Daily news - 8th 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

Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2015

Cigarette smoking among adults including the proportion of people who smoke including demographic breakdowns, changes over time, and e-cigarettes | ONS, UK

Why young people are less likely to smoke

All age groups in the UK are smoking less - but the largest decrease is among 18- to 24-year-olds, according to the Office of National Statistics. Why is that? | BBC, UK

Smoking numbers hit new low as Britons turn to vaping to help quit cigarettes

New data reveals a significant decline in number of smokers over last five years, while the daily number of cigarettes consumed has also fallen | Guardian, UK

Young people do not associate e-cigarettes with increased likelihood of smoking

New research suggests availability of e-cigarettes makes smoking appear less attractive to young people, discourages tobacco uptake | EurekAlert, UK

Budget tobacco tax hike due on No Smoking Day

Health campaigners say today's budget is a perfect opportunity for smokers to assess the growing cost of their habit. This year's No Smoking Day coincides with the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement in which he's certain to raise tobacco taxes again | Boots, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England

The profiles provide information to monitor the services and initiatives that have been put in place to prevent and reduce the harmful impact of alcohol | PHE, UK

Commentaries on - Cost of alcohol: better data will be justified if it is put to better use

Open access commentaries | Addiction, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing - podcast

Latest podcast from What's the crack | NAC, UK

Is Cannabidiol a useful drug for treating addictions?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that people are using Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis, to help them quit smoking cigarettes as well as other drugs | BAP, UK

Making Cannabis Safer

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in demand for the treatment of cannabis-related problems | Volte Face, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department has made an assessment of the implications for its policy on the use of medicinal cannabis of the findings in The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in 2017; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment she has made of trends in drug-related deaths of prisoners in England and Wales in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Oral Tobacco

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what scientific research forms the basis of the ban on snus as a smoking substitute | They work for you, UK

Outreach to Chronic Problem Drinkers: The service user view (PDF)

In 2015 we published a report on the impact of the Nottinghamshire Alcohol Long Term Conditions Team which used a Blue Light model to deliver assertive outreach to high impact change resistant drinkers with long-term health conditions.  This report showed the significant return on investment achieved by the team. In 2016 we sat down with the users of that team and asked them about their experience on the receiving end of assertive outreach. This report is provided above | Alcohol Concern, UK

The talker in the talking route to recovery

Structured around Carl Rogers’ classic formulation of the “necessary and sufficient conditions” for therapy, this cell in the Alcohol Treatment Matrix focuses on whether some therapists more successfully treat problem drinking because they more strongly forge ‘therapeutic’ relationships | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Hepatitis C patients and nurses highlight impact of the virus in new reports

Hepatitis C patients and nurses have made clear, in two reports launched by The Hepatitis C Trust today, the significant challenges still faced by people living with the virus, including societal stigma as well as the on-going restrictions on access to NICE-approved, curative treatments | Hepatitis C Trust, UK

Prime Minister accused of 'disappointing' response over tackling 'pocket money' alcohol

Campaigners say Theresa May should do more after hearing the tragic story of Megan Craig-Wilkinson, who died after drinking super-strong cider | Chronicle, UK

Manchester's spice epidemic - BBC radio iPlayer

Alison and Phil ask how bad is Manchester's spice epidemic as we've seen people rushed off in ambulances apparently under the influence of the drug | BBC Radio Manchester, UK

North East is "binge drinking capital" of the country

New figures from Public Health England show almost a third of adults in the region are drinking at harmful levels – the highest figure for any English region | ITV, UK

Meet the mums legalising drugs

Free event. Tue, March 21, 2017. 7:00 PM – 9:45 PM GMT. London | Anyone's Child, UK

Use of Ketamine and Novel Psychoactive Substances (legal highs) - survey

Welcome to the 'Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances/Legal Highs and Ketamine' Survey. This survey aims to evaluate the level of knowledge and awareness of the use of Novel Psychoactive Substances/Legal Highs and Ketamine. The survey is completed anonymously, can be saved part way through and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete | University of Herts, UK

Wrexham council 'not doing its job' over drug use

Wrexham council is "not doing its job" to tackle drug problems in the town, local Labour MP Ian Lucas has said | BBC, UK

Cracking down on Glasgow's drug dealers a priority as 700,000 Valium tablets are seized in one raid

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty outlined his intentions to continue to tackle serious and organised crime in a report to councillors at Glasgow City Council | Evening Times, UK

Rise in Dundee unpaid work court orders

"As part of their unpaid work offenders are also required to focus on areas such as victim awareness, alcohol or drug education and literacy and numeracy tutoring, all of which can contribute significantly to a reduction in reoffending ." | BBC, UK

Four held over Class A drugs supply

Four people have been arrested in simultaneous raids in London in connection with the supply of class A drugs into Gloucestershire | BBC, UK

Selby 'Biggles' cocaine pilot has jail term cut

A pilot nicknamed Biggles who was jailed for flying 268kg (591lbs) of cocaine into the UK has had his sentence reduced | BBC, UK


International news

Daily chart: America’s opioid epidemic is worsening

States are losing the battle against deadly drugs like heroin and fentanyl | Economist, UK

