Daily news - 31st January 2017

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Local alcohol action areas will tackle alcohol related harms

Home Office announces the second phase of the local alcohol action areas (LAAA) programme which sees 33 new regions coming on board | Home Office, UK

8,000 high risk drinkers died without accessing treatment

Thousands of high risk drinkers died in Wales without accessing alcohol treatment services despite repeated hospital admission, a report has found | BBC, UK

30 Seconds to save a life - video

This short film demonstrates how simple brief interventions to change smoking behaviour can be | NCSCT, UK

E-Cigarettes: podcast

Dr Suzi Gage and Scroobius Pip chat about e-cigarettes - the scientific evidence around them, and why it might be that they've been so divisive in the academic community. For further reading listen via the Acast app where links will pop up at relevant moments! | Suzi Cage, UK

Responsible thinking (PDF)

This report documents proceedings from the British Sociological Association (BSA) supported by Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) interdisciplinary symposium ‘How do different disciplines talk about alcohol and how can we work better together?’ held in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh on Friday 22nd April 2016 | SHAAP, UK

British gin is safe: Essential juniper ingredient conserved in fight against declining tree numbers

Juniper, which is important not just for gin but supporting a range of wildlife, is facing a number of problems including fragmented populations and difficulties regenerating successfully | Independent, UK

Teenager charged over 'Darth Vader' tablet incident

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with drugs offences after a 14-year-old boy was treated in hospital after taking half of a 'Darth Vader' tablet | BBC, UK

Prisoner dies after 'drug overdose' at HMP Forest Bank in Manchester

One inmate dead at prison in Salford and another taken to hospital after suspected overdose on synthetic drug spice | Guardian, UK

Cheshire Police 'sniff out' drug driveres- video

Figures released by Cheshire Police show there is a growing number of people driving under the influence of drugs | BBC, UK

Liverpool man charged over £196,000 cannabis seizure

A man has been charged after cannabis with a street value of £196,000 was found by police in the Isle of Man | BBC, UK

Llanelli man Darran Hunt 'choked to death on bag of drugs'

A man choked to death on a bag of drugs which he tried to swallow while being arrested by police, an inquest has heard | BBC, UK



International news

How Australia is stubbing out smoking

Australia was the first country in the world to introduce mandatory plain packaging for tobacco products - and the UK will have followed suit by May this year. But will any country copy Australia's plan to keep increasing taxes until a packet of cigarettes costs AUD$40 (£24)? | BBC, UK

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte suspends violent war on drugs while police corruption is eradicated

'We no longer have a war on drugs' | Independent, UK

"It's the future": Restaurants and cafés are cracking down on smoking outside

A number of cafés and restaurants in the capital are cracking down on smoking outside their premises, by designating no-smoking areas on their terraces | Journal, Ireland

Maltese EU Presidency and ECDC conference: Fast-track the end of AIDS in the EU

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is in Malta today where he will speak at the opening session of a two-day conference on HIV, co-organised by the Maltese EU Presidency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) | EMCDDA, Portugal

Incidence of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs in Ireland

Comprehensive information on the incidence and duration of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection for people who inject drugs (PWID) in Ireland is not available. We created an incidence curve of injecting drug use in Ireland and subsequently estimated incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection | Biomed Central, Ireland

Researchers identify drug that alleviates opioid withdrawal

Opioid use and abuse is a significant social, health and economic issue. Researchers have discovered that an existing anti-gout medication is effective in reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent rodents | Science Daily, USA

Schools reach beyond ‘Just Say No’ for opioids

Schools are going beyond “Just Say No” as they teach students as young as kindergartners about the dangers of opioids in the hope that they don’t later become part of the growing crisis | Post Gazette, USA

Patent application suggests Apple might be eyeing the vaping industry

Apple may be dabbling in cars, wearables, and other technologies outside its core smartphone and computers business, but here is an area few people would expect the Cupertino, California company to enter | Yahoo, USA

Minnesota's medical marijuana program needs more money

Minnesota's medical marijuana program needs extra state funding to cover the costs of its patient database and inspections of drug manufacturers, just a few of the regulations that make it one of the most restrictive such laws in the country | Medical Xpress, USA

How the war on drugs has made drug traffickers more ruthless and efficient

Evolution could have predicted the failure of the war on drugs | Vox, USA

Opioid deaths rose in state by 16 percent last year

The opioid epidemic in Massachusetts didn’t let up in 2016 as State Police investigated 877 deaths suspected of being tied to the powerful drugs, an increase of more than 120 fatalities from the year before that authorities blamed on an influx of fentanyl | Boston Globe, UK

Don't call us junkies or addicts: people who use illicit drugs say lingo matters

Calling someone a junkie was once the norm, but many people who use illicit drugs and those who treat them say the word addict is just as stigmatizing | Vancouver Sun, Canada

OD crisis: B.C. official wants prescription heroin

Prescribing medicinal heroin to prevent overdose deaths might appear to clash with common sense, but the provincial health officer in B.C. is backing the idea because he says European-style drug treatment programs work | Record, Canada

Alcohol/Drug-Involved Family Violence in Australia (ADIVA) (PDF)

Alcohol is involved in about half of all police-reported FDV incidents in Australia (FARE 2015; Grech & Burgess 2011), and is likely to be involved in a substantially greater proportion of all FDV. Evidence from police report and hospital data indicates that the probability of any family violence is increased on days when perpetrators consume alcohol | NDLERF, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Faulty by design: the state of think tank thinking

This month, the think tank Reform have published a report criticising public sector commissioning.  The title certainly doesn’t mince its words: Faulty by Design | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

New research showing impact of Breaking Free solutions

Two new research papers have been published in leading academic journals showing the impact of Breaking Free Group's interventions in the field of substance misuse | Breaking Free, UK

The dynamic world of addiction and recovery

T2 Trainspotting has been one of the most anticipated sequels in the British film industry, not only because Trainspotting was considered a cult-classic, but because we wonder: how can it continue? | Psychologist, UK

Chill people, the pot law needs fixing

It’s reasonable for the state to push back on a timetable dictated by the marijuana industry and its anything-but-mellow effort to begin making millions off of Massachusetts weed | Boston Globe Opinion, USA

Vilifying the vulnerable and marginalised will not solve social problems

The outpouring of empathy for victims of the recent shocking episode of public violence in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall stands in marked contrast to the growing pattern of stigmatising rhetoric and punitive policies towards those most at risk of violence in the city | Croakey Blog, Australia