How to read a paper on the short-term impairing effects of cannabis: A selective and critical review of the literature

Author Michael A White, Nicholas R Burns Published August 15, 2022 Abstract The prosecution of cannabis-presence driving offences (in the absence of any behavioural evidence of impairment) is ultimately based on the assumption that there is a tight causal relationship between positive toxicology for cannabis and impairment. The main purpose of this review is to  …


Comparative harms assessments for cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco: Risk for psychosis, cognitive impairment, and traffic accident

Author Petter Grahl Johnstad Published July 25, 2022 Abstract Researchers have associated cannabis use with risk for psychosis, cognitive impairment, and traffic accident. However, this review shows that the association between moderate cannabis use and psychosis is no stronger, and often considerably weaker, than the corresponding association for moderate tobacco use. The same holds for  …


State naloxone co-prescribing laws show mixed effects on overdose mortality rates

Author MaryKate Duska, Jared M. Rhoads, Elizabeth C. Saunders, Tracy Onega Published July 25, 2022 Objective To examine the relative changes in opioid overdose mortality rates between states that have and have not adopted naloxone co-prescribing laws. Methods We performed a synthetic control analysis. National Vital Statistics data for the years 2012–2018 were analysed, and  …


Eating ourselves to death: How food is a drug and what food abuse costs

Author Matthew Robinson Published July 18, 2022 Abstract The objective of this paper is to examine definitions of the terms “drug,” “drug use, “drug abuse,” and “addiction” to determine if the most commonly consumed foods in America are similar or consistent with drug use, abuse, and addiction. The methodology consists of reviewing published studies in  …


The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001: A case study in poor legislative drafting

Author Cathal T Gallagher Published July 11, 2022 Abstract The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDRs) create exemptions to the offences of possession, production, supply, and administration of controlled drugs (CDs), which are necessary to allow healthcare professionals to treat patients without rendering themselves liable to prosecution for various offences under the Misuse of Drugs  …


A critical review of drug testing policy in the Philippines

Authors Carissa Paz Dioquino, Carissa Paz Dioquino Published May 16, 2022 Abstract The drug policy in the Philippines is written as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or Republic Act 9165. Unlike drug policies in other countries, the law includes policies on drug testing. Aside from mandatory drug testing for specific situations, the law  …


Farmability and pharmability: Transforming the drug market to a health-and human rights-centred approach from self-cultivation to safe supply of controlled substances

Authors Fabian Pitter Steinmetz, Maja Kohek Published May 3, 2022 Background The supply chains addressing the global demand for major recreational drugs are hardly addressed due to international contracts, particularly the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Currently applied regulatory changes have several disadvantages ranging from political tensions to the neglect of ecological aspects. The  …


Can psilocybin be safely administered under medical supervision? A systematic review of adverse event reporting in clinical trials

Authors Jeremy Roscoe, Olivia Lozy Published March 16, 2022 Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychoactive chemical produced by various species of mushroom, mainly in the psilocybe genus. Human consumption of psilocybin, primarily for its psychoactive properties, dates back thousands of years (Tylš et al., 2013). It was first isolated in 1958 by Albert Hoffmann, who was later  …


Professional Perspectives on Treatment for Substance Use Disorders with Mental Health Problems

Authors Ben Houghton, Alexis Bailey, Christos Kouimtsidis, Theodora Duka, Caitlin Notley Published November 25, 2021 Background Opioid-related deaths are at record levels in the UK and contribute to over half of all drug-related deaths. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders within people who uses substances is known to be considerably higher than the general population, yet  …


Schedule 1 Barriers to Research in the UK: An In-depth Qualitative Analysis

Authors Annie Howard, Joanna C Neill, Anne Katrin Schlag, Charlotte Lennox Published October 25, 2021 Prior to the 1970s, psychedelics such as LSD were used and researched extensively. However, with the introduction of the UN convention Misuse of Drugs Regulations in 2001, all drugs were placed into one of five categories or ‘schedules’ based on  …


The Cocaine Vape - A concept of a harm reduction device for current users of smokable cocaine forms

Authors Fabian P Steinmetz, Heino Stöver Published October 16, 2021 Although there are great regional differences, smokable forms of cocaine (crack, free-base, paco, etc.) are a drug complex associated with often harmful and problematic drug use patterns. While strategies based on drug prohibition did not eradicate the consumption of smokable cocaine forms, prohibition itself led  …


Facing drug addiction: Vietnam’s struggle with opioids

Authors Dang Minh Hieu, Benjamin Gray, Dang Minh Tuan, Benjamin P Colman Published August 29, 2021 Drug addiction is a historical issue in Vietnam. Although Vietnam has a long history as a producer of opium poppies and crossroads for the illicit drug trade, it now has some of the most stringent drug laws in the  …


