Daily news - 13th September 2021

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UK news

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to implement the recommendation from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health to make the route to medicinal licensing fit-for- purpose to allow e-cigarettes to be authorised for NHS prescription | They work for you, UK

Oral Tobacco

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will undertake a comparative assessment of the scientific evidence on the impact on health of (a) the use of smokeless tobacco products, such as Swedish snus and (b) smoking as part of the Tobacco and Related Products Review | They work for you, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many drug finds in prisons there have been in the (a) two year before and (b) two years since the launch of the National Prison Drug Strategy in April 2019 | They work for you, UK

Hospitality Industry: Coronavirus

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on reducing the level of (a) duty on drinks and (b) VAT on food in pubs and restaurants to help support the recovery of those businesses from the covid-19 outbreak | They work for you, UK

Stop the Deaths: Drug Related Deaths In Scotland

The Scottish government has announced that they will be introducing Drug Consumption Rooms in an attempt to get to grips with the ongoing drug crisis in Scotland | Volteface, UK

Addictions, Poverty, Housing and Homelessness – we have rights, right?

Over the last 2 years our campaign work has taken us in directions we never expected. One of those paths led to working with new partners, including Shelter Scotland, to ensure people suffering from an addiction didn’t face the choice between residential rehabilitation  or their home | FAVOR, UK

World Suicide Prevention Day

Each year the 10 September marks World Suicide Prevention Day. John Robins outlines why this issue remains important for addiction treatment services and for people who use drugs. He also discusses what steps can be taken to help prevent suicide | SSA, UK

Nitrous oxide: How to take laughing gas as safely as possible

Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, has become popular in recent years | Metro, UK

Schools asked to support survey on Smoking Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England

NHS Digital is calling on selected secondary schools across England to take part in a statistical survey that will measure the use of alcohol, nicotine and drugs in young people | NHS Digital, UK

Recovery Games 2021 Grand Finale

Thu, September 30, 2021, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM BST. Join us for the Recovery Games 2021 Awards Ceremony and Celebration on Thursday, September 30 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. (UK Time) | Recovery Games, UK

Six men arrested in £160m cocaine haul off Plymouth coast

Six men including a Briton have been arrested off the coast of Plymouth after authorities seized more than two tonnes (2,000kg) of cocaine | BBC, UK

Illegal cigarettes hidden in Rugby drain

Footage shows the moment a sniffer dog discovers thousands of illegal cigarettes and tobacco hidden in a drain | BBC, UK


International news

Ecstasy, LSD and magic mushrooms: are these drugs the future of therapy? - podcast

Scientists treating depression and a range of other mental illnesses have been running controlled trials using MDMA and psychedelic drugs such as LSD and the results have been encouraging | Guardian, UK

Cannabis companies’ ‘green rush’ goes up in smoke

[Limited number of free articles per week] After legalisation in Canada, the big push into Europe has failed to take root | Telegraph, UK

El Chapo's wife due to be sentenced as role of women in deadly Mexican cartels grows

[Limited number of free articles per week] Her hearing comes as several high profile cases exposed how women are playing increasingly prominent roles in Latin American drug cartels | Telegraph, UK

In memoriam — His Excellency Dr Jorge Sampaio

It was with great sadness that the EMCDDA learned today of the passing of His Excellency Dr Jorge Sampaio, former President of the Portuguese Republic | EMCDDA, Portugal

FDA Makes Significant Progress in Science-Based Public Health Application Review, Taking Action on Over 90% of More Than 6.5 Million ‘Deemed’ New Tobacco Products Submitted

On this day last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration faced the unprecedented task of reviewing applications for over 6.5 million “deemed” new tobacco products – many of which were already on the market. A majority of the applications submitted by a court-ordered deadline of Sept. 9, 2020, were for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products, such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids, which had never been through the FDA review process | FDA, USA

Polysubstance Use Among Patients Treated With Buprenorphine From a National Urine Drug Test Database

In this cross-sectional study of 150 000 urine specimens from patients prescribed buprenorphine, nearly half of patients tested positive for at least 1 nonprescribed substance. Compared with patients whose specimens were not positive for buprenorphine, those with positive specimens had significantly lower odds of testing positive for most nonprescribed substances, with the strongest associations for fentanyl and heroin | JAMA Network open, USA

Only a minority of those with alcohol use disorders receives medication

Only a minority of Swedes with alcohol use disorders are prescribed alcohol medication, a situation that has remained largely unchanged in the country since the mid-2000. That is according to a study at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence | Medical Xpress, USA

Social support reduces genetic risk factors that can lead to alcohol use problems

The study, which was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, found that the combination of genetic predisposition and personality type can lead to problematic alcohol consumption. Having strong social support from friends protected against excessive drinking | Medical Xpress, USA

Drugs that mimic effects of cigarette smoke reduce SARS-CoV-2's ability to enter cells

Researchers have identified a potential reason why lower numbers of COVID cases have appeared amongst smokers compared to non-smokers, even as other reports suggest smoking increases severity of the disease | Medical Xpress, USA

Thailand Legalizing Opioid-Like Herb Spurs Rush of Online Sales

Entrepreneur Sittichai Komam didn’t waste time once Thailand in late August decriminalized kratom, a coffee-like plant native to Southeast Asia that can give users a mild high. Within hours, Sittichai was on Facebook selling freshly picked kratom leaves, sourced from his neighborhood in southern Thailand, to local consumers | Bloomberg, USA

'It's Social Murder.' How the Major Parties Will Combat Canada's Overdose Crisis

Over 22,000 Canadians have died of a drug overdose since 2016. Here's the Liberal, Conservative, and NDP plans to tackle the crisis | VICE, Canada

Drug criminalization causing overdose epidemic: lawsuit

The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs is suing Ottawa, saying laws criminalizing the drugs behind the overdose crisis are unconstitutional | Times Colonist, Canada

Addiction specialists accused of 'massive conflict of interest' for ties to drug-testing industry

No doctor who profits from drug testing should assess workers with substance use disorders, nurses' groups say | CBC News, Canada

‘Healthy’ alcohol ads are grossly misleading: Cancer Council

Alcoholic drinks that claim to be healthier, more natural, “cleaner” and free of carbohydrates and guilt might be misleading consumers, the Cancer Council has warned | The New Daily, Australia

Strategies to maximise study retention and limit attrition bias in a prospective cohort study of men reporting a history of injecting drug use released from prison: the prison and transition health study

There are significant challenges associated with studies of people released from custodial settings, including loss to follow-up in the community. Interpretation of findings with consideration of differences between those followed up and those not followed up is critical in the development of evidence-informed policies and practices | BMC Medical Research Methodology, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

10 | Clive Bates on the E-Cigarette Revolution - podcast

In the early 2000s, Clive Bates was one of Britain's foremost advocates against cigarette smoking and Big Tobacco. Today he is one of the world's foremost proponents of e-cigarettes as a way to help people quit smoking and reduce the harms caused by combustible cigarettes | Psychoactive, USA

Opioids and Cigarettes Are Both Harmful, but Opioids Have Valid Medical Uses

We mustn't apply the same harm reduction strategies to both | Scientific American opinion, USA

The Role of Pharmacists and Prescription Monitoring Programs in Stemming the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid crisis continues to be a public health threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70.6% of all overdose deaths are attributed to opioids | Pharmacy Times view, USA

9/11 and Drug History: An Interview with Dr. Samuel R. Friedman

On the morning of September 11, 2001, recent health problems forced Dr. Samuel R. Friedman to get a blood test before going to work. That meant he didn’t catch the train from New Brunswick to New York until a little before 9 am... | Points blog, USA