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Daily news - 26th July 2022

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UK news

The COVID hangover: Addressing long-term health impacts of changes in alcohol consumption during the pandemic (PDF)

There has been an increase in the number of higher risk drinkers, and the heaviest drinkers have increased their consumption the most, which brings a risk of more alcohol-related health problems. Changes in alcohol consumption have continued beyond the national lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. There was a 20% increase in alcohol-specific deaths in England in 2020 compared with 2019, and this trend persisted through 2021. There have also been changes in healthcare access during the pandemic, which could mean other aspects of alcohol harm worsen but become less visible | IAS, UK

Lockdown drinking increase could cause 25,000 excess deaths in England

Alcohol-related mortality rates over 20 years set to rise due to people increasing consumption during Covid | Guardian, UK

High-strength cannabis linked to addiction and mental health problems

Largest ever study into the health effects of different types of cannabis highlights concerns about stronger forms of the drug | University of Bath, UK

Doctors warn ‘dangerous’ laughing gas is becoming an ‘epidemic’ amid rise in hospitalisations

We are seeing an ‘epidemic’ of young people’ admitted over abuse of laughing case, warns Dr David Nicholl | Independent, UK

The Loop issue warning over teddy bear pills following Secret Garden Party

The Loop has issued a series of drug warnings following Secret Garden Party which took place over the weekend (July 21 to July 24). These warnings were for a pill that was found to contain 2.5 times the normal dose of MDMA, a ‘Teddy Bear’ pill that varied in strength, an imitation ‘SoundCloud’ pill and N-ethylpentylone getting sold as powdered MDMA | MixMag, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to The Khan review: making smoking obsolete, published on 9 June 2022, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of implementing the recommendation to ban (a) cartoon characters and (b) images appealing to young people from vaping products | They work for you, UK

Stemming the flow of drugs into prisons

Dr Chris Pudney is developing a tool that could help turn around the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society | University of Bath, UK

'Vital' pavement licences to be permanent

“Vital” fast track pavement licences have been confirmed to be become a permanent fixture, the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities has revealed | Morning Advertiser, UK

Adfam National Forum: Drug and Alcohol Prevention

Thu, 1 September 2022, 10:30 – 12:00 BST. Adfam's latest practitioner welcomes Professor Harry Sumnall of Liverpool John Moores University to talk about drug and alcohol prevention | Adfam, UK

Ilkeston traders warned over underage alcohol sales

Warnings have been issued to business owners in Derbyshire after seven shops sold alcohol to underage teenagers | BBC, UK

Suspected cannabis plants worth £180k seized in Weston-super-Mare

Police have seized hundreds of suspected cannabis plants in Weston-super-Mare with an estimated street value of £180,000 | BBC, UK

Large cannabis factory found in former London police station

A large cannabis factory has been found in a former police station in east London | ITV, UK

Belfast: Man accused of transporting cannabis refused bail

A man accused of transporting more than 20kg of cannabis seized at Belfast International Airport claimed he thought his suitcases contained cigarettes, the High Court has been told | BBC, UK


International news

Kevin Proctor sacked by Gold Coast Titans after vaping in toilet cubicle during defeat

New Zealand international Kevin Proctor has been sacked by National Rugby League side Gold Coast Titans after vaping in a toilet cubicle during their defeat by Canterbury on Sunday | BBC, UK

Photos: Despair and poverty increase drug use in Afghanistan

Drug addiction has long been a problem in Afghanistan, the world’s biggest producer of opium and now a chief source of methamphetamines | Al Jazerra, Qatar

Singapore carries out fifth execution since March

Nazeri bin Lajim was hanged early on Friday morning for drug offences, the latest in a ‘relentless wave’ of executions | Al Jazerra, Qatar

Kazakhstan drugs documentary exposes synthetics scourge

Statistics on drug use in Kazakhstan are hard to come by, and the government is more comfortable prosecuting addicts than overseeing their rehabilitation | Eurasianet, USA

DEA Cancels Plan to Ban Five New Psychedelics After Heavy Pushback

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has withdrawn a controversial proposal to ban five psychedelic compounds—a decision that’s being celebrated by advocates and researchers | Filter Magazine, USA

People’s “Purposeful, Rational” Reasons for Mixing Meth and Opioids

People mixing stimulants and opioids is not a new phenomenon. Mixing heroin and cocaine, a “speedball,” was fairly common practice in the 1990s, for instance. More recently, mixing fentanyl and methamphetamine, in what’s known as a “goofball,” is a growing trend | Filter Magazine, USA

Invisible: Breaking Through the Stigma of Addiction - video

Addiction Professionals: Sarah Montes of London Withdrawal Management and Addiction Doctor Ken Lee talk about city services and the advancements in addiction medicine | Rogers tv.com, USA

CCENDU Drug Alert Xylazine

Summarizes the increased risk of accidental overdose due to xylazine in Canada’s unregulated drug supply. Xylazine is a non-opioid pain reliever developed as a sedative and muscle relaxant for animals. It is being found as an adulterant in other drugs. In combination with other sedatives like fentanyl, benzodiazepines or alcohol, xylazine can increase the risk of overdose and death | CCSA, Canada

An Australian First: Canberra’s Fixed Pill Testing Site

In a first for Australia, Canberra has just launched a fixed pill testing site with a six-month pilot program | ADF, Australia

NZ urged to follow Australia on opioid overdose antidote

Accidental drug overdoses regularly claim more lives than car accidents in Australia, and in a bid to prevent more deaths Australian authorities recently trialled giving people who had prescriptions for opioids, or an addition to them, the antidote naloxone | 1 news, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

No, it is not true that alcohol isn’t ‘good’ for us

Alcohol greases the wheels of social interaction, which helps us to open up and rub along well together. The closer we feel to other people, the more fulfilled we tend to be | Independent voices, UK

Importance of a Balanced Public Health Approach When Assessing Recent Patterns in the Prevalence of Adult e-Cigarette Use in the US

To decipher the epidemiological patterns underlying these recent changes in the prevalence of adult e-cigarette use, a balanced public health approach is needed | JAMA Network Open commentary, USA

Preaddiction as a Missing Concept in Articulating the Dynamics of Healing & Recovery

Earlier this month, Dr. Thomas McLellan, Dr George Koob, and Dr Nora Volkow published a viewpoint article at JAMA titled Preaddiction—A Missing Concept for Treating Substance Use Disorders.  It is an important piece | Revovery Review blog, USA

Is there really such a thing as an ‘addictive personality’?

We’ve all heard of someone referred to as having an “addictive personality”. Some even say it about themselves. But you may be surprised to know there is no such thing | Conversation, Australia

‘Narco-drones’ are the newest form of drug trafficking. Our laws aren’t yet ready to combat them

This month, Spanish police authorities seized autonomous underwater vehicles, each capable of transporting around 200 kilograms of drugs. It’s not the first time police authorities have caught an uncrewed vessel carrying illicit substances | Conversation, Australia