Daily news - 27th February 2017

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

NHS 'tobacco free' campaign launched by Public Health England

A "truly tobacco-free NHS" needs to be created to help smoker patients quit their habit, health officials say | BBC, UK

Test all pregnant women for smoking, say NHS chiefs

The plan, which is supported by the Royal College of Midwives, is part of a wider drive to discourage cigarettes at hospitals | Guardian, UK

Consultancy of use of NDTMS reports

Public Health England (PHE) is keen to gather information on how the reports and toolkits from the NDTMS (National Drug Monitoring Treatment System) are being used in the current operating environment and whether they are still meeting user’s needs. Therefore, we are carrying out an online consultation to gather information on your current use of NDTMS reports | PHE, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 27 February 2017

How the guardians of the English drug treatment system judge it, and how guardians of the nation’s children help protect them by helping their substance using parents. From the 1950s a vindication of empathic, non-directive therapy, and from 2006 another message later repeatedly confirmed - that real-world alcohol screening and brief intervention often fails to make a significant difference | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How do treatment systems in England measure up?

English treatment systems perform at least as well as other countries on
a number of measures, but have a considerably higher rate of drug-related deaths than elsewhere in Europe. As well as pursuing harm
reduction and recovery, this Public Health England report stresses the
importance of social integration as an objective | Drug and Alcohol
Findings, UK

Parliamentary event on white cider - podcast

Alcohol Alert, February 2017: This edition finds the Alcohol Health Alliance co-hosting a parliamentary event calling for increased taxes on cheap high-strength cider, with Thames Reach, a London-based charity working with those suffering from homelessness | IAS, UK

Licensing Laws

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the reasons why no local authority has yet implemented an early morning alcohol restriction order | They work for you, UK

Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities

The proof is in the packaging. Making all cigarette packets look the same reduces the positive feelings smokers associate with specific brands and encourages quitting, Australian research shows | New Scientist, UK

Forget the hangover, under-25s turn to mindful drinking

Non-alcoholic drinks are taking off in pubs and bars as a new fashion for abstinence takes over among young people | Guardian, UK

Drugs: South Thanet

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many drug-related (a) convictions and (b) arrests have been made in South Thanet constituency in each year since 2010 | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many patients in (a) England, (b) Greater London and (c) the London Borough of Newham have been treated by the NHS for (i) drug and (ii) alcohol abuse in each year since 2010 | They work for you, UK

Tobacco Control Plan - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will maintain their commitment to reducing smoking prevalence by publishing the latest Tobacco Control Plan for England without delay | They work for you, UK

What Is… Interoception in the Context of Addiction?

Interoception is classically defined as the general sensitivity to your own bodily sensations. Everyone is experiencing physiological signals coming from within the body such as hunger, thirst, visceral pain, heartbeat | SSA, UK

Louise Cattell Memorial Gig in Aid of Mentor UK

A memorial gig is being held on 2 March, at Nambucca, Upper Islington for Louise Cattell who died exactly six years ago in March 2011. The proceeds for the event will fund work progammes for the drugs and alcohol prevention charity Mentor UK | Mentor-Angelus, UK

Canterbury schools champion smoke-free gates in competition between pupils

Parkside Community Primary School, St Stephen’s Junior School and St Johns CoE Primary School took part in the project led by the Kent County Council | Kent News, UK

Sniffer Dogs: Doing More Harm Than Good

Emily Lyon, a 17-year old girl who died at the London O2 Arena last year, had collapsed from an ecstasy overdose, the inquest heard last week. She had taken a quarter of a gram on the way to the venue, and then a further quarter whilst standing in the queue, after seeing sniffer dogs and fearing they would discover the illegal drugs on her person | Volte Face, UK

Having a cigarette may make your body crave coffee too

Fancy a coffee after that cigarette? Smoking makes you drink more caffeinated drinks, possibly by changing your metabolism so that you break down caffeine quicker, pushing you to drink more to get the same hit | New Scientist, UK

The secret of why we like to eat chocolate

It may seem simple - we like chocolate because it tastes nice. But there's more to it than that - and it relates to a fat/carbohydrates balance that is set right from the very beginning of our lives | BBC, UK

