Weekly news - 18th September 2020

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In date order, Monday to Friday:

‘It’s everywhere’ – alcohol’s public face and private harm: The report of the Commission on Alcohol Harm (2020)

The Commission on Alcohol Harm was established to examine the current evidence on alcohol harm, recent trends in alcohol harm and the changes needed to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. The Commission’s remit was also to examine the need for a new comprehensive alcohol strategy for England, which takes account of the strategies in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to consider UK-wide priorities in areas where policy is not devolved | AHA UK, UK

Home delivery firms blamed for enabling problem drinkers

Tighter rules needed on online alcohol orders to protect underage teenagers, warn charities | Guardian, UK

Research report YouGov / Portman Group survey on UK alcohol consumption post the COVID-19 lockdown (PDF)

Fears that the hospitality industry reopening would fuel an increase in drinking were unfounded. The vast majority of Brits are continuing to drink moderately and within Government low risk guidelines of 14 units a week | Portman Group, UK

Genetic links to drug and alcohol use among young people

Young people who are genetically predisposed to risk-taking, low extraversion and schizophrenia are more likely to use alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis, or other illicit drugs, according to a new UCL-led study | UCL, UK

Collaboration to identify novel treatments for alcoholic hepatitis

New research from Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction will harness CN Bio’s Liver-on-Chip technology to advance the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of alcoholic hepatitis and uncover novel targets for drug discovery and development | Imperial College London, UK

Watchdog tells Met Police that officers shouldn't stop and search just because they 'smell cannabis'

A police watchdog has ruled that officers shouldn't stop and search just because they smell cannabis - after upholding a complaint from a member of the public | MyLondon, UK

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2019 (PDF)

NSDUH is a comprehensive household interview survey of substance use, substance use disorders, mental health, and the receipt of treatment services for these disorders in the United States. Approximately 67,500 persons are interviewed annually | SAMHSA, USA

Proclamation on Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, 2020

During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to ending the opioid crisis in our country, and we pledge to help our friends, family, and colleagues with addiction as they work toward a drug-free life | The White House, USA

Addiction services not equipped to treat the 8 million people drinking at high risk during pandemic, warns Royal College

Addiction services in England are not equipped to treat the soaring numbers of people drinking at high risk during the pandemic and must receive a multi-million-pound funding boost in the upcoming spending review, says the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The College’s new analysis of Public Health England’s latest data on the indirect effects of Covid-19 found that over 8.4 million people are now drinking at higher risk, up from just 4.8 million in February | Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK

Ministers seek to extend police stop and search in England and Wales

Proposals unveiled despite increased tensions between police and black communities | Guardian, UK

Inside Glasgow's Safer Drug Consumption Van

On Friday, activist Peter Krykant opened the doors of his mobile harm reduction facility to the city's drug users | VICE, UK

The future of public health: the National Institute for Health Protection and other public health functions

Further to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s announcement of the new National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) on 18 August 2020, this document provides a high-level overview of our plans to better protect and improve the public’s health, including where we will act immediately to strengthen our health protection systems and our focused response to COVID-19 ahead of the winter. [No specific mentions of drug policy] | PHE, UK

Plans to record pregnant women's alcohol consumption in England criticised

Pregnant women’s alcohol consumption could be recorded on their child’s medical records under plans for England being considered by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), prompting criticism from pregnancy rights advocates | Guardian, UK

Cannabis farms are a modern slavery 'blind spot' for UK police, study suggests

Migrants arrested for tending plants in the flats, houses and attics where cannabis is grown in bulk are often victims of trafficking and "debt bondage" – yet many are not recognised as such by police, according to a new study | University of Cambridge, UK

Monitoring the Future: 2019 Overview Sponsored by The National Institute on Drug Abuse at The National Institutes of Health Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use

Vaping marijuana and vaping nicotine have increased dramatically among 19- 22 year olds, with both more than doubling between 2017 and 2019, according to the University of Michigan’s annual U.S. national Monitoring the Future (MTF) Panel Study [Press release here (PDF)] . In addition, use of marijuana in any form in 2019 among young adults ages 19-22 was at or near the highest levels seen over the past four decades | University of Michigan, USA

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

[Updated] Added statement on hands, face, space; updated guidance on return to school; added links to social distancing and what you can and can't do; amended to reflect change to 6 people meeting | PHE, UK

Increase in alcohol-industry funded research is a cause for concern, study suggests

The alcohol industry is increasingly funding academic research into the impacts of alcohol consumption – with some studies making claims about the health benefits of alcohol, new research suggests | University of York, UK

British Columbia pioneers programme to offer safer alternatives to street drugs

The Canadian province, facing an epidemic of overdoses, is expanding ‘safer supply’ guidelines to let nurses prescribe opioids | Guardian, UK

Representation of adverse childhood experiences is associated with lower public stigma towards people who use drugs: an exploratory experimental study

Stigmatising attitudes towards people who use drugs are pervasive amongst the public. We investigated whether public stigma was affected by presentation of a history of adversity, and how substance use was described | DEPP, UK

Drivers who kill others could receive life sentences under new laws

Drivers who kill others after speeding, racing or using a phone could receive life sentences under new legislation. Those who cause death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs could also get a life sentence | BBC, UK