Daily news - 10th August 2021

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UK news

Drug Deaths

The next item of business is a statement by Angela Constance on actions being taken to reduce drug deaths in Scotland. The minister will take questions at the end of her statement | They Work For You, UK

Half of smokers have considered quitting due to coronavirus pandemic, survey suggests

But nearly a quarter admitting smoking more than before | Manchester Evening News, UK

Drugs In Lets: Landlords urged to report suspicious activity

Landlords are being urged to check their premises after officers recovered a huge stack of prepared cannabis from an empty café in Sheffield last week | Landlord Today, UK

Broad Street's new high kerbs for trams could be 'hazardous for drinkers'

The pavements have been widened on Broad Street ready for tram services to serve the entertainment district later this year but a shared space coordinator warns that the kerbs at four stops are more than twice the standard depth | Birmingham Mail, UK

Cannabinoid firm moves HQ to Jersey

A cannabinoid brand-development company is relocating its headquarters to Jersey because it believes the Island is ‘ahead of the game’ in the medicinal cannabis industry and could become the ‘go-to place’ for the sector | Jersey Post, UK

Cocaine worth up to £180K seized from a car at Jersey ferry terminal

Two men have been charged with importing drugs after 1.2 kilos of cocaine was found inside a car travelling to Jersey on a ferry | ITV, UK



International news

Tobacco giant Philip Morris raises bid for respiratory drugmaker

Tobacco giant Philip Morris has raised its bid to buy respiratory drugmaker Vectura to more than £1bn. Vectura makes inhaled medicines and devices to treat respiratory illnesses such as asthma, and counts Novartis and GSK among its customers | BBC, UK

Are we making Inroads? A randomized controlled trial of a psychologist-supported, web-based, cognitive behavioral therapy intervention to reduce anxiety and hazardous alcohol use among emerging adults {Australia]

This randomized controlled trial evaluated a psychologist-supported, web-based intervention, designed with and for emerging adults, that aims to promote adaptive coping strategies, and prevent anxiety and alcohol use from progressing to chronic, mutually-reinforcing disorders | The Lancet, UK

Spain: Vape Industry Sues Government Over Anti-Vaping Campaign

Spain’s e-cig industry is suing the local government for launching an anti-vaping campaign which not only ignores all the scientific data in favour of vapes as harm reduction tools, but also makes several untrue claims | Vaping Post, UK

Mexican drug cartel threatens to kill TV reporter

Men claiming to speak for Mexico's most powerful drug cartel have released a video threatening to murder a news anchor over what they deem to be unfair coverage | BBC, UK

Billy Sutton: Birmingham street seller who took on Miami drug cartels

The honorary title of colonel was bestowed upon Billy "Sutty" Sutton by the City of Miami Police at a ceremony in 1989 | BBC, UK

Some doctors say they will shun State’s medicinal cannabis programme

Nine neurologists write to Minister expressing concern over products likely to be offered | Irish Times, Ireland

Women face many obstacles in getting drug and alcohol treatment in Ireland

Drug and alcohol treatment services need to be trauma informed and gender transformative so they can respond to women’s needs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

The seven key messages of the alcohol industry

This revised publication is written for anyone who wants to learn more about the strategies that the alcohol industry applies worldwide, nationally and locally to improve their position and image. Practice has shown that this information can be of great value to professionals, politicians and other interested persons who are confronted for the first time with interventions from the alcohol industry in their work | European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing, The Netherlands

Online surveillance of novel psychoactive substances (NPS): Monitoring Reddit discussions as a predictor of increased NPS-related exposures

[Open access] NPS account for an increasing proportion of adverse events, hospitalizations, and deaths due to increasing potency and unanticipated biological effects compared to predecessors. This study evaluated the utility of drug use forums as an early indicator or predictor of impending intoxications with potentially harmful or lethal outcomes prior to their occurrences | IJDP, USA

New study shows how quickly vaping can affect the cells of healthy younger nonsmokers

The risk that both tobacco and electronic cigarettes can pose to regular smokers' health has been well documented, but a new UCLA study illustrates just how quickly vaping can affect the cells of even healthy younger nonsmokers | News Medical, USA

WHO Decides Tobacco Harm Reduction Talks Can Wait Until 2023

Despite 8 million annual smoking-related deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) seems to have decided that it doesn’t have to deal with safer nicotine alternatives until 2023 | Filter Magazine, USA

Rhode Island set to establish nation’s first harm reduction centers

Legislation written by the Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) and signed into law by Gov. Daniel McKee establishes a two-year pilot program to design, open and operate the nation’s first harm reduction centers that will save lives and direct people to treatment for substance-use disorders (SUDs) | AMA, USA

In rural America, religious attendance reduces compassion regarding opioids

Estimates suggest that 1.7 million people in the United States suffer from opioid-related substance abuse disorders and approximately 50,000 people die each year from an opioid-related overdose | Medical Xpress, USA

In Canada, End-of-Life Therapy May Be the Path to Legal Psilocybin

In August 2020, 53-year-old Thomas Hartle became the first Canadian to legally undergo psilocybin-assisted therapy. Hartle, who currently has stage 4 colon cancer, received a federal exemption to use psilocybin to help him process the prospect of death | Filter Magazine, USA

Cannabis Research in Times of Legalization: What’s on the Agenda

This report is based on a workshop of the same name that was co-organized by CCSA and the Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich. Held on February 8, 2021, the workshop was organized to exchange research experiences and encourage networking among international cannabis experts and researchers | CCSA, Canada

Toronto reports highest-ever daily opioid overdose count during August long weekend

July 30 had highest number of overdose calls since data started being collected in 2017 | CBC News, Canada

Manitoba campaign aims to show faces behind drug overdose crisis

The photos are surrounded by butterflies, purple ribbons and facts about overdose deaths in Manitoba | Global News, Canada

Vitamin D reduces the need for opioids in palliative cancer

Patients with vitamin D deficiency who received vitamin D supplements had a reduced need for pain relief and lower levels of fatigue in palliative cancer treatment, a randomized and placebo-controlled study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, shows | Oncology News, Australia

Digital Campaign Guide: International Overdose Awareness Day - August 31st 2021 (PDF)

This is a guide to hosting a successful digital IOAD event. Even if your area does not have COVID-19 restrictions in place, this guide has plenty of ideas as well as Frequently Asked Questions to let you plan with confidence | Penington Institute, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Hypocritical politicians prefer to let drug users die than admit policy is a failure

Condemning rather than caring for those struggling with addiction wastes public funds and leads to broken lives | Guardian opinion, UK

Drugs like fentanyl can be deadly – but so is misinformation about the real dangers

The absence of credible and accessible information about drugs plays a part in fuelling fake news about them | Independent Voices, UK

Glasgow must not just brush off its binge drinking crown - Stephen Jardine

News just in, we’re good at something. In fact people in Glasgow are better at this than just about anyone else in the UK. Drinks all round to celebrate because the special skill turns out to be binge drinking | The Scotsman, 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

Consciousness: how the brain chemical ‘dopamine’ plays a key role – new research

Consciousness is arguably the most important scientific topic there is. Without consciousness, there would after all be no science. But while we all know what it is like to be conscious – meaning that we have personal awareness and respond to the world around us – it has turned out to be near impossible to explain exactly how it arises from the hardware of the brain | Conversation, UK

Are cigarette companies quitting smoking?

Is vaping a cure for cigarette addiction or a sinister way to hook youths on nicotine? | Upstart blog, Australia