Daily news - 23rd April 2021

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UK news

Barriers to research beyond cannabinoids: call for evidence

The call for evidence on barriers to research beyond cannabinoids has been extended to 31 May 2021 | ACMD, UK

New IAS-led research on the appeal of alcohol adverts to underage adolescents out today

A new study published in the journal Alcohol & Alcoholism today has found alcohol adverts may commonly appeal to underage adolescents. Half of 11-17-year-olds surveyed reacted positively to the adverts featuring Fosters and Smirnoff brands (53% and 52% respectively), and a third reacted positively to an advert featuring the Haig Club brand (34%) | IAS, UK

Bath scientists receive £1.3 million grant to develop a portable spice-detection device

University of Bath scientists have been awarded a research grant of £1.3 million to develop a portable device to detect the street drug ‘spice’ on the spot. They expect the new technology to be ready for use in clinical settings, prisons and across police services within three years | News Medical, UK

Scottish Drugs Forum Launch Manifesto - Drugs: Policy and Aims – A Manifesto for Scotland

This manifesto recommends that prevention of problem drug use involves addressing its origins and that there should therefore be more support to parents, families and vulnerable young people; improvement in health and other services’ engagement with people in need of support and in addressing Scotland’s social, income and health inequalities that result from poverty | SDF, UK

Covid: Nearly one in four Scots found to have been problem drinking during pandemic

Nearly one in four Scots have been found to have been problem drinking during the pandemic while nearly half have said they have consumed more alcohol than usual, a new survey has revealed | Herald, UK

Covid: Welsh pubs and restaurants to open indoors in May

People in Wales could be able to have a pint of beer or glass of wine inside a pub or restaurant for the first time in five-and-a-half-months from 17 May | BBC, UK

Change Grow Live launches country-wide homeless outreach initiative

Eighteen new homelessness outreach services, employing 130 staff, have been launched across England by Change Grow Live. Alongside access to drug and alcohol treatment, the specialist teams will offer wraparound holistic support including wider mental and physical health, as well as help with housing and benefits | DDN News, UK

Packaging of tobacco products

Added: "Guidance for retailers, manufacturers and distributors of tobacco products, enforcement agencies and the public on tobacco packaging in Great Britain", "Guidance for retailers in Northern Ireland" and "Tobacco and herbal product packaging rules: checklist" | PHE, UK

Psilocybin for Anorexia Nervosa

In this webinar, Dr Meg Spriggs explains the potential of psilocybin to treat anorexia nervosa, and offers valuable insights from the clinical trial investigating this application at the Centre for Psychedelic Research | Drug Science, UK

Inside the experiment that could bring psychedelic drugs to the NHS

Scientific evidence for using psychedelics to treat mental health problems has been mounting for the last decade | Science Focus, UK

Indivior launches rethink opioid addiction - a new public website to help challenge the stigma and raise awareness of opioid use disorder

Indivior has recently launched a new website which encourages people to rethink their perceptions of addiction, recovery, and treatment. The website will present scientific evidence, easy to understand explanations and links to public health resources | Indivior, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce alcohol-related crimes | They work for you, UK

Dodgy Cannabis Sweets Are Making UK Kids Sick

Cannabis edibles that have been hospitalising UK school children are being sold on Instagram and made in bulk using packaging bought on Amazon and eBay | VICE, UK

Police raid County Lines operation to free children working to pay off drug debts

The operation has so far resulted in four young children and vulnerable people being rescued | Evening Standard, UK

Youngsters exploited in County Lines drug dealing across Dorset to be sent home

Dorset councillors heard that to return them without appropriate measures in place could put them at risk of repercussions, often violent, from the gangs which sent them | Dorset Echo, UK

Prisoners suffering from addiction to be given iPads for Zoom therapy sessions

[Limited number of free articles per week] The new £1.3 million scheme will see thousands of offenders receive face-to-face counselling, videos of detox programmes and Q&A sessions | Telegraph, UK

Westcliff stab death: Two guilty of killing man in drugs theft attempt

Two people inside were stabbed, including Mr Spaho, who was fatally injured and pronounced dead by emergency services at the scene. Officers also found cannabis being grown in two rooms and the loft | BBC, UK


International news

Scientific paper claiming smokers less likely to acquire Covid retracted over tobacco industry links

Analysis of the paper identified several biases ‘which may give the false impression that smoking is protective in Covid-19’ | Guardian, UK

European Web Survey on Drugs: patterns of use

Web-based surveys are a useful tool for collecting information on patterns of drug use across Europe and can paint a detailed, realistic and timely picture of drug use and drug markets in Europe. Please complete | EMCDDA, Portugal

