Daily news - 5th July 2021

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UK news

‘It’s like a safety haven’: considerations for the implementation of managed alcohol programs in Scotland

[Open access] Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are not equitably spread across the population, with some groups, such as people who are experiencing homelessness, being more vulnerable to AUDs... Managed alcohol programs (MAPs) are a harm reduction approach first developed in Canada for those experiencing AUDs and homelessness with positive results. This study aimed to describe the factors that should be considered when implementing MAPs in Scotland | DEPP, UK

Jeni Larmour: Mother of drug death student granted case review

The mother of a County Armagh teenager who died after taking ketamine has said the resulting judicial process has been "traumatic" | BBC, UK

'I used drugs every day in lockdown, but now I'm drug-free'

When the UK went into its first lockdown and support services moved online, Lee, who has been battling a drug addiction for over 20 years, says his recovery attempts were “massively impacted” | BBC, UK

Cannabis sweets warning as two boys taken to hospital

A warning over cannabis-laced sweets has been issued after two 13-year-old boys were taken to hospital | BBC, UK

Early kick-offs linked to more alcohol abuse and violence in the home

Study finds that football matches starting at midday fuel all-day drinking that ends in domestic abuse | Guardian, UK

Got a hangover? Scientists have found a ‘cure’ – but there's a catch

[Limited number of free articles per week] Scientists find NAC tablets, usually given to asthmatics and found in health stores, has better effects on women than men | Telegraph, UK

Compass Pathways deal to start trials of magic mushroom drug

[Limited number of free articles per week] A firm ­specialising in turning magic ­mushrooms into a treatment for depression is expanding trials after signing a deal with an NHS trust | Telegraph, UK

Women in Psychedelic Science - Part 4

This is the full recording of our 4th Women in Psychedelic Science event, hosted in June. Featuring experts working at the cutting edge of psychedelic science and in related fieldwork | Drug Science, UK

NI's licensing laws: What do they mean for pubs and punters?

Many of the long-awaited new rules - described as the biggest change to Northern Ireland's licensing laws in a generation - will be introduced from 1 October this year after legislation passed its final hurdle at Stormont | BBC, UK

‘Prison for drug smuggling made me who I am now’: Michaella McCollum on life after the Peru Two

She became famous as a drug mule with a memorable hairstyle – but what has Michaella McCollum learned from being jailed for attempted cocaine smuggling in 2013? | BBC, UK

High: Confessions of an Ibiza Drug Mule

Michaella McCollum tried to smuggle £1.5m of cocaine through Lima airport and failed. This is the story of how a teenager from Northern Ireland ended up a cartel drug mule | BBC, UK

Man jailed for throwing drugs packages into HMP Forest Bank

A man who was caught on CCTV throwing drugs packages worth thousands of pounds over a prison wall has been jailed for two years | BBC, UK



International news

Sha’Carri Richardson out of Olympic 100m after positive cannabis test

The American sprint sensation Sha’Carri Richardson will miss the women’s 100m at the Olympics after accepting a one-month ban for testing positive for marijuana at last month’s US trials | Guardian, UK

America’s Fastest Woman Hit With 100m Olympic Ban for Cannabis

Sprint star Sha’Carri Richardson will miss the 100m under anti-doping rules. But the evidence to show weed enhances performance is wafer-thin | VICE, UK

‘Weird and wonderful’ fans mourn Jim Morrison in Paris, 50 years on

The Doors frontman died on 3 July 1971, but to the pilgrims by his grave, his charisma remains undimmed | Guardian, UK

A Cambodian village ripped apart by a bad batch of rice wine

In rural Cambodia, dozens of people have died in recent months after drinking toxic home-brewed alcohol. In the village of Thnong in Kampot province, a bad batch consumed at a funeral left tragedy in its wake | BBC, UK

Legalising drugs: ‘Drug use should be treated as normal adult behaviour’

This week more than 100 Irish youth workers and former youth workers have aligned as Youth Workers Against Prohibition Ireland and signed an open letter criticising drug prohibition and arguing for the legal regulation of all drugs in Ireland | Irish Times, Ireland

More drugs and cash seized last year 'than ever before'

Gardaí seized over €8 million from organised crime gangs last year - a ten-fold increase in five years - according to new figures released today. At the launch of a new nationally coordinated garda operation to target middle and street level drug dealers, the head of the drugs and organised crime bureau said that crack cocaine was replacing heroin as the drug of choice in the most deprived parts of the country | RTe, Ireland

Treatment, prevention and harm reduction interventions for different forms of ATS (Amphetamine Type Stimulants) use (PDF)

This policy brief aims at contributing to the reduction of the harms of ATS use by describing different trajectories of ATS use and offering a set of evidence-based interventions for different groups of ATS users | Correlation Network, The Netherlands

