Daily news - 29th October 2021

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UK news

E-cigarettes could be prescribed on the NHS in world first

England could be the first country in the world to prescribe medicinally licensed e-cigarettes to help reduce smoking rates | DHSC, UK

What are e-cigarettes and are they safe?

E-cigarettes are set to be prescribed on NHS to tackle smoking, but what is the debate around them? | Guardian, UK

Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs Report

Dan Carden MP: "I beg to move, That this House has considered Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs report. The damning conclusion of part two of Dame Carol Black’s review was that “the public provision we currently have for prevention, treatment and recovery is not fit for purpose, and urgently needs repair.” I have called today’s debate because the report’s recommendations are too important to be left gathering dust on ministerial bookshelves | They work for you, UK

Alcohol Monitoring Statistics: Ad Hoc statistical release (PDF)

This publication sets out statistics on the number of Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) orders and the rate of compliance with those orders for the 6 months from April to September 2021 | MoJ, UK

Ex-SNP justice secretary says minimum alcohol price should be increased in Scotland

The Alba party MP has called on the Scottish Government to demand a review of the policy | Daily Record, UK

Drugs and me: Benefit and harm management for safer and healthier drug use

New website launched. Drugs and me is a social enterprise for benefit-harm management in the context of drug use. We are a small team of scientists, writers and engineers developing content, digital tools & research to help people make healthier and safer decisions while using drugs recreationally | Drugs and me, UK

How Gender Affects the Way We Use Drugs

A person’s sex and gender have a significant bearing on the way that they interact with drugs, from first encounters, to motivations for use and methods of treatment | Talking Drugs, UK

The Use of Technology in Detecting and Responding to Overdose

Thu, 11 November 2021, 13:00 – 14:30 GMT. We would like to understand the views of service providers about drug users to understand their digital technology needs and how digital technology can improve safety for these people | Stirling University, UK

Hamilton's Sarah Rhind: 'I was a heroin addict at 18, but the one thing I always had was football'

Hamilton Academical's Sarah Rhind was a heroin addict and had been homeless for four years when her dad died in a car crash. That pushed her to get clean | BBC, UK

Legalising cannabis ‘in islands’ interest’

It is in the Channel Islands’ interests to legalise the recreational use of cannabis, Guernsey’s former Chief Minister has said – and he believes it is only a matter of time before the bailiwicks follow in the footsteps of other jurisdictions | Jersey Evening Post, UK

Enfield train crash: Driver arrested after drugs test

The driver of a train that crashed through buffers at a north London station has been arrested after allegedly testing positive for drugs | BBC, UK


International news

Awakn Life Sciences Identifies New Chemical Series Via Its Drug Discovery Program

Awakn Life Sciences Corp...a biotechnology company developing and delivering psychedelic therapeutics (medicines and therapies) to treat addictionannounced today the success of phase one of its new chemical entity (NCE) development program to strengthen Awakn’s pipeline for the treatment of a broad range of both substance and behavioral addictions | Awakn, UK and Canada

Implementation of medicinal cannabis in Australia: innovation or upheaval? Perspectives from physicians as key informants, a qualitative analysis [Australia]

A thematic qualitative analysis of 21 in-depth interviews was undertaken to explore the narrative on the policy and practice of medicinal cannabis prescribing. The analysis used the Diffusion of Innovations (DoI) theoretical framework to model the conceptualisation of the rollout of medicinal cannabis in the Australian context | BMJ Open, UK

Laos makes Southeast Asia's largest ever drug bust

Officers intercepted a truck carrying 55 million amphetamine tablets and more than 1.5 tonnes of crystal meth, the UN crime agency said | BBC, UK

Long-term impact of Covid-19 on drug and alcohol addiction unclear, report warns

Merchants Quay Ireland has warned it could take years before the impact of the pandemic on drug and alcohol use is fully known, with some people coming forward for help while others fell into addiction | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Addiction charities say State bodies not committing to funding

Second charity facing closure warns annual funding of €7,500 not feasible to operate on | Irish Times, Ireland

Munster's first non-alcoholic nightclub promises 0% alcohol, 100% craic  

One in four Irish people are teetotal and The Virtue Club is a new venue for those who don't want alcohol | Irish Examiner, Ireland

#MoreThan Video Contest – Call for Applications

The International Network of People Who Use Drugs, together with the Rights Reporter Foundation, launches the #MoreThan Video Contest to promote a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate approach in presenting the lives of people who use drugs. The deadline for applications is November 15th, 2021 (11:59 pm CET) | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Pompidou Group celebrates its 50th anniversary

The Council of Europe’s International Cooperation Group on Drugs and Addictions (Pompidou Group) marked its 50th anniversary in Paris at an event looking back over its history and successes | EMCDDA, Portugal

Quit Smoking Before 45 & Wipe Out 87% of Lung Cancer Risk

Smokers who kick the habit before age 45 can nearly eliminate their excess risk of dying from lung or other cancers, a new study estimates | US News, USA

Carl Hart on studying drugs, suing drugs and staying safe - podcast

Carl Hart's specialty is neuropsychopharmacology. He's the Ziff Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. He's published hundreds of scientific articles on psychoactive drugs, including many which challenge conventional thinking | Psychoactive with Ethan Nadelmann, USA

Q and A: Does CBD live up to its claims?

