Daily news -20th April 2017

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UK news

Is NICE guidance evidence-bound; can AA plug resource gaps in local treatment systems?

One of 25 cells in the Alcohol Treatment Matrix. Discusses key research relating to the roles of psychosocial therapies in local treatment systems. Twin foci are the research credentials of guidance from the UK’s official health advisory body (NICE) and whether commissioners can rely on mutual aid groups to square the circle of doing more with less | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Children in pubs

This Library Briefing Paper and report looks at alcohol licensing and children | Parliament.uk, UK

Want to give up smoking? NHS launches to campaign to show where you can get help

NHS Wales is launching a campaign to make it easier for people to find help if they want to give up smoking | ITV, UK

Recent ban on smoking in cars with children receives backing from majority of Scottish smokers

Anti-smoking charity, Action on Smoking Health (ASH) Scotland, said that the YouGov survey showed recent legislation and initiatives around smoking and public health were proving “popular” with smokers and non-smokers alike | Herald, UK

Two saved in Yorkshire drug deaths spate

Detectives investigating four drugs-related deaths in South Yorkshire have said two other people were taken "gravely ill" | BBC, UK

Teen death in Deal from prescription drug fentanyl

A teenager was killed by a prescription drug 50 times stronger than heroin, a toxicology report has confirmed | BBC, UK

Say why to drugs: prescription opioids

Podcast | Suzi Cage, UK

May 2017 – Addiction Journal Current Issue

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue | Addiction, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will announce a date for the publication of the tobacco control plan; and if he will take steps to ensure that that plan guarantees adequate and sustainable funding for local smokingcessation services | They work for you, UK

Crayfish may help researchers understand drunkenness

What happens when you get a crayfish wrecked | Economist, UK

Alcohol Research UK & Alcohol Concern merge

This month a merger between Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern was confirmed after the possibility of the move was mooted earlier in the year. The news has most likely prompted many discussions, particularly with regard to how the two organisations and their functions will operate in the future, though the press release states a long term strategy is to be developed over the summer | Alcohol Policy UK, UK


The next item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S5M-03632, in the name of Christine Grahame, on Addaction. The debate will be concluded without any question being put | They work for you, UK

First evidence found that LSD produces 'higher' level of consciousness, scientists claim

However the increased brain activity detected is not actually 'better', according to the researchers | Indeoendent, UK

Psychedelic drugs push the brain to a state never seen before

Measuring neuron activity has revealed that psychedelic drugs really do alter the state of the brain, creating a different kind of consciousness | New Scientist, UK

Microdosing: The Key To Changing The Conversation About Psychedelics?

Unless you’ve spent the last year scoping out your post-apocalyptic home in the wilderness of New Zealand, you’ve likely heard a thing or two about microdosing. Put simply, it’s the act of consuming small doses of psychedelics on a somewhat-consistent basis | Volte Face, UK

Bicycle Day 2017: Amanda Feilding remembers Albert Hofmann

It is 74 years to the day that the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann inadvertently set off on on the world’s first LSD bicycle ride. With Psychedelic Science 2017 kicking off today – featuring presentations on the latest LSD research – Amanda Feilding looks back on her relationship with Albert Hofmann | Beckley Foundation, UK

People Talk About the Experience That Made Them Stop Smoking Weed

Smoking weed is a lot of fun, until it's not. You might have grown up getting high and watched as all your friends slowly put down the papers, or you may well be the person out of your social group who first decided that weed wasn't for you | VICE, UK

Homeless people handed free beer as part of Bud Light campaign

We found several rough sleepers who had been given free cans of Bud Light in Liverpool City Centre | Liverpool Echo, UK

Hepatitis:Written question - 70198

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what consideration he has given to the development of a national plan to increase the number of people tested for hepatitis C | Parliament.uk, UK

‘Welcome to the Wild West’: A postcard from Britain’s most remote pub

It seems unwise to get on the wrong side of people who own guns, particularly when they’re drunk. So I was a tad unnerved when I found myself being confronted by an inebriated deerstalker in a pub recently | Telegraph, UK

Liverpool drugs baron Robert Gerrard jailed after giving himself up

A drugs baron who handed himself in after three years on the run because of the pressures of being one of the UK's most wanted men has been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

What is 420? The meaning and origins behind 'Weed Day'

420 is not the penal code section for marijuana use in California | Independent, UK

Where We're at with the Link Between Cannabis and Psychosis

The studies say one thing, the right-wing press exaggerates that thing, people freak out and we're none the wiser. So what's the latest? | VICE, UK

Congressman says in 5 years every state will be able to 'treat marijuana like it treats alcohol'

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer is bullish on marijuana | Business Insider, UK

Ad linking alcohol to cancer most effective at curbing drinking, study finds

Australian harm-reduction advertisement shows alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream, spreading and causing cancerous cell mutations in the liver | Guardian, UK

ILC 2017: European countries restrict access to life-saving treatment for hepatitis C

A review of recent reimbursement data showed considerable variability in access to direct-acting antiviral therapy based on amount of liver scarring and substance use | EurekAlert, Netherlands

Tobacco - China’s addiction to an outdated and impoverishing economy

Smoking-related diseases are on track to claim more than 200 million lives in China this century, a new joint WHO/UNDP report warns. The majority of these deaths will occur in China’s poorest and most vulnerable communities unless critical steps are taken to reduce China’s dependency on tobacco | WHO, Switzerland

