avoided the crisis engulfing North America

Through a combination of good policy, good policy changes and good luck, New Zealand has so far avoided the opioid crisis that has engulfed North America, a new study has found | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

UK budget: Why is public health being left solely in the hands of our Chancellor?

A new and crucial budget is happening this week in the UK. The Alcohol Health Alliance UK has submitted evidence to the Treasury about the urgent need to increase alcohol duty in order to protect our nation’s health | BMJ opinion, UK

The importance of evidence-based policy and practice

Evidence-based policy and practice utilises research, clinical experiences, and patient preferences to provide health and social care professionals, educators, and policy makers with the best available knowledge about specific treatments, social interventions, and many other areas | DRNS blog, UK

Body Brokers review – drug abusers feed addiction to profit

Michael K Williams stars as a hustler on the hunt for addicts to place in insurance-funded treatment centres in this cynical take on US healthcare fraud | Guardian, UK

Hidden Addicts: The Elderly and the Opioid Epidemic

“The face of the nation’s opioid epidemic increasingly is gray and wrinkled,” wrote The Washington Post in 2018, “but that face often is overlooked in a crisis that frequently focuses on the young.” | Points blog, USA

A rare and significant win for prisoners — new limits around drug tests and strip searches

Australian prisoners are regularly subjected to drug and alcohol testing and strip searches | Conversation, Australia