“We're asking for quality of life for our children” - Medical cannabis and epilepsy in the UK: A qualitative analysis of the carers’ perspective

Authors Anne Katrin Schlag, Rayyan Zafar, David Nutt Published August 24, 2021 Despite the legalisation of cannabis based medicinal products (CBMPs) in the UK in November 2018, today there remains a scarcity of NHS prescriptions. Because of this many patients continue to face unsustainable financial costs to acquire their medicines. Medical cannabis was legalised in response  …


Managing kratom dependency with Buprenorphine during covid-19: A case report

Authors: Rosalind Gittins & Samantha Cole Published: July 19, 2021 This paper describes a case report where buprenorphine was successfully used for the management of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependency during the Covid-19 pandemic in a specialist community substance misuse treatment service. The individual had a notable iatrogenic dependency on oral over the counter and prescribed  …

Illegal drugs in the UK: Is it time for considered legalisation to improve public health?

Authors: Phil Dalgarno, Steve O’Rawe, Richard Hammersley Published: April 28, 2021 This paper investigates options available to policy makers responding to the challenges of drug use in modern society, focussing on the UK. It investigates the failings of prohibition policy that has driven historic reactions to drugs, drug use and drug users globally, nationally and  …

‘Cannabis’ ontologies I: Conceptual issues with Cannabis and cannabinoids terminology

Authors: Kenzi Riboulet-Zemouli Published: December 29, 2020 Objective Identify a coherent nomenclature for Cannabis sativa L. derived products and their analogues.   Design Research undertaken in parallel to the three-year assessment of Cannabis derivatives by the World Health Organisation. The scope is limited to Cannabis products intended for human incorporation (internal and topical consumption). Primarily  …

Ending the pain of children with severe epilepsy?

Authors: RR Zafar, AK Schlag, DJ Nutt Published: December 9, 2020 An audit of the impact of medical cannabis in 10 patients with severe epilepsy. Background Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggest that whole-plant cannabis extracts are effective in reducing seizure frequency in individuals with a range of epileptic etiologies. We report a case series of  …

2019: A year of expansion in psychedelic research, industry, and deregulation

Authors: Jacob S Aday, Emily K Bloesch, Christopher C Davoli Published: November 25, 2020 Public and scientific interest into psychedelic drugs has grown steadily over much of the last two decades, before an exponential increase in recent years. We contend that 2019, in particular, involved myriad notable changes in the science, industry, and deregulation of  …

Improved colour blindness symptoms associated with recreational psychedelic use

Authors: JEC Anthony, A Winstock, JA Ferris, DJ Nutt Published: November 2, 2020 It is well documented that psychedelic drugs can have a profound effect on colour perception. After previous research involving psychedelic drug ingestion, several participants had written to the authors describing how symptoms of their colour blindness had improved. The Global Drugs Survey  …

Principled sentencing for drug supply offences: Revised methamphetamine sentencing guidelines in New Zealand

Authors: James A Foulds, David Nutt Published: July 27, 2020 Methamphetamine was reclassified as a Class A drug in New Zealand in 2003. This meant harsher sentences for people convicted of its manufacture, importation or supply. Despite this, the number of convictions for methamphetamine-related offending continued to increase. In 2019, the New Zealand Court of  …

Percentages of problem drug use and their implications for policy making: A review of the literature

Authors: Anne Katrin Schlag Published: March 30, 2020 This paper reviews the literature on problem drug use, aiming to answer the question ‘what percentages of drug users are problem drug users?’ We look at the conceptualisation of problem drug use, and related concepts such as addiction and dependence. While conceptually distinct, definitions vary, and terms  …

Alcohol hangover: The health impact with a historic and Chinese perspective

Hangovers represent a major source of distress to the individual and a huge source of economic loss to society. Hangovers and their associated problems have been recognised for thousands of years in both Western and Eastern cultures but only in recent years has there been any scientific research into their mechanisms and treatments. This small  …


Doctor or drug dealer? International legal provisions for the legitimate handling of drugs of abuse

Authors: Cathal T Gallagher, Sanaa K Atik, Libin Isse, Sanpreet K Mann Published: February 3, 2020 In this article, we compare how five jurisdictions (the USA; UK; Canada; New Zealand; and Australia) balance the disparate objectives of preventing the misuse of drugs and allowing their legal use for medical purposes. The statutory law underpinning each  …

Reported effects of psychedelic use on those with low well-being given various emotional states and social contexts

Authors: Natasha L Mason, Patrick C Dolder, Kim PC Kuypers Published: January 30, 2020 Background It has been suggested that the outcome of the psychedelic experience is dependent on set and setting. While scientific research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is growing, it is clear that in clinical populations an optimal set and setting  …