Daily news - 3rd November 2021

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UK news

Overlooked: Why we should be doing more to support families and friends affected by someone else's drinking, drug use or gambling

This report examines Adfam's latest research with YouGov on the prevalence of people currently negatively affected by the drinking, drug use or gambling of a family member or friend in 2021, and the different challenges and impacts these families currently face. The report's findings highlight the need for more recognition of the impacts on families and friends and it includes recommendations on how to better support this overlooked group | Adfam, UK

Medical use of cannabis

This briefing provides an overview on the recent change in the law and debate on medicinal cannabis products | House of Commons library, UK

Medical Cannabis Awareness Week 2021

Medical Cannabis Awareness Week kicked off on Monday, marking three years since cannabis was legalised for medical purposes | Volteface, UK

Teagan Appleby's fight for cannabis prescription continues

A mother who spends about £2,000 each month on medicinal cannabis for her daughter is among a group of families calling for the NHS to supply the drug | BBC, UK

One in five 13-14-year-olds have seen drugs being sold on social media

Exclusive: Over a third of teenagers have seen drugs sold online including cocaine and ecstasy | Independent, UK

Why voluntary nutrition labels for alcoholic drinks won’t work

A voluntary e-label scheme has been developed by European wine and spirits trade bodies Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins and Spirits Europe enabling wine and spirit producers to communicate nutritional, calorie and allergen information via QR codes on bottles. Richard Horwell - owner of Brand Relations - is sceptical | Food Manufacture, UK

Drugs: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his officials in his Department have had with commissioners of substance misuse services to assess the adequacy of their funding in meeting demand for those services | They work for you, UK

Smoking Cessation: Prescription of E-cigarettes

(Urgent Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make a statement to the House on the Government’s announcement that e-cigarettes will be available on prescription | They work for you, UK [video of debate | BBC]

Phoenix Futures sends a message to COP26 – Recovery Is Possible

Phoenix uses conservation to help people realise they have the power to make positive change in their lives. The Recovery through Nature programme, developed over 20 years by Phoenix’s Environmental and Sustainability Manager Jon Hall, enables people in addiction treatment to take part in a wide range of conservation projects.  Engaging with nature, and working as a team to conserve our shared natural environment, is a powerful means of improving mental health and wellbeing | Phoenix Futures, UK

Gay sauna granted alcohol licence after patrons said it would offer an alternative to 'dangerous chemsex'

“If an alcohol license isn’t granted, then chemsex will continue to increase in domestic settings in Manchester.” | Manchester Evening News, UK

Guernsey States set to debate cannabis legalisation

A call for Guernsey to legalise cannabis is set to be debated by the island's government in 2022 | BBC, UK

Notorious dark web administrator ordered to hand over more than £490k amassed from criminal activity

At a recent confiscation hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, HHJ Teague QC ordered White to repay £493,550.00 from his bitcoin holdings. All electronic items used by White in commission of the offences were also forfeited | NCA, UK

Alcohol & Relationships: A Bookish Exploration

Tue, 16 November 2021, 19:00 – 20:00 GMT. The representation of those with alcohol and drug dependency in books and films, has long been problematic. More often than not, the addict is cast as inherently bad, abusive and violent and such one dimensional depictions do nothing to destigmatize the shame surrounding substance misuse | Tandem Collective UK, UK


International news

California legalized weed five years ago. Why is the illicit market still thriving?

Despite appearances, the state’s cannabis industry is in disarray as legal businesses struggle to make a profit | Guardian, UK

The increased risk of multiple sclerosis associated with HLA-DRB1*15:01 and smoking is modified by alcohol consumption

In conclusion, non-drinkers have an increased risk of developing MS compared to drinkers, and non-drinking interacts with DRB1 and smoking to increase the risk of the disease | Lancet, UK

The rise of Trinidad’s cocaine caliphate

Separated by 6,000-odd miles and myriad cultural differences, Syria’s killing fields and the sun and soca-drenched beaches of Trinidad and Tobago seem, on the face of it, to be worlds apart | UnHerd, UK

Constellations 16-24 Nov 2021

CONSTELLATIONS is an Online Festival on Drugs and Harm Reduction. While there is a charge for this event a full festival pass for those in full-time education, those without a wage and those who volunteer is just £25 | HRI, UK

Alcohol abstinence and mortality in a general population sample of adults in Germany: A cohort study

Evidence suggests that people who abstain from alcohol have a higher mortality rate than those who drink low to moderate amounts. However, little is known about factors that might be causal for this finding. The objective was to analyze former alcohol or drug use disorders, risky drinking, tobacco smoking, and fair to poor health among persons who reported abstinence from alcohol drinking in the last 12 months before baseline in relation to total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality 20 years later | PLOS Medicine, Germany

COVID-19 Didn’t Stop Millions of Youth From Continuing to Vape

Researchers from the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that 2 million middle school and high school students currently use e-cigarettes, and most prefer the flavored varieties | JAMA Network, USA

NY Employers Can (Mostly) No Longer Fire You for Using Weed Off the Job

New Yorkers can no longer be fired for using marijuana while off the clock. Updated guidelines released by the state Department of Labor (DOL) in October stipulate that the detection of cannabis in a drug test is no longer sufficient grounds to penalize workers | Filter Magazine, USA

The FDA’s Vape Fiasco Will Perpetuate Smoking Deaths

What’s not to love to hate about the Food and Drug Administration’s non-decisions on nicotine vapes? We’re now almost two months past the FDA’s deadline to determine, through its Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (PMTA) process, whether different vaping products are “appropriate for the protection of public health.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Policy in focus: Is psilocybin the next cannabis?

Research interest in the therapeutic use of psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms,” is growing alongside a “wild west” of dispensaries in Canada and the United States | CMAJ, Canada

The Bulletin - November issue

In this issue of The Bulletin we showcase strategies developed both overseas and here in Australia for engaging with people who use drugs on the crucial topic of COVID-19 vaccination; delve into the increasing use of social media as a platform for trading substances in a world in lockdown; and look into the key takeaways from Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021 | Penington Institute, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

What does the announcement that vaping may be prescribed by doctors mean to UK consumers

A number of newspapers have reported on Friday’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, that medicinal licensing of e-cigarettes may be more of a possibility after guidance was changed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The story appeared on the front page of no fewer than four national dailies | NNA, UK

Cranstoun responds to the 2021 Spending Review

Cranstoun is a social justice charity empowering people and empowering change working across the areas of substance use, criminal justice, domestic abuse, housing, and young people. The spending review is an opportunity for government to invest in the future, to tackle inequalities and support people in the UK to prosper | Cranstoun, UK