Daily news - 17th February 2017

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

UK spending less on alcohol and tobacco, more on eating out

Families in the UK are becoming more clean-living, with less money being spent on cigarettes and alcohol, but more being spent on going out to restaurants | BBC, UK

Family spending in the UK: financial year ending March 2016

Includes amounts spent on alcohol and tobacco | ONS, UK

NI families spend more on cigarettes than any other part of UK

Families in Northern Ireland spent almost £7 a week in 2016 on cigarettes - more than twice the figure for England and Wales | BBC, UK

Scheme’s success at stopping mums-to-be smoking

Pregnant women are almost twice as likely to quit smoking if they are supported from their first midwife appointment – and then are more likely to have heavier, healthier babies | Newcastle University, UK

It's time for a flat tax on alcohol - health campaigners can drink to that 

A lcohol can cause problems and there are good reasons to tax it, but Britain’s system of alcohol duty makes no sense | Telegraph, UK

Prisoners given leaflets on how to take "spice" safely

The pamphlet - distributed to inmates when they order items such as toiletries and cigarettes - details an 11-point checklist of ‘safety rules’ for taking ‘new psychoactive substances’, which were outlawed last April | ITV, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether an assessment has been made of the potential merits of making ketamine available on the NHS to help tackle alcohol dependency | They work for you, UK

Driving under Influence

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications of his policies of the Public Health England report, The Public Health Burden of Alcohol and the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Policies: An evidence review, published in December 2016, which found that designated driver schemes did not change the prevalence of people drink driving or riding with a drink driver | They work for you, UK

Driving under Influence: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Public Health England report, The Public Health Burden of Alcohol and the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Policies: An evidence review, published in December 2016, which found that graduated driving licences for young drivers were effective; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Collaborative care proceedings help keep London families together

Compared to ordinary care proceedings, a London court which adopted the problem-solving and collaborative approach of a family drug and alcohol court helped more mothers stop problem substance use and retain custody of their children, though still most children were placed in alternative care | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Everything you need to know about Glasgow's 'fix room' proposal for heroin users

Councillors, NHS staff and community members approved the business case put forward for the centre by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership | Glasgow Live, UK

Council offers shopping vouchers worth £260 to mothers-to-be if they quit smoking

Dozens of mothers-to-be have signed up to receive shopping vouchers as a reward to stop smoking during their pregnancies | Mail Online, UK

Isn't pregnancy incentive enough to stop smoking? - audio

Topical conversation and debate you'll want to be part of | BBC Radio Stoke iPlayer, UK

Should a Weymouth Bed and Breakfast be converted into a drug and alcohol rehab centre? - Audio

The proposal was met with fierce opposition at a public meeting earlier this week. But Public Health Dorset say it could make a big difference to addicts in the county | BBC Radio Solent, UK

Undercover in HMP Northumberland

Joe Fenton went undercover for the BBC working as a prison officer at HMP Northumberland for two months, secretly filming the inner workings of the prison. What he revealed was an environment rife with drug abuse and violence where neither staff nor inmates felt safe | Volte Face, UK

Vapourlites reveals new packaging to show e-cigarettes can be “medicinal”

Vapourlites has been rebranded and given new packaging by consultancy Wonderstuff, which aims to show how e-cigarettes can be a “good thing” in weaning people off tobacco cigarettes | Design, UK

Evidence-based practice: effective youth alcohol and drug education

Free event. Tuesday, 14 March 2017 from 14:00 to 17:00 (GMT) | Mentor - ADEPIS, UK

'Skunk death' of peer's son investigated by NHS

A hereditary peer has told the BBC that his 21-year-old son killed himself days after being turned away from hospital because of a lack of beds | BBC, UK

West Midlands police officers face drug dealing charges

Two police officers have been charged with drugs and misconduct offences | BBC, UK


International news

The Mochileros

A remote valley east of the Peruvian highlands is the perfect place for growing coca | BBC, UK

Philippines: Homicide

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Filipino counterpart on extra-judicial killings in that country | They Work for you, UK

