Daily news - 24th June 2021

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UK news

Impact of Minimum Unit Pricing among people who are alcohol dependent and accessing treatment services: Interim report: Structured interview data

This study looks at the Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol that came into effect in Scotland in 2018. This interim report presents a description of collected data and early findings from a study about the impact of MUP on people with alcohol dependence who access treatment services. This study is the first of four work packages that make up the wider Harmful Drinking Study, which is one of a set of studies looking at the impact of MUP in Scotland | Public Health Scotland, UK

Drinks labels with pictures and guidelines could improve public understanding of Government recommendations

Enhanced labels for alcoholic drinks include pictures to demonstrate their strength, plus an explicit statement of drinking guidelines. New research found that these labels could improve public awareness and understanding of the Government’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines | NIHR, UK

Study finds link between heavy drinking and mental health problems in UK Police Service

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Liverpool has found that one third of UK police officers and staff met the criteria for heavy drinking, and this was more common in those with a mental health problem | University of Liverpool, UK

Familiar science, innovative harm reduction: Researchers develop spice detection device

A world-first device that is able to detect spice in saliva or street material in under five minutes has been developed by a team of researchers at the University of Bath. Initially developed in 2019 and now granted £1.3 million in funding by the university to expand the prototype, the device is expected to be rolled out for use within three years | Volteface, UK

Protocol for engagement with tobacco and nicotine producers

Updated. How PHE will act to protect public health policies when engaging with stakeholders with links to the production of tobacco and nicotine products | PHE, UK

Reducing smoking to become business of all hospital nurses in region

Offering support to quit smoking is set to become a routine part of patient care for all hospital nurses in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, where a groundbreaking stop-smoking initiative is being rolled out | Nursing Times, UK

Future smoking prevalence by socioeconomic status in England: a computational modelling study

[Open access] The difference in smoking across socioeconomic groups is a major cause of health inequality. This study projected future smoking prevalence by socioeconomic status, and revealed what is needed to achieve the tobacco-free ambition (TFA) by 2030 in England | BMJ Tobacco Control, UK

NHS APA 2021 Conference: The Impact of Stigma on People with Addiction: The Effect on Policy & Practice

Stigma all too often prevents a person from seeking or accessing the vital treatment and support they need to recover from addiction. This year’s NHS Addictions Provider Alliance Conference will spotlight the problem of stigma | NHS APA, UK

Prisoners: Females

Importantly, we have also invested £5m in alternatives to prison, including new women’s centres which help people address issues such as alcohol or drug addiction which leads them to crime | They work for you, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of appointing a champion to promote public awareness of the benefits of e-cigarettes as a reduced-harm alternative to combustible tobacco for people seeking to quit smoking | They work for you, UK

Edinburgh City ban unethical brands after Cristiano Ronaldo's Euro 2020 stance

League Two side Edinburgh City have vowed never to promote alcohol, tobacco or gambling | Edinburgh News, UK

‘My daughter might still be here if ketamine was legal’

When Vicky Unwin was told her daughter Louise had drowned in the bath after taking ketamine, her world was turned upside down | Metro, UK

Day 47: Niamh Eastwood speaks with Saima and Juliet - video

We are honoured to hear from Niamh Eastwood as she discusses the key issues leading to problematic use and explains some of the challenges in changing the perspectives of politicians and leaders. Let's talk! | SEEDS for change, UK

The Psychedelic Psychiatrist: An Interview with Graham Campbell

Graham has been interested in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs since the late 1990s. This naturally evolved from his early interest in the interpretation of dreams, hypnosis and psychoanalysis | UCL, UK

Gang who trafficked Tottenham teen to sell drugs convicted

Six men have been convicted for their parts in a county lines modern slavery operation that saw a Tottenham schoolboy trafficked for use as a drugs runner | Enfield Independent, UK

