Daily news - 9th February 2017

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UK news

Further advice on U-47,700, etizolam and other designer benzodiazepines

The chair of the ACMD, Les Iversen, replies to Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton about: the opioid U-47,700, designer benzodiazepines | ACMD, UK

Illegal substances creating 'violent and volatile' prisons

A "violent and volatile prison population" is being fuelled by better access to so-called legal highs, a union has said | BBC, UK

Young people in Wales now substantially more likely to try e-cigarettes than tobacco

Young people in Wales are now almost twice as likely to try an e-cigarette compared to tobacco, new research by Cardiff University shows | Cardiff University, UK

This is how likely it is for young people in Wales to have tried a variety of drugs (legal and illegal)

Researchers spoke to more than 32,400 young people | Wales Online, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why publication of the new drugs strategy, which was expected to be in March 2016, has been delayed | They work for you, UK

Drugs Policy: Departmental Responsibility - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to transferring responsibility for drugs policy and the rehabilitation of drug users from the Home Office to the Department of Health | They work for you, UK

Addiction journal February 2017 – Current Issue

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

Red wine increases cancer risk – but nine out of 10 drinkers are not aware of the dangers

Nine out of 10 people are not aware that drinking red wine can increase a person's chances of getting cancer, a new poll suggests | Independent, UK

Alcohol-related deaths (2015): still stable... for now?

The ONS have released the latest annual Statistical bulletin for alcohol-related deaths in the UK (2015) [pdf]. In 2015 there were 8,758 alcohol-related deaths in the UK, a relatively stable trend since 2012. This follows a period of stabilising then falling rates, which ended a period of steeply rising deaths after 1994 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

How will 2017's price increases affect the trade?

With licensees facing increased expenditure ranging from brewery beer price increases to business rate revamps, what do some of those affected think will happen in the sector? | Morning Advertiser

Legal advice: How to make sure your drunk customers policy is working

Our legal experts give advice on how to make sure you are sticking to the law on drunk customers | Morning Advertiser, UK

Drug Consumption Rooms - podcast

As drug consumption rooms get the go-ahead in the UK and Seattle, Rob, Elle and Lindsey find out What’s the Crack? Why are they only now being introduced in the UK? Will these rooms provide free heroin? How can they help people who use heroin? And what is the problem with just injecting heroin on the streets? Furthermore, Dr Victoria Brooks of King’s College London/University of Exeter talks to us about what happened to the patients who were prescribed heroin on the NHS | What's the crack, UK

Free Naloxone training this February 14th

Join us at Harbour for free training this February 14th – no need to book For further information, please contact Suzanne Bloomfield on 01752 434265 or email at suzanne.bloomfield5@nhs.net | Harbour project, UK

The differences between 3 psychedelic drugs, which scientists hope will soon be approved as medicine

Scientists are increasingly hopeful that certain types of psychedelic drugs will one day be approved for medical purposes like treating depression and anxiety | Business Insider, UK

Cheese has the same effect on the brain as heroin, study says

It's the news you've long suspected but been too busy stuffing St. Agur into your cheeks to speak of: cheese really is like heroin | Cosmopolitan, UK

Kinship Care Guide for Scotland

Across Scotland, thousands of grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and family friends look after children because their parents are unable to do so. They are known as ‘kinship carers’. If you are looking after a child in these circumstances, you are a kinship carer and this guide is for you | Mentor, UK

Inside the Criminal Trend of Stealing Laughing Gas from Hospitals

Steal NOS and sell it in balloons at a rave, and you've made £700 of pure profit, so it's no wonder thefts are on the rise | VICE, UK

Belfast drugs seized in 'blow to serious crime'

Police say the arrests of two men following the seizure of drugs from a car in Belfast have dealt a blow to organised crime | BBC, UK

Hamster 'fed LSD-spiked Tizer and cannabis' in Heysham

A hamster was fed cannabis and a soft drink spiked with LSD was poured into its water bottle | BBC, UK


Internatonal news

President Duterte repeating my mistakes in war on drugs, ex-Colombian president Cesar Gaviria says

In an opinion piece Gaviria noted that Duterte was using excessive force to deal with a social issue | IBTimes, UK

Drink drivers to get automatic ban instead of penalty points

An automatic driving ban for anyone caught drink driving is among tough new measures Transport Minister Shane Ross intends to impose to reduce the carnage on our roads | Independent, Ireland

Dublin fix room ‘will not aggravate drug use’

New injection rooms for drug addicts will not have a honey pot effect, the government insisted after Dublin businesses criticised the radical plan | The Times, Ireland

How can marijuana policy protect the adolescent brain?

