Weekly news - 19th November 2021

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In date order, Monday to Friday

Alcohol Awareness Week 15th -21st November

Alcohol Awareness Week is a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more. This year's Alcohol Awareness Week takes place from 15-21 November 2021 on the theme of Alcohol and relationships | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Warning of ‘wild west’ in depression treatment as UK clinics offer ketamine

Up to six private clinics are offering drug, with health experts warning of potential ‘wild west’ of providers | Guardian, UK

Deaths from ‘diseases of despair’ in Britain: comparing suicide, alcohol-related and drug-related mortality for birth cohorts in Scotland, England and Wales, and selected cities

[Open access] The overall similarities suggest common underlying influences across Britain; however, their effects have been greatest in Scotland, confirming greater vulnerability among that population. In addressing the socioeconomic drivers of deaths from these causes, the cohorts identified here as being at greatest risk require particular attention | BMJ, UK

Delivery of a new Tobacco Control Plan

A debate will be held in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Tuesday 16 November 2021 on the delivery of a new Tobacco Control Plan. A Commons Library debate pack has been prepared for the debate | UK Parliament, UK

Where are we now? A reflection on Cancard and the last 3 years of cannabis legislation

The first week of November was Medical Cannabis Awareness Week, prompting an excellent time for Volteface to reflect on the past three years since medical cannabis was legalised. In this piece we have caught up with Carly Barton, patient advocate and visionary behind Cancard, regarding the current climate for medical cannabis patients, as well as the developments that have taken place since 2018 | Volteface, UK

World's 'Strongest-Ever' Ecstasy Pill Found in English Nightclub

A “Blue Punisher” ecstasy pill found at a club in Manchester is up to five times the usual dose, and potentially dangerous | VICE, UK

Drugs helpline aimed at user safety to be launched

A free phone helpline where staff stay on the line with people while they are using drugs is to launch in Scotland | BBC, UK

Flavoured vapes less harmful to young people than smoking and could help teen smokers quit

A new study published today looks at young peoples’ use of vape flavours, reporting the views and experiences of more than 500,000 under 18s | UEA, UK

Peers who volunteer: supporting people with lived experience

The guide is aimed at people with lived experience, providers and commissioners and offers practical tips around what people with lived experience should expect from volunteering roles and what providers can do to deliver inclusive volunteering opportunities that consider the needs and experiences of people with lived experience and also support their development and progression | Revolving Doors, UK

Drug situation in Afghanistan: Latest findings and emerging threats (PDF)

The 2021 opium harvest, completed in July, marked the fifth year in a row with production at historic highs of more than 6,000 tons, potentially yielding up to 320 tons of pure heroin to be trafficked to markets around the world | UNODC, Austria

Press release: Offenders to be banned from drinking to cut alcohol-fuelled crime

Offenders released from prison face being banned from drinking from today (17 November 2021) under world-first plans to curb alcohol-fuelled crime | Ministry of Justice, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, and The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, UK

Exercise increases the body’s own ‘cannabis’ which reduces chronic inflammation, says new study

Exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-like substances, which in turn helps reduce inflammation and could potentially help treat certain conditions such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease | University of Nottingham, UK

US saw 100,000 drug overdose deaths in one year amid pandemic, CDC says

Data reveals deaths caused by opioids rose 28.5% compared with the year before, with fentanyl involved in over 60% of the deaths | Guardian, UK

Calls to raise minimum unit alcohol price to 65p in Scotland

A group of charities and medical experts have urged the Scottish government to increase the minimum unit price (MUP) of alcohol from 50p to 65p | BBC, UK

Employees bullied or fired for vaping at work, study claims

In a new study, vapers in the UK reveal they felt anxious about returning to work due to workplace vaping restrictions and discrimination | Sky News, UK

Covid credited as stop smoking service reports rise in referrals

The number of people referring themselves to a service aimed at helping them stop smoking has increased rapidly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic | BBC, UK

New NHS clinic for treating cannabis psychosis overwhelmed by demand

NHS England has opened its first clinic dedicated to treating psychosis caused by smoking cannabis. Based at the Maudsley Hospital in London, it is already overwhelmed by referrals for treatment | Christian Institute, UK