Daily news - 13th October 2021

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UK news

Concern regarding undiagnosed liver disease in the North East after one in five people scanned by charity need further tests

One in five adults in the North East could have undiagnosed liver disease, the British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver mobile screening and scanning unit found after visiting the region in September | British Liver Trust, UK

Comparative clinical effectiveness and safety of tobacco cessation pharmacotherapies and electronic cigarettes: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

[Open access] Most tobacco cessation monotherapies and combination therapies are more effective than placebo at helping participants to achieve sustained abstinence, with varenicline appearing to be most effective based on current evidence | Addiction, UK

Comprehensive Spending Review 2021

We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2021 setting out government’s spending priorities for the next three years and in particular the aim of ensuring strong and innovative public services for all. A spending review that takes a 3 year approach should enable local areas to implement longer lasting change for people facing multiple disadvantage | MEAM, UK

Can the UK turn over a new leaf on cannabis?

As the legislation of cannabis continues to move towards wider decriminalisation in the US and Europe, Dario Sabaghi examines the obstacles it faces in the UK | Rolling Stone, UK

Blackburn with Darwen: £2.7m plan to tackle drug and alcohol addiction

As well as clinical and medical interventions the blueprint will incorporate measures to find addicts employment, training, education and provide support within family life | Lancashire Telegraph, UK

Build A BIGGER Table With ARCO

Fri, 19 November 2021, 10:30 – 12:30 GMT. If you are interested or curious about ARCO please join us for this opportunity to connect, collaborate and discuss how we can better support your RCO | FAVOR, UK

Consultation Event – A National Care Service for Scotland

Tuesday 19th October 2021, 13.00 – 14.30. This event will be addressed by one of the Scottish Government team working on the development and consultation on the National Care Service in addition there will be contributions from the drug and alcohol sector and  questions from the audience | SDF, UK

Anti-drugs spray on trial in pubs leaves cocaine users in sticky situation

[Limited number of free articles per week] Some Durham nightspots that have deployed the BLOKit coating claim to have seen an 80 per cent reduction in drug-taking | Telegraph, UK

Operation Dealbreaker: Drugs disguised as sweets seized by police

Police have recovered drugs worth more than £1.34m, some disguised as sweets, over a two-week period | BBC, UK

Delivery driver killed cyclist while high on drugs

Jonathon Ramsbottom, from Rochdale, collided head-on with Stephen White in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, in May 2020 | BBC, UK


International news

‘Dangerous data’: drinking after dependence part 6. Evidence accumulates and expert opinion converges

The heat dies down as it becomes clearer that neither controlled drinking nor abstinence has a definitive advantage as a treatment goal, and as evidence emerges about what types of patients do better with either strategy | SSA, UK

Humans used tobacco 12,300 years ago, new discovery suggests

Four charred tobacco plant seeds found in an ancient Utah fireplace suggest early Americans may have been using the plant 12,300 years ago | BBC, UK

New psychoactive substances in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Wed, 20 October 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 BST. According to the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, ‘there has been an unprecedented increase in the number, type and availability of new psychoactive substances [NPS] in Europe’. This is particularly true in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where anecdotal reports indicate NPS use is growing, creating new challenges for health and drug services. This webinar will present the findings of the first detailed multi-country study of NPS use and markets in the region | Swansea University, UK

Awareness of alcohol marketing one year after initial implementation of Ireland’s Public Health (Alcohol) Act and during the COVID-19 pandemic

[Open access] The Republic of Ireland is introducing new controls on alcohol marketing, starting in November 2019 with restrictions on some outdoor and cinema advertising, and a ban on public transport advertising. We examined changes in marketing awareness one year after initial implementation and during the COVID-19 pandemic | Journal of Public Health, Ireland

F.D.A. Authorizes E-Cigarettes to Stay on U.S. Market for the First Time

[Limited number of free articles per month] The agency approved three Vuse vaping products and said their benefits in helping smokers quit outweighed the risks of hooking youths | NYTimes, USA

Mapping the shifting opioid epidemic to aid public health efforts

Combining emergency medical services and vital statistics data, a new study led by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine provides a unique view of the opioid overdose epidemic in an urban area. The study identifies neighborhoods with the highest risk of overdose and other drug-related disorders, as well as supports efforts for targeted public health interventions | Medical Xpress, USA

The DRAM, Vol. 17(11) - College: A time to drink with friends or a time to drink because of friends?

While heavy drinking on college campuses is a well-known public health issue, parents, administrators, and public health officials still struggle to sort through all the possible causes of this phenomenon. Due to the significant health and safety consequences of heavy drinking, particularly in student populations, this is an important research avenue | BASIS, USA

Fentanyl Batches I Have Known in Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada often seems to get left out of discussions of our country’s ongoing drug-poisoning crisis. Yet recorded overdose deaths in Nova Scotia alone increased to almost 100 last year. Society continues to brush them off, while people who use opioids and other drugs are denied effective treatment and left to try unregulated “down,” AKA fentanyl | Filter Magazine, USA

Health Canada Is Poised to Take a Disastrous Wrong Turn on Vaping

The Canadian government recently consulted on its proposals for regulating—read:banning—flavors used in vaping products. Its supposed justifications include a perceived increase in youth vaping exposing young people to harm, and the notion that vaping is a “gateway” into cigarette smoking l | Filter Magazine, USA

Fentanyl accounts for two-thirds of 2021 confirmed overdose deaths in Sask.: coroner

There have been 132 confirmed drug toxicity deaths in Saskatchewan as of Oct. 4, 2021, according to the Saskatchewan Coroners Service | CTV News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Jitesh’s story: “There is no shame in struggling with your drinking”

In this blog, Jit shares his experiences with alcohol and how his own struggles inspired him to start a community outreach project to help others | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

How would sport be different if everyone was allowed to dope?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts | Guardian, UK

Why it’s time to treat medicinal cannabis as an alternative therapy, not a pharmaceutical

The recent approval of two domestically produced cannabidiol (CBD) oil products – non-intoxicating cannabis compounds – may have provided new optimism to patients on cannabis prescriptions. Slow progress with product approvals had meant some patients had feared they would need to turn to the black market | Conversation, New Zealand