Daily news - 22nd April 2021

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UK news

Heavier social media use linked to more frequent drinking in young people

Heavier social media use is associated with more frequent alcohol consumption among young people in the UK, according to a new study co-authored by ICLS researchers Yvonne Kelly and Noriko Cable | UCL, UK

The beauty ideal fuelling an illicit drugs trade

It’s widely available online. But a new BBC Three documentary, Dangerous Curves: Get Thicc, Get Sick?, reveals that many don’t realise Apetamin is actually an unlicensed medicine - and its misuse is causing serious harm | BBC, UK

March 2021 Budget Analysis (PDF)

The Government announced a freeze on all duty on beer, spirits, wine and cider in the 3rd March Budget. This is the eighth year out of nine that the Government has announced real terms cuts to alcohol duty | IAS, UK

Stop-smoking drug Chantix/Champix does not increase risk of psychiatric problems

A new analysis of data from a randomized, controlled trial of the stop-smoking drug varenicline has provided clear evidence that varenicline does not increase the risk of psychiatric problems | Medical Xpress, UK

Guidance Note Cannabidiol (CBD) (PDF)

This guidance is intended to help drinks producers comply with the Portman Group’s (PG) Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks (Code) | Portman Group, UK

Tories announce 'right to rehab' plans to end Scotland's spiralling drugs deaths

THE SCOTTISH Conservatives will bring forward ‘right to rehab’ plans after recovery experts warned Scotland’s drugs deaths figures “undoubtedly will rise” due to treatment delays | Herald, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to review the levels of THC content allowed in CBD products | They work for you, UK

Prescription Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the recommendations of the 2019 PHE Prescribed Medicines Review, when he plans to introduce a dedicated national helpline and website to support people with prescribed drug dependence | They work for you, UK

Warrington brothers behind record £20m cocaine haul jailed

Two drug-dealing brothers at the centre of a record £20m cocaine haul seized by police have been jailed | BBC, UK



International news

Third of gay or bisexual men in Ireland suffer from alcohol use disorder

[Free one month trial available] Almost one in three Irish gay and bisexual men are likely to be problem drinkers, a study has found | Times, UK

Lesotho firm first in Africa to be granted EU licence for medical cannabis

Breakthrough could create thousands of jobs for villagers and help exports to other markets | Guardian, UK

Cannabis Reform in Malta with Andrew Bonello

This year the Maltese government announced that reforms would take place to permit the personal cultivation of up to 4 cannabis plants. This Thursday (22nd of April) ECAN are holding an event with reLeaf to discuss human rights, cannabis consumption and cultivation, and this exciting prospect of national policy reform in Malta | Volteface, UK

Seth Rogen’s family say smoking cannabis cured his ADHD

‘Marijuana finally made his cells relax,’ claims actor’s father | Independent, UK

Pilot trials with cannabis

On 15 May 2021, an amendment to the Narcotics Act permitting pilot trials involving the controlled dispensing of cannabis for recreational purposes will come into force. The trials will provide a scientific basis for the future regulation of cannabis | Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland

Pandemic has blocked access to treatment for many Americans hooked on opioids

The COVID-19 pandemic may have kept some Americans from getting vital medication to treat opioid addiction—possibly contributing to the national surge in overdose deaths, a new study suggests | Medical Xpress, USA

North Carolina Bill Poised to Drastically Restrict Syringe Service Programs

Abill filed in the North Carolina state Senate may threaten the existence of syringe service programs (SSP) statewide. Titled SB 607, it would alter existing laws authorizing SSP by imposing stringent new requirements for them to stay open | Filter Magazine, USA

As Nation Reckons with Racial Injustice & Over-Policing of Black, Latinx & Indigenous Communities, Congress Doubles Down on Tough-on-Crime Drug War Policies of the Past

In response to the House passing a five-month extension of the Trump Administration’s temporary class-wide emergency scheduling of fentanyl-related substances, Grant Smith, Deputy Director of the Office of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement... | DPA, USA

Virginia governor signs bill legalising marijuana possession from July 1

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill that legalises the simple possession of marijuana, making the state the first in the U.S. south to allow the drug's recreational use, the governor said | Reuters, USA

Recent use of amyl nitrite among people who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants in Adelaide, South Australia, 2003-2020

Amyl nitrite, an inhalant commonly known as ‘poppers’, belongs to a group of chemicals known as alkyl nitrites, and appears as a clear, yellow, highly volatile and flammable liquid | NDARC, Australia

Nicotine e-cigarettes laws are changing

If you currently use nicotine e-cigarettes, you need to be aware that from 1 October 2021 you will no longer be able to legally buy these products from overseas websites without first talking with a GP and getting a prescription. The main reason a GP may provide a prescription is for the purposes of smoking cessation | Australian Governemnt, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Sharon Cox: Are we ready to achieve a smoke free future?

Today, around two hundred people will die from smoking in Britain alone. This is often compared to a plane of smokers crashing down everyday. This makes for a powerful metaphor, but it needs updating. Because where these planes fall, and who the passengers are, is not evenly distributed | BMJ Opinion, UK