Daily news - 21st April 2021

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UK news

Alcohol affordability: implications for alcohol price policies. A cross-sectional analysis in middle and older adults from UK Biobank

Increasing the price of alcohol reduces alcohol consumption and harm. The role of food complementarity, transaction costs and inflation on alcohol demand are determined and discussed in relation to alcohol price policies | Journal of Public Health, UK

Commission on Alcohol Harm: ‘It’s Everywhere’—Alcohol’s Public Face and Private Harm

A recent report by the Commission on Alcohol Harm highlighted the damage caused by alcohol abuse. Setting out a number of recommendations, it called for the Government to publish a new comprehensive alcohol strategy. This article provides a brief overview of the report and the Government’s current policy on alcohol | House of Lords Library, UK

Scottish drug deaths to rise to new record this year, experts warn

[Limited number of free articles per week] Nicola Sturgeon admitted that her government had taken its 'eye off the ball' | Telegraph, UK

Drink Wise Age Well: real stories

After six years, the ‘Drink Wise Age Well’ programme is ending. These are the stories of people supported by the project | DDN, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to challenge misinformation preventing long-term smokers from making the switch to less harmful alternatives as part of Vaping Awareness Month in April 2021 | They work for you, UK

Proof that non-alcoholic spirits make you just as happy as real ones

[Limited number of free articles per week] I didn't believe no and low alcohol spirits were as good as the real thing, but an experiment I took part in proved me wrong | Telegraph, UK

Prime Minister’s Senior Advisors Seek His Support To Create A World-Leading UK Hemp Industry

BORIS Johnson will this week receive suggestions from a senior Government taskforce – led by Sir Iain Duncan-Smith – which could mark a significant turning point for the UK cannabis industry | Business Cann, UK

ADDICTION LIVES: Professor Betsy Thom

This interview is with Professor Betsy Thom, who is the head of the Drug & Alcohol Research Centre at Middlesex University, London. She is a social scientist with a special interest in policy and the policy process in the alcohol and drug field | SSA, UK

DRNS & TPS: Virtual Roundtable - Involving Practitioners in Research

Thu, 6 May 2021, 13:30 – 15:00 BST. This virtual roundtable, brought to you by Drugs Research Network Scotland (DRNS) and Turning Point Scotland (TPS), will be discussing practitioner involvement in research. We would love to hear the views of both practitioners involved with research as well as researchers working with people in practice | DRNS, UK

Gloucester student died after four-hour drinking game

Toxicology tests found Mr Potter, from Hersham, Surrey was the equivalent of more than four-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit | BBC, UK

Ex-police inspector caught in £2m drugs swoop

David Brown, 51, was caught in a truck while trying to board a ferry from Cairnryan to Northern Ireland in December 2018 | BBC, UK

Benoit de la Sayette: Teenage jockey fails drugs test days after denying taking cocaine

The 18-year-old was shown in a film at a party where cocaine was used, with the Professional Jockeys' Association claiming it was a "malicious" video | BBC, UK


International news

Researchers In Europe, U.S. Team Up To Produce First Ever 5-MeO-DMT Psychedelic Training Program

From magic mushrooms to ketamine, psychedelic drugs are having a serious heyday across the planet. Currently seeing considerable interest and acceptance by the public to treat emotional distress, the so-called third wave of psychedelics is cresting | Forbes, USA

E-cigarette users in rural Appalachia develop more severe lung injuries

Just as e-cigarette ingredients can vary from one region to another, the health effects of vaping can have regional characteristics as well. A new study out of West Virginia University suggests that rural e-cigarette users are older--and often get sicker--than their urban counterparts | EurekAlert, USA

To Increase Smoking Rates Among Young Adults, Keep Hiking Vape Taxes 

Across the country, local and state lawmakers are proposing to enact new taxes and/or increasing existing excise taxes on e-cigarettes. Some are introducing these measures ostensibly to address youth vaping | Filter Magazine, USA

Nicotine pouches- a research and regulatory policy agenda to maximise public health benefits and minimise harms

Nicotine extracted from tobacco and purified from other constituents can be delivered in the form of nicotine replacement products for helping people move away from tobacco dependence. Nicotine pouches to be put under the upper lip are one such new category of products that are being rapidly developed and marketed as consumer goods with little research or regulatory oversight | Qeios, USA

Changes in substance supply and use characteristics among people who use drugs (PWUD) during the COVID-19 global pandemic: A national qualitative assessment in Canada

 The current study examined how COVID-19 has impacted substance use supply and use characteristics among a national cohort of PWUD in Canada | IJDP, Canada

New taxes on vaping products, tobacco proposed in federal budget

It will get more expensive for Canadians who smoke cigarettes and vape, under proposals outlined in the 2021 federal budget to further tax tobacco and vaping products, such as e-cigarettes | CTV News, Canada

Drug overdose deaths in Manitoba surge by 87% in 2020

372 people died of a drug overdose in 2020, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | CBC News, Canada

Students' innovative idea could help prevent fentanyl overdoses

A group of University of Alberta science students won $100,000 to help turn a brainstorming session about what could have helped family members avoid a fentanyl overdose into a street-ready solution that will ultimately be a lifeline for those who struggle with addiction | Education News Canada, Canada

Patterns of intensive alcohol and other drug treatment service use in Australia, 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2019

Clients accessing alcohol and other drug treatment services often receive multiple episodes of treatment, with some clients requiring more intensive treatment to achieve their goals. This report describes 3 distinct client cohorts based on their patterns of treatment service use between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2019. Clients who received intensive treatment were more likely than other cohorts to report receiving treatment for multiple principal drugs of concern and for more main treatment types across episodes | AIHW, Australia

Ketamine use among people who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants in Australia: trends and characteristics of use, 2009-2019

Ketamine use has continued to rise, and previous research have linked several harms with frequent use. This paper described trends in ketamine use among sentinel cross-sectional samples of Australians who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants from 2009-2019, along with the characteristics of consumers | NDARC, Australia

Here’s How Hard It Is To Obtain Medicinal Cannabis In Each Australian State Or Territory

It’s been five years since Australia moved to federally legalise medicinal cannabis. And 4/20 Day seems like a good time to take a look under the hood of our cannabis industry, how far we’ve come and how incredibly far we still have to go | Gizmodo, Australia

Tobacco stocks plunge on report US may curb nicotine in cigarettes

Tobacco stocks have plunged on Wall Street after a report said the US government may only allow cigarettes with nicotine levels so low they’d no longer be addictive, and may also move to ban menthol | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Psychedelics are transforming the way we understand depression and its treatment

Psychiatry has long failed to explain depression. Our research into psilocybin suggests a new approach could offer answers | Guardian opinion, UK

How LSD might cure depression

For a glorious period in the mid-2000s, some loophole appeared in the UK drug laws and it became possible to buy magic mushrooms in Camden Market or any number of high-street shops that smelled of joss sticks | UnHerd, UK

What do medical students learn about addiction?

I decided to try something a little different and record an interview with Derek Wolfe, a new medical school graduate and future psychiatrist with a special interest in addiction. (Maybe interviews will be a recurring thing.) | Recovery Review blog, USA

How can so many New Zealanders still smoke?

Is New Zealand still serious about pursuing the Smokefree 2025 target? | NZ Herald opinion, New Zealand