Daily news - 1st October 2021

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UK news

First UK study of its kind, led by The University of Salford, reveals the local extent of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

The University of Salford research, led by Professor Penny Cook and commissioned by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, is the first of its kind in the UK. It found that FASD is a significant issue among the population, likely to be as common as autism, despite being rarely diagnosed | University of Salford, UK [Study here]

Threat To Identity Stops Harmful Drinkers Recognising Their Alcohol Issues

Here in the UK, one in five hospital admissions is the result of heavy drinking. Those who drink to the extent of needing medical assistance, as well as those who are caused problems by their own alcohol consumption, are known as harmful drinkers | BPS, UK

Drug-related deaths increase in Cornwall as new substance seen

A warning has been issued over new drugs circulating in Cornwall after a rise in drug-related deaths | BBC, UK

Legal Right to Recovery

The on-going failure of successive Scottish National Party Administrations to tackle a spiralling drug addiction epidemic that is ruining countless lives is a national scandal | They work for you, UK

The WRISK project: Understanding and improving the way risk in pregnancy is communicated to women

WRISK was funded by the Wellcome Trust to explore women’s experiences of risk messaging in pregnancy, and develop recommendations to align public health messages with women’s needs and lived experiences. Principal Investigator Clare Murphy talks to the SSA’s Natalie Davies about the potential unintended consequences of ‘abstinence-only’ messages for pregnant women... | SSA, UK

Humankind’s community members travel over 1,000 miles together in celebration of Recovery Month

Staff, volunteers, and people who use Humankind’s services have joined together at a range of events, including walks, bicycle rides, community litter picks, and step-challenges to recognise the achievements of close to 30,000 people who access Humankind’s recovery services each year | Humankind, UK

Alcohol addiction: Newport woman's story of lockdown drinking and recovery

"In two days I would get through a litre of vodka and four bottles of wine. Easily | BBC, UK

'World-first' anti-cocaine spray deterring use of drugs in pubs and clubs rolled out in Darlington

The anti-cocaine spray aims to deter drug-taking in pubs and clubs | Chronicle, UK

Licensing laws: Extended pub opening times come into effect in NI

Pubs and nightclubs in Northern Ireland will be able to stay open longer after changes to liquor licensing laws come into effect today | BBC, UK

Gambling-related harms: evidence review

A review looking at the prevalence, risk factors and public health harms associated with gambling and the economic and social burden | PHE, UK


International news

Alcohol marketing during the 2020 Six Nations Championship: A frequency analysis (PDF)

Alcohol marketing appeared frequently in televised broadcasts of the 2020 Six Nations Championship. The data have mixed implications for Ireland’s scheduled restrictions on advertising during sporting events | IAS, SHAAP, Alcohol Action Ireland, UK and Ireland

Using Mendelian randomization to explore the gateway hypothesis: possible causal effects of smoking initiation and alcohol consumption on substance use outcomes

[Open access] Initial use of drugs such as tobacco and alcohol may lead to subsequent more problematic drug use—the ‘gateway’ hypothesis. However, observed associations may be due to a shared underlying risk factor, such as trait impulsivity. We used bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) to test the gateway hypothesis | Addiction, UK

Australian vaping law changes: e-cigarette users now need a doctor’s prescription

New laws aim to curb the use of vapes among young people, but concerns are already being raised about websites aiming to get around them | Guardian, UK

Decolonising Drug Policy: British Policing, the War on Drugs and the Everyday Impacts of Colonialism

Oct 20, 2021 01:00 PM in London. This webinar will explore the colonial origins of British policing and trace these legacies into contemporary conversations about the war on drugs, carcerality and racist state violence. We will explore alternatives to punishment and policies that are grounded in principles of decoloniality and abolition | Release, UK

Drugnet Europe - September

Latest edition of EMCDDA's monthly news roundup | EMCDDA, Portugal

Notes from the Field: E-Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — National Youth Tobacco Survey, United States, 2021

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youths. In 2020, an estimated 3.6 million (13.1%) U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days (current use); more than 80% of current users reported flavored e-cigarette use | CDC, USA

Big drop in US teen vaping seen with COVID school closures

Teen vaping plummeted this year as many U.S. students were forced to learn from home during the pandemic, according to a government report released Thursday | Medical Xpress, USA

Not just a virus: How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted behavioral causes of death in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted people’s lifestyles and typical behaviors. In the United States, emergency department visits for mental health conditions, suicide attempts, all drug and opioid overdoses, intimate partner violence, and child abuse and neglect were higher in March-October 2020 compared with the same period in 2019 | BASIS, USA

House Votes to Equalize Sentencing for Crack and Powder Cocaine

On September 28, the US House of Representatives approved a bill to make punishments for federal crack cocaine charges the same as those for powder cocaine | Filter Magazine, USA

Nicotine vapes are about to become illegal without a prescription. But will it stop young people from buying them?

In July last year, Varun* started noticing a trend among his mates. People he'd never seen smoking before were suddenly walking around with clouds of vapour around their heads | Triple J Hack, Australia

Fewer suicides, but alcohol-related deaths rose in first pandemic year

Australia’s suicide rate fell to its lowest level in years in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, with experts pointing to increased government support payments keeping people out of poverty and more people being able to get help before they hit crisis points | SMH, Australia

Controversial SA youth drug laws set to come into force

Potential “life-saving” laws that give the Youth Court the power to detain drug-dependent children for treatment will be enforced later this year, but under a different model to what the Marshall Government promised ahead of the last state election | InDaily, Australia

An evaluation of the therapeutic value, benefits and risks of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin for the treatment of mental, behavioural or developmental disorders

There has been increasing interest in the use of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin in the treatment of mental, behavioural or developmental disorders. Although there have been several recent systematic reviews, studies and participants have been limited, and the field is rapidly evolving with the publication of more studies | TGA, Australian Government, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Responding to the Scottish Lord Advocate's statement on drugs

It was great to see Dorothy Bain QC using her first interaction with the Scottish Parliament to support the extension of police warnings and possible diversion for those caught in possession of a controlled drug | Talking Drugs, UK

Cannabis products are being sold as sleep remedies – here’s the evidence about their effectiveness

Problems with sleep are common. In recent research, 48% of UK adults said sleeping badly had a negative effect on their mental health. For teenagers, this proportion was significantly higher – 66% | Conversation, UK

Lessons for cannabis regulation from the illicit tobacco trade

Since 2013, a number of countries and local jurisdictions around the world have legalised and regulated their cannabis supply chains for non-medical use. Lawmakers, regulators, researchers, and advocates continue to design, enact, implement and revise regulatory frameworks for medical and recreational cannabis. And yet lessons from regulating other psychoactive substances, including tobacco products, are not always fully considered | Transform blog, UK