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Daily news - 21st January 2022

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UK news

The COVID-19 alcohol paradox: British household purchases during 2020 compared with 2015-2019

British supermarket-panel data suggest no increases in overall sales and purchases of alcohol following COVID-19 lockdowns, yet survey and mortality data suggest otherwise. This paper attempts to unravel the paradox | PLOS One, UK

Newcastle University finds poor areas spent more on alcohol in lockdown

Lockdown alcohol consumption increased most among heavy drinkers, those in deprived communities and people in the north of England, research has shown | BBC, UK

No Evidence for ‘Injection Spiking’ in UK, Police and Security Experts Say

There is no evidence of any cases of people being spiked by injection, the UK’s private security watchdog and second biggest police force have said | VICE, UK

Hundreds in Norfolk receive vaping vouchers to help them quit smoking

In the past year, Norfolk County Council - working with Smokefree Norfolk and a vape company - have given out 742 vouchers for e-cigarettes and equipment worth £20 to people looking to quit smoking, as part of a county-wide strategy | Eastern Daily Press, UK

SUAB Webinar: Homelessness and substance use - providing the best support

Wed, 16 February 2022, 13:00 – 14:30 GMT. Discussing the barriers/facilitators to accessing support for people who experience homelessness | SUAB, UK

The impact of the pandemic on people who use drugs and treatment services: what we can learn from research

Mar 1, 2022 03:00 PM. This webinar will explore the impact of the pandemic on people who use drugs, and will draw on research conducted during this unique period in time, and what we can learn from it | Addiction Professionals, UK


International news

Snapchat fights drug dealing on app amid surge in youth overdose deaths

Improved automated drug detection systems and enhanced partnerships with law enforcement are among changes | Guardian, UK

Lena Dunham reflects on drug addiction: ‘Getting off Klonopin was the hardest’

Writer was first prescribed the drug at the age of 12 | Independent, UK

The Drug Use in Higher Education in Ireland (DUHEI) Survey 2021: Main Findings (PDF)

The overall aim of the DUHEI Survey was to determine the prevalence and correlates of drug use among the student population in the Republic of Ireland, to inform future policy and practice in the area. The survey population included undergraduate and postgraduate students aged 18 years and over in publicly funded HEIs | University College Cork, Ireland

More than half of students surveyed report using an illicit drug

The most commonly used drugs are cannabis cocaine and ecstasy | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Empathy, Evidence, & Experience Learning from overseas to respond to street-based drug injecting in Dublin City Centre (PDF)

Using the case of the campaign to establish a Supervised Injecting Facility (SIF) and reduce harm for people who use illicit drugs in Dublin, Ireland, this paper makes three related contributions to contemporary literatures | Ana Liffey Drug Project and Simon Fraser University, Ireland and Canada

Recall of Certain Batches of Kama Hemp Kama Artisan Coffee due to the Presence of Unsafe Levels of Delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

The implicated batches of Kama Hemp Kama Artisan Coffee contain unsafe levels of delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) based on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) acute reference dose | FSAI, Ireland

Latest European Web Survey on Drugs finds cannabis and ecstasy use most impacted by COVID-19

New survey results released today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) reveal that cannabis and ecstasy use are the drug-consumption patterns most impacted by COVID-19 restrictions | EMCDDA, Portugal

The impact of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health: myths and measures

 In a new policy brief, the World Heart Federation (WHF) is challenging the widespread notion that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can decrease the risk of heart disease, and calling for urgent and decisive action to tackle the unprecedented rise in alcohol-related death and disability worldwide | World Heart Federation, Switzerland

Noncommunicable diseases in 53 countries: WHO/Europe presents new visual data tool

WHO/Europe has released a new data visualization dashboard that allows users to quickly identify key challenges, existing policy responses and progress towards agreed targets for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Europe | WHO, Denmark

Awareness of Alcohol as a Carcinogen and Support for Alcohol Control Policies

Research outside the U.S. has found awareness of the alcohol–cancer link to be associated with support for alcohol control policies. The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of support for 3 communication-focused alcohol policies and examine how awareness of the alcohol–cancer link and drinking status are associated with policy support among U.S. residents | AJPM, USA

Recent surge in U.S. drug overdose deaths has hit Black men the hardest

Nearly 92,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2020, marking a 30% increase from the year before, a 75% increase over five years and by far the highest annual total on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Preliminary figures suggest that the 2021 death toll from overdoses may be even higher | Pew Research Centre, USA

Availability of Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Among Pregnant and Postpartum Individuals in US Jails

This study found that US jails did not consistently provide pregnant people with access to medications that meet the standard of care for treatment of opioid use disorder, which suggests that there is an opportunity for intervention to improve care for pregnant people who are incarcerated | JAMA Network Open, USA

After a Year in Office, Biden Has Failed to Fulfill His Marijuana Promises

January 20 marks the end of President Joe Biden’s first year in office—and by and large, his campaign promises on marijuana policy have so far gone unfilled. While certain federal agencies have taken some positive reform steps, the administration managed to stir controversy over some outwardly hostile actions with respect to cannabis policy | Filter Magazine, USA

Sydney Researchers Awarded Over $2.2 Million By Australian Government To Study MDMA, Psilocybin

The Australian government is evolving its stance on the potential usefulness of psychedelic drugs for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol misuse and eating disorders | Forbes, USA

A longitudinal study of change in substance use from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic in young adults

We assessed change in substance use from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic in young adults and identified factors associated with initiation/increase in use | Science Direct, Canada

London, Ont., study suggests a prescription can change a street drug user's life for the better

A study that followed drug users in London, Ont., who were given prescription opioids instead of using street supplies has found over a third stopped using intravenous drugs | CBC, Canada

Bill regulating e-cigarettes, heated tobacco hurdles bicam

The congressional bicameral conference committee on Wednesday approved a measure that would regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use, and communication of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, as well as novel tobacco products | PNA, The Phillipines

Australian booze lobby urges WHO to abandon plan to slash consumption

Australia’s peak body for the alcohol industry has written to the World Health Organisation urging it to abandon a “problematic” 2030 target of reducing per capita alcohol consumption by 20 per cent, as a new report warns alcohol lobbies are trying to water down public health measures | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

ATO's 'hardline' drug, alcohol policy will drive substance abuse underground, union warns

Managers at the tax office could soon be expected to dob in staff members they suspect might be using illegal drugs outside of work or drinking on the job, under new rules proposed by the human resources office | Canberra Times, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

‘My tenants started a cannabis farm but my insurer tells me I am not covered. What can I do?’

[Limited number of free articles per week] The Telegraph’s Property Doctors answer your questions | Telegraph, UK

Talking Drugs Updates from Eastern Europe and Central Asia [December 2021]

In November 2020, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine submitted a new draft law on medical cannabis for public discussion. “Zaborona” media provides an analysis of the bill (Rus), while national drug policy activists and scientists criticise the initiative for putting a limit of 0.2% THC in the cannabis that is to be legally distributed for medical purposes | Talking Drugs, UK