Daily news - 25th August 2021

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UK news

Smoking surge in young during Covid lockdown

The number of 18 to 34-year-olds who classed themselves as smokers increased by a quarter, from 21.5% to 26.8%, says Cancer Research UK. The data does not explain why the changes occurred but experts believe many turned to cigarettes in response to stress | BBC, UK

Covid: Pandemic alcohol abuse linked to depression rise

People drinking more alcohol during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to more suffering from depression and anxiety, a charity says | BBC, UK

Three quarters of Brits back new controls to help protect children from alcohol advertising

New research released [yesterday] suggests that the Great British public want to see the Government do more to protect children’s exposure to alcohol advertising | AHA, UK

GP's Prescribing Cannabis | Why they won't engage - podcast

How we can change the conversation and remove the stigma and help the UK cannabinoid industry thrive | Cannabinoid Journal, UK

Police Might Raid Student Halls for Drugs During Freshers' Week

After the dullest academic year on record, the UK’s university students finally have something to look forward to: the prospect of police raiding their halls for drugs | VICE, UK

Priti Patel used incorrect data about illegal raves to justify emergency powers for the police

An investigation by Mixmag has found that The Met was using a flawed methodology to calculate the number of raves that it was responding to during lockdown, which had the potential to dramatically inflate its statistics | MixMag, UK

Recovery month - free events

Lots of up and coming recovery events throughout September. Register here | Recovery Coach Academy, UK

Recruiting | Club & Festival Outreach Volunteers

Club and Festival volunteers support the staff team in delivering harm reduction and advice to club and festival goers at events such as Love Saves The Day, Tokyo World, Pride, Motion and Lakota as well as in educational settings. Training will be up to 1 full day of essential in person training in the weeks commencing 4th October 2021 | BDP, UK

Recruiting | Creative Communities Volunteers

Creative Communities Volunteers help support Rising Voices Recovery Choir and Bristol Recovery Orchestra. These weekly groups are open to anyone who has been affected by drug and alcohol use, and no musical experience is necessary. We have weekly rehearsals and regular performances | BDP, UK

Sandwell teacher banned after taking cocaine at party

A primary school teacher has been banned from the profession after admitting taking cocaine at a party with work colleagues | BBC, UK

Dealer jailed as £1.7m of heroin found in car on A1

A drug dealer has been jailed after police pulled him over on the A1 and found £1.7m of heroin in a holdall on the back seat | BBC, UK


International news

Afghanistan: How much opium is produced and what's the Taliban's record?

The Taliban claims opium poppy cultivation was stopped and the flow of illegal drugs halted when it was last in power in Afghanistan | BBC, UK

On-site testing and case management to improve hepatitis C care in drug users: a prospective, longitudinal, multicenter study in the DAA era

Screening and treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in people who use drugs (PWUD) remains insufficient. Reducing the burden of HCV infection in PWUD requires interventions focusing on the different steps of the HCV care cascade | BMC Public Health, Belgium

How adolescents used drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in earnest in the United States in early 2020, affected different demographic groups in different ways. According to a new study, among adolescents ages 10 to 14 in the United State, the overall rate of drug use remained relatively stable in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one change was a decreased use of alcohol, but an increased use of nicotine and misuse of prescription drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Pandemic tied to rising number of fatal opioid ODs

Opioid overdose deaths rose in several states during the coronavirus pandemic, according to authors of a new study who say their findings may help identify and assist at-risk people | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers identify a potentially safer approach to opioid drug development

Opioids are powerful painkillers, but their use is hindered because patients become tolerant to them, requiring higher and higher doses, and overdoses can cause respiratory depression and death | Medical Xpress, USA

Association of Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Drinking and Smoking With the Risk of Stillbirth

 In this cohort study of 8506 pregnant women (with 11 892 pregnancies) in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Northern Plains in the US, dual exposure to drinking and smoking after the first trimester of pregnancy had 2.78 times the risk of late stillbirth compared with those with no exposure or who had quit before the end of the first trimester of pregnancy | JAMA Network Open, USA

Are vaping and smoking similar, in terms of quitting?

E-cigarette use, commonly referred to as vaping, has gained popularity in the past decade, particularly among young people. Because the human brain does not finish developing until the early to mid-20s, inhaling nicotine through e-cigarette devices can be especially harmful to youth | BASIS, USA

Smoking and Vaping Remain Steady and Low in U.S

The percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes remains steady near its lowest point. The 16% of U.S. adults who currently say they have smoked any cigarettes in the past week is statistically the same as the 15% record low in 2019 | Gallup, USA

NATO Report: Cigarette Warnings Postponed, Flavor Bans Increase Youth Smoking

Texas U.S. District Court pushes graphic cigarette warning effective date back 90 days, flavor bans may lead younger tobacco users to return to smoking | C Store Decisions, USA

This Overdose Awareness Day, Activists Will Again Hand Out Safe Drugs

After tracking 900 drug users during three earlier events, advocates say their ‘compassion club’ model has resulted in zero overdoses | The Tyee, Canada

Permanent memorial being planned to remember those who died from drug poisoning

Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy and ARCH are aiming to raise an estimated $50,000 for the I Remember Project | Guelph Today, Canada

Decriminalisation of kratom hailed by rights advocates

The decriminalisation of kratom, the tropical leaf long used as a herbal remedy but which some health regulators around the world have criticised as potentially unsafe, was welcomed by human rights advocates on Tuesday | Bangkok Post, Thailand

Quit smoking medicine could help women during pregnancy says new study

Quit smoking medicine ‘varenicline’ was found to be three times more effective in helping pregnant women stop smoking than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches in a first of its kind study | UNSW, Australia

D-Day approaches for new medicinal cannabis scheme

With the clock about to expire on a transitional medicinal cannabis scheme, the number of products available to patients is about to be slashed and prices are set to spike. Russell Brown takes a deep dive into the rules that take effect from 1 October 2021, and why it’s so hard to get products approved for sale | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol advertising and its impact on young people

In this blog, Ruth Spencer, Area Manager for Aquarius, a charity which provides specialist services to young people and adults who use alcohol and other drugs, reflects upon the impact of alcohol advertising and how the young people she meets feel about alcohol marketing | AHA blog, UK

Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

International Overdose Awareness Day began in Australia 20 years ago to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and remind us of the grief felt by the families and friends of those who have died as a result of substance use disorder (SUD). Today, as the death toll from overdose continues to increase, International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized in more than 40 countries | Psychology Today blog, USA