As more states begin to legalize the use of marijuana, more young people may start to believe that it's safe to experiment with the drug. However, those under 25 are more vulnerable to the effects of drugs than are older adults | EurekAlert, USA

Commercial weight-loss drug could help treat opioid addiction

Scientists are working to come up with new therapies to curb America's opioid epidemic and aid hospitals, doctors and public health officials in this fight. Now one team reports in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience that the commercial weight-loss drug lorcaserin, when given to rats who had been self-administering oxycodone, appeared to reduce their use of and craving for the opioid | Medical Xpress, USA

Why opioid overdose deaths seem to happen in spurts

Drug deaths in America sometimes seem to come in groups; just look at Ohio | CNN, USA

Divorce’s impact on alcohol use disorder

While the rate of divorce in the US has decreased over the last 20 years, there were over 800,000 divorces in 2014 alone. revious epidemiological studies have shown an association between divorce and increased alcohol use and risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD), but the nature of this relationship is not well understood | BASIS, USA

Scientists show brain's own opioids involved in musical pleasure

The same brain-chemical system that mediates feelings of pleasure from sex, recreational drugs, and food is also critical to experiencing musical pleasure, according to a study by McGill University researchers published today in the Nature journal Scientific Reports | Medical Xpress, USA

PTSD symptoms may be prevented with ketamine

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have found that a single dose of ketamine, given one week before a stressful event, can buffer against a heightened fear response | EurekAlert, USA

No pesticide testing done for medical marijuana, Health Canada says

Health Canada, which is facing a growing controversy over tainted medical marijuana, cannot say with certainty how widespread the use of banned pesticides is within the industry. Instead, the regulator has been leaving it up to the growers to police themselves on the use of potentially harmful chemicals | Globe and Mail, Canada

Herald Sun - Robert Richter: Simply put, injecting facilities save lives

The  principal objective of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre such as that proposed for the City of Yarra is to save very troubled lives. Everyone entering an MSIC is somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister, nephew or niece or mother or father. We can help addicts if they are alive but not if they’re dead | VAADA, Australia

Drink driving: Queensland government releases discussion paper on proposed crack down

The Queensland government is considering scrapping work licences for drunk drivers, under an overhaul of laws targeting boozed-up motorists | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

So you want me to prescribe dexamfetamine?

What makes a “specialist” NMP in the modern day substance misuse service? | SMMGP Blog, UK

What’s our strategy for IBA?

Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) has incredible potential to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm.  The figure of a 15% decrease in alcohol consumption on average for those who receive an IBA is a compelling and significant impact.  For the individual this can mean reducing alcohol related hospital admissions and risk of alcohol related mortality by a fifth.  For England this could lead to reductions in a wide range of health and social harms | Alcohol IBA Blog, UK

The Role of Recovery Coaching

When a patient leaves residential rehabilitation they need to bring the life-skills they have learned in residential rehab back to their home environment and everyday lives | Castle Craig Blog, UK

New study comes the closest yet to proving that e-cigarettes aren’t as dangerous as smoking

It’s just over a decade since e-cigarettes first hit the shelves. And since then there’s been an explosion in their popularity, with almost 3 million adults using them in Great Britain today | Cancer Resaerch UK Blog, UK

Why Britain needs a legal cannabis market

The legalisation of cannabis is once again in the headlines. Following the death of his 21-year-old son Rupert Green, Lord Monson has called for a ‘war on skunk’ and the legalisation of less potent forms of cannabis. According to his father, Rupert became addicted to skunk, developed paranoia and psychosis, and took his own life | Spectator Blog, UK

Why Trainspotting is a great film, but a missed opportunity

Trainspotting 2 is an emotional film, and a really gripping one. It is a harrowing depiction of 20 wasted years; the product of a vicious cycle of crime, violence and substance abuse, and the effect this has on close relationships. What T2 fails to do is seriously address addiction as the medical issue it is, and unfortunately, the film is a missed opportunity for much needed meaningful discussion about drug policy reform | Anyone's Child Blog, UK