Daily news - 6th July 2021

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UK news

DDN July/August 2021

When will the long-awaited Dame Carol Black report be published? (p4p8p10) One thing we can rely on is that issues relating to addiction are complex. Furthermore, we know that a public health approach demands that we work with and try to understand the many influences on our behaviour. Substances, gambling, sex – they’re all part of life, so if we’re to strive for holistic treatment we need to look at the whole picture | DDN, UK

7 minute briefing - Spice/Mamba - synthetic cannabinoids

This briefing covers the current sitaution with regard to these drugs and their use (especially in prisons) and how to manage any incidents | Kevin Flemen, UK

Understanding the substance use of autistic adolescents and adults: a mixed-methods approach

Autistic individuals might be more likely to misuse substances than non-autistic individuals. Better understanding of these patterns can help clinicians identify strategies to reduce substance use, protecting physical and mental health. The aim of this study was to compare the experiences of substance use between autistic and non-autistic adolescents and adults | Lancet Psychiatry, UK

Bid to force review of 'failed' UK drug law by Glasgow MP

Anne McLaughlin, Glasgow North East SNP MP, has tabled the amendment to change the approach towards problem drug use from being criminal based to public health focused | Glasgow Times, UK

Armed Forces drugs policy is leaving legacy of distress

A recent research paper into the  discharge process for men and women dismissed from the Armed Forces for drug use found it ‘inconsistent and damaging’. Pledges to explore and redress this are welcome, but in the interim frontline charities like Veterans Aid are dealing with its devastating impact on individuals and families | Politics Home, UK

Prison: 'More rehabilitation support needed to break cycle' - video

The daughter of a woman "in and out of cells all her life" has called for more rehabilitation support for people in Wales | BBC, UK

Let’s Talk About Chemsex - zoom events

The sessions are for gay and bisexual men and who take part in chemsex and would like to make a positive change to their use of chems | Terrence Higgins Trust, UK

Virgin volunteers help out at The Greens

The Greens, a Sheffield home providing accommodation for people who are in recovery from drug or alcohol use, received some handy horticultural help from volunteers working for Virgin Media | Humankind, UK

Drink and drugs driver jailed over fatal crash on Skye

A driver who was high on cocaine and alcohol when he caused a fatal crash has been jailed for seven years and six months | BBC, UK


International news

How should Irish research funders support public, patient and carer involvement in research? - Survey

The Health Research Board is the main funder of health research in Ireland. We believe it is critical that we support Public, Patient and Carer Involvement (PPI) in that research, so for more than five years we have been championing PPI in Ireland | HRB, Ireland

Psychedelic spurs growth of neural connections lost in depression

The psychedelic drug psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound found in some mushrooms, has been studied as a potential treatment for depression for years. But exactly how it works in the brain and how long beneficial results might last is still unclear | Medical Xpress, USA

Juul and the business of addiction

years ago, I went to a splashy launch party for a new tech product, which is a pretty normal thing for tech companies to have | The Verge, USA

Policies to reduce cigarette litter have strong support

Nearly three-quarters (72.4%) of U.S. adults supported adding a $0.75 litter fee on cigarette packs, indicating strong support for policies designed to reduce environmental waste created by cigarettes | Truth Initiative, USA

For individuals with opioid use disorder, an additional substance use disorder is associated with increased mortality risk

While research and monitoring data have clarified the impact of opioids on mortality risk, approximately 50-75% of those with opioid use disorder meet criteria for another substance use disorder. To increase the representativeness of practice and policy recommendations, this study took a critical look at opioid-related mortality among opioid use disorder patients with and without co-occurring substance use disorders | Recovery Research Institute, USA

Informed Pharmacists Are Key for Drug Users. A New Program Will Train Them

Health workers who understand addiction are badly needed on the overdose crisis’s frontlines | The Tyee, Canada

Three years in: Vancouver Island Drug Checking Project working to save lives

Service for people using drugs provides anonynous checks for potency, presence of fentanyl | Nanaimo Bulletin, Canada

Campaign highlighting alcohol and cancer link launched in Canberra

The Foundation for Alcohol Research Education (FARE), with funding from the ACT Government’s Health Promotion Grants Program, will be delivering the health campaign, which will be aired on television, radio, social media, and outdoor advertisements from today and will run across the Territory until September | FARE, Australia

Pharmacy E-cigarette ads allowed in some circumstances

Pharmacies supplying prescription nicotine e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine may, in some circumstances, be allowed advertise, TGA says | AJP, Australia

Webinar: E-Cigarettes and Vaping- What you need to know - video

Vaping is becoming an increasing concern for schools and parents, and this webinar will provide up-to-date and relevant information on the research around vaping and trends in use among youth. Information will also be provided on how to best prevent e-cigarette and vaping use among youth | Positive Choices, Australia

Alcohol, cigarette use down: The budget hit that will affect all taxpayers

Tumbling rates of smoking, a drop in alcohol consumption and the rise of electric vehicles will punch a hole in the federal budget worth tens of billions of dollars and force the slack to be filled by ordinary taxpayers | SMH, Australia

WA to introduce new drug and drink driving penalties from 1 July 2021

As of 1 July 2021, the State Government is creating a new “polydrug” offence. Currently, similar penalties apply for driving under the influence of alcohol alone, drugs alone, or alcohol and drugs in combination. The new law separates the offence of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs from the offence of driving under the influence of both | Mondaq, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol health labelling is needed urgently—the Government must act

If you take a look inside your kitchen cupboard, you will find that your tins of beans and bags of rice all display food labels telling you everything you need to know about what lurks beneath the wrapper: from ingredients to sugar content | BMJ Opinion, UK

In conversation with Bryony Gordon

Writer, broadcaster and Forward Trust Ambassador Bryony Gordon joins Clouds House Treatment Consultant Michael Rawlinson for a candid, nothing-off-limits conversation about how when everything in her life looked wonderful from the outside, she was really in the darkest depths of addiction | Action on Addiction, UK

The time to end the war on drugs is long overdue

It is 50 years since the June 18, 1971 address by US President Richard Nixon that publicised the US administration's war on drugs. Nixon declared that drug abuse was “America's public enemy number one”. Despite Nixon mentioning “rehabilitation, research, and education” in his speech, the war on drugs has been an offensive | Lancet editorial, UK