Daily news - 24th August 2021

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UK news

Ketamine to be offered at UK’s first psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic - video

Although some scientists remain sceptical and want more research, patients at the country’s first psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic, which is set to open this autumn in Bristol, are now being offered ketamine | Channel 4, UK

Mark Smith: The epidemic that’s coming after the pandemic … are we prepared for it?

For months on end, we were used to the coronavirus statistics. Number of infections. Number of hospital admissions. Number of deaths. Up. Up. Up. But now, as we start to move out of the pandemic, we’re getting statistics of a different kind | Herald, UK

Video support sessions for families affected by substance use

Peter Cartwright, in collaboration with Adfam, has produced a series of online support video sessions for families affected by a loved one's substance use. There are now 14 videos available to watch | Adfam, UK

Brecon woman 'dependent' on drugs prescribed to treat her

Niki Jones has spent more than 18 years on various high-strength drugs to treat pain she began experiencing aged 31 | BBC, UK

Medicinal cannabis maker OCT makes advances with its drug portfolio

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT) is focused on medicines that mimic the painkilling effects of cannabis | i news, UK

Online event: Peers are Partners – Expanding Naloxone provision across Scotland

27 August 2021, 1.00 - 3,15pm. SDF received funding from the Drug Deaths Taskforce to maximise peer to peer naloxone supply with a coordinated and supported approach by delivering high quality training, providing ongoing support and developing a national peer network to enhance the delivery of naloxone provision. In this webinar we will hear about the progress of these funded projects, and other projects from across the country, from the peers and other staff involved in their delivery | SDF, UK

Health Harming Products and Non-Communicable Disease Prevention in Scotland

6 September 2021, 12:00 – 13:30 BST. A cross-party discussion on the impact of health-harming products to launch a new report on by ten of Scotland's leading health charities | BHF, UK

Thinking Critically about Lived Experience of Alcohol in Social Science Research and Teaching

15 September 2021 (9.45am-1pm BST). This half-day online workshop will be structured around the broad theme of ‘lived experience’ of alcohol, in social science research and teaching | BSA, UK

Amrou Greenidge: Drug dealers who killed athlete jailed

Five men who killed a young taekwondo star by knocking him off his bike and beating him while he lay injured on the ground have been jailed | BBC, UK

Richard Bacon left feeling ‘awkward’ after dodging Blue Peter drugs scandal again on Good Morning Britain

Richard Bacon was again forced to awkwardly dodge discussing the drugs scandal that saw him axed from Blue Peter on Good Morning Britain | Metro, UK

Derby drug dealer becomes new ‘hot felon’ as mugshot goes viral

On Thursday Derbyshire Police tweeted a press release about a recent drug bust in the area but, since then, most Twitter users have seemed more preoccupied with the appearance of one of the offenders than by the crime itself | i news, UK

Gambling: Poorer UK towns found to have the most betting shops, study shows

A fifth of all gambling premises in the UK are now located in the poorest areas of the country, new research has found | BBC, UK



International news

Are Psychedelics Legal in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, it’s not difficult to find a shop selling psychedelic drugs – magic truffles, cacti, 5-Meo-DMT, iboga, and the like are all widely available at ‘smart shops’. Retreat centers are also accessible within the country, where individuals can pay to trip in a safe environment, and undergo therapy sessions | Drug Science, UK

DrugNet Ireland

Latest monthly newsletter from HRB covering new publications, policy developments and more | HRB, Ireland

Study identifies possible antidote for GHB overdose

Diclofenac and other non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may limit the passage of gamma hydroxybutyric acid (a narcolepsy medication and illicit party drug commonly known as GHB) to the brain, decreasing the potential for fatal overdose, according to a University at Buffalo study | Medical Xpress, USA

Aerosol from a wide range of vaping devices negatively impacted blood vessel function

