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Daily news - 10th January 2022

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UK news

Take-Home Naloxone and the Prevention of Deaths from Heroin Overdose: Pursuing Strong Science, Fuller Understanding, Greater Impact

This article explores 5 areas (many illustrations UK-based where the author works): firstly, the need for strong science; secondly, our improved understanding of opioid overdose and deaths; thirdly, the search for greater impact from our policies and interventions; fourthly, developing better forms of naloxone; and fifthly, examining the challenges still to be addressed | European Addiction Research, UK

Drugs offenders not charged at 1 in 4 police forces

[Register for one month's free access to articles] More than a quarter of police forces are allowing drug offenders to escape prosecution, including dealers and users caught with heroin and cocaine | Times, UK

Relationship of smoking with current and future social isolation and loneliness: 12-year follow-up of older adults in England

Smoking is often colloquially considered “social”. However, the actual relationship of smoking with current and future social isolation and loneliness is unclear. We therefore examined these relationships over a 12-year follow-up | Lancet, UK

Annual Conference Society Lecture: Professor John Kelly on recovery

Professor John Kelly talks about the history, definition and latest research on recovery. Also covering the relationship between environmental and biological factors | SSA, UK

What are the effects of alcohol on your body after the age of 40?

[Limited number of free articles per week] Fond of a drink or two in the evening? You could be doing more damage than you realise | Telegraph, UK

Year of the Dog: Film shows 'lifeline' between homeless people and their dogs

When Primal Scream bassist and dog-lover Simone Butler went looking for a canine companion of her own two years ago, she ended up finding out more than she could ever have imagined about the relationship between mankind and its best friend | BBC, UK

Addiction and the Family in Malaysia - webinar

25th January 2022, 10:00 am UK time. This Webinar will look at the interface between how families are caught up in addiction problems and how that plays out in both a Malaysian and a Muslim culture; and will also look at how policy is framed in Malaysia related to all of addiction, families, and Affected Family Members | AFINet, UK

Fred Yates prize

The prize will be awarded at the annual SSA Conference to a researcher who is in the earlier stages of her or his career who has made a significant and specific contribution to the addictions field in recent years. Nominations from SSA members open on 1 November and are to be received by 24:00 (GMT), 31 January | SSA, UK

Man trapped inside London cannabis factory dies after fire

Met seeks information after Albanian national was caught in fire at a lock-up garage on New Year’s Eve | Guardian, UK

Landlord faces £150,000 bill after tenants turn homes into drug farm

The case comes amid concern about the lack of regulation in the property sector, despite a government consultation which recommended tightening rules two years ago | Guardian, UK

Van driver who hid £16.5m of drugs in catering supplies jailed for 10 years

The 26-year-old drug smuggler was carrying 183kg of cocaine and heroin hidden inside canisters of gas used to make whipped cream | Independent, UK

Met Police finds 1,000 cannabis farms across London

The Met Police has found more than 1,000 cannabis farms across the capital in the last six years, new data shows | BBC, UK

Actors in Weymouth could shut over Dorset Police drug concerns

Bouncers have been involved "in allowing and in some cases facilitating" known drug dealers entrance to the club, the report said | BBC, UK


International news

Heated tobacco products for smoking cessation and reducing smoking prevalence

Heated tobacco probably exposes people to fewer toxins than cigarettes, but possibly more than not using any tobacco. Falls in cigarette sales appeared to speed up following the launch of heated tobacco in Japan, but we are uncertain whether this is caused by people switching from cigarettes to heated tobacco | Cochrane Library, UK

QMJC December 2021: An ethnography of chronic pain management in primary care: the social organization of physicians’ work in the midst of the opioid crisis

For the December meeting of the Qualitative Methods Journal Club, faculty and students from Simon Fraser University (Canada) discussed an article examining the experiences of doctors and nurses in primary care who work with people experiencing chronic pain. The study findings spoke to the challenges of doctors and nurses providing chronic pain care, and the challenges their patients faced due to health and social inequities | SSA, UK

Toronto to decriminalise heroin possession as major cities in Canada and US follow more radical plan than London

[Limited number of free articles per week] City officials claim the softer approach would make it easier for users to get help, jobs and housing without the stain of a criminal record | Telegraph, UK

FactCheck: Will Minimum Unit Pricing on alcohol lead to an increase in drug use?

