Daily news - 11th January 2017

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Public health experts call for ban on alcohol advertising in UK

Public health experts have called for a ban on alcohol advertising in the UK in light of new research that claims the industry’s marketing practices encourage young people to drink | Guardian, UK

Special Issue: The Regulation of Alcohol Marketing: From Research to Public Health Policy

Large selection of open access articles | Addiction, UK

New research on alcohol marketing suggests regulations do not work

Research published today in the journal Addiction provides new insights into global alcohol marketing, its regulation and its potential impacts on youth consumption | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Alcohol flips brain into hungry mode

Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered | BBC, UK

Cannabis for epilepsy: is there enough evidence of efficacy?

Parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy are searching for something to help, and some are turning to cannabis to try to reduce seizure frequency. With clinical trials of cannabidiol-based drugs under way, evidence for this treatment option may soon be forthcoming | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Stop Smoking Services: 'Don't Quit on Us'

Tobacco remains the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK. Smoking rates recently hit a record low in England, but around nine million adults still smoke in Great Britain | Local Gov, UK

The drugs education that my school skipped - podcast

Elle Wadsworth on the 'Say Why to Drugs' podcast | Elle Wadsworth, UK

What's the Crack - podcasts

Barely a week goes by without legal highs, binge drinking, or the latest celebrity rehab hitting the headlines. But have you ever wondered what the facts are behind drug and addiction news stories? Three researchers from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London – Rob Calder, Elle Wadsworth, and Lindsey Hines – want to know: What’s The Crack? | Rob Calder, Elle Wadsworth and Lindsey Hines, UK

News & updates December 2016: middle-age health, drink-driving, the rise of alcohol-free & the return of benchgirl

Selected media stories since the November roundup | Alcohol Research UK, UK

Plenary Session 1 ‘Back to the future: Addiction and the scientific method’

Below are short interviews with the presenters from Plenary session 1 'Back to the future: Addiction and the scientific method' | SSA, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what timetable has been set by his Department for eliminating hepatitis C based on current testing and treatment rates | They work for you, UK

Swimathon 30th, plus shared experiences of addiction - BBC radio iPlayer

Perry Spiller solos with conversation and debate you'll want to be part of... | BBC Radio Stoke, UK

Trans Inclusion in Drug and Alcohol Services - Findings from research: an interactive workshop

A free interactive workshop to present the findings of the Scottish Transgender Alliance (STA) and North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (NAADP) research into trans inclusion in drug and alcohol services | SHAAP/SARN, UK


International news

Alcohol advertising is aggressive and linked to youth drinking, research finds

Findings prove self-regulation by alcohol industry has failed, say coalition of health and community organisations | Guardian, UK

Heroin-assisted treatment in Switzerland: successfully regulating the supply and use of a high-risk injectable drug

A number of countries – including Switzerland, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada – prescribe heroin for use under medical supervision, as part of successful programmes to treat long-term users of illicit opioids | Transform, UK

A budding problem: Donald Trump and weed

The legal cannabis industry fears a crackdown | Economist, UK

Value of 'heat not burn' smoking technology stalling BAT buyout

The slow-burn negotiations between British American Tobacco (BAT) and Reynolds, the American maker of Camel cigarettes, towards a £38bn merger are stuck on the value of new technology, it has been claimed | Telegraph, UK

Russia considers banning sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2015

'This goal is absolutely ideologically correct,' says politician | Independent, UK

Mixed Messages on the Death Penalty in Indonesia’s Drug War

Indonesian authorities are sending mixed messages on the death penalty. The country abstained on a UN resolution for its abolition, and the president hinted at ending it, but some senior political figures are calling for the increased execution of drug offenders | Talking Drugs, UK

Poorer countries fail to act on smoking due to big tobacco threats, says WHO

Industry lobbying means low- and middle-income countries fear raising cost of cigarettes which is most effective way to curb smoking | Guardian, UK

NCI Tobacco Control Monograph Series 21 - The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control

This monograph, a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute and WHO, examines the current research and evidence base surrounding the economics of tobacco control—including tobacco use, tobacco growing, manufacturing and trade, tobacco product taxes and prices, and tobacco control policies and other interventions to reduce tobacco use and its consequence | WHO, Switzerland

Effective tobacco policies could save 8 million lives and $1 trillion annually, UN reports

Smoking and tobacco use cost world economies more than $1 trillion each year in healthcare and lost productivity, the United Nations health agency today reported, refuting claims that controls on tobacco products adversely impact economies | UN News Centre, USA

Nicotine not an EU target

The EU Commission has no intention of proposing that the nicotine content of cigarettes should be reduced | Tobacco Reporter, USA

Vaping Is Not a Gateway to Smoking, New Study Shows

Vapers at the Virginia Commonwealth University were 3.4 times as likely to be smoking cigarettes a year later as young adults who were vape-free, according to the first-ever longitudinal study examining the progression of college students from vaping to smoking | Reason.com, USA

