Daily news - 20th July 2021

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UK news

High Alert: Why we want to help everyone party safely this summer

Today marks the start of High Alert, a new campaign from Metro.co.uk and The Loop. We’ve teamed up to reach as many people as we can, all with the aim of reducing harmful drug use and helping everyone party safely this summer | Metro, UK

2021 Summer Harm Reduction Campaign

On the 19th of July, festivals and nightclubs are re-opening, having been closed for nearly 18 months. This is an exciting time for many people, who have missed being able to party with friends and loved ones. This is going to be a poignant moment for many... However, it is important to keep yourself and your friends safe | The Loop, UK

The ABCs of an overdose: What to do when drugs go wrong

When it comes to drugs, the safest approach is not taking them at all. But if you are going to get high, whether that’s on ketamine, cocaine, MDMA, or whatever else you can get your hands on, it’s vital you know what to do if things go wrong | Metro, UK

Subjective executive function deficits in hazardous alcohol drinkers

Dependent alcohol drinkers exhibit differences in the structure and function of the brain, and impairments in cognitive function, including executive functions (EFs). Less is known about the impact of non-dependent but hazardous use ... The current study examines the relationship between alcohol use, EF and alcohol-related problems... | Journal of Psychopharmacology, UK

Patterns and prevalence of alcohol consumption in pregnancy using infant biomarkers

This thesis explores the known effects of in utero alcohol exposure upon the unborn child, examines methods of detecting alcohol consumption in pregnancy and describes the pattern and prevalence of prenatal alcohol consumption in the West of Scotland as measured by ethanol biomarkers in the newborn and by confidential postnatal maternal interview | University of Glasgow, UK

Take a Fresh Look, Phoenix Futures Launches New Community Members Guides

This month sees the release of our new Residential Guides, offering an insight into life at Phoenix Futures and the way we support people during and beyond their programme as they begin their new life in recovery | Phoenix Futures, UK

'A fellowship of abstinent friends' to be created in University campus addiction recovery programme

A pilot programme designed to work with students in recovery from addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling or other behavioural addiction could provide a template approach to supporting student recovery nationwide | University of Birmingham, UK

‘Dangerous data’: drinking after dependence: Part 1: Why the heat?

Mike Ashton of the Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank serialises the project’s essay on arguably the most controversial issue in addiction treatment: whether dependent drinkers should always aim for abstinence. First instalment asks – why such heat over a seemingly innocuous decision? | SSA, UK

ASH Webinar: NHS Long Term Plan tobacco commitments

This ASH webinar focuses on understanding more about the overarching objectives of the NHS Long Term Plan, the roles of different partners in the system; and how it’s being operationalised and supported regionally and nationally | ASH, UK

South Derbyshire MP celebrates 'victory' for cannabis medicine trials

An agreement the NIHR will collaborate with I am Billy foundation in Real World Evidence Studies to unlock the deadlock of NHS prescriptions has been met | Derby Telegraph, UK

Scots charity provides for newly released prisoners in bid to stop cycle of addiction

It's hoped the mentoring agency can save lives and prevent a return back to a life of drug addiction | Daily Record, UK

Cllr Ben Bradley MP launches new drug and alcohol charity for Nottinghamshire

Double Impact Services, the drug and alcohol recovery charity, has been awarded £479,805 in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to be used over a period of four years | West Bridgford Wire, UK

Amy Winehouse's incredible legacy in recovery house for women overcoming addiction

Ten years on from Amy's tragic death, the Sunday Mirror visits Amy's Place, a unique recovery house for women set up in her name | Mirror, UK

‘I couldn’t talk about her for years’: my godmother, Amy Winehouse

She cooked, watched Countdown and was mentored by the legendary singer. Now, 10 years after her death, Dionne Bromfield has finally addressed the grief she couldn’t deal with aged 15 | Guardian, UK



International news

Costa Rica seizes 4.3 tonnes of Colombian cocaine in one of its biggest drugs busts in history

Drugs were smuggled in container filled with ceramic tiles | Independent, UK

Global health body alarmed by Vectura bid

[Free one month trial available] The World Health Organisation has warned that Big Tobacco is seeking to establish partnerships in healthcare to undermine control of its “deadly products” | The Times, UK

Methadone users may have better protection against Covid

Patients in treatment for heroin addiction appear to be far more resilient to Covid-19 than initially believed, with researchers suggesting drugs such as methadone may protect against the disease | Irish Times, Ireland

NIH leaders address how using appropriate language can reduce mental health and addiction stigma

In a perspective published in Neuropsychopharmacology, leaders from the National Institutes of Health address how using appropriate language to describe mental illness and addiction can help to reduce stigma and improve how people with these conditions are treated in health care settings and throughout society | News Medical, USA

The Last Heroin Seller in Maracaibo

Ihave lived in Maracaibo all my life. For many, the way of life here is one of simply trying to survive. Political repression and hyperinflation are the norm. For a few of us, heroin used to be the norm too | Filter Magazine, USA

Overdose Prevention During a Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present new challenges, historic, and systemic oppressors experienced by PWUD have only become more exacerbated. PWUD were already experiencing a lack of resources, lack of funding, and neglect by the health care system. In the context of a global pandemic, these inequities have driven up risk for PWUD, and it is paramount that we capture this experience to prevent history from repeating itself | Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs, Canada

Cannabis: sexually diverse youths with depression use more

It's no secret that studies show that sexually diverse youth - in particular, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth - use more cannabis and experience more mental health challenges than their heterosexual peers | EurekAlert, Canada

US states to unveil $35b opioid settlement

US state attorneys-general and lawyers for local governments are expected to unveil a landmark, $US26 billion ($A35 billion) settlement resolving claims that the three largest US drug distributors and drug maker Johnson & Johnson helped fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic, a person familiar with the matter says | Perth Now, Australia

Study reinforces that brief intervention for alcohol use ‘works’

GP referrals help prevent moderate and high-risk alcohol users from returning to hospital, a recent Australian-run trial has found | News GP, Australia


Blog, comment and opinion

Delays in regulatory reform leave children exposed to e-cigarette promotion

Public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) today [Monday 19th June] criticise the Government for failing to address loopholes that allow children to be given e-cigarettes as freebies although the law bans their sale to under 18s. New findings, published today, also find additional opportunities for regulations to protect children | ASH, UK

#ListentoLawEnforcement: Police support for Dame Carol Black's recommendations to treat drug addiction as a health issue

Police personnel share their perspectives, eager to support an updated approach to drug control that is fit for purpose, reduces drug deaths and addiction and drives down drug-related crime | CDPRG blog, UK

The Trip Report 19/07

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan review – the trip of a lifetime

This fascinating insight into our relationship with mind-altering plants weaves personal experimentation with cultural history | Guardian, UK

Lessons learned — and lost — from a Vietnam-era study of addiction

Opioids like heroin, morphine, OxyContin, and fentanyl occupy a spot in the public imagination as particularly dangerous and addictive substances | STAT News opinion, USA