Daily news - 3rd March 2017

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UK news

Case study: Responding to drug related deaths in Newcastle

Review of drug related deaths in Newcastle informed a naloxone scheme, delivery plan and commissioning plan for a complete recovery system | PHE, UK

Case study: A lung health clinic in an addictions service

Screening for lung disease is not common in drug and alcohol treatment services but Lambeth has set up a lung health clinic in its CDAT team | PHE, UK

Splitting the bill: Alcohol's impact on the economy (PDF)

Economic questions are central to the formation of alcohol policies, such as the setting of alcohol taxes, licensing requirements and marketing regulations. In particular, arguments around income, employment and trade are regularly used by the alcohol industry to resist measures to discourage consumption and harm. Such arguments are premised on the assumption that a successful alcohol industry is beneficial to the UK economy. This report critically examines that assumption | IAS, UK

Life-saving alcohol services face devastating cuts

Alcohol-related hospital admissions are on the rise. So why are cuts being made to specialist nursing services? | Guardian, UK

Guidance: Accredited qualification providers: personal licence to sell alcohol

List of accredited organisations that provide courses and exams for a personal licence to sell alcohol | Home Office, UK

Government Moves Closer to Compulsory Alcohol and Drugs Education for Schools

An announcement made today by Education Secretary Justine Greening marks an important step in the campaign to protect all school students from risks through PSHE education. Schools will be required to deliver Relationships Education and the Government will be consulting to broaden the scope of statutory PSHE to include subjects such as drugs and alcohol | Mentor, UK

Evaluation of Four Recovery Communities across England: Final report for the Give it Up project

The Comic Relief: Give it Up Fund is a programme that aims to develop and build abstinence-based recovery communities and learn more about their value. The Give it Up Fund supports the development of recovery communities in four geographical locations in England. It is expected that the recovery communities will be sustainable and continue to operate after the two years of funding is complete. The aim of this research is to evaluate the operational processes of the pilot programmes and better understand how they might contribute to ambitions of improved and sustained recovery | PHI, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's press release of 29 December 2016, psychoactive substances ban six months on: almost 500 arrests and first convictions, what the alleged offences were for each person arrested; and which police force carried out each arrest | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason Treasury Ministers will not hold pre-Budget meetings with representatives of the alcohol industry in 2017 | They work for you, UK

Family share photo of teen in coma after 'drink spiked'

A photograph of a teenager lying in a coma after his drink was "spiked with ecstasy" has been shared by his family online to raise awareness of drugs | BBC, UK

The owners of a Weymouth hotel say their business will fold if a proposed drug and alcohol rehab centre opens next door - BBC iPlayer

We're live on Abbotsbury Road, at the site where Dorset County Council is planning to convert a guest house into a Recovery Hub for hardened addicts from across the county | BBC Radio Solent, UK

Diplomat Karen Betts named as new Scotch Whisky Association boss

The British ambassador to Morocco has been named as the new chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association | BBC, UK

Response to consultation on police and crime plan for London

Release has responded to the Mayor's Office on Policing and Crime ('MOPAC') Consultation 'A Safer City for All Londoners, Draft Police and Crime Plan for London 2017 -2021' which sets out "a plan that explains how the police, community safety partners and other criminal justice agencies will work together to reduce crime."| Release, UK

Why the dark net is more resilient to attack than the internet

The internet is amazingly robust, but like any complex network is still prone to the occasional failure. A new analysis using network theory explains why the dark net – the hidden underbelly of the regular internet, invisible to search engines – is less vulnerable to attacks. The lessons learned could help inform the design of more robust communications networks in the future | New Scientist, UK

Michael Freshwater death: Fatally stabbed man 'went to rob drug dealers'

A man was stabbed to death after he stormed into a flat with a sawn-off shotgun to rob three drug dealers, an inquest has heard | BBC, UK

Drug dealer jailed after £56,000 heroin seizure

A Dundee man caught with heroin worth more than £56,000 has been jailed for seven years | BBC, UK


International news

The INCB Annual Report 2016: A significant shift on drug consumption rooms

The international drug control conventions require the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) to publish an annual report which provides an analysis of world drug situation. The 2016 Report has been launched today | IDPC, UK

INCB Annual Report and Precursors report 2016

The INCB Annual Report, prepared in accordance with the international drug control treaties, reviews the functioning of the international drug control system, contains an analysis of the global drug control situation, draws attention to weaknesses in national and international drug control, and makes recommendations to Governments and regional and international organizations. The thematic chapter of the INCB Annual Report for 2016 focuses on the topic of women and drugs | INCB, Switzerland

INCB report calls for drug policies that take women into account, as countries register disproportionate rise in overdoses among females (PDF)

Press release. At a time when countries are reporting a disproportionate increase in drug overdoses among women, the Vienna-based INCB in its Annual Report for 2016 is calling on Governments to do more to take women into account in their drug policies and programmes | INCB, Switzerland

Tastier than a Taser: Drug Policies Beyond the War on Drugs

Moments before we go live, a make-up technician leans towards a large expanse of orange flesh, and, for the third time that day, daubs away the crummy residue of a hastily-gobbled Twinkie | Volte Face, UK

