Daily news - 7th March 2017

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UK news

No Smoking Day 8th March 2017

You'll feel the benefits of stopping smoking from the very first day. It's not just about saving money. You'll drastically improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer | NHS Inform, UK

Guidance: Health matters: preventing drug misuse deaths

This professional resource outlines how providers and commissioners can prevent deaths from drug abuse | PHE, UK

Prize for cracking brain's 'feel good' system

Three UK-based scientists have won a prestigious prize worth 1m euros for studying the brain's reward centre | BBC, UK

Oxford University Student Union introduces 'smart drug' workshops for students

Oxford University Student Union has started to run workshops to raise awareness about so-called 'smart drugs', otherwise known as 'study drugs.' | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis use is soaring so let’s focus on reducing harm instead, say experts

Weed, ganja, bhang, Bob Hope… whatever you call it, cannabis is becoming increasingly common in the UK | I news, UK

News & updates February 2017: tax & white cider, lunchtime drinking ban, dry 2017, nightcaps & more

Ahead of the government's spring Budget this week, both 'sides' campaigning for changes in alcohol duty have been seeing some coverage of their calls | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Use of electronic cigarettes in pregnancy - video

This Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group webinar was recorded on 11 January 2017. Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling provides an update on the latest evidence about the use of electronic cigarettes in pregnancy, which is followed by a question and answer session with experts from Public Health England, the Royal College of Midwives and Improving Performance in Practice | ASH, UK

Podcast: Do tobacco cessation interventions provided during substance abuse treatment or recovery help tobacco users to quit?

Several dozen Cochrane Reviews examine the effects of methods to help people quit smoking. A new review in November 2016 adds to this evidence by considering interventions targeted at people with substance use disorders. We asked lead author, Dorie Apollonio from the University of California San Francisco in the USA, to tell us what they found in this podcast | Cochrane, UK

Thames Crossing pollution and drug fix rooms - BBC radio iPlayer

Dave Monk brings you the big Essex stories of the day and your calls | BBC Radio Essex, UK

Looking Back - Last Year's Drug Policy

Episode 10 of Stop and Search, and we're here to have a look at what took place over the last year | LEAP, UK

'Stark' photos of drug use at Wrexham bus station

A bus driver who works at Wrexham's bus station has published "stark" photographs of drug use there on social media | BBC, UK


International news

Israel decriminalises marijuana to emphasise 'treatment instead of criminal enforcement'

People caught smoking cannabis in public will not be prosecuted until fourth offence | Independent, UK

A report on medicinal cannabis will be in the Oireachtas today

The meeting will take place at 12pm today | Journal, Ireland

Global SMART update 2017. Fentanyl and its analogues - 50 years on (PDF)

The latest SMART update - number 17, under the theme " Fentanyl and its analogues - 50 years on" - includes information on the growing complexity of the opioid market, in particular the fentanyl group, international controls, evolving patterns of use and associated risks, global developments in manufacture and trafficking of fentanyl analogues and their precursors | UNODC, Switzerland

International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (PDF)

Reporting on Major Illicit Drug Producing and Major Drug-Transit Countries INCB, USA

Cocaine Addiction Rate Raises In The US Thanks To Colombia's Booming Coca Supply

Colombia is pumping out more cocaine than ever, resulting in a major rise in use and availability of the drug in the United States, according to the State Department’s annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report | IBTimes, USA

The Hidden Link Between Autism and Addiction

It’s believed that people on the spectrum don’t get hooked on alcohol or other drugs. New evidence suggests they do | The Atlantic, USA

Ketamine no 'wonder drug' for depression

There is no added benefit to using ketamine over a standard anaesthetic during electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) according to new research from the University of Aberdeen | Medical Xpress, USA

Social rejection by those closest to you can lead to subsequent drinking

The need to belong and experience social connections is a fundamental human characteristic. This study examined the impact of social rejection on alcohol use, and whether the impact differed when the social rejection was by close others, such as friends, spouses or family members, or by strangers or acquaintances | Science Daily, USA

Overdose reversal drug struggles among increasing cost, stigma

Access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, has been a high priority for Humboldt County officials, health care organizations and nonprofits since officials noticed the rate of overdose deaths locally was three times higher than the national rate. That’s been the case for the past 15 years | Times Standard, USA

Democrats Push Ban On Flavored E-Cigs In Name Of Protecting Kids

Democratic lawmakers are attempting to ban all flavored vaping products in New Jersey, claiming they lure children to smoking and harm public health | Daily Caller, USA

Revisiting the Surrey Strip

Donna May, whose daughter Jac Gray died in 2012, revisits Surrey’s 135A Street to find it lacks promised overdose prevention sites | Globe amd Mail, Canada

Experts slam TGA e-cigarette ban as 'unethical' and 'unscientific'

For most of 40 years, David Stephens lit up a smoke to enjoy with his coffee each morning | SMH, Australia

Meth imprisonment policy opposed

Drug and alcohol treatment providers want more rehab and less prison from politicians | The West, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The latest drug misuse figures (2015/16)

Last week (28 February 2017) the NHS with the Office for National Statistics published the latest information about drug misuse in England and Wales. The main findings are summarised below in both bullet points and images | Russell Webster blog, UK

GFN UK dialogues

As one of the organisers of the Global Forum on Nicotine, it is easy to get caught up in the debates that take place around international issues, which arise from FCTC COP meetings, or the responses and campaigning relating to the TPD, the FDA Deeming Regulations, or TGA position on nicotine in Australia. What can get forgotten in all of this is the daily impact of laws and regulations on the lives of nicotine consumers | NSP Blog, UK

Nicotine reverses hypofrontality in animal models of addiction and schizophrenia

It is well established that cigarette smoking is highly comorbid with a range of psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia | Mental Elf Blog, UK

France: breaking new ground in tobacco control

The start of 2017 has seen tobacco control in France boosted with a series of ground-breaking tobacco control measures, as detailed in a recent article by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada | BMJ Blogs, UK

Why we can't look away from our screens

In a new book, the social psychologist Adam Alter warns that our devotion to digital devices has morphed into something very much like addiction | NYTimes, USA

Decriminalising drugs

The use of illegal drugs such as ice is an important community concern.  The police, medical services and communities struggle to deal with the aggressive and hyperactive behaviour of ice addicts as well as the crimes they commit to fund their addiction | Onlne opinion, Australia