Germany: Cannabis legalization becomes election campaign issue

Millions of people regularly use illegal drugs. After Germany's upcoming parliamentary election, drugs legalization looks set to be a new issue on the political agenda | DW, Germany

An unknown invisible intrusion. Impact of an adult family member’s problematic substance use on family life: a meta-ethnography [Norway]

[Open access] Problematic substance use (PSU) has documented consequences for the person using substances and people close to that person. This meta-ethnography aims to provide insight into how families experience family life when adult family members PSU is present | DEPP, UK

UNODC Report shows significant drop in opium poppy cultivation area in Mexico

Opium poppy cultivation has significantly dropped for the first time according to a new report published by UNODC and the Government of Mexico last week. According to data, the area under cultivation fell by 23 per cent to 21,5060 hectares in the period of 2018-2019, compared to 28,000 ha in the previous period (2017-2018) | UNODC, USA

“Buyer beware”: Treatment admissions practices and costs of residential treatment for opioid use disorder

Residential treatment accounts for one quarter of the United States’ spending on substance use disorder treatment and, for those with the highest severity, may be a first step on the road to recovery. This study, however, raises concerns that some residential treatment programs may be admitting clinically and financially vulnerable people without properly assessing the appropriate level of care | Recovery Research Institute, USA

An online alcohol intervention (VetChange) reduces male veteran drinking, but more research needed for women

This study aimed to examine whether the online alcohol intervention, VetChange, was effective in changing participants’ alcohol use and if there were gender differences in participation and outcomes | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Harvard University Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Psychedelics Policy Center

Harvard Law School on Wednesday announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind psychedelics policy center that it hopes will inform legislation and help clinicians navigate this burgeoning medical space as reform continues to advance | Marijuana Moment, USA

GH Research Goes Public To Turn 5-MeO-DMT Into Medicine For Treatment-Resistant Depression

The substance 5-MeO-DMT, often referred to as the most potent psychoactive drug on earth, is now making its way from the capable hands of psychedelic pioneers — who for decades have demonstrated its psychotherapeutic effectiveness — into the glossy white laboratories of multimillion-dollar corporate research labs | Forbes, USA

Why a UNC professor is on a quest to remove the ‘trip’ from psychedelic drugs

Dr. Bryan Roth’s office on the fourth floor of UNC’s Genetic Medicine Building looks like a shrine to the psychedelic era and the perception-distorting drugs that defined it: psilocybin and LSD | Herald Sun, Australia

National, Māori Party slam drop in alcohol, drug programmes for prisoners

Since Corrections cut its brief and intermediate alcohol and drug treatment programmes in 2018, the number of inmates getting treatment has fallen from 4300 in 2017 to just 928 prisoners | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug policy – who calls the shots?

Last week, the highlight of my week was not presenting at a conference or completing my part of a hard-worked funding bid, though both of these were satisfying | Recovery Review blog, UK

Introducing ready, steady, recovery

To launch our cookbook, Ready Steady Recovery we asked Kirsty to write a few word on why eating a varied and balanced diet is crucial to maintaining good health in recovery | Phoenix Futures, UK

Time to face the brutal truth: there’s no glamour at the bottom of a glass

Alcohol addiction has long been romanticised in films, TV shows, books and adverts. Let’s stop glossing over the destructive drudgery and sheer sorrow of the disease | Observer, UK

Another Round review – the performance of a lifetime from Mads Mikkelsen

Mikkelsen excels in Thomas Vinterberg’s profound yet playful midlife crisis tale about four high-school teachers seeking a better life on the lash | Guardian, UK

100 Days Since Health Minister Stephen Donnelly Promised To #talktovera

It was in late March.  The #talktovera hashtag had already been trending on Twitter in Ireland for several weeks when Vera Twomey received a text message from Stephen Donnelly promising that he would be in touch shortly | Peter Reynolds, UK

Should cannabis be banned as a performance enhancing drug?

Sha’Carri Richardson admitted to using cannabis after finding out that her mother had died. Unfortunately this was just prior to the Olympic trials | We are Forensic blog, UK

Smoke screens: vaping on film looks less glamorous than the Hollywood smoking of yesteryear

The murder investigation hits another dead end. Tired and frustrated, the detective stomps out of the station. She stares into the middle distance, forcefully sucking on a vape and expelling smoky puffs. Actor Kate Winslett has smoked on screen before, but not like this | Conversation, Australia

Drug Foundation boss Sarah Helm determined to be the change maker

Driven, motivated, a dog with a bone – Helm, who took up the reins as boss of the New Zealand Drug Foundation late last year, is downright determined to see drug law reform in Aotearoa | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand