Daily news - 11th May 2021

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UK news

Parents with alcohol and drug problems: guidance for adult treatment and children and family services

This planning and operational guidance is for directors of public health and commissioners and providers of adult alcohol and drug treatment and children and family services. The guidance outlines the main issues for families affected by parental alcohol and drug problems and shows how services can work together to support them | PHE, UK

Parents with alcohol and drug problems: using case studies to estimate the cost-benefit of interventions

This guidance supports local areas, organisations and providers that have collected, or intend to collect, case studies to estimate how much social and economic cost they can avoid by supporting families experiencing alcohol and drug problems | PHE, UK

Parents with alcohol and drug problems: support resources

A toolkit containing guidance, data and other resources to support professionals who are helping families affected by parental alcohol and drug problems | PHE, UK

Parents with problem alcohol and drug use - evidence slide pack

Supporting children and families experiencing problem parental alcohol and drug use | PHE, UK

Drug checking service influences future behaviour, first ever follow up survey reveals

More than 90% of participants who completed a follow up survey to a drug checking service said the intervention influenced their subsequent behaviour, new research by the University of Liverpool reveals | University of Liverpool, UK

Drug Harm Reduction Advice Works Better Than Just Doing Nothing, Research Finds

New research published today indicates that significant numbers of people who use drug checking services at UK festivals have reported ongoing behavioural change when using illegal substances | VICE, UK

Is disinvestment from alcohol and drug treatment services associated with treatment access, completions and related harm? An analysis of English expenditure and outcomes data

[Open access] The positive impact of substance use treatment is well‐evidenced but there has been substantial disinvestment from publicly funded treatment services in England since 2013/2014. This paper examines whether this disinvestment from adult alcohol and drug treatment provision was associated with changes in treatment and health outcomes... | DAR, UK

Strangers drinking alcohol together move closer every three minutes

[Limited number of free articles per week] Study suggests there may be truth in claim people become less likely to socially distance in pubs as they become inebriated | Telegraph, UK

We need to talk about…The purpose of drug treatment

Who exactly is drug treatment designed to benefit? asks Nick Goldstein | DDN, UK

Ethical Implications of Psychedelics - video of webinar

In this Drug Science webinar, part of the inaugural Student Psychedelic Conference, Eddie Jacobs introduces some of the ethical dimensions of bringing psychedelic-assisted therapy into the fold as part of our approach to treating mental health conditions | Drug Science, UK

EXCLUSIVE: North East politicians urged to attend first-of-its-kind summit on Dundee drug deaths

Politicians from across the north east have been urged to attend a first of its kind cross-party summit to tackle Dundee's drug deaths crisis | Courier, UK

In five years UoM has fined almost 600 students in its ‘zero-tolerance drugs policy’

Up to £146,000 was collected in fines over five years but just £1,000 was spent last year on drug education | The Tab, UK

Rise in alcohol related deaths

A Cumbrian addiction help service leader has said that more needs to be done to break the stigma around alcoholism after the Office for National Statistics released data that said alcohol related deaths reached an all-time high in England and Wales last year | Times and Star, UK

Test and treat Hepatitis C campaign at HMP Exeter a HITT

Last week, every prisoner in HMP Exeter was offered testing to see if they have the potentially life-shortening Hepatitis C, as part of the largest programme to eliminate the virus in Europe | Practice Plus Group, UK

BBC Panorama: Following the police taking on UK drug gangs

For a year, Panorama followed Kent Police as it tried to disrupt networks of dealers, known as "county lines", that transport drugs worth millions of pounds from London to towns across their county | BBC, UK

Shaun Ryder: ‘I was a heroin addict for 20-odd years, but there’s been no damage off that’

From ADHD to alopecia and learning the alphabet at 28, the Happy Mondays singer has had a wild, eventful life. He discusses hedonism, parenting – and why he has to spend so much time correcting Bez | Guardian, UK


International news

Addiction and the Family International Network: Richard Velleman talks to the SSA

“Family members are hugely neglected. They’re neglected in treatment, very commonly treatment deliberately excludes family members, but if they do include them, they do it reluctantly or they involve them as a means of influencing the drinker or drug taker or gambler” | SSA, UK

