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Daily news - 9th June 2022

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UK news

Smoking age should rise, government report to say

The age at which people can buy tobacco products in England should be gradually increased year after year, a review for government is expected to recommend | BBC, UK

England going smoke-free by 2030 depends on No 10 willpower

Analysis: The question is not what is in the Khan review but whether its recommendations will be implement | Guardian, UK

The Cathinone Hydra: Increased Cathinone and caffeine adulteration in the English MDMA market after Brexit and COVID-19 lockdowns

Adulteration poses additional unknown risks to the health of people who use illicit drugs. In this study, we sought to determine the extent and nature of adulteration of ‘MDMA’ in circulation at English summer music festivals in 2021, following Brexit, COVID-19 lockdowns and various regulatory changes overseas. At three festivals in 2019 and 2021, 1648 surrendered substances were analysed with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and colourimetric reagents in a mobile laboratory as part of a harm reduction project | Drug Science Policy and Law, UK

New NCD Prevention Coalition Report - Mapping Future Harm

New poll shows support for increased regulations to tackle health issues around tobacco, alcohol and obesity | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Tide being turned on drug use in seaside town with high rate of drug deaths

A high-rate of drug deaths and substance misuse hangs over Hastings in East Sussex but a five million pound programme appears to be turning the tide on the problem | ITV, UK

‘Druggie, addict and junkie’: New Dundee campaign to reduce negative language around drug addiction

A new campaign challenging the use of negative language towards people with drug addictions has been launched in Dundee. Language Matters asks people to consider the stigmatising effect words such as “druggie”, “addict” and “junkie” can have on someone with substance abuse issues | Dundee Courier, UK

Dead Space In Syringes Explained - video

A short film explaining the importance of dead space as a factor in the transmission of blood borne viruses amongst people who inject drugs | Exchange Supplies, UK

Gilead Sciences and WDP partner up to eliminate Hepatitis C

WDP and Gilead Sciences have formally partnered for a second time to support sector-wide efforts to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) in drug and alcohol services by the end of 2023 | WDP, UK

Oisin Murphy: Alcohol caused me to have blackouts

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy tells BBC Sport's Laura Scott that he used to drink so much alcohol he had blackouts and feared it could end his racing career | BBC, UK

Thornaby cannabis farm 'worth several millions' found

A cannabis farm growing drugs with an estimated street value of several millions of pounds has been found in a warehouse raid | BBC, UK

Birmingham drug dealer stabbed student who confronted him

A drug dealer fatally stabbed a music student after he was confronted about selling cannabis on the street | BBC, UK



International news

Thailand to ease cannabis rules but smokers warned over smell ‘nuisance’

People will be allowed to grow it at home but smoking for recreational purposes is still forbidden | Guardian, UK

‘It affected a great number of people’: inside the world of shocking military drug experiments

A damning new documentary sheds light on experiments done on US soldiers from the 50s to the 70s and the devastating effects | Guardian, UK

'Significant gap' between need for alcohol treatment and services available

There is a “significant gap” between the need for alcohol treatment and the low level of services available, according to Alcohol Action Ireland. The advocacy group said more than 500,000 people in Ireland were estimated to be drinking in a hazardous or harmful way and that 90,000 of these had a “severe problem” | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Cocaine use: ‘You’d have it for a night out, like the way people have a few cigarettes’

Dealers stay anonymous through Snapchat, say young people who use drug that is ‘accessible everywhere’ | Irish Times, Ireland

DC lawmakers pass bill that would ban employers from firing workers for marijuana use

On Tuesday, the city council of Washington, D.C. unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit employers from punishing or firing employees who use marijuana or test positive for the drug | USA Today, USA

Study reveals inaccurate label claims on unregulated CBD products

Recent studies have highlighted the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), which is a non-intoxicating component of Cannabis sativa. Previously, the association of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) with CBD limited studies on its medicinal benefits | News Medical, USA

Public perceptions of e-cigarettes vs. cigarettes harms influence population tobacco use patterns

A new study led by researchers atthe American Cancer Society (ACS) shows perceptions of electronic or e-cigarettes as being "more harmful" than cigarettes by adults in the United States more than doubled between 2019-2020 and perceptions of e-cigarettes as "less harmful" declined between 2018-2020 | News Medical, USA

Study finds nicotine-sired male offspring are at risk of addiction behavior and memory impairments

Parental smoking is a significant risk factor for developing smoking behavior and nicotine dependence in offspring. These findings suggest that parental nicotine exposure may promote addiction-like behaviors in subsequent generations. Given the significance of cigarette smoking for public health, preventing nicotine use among adolescents is critical to ending tobacco use disorder and decreasing e-cigarette use | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis users can misperceive how well their romantic relationships are functioning

