Daily news - 23rd June 2021

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UK news

Childhood trauma can make people like morphine more

University of Exeter scientists compared the effects of morphine on 52 healthy people – 27 with a history of childhood abuse and neglect, and 25 who reported no such experiences in childhood. [See also article below] | University of Exeter, UK

A randomised, double-blind study investigating the relationship between early childhood trauma and the rewarding effects of morphine

[Open access] Experiences of childhood trauma (abuse and neglect) are disproportionately higher in those with opioid use disorder (OUD). Childhood trauma may affect the reinforcing and rewarding properties of opioid drugs and responses to pain, potentially via developmental changes to the endogenous opioid system | Addiction Biology, UK

Hepatitis C (England and Wales): 2020

Laboratory-confirmed cases of hepatitis C reported to Public Health England - April - June 2020 data added | PHE, UK

The case for alcohol interventions

This article examines the need to address drinking problems in the context of domestic abuse and presents serious case reviews as an important adjunct to academic research | SSA, UK

Emily Tackles Drug Policy: Covid, deaths, devolution and a new documentary

Emily Brunsdon and Dominic Streeter, from Hide and Seek Films, have spent two years now working on their project on Scotland’s drug death rate. The two first came to Glasgow in 2019 when, Brunsdon says, the issue “was already a national crisis”. | National, UK

Behind The Scenes – Ketamine

Wed, 30 Jun 2021 19:00 - 20:00 BST. Our Behind The Scenes series of webinars continues, this time focussing on the dissociative drug, ketamine. Ketamine has a myriad of uses both in a medical and recreational setting. We will discuss the qualities of the drug that make it popular in these settings and discuss the harm reduction support available as well as how you can access services for yourself or for someone you may know | BDP, UK

Drug and Behavioural Addictions: COVID-19 and Beyond

Wed, 7 July 2021, 08:55 – 13:30 BST. Through seminars and discussion, this symposium will explore the impact of COVID-19 on various forms of addiction and their treatment | SARIC, UK

Convicted Isle of Man drug smuggler has sentence reduced

Jamie Smith was jailed for almost eight years in 2020 for conspiring to import the drug, smuggling a phone into Isle of Man prison and money-laundering | BBC, UK

Bradford temple cannabis factory 'gardener' to be deported

Inside officers discovered 645 plants in six specially equipped rooms and a CCTV system to monitor the premises | BBC, UK


International news

Waiting for the Wave: Political Leadership, Policy Windows, and Alcohol Policy Change in Ireland

[Open access] Existing research has identified numerous barriers to the adoption of public health policies for alcohol, including the cross-cutting nature of the policy problem and industry influence. Recent developments in Ireland suggest that while formidable, such barriers can be overcome | Social Science and Medicine, UK

A survey on changes in beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and world views following psychedelic use

This is a two-part exploratory study which aims to map the relationships between real world psychedelic use and the psychedelic users’ self-understanding through their beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and world views... | Beckley Foundation, UK

Alcohol and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - video

Seminar one looks at the impact of alcohol on the UN's SDGs and the opportunities for improved alcohol policy arising from the Goals | IAS, UK

Council approves EU Drugs Action Plan 2021–2025

The Council of the EU (Foreign Affairs) approved on 21 June the EU Drugs Action Plan for 2021–2025. The new plan presents the concrete actions needed to achieve the priorities of the EU Drugs Strategy, adopted in December 2020 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Norway’s Ministry of Health wants to set the age limit for e-cigarettes at 25

In addition, it wants to ban packaging designs that attract young people and extend the smoking ban to apply in cars where children are passengers, in outdoor playgrounds, and in sports areas | Norway Today, Norway

Global Forum on Nicotine Conveys Cautious Optimism for Tobacco Harm Reduction

At the Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN), hosted in Liverpool, England, and broadcast online on June 16 and 17, experts called for the public health and tobacco control fields to unite around a common goal: ending smoking | Filter Magazine, USA

Biden administration to back bill ending crack, powder cocaine sentence disparity: report

The Biden administration is reportedly set to endorse legislation on Tuesday that aims to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses | The Hill, USA