Families of victims of Colombia's paramilitaries get their day in US court

Hernán Giraldo Serna, one of the leaders of a rightwing force that escaped trial for crimes against humanity to face drug charges in the US, oversaw 270 murders | Guardian, UK

One in three WA youth detainees have foetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Impairment affects ability to process instructions and is caused when an unborn child is exposed to alcohol in the womb | Guardian, UK

Kylie Jenner criticised by fans after she's pictured smoking

Kylie Jenner has been criticised by campaigners and fans for smoking in a new photo shoot | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Short report HBSC Ireland 2014: young people’s drinking in the North Dublin area (PDF)

The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study is a cross-national research study conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe and runs on a four-year cycle | Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI, Ireland

HBSC Ireland 2014: alcohol and cannabis use in school-children in Ireland (updated) (PDF)

The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study is a cross-national research study conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe and runs on a four-year cycle | Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI, Ireland

Call for cigarette plain packaging start date

Majority of public support the move | Irish Health, Ireland

Irish Pain Society backs use of medical cannabis

The HPRA report recommended against the use of medical cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Warnings over ‘fast and loose’ medicinal cannabis supply

Mother of boy with severe form of epilepsy says families face ripoffs and bogus products | Irish Times, Ireland

Taking stock: where does Europe stand in the elimination of hepatitis B and C?

In 2016, a regional action plan for Europe that aims to contribute to the implementation of the global viral hepatitis elimination strategy was developed by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. In an article published today in Eurosurveillance, the authors take a closer look how Europe is doing according to the ten indicators and targets outlined in this plan. In short: Europe still has some way to go if it wants to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030 | ECDC, Belgium

Young Swedes swapping alcohol for social media and the gym: study

Young Swedes are becoming stricter in their attitudes towards alcohol, with social media use and a love of fitness contributing to a less permissive attitude – the opposite of their older compatriots | Local, Sweden

Death penalty bill now limited to drug offenses

It’s final – plunder, rape and treason had been removed from the death penalty bill, which is expected to be passed on second reading tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, in the House of Representatives | Inquirer, USA

Naloxone Won’t Rescue Us From The Opioid Epidemic, But It’s A Start

The death rate from drug overdoses in the U.S. more than doubled from 1999 to 2015 and increased for every age group, according to a February report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Huffington Post, USA

The real causes of the worst drug crisis in US history

An addiction expert explains the root causes of the opioid epidemic | Vox, USA

The shifting rationales for vaping

A new long-term study uses social media data to learn why people use e-cigarettes and why they started in the first place | Science Daily, USA

Myths, Facts And Fixing Policy On Vaping

Dr. Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, a member of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research, was an early adapter of abandoning the "quit or die" approach to cigarette addiction, and embracing all avenues for smoking cessation | American Council on Science and Health, UK

A Primer About Cannabidiol And The Benefits Of CBD

Many of cannabinoids have therapeutic value and CBD is no exception | Huffington Post, USA

The World’s First ‘Cannabis Gym’ Is Opening in San Francisco

Marijuana and fitness are generally not associated with one another — but gym owner Jim McAlpine is hoping to change that | People, USA

Top doc says Canada's opioid addiction treatment is dangerous, Suboxone should be used in place of methadone

Canada's use of methadone in treating fentanyl and other opioid abuse is dangerous and outdated, says a substance abuse expert gathered with others in Banff mapping out addiction strategies | Calgary Sun, Canada

Can Canada aggressively lower tobacco use by 2035?

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has committed to reducing tobacco use among Canadians to less than 5 per cent by 2035, telling an audience Wednesday at the National Forum on the Future of Tobacco Control in Canada that “preventing a new generation of smokers is a priority.” | Globe and Mail, Canada

New medical cannabis chewing gum set for launch

A new cannabis chewing gum is in development by the biotechnology company AXIM Biotechnologies. The new product will be branded CanChew Plus and it is an advancement on gum already on the market | Digital Journal, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Novel Psychoactive Substances: important information for health professionals

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS; also known as new psychoactive substances or popularly, although erroneously, as ‘legal highs’) is the name given to drugs that are newly synthesised or newly available, and which do not fall under the control of United Nations Drug Conventions | Mental Elf Blog, UK

Cheap cider and an alcohol duty system that incentivises harmful practice

Cheap alcohol and its association with harmful drinking have been at the centre of UK alcohol policy debate for almost a decade. Public health advocates have presented minimum unit pricing as a solution, but legal wranglespolitical U-turns and the fine detail of devolution mean that the policy remains unimplemented in any UK country | IAS Blog, UK

A Taste of Dutch Drug Policy: Topics of Interest for ADHS 2017

The complex reality of drug control is evident at the many popular dance festivals in the country. Major events such as the multi-day Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) attract many Dutch and international visitors | Points blog, UK

Virginia Republican introduces bill to end federal marijuana prohibition

A freshman Republican representative from Virginia introduced legislation this week that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana use and allow states to fully set their own course on marijuana policy | Washington Post Blog, USA