Daily news - 28th February 2017

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UK news

Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing

In a report published today - Promoting good health from childhood (PDF) - by Alcohol Focus Scotland, leading academics and health experts outline how the Scottish Government can reduce the unacceptably high levels of alcohol marketing that children and young people are exposed to | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Children exposed to 'unacceptably high levels' of alcohol marketing

Children are exposed to "unacceptably high levels" of alcohol marketing through sports sponsorship and public adverts, according to a report | BBC, UK

Smoking quit targets 'should be legally-binding'

The Welsh Government should face legally-binding targets to reduce the number of people smoking in Wales, a lung health charity has said | BBC, UK

Cabinet office: new senior appointments and changes

Sir Mark Lyall Grant will retire from the Civil Service and his role as National Security Adviser on 13 April 2017. He will be succeeded by Mark Sedwill who is currently the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office. Philip Rutnam will in turn move from the Department for Transport to become the new Permanent Secretary at the Home Office | Cabinet Office et al, UK

HIV: London annual data spotlight

Reports presenting annual epidemiological data for HIV in London | PHE, UK

IAS Alert February 2017: tax calls for cheap cider, mortality rising?, drink driving, drink cycling & more

The latest Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) Alcohol Alert: February 2017 is now available | IAS, UK

How psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD actually change the way people see the world

Psychedelic substances like LSD and psilocybin — the active ingredient in magic mushrooms — are powerful, able to transform the way that people who use them perceive the world | Business Insider, 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, UK

From a Dark Place: How Private Eye cartoonist Tony Husband coped with his son's addiction with a new book

The cartoonist Tony Husband has documented his son Paul's descent into drugs and subsequent recovery from them in a graphic novel, 'From a Dark Place: How a Family Coped with Drug Addiction', to help other families of addicts | Independent, UK

Dramatic performance warns young people of alcohol pitfalls

Multinational alcohol giant Diageo is more well known for trying to get people to drink than keep them away from booze | Oxford Times, UK

Ex-offender gets first job in 30 years

Former heroin addict John Clarke, 47, has just started his first job in 30 years, after going to prison many times | BBC, UK

James O'Connor and Ali Williams charged in Paris over cocaine

Two former rugby internationals, New Zealander Ali Williams and Australian James O'Connor, have been charged with drug offences in Paris | BBC, UK

Former oil worker jailed for cannabis cultivation

A former oil worker who grew cannabis to support himself after being made redundant due to the North Sea downturn has been jailed for a year | BBC, UK

Money in drug trafficker's golf bag to be confiscated

Thousands of pounds found inside a golf bag are to be confiscated from a convicted drug trafficker | BBC, UK

BGT finalist Leeroy Bailey 'plied boy with alcohol'

A Britain's Got Talent finalist plied a teenage boy with "strong alcohol and beer", a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

NI teens' hard hitting anti-drugs video goes viral

An anti-drugs film produced by a group of Co Antrim teenagers has gone viral, racking up almost half a million views | ITV, UK

Is Colorado's homeless surge tied to marijuana legalization?

An 8% rise in homelessness has fueled speculation over whether legalization boosted the numbers of displaced in America’s unofficial legal cannabis capital | Guardian, UK

Campaigners call for smoking age to be raised from 18 to 21 to protect youngsters

Canadian scientists said raising it to 21 would see a quarter less smokers and reduce related illnesses | Sun, UK

'Open the doors': the Catholic churches hiding targets of Duterte’s drug war

Despite the climate of fear in the Philippines, a growing number of churches have opened their network of safe houses to people at risk of being killed | Guardian, UK

Alcohol Use by Nightlife Patrons in the UK and Brazil: a comparative study - call for participants

This study is part of a wider PhD programme of research. The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare nightlife drinking behaviours in UK and Brazil. I am interested in students’ expectations and perceptions of drinking culture, especially about pre-drinking and its implications | LJMU, UK