Pakistan: Crystal meth use surges among students

Crystal meth, if consumed consistently, can be "a more addictive stimulant than others, its users become risky, violent, prone to anger and being hostile," Naila Aziz, Lahore-based clinical psychologist, told DW | DW, Germany

Policies designed to prevent opioid misuse may limit access to pain-relieving drugs

Policies designed to prevent the misuse of opioids may have the unintended side effect of limiting access to the pain-relieving drugs by terminally ill patients nearing the end of their life, new research led by the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy suggests | News Medical, USA

Overdose Deaths Surged In Pandemic, As More Drugs Were Laced With Fentanyl

Researchers gathered for a conference on addiction this week received a grim update on the growing spread of street drugs laced with deadly synthetic opioids including fentanyl | NPR, USA

California Senate OKs supervised sites for drug users

Instead of putting opioid-users in jail, a proposal moving through the California Legislature would give them a place to inject drugs while trained staff watch them to make sure they don’t die from accidental overdoses | AP, USA

A new book traces the roots of the opioid crisis through the secretive Sackler family

The family behind the OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma was already under intense legal and public scrutiny when they learned in 2019 that comedian John Oliver was planning to do a segment about them on his show | STAT News, USA

Medical record analysis links cannabis use disorder in pregnancy to infant health problems

A new study of nearly five million live births recorded in California from 2001 to 2012 found that babies born to mothers diagnosed with cannabis use disorders at delivery were more likely to experience negative health outcomes... | EurekAlert, USA

Respiratory symptoms more likely to develop when people use both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes

Exclusively using (or "vaping") e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, but many people using e-cigarettes to quit smoking continue to smoke cigarettes | News Medical, USA

A plus from the pandemic: fewer kids using e-cigarettes

There appears to be a silver lining to forced school and business closures during early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study: Fewer kids used e-cigarettes | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug Decriminalization in Oregon: How’s It Going So Far?

Tanesia DeMacon is no stranger to jail. She estimates she was arrested no fewer than 15 times, starting at the age of 18 and continuing throughout her 20s | Filter Magazine, USA

Why Japan Is So Strict About Drugs

If you’re in Japan, keep this mantra in mind: never do drugs in this country. Ever | Kotaku, Japan

Review urges rethink of mandatory meth treatment programs

Associate Professor Mathew Coleman, from The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, said despite growing community enthusiasm for mandatory drug treatment programs, there were significant clinical and ethical challenges associated with these treatment programs | University of Western Australia, Australia

Australian addiction support platform eyes US expansion after closing $1.9M seed round

The free online platform uses a coaching model that provides users with the option for peer support | Mobile Health News, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Blueprint service specification & position papers for Tier 4 inpatient detoxification provision

The NHS APA has produced a position paper and blueprint specification to advise Local Authority Commissioners regarding the commissioning of Tier 4 inpatient detoxification provision | NHS APA blog, UK

The genesis of hope: a recovery story - podcast

Switching from doctor to patient was not an easy transition for me. My first attempt at recovery was medically assisted, but only got me so far. What I needed was something more profound. In this podcast for the National Wellbeing Hub, Dr Claire Fyvie interviews me about my own experience of addiction and recovery – warts, wonder and all | Recovery Review blog, UK

Opinion: Is the psychedelic movement elitist?

There is no doubt that psychedelics hold incredible healing potential to treat mental illnesses. Their ability is so great, claims circulate that they can ‘cure’ conditions, a term almost unheard of in psychiatry | Volteface, UK

Historic win for coca/cocaine regulation Bill in Colombian Senate

Colombia’s groundbreaking Bill to legalise and regulate the supply chain for coca leaf and its derivatives, including cocaine, has passed its first parliamentary hurdle, winning strong backing in the Colombian Senate at its first (committee stage) vote. The Bill now progresses to a debate and 2nd vote in the full Senate | Transform blog, UK

My last 4/20 “Celebration”: Reflections on New York Legalization on a Bittersweet Tuesday Evening

Two nights ago, I was in my car, headed to Utica College for a film screening and discussion. I was thinking back to when Colorado passed its state referendum legalizing adult-use cannabis in 2014 | Points blog, USA

'Illicit drugs' and mental health treatment: all we are asking for is hope

I am writing this as a mother, in the hope that my words may open the closed minds of our politicians and the authorities we rely upon to ensure every Australian has access to the latest medical therapies | Cenberra Times, Australia

When we've achieved a smokefree Aotearoa, we can start fighting the vape epidemic

Somewhere deep in our subconscious we’re all drawn to death, or so said the neurologist Sigmund Freud | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand