Daily news - 11th August 2021

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UK news

Scotland's National Care Service may cover drugs, alcohol, and children

Scotland's  new national care service could be expanded further than first anticipated and take control of drug and alcohol services, children and young people, and social work | National, UK

Collaborative Research Project Published – The LUCID-B report

Last summer, our outreach team at BDP worked with colleagues from the Universities of Bath and Bristol to find out if people who inject drugs were being disproportionately affected by the virus, the fallout of lockdowns and social distancing. We wanted to know if service delivery could be adjusted to meet people’s needs under challenging circumstances | BDP, UK

The role of deprivation and alcohol availability in shaping trends in violent crime

[Open access] It is well known that both deprivation and alcohol availability are associated with violent crime. However, less is known about whether the former moderates the latter. Pioneering the linkage of novel alcohol availability measures derived from consumer data with police data and an index of deprivation, we examine inequalities in violent crime across small-level geography (LSOAs) for the whole of England | European Journal of Criminology, UK

Co-developing the SURE Recovery app

The SURE Recovery app is for people who are using substances, in recovery or are thinking about recovery. It was developed at King’s College London (King’s) alongside people in recovery. Here, Paul Lennon, Mel Getty, who both have lived experience, and Alice Bowen, a researcher at King’s, talk about the development of the app, why co-development was such a central part of the project, and what they’ve learned from the process | SSA, UK

Project Twenty21 - August Update

It’s been another busy month at Project Twenty21, with new patient numbers continuing to grow month-on-month, as you will see from our July data | Drug Science, UK

Online training:Supporting families raising a child with FASD

Mon, 6 Sep 2021, 09:30 – Sat, 30 Oct 2021, 15:30 BST. Free online training for practitioners to increase understanding of lived experience of families supporting a child with FASD | Adfam, UK

Recovery Coach Academy Presents: Fitness as a Pathway of Recovery

Sun, 19 September 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 BST. Join Cheryl as she shares how fitness has strengthened and fueled her road to recovery - and how it can help you do the same! In this session, she will share her story - struggle with alcohol use disorder and how fitness, nutrition, and self-care has helped her to overcome | Recovery Coach Academy, UK

More than 30 criminals removed from Jamaica deportation flight after last-minute appeals

[Limited number of free articles per week] Lawyers claimed most of the 50 were guilty of non-violent or drugs-related offences, or one-off convictions | Telegraph, UK


International news

China court upholds death sentence against Canadian Robert Schellenberg

Ruling comes as verdict expected in trial of fellow Canadian Michael Spavor | Guardian, UK

Effects of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in South Africa across different drinker groups and wealth quintiles: a modelling study

We estimate that MUP would reduce alcohol consumption in South Africa, improving health outcomes while raising retail and tax revenue. Consumption and harm reductions would be greater in poorer groups | BMJ Open, UK

'The new 40 acres and a mule': Connecticut to give black communities head start in legalized drug industry

Connecticut is moving ahead with an initiative to prioritize black and brown communities in the distribution of business licenses for recreational marijuana, which state leaders say will help remedy historic injustices | Mail Online, UK

Relationships between patterns of cannabis use, abuse and dependence and recent stimulant use: Evidence from two national surveys in Ireland

Epidemiological studies show that the use of cannabis is related to the use of other illicit drugs, including stimulants such as cocaine and ecstasy. However, few studies have examined how patterns of cannabis use relate to the use of stimulants. In this research we determined relationships between patterns of cannabis use and recent stimulant use, drawing on data from two large nationally representative surveys | PLOS One, Ireland

How Do Register-Based Studies Contribute to Our Understanding of Alcohol's Harms to Family Members? A Scoping Review of Relevant Literature

[Open access] Using a scoping review methodology, the PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO databases were searched in August 2019 with keywords to identify studies that included register-based outcome sources, a family relationship, and an exposure to heavy drinking | JSAD, Denmark

New findings on how ketamine prevents depression

The discovery that the anaesthetic ketamine can help people with severe depression has raised hopes of finding new treatment options for the disease. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now identified novel mechanistic insights how the drug exerts its antidepressant effect | EurekAlert, Sweden

Recognizing the human need for community is essential in addiction treatment

The isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been tough for most people, but it's been particularly difficult for people with drug addictions | Medical Xpress, USA

Association Between Receipt of Overlapping Opioid and Benzodiazepine Prescriptions From Multiple Prescribers and Overdose Risk

In this cohort study of 529 053 patients with private insurance or Medicare Advantage, overdose risk was increased 1.8-fold when opioid-benzodiazepine overlap involved prescriptions from multiple prescribers vs 1 prescriber. This increase remained statistically significant after adjusting for prescribing patterns, demographics, and comorbidities | JAMA Network Open, USA

Retention in opioid agonist treatment: a rapid review and meta-analysis comparing observational studies and randomized controlled trials

Although oral opioid agonist therapies (OATs), buprenorphine and methadone, are effective first-line treatments, OAT remains largely underutilized due to low retention rates and wide variation across programs. This rapid review sought to summarize the retention rates reported by randomized controlled trials and controlled observational study designs that compared methadone to buprenorphine... | BMC, USA

The WAGER, Vol. 26(8) – Public perceptions of substance and behavioral addictions: Is there a difference?

