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Daily news - 21st July 2022

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UK news

Little evidence that chemical imbalance causes depression, UCL scientists find

Researchers question use of antidepressants, prescribed to one in six UK adults | Guardian, UK

'More would die from drugs in Scotland without our vital work'

A record number of people died from drugs in Scotland in 2020 | STV News, UK

Bipolar, Schizophrenia and Depression? with Prof Allan Young - podcast

Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear the exceptional scholar’s perspective on the future of the science and treatment of mood disorders which vastly burden our society | Drug Science, UK

Maree Todd MSP responds to SHAAP's letter about LGBTQ+ people and alcohol services

After the launch of our latest report "What are LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of alcohol services in Scotland? A qualitative study of service users and service providers", and our successful Parliament event on the 9th of June, 9 MSPs signed our letter to the Minister for Public Health, Women's Health and Sport asking for the LGBTQ+ community to be fully supported by alcohol services, and for the upcoming UK Alcohol Treatment Guidelines to include the LGBTQ+ community as a group with specific needs | SHAAP, UK

Review of harms caused by illegal drugs on Isle of Man to start

A review into the harms caused by illegal drugs on the Isle of Man is set to begin, the justice and home affairs minister has confirmed | BBC, UK

Provider Event, Yorkshire & Humber Inpatient Detoxification Consortium

Wed, 3 August 2022, 14:00 – 16:00 BST. We would like to invite you and your colleagues to a virtual event on Wednesday, 3rd August 2022 at 2.00 pm which will be held on Microsoft Teams. The purpose of this event is to reflect on the last year, referral criteria, preparation work with patients, pathways, referral process and an opportunity to ask questions as well as meet the teams | Stuart Green, UK

People Of Colour Coming Into Treatment Community Event

Tue, 26 July 2022, 09:30 – 16:00 BST. We are hosting members of the community for a day of specialist talks looking at the obstacles people of colour face accessing support | Change Grow Live Birmingham, UK

Newcastle raid: Drugs worth almost £1m seized

Officers seized a large quantity of cannabis, 7.5kg of cocaine, 2.5kg of heroin and about 30,000 Pregabalin and Valium tablets | BBC, UK

Police confiscate 200 bottles of alcohol at Richmond

Hundreds of bottles of alcohol were confiscated to stop revellers using a North Yorkshire beauty spot "like an Ibiza nightclub", police have said | BBC, UK



International news

Has the pandemic exacerbated alcohol harm?

Men have always been at greater risk of harm than women from alcohol use, but the pandemic may have exacerbated the problem. Healthcare professionals can support public health colleagues in calling for government-led initiatives to tackle alcohol availability | Trends in Urology and Men's Health, UK

Parents of adult children with drug addiction dealing with shame and courtesy stigma [Sweden]

The study aims to provide insight into the lives of parents to adult children with drug addiction. We focus on how the parents’ social life and interactions were affected by feelings of guilt and shame, and how they dealt with the stigma that often accompanies drug addiction | DEPP, UK

Mysterious pink glow in sky over Mildura revealed to be from local cannabis facility

‘Bizarre’ pink lights seen in the sky above Victorian town were not an alien invasion after all | Guardian, UK

Huge Public Response on Big Shake-Up of EU Tobacco Laws

An overwhelming majority of EU citizens who responded to a European Commission initiative say they support tobacco harm reduction products | EU Political Report, Belgium

Family’ members experiences of their older relative’s alcohol and substance misuse [Norway]

Alcohol consumption in Norway and much of the western world has increased during the past decades, in particular among older adults (> 65 years). Although living with a family member’s alcohol misuse has been shown to have a significant deleterious health impact, research on this topic is both lacking and urgently needed to develop targeted health services | International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, USA

Urban–Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 2020

In 2020, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths was 28.6 per 100,000 standard population in urban counties and 26.2 in rural counties | CDC, USA

Cannabinoid Content and Label Accuracy of Hemp-Derived Topical Products Available Online and at National Retail Stores

 In a case series of 105 topical cannabinoid products, 18% were overlabeled (>10% less CBD than advertised), 58% were underlabeled (>10% more CBD than advertised), and 24% were accurately labeled for CBD; THC was detected in 35% of products (all contained less than 0.3% THC, the legal limit for hemp). Products often made therapeutic or cosmetic claims | JAMA Network Open, USA

Building a Better Painkiller

On a quest to develop more effective pain medicines, scientists are studying how CBD inhibits pain-sensing neurons | Harvard Medical School, USA

Restrictions on Psilocybin ‘Magic Mushrooms’ Are Easing as Research Ramps Up

Here’s how the psychedelic substance’s legal status has been shifting | Scientific American, USA

How to Prepare for a Juul Apocalypse

After the FDA briefly banned the sale of Juul products, we put together a guide for a podless future—if that day ever comes | VICE, USA

A Report on British Columbia’s Unregulated Drug Supply (PDF)

The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of the substances that were submitted to drug checking in sites across British Columbia, as well as highlight any trends in the unregulated drug supply in 2021 | BCCSU, Canada

Agency looking to open overdose prevention site in Saint John amid 'poisoned' drug supply

‘We just want to keep people alive,’ Avenue B executive director Julie Dingwell says | CBC News, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

Government Plans To Criminalise All Drug Users

"Swift, Certain, Tough" Government white paper promises new consequences for drug possession | Russell Webster, UK

Women, Alcohol, Pregnancy and FASD

In this first blog of six, Professor Moira Plant shares highlights from her report to be published this summer | QNIS blog, UK

How Can We Better Serve Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals in Addiction Treatment Settings?

Until recently, research around LGBTQ people and substance use often used the blanket term, “sexual minorities”, and focused almost exclusively on lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Thankfully, in recent years, research has expanded to focus more specifically on transgender and gender non-conforming people. But unfortunately, this research is still quite limited. For example, research pertaining to non-binary individuals and addiction is particularly sparse | IRETA blog, USA