Daily news - 11th June 2021

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UK news

Scotland's first patients prescribed legal cannabis

Scotland's first medical cannabis clinic has begun prescribing to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions | BBC, UK

Police probe suspect drugs tests used in criminal and family cases

Police are investigating thousands of suspect drug testing reports from one laboratory that may have been used in criminal, coronial, family and employment cases, it has emerged | Law Society Gazette, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the research led by Newcastle University and published in The Lancet into outcomes arising from minimum unit pricing | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Tobacco: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of (a) the likelihood of alcohol and tobacco being misused, (b) the risk of alcohol and tobacco misuse causing harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem and (c) the effectiveness of excluding alcohol and tobacco from control of harmful drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 | They work for you, UK

Tobacco Control Plan — [Mrs Maria Miller in the Chair]

I remind Members that there have been some changes to normal practice in order to support the new hybrid arrangements, and timings of debates have been amended to allow technical arrangements to be made for the following debate. There will also be a suspension between each debate | They work for you, UK

Plans to print red warning saying 'smoking kills' on EVERY cigarette are put forward to make Britain smoke-free by 2030

A Tory lord is planning to publish a bill this week to put health warnings on individual cigarettes to make the UK smoke free by 2030 | Mail Online, UK

Harm reduction month: vaping and public health

In this last in our series of articles for harm reduction month, Rob Calder discusses vaping as harm reduction and the implications for the public health agenda. With just a small detour for a discussion of recovery from other research areas | SSA, UK

The Domestic Abuse Act: what we need to know

Article describes some of the changes and new provisions brought about by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, and affirms why domestic abuse is (or ought to be) a key consideration for the substance use field | SSA, UK

What alcohol can do to your midlife gut health

[Limited number of free articles per week] Everyone knows the impact of alcohol on our livers but not so much about the gastrointestinal system which plays a key role in our body | Telegraph, UK

Isle of Man opens licence applications for new cannabis export sector

The Isle of Man Government has opened licence applications for the production, distribution and export of medicinal cannabis products from the island | City AM, UK

Children of alcohol dependent parents webinar

Tuesday 29 June 2021, 10:30am - 12:00pm. This webinar aims to explore the increase in drinking since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact this is having on vulnerable families, and signpost available resources and support | PHE, UK

Drug dealer who exploited teenage girl jailed for eight years

The 17-year-old girl was initially arrested for supplying drugs in Salisbury but then released as a suspected victim of modern slavery | BBC, UK


International news

Inappropriate pain management after surgery a major cause of opioid crisis

Targets to eliminate pain after surgery are a major cause of the opioid crisis in several countries, according to a new report co-authored by Professor Lesley Colvin of the University of Dundee | Medical Xpress, UK

Electronic Cigarette Use Is Not Associated with COVID-19 Diagnosis

[Open access] This analysis tested the hypothesis that current e-cigarette use was associated with an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients seeking medical care. E-cigarette and conventional cigarette use were ascertained using a novel electronic health record tool, and COVID-19 diagnosis was ascertained by a validated institutional registry | Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, UK

‘I’m a lighter me’: Can Mike Tyson and psychedelics help boxers with brain trauma?

The former heavyweight champion says psychedelics would have helped him with his mental health during his career. Some scientists and companies agree | Guardian, UK

British teenager leapt off bridge after taking laughing gas in Spain

31-year-old British man jumped off balcony hours later, report says | Independent, UK

Cocaine worth $1.2m washes ashore at Florida Space Force Station

Almost 30 kilos of drugs found at Cape Canaveral after 24 packages reach beach | Independent, UK

Charity concerned over number of crack cocaine users

Charities working with drug users have expressed concern around the number of people presenting with crack cocaine dependency | RTe, Ireland

Drugnet Ireland

Latest policy and research news from the ireland focal point | HRB, Ireland

8,000-year-old elk teeth reveal psychedelic Stone Age dance tendencies

An April study conducted by Israeli researchers found that prehistoric humans sought psychedelic experiences in deep and narrow caves, as penetrating several hundred meters deep into the caverns represented a conscious choice that allowed prehistoric humans to connect with their cosmos, with the low concentration of oxygen found in those environments acting as a drug | Jerusalem Post, Israel

Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk for addiction to opioids and ultraviolet rays

Vitamin D deficiency strongly exaggerates the craving for and effects of opioids, potentially increasing the risk for dependence and addiction, according to a new study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) | Medical Xpress, USA

Association of the 2016 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Opioid Prescribing Guideline With Changes in Opioid Dispensing After Surgery

Was the release of the 2016 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain associated with changes in opioid dispensing after surgery? | JAMA Network, USA

Poll Shows 83% of Americans Believe So-Called 'War on Drugs' an Abject Failure

The findings come just ahead of the 50th's anniversary of President Richard Nixon's drug war declaration | Common Dreams, USA

ICE Meant to Capture Drug Lords. Did It Snare Duped Seniors?

