Daily news - 8th February 2017

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UK news

'I was addicted to prescription drugs' - video

Could the prescription drug addiction problem sweeping the United States be replicated in the UK? BBC Newsnight speaks to people who have struggled with addiction - and those offering help and support. [Harry Shapiro of DrugWise featured] | BBC, UK

Alcohol-related deaths in the UK: registered in 2015

Deaths caused by diseases known to be related to alcohol consumption, such as cirrhosis of the liver | ONS, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: February 2017 data update

The Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England quarterly data update for February 2017 | PHE, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE): February 2017 data update

The Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) data update for February 2017 | PHE, UK

The adherance to UK legislation by online shops selling NPS

On the 26th of May 2016, the UK Government introduced the Psychoactive Substances Act, 2016. The aim of this short report is to explore online shops selling New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) stated motivations for closing and the changes that arose preceding the ban | DEPP, UK

Safer consumption facility would provide substantial financial gain for services

The draft, full business case for Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) proposed safer consumption facility for heroin users has found that public injecting of drugs places considerable financial costs on the health, social care and criminal justice systems | SDF, UK

Transgender inclusion in alcohol and drug services

We conducted research in partnership with North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership and North Aryshire Health and Social Care Partnership into trans people’s use of alcohol or other drugs. The survey asked people to tell us about their use of alcohol or other drugs, as well as their concerns about or experiences of using specialist recovery or addiction services | Scottish Trans.org, UK

Drink, doctors and medications

Lessons of the last five instalments of the free online course on alcohol treatment research, all on the treatment in a medical context or involving medical care. The evidence leads us to see medications in the context of the practitioners delivering them, managements and organisations which shape the therapeutic environment, and the local treatment system which provides preparatory, supportive and follow-on care | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Long-term vaping 'far safer than smoking' says 'landmark' study

"Vaping has been endorsed by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers," ITV News reports | NHS Choices: behind the headlines, UK

Switching from smoking to vaping does reduce your carcinogens

Are electronic cigarettes really any safer than smoking? A study that looked at the amount of cancer-causing chemicals in smoker’s bodies suggests yes | New Scientist, UK

Campaign Launches to Highlight Benefits of Quitting Smoking Before Surgery

Surgeons are being urged to encourage patients to improve their survival chances by quitting smoking ahead of surgery. The campaign has been launched by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) with the support of the health charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) | Royal College Surgeons of Edinburgh, UK

Smoking: Children and Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to include steps to tackle smoking prevalence among children and young people in the Government's planned Tobacco Control Plan | They work for you, UK

Lancashire mother and daughter speak out against former 'legal high' drugs

A mother and daughter from Lancashire are speaking out about the dangers what until recently were called called legal highs, after 15-year-old Sharon Monks was left fighting for her life in hospital | ITV, UK

Decriminalising and legalising drugs: families' perspectives

[Survey] Adfam is researching the views of family members on the decriminalisation and legalisation of drugs; we have put together a short survey and are looking for anyone who has been affected by a loved one’s substance use to fill it in. The survey is open until Friday 17 March 2017. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete | Adfam, UK

Heavy smokers needed for paid drug research at UCL [links to email address]

We are looking for people who smoke cigarettes every day to take part in a study at UCL investigating the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on nicotine withdrawal. This study involved ONE session where you smoke as normal (1.5h) and TWO sessions (~4h) where we will ask you not to smoke for 12 hours before the sessions – on these sessions you will be given either CBD or placebo across the two weeks | UCL, UK

One road to Recovery: campaigners agree coalition to fight drug policies

Scotland’s most influential grassroots drugs reform campaigners have vowed to work together to help change the national approach | Positively Scottish, UK

Drug raids prompted by rise in class A drug use concern

A raid was carried out on 14 addresses by 300 officers on Tuesday, prompted by concerns over a rise in the use of class A drugs. Gwent Police's Ch Insp Matthew Williams told BBC Wales members of the public and agencies had highlighted issues in Newport, leading to one of the force's biggest ever operations | BBC, UK

Legoland find cannabis grown in derelict cottage near theme park

A cannabis farm has been discovered inside a derelict cottage on the grounds of Legoland theme park | BBC, UK


International news

Man charged after €500,000 Dublin heroin find

A 27-year-old man has been charged in connection with the seizure of €500,000 worth of heroin in Dublin on Monday | BBC, UK

E-cigarettes act as gateway to smoking for teens, scientists warn 

Vaping acts as a gateway to smoking, scientists have warned, after finding teenagers who used e-cigarettes were four times more likely to start smoking tobacco within a year | Telegraph, UK