[Limited number of free articles per week] Legislation signed Tuesday permits the possession of up to one and a half ounces of cannabis and provides a clean slate for some with past convictions | NYTimes, USA

New diagnostic method may predict relapse risk for recovering prescription opioid addicts

For the first time, Rutgers scientists have used a diagnostic technique in the opioid addiction field that they believe has the potential to determine which opioid-addicted patients are more likely to relapse | Medical Xpress, USA

Associations of Suicidality Trends With Cannabis Use as a Function of Sex and Depression Status

This survey study examined 281 650 adult participants in the 2008-2019 National Surveys of Drug Use and Health data and found associations of past-year cannabis use disorder, daily cannabis use, and nondaily cannabis use with higher prevalence of past-year suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt in both sexes, but significantly more in women | JAMA Network Open, USA

Assessing grief in caregivers of family members with alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder

Grief is a natural reaction to loss. Common among the caregivers of family members with chronic disease, such as progressive dementia, grief is often felt even while the loved one is still living. Caregivers may experience grief from loss of personal freedom, familiar communication, their loved one’s mental capacities, social and recreational interaction, and control over life events | BASIS, USA

Study shows cigarette tax hikes can help boost bigger brands, hurt consumers

For decades, governments and health authorities have tried to steer people away from "vice" products such as tobacco, soda and alcohol through counter-marketing measures—things like tax increases, usage restrictions and ad campaigns | Medical Xpress, USA

LA City Council supports state bill to legalize safe sites for drug users

The resolution passed with 14 yes votes, and only Councilman Joe Buscaino dissenting. Buscaino told City News Service he voted against the bill because "it gives tacit approval for harmful drug use in government-sponsored injection centers, with no corresponding requirement that the user start a pathway to treatment and break the cycle of addiction | LA Daily News, USA

Ontario students are more likely to drive after smoking cannabis, shows survey

Poll of 1,161 Ontario students shows attitudes toward cannabis differ from alcohol, creating potentially risky and dangerous driving behavior | News Medical, Canada

Almost 500 Albertans dead from drug poisoning in first four months of 2021

Almost 500 Albertans have died from accidental drug overdoses in just four months, according to updated provincial data that shows 109 lives lost in April alone | Calgary Herald, Canada

Understanding the Stigma and Feasibility of Opening a Safe Injection Facility in Baltimore City: A Qualitative Case Study

[Open access] In this study we used a multiple case study design to understand the stigma surrounding the use of a SIF and the feasibility of implementing the drug prevention strategy in Baltimore City by comparing experiences with opening a SIF in Sydney, Australia | TQR, Australia

Failure to question GP leads to reprimand

A Sydney pharmacist proprietor has been reprimanded after failing to challenge a GP over prescribing of addictive drugs that saw a woman overdose | AJP, Australia

Organised crime gangs used food delivery services to deal drugs across Australia

Gangs across Australia used daring and blatant strategies to deal drugs during lockdown by infiltrating a service we use every day, with police struggling to keep up | News.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

OPINION: Commons debate on the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 provided clear feedback on the successes and failures of drug policy reform advocacy

Last week, MPs in Westminster and Holyrood debated issues related to drugs for the first time since 2017. The debate, led by leading drug reform advocates Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Manchester, Withington and Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP for Reigate, fluctuated between overwhelming appetite for reform and the very same rhetoric that has kept the outdated Act enshrined in law for over fifty years | Volteface, UK

Recovery song: Dragon's lullaby

Alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems exist on a spectrum of severity, complexity, and duration. I have referred to the ends of this continuum as the “apples and oranges” of the AOD problems arena and noted the mischief created when what we know about apples is applied to oranges—and vice versa | William L. White papers, USA

Medical mistrust as a two-way street

Austin posted yesterday about Jon Soske’s piece selecting an addiction/recovery element to keep, one to drop, and one to modify | Recovery Review blog, USA

International Overdose Awareness Day

This year is the 20th anniversary of International Overdose Awareness Day. With over half a million people dying as a result of drug use annually, it has never been more important. On the 31st August every year, we publicly mourn, educate people on drugs to prevent overdose, and advocate for better drug policies | SSDP blog, USA