Operation Cocoon aimed to disrupt international drug trafficking rings, but critics say it has left unwitting elderly “mules” in foreign prisons | NYTimes, USA

How the Mormon church unlocked medical pot for deep red states

“They did everything that they could to fight this until the people had spoken," a former state lawmaker said of the church | Politico, USA

Lessons about marijuana edibles from youth vaping

When it comes to children’s health, parents — and public activism — can make a difference | STAT News, USA

“Mare of Easttown” and the Streaming Harm Reduction Revolution

HBO is leading a media revolution in the portrayal of drug use, including but not limited to problematic use, as a regular feature of people’s lives | Filter Magazine, USA

Overlooked, under-analysed: Overdose reversals saving hundreds in B.C.'s opioid crisis

Gilliana Soto has lost so many loved ones to the opioid crisis. She almost lost herself, too. Her first and last overdose was enough to make her realize she needed to change | CityNews, Canada

Medical cannabis and driving

Medical cannabis use is increasingly common in Australia. Patients and physicians need to be aware of the important implications that such use may have for driving | AJGP, Australia

‘It’s discriminating’: Study finds no justification for medicinal cannabis driving ban

Truck driver William used to endure excruciating pain from arthritis and scoliosis rather than take opioids to relieve it and running the risk of nodding off behind the wheel | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

As medicinal cannabis rockets globally, here’s how Australia can become a production powerhouse

According to the latest research, the global medical cannabis market is growing at 25 per cent per year, and is expected to reach US$67 billion by 2028 | Stockhead, Australia

Tom's been using performance-enhancing drugs for eight years, and like many others, he feels trapped in a cycle

"The average person looking at a fitness model on social media wouldn't realise most of them are juiced up," the Queensland lawyer says | abc,net.au, Australia

Murders and Meth Labs: Should You Know If Your House Was Once a Crime Scene?

Real estate agents have to disclose material facts about a property. But does that include a murder that happened 50 years ago? A suicide that occured recently? Or a neighbour who deals meth? | SBS News, Australia

Organised crime groups could revert to face-to-face meetings after Operation Ironside, expert says

Australia's criminal underbelly will likely ditch encrypted devices and "harden themselves", a criminologist and former detective says | abc,net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug reform is the holy grail – but don’t expect answers at the G7

If Boris Johnson were to raise the issue with Joe Biden, the US president might reply that at least he is trying. Britain is not | Guardian opinion, UK

Good sports? - Alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport

Is it finally time to cut the ties between alcohol companies and some of our favourite sports? | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Stop and search: how community groups can help build trust in policing

Stephen Bourne says the majority of interactions between the police and public are handled professionally, but mistrust in some communities could be mitigated by local groups | Guardian letters, UK

Another Round: More troubling than entertaining - review

I hoped Another Round, an international Oscar winner about alcohol, might at least be entertaining, despite some obvious flaws. But I was disappointed | Phil Cain, UK

Nigeria isn’t ready to legalise marijuana: a scientist’s view

Nigeria has been debating whether to legalise marijuana. Its House of Representatives is set to discuss a bill to that effect. The Conversation Africa’s Wale Fatade asked Olakunle Idowu, a Professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, to explain the science behind the debate | Conversation, Nigeria

Alcohol companies make $17.5 billion a year off of underage drinking, while prevention efforts are starved for cash

Alcohol is still the most commonly used drug among high school students. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year approximately 3,500 people under 21 die because of alcohol use | Conversation, USA

Smoking Saved My Life. Here’s How

I had never been a smoker. I picked it up in a hellish last-ditch attempt to “take the edge off” when I first found my way into 12-step recovery and finally confronted my glaring alcoholism | Huffington Post, USA

Drug Packaging: Newspapers’ Long History of Sensational Narcotics Reporting

It seems true (though not perfectly true) that laws and policies conform to public opinion eventually. I recently attended a virtual meeting on sentencing reform wherein one of the panelists, a district judge, twice underscored the deep importance of public opinion to criminal justice reform | Points blog, USA