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Daily news - 7th June 2022

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UK news

Final report published on the impact of MUP on people drinking at harmful levels, including those dependent on alcohol

Among those drinking at harmful levels or people with alcohol dependence, the study found no clear evidence of a change in consumption or severity of dependence. Findings also showed that some economically vulnerable groups experienced increased financial strain as the price rises meant they were spending more on alcohol. This led some people who were dependent on alcohol to reduce other expenditure, such as that on food and utilities | Public Health Scotland, UK

Evaluating the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland on people who are drinking at harmful levels

This final report and briefing paper look at the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland on those drinking at harmful levels. The report describes the final findings from a study of the effects of MUP on people who are drinking at harmful levels. It was commissioned by Public Health Scotland as one component of their programme evaluating MUP in Scotland | Public Health Scotland, UK

Minimum unit price not changing alcoholics' habits

Drinkers who suffered the worst affects of alcoholism did not change their habits when Scotland's minimum pricing was introduced, a study has shown. Public Health Scotland (PHS) reported minimum unit pricing (MUP) led to some people cutting back on food and energy | BBC, UK

Naloxone Lego Images

A series of naloxone focused images made with lego have started doing the rounds on social media | Naloxone.org.uk, UK

Darren McGarvey's Addictions - video

How can you be addicted to a behaviour? What happens when you remove the chemical hooks of drugs and alcohol? Darren attempts to answer these questions by going back to where it all started for him: food. He meets Annemarie, who despite beating addictions to drugs and alcohol, still struggles with food, and learns that for many, food is simply another way of coping with trauma. But in a world where fast food is big business, it can be hard to avoid. Darren meets food scientist Dr David Gally to find out exactly why the drive-thru and the chocolate aisle are so hard to resist | BBC, UK

New financial incentive scheme launched to support young people to quit smoking

We have partnered with Barnsley College to launch a new pilot scheme, offering financial incentives to support young people to quit smoking | Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, UK

Podcast Profiles: The Drink Less app with Fred Yates prize winner Claire Garnett

In this episode of the Addictions Edited podcast, Dr Claire Garnett, winner of the SSA’s Fred Yates prize 2022, talks about her research and career. She focuses on her work at UCL developing the Drink Less app for reducing alcohol-related harms and drinking, including how the app was based on theoretical models of change, health psychology and behavioural science principles | SSA, UK

BDP Volunteering Open Information Sessions

You will have the opportunity to find out more about BDP, what volunteering opportunities are on offer and to meet a current volunteer and the Volunteer Managers. Dates: Tuesday 7th June: 4 – 4.30pm at The Unitarian Hall, Brunswick Square, BS2 8PE. Friday 10th June: 6 – 7pm at BDP, 11 Brunswick Square, Bristol BS2 8PE. No booking required but if you would like to speak to someone about volunteering, please contact Sophie Wilsdon on sophie.wilsdon@bdp.org.uk or 0117 987 6000 | BDP, UK

Alcohol Occasionals - Care for co-occurring heavy alcohol use & depression

Tue, 21 June 2022, 12:30 – 14:00 BST. Dr Kat Jackson and Dr Amy O’Donnell present on how people with co-occurring heavy alcohol use and depression describe the care they receive | SHAAP, UK

Gang jailed over £400,000 Dundee drugs operation

A seven-man gang has been jailed for their part in a £400,000 drugs operation | BBC, UK


International news

Medical cannabis eases chronic pain – but only if it has very high THC

Most prescribed cannabis products for chronic pain cause side effects like dizziness, but a new review has found that only those with very high THC, not CBD, actually provide pain relief | New Scientist, UK

The Arab World's New Drug of Choice - audio

Captagon is a popular recreational drug used across the Middle East and Arabian Gulf. It can temporarily boost a user’s mood - though long-term it is highly addictive. Production is concentrated in Syria, and smuggled across the border into Jordan and onto the Gulf. Officials in Jordan say militant groups are profiting from the production of the drug, and Yolande Knell has been out on patrol with the people trying to stop them | BBC, UK

Queensland’s lagging mental health system needs substantial funding boost, inquiry finds

State has lowest per capita spend on mental health, alcohol and drug services in Australia, report says | Guardian, UK

Integrated care model and point of care diagnostics facilitate Hepatitis C treatment among patients receiving opioid agonist therapy: a retrospective review of medical records [Finland]

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common among individuals in opioid agonist therapy (OAT). HCV treatment has previously been unavailable for most HCV positive OAT patients in Finland. The removal of treatment restrictions and attempts to reach HCV elimination goals have increased the number of OAT patients needing HCV treatment. The objectives of this study were 1) to characterize Finnish HCV positive OAT patients and evaluate their eligibility for HCV treatment at addiction service units, and 2) to retrospectively review the outcomes of treated patients | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, UK

Association of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms With Substance Misuse in 2 Longitudinal Cohorts in Sweden

This Swedish cohort study of 6 304 188 individuals from the general population and 9230 individuals in a separate twin cohort found that individuals with an OCD diagnosis had a 3.7-fold elevated risk of any substance misuse outcome. The association of OCD and obsessive-compulsive symptoms with substance misuse was partially attributed to shared genetics | JAMA Network Open, USA

Pilot testing program in Maryland could save life and limb as new illegal drug danger emerges

A young woman in a pink hoodie and a blond bun clutched a plastic bag filled with 20 fresh syringes and a box of naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdoses. Jason Bienert, a wound care nurse at a needle exchange program in Cecil County, noticed her bandaged hand and offered to take a look at it | Medical Xpress, USA

Use of Menthol Cigarettes, Smoking Frequency, and Nicotine Dependence Among US Youth

 In this population-based pooled cohort study including 1492 observations of 1096 youth cigarette smokers (aged 12-17 years at their baseline and follow-up interviews), menthol use was associated with smoking more frequently and with having higher nicotine dependence scores, but switching from menthol to nonmenthol cigarettes was associated with reduced smoking frequency and dependence | JAMA Network Open, USA

Trends in Cannabis Polysubstance Use During Early Pregnancy Among Patients in a Large Health Care System in Northern California

 In this cross-sectional time-series study using data from 367 138 pregnancies among 281 590 unique pregnant patients screened for prenatal substance use during early pregnancy as part of routine prenatal care in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, rates of prenatal use of only cannabis increased faster than rates of use of cannabis and 1 other substance, while rates of use of cannabis and 2 or more substances decreased | JAMA Network Open, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Scotland’s poor are left to die

There is arguably one unifying theme which connects many of Britain’s current difficulties — proximity. From wealthy politicians tackling poverty to drug counsellors who’ve never smoked a joint, Britain is riddled with problems of proximity across its key institutions and at every level of governance | UnHerd, UK

Does Alcoholics Anonymous actually work?

[Free registration may be required] Much of what we know about the effectiveness of AA has been generated by the fellowship itself, and this creates some obvious problems of bias | Independent Premium, UK