Daily news - 7th May 2021

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UK news

Quarterly alcohol-specific deaths in England and Wales: 2001 to 2019 registrations and Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) to Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2020 provisional registrations

Provisional data for England and Wales show there were 7,423 deaths (13.0 per 100,000 people) from alcohol-specific causes registered in 2020, a 19.6% increase compared with 2019 (6,209 deaths; 11.0 per 100,000 people) and the highest annual total in our time-series (beginning in 2001) | ONS, UK

Deaths from alcohol misuse in England and Wales hit 20-year high in 2020

ONS figures show death rate starting to rise at beginning of first lockdown and increasing sharply each quarter | Guardian, UK

Wales' alcohol deaths highest for 20 years

Men in poorer parts of Wales are three times more likely to die from an alcohol-specific condition than men in the wealthiest areas... | BBC, UK

Green shoots: Sowing the seeds of the new UK cannabinoid market (PDF)

Demand for CBD Soars During Lockdown As UK Market Now Estimated at £690 Million [Press release here] | Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, UK

Effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for reducing parental substance misuse

Parental substance use is a substantial public health and safeguarding concern. There have been a number of trials of interventions relating to substance‐using parents that have sought to address this risk factor, with potential outcomes for parent and child | Cochrane Library, UK

Sourcing ‘what works’ evidence from 1 May

From 1 May 2021 Drug and Alcohol Findings will no longer routinely issue updates on research evaluating substance use interventions. This function will instead be provided by the Society for the Study of Addiction. To stay updated Subscribe to the Society's website user mailing list, but also retain your usual contacts with Drug and Alcohol Findings | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Addiction and the Family International Network (AFINet) Webinar Series

18th May 2021, 2pm UK time. Introducing and embedding the 5-Step Method across a national non-statutory health and social care organisation in England: the journey of Turning Point. Lorna Templeton - Independent Research Consultant, Bristol, UK and Jan Larkin - Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Psychology, Turning Point, UK | AFINet, UK

Save The Date! AFINet virtual conference on 9-10 September 2021

AFINet will be holding a virtual conference (2 half days) on 9-10 September 2021. There will be two half-days at different times of the day, which will allow our members and others from various time zones across the world to present and discuss their current work. More details available on the AFINet website  | AFINet, UK

Family support is for men too

Fri, 14 May 2021, 11:00 – 12:00 BST. Alcohol and drug use affects the whole family, but less than 30% of people who come to Scottish Families for support for themselves are men. Talking about a problem is the first step to getting help but it can be hard to know who or what to ask when facing substance use in your family | SFAD, UK

Women in Psychedelic Science - Part 4

Wed, 2 June 2021, 16:00 – 18:00 BST. Part 4 of the Drug Science symposium to showcase the inspiring work of women at the cutting edge of psychedelic science and field work | Drug Science, UK



International news

Alabama House drops resistance, OKs medical marijuana bill

The Alabama House of Representatives has overcome years of resistance in approving medical marijuana legislation | Independent, UK

Regulating Khat Could Disrupt East Africa’s Illegal Drug Economy – Analysis

Different laws and controls among countries in the region allow for a thriving smuggling market | Eurasia Review, Various

New Research Finds Rise of Frequent Cannabis Vaping Among U.S. High School Seniors

Frequent cannabis vaping, defined as vaping at least 10 times a month, more than doubled among high school seniors in the United States between 2018 and 2019, according to new research from NYU Grossman School of Medicine published online May 7 in the Journal of Adolescent Health | CISION PR Newswire, USA

Prevalence of Medical Cannabis Use and Associated Health Conditions Documented in Electronic Health Records Among Primary Care Patients in Washington State

 In this cross-sectional study of 185 565 patients, 2% had past-year medical cannabis use documented in their electronic health records. Among patients with documented medical cannabis use, 44.5% had documented health conditions for which cannabis use might confer benefits, and 54.5% had conditions for which it might confer risks | JAMA Network, USA