Cannabis users may think their approaches to managing conflict in romantic relationships are better than they are and don't recognize potentially problematic dynamics that might exist, according to a collaborative study conducted by Rutgers and Mount Holyoke College | Medical Xpress, USA

Leveraging opportunities to address early substance use for youth in primary care settings

Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is the recommended evidence-based approach to ensure early intervention with youth who are being seen in primary care. Evidence suggests this does not happen as often as intended in practice. The researchers in this study examined youth substance use reported during primary care visits. They also examined provider perspectives on the feasibility of doing SBIRT in routine practice | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Cannabis use disorder related to more severe and persistent alcohol use and PTSD symptoms in U.S. veterans

Rates of cannabis use disorder are on the rise among U.S. veterans, and existing research suggests that cannabis use is associated with more severe symptoms of mental health conditions that are also common in this population. This study examines the extent to which having a history of cannabis use disorder influences mental health and alcohol use over several years in a sample of U.S. veterans | Recovery Research Institute, USA

What’s in ‘Happy Water,’ a Synthetic Drug Cocktail Being Taken by Partygoers?

Consumption of the psychoactive beverage, which sees MDMA, meth, ketamine and diazepam dissolved in liquid, is on the rise in Asia | VICE, USA

The Canadian Vaping Association: Flavours in vaping products are instrumental in helping adults quit smoking

Members in Belleville have voted to send a letter to health minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, and his next provincial counterpart asking for several amendments to current vaping regulation, including a reduction in the number of permitted flavours. The Canadian Vaping Association (CVA) continues to caution regulators that flavour restrictions have unintended consequences such as increased smoking, a strengthened black-market and the closure of small businesses | Digital ournal, Canada

ACT government agrees to decriminalise small amounts of illicit drugs, such as ice, heroin and cocaine

The ACT is set to become the first Australian jurisdiction to decriminalise small amounts of commonly used illicit drugs, such as ice, heroin, cocaine and speed. Police would continue to target dealers and try to end the supply of harmful drugs | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Post COVID cathinone hydra

study published in the journal of Drug Science Policy and Law describes tumultuous changes to the UK MDMA drug market following Brexit and COVID-19 lockdowns. In this first academic publication from The Loop’s ‘back of house’ testing service, nearly half of substances sold as MDMA were instead found to contain other drugs, particularly synthetic cathinones and caffeine, suggesting that these were the substitutes of choice at a time of acute shortage within the MDMA market | Drug Science blog, UK

The silence around drugs is deadly, so we must applaud Brenda Edwards’ honesty about Jamal

[Possible paywall] There is so much more we can do to make recreational drug taking safer | i news opinon, UK

The alcohol industry is everywhere? Researcher experiences of industry monitoring, surveillance, and legal threats

Based on interviews with a small group of researchers, we found that even when researchers don’t want contact with the alcohol industry, they can’t avoid it. What does this mean in practice, and what needs to happen to help protect scientific integrity? | IAS blog, UK

How can we support LGBTQ+ people to access alcohol services?

This blog post by researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University reports on their recent study for SHAAP "What are LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of alcohol services in Scotland? A qualitative study of service users and service providers", which highlights the difficulties LGBTQ+ people experience when trying to access alcohol services in Scotland | SHAAP blog, UK

Reflections from the MEAM approach network

To mark a new phase in the MEAM Approach network, we recently took time to reflect with partners across the country on what has been learnt about tackling multiple disadvantage, what has and hasn’t been achieved and how this collective learning can shape practice and policy in the years ahead | MEAM, UK

PAUL BOGGIE: Drug consumption rooms will save lives – but only if we tackle stigma too

We are facing a crisis in Scotland and until things change we will continue to needlessly lose lives to drugs | Courier, UK

Disparities & Inequalities in Ending the HIV Epidemic: Treatment of HIV

Maeleigh Tidd delivers another thought-provoking post in our Pharmaceutical Inequalities series. She reaches back to the 1980s to consider how ACT UP protests led to greater affordability of HIV drugs, and argues that the persisting structural inequalities must be addressed by EHEI | Points blog, USA

Menthol Bans — Same Story, Different Flavor

The Food and Drug Administration’s recently announced proposal to ban menthol cigarettes is ill advised on multiple fronts. Not only does this proposal make no economic sense but it also fails to recognize a simple fact: People in a free society should be free to choose their poison | Inside Sources, USA