Swedes warned snus tobacco raises diabetes risk

Researchers in Sweden have issued a warning over snus - the country's favourite nicotine hit - challenging claims it is a risk-free alternative to smoking | BBC, UK

Liquor authority approved licences for people with criminal histories, review finds

Auditor general finds Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation did not properly assess applicants | Guardian, UK

Supervised injecting facilities approved at Cabinet

The Cabinet has approved the introduction of legislation to establish supervised injecting facilities for drug users | RTe, Ireland

Ireland’s first Supervised Injecting Facility to provide safe harbour and medical help for chronic drug users

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne today (Tuesday) welcomed the Government’s decision to approve the publication of the Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017 | Department of Health, Ireland

Irish Cancer Society slow to endorse vaping

Health experts may have given vaping the thumbs up for ex-smokers, but they stopped short of saying e-cigarettes are safe to use, the Irish Cancer Society has warned | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Dog walker dodges €4k fouling fine due to drug-filled syringes scattered through park

The dog walker said that the animal’s droppings were within a “hair’s breadth” of a syringe | Journal, Ireland

Mixing opioids and alcohol may increase likelihood of dangerous respiratory complication

Taking one oxycodone tablet together with even a modest amount of alcohol increases the risk of a potentially life-threatening side effect known as respiratory depression, which causes breathing to become extremely shallow or stop altogether, reports a study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology | Medical Xpress, USA

Rewards treat alcohol abuse in those with mental illness

Researchers at Washington State University have shown that offering prizes - from simple shampoo to DVD players - can be an effective, low-cost treatment for alcohol abuse, the nation's third leading preventable cause of death | Medical Xpress, USA

Study: Toxic metals found in e-cigarette liquids

A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found high levels of toxic metals in the liquid that creates the aerosol that e-cigarette users inhale when they vape | Medical Xpress, USA

Radio Program 'In Your Right Mind' Explores Abstinence vs. Harm Reduction in a New Broadcast on 790 AM KABC

The program, which explored two of the primary addiction recovery strategies  abstinence and harm reduction — aired Sunday, Feb. 5 | PRNewswire, USA

Stereotypes shackle recovering drug users

A study led by University of Queensland School of Psychology researcher Dr Courtney von Hippel found that recovering drug addicts who believe they are the target of stereotypes find it harder to function within society | Medical Xpress, USA

How the Stigma of Drug Addiction Hurts All of Us

As people continue to die en masse due to the opioid crisis, we look at how stereotypes surrounding drug use are holding society back | VICE, Canada

Teens turn to marijuana to self-medicate for stress, anxiety: report

The teen years are a high-stress, often anxiety riddled time, and research shows that young Canadians admit to turning to marijuana to cope | Global News, Canada

Alcohol marketing: the simple truth

According to the World Health Organization, there are 3.3 million deaths attributable to alcohol use worldwide each year. Alcohol marketing, promotion and sponsorship are widespread in most of the world today and marketers are moving increasingly to digital and social media, where efforts at regulation have fallen far behind industry innovations in producing audience engagement and brand ambassadorship | Drink tank, Australia

Ministry of Health to Decide on Cannabis-based Products

Following his decision on 1 December last year to remove the requirement for Ministry of Health approval to prescribe Sativex for Multiple Sclerosis, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has today delegated decision-making for the prescribing of all cannabis-based products to the Ministry of Health | Beehive.govt.nz, New Zealand

Loosening of cannabis-based products not good enough, campaigners say

Nelson lawyer Sue Grey said it was "definitely a big step forward", but it was disappointing patients still needed a bureaucrat to "second-guess" what a doctor and their patient might believe is the best medicine for them | Soop.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why are more and more people seeking treatment for cannabis misuse? Here are the facts

Any call for drug policy reform in the UK is usually met with a standard response from the Home Office. It goes something like this: “Drug misuse among adults and young people has fallen in the last ten years and we are working to educate young people about the risks, to help those who are dependent through treatment, and to clamp down on the illicit trade.” | Conversation, UK

What Historians Wish people Knew About Drugs, Part II: Isaac Campos

First, humans have been taking psychoactive drugs since humans discovered psychoactive drugs. There seems to be a fundamental human attraction to altered states of consciousness if not a fundamental human need for it | Points Blog, UK



And finally...

Mum pays £17 for Bombay Sapphire gin from Asda which turns out to be filled with water

There are many tried and tested ways to cut down on alcohol. But one method you probably won’t be trying is splashing out on a £17 bottle of gin that’s actually just water | Indy 100, UK