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Daily news - 11th January 2022

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UK news

Ketamine and psychological therapy helped severe alcoholics abstain for longer in trial

People with severe alcohol disorder were able to stay off alcohol for longer when they were treated with low doses of ketamine combined with psychological therapy in a clinical trial | University of Exeter, UK

Over-55s seek mental health care for cannabis addiction

[Free one month trial available] A record number of people over 55 are seeking treatment for cannabis addiction and experts say that it is often dismissed by health professionals as a soft drug with minimal risk | Times, UK

How Peter Krykant Tackled the UK Drug Death Crisis - video

Peter Krykant talks about why he bought an old ambulance and set up an overdose prevention facility | Transform Drug Policy Foundation, UK

Talented singer and dancer, 16, collapsed and died after taking MDMA in a park with friends who delayed calling for an ambulance for TWO HOURS because they 'didn't want to get into trouble', inquest hears

Lauren Hawkins, 16, from Bearwood, Poole, Dorset, was a gifted singer and dancer and overdosed in front of her friends on July 6, 2020, after taking the class A drug | Mail Online, UK

A conversation with… Mark Gilman (part 1 of 2)

The first of a two-part conversation with Mark Gilman. Mark has been a major figure in the field over four decades and directly involved in many of the most significant developments we have seen. In this part, we talk about Mark’s early life, his work with the late Geoff Pearson researching heroin use in the North of England, and his pioneering work with Lifeline in the 1980s and 1990s | Toby Seddon, UK

The Alcohol 'Problem' Podcast: Ep 9: Labelling & language in mental health & alcohol with Dr Lucy Foulkes

In this episode we talk to Dr Lucy Foulkes about labelling and language in the context of mental health and alcohol issues.  We discuss how lables like alcoholic or schizophrenia may serve an important role for people to identify or respond to problems, but also carry important implications for stigma and recovery | Alcohol Problem Podcast, UK

Podcast: The January take-home: with guest Dr Sharon Cox

In this episode of the SSA’s new podcast Addictions Edited, Dr Sharon Cox from University College London’s Department of Behavioural Science joins the SSA’s Rob Calder and Dr Carol-Ann Getty from the Addiction journal newsroom | SSA, UK

Wine trade fury at Sunak tax plan that will force up prices and create ‘unworkable’ red tape

Industry condemns ‘simplification’ of duty touted by Boris Johnson as key benefit of Brexit | Independent, UK

Police failed to make use of 'Covid dividend' to take down drug gangs during lockdowns

[Limited number of free articles a week] Forces were instead distracted by policing Covid laws and protests from groups such as BLM, study shows | Telegraph, UK

Peer led Overdose Prevention, Intervention and Naloxone for People who use/used drugs

19th January 2022. SDF are offering some free training in overdose response exclusively for people who use or have used drugs. This short session will cover: Overdose risk factors | Identifying and responding to an overdose situation | Administering Naloxone to save a life | Myths and misconceptions |Open discussion and Q&A | SDF, UK

Bradford council to trace fly-tipped cannabis farms with ‘smart water’

One of first trials of its kind in UK follows rise in dumping of illegal waste after police shut down sites | Guardian, UK

Heroin dealer rediscovered drugs in jail as tests halted

A heroin dealer said he took up drugs again in jail as inmates' use was "rife" after urine tests were halted because of the pandemic | BBC, UK


International news

E-cigarette toxins may damage users’ sight

[Limited number of free articles per week]  Toxins in e-cigarettes could cause damage to the user’s eyesight, a US study suggests. People who use the devices, or “vape”, were 34 per cent more likely to suffer from visual impairments compared with those who had never tried e-cigarettes, while former users were 14 per cent more likely, researchers from the University of California found | Times, UK

Delays in youth justice system a ‘barrier to rehabilitation’

He was caught with a joint. Three years and 14 hearings later, the case is not over | Irish Times, Ireland

Winners of the #Morethan Video Contest

The International Network of People Who Use Drugs and Drugreporter are glad to announce the winners of the #Morethan video contest! | Drug Reporter, Hungary

How lobbies weigh on alcoholism prevention efforts in France

In France, it's estimated that more than 30 percent of people drink excessively. That means more than two glasses of wine per day and more than five days a week. These figures have gone up during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet the government's approach to alcohol has been not as forceful as with other types of addiction such as smoking. Indeed, some specialists say that's down to the power of lobbies within the industry | France 24, France