For years, I have been hearing about the advantages of taking CBD products for sleep, pain and just about anything that ails you. I now see these products everywhere being sold over the counter in drug stores. Is CBD beneficial, and does it live up to its claims? | Medical Xpress, USA

Considerations for Virtual Services and Supports for Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders [Policy Brief]

This policy brief highlights key findings from a national survey of people who use substances about their perceptions of and experiences with accessing virtual services through telemedicine, video conference and other apps | CCSA, Canada

Report 14 of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program

Report 14 of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program (the Program) covers around 56 per cent of the Australian population, which equates to about 13 million people. Fifty-six wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated in the April 2021 collection, which monitored the consumption of 12 substances | ACIC, Australia

Do men or women in Australia use pharmaceutical drugs for non-medical purposes more often?

Among Australians who have used pain-killers/pain-relievers/opioids for non-medical purposes in the past 12 months, women are more likely than men to use every few months. Men are more likely than women to use once or twice a year | NADK, Australia

World-first psilocybin clinical trial in treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder receives ethics approval

Monash University has obtained ethics approval for a world-first clinical trial investigating psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of severe Generalised Anxiety Disorder | National Tribune, Australia

Government gives $800,000 to recreational drug testing services

While pill testing has operated to some extent for years, it did so in an uncertain area that stopped it getting into major music festivals. Even when the Government legalised it last year, the charity running drug testing services didn’t have the funding to get to major festivals anyway | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand

Govt funding to speed up medicinal cannabis industry

The government is putting $760,000 into a joint research programme to speed up the establishment of a medicinal cannabis industry here | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

With You responds to the 2021 Budget and Spending Review

Yesterday the Chancellor announced the result of the 2021 Spending Review alongside the Autumn Budget Statement. The Budget and Spending Review sets out the government’s fiscal priorities, with far reaching implications for our mental health, drug and alcohol treatment as well as young persons services | With You, UK

British Liver Trust welcomes the Budget

The British Liver Trust welcomes the Chancellor’s Budget announcement of £2.3bn over the next three years for 100 community diagnostic centres across England, helping patients access earlier diagnostic tests closer to home and the announcement of a new alcohol duty system | British Liver Trust, UK

Budget a small step forward for tobacco but still not enough

Today’s Budget was a small step forward on tobacco, but on its own won’t deliver on the Government’s commitment to a Smokefree 2030. As the Treasury acknowledges tobacco tax plays a dual role by reducing smoking rates and raising vital revenue for the Government. However, tobacco taxes are most effective when underpinned by a comprehensive and funded strategy to reduce smoking prevalence, funding for which has been cut significantly in recent years | ASH, UK

‘Knocking 3p off a pint won’t make a difference’: Drinkers react to Sunak’s Budget cuts to alcohol duty

Rise in cost of living will soon swallow up any savings from cheaper pints, drinkers tell Tom Batchelor | Independent, UK

Supporting people accessing drug and alcohol treatment for the first time

It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. We designed our new Conversation Tool to make that first conversation as easy as possible | With You, UK

DEBATE: Should we delay legalisation until we understand the link between cannabis and psychosis?

In a recent Sunday Times Magazine article Megan Agnew sheds light on the issue of cannabis and psychosis. The article features some compelling personal stories from people who have struggled with cannabis use, and subsequently developed psychosis | Volteface, UK

“Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To”

“Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To”, the title of British indie band Spacemen 3’s 1990 album, sums up for many the symbiotic relationship between rock music and psychoactive substances | Points blog, USA

Pa. lawmakers must legalize syringe services programs | Opinion

In addition to reducing the spread of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C, the programs have other public health and safety benefits, writes Adam Lake | Philadelphia Inquirer opinion, USA

NSW Government Proposes to Divert Certain Drug Offenders Away From the Criminal Justice System

The New South Wales Government is proposing to implement a new program across the state, which would give some drug offenders a second chance | Sydney Criminal Lawyers, Australia