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Daily news - 12th January 2022

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UK news

Digging deeper into alcohol-related deaths

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), deaths from alcohol-specific causes in the UK have increased from 11·8 per 100 000 people in 2019 to 14·0 per 100 000 people in 2020. This increase—by 18·6%—is the highest year-on-year change in 20 years: a notable and worrying change given the relatively stable rates since 2012 | Lancet, UK

Ketamine and psychotherapy 'helps' alcoholics, says Exeter study

Heavy drinkers stayed off alcohol for longer when they were treated with low doses of ketamine and psychological therapy, a study has found | BBC, UK

The Right to Recovery Bill: consultation response

The Right to Recovery consultation relates to a draft proposal which has been lodged by Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross MSP MP, as the first stage in the process of introducing a Member’s Bill in the Scottish Parliament. Responses should be received no later than 11.59pm on Wednesday 12 January 2022 | FAVOR, UK

Smoking: Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, ,how much his Department spent on campaigns to promote the cessation of smoking in 2020-21 | They work for you, UK

Police Powers to Suspend Driving Licences

“We want police officers to be able to provide a suspension notice from the moment an offender is caught drink, drug or dangerous driving until they appear in court. It would then be for the Judge to decide whether a ban continues or they are able to continue to drive again… | They work for you, UK

New hope of NHS-prescribed cannabis treatent for Edinburgh boy with sever epilepsy

The mother of a nine-year-old boy who has to pay £1400 a month for cannabis-based medication to treat his rare form of epilepsy has been given new hope that he could soon get it free on the NHS | Edinburgh News, UK

Spotlight on Women in the Medical Cannabis Sector: Interview with Elisabetta Faenza

Throughout this week we have been spotlighting the women in the medical cannabis sector. We have had the opportunity to catch up with some of our fantastic old friends, as well as get to know some new and inspiring women, who are true trailblazers in the sector | Volteface, UK

Alcohol industry sustainability commitments - Sustainability Series sem 3

Wed, 12 January 2022, 14:00 – 15:30 GMT. Are alcohol industry sustainability commitments genuine or are they disingenuously used as CSR ploys? | IAS, UK

Forward Enterprise Club

Thu, 13 January 2022, 16:00 – 17:30 GMT. Forward's Enterprise Club provides a networking platform for those who either have or are thinking about starting up their own enterprise | Forward Trust, UK

Behind The Scenes | Student Drug Use

Thu, 20 January 2022, 12:30 – 13:30 GMT. In this Behind the Scenes webinar, we will be taking an in-depth look into students' relationship with drugs and alcohol | Bristol Drugs Project, UK

Hampshire: Take Drugs Seriously

Fri, January 28, 2022, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM GMT. Come along to learn about the impact of drugs in Hampshire and how we can better protect our community | Take Drugs Seriously, UK

Fighting the darknet drug dealers who keep coming back - video

Claire Campbell's 16-year-old son, Luke, died after taking ecstasy bought by friends on the darknet - a part of the internet that can only be accessed with special software | BBC, UK

West Midlands Police see surge in cannabis farms in region - video

The force said there has been a surge in drug factories being uncovered in the region during the pandemic and warned they are now a major source of funding for organised crime gangs | BBC, UK


International news

‘Marginalising the most marginalised’: Gathering evidence on how the welfare state discriminates against people who use drugs - Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

... People who use drugs are often discriminated against when they try to access the services to which they should be entitled – with devastating consequences for their life, health, and well-being. Drawing on desk research and on a survey of the IDPC membership, this IDPC submission provides an overview of the main mays in which this discrimination is operated | IDPC, UK

Race must be central to the drug policy conversation

Despite the progress made in 2020, race is still a topic a lot of people in the UK feel uncomfortable talking about; the conversation around drug policy is no exception | Volteface, UK

Call for more funding to tackle 'tsunami' of crack cocaine addictions in Tallaght