HIV Awareness: PSHE Lessons

The issue that I wish to raise today with my hon. Friend the Minister is sex education in our schools. For once, however, I do not want to stray near the issue of statutory sex education; I wish to focus on HIV awareness in the teaching of health and sex education to pupils | They work for you, UK

Alcohol-free Fishguard festival set to leave no hangover

An alcohol-free festival is set to be held with revellers encouraged to drink without having to worry about waking up with a hangover | BBC, UK

Truro mum overcomes heroin addiction and gets job helping addicts

In just two years Donna-Louise Edmonds has confronted her heroin addiction, found recovery, retrained and is now starting a job at Addaction Cornwall | Falmouth Packet, UK

Glastonbury Festival - drugs seizures and arrests from 2014 to 2016 revealed by police

Police have released details of all the illegal substances which have been seized at the Glastonbury Festival over the past three years | Somerset Live, UK

Huge cannabis farm 'was staffed by trafficked Vietnamese teenagers'

Three teenagers were found working in slave-like conditions at former nuclear bunker in Wiltshire, police say | Guardian, UK

Three on slavery charges after nuclear bunker cannabis find

Three men face slavery charges following the discovery of a cannabis factory in a former nuclear bunker | BBC, UK

Inside the UK's biggest drug bust: WIRED Stories episode 4

In this episode, we reveal the chase that led to the UK’s largest ever drug bust. The tip-off was vague: somewhere, out in the Atlantic Ocean, a bright red, 35-metre tugboat was suspected of holding 500 million pounds worth of cocaine | WIRED, UK

Ex-Stephen Lawrence murder suspect 'genuinely regrets' role in £4m drugs plot

A former suspect in the murder of Stephen Lawrence is a family man who "genuinely regrets" his leading role in a £4 million drugs plot, a court has heard | Telegraph, UK

Convicted cocaine-supplying barrister is disbarred

Omar Khan was ordered to be disbarred by an independent disciplinary tribunal at a hearing today | Law Gazette, UK

James O'Connor and Ali Williams held on Paris cocaine charge

Two former rugby internationals, New Zealander Ali Williams and Australian James O'Connor, have been arrested in Paris on drugs charges | BBC, UK


International news

White House expects US Justice Department to step up crackdown on recreational marijuana

President Donald Trump is not opposed to the administration of medical cannabis but appears interested in tackling drug abuse | Independent, UK

More Education, Less Indoctrination: the Improved US Approach to Drug Use

The US government’s approach to drug education has come a long way since the days of “Just Say No”, but changes to the strategy are still needed to reduce the harms of drug use | Talking Drugs, UK

WA Labor promises to create 'meth border force' but Liberals say it's a waste of money

Mobile team would be sent to ports and freight facilities, drug transit routes and shut down distribution houses | Guardian, UK

Pele's son to start 12-year drug trafficking sentence

The son of the acclaimed Brazilian footballer Pele has handed himself in to police to complete a sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering | Telegraph, UK

Critic of Philippine President Arrested on Drug Charge - BBC iPlayer

Senator Leila de Lima says charges are an attempt to silence her criticism of the drug war. We'll get the latest | BBC, UK

Prevalence of drug use and gambling in Ireland and drug use in Northern Ireland 2014/15: regional drug and alcohol task force (Ireland) and health and social care trust (Northern Ireland) results. Bulletin 2

Results have been released today by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol and the Public Health Information and Research Branch of the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.  Full Report Here. This bulletin provides a breakdown of prevalence rates by region for use of illegal drugs, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, sedatives, tranquillisers and anti-depressants | NACDA, Ireland

Sharp rise in ecstasy and cannabis use as alcohol sales increase

Ecstasy and cannabis use is rising sharply in many parts of the country, particularly among young people, regional figures from a national drugs survey show | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Over 1 in 10 people in south Dublin reported taking an illegal drug recently

The current levels of illegal drug use in 2014/15 rose since the study was last carried out in 2010/11 | Journal, Ireland

We're drinking 5% more than in 2015, says Alcohol Action Ireland

Irish people drank an average of 5% more alcohol last year than the previous year, according to an analysis of official figures by Alcohol Action Ireland | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Inmates in Irish prisons will soon have access to e-cigarettes