In this week’s WAGER, we reviewed a study by Seth Jamieson and Chris Dowrick that investigated the public perception of substance and behavioral addictions in the UK | BASIS, USA

Vape Flavor Bans Will Lead More Teens to Smoke, Suggests Another Study

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nears a September deadline to decide on the legality of vaping products in the United States, abstinence-only advocates have been doubling down on their message: ban flavors. Largely led by the influential Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) and the Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes (PAVE), these organizations cry for prohibition every chance they get | Filter Magazine, USA

Prisoners Sue After Drug Testing of Their Legal Mail Gave False Positives

Incarcerated people‘s legal mail falsely tested positive for drugs, according to a lawsuit filed in July against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. Specifically, the lawsuit aims to stop the DOC’s use of an allegedly defective and faulty test on legal mail sent to state prisons | Filter Magazine, USA

PepsiCo to launch Mountain Dew-branded alcoholic drinks in 2022

PepsiCo Inc PEP.O is planning to launch a Mountain Dew-branded alcoholic beverage in the United States early next year, months after Coca-Cola Co KO.N launched its first alcoholic drink in the country | NASDAQ, USA

Substance Use and the Workplace: Supporting Employers and Employees in the Trades [toolkit]

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction partnered with Health Canada to produce Substance Use and the Workplace: Supporting Employers and Employees in the Trades. This collection of resources contains links from more than 30 organizations and can be used by employers and employees to help reduce the harms of substance use for Canadians, particularly those working in construction and the trades | CCSA, Canada

Calgary MP asks health minister to study poppers, potentially opening door for safe supply

The drugs, commonly used by men who have sex with men, have been essentially banned in Canada since 2013 | CBC News, Canada

8,000 to be cleared after kratom's removal from narcotics list

More than 8,000 convicted people and suspects will be cleared of legal charges when kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is removed from the narcotics list on Aug 24, Office of Narcotics Control Board secretary-general Wichai Chaimongkol said on Tuesday | Bangkok Post, Thailand

‘Pregabalin is not a harmless drug.’

A pharmacist tried to warn a GP that his patient was a known “doctor shopper” – but the man still obtained large amounts of pregabalin and diazepam, and subsequently died | AJP, Australia

Pop-up clinics are vaccinating hundreds of Melbourne's homeless, and they are using former rough sleepers to do it

As the great race to vaccinate Australia rolls on, state and federal governments are expanding eligibility and trying to target areas battling outbreaks | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Elegantly wasted: has lockdown made booze dangerously aspirational?

Drinking at home was once a guilty pleasure. Now everyone from bored homeworkers to professional influencers is swapping cocktail recipes and photos of colourful aperitifs. Is gin o’clock turning into unhappy hour? | Guardian, UK

Scottish Government publishes recovery plan for sexual health and blood-borne virus services

Last week, the Scottish Government published its recovery plan for sexual health and blood-borne virus (SHBBV) services, including hepatitis C services. The plan recognises the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on services and the people who use them and sets out a series of recommendations to re-establish SHBBV services across Scotland | Hepatitis C Trust blog, UK

Decriminalising drugs is the only way forward

[Free one month trial available] Instead of pointlessly talking tough, we should follow Portugal in treating addiction primarily as a health problem | The Times, UK

William Hague is wrong: decriminalising drugs isn’t the ‘only’ way

There are problems with Portugal's drug approach too | UnHerd, UK

Thoughts on the global drugs crisis

As the COVID pandemic continues to take its toll in many parts of the world, another devastating global health crisis has been on the rise for years, killing people in unprecedented numbers | Richard Branson blog, UK

Opinion: Why the Cannabis Sector Needs Feminising

We know a lot about cannabis. Anecdotally, through academic studies, and even Seth Rogen & Snoop Dogg’s twitter accounts.  However, women’s relationship to and use patterns with cannabis are rarely discussed | Volteface opinion, UK

Watch 2021 “Kreminar” Videos—History of Opiates & Opioids

The Summer 2021 “Kreminar” explored the theme of Opiates & Opioids and featured six virtual seminars, presentations, and discussions by scholars and practitioners researching and writing about the history and the contemporary status of opiates, opioids, and addiction | Points blog, USA