Daily news - 5th November 2021

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UK news

Medical Cannabis under Prescription: Children with Epilepsy

I beg to move, That this House has considered medical cannabis under prescription for children with epilepsy... | UK Hansard, UK

Programme for Government (Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Food and Drinks Consumption)

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made on the commitments in its programme for government to tackle the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and drinks | They work for you, UK

COVID Vaccinations for people with a drug problem - video

This webinar discussed attitudes to COVID-19 among people with a history of problem drug use, research insights that give a clear picture of the patterns of vaccination in this at risk group and examples of good practice | SDF, UK

HCV Action National Hepatitis C ODN Stakeholder Webinar 2021 - video

Presentations from the HCV Action National Hepatitis C ODN Stakeholder Webinar 2021, featuring updates from NHS England HCV Elimination Programme Leads Professor Graham Foster and Mark Gillyon-Powell, the UK Health Security Agency's Dr Monica Desai and HCV Action Chair Professor Stephen Ryder | HCV Action, UK

Team building

Anna Whitton, WDP’s chief executive officer, explains how and why WDP has revolutionised its workforce benefits and the importance of staff wellbeing to improve outcomes and support their service users | DDN, UK

Home Office sued over ‘racially disproportionate’ new stop and search rules

Campaigners warn scrapping safeguards would allow police to ‘harass communities with racially discriminate practices’ | Independent, UK

Gary Seman award 2021

We are now accepting nominations for the Gary Seaman Award 2021. An annual award presented to an outstanding practitioner, or volunteer, who has made a real difference supporting family members affected by drugs, alcohol or gambling | Adfam, UK

FM to examine prison drug letter claims

Nicola Sturgeon has promised to look into claims that prisons have to return mail that has been soaked in drugs to inmates when they are released | BBC, UK

Happy meal: McDonald's food delivery 'contained bags of cannabis'

A takeaway delivery rider was caught carrying five bags of cannabis together with a McDonald's meal, police say | BBC, UK


International news

Cannabis Europa London - Streaming Ticket

Thu, 11 November 2021, 10:00 – 17:00 GMT. Cannabis Europa London will deliver cutting-edge knowledge from senior government officials, leading scientific experts and some of the most influential businesses in the industry | Cannabis Europa, UK

‘I’ve experienced states of consciousness beyond this life’: The people turning to psychedelics on their deathbeds

Research from Johns Hopkins and NYU suggests that psychedelic drugs can significantly reduce pain and distress for those with terminal illnesses. As the British government faces calls to reschedule these substances, Kevin E G Perry talks to some of those who’ve already chosen to take the trip | Independent, UK

‘A farce of social equity’: California is failing its Black cannabis businesses

Sluggish social equity programs, booming illegal market have left Black entrepreneurs in the cannabis business disappointed | Guardian, UK

Singapore urged not to hang disabled Malaysian in drug case

Singapore is due to hang a Malaysian man next week for smuggling a small amount of heroin into the country, but legal and human rights groups are urging the execution be halted because the man is intellectually disabled | Mail Online, UK

Oireachtas committee warns against banning e-cigarettes 

Removing e-cigarettes from sale could have negative consequences for people trying to quit smoking, the Oireachtas Health Committee has heard | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Association of Racial Disparity of Cannabis Possession Arrests Among Adults and Youths With Statewide Cannabis Decriminalization and Legalization

In this case-control study of 43 US states with and without cannabis policy changes, decriminalization and legalization were associated with large reductions in race-based arrests among adults; however, the timing of effects suggests differential policy effects. Among youth, only decriminalization was associated with reductions in arrests and arrest disparities; cannabis arrests for adults and youth increased over time in states that did not implement a cannabis policy change | JAMA Network, USA

Association of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, and Glycemic Risk Factors With Age-Related Macular Degeneration

 In this mendelian randomization study, genetically predicted smoking initiation and lifetime smoking were associated with elevated risk of advanced AMD, genetically predicted smoking cessation was associated with decreased risk of advanced AMD, and genetically predicted alcohol intake was associated with increased risk of geographic atrophy | JAMA Network, USA

Treatment programs reluctant to allow take-home methadone, survey indicates

A new survey of opioid treatment program leaders reveals that many have resisted easing access to methadone, despite loosening of federal regulations to allow more patients to administer the treatment at home during the COVID-19 pandemic | EurekAlert, USA

Research finds prescription drug misuse among college students most common during weekdays

College students who misuse prescription drugs do so more often during the week and when they are alone at home, according to a recent study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence | Medical Xpress, USA

Support for Legal Marijuana Holds at Record High of 68%

More than two in three Americans (68%) support legalizing marijuana, maintaining the record-high level reached last year | GALLUP, USA

Biden Has the Power to Practically Legalize Marijuana Without Congress

President Joe Biden can grant mass amnesty to people who have violated federal marijuana laws, congressional researchers said in a new report, adding that his administration can also move to federally legalize cannabis without waiting for lawmakers to act | Filter Magazine, USA

Alcohol and cannabis sales across Canada rose by over $2.6B during the pandemic, study suggests

More attention needed on treating addictions as pandemic wanes, experts say | CBC News, Canada

Out-of-pocket costs for people receiving Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) equates to one-eight of their income new study shows

Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney surveyed 402 people receiving OAT (including methadone and buprenorphine) in New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania and found that the vast majority paid some out-of- pocket costs | NDARC, Australia

What works. Alcohol and other drug interventions in prisons (PDF)

Around half of all Australian prisoners are likely to meet the criteria for alcohol and other drug dependence. Given the high prevalence of alcohol and other drug problems among people in Australian prisons and the relationship between alcohol and other drug use and its potential influence on reoffending, the period of imprisonment represents an excellent opportunity to deliver evidencebased treatment | 360Edge, Australia

MJA Podcasts 2021 Episode 46: Barbiturates have become a drug of self-harm, with Professor Shane Darke

Professor Shane Darke is from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW Sydney. He discusses trends in barbiturate use over the past two decades | MJA, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Are zero and low alcohol alternatives just a drop in the ocean when it comes to tackling the harms of alcohol?

We’ve come a long way since Becks Blue was your go-to if you were looking for an alcohol-free alternative to beer | NIHR blog, UK

A short history of the Misuse of Drugs Act

Drug prohibition in the UK stretches back to the early 20th century. During World War I, restrictions were placed on the possession opium, cannabis and cocaine as part of wartime measures | Transform blog, UK