Daily news - 17th March 2021

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UK news

Updated estimates of population alcohol consumption

Public Health Scotland today published updated estimates of sales-based population level alcohol consumption | Public Health Scotland, UK

The future of UK music festivals - video

Yesterday in Parliament during the Commons select committee discussion on festivals, Prof Fiona Measham of We are the loop, talked about festival drug testing | Parliament TV, UK

Festivals risk panic attacks and drug deaths as 'people haven't been partying for a year', MPs warned

[Limited number of free articles per week] Tolerance to both drugs and crowds will be lower for UK festival goers, according to experts | Telegraph, UK

Scottish naloxone pilot saving lives

Community pharmacists in Glasgow have used a medicine that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses more than 20 times since a programme to allow pharmacies to store kits to administer in an emergency began last year | Health and Care Scotland, UK

Overdose kit handout to reduce drug deaths

A team of people with experience of drug addiction will be patrolling the streets of Middlesbrough distributing potentially life-saving kits | BBC, UK

Vaping firms want advert rules relaxed

[Free one month trial available] A vaping trade association has called on the government to relax regulations as part of a consultation on the future of the industry | The Times, UK

Scotland’s drugs minister Angela Constance hints at funds for Neuro Electric Therapy trial

Scotland’s Drugs Minister Angela Constance has signalled that funding could be made available to study a controversial treatment which supporters say saves heroin users from distressing detox symptoms | Sunday Post, UK

All Good Points' - Stealth Legalisation - video

Up for discussion this week is 'stealth legalisation', how cannabis reform is happening - but not in the way that has always been expected | Volteface, UK

Lessons Learned from REC-PATH Programme of Work

Thu, March 25, 2021. 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM GMT. A 3-hour online summit to celebrate and explore the latest findings of the REC-PATH Research Team | University of Derby, UK



International news

Targeting the European Commission: The 7 Lobbying Techniques of Big Tobacco

A new report analyzes key contacts between the European Commission (EC) and the tobacco industry to better understand why the EC has struggled to implement a consistent policy around industry meetings | STOP, UK et al

ISSDP Research Webinar: Organized crime-related disappearances in Mexico

Thu, 1 April 2021. 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM BST.ISSDP Research Seminar: Organized crime-related disappearances in Mexico: Evidence from Durango, Tamaulipas and Coahuila | ISSDP, UK

'We forget our troubles': crystal meth use rises during lockdown in Zimbabwe

Harare’s drug dealers say business is booming as more young people, some at school, use mutoriro | Guardian, UK

Urban–Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 1999–2019

From 1999 through 2019, the rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.4 per 100,000 to 22.0 in urban counties and from 4.0 to 19.6 in rural counties | CDC, USA

At Last, Some Help for Meth Addiction

Studies show that a behavioral treatment works well and that two medications may also be useful | Scientific American, USA

Purdue makes new offer to settle role in opioid crisis

US drugmaker Purdue Pharma filed a new bankruptcy plan that would see its founders the Sackler families pay an additional $1.5 billion to settle the company's role in the devastating opioid crisis that has killed half a million people | Medical Xpress, USA

D.C. Psychedelics Decriminalization Initiative Officially Takes Effect

A wide range of psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca are now officially the lowest local law enforcement in the nation’s capital as of Monday | Marijuana Moment, USA

Vapers in LMICs Condemn Prohibitions Driven by Western Interests

On May 27, 2020, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease published a statement in anticipation of World No Tobacco Day: Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) should prohibit vapes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) | Filter Magazine, USA

Harm Reduction Services to Get $30 Million in First-Ever Federal Funding

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law last week contained a series of provisions that have excited Democrats and progressives | Filter Magazine, USA

The Nature and Extent of Online Marketing by Big Food and Big Alcohol During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia: Content Analysis Study

Emerging evidence demonstrates that obesity is associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Excessive alcohol consumption and “comfort eating” as coping mechanisms during times of high stress have been shown to further exacerbate mental and physical ill-health | JMIR, Australia

‘Better treatments’: Government to fund psychedelic drugs trials to treat mental illness

Clinical trials using magic mushrooms, ecstasy and other psychedelic drugs in potential breakthrough therapies for debilitating mental illnesses will be funded by the federal government as part of global efforts to advance innovative treatments | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Exploring medicinal cannabis in endometriosis

Endometriosis is a notoriously painful condition affecting more than 11% of Australian women. The condition is characterised by the growth of endometrial tissue (which normally lines the uterus) outside the uterus | Hospital and Healthcare, Australia

WA election: Legalise Cannabis victory likely for WA Upper House, with 2 per cent of primary vote

The Legalise Cannabis WA party says it has been blown away by predictions it could soon take its first seat in Western Australia's Parliament | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Poor representativeness in alcohol cohorts: the nail in the coffin of the ‘heart health benefits’ of moderate drinking?

For decades, cardiologists, GPs, as well as reputable online sources alike have been advising in favour of consuming moderate quantities of alcohol to decrease risk of major cardiovascular conditions | IAS blog, UK

The Eighteenth Brumaire of Generation Sensible

This year, I was emphasising how ‘binge’ drinking has been seen as a development of ‘rave’ or ‘club’ culture.  That producers and retailers of alcohol got worried that a whole generation were foregoing their offer in favour of other places and drugs.  Rather than pubs, people were using fields and warehouses, or at best clubs – and when they went to these places they were more likely to use MDMA than alcohol | Thinking to some pirpose blog, UK

For Victoria, pokies seemed like a good idea at the time

It’s been 30 years since the announcement was made that Victoria would introduce poker machines into the state. While it was Labor who unlocked the door, the Liberal Party has helped prop it wide open. For both parties, it seemed like a good idea at the time | The Age opinion, Australia