Daily news - 9th November 2021

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UK news

Ambition to make Wales smoke-free by 2030 - as smoking remains the leading cause of premature deaths

Deputy Minister for Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle has today (November 8th) launched the consultation for the long term tobacco control strategy, A Smoke-free Wales. It will be open until January 31st. The target of the strategy is a smoke-free Wales by 2030, which means less than 5% of the population smoking | Welsh Government, UK

After covid, is the future of drug and alcohol services digital?

A switch to phone and online offerings might not be the solution for every client, writes Kim Thomas, but they might be part of a long term solution to the funding chasm | BMJ, UK

Requests to the UK Government to devolve powers in dealing with drugs deaths: FOI release

Information on any request by the Scottish Government to the UK Government to devolve powers to them to deal with the drugs deaths problem in Scotland and any requests to deal with the drugs deaths problem by way of a health emergency (between 1st January 2015 to 10th August 2021) | Gov.Scot, UK

Firms under fire for using UK influencers to push nicotine products

Companies accused of using social media influencers to entice young people to try nicotine products | Guardian, UK

Primary care-based drug treatment: case studies

We have been promoting the potential advantages of primary care-based drug treatment, including a reduction health inequalities and the stigma associated the use of drugs. Bristol Drugs Project is one of the longest established services in the UK, and they share their experience in the second of a series of case studies on primary care based drug treatment | Addiction Professionals, UK

I became addicted to drugs at 13 years old

I still remember the feeling of the first joint: I was so calm, relaxed and at ease with the world around me | Metro, UK

Amy Winehouse: Singer's items raise millions at auction

All proceeds are going towards the foundation her parents set up to help young people with addiction issues | BBC, UK

Brain & Mind Made Simple with Prof David Nutt

Thu, 25 November 2021, 18:30 – 20:30 GMT. At this event, Professor David Nutt will cover the range of understandings that modern science has given us into how the basic processes of brain function have developed from primitive organisms such as bacteria and amoeba to become the greatest structure in the known universe | DrugScience, UK

'Super courtroom' to open in Loughborough to deal with gang trials

The Ministry of Justice confirmed the court, the second of its kind in the country, will open in Loughborough, Leicestershire, later | BBC, UK


International news

New global index ranks countries’ efforts to tackle drug use - video

There’s a war that’s been raging for fifty years, in countries across the world – a war on drugs, which virtually everyone involved accepts has failed. Now a new consortium of drug policy, civil society and community organisations has developed a data index which ranks countries according to how well they’re dealing with the problem – and how far they’re prepared to search for new solutions | Channel 4, UK

Criminalisation approach just isn’t delivering for people’, global drug policy commission chair says - video

We were joined by the former New Zealand Prime Minister and chair of the global commission on drug policy, Helen Clark | Channel 4, UK

Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction in London, 2021

All the videos from the recent event in London are now available to view online | Regulator Watch, UK

‘Nonsensical’ to suggest moderate drinking improves health, says expert critical of Australian study

Monash University research fails to recognise moderate drinking and better health are both ‘reflective of middle-class lifestyles’ | Guardian, UK

The vicious cycle of tobacco use and mental illness – a double burden on health

A new factsheet launched by WHO examines the intricate connections between tobacco use and mental illness. The factsheet stresses the urgent need to address these connections: 2 in 3 people with severe mental health conditions are current smokers, which has an enormous impact on health | WHO, Denmark

E-cigarette users face 15% higher risk of stroke at a younger age than traditional smokers

A new study found that adults who used e-cigarettes had a 15% higher risk of having a stroke at a younger age, compared to adults who smoked traditional cigarettes | AHA, USA

Cannabis use disorder may be linked to growing number of heart attacks in younger adults

At a time of increasing legalization of marijuana, a growing number of people under 50 diagnosed with cannabis use disorder were later hospitalized for a heart attack, new research has found | Medical Xpress, USA

Association of Comorbid Behavioral and Medical Conditions With Cannabis Use Disorder in Pregnancy

