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Daily news - 6th January 2022

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UK news

No convincing scientific evidence that hangover cures work, according to new research

A new systematic review part-funded by the NIHR Maudsley BRC has found only very low-quality evidence that substances claiming to treat or prevent alcohol-induced hangover work | NIHR Maudsley BRC, UK

Debunking the myth of ‘Blue Mondays’: No evidence of affect drop after taking clinical MDMA

[Open access] The results support the overall safety and tolerability of clinically administered MDMA and, importantly, suggest that the ‘come downs’ previously associated with the substance may be explained by confounds in research relating to the illicit sourcing of the drug and specific environmental setting for recreational consumption | Journal of Psychopharmacology, UK

Sadiq Khan drug ‘decriminalisation’ plan ‘does not go far enough’, say experts

Sadiq Khan’s proposed plan to end the prosecution of young people caught with cannabis in three London boroughs “does not go far enough”, according to experts | Evening Standard, UK

Can we get drugs out of prisons? - audio

Keeping drugs out of prisons seems like an impossible task. Tanya Beckett asks four experts if it can be done and how prisoners can be helped to overcome their addictions | BBC, UK

Spotlight on Women in the Medical Cannabis Sector: Interview with Hannah Deacon

As part of our week-long spotlight on women in the medical cannabis sector we have had the pleasure of interviewing Hannah Deacon, Director of Maple Tree Consultants and mother of medical cannabis patient Alfie | Volteface, UK

How Can You Change Your Relationship With Alcohol? - podcast

Hayley chats to Guto about going sober & gets tips from alcohol consultant, Lauren Booker. For info & support about any of the issues raised, head to bbc.co.uk/actionline | BBC, UK

WDP to work in partnership with Surrey and Borders NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey County Council in delivering drug & alcohol services in Surrey

Leading drug and alcohol charity WDP has been successful in its bid to work in partnership with Surrey and Borders NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey County Council in delivering substance misuse services in Surrey | WDP, UK

NHS smoking cessation counsellor retires after 35 years

She was the first NHS-paid hospital smoking cessation counsellor to be appointed in the UK, helping inpatients, outpatients and staff at Llandough Hospital, Barry Hospital, and UHW | Barry and District News, UK



International news

Ketamine with Paul Glue - podcast

This week’s episode features Paul Glue, professor of Psychiatry at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand. With a vast experience in both academia and pharmaceutical industry, Paul Glue’s research focuses on clinical and basic science to investigate the pharmacology of drug treatments in psychiatry and the disease mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders | Drug Science, UK

Brexit: Did the EU ban crown marks on pint glasses?

The crown stamp had been used on pint glasses for more than 300 years to show they are large enough to hold a full pint | BBC, UK

Niger police seize record 200kg of cocaine from mayor's car

A local mayor and his driver have been arrested in a desert in northern Niger with more than 200kg (440lbs) of cocaine in their vehicle, police say | BBC, UK

Can Minimum unit pricing make a real difference to reducing alcohol harm? - podcast

In this episode, Eunan McKinney discusses with Alison Douglas of Alcohol Focus Scotland and Nic Taylor from Deakin University in Australia, the early indications from both Scotland and Northern Territory, AU, the effectiveness of this public health measure in addressing harmful alcohol use and reducing related harm | Alcohol Action Ireland, Ireland

Large numbers of people with drug addictions were 'left to kill themselves slowly' during lockdowns

Substance abuse support groups were closed for five months in 2020 – with catastrophic impacts for the people who attend them | Journal, Ireland

Making Addiction Treatment More Realistic And Pragmatic: The Perfect Should Not Be The Enemy Of The Good

Last year saw drug overdose deaths in the U.S. surpass an unthinkable milestone: 100,000 deaths in a year. This is the highest number of drug overdoses in our country’s history, and the numbers are climbing every month | Health Affairs, USA

To fight opioid crisis, UW researchers take new shot at developing vaccine against addictive drugs

It’s been nearly 50 years since a group of researchers in Chicago reported an extraordinary finding: They’d created a vaccine against drug addiction and an early test showed it might work | Seattle Times, USA

The Potential of Psychedelics for End of Life and Palliative Care

[Open access] Here, we review recent research on the use of psychedelics in clinical settings with a particular focus on patients with life-threatening diagnoses. We propose that psychedelics may provide clinicians with an additional psychopharmacological treatment in the context of end of life and palliative care | Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, USA

N.Y. Prisons Punished 1,600 Based on Faulty Drug Tests, Report Finds

[Limited number of free articles per month] Prisoners were subjected to solitary confinement and denied family visits because of improperly administered tests, the state inspector general found | NYTimes, USA

Will Biden’s FDA Commissioner Pick Continue the War on Vaping?

On December 14, Dr. Robert Califf, President Joe Biden’s pick to be the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), faced questions from senators about how he would lead the agency over the next three years | Filter Magazine, USA

Resolved to quit smoking this year? Experts offer tips

If giving up tobacco is one of your New Year's resolutions, know that it won't be easy but don't give up. Fifty million ex-smokers in the United States are proof that it can be done | Medical Xpress, USA

E-Cigarette Use in Taiwan Has Tripled Since 2018

A study by Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Health Promotion Administration (HPA), revealed the figures prompting a drive for urgent action | Vaping Post, USA

Researcher explores use of cannabinoids to treat obesity

Though cannabis is often associated with “the munchies” in popular culture, University of Toronto researcher Justin Matheson is asking whether cannabinoids – naturally occurring compounds in the plant – can actually be used to treat obesity | University of Toronto, Canada

Massive West Australian drug bust as close to 100kg of meth reportedly found stuffed in pillows stopped at Fremantle port

Three men are set to face court today, charged over an alleged plot to import almost $100 million worth of methamphetamine into Western Australia, hidden in pillows, ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Sadiq Khan: We can’t arrest our way out of London’s crime problem, but rethinking our drugs approach will help

This is about moving past the simplistic and unhelpful notion that anything other than an enforcement response is somehow ‘soft’ on crime | i news opinion, UK

A drugs-related criminal record is often more harmful than the drug itself

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s plans to sanction the depenalisation of drugs in some boroughs could improve the life prospects of many people | Independent voices, UK

The Crazy Conspiracy Theories that Undermine the Cannabis Campaign

No, Theresa May’s husband does not own the largest cannabis farm in Europe. No, ‘the government’ is not growing cannabis, exporting it all over the world, making millions from it while denying it to British people | Peter Reynolds, UK

Clodagh Finn: Alcohol price rise — nanny state or good public health measure?

We have normalised heavy drinking of alcohol at almost every occasion, so why not normalise calling out the harm it does too? | Irish Examiner opinion, Ireland

Homelessness & Addiction: Women Need a Safe Space at Merchant's Quay

"Eliminating as many triggers as we can to create a safe space is key," Merchants Quay Ireland's Eleanor Butler says, as she outlines the urgent need for gender-specific services for women experiencing addiction and homelessness | Hot Press opinion, Ireland

How Psychedelic Therapy Fuses Indigenous Shamanism With Western Science

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is widely talked about as a novel development within psychiatry, yet the ironic truth is that mind-altering substances have been used to promote mental wellbeing for thousands of years | IFLScience blog, USA