Daily news - 14th July 2021

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UK news

Public Health England priorities in 2021: Letter from Jo Churchill to Michael Brodie, PHE chief executive

PHE should continue to provide evidence and advice on addressing significant harms to health and take particular action through: 1)supporting delivery of relevant actions from Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs by supporting delivery and monitoring the impact of 4 cross-government drug and/or alcohol treatment grants; 2) contributing to DHSC’s development of the government’s addiction strategy; 3) supporting DHSC’s development of a new tobacco control plan to deliver the government’s smoke-free 2030 ambition including smoking cessation behaviour campaigns | PHE, UK

Dame Carol Black's independent review of drugs: EDM (Early Day Motion)308: tabled on 12 July 2021

That this House thanks Professor Dame Carol Black for her comprehensive Independent Review of Drugs, Part 2 which outlines a clear way forward on drug treatment and recovery to bring hope and real change to the many individuals, families and communities... | UK Parliament, UK

Let's talk e-cigarettes Podcast

n the June episode Jamie Hartmann-Boyce talks with Professor Thomas Brandon from the University of Southern Florida and the Moffitt Cancer Center on his team's new study published in Lancet Public Health | Cochrane, UK

Cannabis medication for epileptic girl costs £1k a month

The parents of an epileptic two-year-old are paying £1k a month for medical cannabis they cannot get on the NHS | BBC, UK

Street drinking in Brent and Harrow

What specific measures are the Metropolitan Police introducing to enforce against street drinking in public spaces within my constituency? | They work for you, UK

Greenspaces for Mental Health : a guide (PDF)

The integration of greenspace into mental health policy and strategy could be a way to address this, as there is a wealth of evidence that greenspace can provide positive physical and mental health outcomes | University of Stirling, UK

Sacha Baron Cohen sues over cannabis billboard featuring Borat character

Sacha Baron Cohen has taken legal action against a US cannabis dispensary after it used his Borat character on a billboard in Massachusetts, USA | BBC, UK

Confusion for nightclubs over Covid pass policy

Government guidance on whether nightclub owners should make their customers show Covid passports is "disingenuous and unclear", a senior industry spokesman has told the BBC | BBC, UK


International news

Global burden of cancer in 2020 attributable to alcohol consumption: a population-based study

Alcohol use is causally linked to multiple cancers. We present global, regional, and national estimates of alcohol-attributable cancer burden in 2020 to inform alcohol policy and cancer control across different settings globally | Lancet, UK

Alcohol caused 740,000 cancer cases globally last year – study

Researchers behind estimate say more needs to be done to raise public awareness of link | Guardian, UK

Chemsex and Harm Reduction for Gay Men and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men

Using substances for sex and socialising is not a new phenomenon. Drug use was documented among gay men and other men who have sex with men long before the term “chemsex” was coined | Harm Reduction International, UK

SUAB webinar: The impact of the pandemic on substance use research

With contributions from SUAB's Prof. Sarah Galvani and Dr. Sam Wright, SUAB PhD researcher Marie Jameson, Prof. Mayyada Wazaify from the University of Jordan, Prof. Guilherme Messas from Santa Casa de São Paulo Brazil, and Thomas Svendsen from Stavanger University hospital Norway | Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

ICARA/SHAAP/SARN - COVID-19 and Substance Use Webinar

Fri, 30 July 2021, 14:00 – 16:00 BST. Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) are delighted to support the established webinar series hosted by the International Confederation of Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug (ATOD) Research Associations | SHAAP, UK

British and US Olympics workers arrested over alleged cocaine use in Tokyo

The four foreign nationals denied the allegations, but their urine reportedly showed traces of cocaine | Independent, UK

National Drug Treatment Reporting System 2014 – 2020 alcohol treatment data (PDF)

In this seven-year period, 51,205 cases were treated for alcohol as a main problem. The number of cases treated decreased from 7,546 in 2019 to 5,824 in 2020, a drop of 22.8%. The proportion of new cases decreased from 48.6% in 2014 to 42.8% in 2020 | Health Research Board, Ireland

Drop in people seeking help for alcohol problems 'partly due to Covid restrictions'

There were a total of 5,824 people treated for problem alcohol use last year while the new study has found that over seven years 51,205 were treated for alcohol abuse | Journal, Ireland

Row over disbanding Dublin drugs taskforce deepens

The row between a Dublin drugs task force and the Department of Health has deepened over the weekend, with the dispute now moving into the political arena | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Target 3.a of the Sustainable Development Goals on WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: Key to recovery from COVID-19 and building back better

Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, Head of Secretariat of the WHO FCTC was the moderator and opened the event by thanking the Secretariat of the ECOSOC for providing this opportunity at this important forum | WHO FCTC, Switzerland

More Americans Are Receiving Addiction Treatment, But Gaps Persist

Substantially more people in the United States with opioid use disorder are receiving evidence-based treatment for the disease, but there are still considerable gaps in care along racial lines, according to the largest analysis to date of opioid use disorder among Medicaid recipients | University of Pittsburgh, USA

Alcohol Abuse Is on the Rise, but Doctors Too Often Fail to Treat It

People with alcohol use disorder are often seen in clinics and hospitals, but medical professionals too often ignore the condition | NYTimes, USA

Changes in Initial Opioid Prescribing Practices After the 2016 Release of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

