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Daily news - 17th March 2022

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UK news

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Quality Standard on FASD is here!

This Quality Standard covers assessing and diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in children and young people. It also covers support during pregnancy to prevent FASD. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement | National Organisation for FASD, UK

UK medical cannabis trial to begin ‘ASAP’

Large-scale government-backed trial will seek evidence on drug’s effectiveness for treating epilepsy | Independent, UK

Addiction Audio: pre-registration with John Marsden - audio

In this episode of Addiction Audio, Professor John Marsden talks about how pre-registration can increase transparency in research. He addresses the anxieties that surround pre-registration and explains why it’s not as difficult or daunting as many people fear | SSA, UK

How to Become a Psychedelic Therapist? - With Dr Rosalind Watts - podcast

Dr Rosalind Watts is one of the most prominent clinical psychologists in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. In today’s episode of the podcast, Dr Watts will explain exactly how she managed to be at the epicentre of UK psychedelic research | Drug Science, UK

Leeds woman who drank four bottles of wine a day now competes in marathons after transforming life

A Leeds woman who used to drink four bottles of wine a day and lost two jobs is now competing in marathons after turning her life around | Yorkshire Evening Post, UK

Ampleforth College brings in sniffer dogs to stop repeat of alcohol-fuelled graduation party

[Limited number of free articles per week] ‘Catholic Eton’ introduces strict measures after incident, one of a series that led to ‘inadequate’ rating for safeguarding | Telegraph, UK

Warrington dealer who ran Instagram cannabis shop is jailed

A man who ran an Instagram store selling cannabis-laced sweets from his one-bedroom flat has been jailed | BBC, UK



International news

Higher cigarette taxes reduce child deaths, first global estimates suggest

In total, increased cigarette taxes could have averted around 231,000 deaths of children aged under a year old in 2018 (including roughly 182,000 newborns), according to research led by Imperial College London and Erasmus MC and published in PLOS Global Public Health | Imperial College London, UK

AI analyses drug users’ trip reports to better understand psychedelics

A pattern recognition algorithm scoured 6850 accounts of people’s experiences with 27 drugs to learn more about how they alter consciousness | New Scientist, UK

Have your say: WHO holds public consultation to reduce alcohol consumption

Countries of the WHO European Region need an effective policy framework to reduce alcohol consumption levels and the associated health harms. WHO is hosting 3 consultations on the draft of the “Framework to strengthen implementation of the WHO European Action Plan to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol (EAPA), 2022–2025”. These consultations are with civil society, Member States and members of the public | WHO, Denmark

California backs syringe programs. But they’re nowhere to be found in Orange County

Ronnie Warn was bewildered when he spotted the sign on the door of the Santa Ana office where he routinely brings used needles and picks up clean ones | LA Times, USA

Ohio has room to expand medication-assisted opioid treatment

Medication-assisted treatment is among the most effective approaches to treat opioid dependency, but not as many Ohio clinicians who could be administering drugs like buprenorphine or naltrexone are doing so, found a recent study in the Ohio Journal of Public Health | Ohio State University, USA

Genetically altered skin grafts hold promise as addiction treatment, scientists say

Scientists at the University of Chicago have come up with an intriguing potential treatment to combat cocaine and alcohol addictions—a skin graft genetically altered to release molecules that curb the craving for those substances | Medical Xpress, USA

Focused research and treatment guidelines needed to ensure 'behavioral psychedelics' help patients make lasting change

Despite their reputation as illicit drugs, psychedelics may find new, legitimate roles in treatment for anxiety, depression, stress disorders, addiction, and other mental and behavioral health problems. But ensuring they do requires developing rigorous, standardized methods to study and apply the results, according to a new report | Medical Xpress, USA

Largest ever psychedelics study maps changes of conscious awareness to neurotransmitter systems

Applying machine learning to a database of testimonials uncovers how drug-induced changes in subjective awareness are mechanistically rooted in the human brain | McGill University, Canada

Magic mushroom dispensaries operating openly in Vancouver

The city now boasts a handful of dispensaries; VPD says it is focused on gang-fuelled trafficking of opioids | CBC News, Canada

Colombia Airport Bust Highlights Risky Business for Female 'Drug Mules'

The arrest of a group of women smuggling cocaine at a Colombian airport highlights the continuing use of human couriers to move drugs by plane – a decades-old strategy that has helped land thousands of women in jail | InsightCrime, Colombia

China Tightens Controls on E-cigarettes

China’s vaping and e-cigarettes industry witnessed two critical developments on Friday. First, new detailed regulations entitled “Administrative Measures for Electronic Cigarettes” were released and will be implemented on May 1. Second, the most recent draft of “Chinese E-Cigarette National Standards” was published and is now open for feedback | Pan Daily, China

Prescription opioid use linked to mood disorders

People who are prescribed opioids for pain relief have a higher risk of developing mood disorders such as anxiety, University of Queensland researchers have found | University of Queensland, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Don’t Use Loperamide For Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms – It Doesn’t Work, It Just Makes Things Worse

If taken for diarrhea, and in accordance with the instructions on the box, there are no harmful effects associated with loperamide use. However, when taken in a mistaken attempt to numb the effects of opiate withdrawal, by increasing the dosage multiple times, it can rapidly become dangerous – even fatal | Volteface, UK

How Education is Professionalising the Cannabis Sector

Although cannabis has a rich history dating back thousands of years for medicinal use, its illegality has halted structured scientific research to understand its benefits. We are seeing progress on this front, but the effects of prohibitionist ideologies continue to impact the ways in which medical cannabis is viewed | Volteface, UK

The Shortcoming is in me, NOT the programme!

I have navigated the 12-step community for nearly two decades, and in that time I have witnessed countless people and families being returned to health. These many life changing events have placed me in a position where I can never doubt the efficacy of the 12-step process as a harm reduction option in preventing drug deaths | FAVOR UK blog, UK

Guest blog: 5 great fitness reasons to go alcohol-free

One Year No Beer’s Ruari Fairbairns shares how drinking alcohol might be negatively impacting your fitness goals | Drinkaware blog, UK

Epigenetic convergence in the rising tide of opioid overdose deaths

The opioid epidemic is one of the most significant public health crises facing the US. Over 840,000 Americans have died from fatal overdoses where opioids were present as tracked by the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System since 1999 | Nature comment, USA

Legitimacy, the Bedrock of Consensus Building

“…legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice–that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable..." | Recovery Review blog, USA