Daily news -14th June 2017

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UK news

As overdose deaths hit record levels, drug and alcohol services face massive cuts

Investigation finds cuts-hit councils in England are slashing budgets and access to treatment, despite the UK being Europe’s drugs death capital | Guardian, UK

Prohibition of tobacco displays

The purpose of this briefing paper is to consider in detail the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010 (as amended) and the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Specialist Tobacconists) (England) Regulations 2010 (as amended) | Parliament.uk, UK

Managing coerced alcohol treatment

Key studies on the role of management in the treatment of problem drinking in criminal justice settings and/or to safeguard the community, where the challenge is to extract therapeutic benefit out of a coercive, punishment-oriented context. Discusses a rare trial of the influential ‘risk-need-responsivity’ model and identifies possibly the most difficult management task in the addictions | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Teenager dies day before 15th birthday as police investigate if drugs to blame

Stronger substances and lack of information about contents of pills and powders have contributed to an increase in deaths related to recreational drug use, say public health experts | Independent, UK

ASH says retailers not need fear a smokeless future

Sir: We are heartened 95% of retailers are now only selling tobacco in the new standard packs | Grocer, UK

Media advisory: Tenth anniversary of smokefree legislation

The first of July 2017 is the tenth anniversary of the most important public health reform in generations – the ending of smoking in enclosed public places in England | ASH, UK

Tax hikes in emerging markets put brake on tobacco growth

Aggressive tax hikes in emerging markets are holding back the number of cigarettes some of the world’s largest tobacco companies are able to sell | Telegraph, UK

Mentor-ADEPIS Drug and Alcohol Education Survey

This survey is designed to further inform the development of the Alcohol and Drugs Education and Prevention Information service | Mentor - ADEPIS, UK

Leeds drug and alcohol service teams up with Waterstones to form new book club for clients

A new book club for people in treatment with the city’s alcohol and drug service has been launched with the support of Waterstones | Yorkshire Evening Post, UK

London drug dealers on expedition to Northampton caught with £1,600 of profits in car, court hears

Two men who texted 'supermarket-like' offers on crack cocaine and heroin to customers before driving around Northampton making drop offs have been jailed | Northampton Chronicle, UK

Angela Wrightson: Failings revealed over torture-murder

Two girls who murdered a vulnerable woman led "chaotic lives" and were known to social services for drinking, running away and taking drugs, a report has concluded | BBC, UK


International news

Police warned of drug so powerful it can kill in one breath

The US opioid epidemic may be getting even worse. Preliminary data suggests overdoses are soaring, while law enforcement officials have been warned about the dangers of fentanyl after it caused a police officer to collapse | New Scientist, UK

How Drug Courts Are Falling Short

At 19 years old, Joshua Smith (not his real name) was diagnosed with an opiate use disorder. Following several attempts at treatment, Smith moved from California to a town in Arizona known for being home to recovery houses for those struggling with substance use disorders. Six months after he arrived in Arizona, Smith relapsed and overdosed on heroin | Talking Drugs, UK

Good Friday alcohol ban to be lifted from all premises by 2018

Broader Bill to cover restaurants, clubs and hotels as well as pubs and off-licences | Irish Times, Ireland

EMCDDA and ECDC join forces to address the challenge of hepatitis

Hepatitis and other drug-related infectious diseases will be the focus of ‘Hepatitis week’, taking place at the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in Lisbon from 12–16 June (1). The initiative will bring together some 100 specialists from: EU Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU, as well as partner agencies, civil society and professional organisations | EMCDDA, Portugal

Naltrexone: Injectable or oral?