A new smoking policy for the prison service is currently being finalised | Journal, Ireland

Call for local drugs task forces to be ‘adequately’ funded

Anti-social behaviour, drug debt intimidation, open dealing, and gangland violence are undermining the ability of heavily disadvantaged communities to function, according to local drug projects | Irish Examiner, Ireland

No location chosen for drug user injection centre, Dáil told

Minister says project could end desperate situation for people who inject on streets | Irish Times, Ireland

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2015

Deaths from drug overdose have been identified as a significant public health burden in the United States in recent years . This report uses data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to highlight recent trends in drug overdose deaths, describing demographic and geographic patterns as well as the types of drugs involved | CDC, USA

Deadly U.S. Heroin Overdoses Quadrupled in Five Years

More than 12,000 deaths are linked to the drug | Scientific American, USA

Studies Raise Questions About Why Young Mothers Are Being Prescribed Opioids

Young mothers are being prescribed opioid painkillers, placing their children—even those less than a year old—at risk for an overdose | Forbes, USA

States Gird For Marijuana War With Jeff Sessions

It’s still “full steam ahead” for California’s recreational pot operation, says official | Huffington Post, USA

Ice epidemic not a criminal issue: experts

Drug experts are calling for a change of attitude from the Australian government toward the serious health and social issue of ice addiction | SBS Australia

WA Election 2017: Labor orders police Meth Border Force

Labor leader Mark McGowan said the 100-officer specialist unit within WA Police would aim to stop the drug smugglers wreaking havoc across the State | Perth Now, Australia

Herald Sun: Drug treatment services in Victoria short changed in federal government’s $300 million action plan

Victorian drug treatment services have received less than $10 million to battle the ice epidemic, more than a year after the federal government launched its $300 million action plan | VAADA, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

Despite the best efforts of the powers-that-be to convince Americans that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as smoking tobacco, a new study ( http://www.news-medical.net ) shows that among US smokers with respiratory conditions who continue to smoke, many are switching to e-cigarettes believing them to be less harmful | NSP Blog, UK

Claim of link between intelligence and cannabis use in adolescence provides fresh headache for researchers

Children with high and medium academic ability at age 11 are more likely to use cannabis in late adolescence compared to children with low academic ability, according to a new study published in BMJ Open | Conversation, UK

Were you affected by alcoholism growing up? Share your experiences

A group of MPs is calling for more support for the children of alcoholics. Was your childhood affected by this? Tell us here | Guardian, UK

Why baby boomers are hitting the bottle like never before

Disillusioned over-50s risk serious health problems because of alcohol | Guardian, UK

Warnings over wine prices are enough to make you hit the bottle

As uncertainty over the Brexit effect continues, every line of business seems to have its own brand of questions about the future. And maybe it was a coincidence that shortly after the end of that driest of months, January, and on Valentine’s Day, we were urged by the industry body to ponder the stability of the wine trade in Britain | Conversation, UK

Top 3 reasons the drug war has failed

After half a century of fighting and a trillion dollars wasted on an ineffective and counterproductive policy, the drug war is an colossal failure | Anyone's Child Blog, UK

Brave New World: the pill-popping, social media obsessed dystopia we live in

The Orwellian dystopia of Doublespeak is very much in vogue right now thanks to concerns over Trump’s use of “alternative facts”. But alternative facts are just the tip of a dystopian iceberg that owes more to the soft brainwashing technologies of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World than it does to 1984’s harsh Stalinist oppressions and propagandist trickery | Conversation, UK

Overdoses at Electric Parade and White Night fuelled by dangerous new drug: A missed opportunity to provide harm reduction?

On the 20th of February, Chanel Kinniburgh published a piece in the Herald Sun entitled “Drug overdoses at Electric Parade and White Night fuelled by dangerous new drug, doctors fear”. Unfortunately, the tone of the story stigmatises people who use drugs by insinuating that they are irresponsible to “risk their lives by taking dangerous drugs” | AOD Media Watch, Australia

Weekly Dose: GHB, a party drug that’s easy to overdose on but was once used in childbirth

GHB stands for gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (also known as 4-hydroxybutanoic acid) and is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter. It’s also a recreational drug | Conversation, Australia