Daily news - 14th February 2017

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UK news

Preventing drug misuse deaths (PDF)

Teleconference: Wednesday 1 March 2017, 2.15pm – 3.00pm
Please join our Chief Executive, Duncan Selbie, for the launch of this latest edition of Health Matters. He will be joined by Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco at Public Health England | PHE, UK

Undercover Panorama report reveals prison chaos

Chaos in one of the biggest prisons in the country has been revealed in secret filming for the BBC | BBC, UK

Behind Bars: Prison Undercover - BBC iPlayer

An undercover investigation reveals the reality of life behind bars in Britain's crisis-hit prison system. Footage recorded by a reporter also working as an officer at a Category C adult prison shows how inmates are effectively running the prison, with many of them off their heads on drugs and drink. It also reveals how prison officers don't feel able to maintain control and how they are at risk themselves. In one incident a senior officer is seen on the ground, shaking and having a fit after accidentally inhaling the drug spice being smoked by prisoners | BBC, UK

Is it harder to smuggle drugs into high security prisons?

After BBC Panorama found "chaos" in one of the biggest prisons in England, Newsbeat spoke to an ex-prison officer about how easy it is to smuggle illegal goods into different categories of prisons | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Cross-sectional study examining the prevalence, correlates and sequencing of electronic cigarette and tobacco use among 11–16-year olds in schools in Wales

To examine the prevalence and frequency of electronic (e)-cigarette use among young people in Wales, associations with socio-demographic characteristics, smoking and other substances and the sequencing of e-cigarette and tobacco use | BMJ, UK

New funding improves support for the most vulnerable people in local communities

The Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition – formed of the national charities Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind – has today welcomed £2.78 million in new funding from the Big Lottery Fund to significantly expand support for people with multiple needs across England over the next five years | MEAM, UK

Concern over drug use by fishermen - video

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch says 15% of fishing vessel accidents in the last two years have involved drug use | BBC, UK

The children who grew up with addict parents

Accepting a Bafta award for leading actor, Manchester by the Sea star Casey Affleck revealed to the audience he had grown up with an alcoholic parent | BBC, UK

'I never directed my anger at my alcoholic father' - video

Josh Connolly watched his father's alcoholism as a child, but never took out his anger on him | BBC, UK

'Drink was my release', says sister of April Jones - video

The sister of murdered schoolgirl April Jones has said she turned to drink to cope with the aftermath of her death | BBC, UK

Drug rehab plan for Weymouth guest house

A guest house will be converted into a rehabilitation centre for people with drug and alcohol problems if it gets planning approval | BBC, UK

Another package linked to £50m Norfolk cocaine beach find

Another package believed to be linked to a cocaine haul with a street value of £50m has been found on a beach | BBC, UK

Drugs testing in football: At least 39% of EFL players not tested in 2015-16

At least 39% of players who played in the English Football League last season were not drugs tested by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), according to official figures | BBC, UK


International news

US may ease marijuana laws – archive, 1972

14 February 1972: A presidential commission report concludes that penalties for private use and possession of marijuana should be abolished | Guardian, UK

The Obamacare repeal 'could be a disaster' for states fighting the opioid epidemic

Activists and family members of loved ones who died in the opioid/heroin epidemic take part in a 'Fed Up!' rally at Capitol Hill on September 18, 2016 in Washington, DC | Business Insider, UK

US accuses Venezuelan vice-president of role in global drug trafficking

Trump administration imposes sanctions against Tareck El Aissami after US law-enforcement investigation lasting years | Guardian, UK

Identification of flavour additives in tobacco products to develop a flavour library

This study combines chemical analysis and flavour descriptions of flavour additives used in tobacco products, and provides a starting point to build an extensive library of flavour components, useful for product surveillance | BMJ, Netherlands

Exposure to nicotine before and after birth causes hearing difficulties in children

Smoking has been linked to a variety of health risks and birth complications. New research suggests that exposure to nicotine, before and after birth, can cause hearing problems for the child | MNT, USA

UBC scientists create mouse that resists cocaine's lure

Scientists at the University of British Columbia have genetically engineered a mouse that does not become addicted to cocaine, adding to the evidence that habitual drug use is more a matter of genetics and biochemistry than just poor judgment | EurekAlert, USA

Surprising link between athletics and addiction

Work-hard, play-hard culture may put elite athletes at higher risk of substance abuse | Science Daily, USA

Nicotine changes how nicotinic receptors are grouped on brain cells

Nicotine the primary compound found within tobacco smoke is known to change the grouping of some subtypes of nicotinic receptors, but the mechanisms for nicotine addiction remain unclear | Science Daily, USA

Study finds link between depression and initiation of e-cigarette use among college students

The emergence of e-cigarettes as a nicotine product has left scientists with many questions about their impact on health, including how the product interacts with depression | News Medical, USA

Social Media May Provide Big Data Insights into Drug Misuse

Social media feeds can add a new dimension to big data analytics by highlighting potential situations of drug abuse | Health IT Analytics, USA

‘We never talked about it’: As opioid deaths rise, families of color stay silent

When Ria Noriega’s cousin Manuel died of a heroin overdose six years ago, his obituary mentioned his quick wit and his model-car collection. But it made no mention of the overdose that killed him | STAT, USA

Ex-New Hampshire congressman under consideration as Trump’s ‘drug czar’

Frank Guinta, a former New Hampshire lawmaker who helped create an opioid crisis task force in Congress, has discussed serving as President Donald Trump’s “drug czar” with Trump’s team, according to several individuals familiar with the discussions | STAT, USA

Colombia keeps cocaine from spoiling Valentine's Day flowers

ocaine is probably the last thing most people think about when buying roses | Associated Press, USA

Medical cannabis 'needs real law behind it': One Nation MP

One Nation MP Steve Dickson has begun his first week in Parliament representing his new party by proposing steps to make whole cannabis plants available for sick Queenslanders - and subsidised by the government | Brisbane Times, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Rural pubs really do make countryside communities happier – but they are closing at an alarming rate

The village pub is a key – even clichéd – feature of rural England. They evoke images of pork scratchings and perilously low beams, frothy pints of warm ale and the summertime knock of willow on leather | Conversation, UK

Drug policy reform – does punishment work?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 7:00 PM Online Meeting. Join us in this webinar where we discuss how to tackle the drug problem – is it through punishment or rehabilitation? | Russell Webster, UK

Cocaine galore? Well, no. That’s not how we do things in Norfolk

When £50m of stimulants were found on a beach, what got up locals’ noses was the fake news that we treated it like our very own Compton Mackenzie tale | Guardian, UK

Drink in Brighton, 1880-1939 (dissertation)

This thesis is a social and cultural history of the drinking cultures that co-existed in Brighton, the biggest seaside resort in England, between 1880 and 1939 | Points Blog, UK

Australia’s looming e-cigarette ban robs smokers of a chance to quit

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) recent interim decision to effectively ban nicotine-containing e-cigarettes is a harsh blow to smokers | Conversation, Australia

‘Ice Wars’ message is overblown and unhelpful

Without doubt, crystal methamphetamine, or ice, is capable of causing immense harm. That’s true for many drugs, including alcohol. But when facts are distorted to create fear and stigma it helps no one | Conversation, Australia

Turning a blind eye to drug abuse is getting us nowhere

In June last year, Victoria's Chief Health Officer published a notice indicating a risk of Hepatitis A contagion associated with a particular store in Victoria | Age Opinion, Australia