Why does Ireland continue to have a high level of alcohol use? - audio

In this episode, Eunan McKinney discusses with Dr Deirdre Mongan and Anne Doyle, Research Officers within the HRB National Drugs & Alcohol Strategies team, the detail of the HRB's recently published Overview Series: Alcohol consumption, alcohol related harm and alcohol policy in Ireland | The Alcohol File, Ireland

Exploring drug supply, associated violence and exploitation of vulnerable groups in Denmark

This report provides an analysis of current drug supply models and the related violence and exploitation of vulnerable groups in Denmark. Recent years have seen a growth in criminals’ exploitation of vulnerable groups for drug-related crimes | EMCDDA, Portugal

MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) presents a major public health problem for which currently available treatments are modestly effective. We report the findings of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-site phase 3 clinical trial to test the efficacy and safety of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted therapy for the treatment of patients with severe PTSD... | Nature, USA

Almost Half of Bulgarians Are Smokers Shows Survey

Between 45.7 and 50.4 per cent of Bulgaria's youth use tobacco products, the Smoke Free Life Coalition said, quoting a survey by the BlueLink Foundation | Big News Network, USA

Patient-Reported Outcomes of Treatment of Opioid Dependence With Weekly and Monthly Subcutaneous Depot vs Daily Sublingual Buprenorphine

In this open-label randomized clinical trial of 119 participants, the mean Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication global score was significantly higher in the group receiving depot buprenorphine than in the group receiving sublingual buprenorphine at week 24 | JAMA Network, USA

Initiative Aims to Increase Methadone, Bupe Access in Pennsylvania Jails

Jerome Maynor, 71-year-old Black man with opioid use disorder (OUD), was prescribed methadone. His medication was working for him and he was stably employed. Suddenly, parole infraction got him thrown back in jail | Filter Magazine, USA

NIH awards Marshall University professor $1.8 million for nicotine addiction research

Brandon J. Henderson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has been awarded a Research Project Grant (R01), one of the most competitive grants issued by the National Institutes of Health | EurekAlert, USA

“END ENDS” Bill Would Cap Nicotine Levels in Vapes, Encourage Smoking

On May 7, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois reintroduced his END ENDS Act—a federal bill that would cap e-cigarette nicotine levels at 20 milligrams per milliliter | Filter Magazine, USA

Opioid Crisis: Filmmaker Details The Medical System's 'Crime Of The Century'

The opioid crisis in the U.S. has never gone away. Almost every year, more people die of opioid overdoses than in the year before | npr, USA

COVID-19: Focus on Substance Use and Stigma

The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious negative consequences for people who use drugs and other substances | Government of Canada, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug Checking – The Evidence is Building!

Drug checking has a rich history spanning over six decades. A first wave of ‘street drug analysis’ and ‘acid rescue’ emerged in the US and the Netherlands in the late 60s and early 70s; followed by a second wave of drug checking associated with ecstasy and other dance drugs in Europe from the 80s onwards; and a third wave of ‘safety testing’ introduced in the UK, Australasia, North and South America in recent years in response to the growth of New Psychoactive Substances | Drug Science, UK

The UN drugs debate goes virtual: Greater inclusion but common divisions

Instead of gathering in-person in Vienna for the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), this year the majority of participants – including government officials, UN staff and civil society – joined the “hybrid” event online for the first ever time | IDPC, UK

People recover from addiction. They also go on to do good things

The news about addiction — rising rates of addiction, record numbers of overdose deaths, and the like — tends to be bleak. As clinicians and researchers, however, we have the good fortune to often see its bright side: recovery | STAT News opinion, USA

What should we do with objectionable findings?

I recently came across a couple of items responding to reactions to research findings that were considered objectionable | Recovery Review blog, USA

Ottawa’s tobacco tax should reflect the different health risks of vapes

In its budget statement, the federal government announced that it would introduce a special excise levy on vaping products in 2022. At the present time no such levy is imposed, even though several provincial governments have introduced levies on each millilitre sold (e.g. Nova Scotia) or special sales taxes (e.g. British Columbia) | Globe and Mail, Canada

Conflating drug use and criminality is reinforcing racism in the courts

When substance use is misleadingly linked to criminality by legal teams, it underlines the bias against addiction – and helps perpetuate racism | Policy Options, Canada