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Daily news - 13th July 2022

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UK news

Health Disparities White Paper Consensus Statement (PDF)

As a coalition of 47 organisations and charities, we challenge the UK Government to be bold on health by putting the prevention agenda front and centre of the levelling up mission. By investing in prevention and introducing much-needed population-wide policy measures, the White Paper could lay the foundation for a fairer, prosperous, healthier nation | Cancer Research UK et al, UK

Protect children from illegal vapes, doctors say

Children are at risk from vaping, and more should be done to protect them from illegal and unregulated products containing high levels of nicotine, doctors are warning | BBC, UK

Evaluation of a pharmacy supported e-cigarette smoking cessation intervention in Northwest England

[Open access] Cigarette smoking cessation has been described as the world’s most important public health intervention. Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new tool for assisting smoking cessation but there is a lack of data on their efficacy. This article reports on a pharmacy supported e-cigarette smoking cessation intervention undertaken in a metropolitan area in the north of England | BMC Public Health, UK

How do we deal with a problem like the alcohol industry? Four lessons on how to protect science based on recent study

Researchers, clinicians, and policymakers generally agree that there is no place for the tobacco industry in public health science or policy. The same cannot be said for the alcohol industry (Marten et al., 2020), even though the industries are deeply connected in multiple ways, including in ownership, control, and political strategy | JSAD, UK

Can taking a pill really stop you getting a hangover? There’s one way to find out …

Even at £30 a packet, the Myrkl ‘pre-drinking’ pill sold out before its UK launch. I spent four days finding out if it does indeed reduce the effects of alcohol | Guardian, UK

Project Twenty21 - July Update

Update on the project including a feature on its role in helping those with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes | Drug Science, UK

Drug dealer sentenced after man dies using Black Mamba

A man who dealt drugs to a 61-year-old later found dead in his flat has been handed a two-year community order | BBC, UK

Break-in report leads officers to cannabis grow

Five people have been arrested after a large cannabis grow was discovered in Nottingham | BBC, UK


International news

The practice and embodiment of “goofballs”: A qualitative study exploring the co-injection of methamphetamines and opioids

[Open access] Polysubstance use is common among people who use drugs, including the co-use of stimulants and opioids. Research suggests the practice of simultaneous co-injection of methamphetamines and opioids, often referred to as “goofballs”, is increasing. As a relatively unique drug use practice, little qualitative research currently exists on goofball injecting. This study explores the practice and embodied experiences of goofball injecting | IJDP, UK

Differences in cigarette smoking quit attempts and cessation between adults who did and did not take up nicotine vaping: Findings from the ITC four country smoking and vaping surveys

[Open access] There is mixed evidence as to whether nicotine vaping products (NVPs) can help adults who smoke transition away from cigarettes. This study investigated if self-reported attempts to quit smoking and smoking cessation, over a period of either 18 or 24 months, differed between respondents who initiated nicotine vaping versus those who did not | Addictive Behaviours, USA

Episode 54: Harm Reduction - podcast

What is harm reduction, and how does it apply to live events? In this episode of The Event Safety Podcast, Danielle and special guest host Tami Richter chat with Stefanie Jones, harm reduction advocate and founder of the Safe Partying Program. They discuss how harm reduction principles can create safer events, strategies for implementation, training resources, the line between support and encouragement, and more | ESA, USA

Study suggests vaping does not increase risk of COVID-19

Electronic cigarette usage often leads to respiratory conditions and may also increase an individual’s vulnerability to the coronavirus disease 2019 due to compromised lung function. Additional contact between the fingers and mouths, sharing of vape devices, or removal of the mask during vaping while using e-cigarettes can also increase the risk of COVID-19. However, nicotine appears to reduce the risk of COVID-19, either through its anti-inflammatory properties or interaction between nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and COVID-19 | News Medical, USA

Rural women who use illegal drugs less likely to use contraception, risk dangerous pregnancies

Survey findings raise new concern about access to reproductive health care, including abortion | OHSU, USA

North Dakota Likely to Vote on Marijuana Legalization After Activists Submit Signatures

On July 11, North Dakota activists turned in what they believe to be more than enough signatures to place a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot | Filter Magazine, USA

Prevalence of HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis Prescribing Among Persons With Commercial Insurance and Likely Injection Drug Use

In this cross-sectional study of 547 709 commercially insured persons with opioid and/or stimulant use disorder, including 110 592 persons with evidence of IDU, 0.09% of the population overall and 0.15% of those with evidence of IDU received a PrEP prescription | JAMA Network Open, USA

Ann Shulgin, pioneer of psychedelics in therapy, dies at 91

Ann Shulgin, who together with her late husband Alexander Shulgin pioneered the use of psychedelic drugs in psychotherapy and co-wrote two seminal books on the subject, has died at the age of 91 | Medical Xpress, USA

‘Green way of life’: Thailand sees cannabis boom after law change

Southeast Asian country is seeing an explosion in cannabis products since plant’s removal from banned narcotics list | Al Jazeera, Qatar


Blogs, comment and opinion

How to Change Your Mind: the documentary that wants you to think again about LSD

Netflix’s weighty new show follows thumpingly authoritative author Michael Pollan as he outlines the benefits of psychedelic drugs such as MDMA and mescaline. It’s hugely eloquent and convincing | Guardian, UK

We were already kind of prepared for it

Anton Basenko was 14 when he started using drugs. In the course of the years, he survived six overdoses until he became one of the first patients of opioid agonist therapy in Ukraine. Since then, he is advocating for the provision of Harm Reduction services and is now Chair of the Ukrainian Network of People Who Use Drugs and programme manager at the European Aids Treatment Group. Talking to the GPDPD, he explains how previous crises prepared Harm Reduction provisioners in Ukraine for the work in war times | GPDPD, Germany

Training Alongside the Drug Epidemic

The drug epidemic in America continues to worsen. In 2021, the CDC reported a historic high in overdose-related deaths of 107,622. This number is up 15% from 2020 and 100% from 2015. In Oregon, where I completed my residency training, substance abuse is still a significant concern | NEJM Journal Watch blog, USA

The Biden administration’s bold embrace of harm reduction will save lives

“Harm reduction” is a phrase previous administrations have used sparingly, if at all, when discussing drug policy. But the Biden administration not only uses it often regarding the escalating epidemic of overdose deaths, which claimed more than 100,000 lives last year; it has made it the centerpiece of its national drug control strategy | Washington Post opinion, USA

Ann Shulgin: Radiant Nexus of Psychedelic Community

Ann Shulgin, matriarch of psychedelic-assisted therapy, widow of and co-conspirator with legendary chemist Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, and anchor of an extended community of therapists, scholars, and explorers of the worlds opened by psychedelic substances, died at home in the company of people who loved her on July 9, 2022. She was 91 | Berkeley Blog, USA