[Last] week saw the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on alcohol in Ireland, pushing up prices of cans, wine and spirits in off-licences, shops and supermarkets throughout the country | Journal, Ireland

HRB National Drugs Library e-newsletter volume 17, issue 12

This December issue includes links to recent Irish and international publications related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs | HRB, Ireland

Foetal alcohol syndrome survey is 'first of its kind'  

A survey is being conducted to establish the experience of people living with or caring for someone with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Ireland. The move coincides with the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in recent days and against a backdrop of an estimated 600 babies a year being born here with FASD | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Drug Overdose Mortality Among People Experiencing Homelessness, 2003 to 2018

In this cohort study of 60 092 individuals experiencing homeless in Boston, Massachusetts, drug overdose accounted for 1 in 4 deaths. Mortality patterns over time showed a substantial increase in synthetic opioid overdose mortality and a predominance of opioid-involved polysubstance overdose deaths in recent years | JAMA Network, USA

Unintentional Pediatric Cannabis Exposures After Legalization of Recreational Cannabis in Canada

Previous studies have documented increases in cannabis exposures among young children after legalization of recreational cannabis. Increasing evidence has implicated commercially produced edible cannabis products as a key factor associated with these increases | JAMA Network, USA

The next big trend in mental health treatments? Psychedelic therapy

Magic mushrooms for your well-being? If you haven't heard about psychedelics being used as a treatment for mental health disorders, this year may change that | Medical Xpress, USA

More needs to be done to tackle synthetic cannabinoids, experts say

Synthetic cannabis might not be on shop shelves any more, but it still affects the most vulnerable in society with more needing to be done to help them, experts say | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Heated tobacco: a new review looks at the risks and benefits

Heated tobacco products are designed to heat tobacco without burning it or producing smoke. The popularity of these products soared in Japan after the release of an electronic device called IQOS in 2016. Heated tobacco products are now available in many countries, but questions remained about their effect on cigarette smoking and health, so we set out to review the evidence | Conversation, UK

Why most hangover cures don’t work but a few might help – new study

Most of us know that horrible feeling of tiredness, headache, sweating, nausea and sensitivity to light – the dreaded hangover. For decades researchers have been exploring potential cures for hangovers induced by alcohol | Conversation, UK

Top ten of 2021 #3 – The genesis of hope: a recovery story

Switching from doctor to patient was not an easy transition for me. My first attempt at recovery was medically assisted, but only got me so far. What I needed was something more profound: hope, healing and connection to other recovering people. In this podcast for the National Wellbeing Hub, Dr Claire Fyvie interviews me about my own experience of addiction and recovery – warts, wonder and all | Recovery Review blog, UK

Psychedelics and Technology

From drug policy reform to virtual reality, psychedelics are entering the 21st century | Drugs and Me blog, UK

I’m a police officer, and I fear increased powers of stop and search will undermine public trust

The government must listen: community engagement is the only way to cut serious crime in the UK’s most deprived areas | Guardian opinion, UK

Diversion, Decriminalisation or Tough Consequences: What's in a name?

Media reports this week told us that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is to “decriminalise the use of cannabis” in the capital. Is that the case? | Transform blog, UK

Sadiq Khan’s drug reforms don’t go far enough

On Monday evening, a story leaked in the Telegraph that Sadiq Khan was set to “begin decriminalising drugs” in the capital. Whilst this is not exactly true – there are plenty of reasons for drug law reformers to be excited | Politics.co.uk, UK

Priti’s drugs war goes up in smoke

One of the many things Priti Patel brought with her to the Home Office was a renewed focus on the 'war on drugs'. Since her appointment in 2019, the Witham MP has made her distaste for substance abuse clear... | Spectator, UK

A Christian Case for Cannabis Legalization

Seven years ago, I became a foster mom. Through serving children and families in the foster care system, I saw that there are times when cannabis use can negatively impact a person’s life. But I also saw firsthand how the criminalization of cannabis produces far more devastation | Real Clear Policy, USA



And finally...

Pensioner mistakenly grows 5ft cannabis plant from spilled bird seed

The plant continued to grow, until it towered over the woman who is 5ft 6in. “It was a bit of a laugh at first, but I was starting to worry. We've got a retired police inspector living opposite and a sergeant down the road.” | Ipswich Star, UK