Country diary: the secrets of deadly nightshade

Atranslation of a 17th-century haiku by Bashō is “Fading bells – / now musky blossoms / peal in dusk”. His bells may not refer to the flowers we find in dusky shadows at the wood’s edge, but it fits them; they are musky and mysterious, ringing out an old story about magic, poison and death | Guardian, UK


International news

Court finds human rights violations against transplant patient sentenced for cannabis trafficking

The Court has found human rights violations against Christopher Bartolo, a kidney transplant patient who was sentenced to a five-year jail term in 2017 for trafficking cannabis | Independent, Malta

Flavoring can change how the brain responds to nicotine e-cigarettes

Flavoring can change how the brain responds to e-cigarette aerosols that contain nicotine, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Andrea Hobkirk and her team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to understand how the brain's reward areas react to e-cigarette aerosol with and without flavor | News Medical, USA

Key Democrats slam FDA for failing to crack down on Juul and other e-cigarette makers

ongressional Democrats openly pressured acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock to crack down on e-cigarette manufacturers Wednesday, with one powerful lawmaker blasting the agency for what they say is inaction on the issue | STAT News, USA

Alabama mom faces felony for filling doctor’s prescription while pregnant

An Alabama mom battling chronic back pain faces felony charges for refilling her prescription while pregnant – in a case her attorneys say tests the limits of legal protections for women receiving medical care | AL.com, USA

The Naloxone Arms Race Is Headed Nowhere Good

In elementary school, my best friend Celina wanted to be a doctor when she grew up. She loved science, gave her parents impromptu lectures on the orbits of the planets, gathered interesting leaves and inspected wriggly insects under damp clay pots | Filter Magazine, USA

An American History of Drugs and Addiction, Part 7: The Harm Reduction Revolution

Ever since Benjamin Rush asked why there were people living in poverty and identified the cause as the consumption of alcohol leading to the disease of addiction, proponents of that said disease have always maintained its primacy. Addiction is the cause and not the symptom | Mad in America, USA

BC legal cannabis sales grow briskly: report

Cannabis products in BC are getting cheaper and more potent, and its year-over-year sales have doubled between 2019 and 2020, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR). In 2020, sales added up to nearly 8,000 kg of THC—equivalent to approximately 400 million joints (at 20mg of THC each) and accounted for about $290 million in gross revenue | University of Victoria, Canada

Overdoses from cocaine found to contain opioids

NSW Health is warning of the potential dangers from opioids being present in the cocaine currently in circulation around Sydney following recent cases of serious harm and deaths | NSW Government, Australia

The Bulletin - July issue

In uncertain times, change can happen very quickly. According to Tony Duffin, the subject of this edition’s Q&A, in Dublin the waiting time for people needing methadone went from 12–13 weeks to two or three days during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Down under, the recent Federal Budget offered another example of adapting to the uncertainty created by COVID-19: an extension of the Take Home Naloxone (THN) pilot, currently underway in NSW, SA and WA, to the end of June 2022 | Pennington Institute, Australia

October’s Vaping Ban Sees Australia Lag Even Further Behind

Asia Pacific’s leading Tobacco Harm Reduction consumer advocacy group has lashed out at the Australian Federal Government for making it increasingly harder for Australia’s 2.3 million daily smokers to quit cigarettes | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Obituary – Kazim Khan, 1936-2021

Last month saw the peaceful passing at age 85 of Muhammad Amir Kazim Khan, or ‘Kaz’ as he was affectionately known, a gentle giant of aristocratic Indian Raj origins | DDN, UK

It shouldn’t be left to charities to catch the increasing numbers falling through the government’s threadbare safety net

The government has a duty to deliver the public services that guarantee provision and underpin the social fabric that helps prevent mental ill health and addiction in the first place | Politics Home, UK

Could legalising snus tap into a huge potential for smoking cessation?

Two startling statistics emerge from a recent survey of smokers in Europe conducted by ETHRA (European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates): nearly one in three (31%) of current smokers would be interested in trying snus if it became legal, but less than 3% are actually snus users | Tobacco Intelligence, USA