Daily news - 21st March 2017

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UK news

Corporate report: ACMD members' register of interests

This register of interests for the council members of the ACMD lists their occupations, the organisations they work for and the nature of any interests they might have | ACMD, UK

Open consultation: Alcohol structures

Seeking views on options to amend the structure of the alcohol duty system so that duty rates better correspond to alcoholic strength | HM Treasury, UK

Fixing the UK’s alcohol taxes

The UK’s current system of alcohol excise duties is a mess: for instance, a litre of 7.5% ABV beer is liable for 138p of tax, but a litre of 7.5% ABV cider (that contains exactly the same amount of ethanol) is liable for only 39p of tax. Meanwhile, the real level of excise duty on the strongest products, spirits, has fallen by 50% since 1978/9 | IFS, UK

Supreme court to consider appeal to enforce smoking ban in UK jails

Prisoner Paul Black argues that rules on smoking in communal areas are not being upheld, exposing him to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke | Guardian, UK

Substance Use Commissioning Forum – Commissioning for Recovery (PDF)

This event was facilitated and organised by Adfam in cooperation with Collective Voice, on behalf of the Recovery Partnership. It brought together a group of substance misuse commissioners from across the country to share good practice, challenges and concerns. The focus of the day was commissioning for recovery – how holistic services can be commissioned to facilitate the recovery of those with drug and alcohol issues, and their communities and families | Recovery Partnership / Adfam / Collective Voice, UK

Smoking and Mental Health: IMPACT Guidance launch Tuesday 21 March

Since mid-2015 ASH Scotland has been running a project called IMPACT – Improving Mental and Physical health: Achieving Cessation Targets.  This two-year endeavour has sought to raise awareness within Lothians-based community-based settings about how smoking can impact upon mental health – and how services can help address this | ASH Scotland, UK

Window to brain's reward system could lead to better treatments for alcoholism

In a small trial, carried out at Imperial College London, researchers have provided a unique view into the brains of active alcoholics taking a newly licensed treatment, showing that the medication blunts the brain's reward pathway | Medical Xpress, UK

User characteristics of a smartphone app to reduce alcohol consumption

Digital interventions are available to help people reduce their alcohol consumption, but it is not known who uses these interventions and how this treatment-seeking group compares with the general population of drinkers | Springer-Verlag, UK

Daily Harm Reduction

New website. The idea is a simple one, we are planning to have one harm reduction tip or related quote each weekday for people to use to support their work or just have a bit of inspiration from someone in history | Daily Harm Reduction, UK

Volteface Podcast #1 – How Can We Eradicate Rough Sleeping in the UK?

In the latest episode of the Volteface Podcasts series, Hardeep Matharu speaks to Brooks Newmark about a new report published this week suggesting how rough sleeping can be eradicated across the UK | Volte Face, UK

Alcohol Use by Nightlife Patrons in the UK and Brazil: a comparative study

Survey. This study is part of a wider PhD programme of research. The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare nightlife drinking behaviours in UK and Brazil. I am interested in students’ expectations and perceptions of drinking culture, especially about pre-drinking and its implications | LJMU, UK

Grindr launches emojis, ditches one linked to crystal meth

Grindr, the all-male gay dating app and social network, has launched its own emojis to enhance the chat experience. For those not content with a simple aubergine, Gaymojis by Grindr contains 500+ text-friendly emojis that will, “bring the Grindr lifestyle to life and speak to the mobile dating generation” | Dazed Digital, UK

The man who made the zombie drug: How innocent scientist accidentally unleashed plague of super-strength synthetic cannabis

John Huffman was studying how cannabis affects the human brain when he created a synthetic version which mimicked the drug but his research was used by drug dealers to create the notorious Spice drug | Mirror, UK

Hepatitis C campaigner urges Trainspotting director Danny Boyle to get characters tested for the virus

Charity worker Petra Wright, a former heroin user, calls on the director to 'choose a Hep C test' for hit Scottish film's main men in a cheeky letter | Daily Record, UK

Will alcohol ruin my diet?

Booze contains plenty of calories, but is it possible to drink and still maintain a healthy lifestyle? | Guardian, UK

Couple who took drug orders over Facebook sentenced

An Angus couple who took orders for drugs over Facebook have been given community sentences | BBC, UK

Ambassador's son stole £10k from his parents after being sent to the Alps to kick drug habit

An ambassador's son was sent to the Alps to overcome his drug addiction but returned to steal £10,000 from his parent's Kensington flat to fund his habit, a court heard | Telegraph, UK

Peru Two drugs mule to ‘interview dealers in prison for new series’

Peru Two drugs mule, Michaella McCollum, was jailed for six years and eight months, along with Melissa Reid for trying to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of Peru and into Spain | Metro, UK


International news

'Wide awake drunk' on energy drinks and alcohol mix

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could be a risky combination, leading to a greater risk of accidents and injuries, research from Canada suggests | BBC, UK

Roadside drug tests set to begin over Easter weekend

Roadside drug tests will be in operation by the Easter Bank Holiday weekend | Irish Examiner, Ireland

USI: Drug information campaign 2017

Second phase of a student drug campaign focuses on synthetic cannabinoids and mephedrone | Drugs.ie, Ireland

What are the risks and rewards of medicinal cannabis?

Ireland, like many other countries, stands on the verge of easing patients' access to medicinal ­cannabis. Still, even as some users report dramatic health benefits, doctors are proceeding with caution. Our reporter asks why | Independent, Ireland

Film Sessions at the Harm Reduction International Conference: Call For Submissions!