Aerosol generated from vaping devices likely impairs blood vessels’ ability to function comparable to traditional cigarette smoke, according to preliminary research in rats presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Sessions 2021 | EurekAlert, USA

Covid Sets Stage for Biden to Tackle Addiction Treatment Access

Bilingual addiction specialists, methadone treatment vans for underserved areas, and research into race’s role in drug policy are among team Biden’s plans for getting a grip on America’s addiction crisis | Bloomberg Law, USA

Chemical Insights, Underwriters Laboratories and GSU launch research initiative on vaping and e-cigarettes

Chemical Insights Research Institute, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), and Georgia State University's School of Public Health (GSU) announced the launch of a research initiative on understanding human exposure and the potential health effects of vaping and e-cigarettes | News Medical, USA

Vaping Does Not Cause Heart Attacks, Study Finds, Refuting Previous Claims

E-cigarettes are not associated with increased heart attack incidence among people without a history of smoking combustible cigarettes, according to a new study. It found previous research claiming such a link to be methodologically flawed | Filter Magazine, USA

'Dangerous drug supply:' Opioid overdoses have Edmonton hospitals, firefighters, paramedics grappling with patients

Firefighters, paramedics and Edmonton’s busiest emergency department are scrambling to stay on top of surging accidental opioid poisonings that in some cases demand mega-doses of Naloxone to treat | Edmonton Journal, Canada

Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018 – Key findings

In 2018, 38% of the burden of disease could have been prevented by reducing or avoiding exposure to the modifiable risk factors examined in this study. The risk factors contributing the most burden in 2018 were tobacco use (8.6%), overweight (including obesity) (8.4%), followed by dietary risks (5.4%), high blood pressure (5.1%), and alcohol use (4.5%) | AIHW, Australia

Synthetic cannabis caused multiple hospitalisations before and after inmate's death, FOI shows

Internal prison reports obtained by the ABC have shed further light on the scale and severity of synthetic cannabis inside one of Australia's biggest jails in the months before and after a convicted killer died from smoking the dangerous drug | abc.net.au, Australia

Could psychedelic medication be used to treat mental illness and PTSD? - audio

Psychedelic drugs might remind most people of the hippie movement of the 1960s, LSD and magic mushrooms. However clinical trials have been announced by Australia's Federal Government to determine whether psilocybin and MDMA could help treat mental illness and PTSD | abc.net.au, Australia

International Overdose Awareness Day - 31st August 2021 - events

List of events worldwide for the international remembramce day | Penington Institute, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

We will soon feel the impact of bumper opium production in Afghanistan here in the UK

This year’s harvest will be bigger as farmers planted extra crops anticipating a poor year that didn’t materialise, which resulted in a 37 per cent increase in opium yield | Independent voices, UK

Improving the lives of older people with alcohol problems through research

In this blog, Moe, a researcher in the University of Bedfordshire’s Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team, showcases some of the team's research and how it has helped the experiences of older people with alcohol problems | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Our drug policy has failed. It’s time to legalise drugs

The state’s continued insistence on criminalising recreational drug use and addiction claimed another 4,651 lives last year in England and Wales alone – the highest number ever recorded, and figures which will likely raise again this year | 1828, UK

Tobacco Control Advocates Claim Vaping Policies Are Unbalanced, May Cause Harm

Undue emphasis on unproven risks to youth may have undermined efforts to control smoking, costing lives in the process | Reason blog, USA

Interview #11 Dr H. Westley Clark – Reflections on the Historic 2001 Recovery Summit in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the Start of the New Recovery Advocacy Movement

I first met Dr. H. Westley Clark. MD, JD around the year 2000, when I heard him speak at an event in Philadelphia. He has had such a huge positive influence work to move our SUD care system towards a recovery focus | Recovery Review blog, USA

The Addiction Cure Institutes: New Historical Research

One of the most fascinating chapters in the history of addiction treatment and recovery in the United States is that of the private addiction cure institutes that flourished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries | William L White papers, USA