Two Tallaght support groups warned that they may have to shut their crack cocaine services down from New Year’s Eve | Journal, Ireland

C-EHRN Podcast Series #2: Harm Reduction and Broader Development of Societies

We talked to Tony Duffin of Ana Liffey Drug Project, Beatrix Vas of Youth Rise and Marta Borges of Social Emergency Unit, Portuguese Institute for Social Security. Following the opening session The Development of Drug Policy and Harm Reduction at the 5th European Harm Reduction Conference in Prague, we discussed advocacy, decriminalisation, and health inclusion, with our guests | C-EHRN, The Netherlands

Disparities by Sex and Race and Ethnicity in Death Rates Due to Opioid Overdose Among Adults 55 Years or Older, 1999 to 2019

 In this cross-sectional study of opioid overdose deaths in older adults from 1999 to 2019, 79 893 persons in the US aged 55 years or older died due to opioid overdose. The annual overall death rate per 100 000 persons for this population ranged from a low of 0.9 in 1999 to a high of 10.7 in 2019 and increased annually from 2000 on; rates varied substantially by sex and by race and ethnicity over time | JAMA Network, USA

Tax incidence of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in the USA

Tax incidence can be used to measure the strength of ENDS tax policies and how they are compared with cigarette taxes. Policymakers who aim to prevent youth from using ENDS may consider a value tax base to raise the tax incidence of closed systems—the product type preferred by young people | BMJ Tobacco Control, USA

First day of attempting to quit smoking is especially tough for women

A study of smokers found that the first day of a quit attempt is more challenging for women than men in 12 low- and middle-income countries, where around 60 percent of the world's smokers live | Medical Xpress, USA

Research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus from entering human cells

Hemp compounds identified by Oregon State University research via a chemical screening technique invented at OSU show the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells | Medical Xpress, USA

Parolees With Opioid Addiction Need Choices, Not a Naltrexone-Only Policy 

Across the United States, people with opioid addiction who are on parole aren’t getting the right medication. In many cases, they might not get any medicine to help them deal with withdrawal or give them a safe alternative to the adulterated illicit supply | Filter Magazine, USA

Syringe access expansion laws passed by New Jersey Senate and Assembly

The Syringe Access Bill (S-3009/A-4847) will expand access to essential syringe access programs (SAP) throughout the state by removing the restrictive municipal ordinance requirement and aligning SAPs with other public health services | Inside NJ, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Expert reaction to study looking at second hand nicotine vaping in the home and respiratory symptoms in young adults

A  study published in Thorax looks at second hand nicotine vaping at home and respiratory symptoms in young adults | Science Media Centre, UK

Young adults do not quit cannabis because of psychosis symptoms, according to new Europe-wide research

Apart from alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is the drug most young people will try in adolescence. For decades there has been concern that using cannabis early in life can trigger severe mental health problems such as psychosis (Hamilton, 2017.), and the elves have blogged extensively about the complex links between cannabis and psychosis | Mental Elf, UK

A Very Large Majority of those Entering Cannabis ‘Treatment’ Are Coerced Into It By Authorities

This is very difficult data to track down but it’s a fact that needs to be clearly understood as the hard right, authoritarian press ramps up its anti-cannabis scaremongering this week | Peter Reynolds blog, UK

My last Dry January turned into a year and it’s made my relationship with alcohol much healthier

Several years ago, I gave up drinking alcohol for 11 months, so Dry January doesn’t represent an insurmountable peak for me. I feel rather like Sir Edmund Hillary setting out to conquer the Old Man of Coniston. But even the gentlest climb is not without peril, and on the flight back from a short trip to Spain, I almost fell into an unseen pothole | i news opinion, UK

Has COVID-19 changed Australia’s alcohol consumption?

Emerging studies are starting to reveal what impact the pandemic has had on alcohol use, writes Dr Shani Macaulay | RACGP, Australia