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Daily news - 9th May 2022

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UK news

Inside one of the first licensed medical cannabis labs in Britain

Under tightly controlled conditions, Celadon Pharmaceuticals’ site will initially focus on chronic pain treatments | Guardian, UK

‘My pain levels have completely dropped’: how medical marijuana changed my life

Andrea Wright, diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia, is now having a proper night’s sleep | Guardian, UK

Medicinal cannabis users prosecuted as drug-driving arrests double in four years

[Limited number of free articles per month] Patients are being ‘demonised’ as they face arrest even though medical studies show their driving capability is not impaired | Telegraph, UK

Campaigners march through Cardiff calling for legalisation of cannabis

Campaigners marched through Cardiff city centre to Cardiff Bay on Saturday calling for the legalisation of cannabis in the UK. Organised by Terry Wakefield, from Cardiff, the protest – the first to happen in Wales since 2019 due to Covid – included around 300 marchers also calling for more openness and education around the use of the drug | Wales Online, UK

Birmingham hospitality firms hope to revive after-works drinks culture

Birmingham's hospitality sector says office staff are continuing to pass up the chance of after-work drinks more than five months after the end of the last Covid lockdown | BBC, UK

Hepatitis C, injecting drug use, and the ‘syndemics’ framework

Everyone is now familiar with pandemics and epidemics, but what is a ‘syndemic’? Three decades after the concept was first proposed, Natalie Davies examines whether the syndemic framework can provide a better appreciation for, and ability to address, the disease burden of hepatitis C and injecting drug use | SSA, UK

Paul Merson - A Walk Through My Life - video

Paul Merson walks through North Yorkshire, reflecting on life, career and faith. Carrying a 360-degree camera, he also describes his struggles with drink and gambling | BBC, UK

My teenage Prozac diary

At just 14, Daniella Isaacs was prescribed Prozac. Looking back on those years, she reflects on her complicated relationship with the new ‘wonder drug’ | Guardian, UK

From paper to practice ; Young persons drug diversion

Wed, 25 May 2022, 09:30 – 10:30 BST. We are With You invites you to our second learning event; From paper to practice ; Young persons drug diversion | We are With You, UK

Addicts And Those Who Love Them

Thursday 12 May – Thursday 26 May 2022. Portraits and words by Antonia Rolls, photography by Michael McAlister, drawings by Marie Paul. Workshops, talks and discussions are available as part of the exhibition. All welcome | Antonia Rolls, UK


International news

Alcohol policy measures are an ignored catalyst for achievement of the sustainable development goals

We explored how selected European countries have considered alcohol-related harm as an obstacle to achievement of SDGs and the extent to which they view alcohol policy as a solution to the achievement of sustainable development by analysing their voluntary national reviews (VNRs) submitted to the HLPF between years 2016 and 2020 | PLOS One, UK

Population exposure to alcohol and junk food advertising during the 2018 FIFA world cup: implications for public health

Advertising alcoholic drinks and food high in fat, sugar, and salt (HFSS) is a driver of alcohol use and HFSS consumption, among children and young people. Whilst advertising legislation and broadcasting regulation protect children from alcohol and HFSS imagery, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which attracted a global audience, was sponsored and partnered by alcohol and HFSS brands. This study investigated the exposure of viewers to HFSS and alcohol imagery in a selection of group matches, and the final match, of the FIFA 2018 World Cup | BMC Public Health, UK

Europe’s changing role in expanding cocaine and methamphetamine markets

Europe’s role in international drug production and trade is changing, according to new analyses released today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and Europol (1). In an in-depth look at the cocaine and methamphetamine markets, the agencies point to increased production activities in Europe and how collaboration between criminal groups worldwide is creating new security threats and expanding the market | EMCDDA, Portugal

Smoking both traditional and e-cigarettes may carry same heart risks as cigarettes alone

Smokers who think they can lower their risk for cardiovascular disease by sometimes smoking e-cigarettes instead of traditional ones might need to think again: A new study finds people who use both have the same cardiovascular disease risks as those who only smoke traditional cigarettes | American Heart Association, USA

A Cheap Drug That Reverses Opioid Overdose Has Been in Short Supply for a Year

A shortage of injectable naloxone and other systemic issues have left harm reduction advocates struggling to prevent overdose deaths | Gizmodo, USA

Why A New York City Facility Allows Drug Use To Reduce Overdoses

OnPoint NYC is one of only two centers in the nation that aims to prevent overdoses by creating a welcoming environment for drug users | Newsy, USA

The Taliban Said It Banned Opium. But Business Is Still Booming

VICE World News discovered a still-flourishing poppy trade in the fields and markets of southern Afghanistan. But amid warnings from Taliban fighters, farmers are worried about their future | VICE, USA

Psychiatric Comorbidities of Substance Use Disorders: Does Dual Diagnosis Predict Inpatient Detoxification Treatment Outcomes? {Australia]

[Open access] Comorbidity of substance use and psychiatric disorders, particularly depressive disorders, are well established. The impact of comorbidity on treatment outcomes, particularly following short-term inpatient detoxification and medical management units, has yet to be fully explored. This study reviewed 456 records of patients voluntarily presenting for medical management of substance misuse in Sydney, Australia | IJMHA, USA

First cannabis consumption lounge opens in St Vincent and the Grenadines

The first cannabis consumption lounge in St Vincent and the Grenadines opened late Friday at the island’s Coconut Grove Beach club, with people obtaining permits to buy cannabis products for a year, after an onsite consultation with a physician | Jamaica Observer, Jamaica

A game changer for drug and alcohol education in schools

An interactive online game designed and created for Australian high school students aims to revolutionise the way young people are taught about alcohol and drugs | ECU, Australia

ACT government proposes tougher protections to stop e-cigarette sales to minors

The ACT government has proposed tougher protections to prevent the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products to people aged under 18 | Canberra Times, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Debate over closing UK parliament bars: MPs in survey drink more than the general population

Overall, 29% of the MPs in our study engaged in what we would consider risky drinking | Conversation, UK

Irish Examiner view: Drugs war taking its toll on society

There will be profound consequences for social cohesion and general health and wealth if these trends continue | Irish Examiner opinion, Ireland

The US FDA has moved to ban menthol cigarettes. Australia should do that and more

Menthol is the minty cigarette ingredient that conjures up images of beaches, snow-covered ski slopes and glamorous yacht parties, all crisp white and fresh green. Menthol as a deadly additive is under threat at last | Conversation, Australia

Australia’s vaping policy is preventing smokers from quitting

An important new study published today has found that Australia’s harsh regulatory policy on vaping has SLOWED the decline in smoking compared to other similar countries with less restrictive policies | Colin Mendelsohn blog, Australia