Secondhand nicotine vaping at home linked to heightened risk of bronchitic symptoms in young adults

Secondhand exposure at home to the nicotine vapor from e-cigarettes is linked to a heightened risk of bronchitic symptoms and shortness of breath among young adults, finds research published online in the respiratory journal Thorax | Medical Express, USA

Switching to smokeless tobacco associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk in smokers

Regular smokers are at heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but crushing the butts in favor of a "smokeless" alternative like chewing tobacco, snuff or tobacco lozenges may go a long way toward bringing the danger down to a more normal level, a new UCLA-led study shows | News Medical, USA

Recent Increase in Methamphetamine Use in a Cohort of Rural People Who Use Drugs: Further Evidence for the Emergence of Twin Epidemics

Appalachian Kentucky was at the epicenter of the prescription opioid epidemic in the early 2000's. As we enter the third decade of the epidemic, patterns have begun to emerge as people who use drugs (PWUD) transition from use of opioids to other drugs. The purpose of this analysis was to examine longitudinal changes in methamphetamine use in an ongoing cohort of rural people who use drugs (PWUD) in Appalachian Kentucky | Frontiers in Psychiatry, USA

Where Is Cannabis Legal? A Guide To All 50 States

Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. even though the drug is banned under federal law. More Americans believe pot should be legal—68% according to the latest Gallup poll—and 18% of Americans now admit to using it, up from 10% in 2005 | Forbes, USA

An Opioid Vaccine Is Not the Answer

In 1974, scientists at the University of Chicago immunized a rhesus monkey against morphine. After training the monkey to self-administer both heroin and cocaine by hitting buttons that delivered small, separate doses into a surgically-placed catheter, they administered the vaccine. The monkey’s heroin use plummeted, but it continued to use cocaine the same as before—a sign that the vaccine was working | Filter Magazine, USA

Cannabis Workers in St. Louis Are Poised to Unionize

On January 6, workers at a medical cannabis company in St. Louis, Missouri, filed a petition for what would reportedly be the state’s first cannabis union election. They’re poised to join a growing unionized cannabis workforce across the country | Filter Magazine, USA

Tobacco or no-go: N.W.T. to ban most flavoured vapes

One business owner says the law, as written, would force him to close up shop in Yellowknife | CBC News, Canada

How two doctors are changing the rules in the fight against opioid addiction

Emergency doctors in Timmins, Ont., adopt a new anti-addiction strategy | CBC News, Canada

Three out of four Australian women with endometriosis are illicitly using cannabis to ease the pain

Almost three-quarters of Australian women with endometriosis surveyed in a new study are illicitly using cannabis to ease painful symptoms despite potentially being able to access legal medicinal cannabis through a doctor | 7 news, Australia

Archaic laws punish WA families while losing war on drugs: lawyers

Western Australia is jailing more people for small quantities of drugs and giving them harsher penalties than any other state | WA Today, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The UK tinkers around the edges of drug policy but it still needs national reform

Local trials can attempt to minimise the harm from illegal drugs, but what the UK really needs is an overhaul of its drug policy, says Ian Hamilton | BMJ Opinion, UK

Keir Starmer should challenge the war on drugs if he really wants to prove he’s tough on crime

It’s a fantasy that politicians can stifle the flows of heroin, cocaine and cannabis through punishment rather than focusing on harm reduction and regulation, and the Labour leader knows it | i news opinion, UK

Drug Policy Should Protect Social Leaders, Not Expose Them

Recently, I visited Putumayo and Guaviare, departments located in southern Colombia, on a field trip to study the recent crop’s substitution programme (PNIS by its Spanish acronym). The PNIS offered economic incentives to coca-growing households to substitute their coca cultivation for legal products such as cacao, coffee, amongst others. This programme was designed during the negotiation of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and the former Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) | Talking Drugs blog, UK

FDA Oversight of E-Cigarettes Gathers Speed: A Conversation with Mitch Zeller

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first attempted to regulate e-cigarettes more than a decade ago. The regulations would have treated e-cigarettes as what the agency calls drug/device combination products. What followed was a series of lawsuits and court rulings | NIH blog, USA

Cannabis-impaired driving: Here’s what we know about the risks of weed behind the wheel

Cannabis is the second-most widely used substance in Canada, after alcohol. While there is an in-depth understanding of the impact of alcohol on driving, cannabis is a much more complex substance and can affect consumers differently depending on the product type, amount used and a person’s potential tolerance | Conversation, Canada