Supervised Injecting in Ireland

On 10th February 2017 Ireland moved one step closer towards the government’s stated policy of dealing with drug use as a health issue and not a criminal justice one, as the ‘Misuse of Drugs Act (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017’ was published | Volte Face, UK

China carfentanil ban a 'game-changer' for opioid epidemic

So deadly it's considered a terrorist threat, carfentanil has been legal in China— until now. Beijing is banning carfentanil and three similar drugs as of March 1, China's Ministry of Public Security said Thursday, closing a major regulatory loophole in the fight to end America's opioid epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

Adolescents with weak working memory and progressive drug use at risk for later addictions

Drug use in adolescence is often linked to later substance-abuse problems, but a new study suggests that a key risk factor is a combination of weak working memory and difficulties with impulse control | Medical Xpress, USA

Physicians' opioid prescribing patterns linked to patients' risk for long-term drug use

Emergency room patients treated by physicians who prescribe opioids more often are at greater risk for long-term opioid use even after a single prescription than those who see less-frequent prescribers, according to the findings of a study from Harvard Medical School and T.H. Chan School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Better mental health, pain control, care key to opioid abuse

A call to the emergency room announced that the ambulance was on its way. Joey, a middle-aged oilfield worker, was experiencing a suspected toxic ingestion of the opioid fentanyl. He had been administered naloxone — the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses — and was conscious | Hamilton Spectator, USA

How To Save an Opioid Overdose Victim's Life (VIDEO)

When a man overdosed at last year at the Bedford-Stuyvesant DOE Fund facility where Landon Jones works as a security guard, he thought calling 911 was the only way he could help | DNA, USA

Researchers say supervised injection sites needed in London [Canada]

There is a need for supervised injection sites, and research has shown that to be the case in some of Canada's largest cities, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal | Medical Xpress, USA

Are local resources enough to combat Ohio's opioid epidemic?

At least eight Ohioans die of a drug overdose every day — or one every three hours | Inde Online, USA

When cocaine's in the mix, safe sex may not be

The drug not only increases sexual arousal but also makes people impatient and more likely to have sex without a . This could increase their risk for , according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore | Medical Xpress, USA

4 Things Reporters Get Terribly Wrong About ‘New’ Drugs

In recent years, there has been increasing media attention on drugs known as “K2”, “bath salts”, fentanyl, “molly”, and others. Unfortunately, much of the coverage – even by some of the most well-meaning journalists – contains misinformation and inaccurate or misleading terminology. This all serves to perpetuate unfounded myths and unhelpful hysteria about these substances | Huffington Post, USA

Why Trump’s Wall Won’t Keep Out Heroin

It’s the easiest drug to traffic in small batches because it is so easy to condense, and to cut later. And it is very lucrative to smuggle | NYTimes, USA

Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce bares his soul for University of NSW's Banksia Project

Just over a year ago, Mitchell Pearce was sitting in a rehab clinic in Thailand surrounded by heroin addicts and alcoholics | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

New funding for MEAM improves support for the most vulnerable

Collective Voice welcomes news that The Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition – formed of the national charities Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind – has received £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 Blog, UK

SCRA Dependency: the learned helplessness in treatment services

As those who have participated in the KFx NPS training course over the past couple of years will know, the course spends some time looking at responses to Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRAs, Spice, Mamba.) For several months before the Psychoactive Substance Act came in to force there was an urgent need to plan for what could happen once the PSA was enacted | KFx Blog, UK

What Historians Wish People Knew About Drugs, Part III: William Rorabaugh

I would like to make four points about alcohol and drug use that historians of both substances need to keep in mind while doing their research | Points Blog, UK

The great mystery of e-cigarettes

Do e-cigarettes help smokers kick their bad habits, or do they end up promoting tobacco use among young people? It’s one of the most intensely debated questions in drug abuse research, but the current answer is unsatisfying: We need more evidence to clearly say who’s right | Washington Post Blog, UK