Daily news - 10th March 2021

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UK news

No Smoking Day (10 March 2021)

For this year's national No Smoking Day we're asking you to commit to quit and be a #CovidQuitter | NHS Inform, UK

Smokers who stop happier in long term, No Smoking Day 2021

On No Smoking Day 2021 (Wednesday 10th March) [1] smokers are encouraged to put smoking behind them for a brighter future. New evidence published today shows that smokers who quit for 6 weeks or more are happier than those who carry on smoking. Reductions in anxiety and depression in those who quit smoking are found to be at least as great as from taking anti-depressants | ASH, UK

Smoking prevalence in adults: current smokers aged 18 to 64 by socio-economic group

Updated with a revised spreadsheet | PHE, UK

When “Good Enough” Isn’t Good Enough: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Caring for Adults Using Substances at the End of Life (PDF)

This paper draws on data from one strand of a six-strand, exploratory study on end of life care for adults using substances (AUS). It presents data from the key informant (KI) strand of the study that aimed to identify models of practice in the UK | International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, UK

How drug and alcohol addiction has soared in lockdown - video

One addiction charity says the number of people seeking help at the start of this year was 86% higher than the year before | Channel 4, UK

Smoking More Weed During Lockdown? Here’s How to Slow Down

In the UK, 44 percent of weed smokers have increased their usage since the onset of the pandemic | VICE, UK

Statement Regarding Project Twenty21 and its Official Industry Partners

Drug Science would like to clarify the aims of the Project Twenty 21 initiative and who its industry partners are | Drug Science, UK

Reporting of Substance: A discussion on developing media guidelines

Thu, 11 March 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 GMT. A discussion about developing media guidelines for reporting on alcohol, drugs, addiction and recovery | SFAD / Adfam / SRC, UK

DARC Research Webinar Series 2021: March

Wed, 17 March 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT. James Morris: Why harmful drinkers reject change: coping and cognition in maintaining heavy drinking | DARC, UK

Drugs in Bristol: Students, Covid and the Future of Harm Reduction

Thu, 18 March 2021, 19:30 – 21:00 GMT. The LCDPR returns to Bristol to discuss students, covid and the future of harm reduction | LCDPR, UK


International news

Third landmark ruling for Belgian Cannabis Social Club

On Wednesday the 24th of February, eleven ex-members of former Antwerp Cannabis Social Club “Trekt Uw Plant” were found guilty of cannabis cultivation and sale, but without receiving a punishment | Volteface, UK

Mexico’s cannabis decriminalisation bill on its way to becoming law

Mexico’s president has argued that decriminalising cannabis could help fight the country’s powerful drug cartels | Independent, UK

Why there should be no harmonized excise duties on nicotine-free e-cigarettes in the EU

Since 2016, the European Commission has been working on a revision to the Tobacco Excise Directive, the ‘TED’, the legal framework ensuring excise duties are applied in the same way, and to the same products, throughout the Single Market, writes Donato Raponi, honorary professor of European Tax Law, former head of excise duties unit, consultant in tax law | EU Reporter, UK

Ohio student dies after college fraternity's initiation ceremony

Stone Foltz, 20, was made to drink a "copious amount of alcohol", his family's lawyer told US media | BBC, UK

Significant drop in children drinking alcohol and smoking, new study shows

The number of children dieting has increased in recent years, report says | Irish Times, Ireland

How Covid-19 changed drug crime in Ireland

Drug traffickers used rental cars and exploited children as mules during the last year | Journal, Ireland

Limerick council urged to demolish drug den derelict houses 

Limerick City and County Council have been urged to begin the demolition of a number of derelict houses, which have reportedly been used to store and supply drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EMCDDA trendspotter briefing: Impact of COVID-19 on drug use and drug services in Western Balkans

The Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) registered the main waves of COVID-19 infections later than most of the EU countries, but containment strategies were implemented at the same time and with equal force as in the rest of Europe. This report provides the main results of studies conducted using the trendspotter methodology to explore the impact of the pandemic and associated measures on drug services and people who use drugs in the Western Balkan region | EMCDDA, Portugal

Less party drugs, more weed used in first Covid lockdown

During the first coronavirus lockdown between March and June last year, the Netherlands' nightlife crowd used significantly less party drugs like ecstasy and amphetamine than in the same period in 2019. They also drank less alcohol and smoked less tobacco, though they did smoke more weed, according to a study among people between the ages of 16 and 35 by the Trimbos Institute, NOS reports | NL Times, Netherlands