Medications can help people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol. One medication that can reduce alcohol craving and help promote recovery is naltrexone, which is approved for treatment of alcohol dependence by the Food and Drug Administration. It is available in two forms – injectable and oral. A pilot study evaluated the feasibility of injectable versus oral naltrexone, administered in a hospital setting to enhance treatment compliance when patients leave the hospital | Science Daily, USA

Maryland removes restrictions on sale of naloxone at pharmacies

Maryland's pharmacies can now sell naloxone to anyone interested in the opioid overdose reversing drug, lifting the requirement for training and certification | Capital Gazette, USA

Further support for genetic factors underlying addictions

Impairment of a particular gene raises increases susceptibility to opioid addiction liability as well as vulnerability to binge eating according to a new study. Dysfunction of the gene, casein kinase1-epsilon (CSNK1E), increases opioid's euphoric response and produces a marked increase in sensitivity to binge eating in a female experimental model but not in the male | Science Daily, USA

Researchers to address prenatal cannabis and substance use disorders at 10th annual

Prenatal cannabis, opioid, and alcohol use is a fast-growing global issue that can have lasting negative effects on fetal and maternal health. In addition, substance use disorders among women, their families, and their children are often left unaddressed, and women who use substances face greater stigmatization globally | EurekAlert, USA

Jeff Sessions Wants to Go After Medical Marijuana

After Jeff Sessions became Donald Trump’s choice as attorney general, there was a lot of speculation over the extent to which the stern drug warrior might make life difficult for producers and consumers of cannabis in the growing number of states that had decided on legalizing recreational marijuana use | NYMagazine, USA

Southern High

Canadian investors want a piece of the American weed pie | VICE, Canada

Cannabis rules loosened after Senate gangs up on government

Terminally ill patients will get faster access to medicinal marijuana and be able to import their own personal supply after the Greens teamed up with Labor and One Nation to deliver a shock Senate vote to kill off government restrictions | Age, Australia

Common prescription drugs behind wave of overdose deaths

New data obtained by the Herald Sun reveals a surge in deaths among older Australians, with almost eight in 10 accidental overdose deaths now men and women aged 30-59 | Queensland Times, Australia

Ice pilot program hailed a success in Newcastle

A pilot program using incentives to combat the ice epidemic in New South Wales is having a positive impact on the lives of recovering addicts | ABC News, Australia

Where can I find trusted evidence-based information about the drug ice? Cracks in the Ice virtual tour

Register for free webinar. This webinar will provide attendees with information on recent trends in use of the drug ice in Australia, and introduces a new online toolkit providing evidence-based information for the Australian community. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, the Cracks in the Ice online toolkit was developed with input from community members | Australian Government, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Interesting things about alcohol and other drugs, June 2017

Andrew Brown (@andrewbrown365) provides an update of new statistics about alcohol and other drugs, including data on sentencing and community orders | MEAM blog, UK

Might innovative taxes on alcohol and other unhealthy commodity products help fund the NHS?

Social Policy scholars from the University of Edinburgh ask whether the public is willing to spend more in so-called 'sin taxes' in order to fund its national health service | IAS Blog, UK

Hepatitis C antiviral drugs are effective

The Cochrane analysis casting doubt on this life-saving therapy is flawed and may deter patients from seeking it, say clinicians and scientists | Guardian letters, UK

'I drank myself into a stupor, the moment my son was in bed'

I always looked immaculate at the school gates, so none of the other mothers had a clue that throughout my son Christopher’s childhood (he’s now 19), I would drink myself into a stupor the moment he was in bed | Telegraph, UK

Divorce and alcohol use disorder in Sweden

Divorce has been the subject of many a Hollywood movie, epic novel and heart-wrenching country ballad. Perhaps, this is not so surprising considering that divorce is rated only after “Death of a spouse” as the second most stressful life event (Holmes and Rahe, 1967). Divorce often represents a psychologically distressing period, requiring significant adjustment | Mental Elf Blog, UK

Formaldehyde Exposure In Marijuana Vaping

Formaldehyde sounds scary because it is for dead bodies. But it is also produced in our natural cellular respiration. Clearly "the dose makes the embalming fluid" but groups who want to scare people about diet soda whisper about its presence | Science2.0 Blog, USA