CDC to launch awareness campaign warning of opioid dangers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to launch a new ad campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid addiction | Medical Xpress, USA

Perpetuating stigma or reducing risk? Perspectives from naloxone consumers and pharmacists on pharmacy-based naloxone in 2 states

Little is known about attitudes of pharmacists and consumers to pharmacy naloxone. We examined perceptions and experiences of pharmacy naloxone from people with opioid use disorder, patients taking chronic opioids for pain, caregivers of opioid users, and pharmacists from 2 early pharmacy naloxone adopter states: Massachusetts and Rhode Island | JAPHA, USA

Methods To Prevent HIV: Nevada Installs Syringe Vending Machines To Limit Needle Sharing And Virus Risk

Nevada has become the first state to offer heroin users free syringes dispensed through a vending machine specifically for heroin users, reports NBC News. The service isn’t a free for all and is only available to participants of the Las Vegas Harm Reduction Center’s Trac-B Exchange program | Medical Daily, USA

Using mindfulness to prevent relapse and re-incarceration

About 85% of individuals experiencing incarceration in the United States meet criteria for alcohol or substance use disorders, or have extensive documented drug or alcohol use, which elevates risk for reincarceration | BASIS, USA

The difficult choices: Managing chronic pain while avoiding opioid abuse

Rather than being considered a miracle pill that magically takes away pain, prescription opioids are increasingly being seen as a precursor to heroin addiction and the cause of potentially deadly overdoses themselves | Science Daily, USA

Woman Opens Up About Life With Heroin Addiction In Outspoken Interview

The West Virginian made the powerful statements before being taken to jail | Huffington Post, USA

DHS: Almost as many Americans died of overdose in 2015 as died in Vietnam

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly has largely blamed Latin American drug cartels for the unprecedented 52,000-plus drug overdose deaths in America during 2015 alone, the latest year for which data is available | Brietbart, USA

The fourteen who forgot

A week before his 23rd birthday, Max Meehan and his boyfriend went to a party at one of their favorite gay dive bars in the Back Bay of Boston. Max had a lot to drink. They danced until they were sweaty and smoked too many cigarettes. At some point, Max left the bar, met his dealer around the corner, and bought some heroin | BuzzFeed News, USA

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Has a Synthetic Marijuana Problem

Incarcerated addicts stay ahead of the game by switching to synthetic drugs that won't show up on tests while officials scramble to shut down the supply. Seth Ferranti reports | The Fix, USA

First U.S. drive-through marijuana store to open in Colorado

The first U.S. drive-through marijuana dispensary is set to open on Thursday in a small town in Colorado, a state that has been at the forefront of pot legalization | Reuters, USA

NYC moves to raise cost of cigarettes to nation's highest

It already is the city that never sleeps — and if Mayor Bill de Blasio has his way it will become the city that never smokes | USA Today, USA

New stats reveal overdose battle in BC is getting worse

More stats have been revealed stating that the ongoing overdose battle in BC is not getting better, but continues to climb | Kelowna Now, Canada

800 Australians die per year from prescription drug overdoses, experts say

The number of overdoses from prescription pain killers is on the rise, with 800 Australians dying per year, warn health experts | abc.net.au, Australia

Graphic WA alcohol risk ad hits hard as more choose to drink less

A graphic WA advertisement depicting alcohol spreading in the bloodstream causing cancer has been named the most powerful for making people cut back on their drinking | The West, Australia

2017 Alcohol and Other Drug Excellence and Innovation Awards

The 2017 Alcohol and Other Drug Excellence and Innovation Awards encourage, recognise and celebrate the achievements of the incredible people and organisations that do exceptional work to reduce the harm and impact of alcohol and other drugs in Australia | ADF, Australia

What is fentanyl?

Factsheet | ADF, Australia

AFL and the two-can limit: all bets are not quite off

In its modern history Australia's peak football body hasn't minded blowing up its rituals | Age, Australia

A Church Dedicated To Cannabis Will Open Its Doors Today, On 4/20

Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like, a place where people can smoke some weed. But that isn't how the church's leaders put it | Huffignton Post, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Spice is a terrifying drug, but panic won’t make it go away

Its effects include seizures, near-catatonic trips – and death. Rather than demonising users, we should look at why they are driven to take the drug | Guardian CIF, UK

Don’t evict tenants who smoke. People can’t quit at will

I was outraged when one of my neighbors recently presented my Manhattan co-op board with a petition to prohibit tobacco smoking in the building where I’ve lived happily for 20 years. When my husband and I borrowed money from both of our families to afford the purchase price of our apartment in 1996, I was a two-pack-a-day smoker. If the rules of the building had said no smoking back then, I wouldn’t even have looked at it | Washington Post, USA

Big Tobacco Attacks Sensible F.D.A. Rules on Vaping

As smokers turned to electronic cigarettes to reduce the health risks of smoking, big tobacco companies started buying e-cigarette makers and producing and selling their own | NYTimes Opinion, USA

Alternative to Opioid Addiction Policies: New at Reason

Let doctors exercise their best professional judgment and prescribe opioids—free from the chilling effects created by monitoring government agencies | Reason Blog, USA