MDMB-CHMICA to be placed under control across the EU

Today, the EU reacted to serious concerns over the use of the synthetic cannabinoid MDMB-CHMICA by deciding to subject it to ‘control measures’ throughout the Union | EMCDDA, Portugal

Programming document 2017–19

The EMCDDA Single Programming Document (SPD) for the period 2017–19, which includes the 2017 work programme, is the first work programme to be implemented under the new EMCDDA Strategy 2025. Priority in 2017 will be given to improving core monitoring tasks and to operating the EU Early Warning System under a new regulation on new psychoactive substances, which is expected to enter into force in the course of the year | EMCDDA, Portugal

Study finds lower smoke exposure in several public, private settings following smoking bans

Exposure to secondhand smoke has long been associated with negative health effects. A study of secondhand smoke exposure after two smoking bans in Spain, publishing today in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, suggests that overall exposure can be decreased across all settings by comprehensive legislative efforts | News Medical, USA

Trials in humans near for antibody to block cocaine's impact on the brain

A University of Cincinnati (UC) researcher who has developed an immunotherapy to help reverse cocaine addiction that's been successful in animal models says he hopes to have it in clinical trials in human volunteers within a year | Medical Xpress, USA

Given the choice, patients will reach for cannabis over prescribed opioids

Chronic pain sufferers and those taking mental health meds would rather turn to cannabis instead of their prescribed opioid medication, according to new research by the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria | EurekAlert, USA

A Medicine That Blunts The Buzz Of Alcohol Can Help Drinkers Cut Back

If you drink more alcohol than you want to or should, you're not alone. A nationwide survey by the National Institutes of Health found that 28 percent of adults in the U.S. are heavy drinkers or drink more than is recommended | NPR, USA

Pediatricians Warn Against Pot Use: Not Your Dad’s Marijuana

An influential doctors group is beefing up warnings about marijuana's potential harms for teens amid increasingly lax laws and attitudes on pot use | NBC News, USA

America’s Opioid Crisis: How Children Are Casualties

America is in the midst of a deadly crisis that is killing people by the thousands | Huffington Post, USA

Should ice users be given glass pipes in supervised drug consumption rooms?

Leading drug experts have called for more money to be spent on treatment and prevention to tackle illicit drug use | Age, Australia

Tens of thousands drug-tested, hundreds fail

Government figures show beneficiaries have failed only 466 pre-employment drug tests in the past three years | RNZ, New Zealand

Bill English claims about Kiwi jobseekers using drugs 'not backed by data'

Prime Minister Bill English's claim that young Kiwis cannot fill job vacancies due to drug use is not backed up by the Government's own data, the NZ Drug Foundation says | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

'I loved and hated her in equal measure' – life with an alcoholic mother

When Mum died, I vowed to talk about alcoholism because I can’t bear to be complicit in the silence surrounding the issue | Guardian, UK

Are We in Denial About Women and Addiction?

Ignoring half the world’s population takes concerted effort or at least some level of collusion. Academic attention given to women’s mental health and addiction highlighted by several editorials from leading academic journals over the last year suggest our collective ignorance is no accident | Psych Reg, UK

Personal drug allowance would help injecting centre succeed

Safe, supervised facilities will encourage drug addicts to seek further treatment | Irish Times Opinion, Ireland

As Trump Said in the Campaign, Leave Pot to the States

The new attorney general wants to crackdown on marijuana use. The president and Congress should stop him | NYTimes Opinion, USA

National Policymakers versus Internationally Minded Researchers? Lessons from a Case Study

In Europe, numerous countries have already passed or are in the process of passing online gambling legislation | BASIS, USA

Why we shouldn’t be afraid of pill testing

There’s always a trade-off between freedom and safety, and how one’s prevalence in society is of great detriment to the other. But there’s one policy that increases both: on-site pill testing centres and programs | Spectator, Australia

The need for more balanced media reporting

To those who work in the health system, ‘ice’ (crystal methamphetamine) is but one problem among many and pales into the background of the prevailing problems of addiction and misuse of alcohol and drugs | Drink tank, Australia