Cannabis and prescription painkillers flooding Gaza Strip, Hamas warns

'They think Tramadol will change the reality and will make them feel at peace. They want to lose awareness and any feeling of reality', says a psychiatrist who works with people in the occupied territory | Independent, UK

HSE policy on public health information initiatives related to alcohol (PDF)

The purpose of this policy is to provide clarity on the HSE’s position with regard to engaging, directly or indirectly, in any initiatives, partnership or funding arrangements with the alcohol industry. This states that HSE services , divisions or staff do not in the course of their work take part in campaigns, programmes or initiatives that are funded, or co-funded, directly or indirectly, by Alcohol manufacturers and distributors or their Social Aspect Public Relations Organisations (SAPROS) | Health Service Executive, Ireland

Ask about alcohol

Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, TD, Minister of State for Health Promotion has launched a new website, Askaboutalcohol.ie, along with a Health Service Executive information campaign on alcohol harm | DoH, Ireland

HPRA backs limited access to medicinal cannabis

The Health Products Regulatory Authority has recommended access to medicinal cannabis under a monitored, five-year programme, confined to a number of specific illnesses | RTE, Ireland

Mother walks 260km in medicinal cannabis plea for ill daughter

A mother who walked from Cork to Dublin to highlight her daughter's need for medicinal cannabis said it was the "most challenging thing" she has ever done | Irish Independent, Ireland

Children as young as 13 are caught up in crack 'epidemic'

Tallaght is close to experiencing a crack cocaine "epidemic", with children as young as 13 smoking the drug that brought misery to the streets of New York in the 1980s | Independent, Ireland

The House’s Obamacare repeal bill would strand drug addicts without access to care

This is coming in the middle of the deadly opioid painkiller and heroin epidemic | VOX, USA

Becoming tobacco-free is feasible, boosts safety in a mental health hospital

A new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) showed positive changes in attitudes and a reduction in patient agitation after implementing a fully tobacco-free environment at Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital | Medical Xpress, USA

Giving up cigarettes may be vital for smokers in recovery from illicit substance use disorders, study shows

Smokers in recovery from illicit drug use disorders are at greater risk of relapsing three years later compared with those who do not smoke cigarettes. Results of the study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York appear online in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry | News Medical, USA

Shimadzu announces release of new Cannabis Analyzer for Potency at Pittcon 2017

Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) announces the release of its new Cannabis Analyzer for Potency. This high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) is the first-ever instrument designed specifically for quantitative determination of cannabinoid content | News Medical, USA

Caffeine boosts enzyme that could protect against dementia, study finds

A study by Indiana University researchers has identified 24 compounds—including caffeine—with the potential to boost an enzyme in the brain shown to protect against dementia | Medical Xpress, USA

Why We Need to Destroy the Concept of What a Drug User Looks Like

Images of aged, dirty, and scabbed faces don’t help anyone. But neither does our obsession with attractive, white victims of overdose death | VICE, USA

Laughing Through Recovery: The Addicts Comedy Tour

“People say it’s the first time I laughed in 20 years. It’s the first time I can look at my shame without lowering my face. It’s the first time I can understand my husband’s situation." | The Fix, USA

Pet Owners Treat Sick Animals with Cannabis - video

As more states legalize marijuana, pet owners are giving their dogs and cats cannabis to treat everything from anxiety to arthritis. But veterinarians say there isn't enough scientific data to show it's safe and effective for animals | USA Today, USA

Everything You Need To Know About Pill Testing Explained With “Simpsons” Quotes

I know, sometimes it can be fun, too. But often times, people don’t know exactly what they’re taking - including ingredients and dosages. It’s not exactly like tabs or pills come with dietary information engraved on the back of them | Buzzfeed, Australia

Victoria Government announces major crackdown on synthetic drugs

Shops and drug dealers selling synthetic drugs will face jail and hefty fines in an unprecedented crackdown on dangerous substances in Victoria | Herald Sun, Australia

Political parties urged to rethink harsher jail terms for meth dealing, trafficking

Substance abuse experts and families torn apart by methamphetamine are warning major political parties they can not "arrest" their way out of Western Australia's drug problem | abc.net.au, Australia

Philippines closes in on death penalty

The Philippines will reintroduce the death penalty for drug offences, with offenders to either be hanged, face a firing squad or be killed via lethal injection | news.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why Kenya shouldn’t follow a militarized approach to drugs

“The global war on drugs has been fought for more than 50 years without preventing the long term trend of increasing drug supply and use. Beyond this  failure, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has identified  many serious  negative “unintended consequences of the drug war …” Count the Cost | Anyone's Child blog, UK

Decriminalise drugs? Don't bet on it

This retired magistrate  has argued for years with former colleagues and others in addition to posts on this site that there should be decriminalisation of personal drug use. I do not intend to repeat those arguments now | Justice of the Peace blog, UK

Ten Things I Learned in Canada Last Week

Volteface recently visited Toronto and Ottawa to learn more about the Canadian government’s plans to legalise cannabis. Here are the thoughts of our Director Steve Moore | Volte Face, UK

ACT cannot shy away from alcohol debate

There is a darker reality that underlies the jovial, uninhibited greetings at bars and clubs around Canberra and the nation | Age editorial, Australia