Daily news - 27th October 2021

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UK news

Intended and unintended consequences of the implementation of minimum unit pricing of alcohol in Scotland: a natural experiment

This study found that implementation of minimum unit pricing at 50p per unit was unproblematic with no evidence of beneficial or harmful impacts on the outcomes evaluated | NIHR, UK

SDF study benchmarks progress towards MAT implementation

The living experience of people in medication assisted treatment (MAT) has been surveyed by a team of thirteen researchers at Scottish Drugs Forum.  The researchers all have their own lived experience of problem substance use and six are currently in medication assisted treatment | SDF, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to protect children from alcohol marketing on TV and digital spaces | UK Parliament, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the geographical differences that exist across England in the prescription of Sativex, which is used to treat moderate to severe spasticity in MS | They work for you, UK

Claire and Jose get off their cake: ecstasy, raving and women’s pleasure in 1990s Britain

Momentous shifts in British nightlife were catalysed by the drug ecstasy during the 1990s. This article explores the tension between older attitudes towards women’s drug use and new discourses of feminine pleasure by using materials produced by Lifeline, a Manchester-based drugs harm reduction charity | Cultural and Social History, UK

SDF Webinar: COVID Vaccinations for people with a drug problem

Friday 29 October 2021, 13.00 – 14.00. Katy MacLeod from SDF will discuss attitudes to COVID-19 among people with a history of problem drug use. Sharon Hutchison of Glasgow Caledonian University/Public Health Scotland will share insights from her significant research in this area and give a clear picture of the patterns of vaccination in this at risk group | SDF, UK

"Overlooked" - Adfam's new research report launch 2021

Tue, 2 November 2021, 12:00 – 13:00 GMT. Adfam is hosting an online event to mark the launch of our new report: 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 | Adfam, UK


International news

Estimation of the global number of e-cigarette users in 2020

The combustion of tobacco is the main cause of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. E-cigarettes are potentially disruptive innovations with considerable potential for population health. A key question is whether e-cigarettes are replacing tobacco cigarettes, which requires mapping their prevalence. Collecting information on nicotine use is difficult for many countries due to cost. The objective of this study was to derive a global estimate of e-cigarette use (vaping) | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Death, addiction, grace: a year as chaplain in New York’s toughest hospital

While training as a chaplain and caring for society’s most vulnerable, I learned that spiritual care is an act of social justice | Guardian, UK

Businesses in Thailand urge government to reverse alcohol ban

Borders to open after 18 months of Covid restrictions that did ‘catastrophic damage’ to tourism sector | Guardian, UK

Seven people caught for drug-driving every day as drink-drive numbers drop

The number of people caught drug-driving has almost doubled during the pandemic with over 2,600 offences last year. It comes as arrests for driving while over the legal alcohol limit continues to fall with 988 cases in the first three months of 2021, the first time this figure has been below 1,000 in an annual quarter | Independent, Ireland

Calls to ban online ads for junk food, alcohol, and gambling targeting children

A new online safety bill should include a ban on advertising junk food, alcohol, high fat/salt/sugar foods, and gambling to children, an Oireachtas committee has recommended | Irish Examiner, Ireland

New psychoactive substances: health and social responses

The new psychoactive substances miniguide provides an overview of the most important aspects to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to problems related to new psychoactive substances, and reviews the availability and effectiveness of the responses. It also considers implications for policy and practice | EMCDDA, Portugal

Trends in the Use of Benzodiazepines, Z-Hypnotics, and Serotonergic Drugs Among US Women and Men Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This cohort study of US adults (15.1 million to 17.3 million depending on the year studied) found an increase in Z-hypnotic and serotonergic drug prescriptions in both men and women along with an increase in benzodiazepine prescriptions in women at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic | JAMA Network Open, USA

Recovery networks and their influence on abstinence among women in early recovery from a substance use disorder

Recovery capital refers to internal and external resources an individual can access to start and sustain recovery from a substance use disorder. Social recovery capital -- familial, intimate, and social relationships that are supportive of recovery -- is one aspect of this | BASIS, USA

De Blasio administration pushes to approve supervised injection sites

The New York City health department is “moving aggressively” to green-light a long-stalled pilot program to open at least two supervised injection facilities aimed at reducing overdose deaths, according to four people with knowledge of the plan | Politico, USA

In a bid to stop overdose deaths, California could allow drug use at supervised sites

Diamond Mendoza rolled up the sleeve of her shirt — a yellow tee decorated with an exuberant rendering of the Mona Lisa — to show the scars of abscesses that had been lanced and healed | LA Times, USA

“Opioid Reckoning”: Oral Histories of the Complex Origins of Rehab

Language around addiction has changed so quickly in the past few years that Rose decided to change the name of her organization from Our Young Addicts to OYA to take the focus off the word “addict.” | Filter Magazine, USA

NIDA to Congress: Schedule I Is Obstructing “Critical Research” on Marijuana, Opioids

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) told Congress in a report obtained by Marijuana Moment that the Schedule I status of controlled substances like cannabis is preventing or discouraging research into their potential risks and benefits | Filter Magazine, USA

Adults under 35 who experience chronic pain are more likely to use cannabis or CBD to manage it

Official recommendations for first-line treatment for chronic pain include massage therapy, yoga, physical therapy, and exercise | EurekAlert, USA

Study shows medicinal cannabis products can help with depression and improve quality of life

A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in the U.S. has found evidence that medicinal cannabis products relieve depression and improve the quality of life. In their paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, the group describes their study involving online surveys about the benefits of cannabis products | Medical Xpress, USA

This is how cannabis gets turned into CBD

At Vantage Hemp’s huge factory in Colorado, cannabis goes through the complex process of being processed into CBD | WIRED, USA

Improving the regulation of medical cannabis in Canada to better serve pediatric patients

Children with chronic debilitating illness and pain are increasingly using cannabis for medical purposes, particularly when conventional treatment options have limited benefit or substantial adverse effects. Caregivers are becoming aware of evidence that suggests medical cannabis provides benefit for children with conditions that include drug-resistant epilepsy, cancer pain and autism | CMAJ, Canada

2021 has been a difficult year for many Australians – especially Year 12 students

You Got This is an initiative developed by DrinkWise, it features well-known Australians offering messages of support to Year 12s, encouraging them to stay positive and resilient, but also reminding them if they are feeling stressed or anxious, there are support services that can offer help and advice | DrinkWise, Australia

Fair and equitable access to vaccination for people living with mental illness and substance use disorders

The following Global Call to Action has been co-authored by an international working group and joined by experts by experience, health practitioners, scientists, public health experts, and community leaders | Equally Well Alliance, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The ‘war on drugs’ kills thousands of people like my son every year

Legal regulation of the supply of drugs rather than highly publicised seizures would be much more effective, says Pat Hudson | Guardian letters, UK

How we treat homeless people with mental illness and addiction must change

Too often sick patients seeking help are turned away from the care they need | Irish Times, Ireland