Daily news - 10th November 2021

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UK news

A Review of the Existing Literature and Evidence on Young People Experiencing Harms from Alcohol and Drugs in Scotland (PDF Document download)

This report provides a review of the existing literature and evidence base relating to alcohol and drug harms experienced by children and younger people (<25 years) in Scotland. It provides an up-to-date overview of the latest data on prevalence and harms related to alcohol and drug use among children and younger people | Scottish Government, UK

Smoking: Plan to make Wales 'smoke-free' by 2030

About 14% of Wales' population currently smoke, but it is hoped the figure will fall below 5% by the end of the decade | BBC, UK

National naloxone programme Scotland - Quarterly monitoring bulletin

Accidental overdose is a common cause of death among users of heroin, morphine and similar drugs, which are referred to as opioids. Naloxone is a drug which reverses the effects of a potentially fatal overdose with these drugs. During 2021/22 Quarter 1 (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021) 5,363 Take-Home Naloxone (THN) kits were issued... | Public Health Scotland, UK

New National Resource around Opioid Agonist Treatment

This resource fits under Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), but is specific to Opiate replacement/agonist treatment | Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to legally require the listing of ingredients in alcoholic drinks | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of education in schools on drug misuse; and whether he will take further steps to reduce the risk of substance misuse in schools | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services; and what level of funding has been allocated to those services in (a) York and (b) England in each of the last 10 years | They work for you, UK

The ethics and management of cannabis use in pregnancy following decriminalisation and licensing for medical use: narrative review

[Open access] As drug policies pertaining to cannabis use become more liberalised, the prevalence of cannabis use in pregnancy could increase. However, there is limited guidance available for clinicians | BJPsych Bulleting, UK

The effects of offering a disposable EC versus NRT on smoking cessation outcomes: a retrospective community pharmacy study

To measure the effectiveness of offering a disposable EC with and/or without nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) compared to NRT alone, on both 4-6 week and 12-week quit rates in adult smokers attending a community pharmacy | Qeios, UK

SSA Annual Conference 2021: poster prize winners

As in 2020, the conference was online, with people attending from across the world. Over the two days, we had delegates from 15 countries for a packed agenda that included 46 speakers and 56 posters. We recorded all the sessions and videos are now available for delegates | SSA, UK

Support from the Change Centre ‘helped me to turn my life around’

The centre offers support to those struggling with drug and alcohol issues, mental health problems and homelessness | STV News, UK

Ipswich Boom Battle Bar gets licence despite axe concerns

A new £1.2m bar has been granted a licence after concerns over the use of axes under the influence of alcohol were addressed | BBC, UK

Drug Related Deaths Annual Conference 2021

Thursday 2nd December (9:30 - 13:00). We will be joined at the conference by a number of speakers including activist and campaigner Peter Krykant who will be talking about the work in Glasgow with his pioneering drug consumption van alongside his new role with the charity Cranstoun, and hearing from Anyone’s Child, the campaign by Transform Drug Policy Foundation | IMS, UK

Preventing underage alcohol purchasing online using payment card details

Wed, 8 December 2021, 14:00 – 15:00 GMT. In a new IAS-funded report, Jess Muirhead looks at how 'Merchant Category Codes' could be used for online alcohol purchases. Every time a payment is made on a bank card, a code is sent with payment details to identify the type of transaction. This is already used to prevent under-18s from gambling and would better protect retailers from illegally selling alcohol to under-18s | IAS, UK

Celebration Research Seminar for Dr Eric Carlin

Mon, 15 November 2021, 15:00 – 17:00 GMT. Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) warmly invite you to join us to celebrate the leadership and commitment of Dr Eric Carlin, SHAAP's Director for nine years | SHAAP, UK

Operation Spoonbill: Teesside drugs gang jailed

Four men have been jailed for their part in an international smuggling ring which brought drugs into Teesside | BBC, UK

Drug smuggler jailed over £2m heroin find at Port of Dover

A man who claimed he had been visiting a Christmas market has been jailed for attempting to smuggle heroin worth almost £2m in his camper van | BBC, UK

Jason Clark death: Stabbing followed drug-taking at Hull flat

A row over missing tablets ended with a father and son high on illegal drugs stabbing a man to death, a murder trial jury has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Global Drug Survey 2022 now launched

Happy birthday to us! 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the first ever Global Drug Survey. Since that time over 900,000 people have taken part in our surveys that have covered all aspects of drug use: everything from sex and drugs, drug delivery and darknet drug markets, changes in drug policy, vaping, novel drugs and the psychedelic renaissance | Global Drug Survey, UK et al

Cannabis Europa London - Streaming Ticket

Thu, 11 November 2021, 10:00 – 17:00 GMT. The European cannabis industry is beginning to realise its potential. 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 et al

Singapore halts execution of Malaysian drug offender with low IQ after he contracts Covid

Malaysian man Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was to be hanged on Wednesday morning | Independent, UK

COMPASS Pathways announces positive topline results from groundbreaking phase IIb trial of investigational COMP360 psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression

Largest randomised, controlled, double-blind psilocybin therapy study ever completed shows rapid and sustained response for patients receiving a single dose of COMP360 psilocybin with psychological support | COMPASS, UK and USA