This cohort study included 12 870 612 patients with commercial claims data to examine whether trends in initial prescribing to patients who were opioid naive departed from preguideline trends after the CDC guideline release. Both initial prescribing duration and dosage were significantly lower after the CDC guideline release than would be expected by extrapolating the preguideline trend | JAMA Network Open, USA

Lesbian, gay, bisexual smokers are at a higher risk for smoking menthol cigarettes

Compared with heterosexual smokers, menthol cigarette smoking is higher among lesbian, gay and bisexual cigarette smokers, according to a Rutgers-led study, especially among bisexual and lesbian/gay female cigarette smokers | Medical Xpress, USA

New technique reduces nicotine levels, harmful compounds simultaneously in tobacco

Researchers have developed a new technique that can alter plant metabolism. Tested in tobacco plants, the technique showed that it could reduce harmful chemical compounds, including some that are carcinogenic. The findings could be used to improve the health benefits of crops | Science Daily, USA

Marijuana legalization linked to temporary decrease in opioid-related emergency visits

States that legalize recreational marijuana experience a short-term decline in opioid-related emergency department visits, particularly among 25- to 44-year-olds and men, according to an analysis led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Variation in Cannabinoid Metabolites Present in the Urine of Adults Using Medical Cannabis Products in Massachusetts

A growing market of medical cannabis products claim to have specific Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) content, but regulation of THC and CBD content is inconsistent across states and generally weak. To examine the association between medical cannabis product use and exposure to THC and CBD, we quantified levels of THC, CBD, and their metabolites in urine of participants in a clinical trial | JAMA Network Open, USA

Biden to pick former West Virginia health official as nation’s drug czar

Rahul Gupta, ally of Manchin, would oversee drug policy strategy if confirmed | Washington Post, USA

New York’s Harm Reduction Victories in the 2021 Legislative Session

Fatal drug overdoses soared across New York state during the COVID-19 pandemic, as increased levels of fentanyl in the drug supply and decreased state funding for public health organizations made using drugs more dangerous than ever | Filter Magazine, USA

Can the Pandemic Usher in a New Age of Harm Reduction Awareness? 

While still suffering the toll of a deadly global virus, we begin the delicate process of rebuilding our communities under an abnormal “new normal.” | Filter Magazine, USA

MetroHealth installing boxes containing opioid overdose reversal drug around Cuyahoga County

New steps are being taken to stop opioid overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County. The MetroHealth System, along with the Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board are partnering to stop the increasing trend of opioid overdoses | News 5 Cleveland, USA

New report on alcohol consumption on municipal properties

While a beer at the beach may sound like a nice idea for some, allowing drinking in these spaces may change their atmosphere and be bad for public health in the long run. Researchers at UVic’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research have created Not Just a Walk in the Park: Unsupervised Alcohol Consumption on Municipal Properties in BC, an evidence-based, public-health-oriented guide for municipalities as they consider allowing drinking in public outdoor spaces | UVIC, Canada

A history of drug dependence is associated with negative mental health outcomes

Achieving excellent mental health after drug dependence is more prevalent among older respondents, those with a post-secondary education, married respondents, those with higher levels of social support, and those without a history depression or anxiety | EurekAlert, Canada

Current Perspective on the Therapeutic Preset for Substance-Assisted Psychotherapy

The present narrative review is the first in a series of reviews about the appropriate conduct in substance-assisted psychotherapy (SAPT). It outlines a current perspective onpreconditions and theoretical knowledge that have been identified as valuable in the literaturefor appropriate therapeutic conduct in SAPT | Frontiers in Psychology, Australia

Drug checking already taking place despite lack of government-sanctioned checking services

People who use ecstasy/MDMA and/or other illegal stimulants seek out objective information about substance contents despite the lack permanent government-sanctioned drug checking services, says a new report | NDARC et al, Australia

Online Collection of screening and withdrawal instruments

On Monday 5th July, NCETA launched the much-anticipated Online Collection for AOD screening and withdrawal tools. The collection comprises 18 commonly recommended AOD screening (10) and withdrawal (8) instruments for Australian populations and settings. The site is the first online repository of its kind | NDARC et al, Australia

Māori 'up against it' battling liquor store licensing in local communities

Murupara community leader Mem Jenner was leading a war she says was stacked against her | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Dame Carol Black's independent review of drugs: prevention, treatment and recovery

Dame Carol Black published her report last week on part two of her independent review of drugs, focusing on drug prevention, treatment and recovery. A government response to the report is expected soon. We are pleased to have supported Dame Carol’s review and welcome its powerful findings | PHE blog, UK

Fewer exacerbations and higher quality of life in COPD: Interview with Prof. Polosa

In England, the use of low risk products is recommended in smoking cessation programs from doctors and health workers: we hope that soon we will be able to witness the same change all over the world. Prof. Riccardo Polosa Founder of the CoEHAR | Catania Conversation, Italy

New Australian Research On Medical Cannabis Driving Impairment

Swinburne University of Technology researchers are undertaking a study investigating the effects of medical cannabis on drivers | Hemp Gazette, USA

Opinion: When it comes to youth and drugs, straight talk is better than scared straight

"When you give kids the information, they’re appalled by our policies and start to talk about drugs from a place of strength, not fear." | Vancouver is Awesome, Canada