The Rights Reporter Foundation and Harm Reduction International now welcomes entries to the Drugreporter Film Sessions at the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference! | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Brief interview by doctor may cut cannabis use in some youth

A brief intervention conducted by general practitioners could reduce cannabis use among some younger users, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

CDC Foundation’s New Business Pulse Focuses on Opioid Overdose Epidemic

Business Pulse: Opioid Overdose Epidemic, launched today by the CDC Foundation, explores how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to protect individuals from the widespread opioid overdose epidemic | CDC, USA

Studies Suggest Cautious Optimism About Declines In Teen Opioid Use

In the midst of an opioid epidemic that continues to devastate families, a sliver of hope has arrived. Two long-term studies published Monday show that opioid use among teens and opioid poisonings among younger children are on the decline | npr, USA

Case Study: When Chronic Pain Leads to a Dangerous Addiction

How did an educated, elderly engineer wind up with a heroin habit? | Scientific American, USA

American carnage: the new landscape of opioid addiction

We should all be dead,” said Jonathan Goyer one bright morning in January as he looked across a room filled with dozens of his coworkers and clients. The Anchor Recovery Community Center, which Goyer helps run, occupies the shell of an office building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island | First Things, USA

Ketamine For Severe Depression: 'How Do You Not Offer This Drug to People?'

Gerard Sanacora, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University, has treated hundreds of severely depressed patients with low doses of ketamine, an anesthetic and popular club drug that isn't approved for depression | npr, USA

When CVS stopped selling cigarettes, some customers quit smoking

The retail pharmacy company CVS Health helped its customers quit smoking by pulling cigarettes off the shelves two years ago, a new study suggests | Reuters, USA

E-cigarettes exploding in popularity: New data

The number of American adults who smoke cigarettes has fallen sharply, from 42.4 percent in 1965 to 15.1 percent in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Naturally, cigarette sales also declined over the same period | Journalist's Resource, USA

New study predicts overall beneficial effect of e-cigarettes

A new study predicts that when e-cigarettes are available as alternative to cigarettes, by 2050 the 32% of smokers in the UK that otherwise would have continued smoking would have completely switched to e-cigarettes | News Medical, USA

1 in 4 teens exposed to secondhand E-cig vapors: report

One-quarter of U.S. middle and high school students say they've been exposed to potentially dangerous secondhand e-cigarette vapors, a federal government study shows | Medical Xpress, USA

Marijuana poisoning poses serious risk for dogs

Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, veterinarians have seen an uptick in dogs treated for marijuana toxicity | USA Today, USA

UC Davis professor explores the history of wine through labels

UC Davis wine historian James Lapsley will use vintage wine labels to share the colorful history of California wine at a public event at the California Historical Society in San Francisco on March 15 | Napa Valley Register, USA

Health board adopts overdose battle plan

Toronto’s health board has cleared the way for the expansion of the use of prescription heroin to treat addicts | Toronto Sun, Canada

Cause of spike baffles but grim news expected

Police are concerned about a spike in drug overdoses on the peninsula in recent weeks and fear a rise in drug-related deaths will follow | Daily Telegraph, Australia

Funding To Help Sporting Groups Tackle Illegal Drugs

More than a thousand community sport clubs across the country are being encouraged to take part in a Turnbull Government program to reduce the impact of illegal drugs on Australian communities | Greg Hunt, Australia

Costco's South Australian booze battle continues

Retail giant slams "slow process" to get SA liquor licence | Age, Australia

Former top cops want 'white market' in illicit drugs, decriminalisation, more injecting rooms

A new report into drug-related deaths has proposed the decriminalisation of drug use in Australia | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

In a departure from the normal round-up, I want this week to focus on the idea of how increasingly propaganda and lies are trumping facts – and the pun is intended. I am prompted in this by a very interesting and frankly scary and depressing article by Tim Harford writing in the Financial Times about the 'problem with facts'. | NSP Blog, UK

Cannabis and psychosis: it’s high time for a review

It’s hard to tell on the face of it what the knock-on effects of using cannabis are with the wash of media attention, political messages, and people trying to avoid sounding like a massive downer | Mental Elf, UK

How To Campaign For Cannabis Law Reform Under A Theresa May Government

"If the government won’t take responsibility and regulate cannabis, then step by step we are going to do it for them. Someone has to, there is far too much harm and suffering caused by present policy." | Clear, UK

Fixing the UK’s alcohol taxes

Heavy drinkers have a higher social cost than other drinkers and are more responsive to changes in alcohol prices, say the Institute for Fiscal Studies. So why not raise taxes on the high-strength drinks they most often consume? | IAS Blog, UK

Men need a drink to open up? What a dangerously self-fulfilling belief

With suicide such a problem among young men, it’s time to dismantle the stereotype that men must cling to our pints like torches in the labyrinth | Guardian Opinion, UK

Why coca leaf, not coffee, may always be Colombia’s favourite cash crop

Colombia’s current peace process is facing numerous challenges. In a country that has suffered the worst impacts of the international drug war, one main dilemma is this: what to do with rural regions which have specialised in producing coca leaf, the main ingredient in one of the world’s most lucrative products? | Conversation, Chile

What price our health?

There is something seriously wrong with our health system. And I’m not talking about the shortfalls in Medicare | Australian Drug Foundation Insights, Australia

Stigma, aggression and fear: ‘Ice Wars’ a lost opportunity

At AOD Media Watch we had several AOD experts, including Associate Professor Nicole Lee and Gino Vumbaca & Tony Trimingham, provide commentary on the various issues regarding the ABC series Ice Wars. But what do people who have lived experience with methamphetamine think about the series? Here is a piece from Jay Morris, who has recovered from methamphetamine dependence | AOD Media Watch, Australia