Initiative To Partially Decriminalize Drug Use Gaining Ground In Lithuania

The Lithuanian Parliament on 14 October approved the legal amendments to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of drugs without intent to distribute, making it an offense under the Code of Administrative Offenses instead of the Criminal Code | Liberties, Germany

Survey: Most willing to forgo opioids after surgery if pain can be effectively managed without them

A new national survey by Orlando Health finds nearly four out of five Americans believe opioids are necessary to manage pain after surgery, but most would also be open to forgoing these potentially harmful medications if there are better options | Medical Xpress, USA

Opioid prescribing among new users for non-cancer pain in the USA, Canada, UK, and Taiwan: A population-based cohort study

The opioid epidemic in North America has been driven by an increase in the use and potency of prescription opioids, with ensuing excessive opioid-related deaths. Internationally, there are lower rates of opioid-related mortality, possibly because of differences in prescribing and health system policies. Our aim was to compare opioid prescribing rates in patients without cancer, across 5 centers in 4 countries | PLOS Medicine, USA

Psilocybin therapy increases cognitive and neural flexibility in patients with major depressive disorder

In an open-label study of 24 patients with major depressive disorder, we tested the enduring effects of psilocybin therapy on cognitive flexibility (perseverative errors on a set-shifting task), neural flexibility (dynamics of functional connectivity or dFC via functional magnetic resonance imaging), and neurometabolite concentrations... | Nature, USA

The DRAM, Vol. 17(12) - Even light drinking is associated with depressive symptoms in adolescents

This week, The DRAM reviews a study by Xiaoyu Zhang and colleagues that examined the association of light drinking in Hong Kong adolescents with depressive symptoms | BASIS, USA

Technology-enhanced contingency management: Exploring the feasibility

Only a subset of people with substance use disorder receive empirically-supported services. Developing and testing ways to get evidence-based treatments to more people may help bridge the divide between treatment need and receipt of services. In this study, researchers explored the feasibility of a digital contingency management intervention for substance use disorder delivered via a smartphone app which ultimately could reach many more people | Recovery Research Institute, USA

UK Will Send a Powerful Message by Allowing NHS to Prescribe Vapes

The UK has long been among the world’s leaders in tobacco harm reduction, and for years the country’s health authorities have endorsed the use of vapes to quit smoking | Filter Magazine, USA

Congressman Sets His Sights on Unregulated Synthetic Nicotine

On November 8, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois), the chair of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy and a longstanding antagonist of tobacco harm reduction proponents, sent ominous letters to two companies that sell synthetic nicotine | Filter Magazine, USA

Let’s Examine the Astroworld Syringe-Wielding Assailant Rumor

On November 5, at the Astroworld festival in Houston, at least eight people were killed in what appeared, from multiple videos and eyewitness accounts, to be a stampede. By the next day, rumors were circulating online that the panic had been fueled by an unknown syringe-wielding assailant running through the crowd and injecting unsuspecting victims with drugs | Filter Magazine, USA

HRI Talks -- Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment in Canada: Are People Getting Better? - video

At HRI Talks, we share new ideas, discoveries, and studies that are helping to transform the mental health and addiction landscape in Canada and beyond. These moderated, interactive events aim to connect people to the meaning and impact of research on our daily lives | HRI, Canada

Treatment for alcohol use disorder often not perceived as 'helpful': WHO survey analysis

A new study analysing data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) World Mental Health surveys in 24 countries has explored how many people with alcohol use disorder seek treatment, and if so, whether they found it helpful | NDARC, Australia

COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among people in Australia who inject drugs: Implications for vaccine rollout

[Open access] Vaccine acceptability is a key determinant of vaccination uptake. Despite being at risk of adverse outcomes from coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19), COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among people who inject drugs is unknown. We surveyed people who inject drugs in Melbourne, Australia to assess potential uptake of COVID-19 vaccines prior to distribution | Drug and Alcohol Review, Australia

DHBs throw weight behind Smokefree 2025 but finalised plan remains unseen

District health boards are backing calls for rapid action on Aotearoa’s smokefree goals saying that otherwise Māori won’t get there for another 40 years | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

My daughter will die without cannabis-based medicine – GPs must be empowered to prescribe it

The government insists that only lengthy clinical trials of these unlicensed medicines could unlock wider access for children in need – but my daughter cannot wait several years | Independent voices, UK

Vaping saves lives — we’re right to promote it

In criticising Britain’s “outlier” approach to vaping, Ben Spencer and Tom Calver cite the anti-vaping orthodoxies favoured by the World Heart Federation and others, but the evidence points the other way (“Vape nation: how did Britain end up so hooked on e-cigarettes?”, News, last week) | The Times, UK

Data is power – and it can help us end the ‘war on drugs’

[Limited number of free articles per week] Drug policies must be aligned with human rights, health and development – punitive and stigmatising laws destroy impoverished communities | Telegraph opinion, UK

Reducing Supply is Key to U.S. Drug Policy | Opinion

The policy priorities and historically high levels of funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy coming out of the Biden administration are encouraging signs. It appears the administration intends to take the issue of addiction seriously. And that's a relief. With thousands dying every year from drug overdoses, we need to coordinate national efforts to stop this scourge and get people help | Newsweek, USA

Pseudoaddiction, Truthiness and the Moral Model of Addiction in America

The moral model of addiction is alive and well in the United States of America. Viewers of the Hulu series Dopesick learned something about this in episode four | Recovery Review blog, USA