Cocaine users make riskier decisions after losing a gamble

People addicted to cocaine make riskier decisions than healthy people after losing a potential reward, according to a study published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers reveal connection between female estrogen cycle and cocaine addiction

Hormonal fluctuations women undergo make them particularly sensitive, compared to men, to the addictive properties of cocaine, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published January 10 in the journal Nature Communications | EurekAlert, USA

New framework could help online addicts reduce their usage

Research has shown that internet addicts do not always feel guilty about their usage, and in many cases, they do not even perceive their usage as problematic. A new model could help addicts realize that their usage is a problem and reduce it | Science Daily, USA

National VA effort reduced risky opioid prescriptions for veterans, study finds

Fewer veterans received prescriptions for risky dosages of opioid painkillers after a national initiative took aim at reducing high doses and potentially dangerous drug combinations, a new study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Chris Christie Tackles Drug Crisis ‘Ravaging the State and Our People’

The New Jersey governor used his State of the State address to offer proposals that included limits on prescriptions and increases in treatment | NYTimes, USA

The Power of Language and Portrayals

The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” has been chanted for years from one kid to another when harsh words are spoken | SAMHSA, USA

FDA’s Naloxone App Prize Competition Celebrates Innovation In Search of Technological Solutions to the Opioid Epidemic

We invited computer scientists, researchers, health care providers, patient advocates, academics, and entrepreneurs to form teams and submit concepts for a crowd-sourced mobile phone app that could help accelerate delivery of naloxone to a person experiencing an overdose | FDA, USA

Offering syringes along with prayers, churches help IV drug users

When Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation in July legalizing syringe exchange programs in North Carolina, James Sizemore rejoiced | Stat News, USA

How to Return to Normal Life After a Crazy Trip

New groups help people process their psychedelic experiences | Tonic Vice, USA

'He felt that he had beat it': mother shares story of B.C. son's overdose

Victoria's Joe Walker, amateur boxer, died in December after fighting to overcome longtime addiction | CBC News, Canada

Ontario commits to funding 3 supervised safe injection sites in Toronto

Ontario's health minister says "more can be done" to tackle the opioid crisis at a community level in the province and has committed to funding three supervised safe injection sites in Toronto at an estimated annual cost of about $1.6 million and an initial cost of $400,000 | Global News, Canada

A drink for alcohol dependence: NDARC leads local research into managed alcohol programs

The notion of providing alcohol to ‘alcoholics’ is controversial. However, NDARC’s Professor Kate Dolan argues that Australia needs managed alcohol programs (MAP), which provide those with severe and intractable alcohol dependence a regulated amount of alcohol | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Early signs show legal high ban is pushing sales from the high street to street dealers

In the first six months after a new law banned the sale and production of psychoactive substances in Britain, over 31 shops have been shut and four people convicted. But there are early indications that the law could actually be increasing the street market for synthetic cannabinoids – commonly known as “spice” – but at higher costs | Conversation, UK

Recreational MDMA testing - a European perspective

As the United States experiences an overwhelming opioid crisis; as the world’s press is flooded with extra-judicial killings targeting drug “offenders” in the Philippines; as young Australians overdose on novel psychoactive substances and teenagers in the UK on ecstasy, there can be only one certainty: drugs are here to stay | IDPC Blog, UK

How to talk about charities and campaigning

Charity campaigning is once again under scrutiny following a series of high-profile interventions on issues that the public and politicians care about | NCVO Blog, UK

An Open Letter To President Obama

We wish to thank you for the great commitment you have shown to revisit the punitive approach to drug policy, particularly with regards to the pardon of low-level drug offenders | Huffington Post, USA

How an ‘abuse-deterrent’ drug created the heroin epidemic

The reformulation of the powerful painkiller OxyContin in 2010 is the chief driver of the explosion in heroin overdose deaths in subsequent years, according to a new working paper from researchers at the RAND Corp. and the Wharton School | Washington Post Blog, USA

Sessions on enforcing federal marijuana laws: ‘It won’t be an easy decision’

In his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Trump's nominee for attorney general, declined to say whether he'd adhere to the more lenient marijuana enforcement guidelines adopted by the Obama administration's Justice Department in states that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana use | Washington Post Blog, USA

Recent Dissertation Abstracts: Substance Use Around the World

Editor’s Note: Periodically the Points blog posts selections from University of Pittsburgh History of Medicine Librarian Jonathon Erlen‘s running bibliography of dissertation titles relevant to our interests. Today’s post surveys some recent work in the varieties of drug experiences and their management in different cultural contexts | Points Blog, USA

The age-old double standard of 'concern' over women's drinking 

Women who like a tipple are condescended to and judged far more than men who do the same, writes Maeve Marsden | Age, Australia