Secondhand smoke linked to higher odds of heart failure

Breathing in secondhand cigarette smoke may leave you more vulnerable to heart failure, a condition where the heart isn't pumping as well as it should and has a hard time meeting the body's needs, according to a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 70th Annual Scientific Session | Medical Xpress, USA

MAPS’ Phase 3 Trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD Achieves Successful Results for Patients with Severe, Chronic PTSD

The highly statistically significant results and excellent safety record suggest MDMA-assisted therapy will be an effective treatment for severe, chronic PTSD | MAPS, USA

Cannabis Offers Immediate Nausea Relief, Study Shows

Scientific evidence around the therapeutic benefits of cannabis continues to pile up, confirming what many had found out through years of experimentation and accumulation of anecdotal evidence | Forbes, USA

Patient support program for painful conditions may reduce opioid use

A program that provides ongoing support to patients with painful conditions and complex medication regimens may also help them avoid using potentially risky opioid pain medications, or reduce the amount they use, a new study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

As more states legalize marijuana, people with drug convictions want their records cleared

Michael has struggled with kidney disease since he was in his early 20s serving in the military | PBS News, USA

Just Months Into a Yearlong Pilot, New Zealand Legalizes Drug-Checking

Festival-goers in New Zealand were taking what they thought was pure MDMA. But days after ingestion, the drugs were leading to hundreds of people developing mysterious symptoms like seizures, nausea and anxiety | Filter Magazine, USA

U.S.-Mexico Efforts Targeting Drug Cartels Have Unraveled, Top DEA Official Says

A senior Drug Enforcement Administration official told NPR efforts to target drug cartels operating inside Mexico have unraveled because of a breakdown in cooperation between law enforcement agencies and militaries in the two countries | npr, USA

Hospital visits for substance use increased during the first months of the pandemic

More Canadians required hospital care for harm caused by substances such as alcohol, opioids and stimulants between March and September 2020, compared with the same period in 2019, according to new preliminary data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) | CIHI, Canada

Mom pleads for more addiction services for children after daughter, 12, dies of suspected overdose

Adriana Londono is calling on the provincial government to establish long-term rehab facility for youth | CBC News, Canada

Historic PBS listing for Australians with a rare epilepsy condition

In a historic first, Australians living with a rare form of epilepsy will have access to a medicinal cannabis drug, which is being listed on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the first time Department of Health, Australia

TGA warns consumers about potential harm from unlawfully supplied medicinal cannabis

Currently there is limited evidence about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis for use for different medical conditions. There is also little known about the most suitable doses of individual cannabis products. The TGA has published medicinal cannabis guidance documents to assist doctors in considering medicinal cannabis for the treatment of certain conditions | Mirage, Australia

Pharmacists, GPs Urged to Co-Prescribe Naloxone

Opioid‐related mortality in people taking pharmaceutical opioids for chronic pain is common but can be prevented, say experts | AJP, Australia

Explainer: Vaping among young people across Australia

Parents, school principals, youth centres and researchers have sounded the alarm bell about the rise in young people taking up e-cigarettes across the country | Canberra Times, Australia

‘A disgrace’: Ice inquiry commissioner accuses government of ignoring calls for reform

The commissioner who led the state’s ice inquiry has accused the NSW government of missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity for drug reform and ignoring his recommendations 15 months after handing down a landmark report | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Worrying Surge In Alcohol-Related Deaths

ONS data for 2020 shows a 19.6% increase in alcohol-specific deaths compared to 2019 | Russell Webster, UK

Addiction Professionals in the Pandemic

This was originally published in a recent National Association of Social Workers’ Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug specialty section newsletter. It summarizes our addiction professions in the pandemic series | Recovery Review blog, UK

Why drugs should be not only decriminalised, but fully legalised

The “War on Drugs” has failed. It’s time that governments, not gangsters, run the drug market | New Statesman, UK