In this cross-sectional study of females in 35 US states, the proportion of prenatal hospitalizations involving CUD increased substantially between 2010 and 2018. There was a higher prevalence of depression, anxiety, and nausea disorders in prenatal hospitalizations with CUD compared with those without CUD, regardless of concomitant substance use disorders | JAMA Network, USA

Substance use, high alcohol consumption may increase the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation

Using methamphetamines, opiates, cocaine and cannabis, as well as acute alcohol consumption (alcohol consumption within a week preceding an atrial fibrillation event) may increase the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2021 | News Medical, USA

DEA takes aggressive stance toward pharmacies trying to dispense addiction medicine

When Martin Njoku saw opioid addiction devastate his West Virginia community, he felt compelled to help. This was the place he'd called home for three decades, where he'd raised his two girls and turned his dream of owning a pharmacy into reality | npr, USA

New Cannabis Pricing Analysis Report Reveals Similarities—And Differences—In North America Markets

Thanks to widespread legalization, global legal cannabis sales skyrocketed to nearly $21.6 billion last year. As the market continues to rapidly expand, the dynamics of cannabis pricing when compared to other consumer goods remains largely uncertain. A new report is taking a deep dive on this very topic | Forbes, USA

Canada is experiencing an overdose emergency, which killed over 21,000 people between 2016 and 2020. Supervised Consumption Services (SCS) are a core component of Canada’s overdose response

Supervised consumption services (SCS) are health facilities where people consume drugs and are monitored by staff who provide education on harm reduction and provide emergency medical care for overdose | WHYSCS, Canada

Impact of Cannabis Legalization on Youth Contact with the Criminal Justice System (PDF)

One of the primary goals of the Cannabis Act is to minimize youth access to cannabis and divert profits away from the illicit market. Under the Act, the possession of more than five grams of cannabis remains a criminal offence for those under 18 years of age. Youth are also now subject to new provincial sanctions for possession that are specific to each jurisdiction | CCSA, Canada

Drug Checking: Shedding Light On Substance Use Issues

How technologies and conversations are informing the discussion concerning substance use | British Colombia Pharmacy Association, Canada

Results from World Mental Health Surveys finds low rates of people with alcohol use disorder having ‘helpful’ treatment

Results from World Mental Health Surveys have found fewer than half of the people with alcohol use disorder who sought treatment perceived their treatment as being helpful | NDARC, Australia

The case for an Australian heroin trial: strong then, even stronger now

Australia once declined the opportunity to take a fresh, effective tack against heroin addiction. We should not lose a second chance | John Menadue, Australia

Prof Michael Farrell elected as Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

For 50 years, research and advice from Fellows of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia has shaped government policies, been called on by Australia’s leaders, and played a key role in shaping our nation. Professor Farrell joins 742 Fellow in the Academy | NDARC, Australia

We don’t usually talk to our parents about the drugs we take — here’s why we should

When Don was younger, he was solemnly informed by his parents that smoking pot would result in immediate death | abc.net.au, Australia

Melbourne-based individual fined $7,992 for alleged unlawful importation of nicotine vaping products

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued three infringement notices, totalling $7,992, to a Melbourne-based individual for alleged importation breaches involving nicotine vaping products | TGA, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The WHO tobacco control treaty meetings are closed bubbles of cultivated groupthink - a comparison with the UN climate change treaty

At the start of COP-9, the head of the FCTC convention secretariat proudly drew a comparison with the other COP, the one going on in Glasgow dealing with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).  Perhaps she hoping some of the interest in UNFCCC COP-26 would rub off on the altogether more tawdry FCTC COP-9.  But the tobacco COP takes an aggressive exclusionary and insular approach to stakeholders that would never be tolerated in the climate COP | Clive Bates, UK

The police’s new scare campaign won’t stop people from using drugs. But it will increase stigma

As part of a Halloween-inspired campaign, the Australian Federal Police has released a series of ill-advised memes attempting to highlight the “lesser-known impacts” of illicit drug use | Conversation, Australia