Multiple Logics: How Staff in Relapse Prevention Interpellate People With Substance Use Problems

[Open access] This study analyzes how staff in Swedish alcohol and other drug (AoD) treatment interpellate service users as people who can benefit from relapse prevention | CDP, Sweden

3.4 percent of U.S. workers are current e-cigarette users

About 3.4 percent of U.S. workers are current electronic cigarette users, and about half also currently use combustible tobacco products, according to research published in the March 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report | Medical Xpress, USA

Dependence on e‐cigarettes and cigarettes in a cross‐sectional study of US adults

Cigarette smoking often results in nicotine dependence. With use of electronic cigarettes as an alternative source of nicotine, it is important to assess dependence associated with e‐cigarette use. This study assesses dependence among current and former adult e‐cigarette users on cigarettes and e‐cigarettes, compared with dependence on cigarettes | Addiction, USA

Steroid abuse by men leads to long-lasting impaired testicular function

Illegal use of anabolic steroids not only has dangerous side effects during use but also can harm of men's testicular function years after they stop abusing steroids, according to a study... | Medical Xpress, USA

Patient interest in extended-release buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment

Extended-release formulations of buprenorphine that alleviate the burden of daily dosing are available in several countries. This study assessed the factors associated with having high vs. low interest in extended-release buprenorphine, among French patients receiving opioid agonist treatment (methadone and tablet/sublingual formulations of buprenorphine) for opioid use disorder | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Pittsburgh creates dashboard to help monitor city opioid overdoses

The city of Pittsburgh has announced the creation of the Opioid Overdose Dashboard to help form and guide programs to address unsafe opioid use in the area | Post Gazette, USA

CBD reduces plaque, improves cognition in model of familial Alzheimer's

A two-week course of high doses of CBD helps restore the function of two proteins key to reducing the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaque, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, and improves cognition in an experimental model of early onset familial Alzheimer's, investigators report | Medical Xpress, USA

WV Governor Bids to Make Smoking Much More Affordable Than Vaping

In a recent series of town hall events in his state, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice made good on a promise from his 2021 State of the State Address: He announced that he would phase out personal income tax. | Filter Magazine, USA

Senate passes bill to regulate syringe exchange programs

Senate Bill 334 has generated significant debate because of the high stakes for communities facing the health consequences of addiction. West Virginia has been among states with the highest rates of death from drug overdoses. West Virginia communities are also at risk for HIV and hepatitis C outbreaks | VW Metro News, USA

Our Adulterated Supply: Underreported Complications for Opioid Users

When I began using heroin on the West Coast in the late 2000s, it came in the form of a sticky black chunk that left a brown residue on my fingertips and smelled heavily like vinegar. “Black tar” heroin was its most common street name | Filter Magazine, USA

Doctor on London's frontlines weighs in on opioid dispensing machine

The doctor leading London's safer drug supply program says a new machine that dispenses hydromorphone tablets to those with prescriptions for the opioid could help people manage and better access their supply | London Free Press, Canada

Impact of darknet market seizures on opioid availability

Opioids, including the highly potent synthetic opioids fentanyl and carfentanil, are commonly sold on illicit cryptomarkets or Tor darknet markets. Data collected throughout 2019 from 12 large darknet markets that sold opioids enabled observation of the impact of law enforcement seizures and voluntary or scam market closures on the availability of fentanyl and other opioids | AIC, Australia

VIDEO: New rules for opioids leaves few options for Aussies in pain

Australian health regulators have limited access to common pain medications, but some people living with chronic pain say they depend on them to function. Sophie Scott reports | abc news, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why the Chancellor’s freeze on alcohol duties is bad news for pubs

It is undoubtedly true that British pubs have faced unprecedented financial challenges throughout the past 12 months, but will a freeze in duties really help, and might there be any wider impacts of this decision? | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Profiting for Prescription: Medicinal Alcohol During Prohibition

Whenever Prohibition reenters the zeitgeist through pop culture like the recent cable TV series Boardwalk Empire or through a historical anniversary, it seems inevitable that someone will produce an “isn’t this ridiculous” style article about the “bizarre” practice of prescribing medicinal alcohol | Points blog, USA

The pandemic broke through opioid treatment red tape. Let’s keep it that way

One thing the federal government got right during the pandemic was making it easier for people to begin opioid use disorder treatment | Inquirer, USA