Daily news - 22nd September 2021

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UK news

How to Save a Life – campaign toolkit

Scottish Drugs Forum has now launched the How to Save a Life campaign toolkit. The kit features all materials surrounding the campaign in one place. It includes information on the #StopTheDeaths initiative, information on naloxone and how to use it, useful links, posters and social media content | SDF, UK

National overprescribing review report

The findings and recommendations of the national overprescribing review led by Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England | DHSC, UK

Generation X are heavy, risky drinkers. Will anything ever persuade us to stop?

Alcohol’s allure was powerful when we were growing up and those born after us consume far less. Now booze is falling out of fashion, is it time to assess old habits? | Guardian, UK

Scottish venues told to 'use common sense' on vaccine passports

Nicola Sturgeon has urged venues to use "common sense" when checking vaccine passports, as she set out details of where and when they will be required | BBC, UK

The SSA guide to academic posters

Most academic posters are terrible. There, I said it, and feel better for having done so. So much can go wrong. The text, the graphs, the pt9 font size and a design-by-committee approach running through everything in sight. I remember in-person conferences when I would walk through the poster section full of confusion and wondering ‘what did they do?’ ‘what’s that one even about?’ and ‘what’s in this pastry?’ | SSA, UK

E-Scooter Trials – Intoxicated Riders 

Recent research showed that e-scooter injuries were more likely to happen after riders had consumed alcohol. Please outline steps you are taking, with the Met and London boroughs, in addition to any safeguards e-scooter providers have in place, to ensure that intoxicated individuals are unable to rent e-scooters in the capital? | They work for you, UK

Tragic teen Thomas Brookes spent seven weeks in 'wholly inadequate' accommodation due to 'national scandal' of insufficient secure places, inquest told

A troubled teenager spent almost two months in ‘wholly inadequate’ accommodation because of a nationwide shortage of secure placements, an inquest has heard | Sunderland Echo, UK

Barrow's drug and alcohol rehabilitation service The Well recognised with national award

The Well Communities are a Live Experience Recovery Organisation (LERO) who worked with the county council in identifying those most at risk of dying whilst in the drug addiction recovery services | The Mail, UK

Case study questions: civil society work on the climate crisis

ACEVO is gathering a series of case studies platforming positive climate leadership shown in charities, both environmental and non-environmental organisations | ACEVO, UK

Suffolk Trading Standards seizes illegal cigarettes found in manhole

They were discovered by a tobacco detection dog during a crackdown on shops by Suffolk Trading Standards in Lowestoft and Beccles | BBC, UK


International news

Fighting the Last War: The WHO and International Tobacco Control

Join the online launch of the latest Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) report - from 11.00 to 16.00 BST on Wednesday 27 October 2021, live streamed at events.gsthr.org. Fighting the Last War challenges the direction of travel of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) ahead of the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP 9) | GSTHR, UK

Amazon lobbying Biden administration to make cannabis legal

The company said that a law change would make hiring staff easier | Independent, UK

Religious rehab centres fill gap as Nigeria grapples with soaring drug use

With poverty deepening, state services are failing to cope with rising rates of addiction | Guardian, UK

Edible cannabis toxicity in young-children an-emergent serious public health threat

Mattimoe et al report 6 children with cannabis poisoning. They presented with encephalopathy. Four required hospitalisation. The poisonings were due to the ingestion of cannabis edibles. The authors state that it is an evolving problem | Irish Medical Journal, Ireland

Global bioethical challenges of medicalising psychedelics

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is an emerging psychiatric treatment that is attracting significant scientific, medical, and public attention. Whilst preliminary results from empirical studies are promising, the medical use of these compounds is highly controversial | Journal of Psychedelic Studies, Hungary

Lighting up during lockdown: The effects of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on smoking behaviors among Italian adults

This week, ASHES reviews a study by Giulia Carreras and colleagues that investigated the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the smoking consumption of Italian adults | BASIS, USA

Notes from the Field: Xylazine Detection and Involvement in Drug Overdose Deaths — United States, 2019

Xylazine is a drug used in veterinary medicine as an animal sedative with muscle relaxant and analgesic properties. It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans, in whom it acts as a central nervous system depressant and can cause respiratory depression, slowed heart rate, and hypotension | CDC, USA

Scientists develop 'living nerve circuit' to fight opioid epidemic

In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses, bringing the total of number of deaths from the opioid crisis to half a million over the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control | Medical Xpress, USA

Study: Majority of #alcohol videos on TikTok portray drinking in a positive light

An overwhelming number of popular TikTok videos that reference alcohol focus on its positive associations and ignore the negative ones, according to a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Alcohol is such a problem airlines have added it to safety announcements — and banned it

Air travelers are hearing more than just announcements about seat belts, flotation devices, travel time and masks before they take off. Several airlines have added reminders about their alcohol policy during the pandemic — as in, don’t drink it if they didn’t serve it | Washington Post, USA

More women using cannabis for menopause symptoms

New study documents high percentage of women have tried cannabis to help manage their menopause symptoms | EurekAlert, USA

What Will San Diego’s New “Harm Reduction” Shelter Actually Be Like?

San Diego is building what’s being touted as the city’s first harm reduction-based homeless shelter. The facility, currently under construction in a former Pier 1 Imports store near the downtown area, will provide services related to mental health, trauma and substance use disorders. It’s slated to open in late October or early November | Filter Magazine, USA

Former GOP Rep. Endorses Psilocybin Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Aformer Republican congresswoman is touting the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, sharing the story of how a close family friend was able to recover from alcohol use disorder with the help of psilocybin | Filter Magazine, USA

An update on the evidence for Alcoholics Anonymous participation

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the world’s most widely available and widely used mutual-help program, which has helped countless millions of individuals recover from addiction through its 85-year history. Since researchers began formally studying AA in the late 20th century, however, there has been debate among clinical scientists about its effectiveness. This recently released comprehensive report systematically reviews the science to date on AA, and used rigorous meta-analytic techniques to weigh the evidence | Recovery Research Review, USA

Game-changing hepatitis C testing program awarded $6.5m

A program jointly run by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney will set Australia on a path to eliminate hepatitis C | Mirage, Australia

Injecting hope: A game-changing treatment in the opioid-dependence fight

A new formulation of buprenorphine has recently been launched, and promises to improve the treatment of opioid dependence. This long-acting injectable depot slowly releases over the course of a week or month to block the effects of opioid use | Monash University, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Long NHS waiting lists have led to a dangerous explosion in opiate use

Opiates are very effective at reducing or eliminating physical pain, but they come with risks | Independent voices, UK

Can psychosocial interventions help reduce parental substance use?

Children of parents who use illicit drugs and/or are problematic alcohol users are at an increased risk of adverse life experiences and poor outcomes. These children are more likely to experience hospitalisation in their early life | Mental Elf blog, UK

Criticism of Awakn Treatment Model as Second Clinic Opens for Treating Addiction

Emerging pharmaceutical companies are promising revolutionary treatments for substance misuse based on the brain disease model of addiction (BDMA), in contrast to the historical criminalisation approach of the War on Drugs | Talking Drugs, UK

Does Nicotine Prevent COVID Transmission? France Might Begin Clinical Trials

 Only about 7 percent of smokers were infected while the rate among non-smokers was 400 percent higher. Obviously that's not an endorsement of smoking, smoking kills. It is, like alcohol, a known carcinogen. The benefit, the authors say, is derived from the nicotine, not the cigarettes | Science 2.0, USA