Daily news - 28th March 2017

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UK news

Guidance: Communicating the UK Chief Medical Officers’ alcohol guidelines

Sets out how the UK Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines can be communicated on labelling | DoH, UK

Alcohol licensing: a guide for public health teams

A Public Health England (PHE) web resource outlines the objectives, legal framework and local practice examples of public health involvement in local licensing | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 28 March 2017

Heated debate on the upsurge in drug misuse deaths in the UK reached a conclusion in a report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Their evidence included a study suggesting 880 lives a year have been saved by addiction treatment in England. However, legally arm-twisting drug users into treatment seems to have failed. Drinkers helping each other through AA boosts abstinence after treatment | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Tramadol re-classification call after drugs death

A coroner in Northern Ireland has called for tramadol to be made a Class A drug | BBC, UK

Is a Jägerbomb more dangerous than a gin and tonic?

Research seems to link energy drink cocktails with higher alcohol consumption and an increase in negative consequences. How bad can a vodka Red Bull be? | Guardan, UK

Rape victim says judge 'right about women's drunkenness'

A rape victim whose attack led to a judge saying drunk women were putting themselves in danger has defended the comments, saying the judge was "right" | BBC, UK

Topic expert - drugs misuse prevention quality standards advisory committee

We are looking for topic experts to join the drugs misuse prevention quality standards advisory committee | NICE, UK

Drugs: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2017 to Question 68249, on drugs: sentencing, how many people serving a custodial sentence for drug offences are serving that sentence for personal possession | They work for you, UK

Precursor chemical import and export authorisation wallchart

This chart outlines the authorisation requirements for importing chemicals into the UK and the requirements for exporting them to different countries across the world | Home Office, UK

The acceptability and feasibility of a brief psychosocial intervention to reduce blood-borne virus risk behaviours among people who inject drugs: a randomised control feasibility trial of a psychosocial intervention (the PROTECT study) versus treatment as usual

While opiate substitution therapy and injecting equipment provision (IEP) have reduced blood-borne viruses (BBV) among people who inject drugs (PWID), some PWID continue to share injecting equipment and acquire BBV. Psychosocial interventions that address risk behaviours could reduce BBV transmission among PWID | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Brewdog backs down over Lone Wolf pub trademark dispute

Brewer withdraws action after Guardian report sparks backlash accusing firm of being ‘multinational corporate machine’ | Guardian, UK

Hepatitis C and Families: Phone Interviews

We are looking for family members of people who inject drugs to interview over the phone about their experiences. This is part of our research into the impact of hepatitis C on families of people who inject drugs | Adfam, UK

Historic photos from the glory days of Britain’s illegal rave movement

A nocturnal gathering on a grassy Welsh farm. Clandestine meet-ups in the guts of a historic suspension bridge. Stony beaches and surreptitious squats. These were the sites of England’s storied free party scene in the early 1990s | Timeline, UK

The Secret DJ tells a story of taking magic mushrooms on a flight to Miami 

I often have to check my luggage for drugs. Usually a nice airport security staff member will do this for me, but I like to do it myself first. When you are a DJ people genuinely do throw drugs at you. Sometimes quite literally | MixMag, UK

Teenager dying of cancer 'recovers after mother gives him marijuana'

Scientists say Deryn's story 'validates that we need more research into what is going on' | Independent, UK

Cowes boat crash drugs suspects released

Three men arrested on suspicion of drugs offences after a boat crash off the Isle of Wight have been released | BBC, UK


International news

The man who quit heroin and became a fruit juice millionaire

As Khalil Rafati overdosed on heroin for the ninth time the paramedics frantically tried to save his life | BBC, UK

“You do steroids, I’ll smoke cannabis, and then we can fight.”

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is not a trivial sport. In the summer of 2016, one of the premier MMA promotions – the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – was acquired by Hollywood agency powerhouse and investment group WME IMG – for $4.2bn | Volte Face, UK

US rapper Wiz Khalifa in Colombia drug lord row

US rapper Wiz Khalifa has angered Colombians by publishing photos of himself visiting the grave of the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar in the city of Medellin | BBC, UK

Canada to legalise marijuana by 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is reportedly set to announce the legislation next month | Independent, UK

Hitting the High Notes

The story of jazz in the post-war era is one of revolution and rebellion, as musicians like Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie re-invented the genre, giving birth to bebop. But alongside the music, something else emerged in this period: a mini-epidemic of heroin use among jazz musicians which broke out in the mid-1940s, as the drug became more freely available in cities like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago | BBC, UK

Surge in teenage alcohol-related admissions at children’s hospital

More than 60 children under 18 treated for alcohol-related issues in Dublin last year | Irish Times, Ireland

‘Cumulative effect’ of prescription drugs stopped woman breathing

Inquest told parents of Joyce O’Brien (39) found her dead after neighbour raised alarm | Irish Times, Ireland

Homeless man jailed for role in moving €200,000 of heroin

Pierce Hilliard (32) said he was trying to raise deposit to get flat for him and his daughter | Irish Times, Ireland

Children prenatally exposed to alcohol more likely to have academic difficulties

Despite greater awareness of the dangers of prenatal exposure to alcohol, the rates of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders remain alarmingly high. This study evaluated academic achievement among children known to be prenatally exposed to maternal heavy alcohol consumption as compared to their peers without such exposure, and explored the brain regions that may underlie academic performance | Science Daily, USA

Internists issue recommendations for preventing and treating substance use disorders

The American College of Physicians (ACP) today released a paper with a comprehensive set of public policy recommendations for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders involving illicit and prescription drugs. The paper is published in Annals of Internal Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers warn of hazards of smoking and need for wider use of varenicline to quit

More than 35 million Americans are trying to quit smoking. Smoking cigarettes causes 480,000 premature deaths each year due mainly to a two-fold risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20-fold risk of lung cancer | Medical Xpress, USA

Pay people to stop smoking? It works, especially in vulnerable groups

Cigarette smoking in the U.S. has dropped dramatically since the landmark publication of the 1964 U.S. Surgeon General's report on smoking and health. This has led to improved health for millions of Americans | Medical Xpress, USA

Hepatitis C drug faces fresh battle

Medical groups mounted a new legal bid Monday to break a US pharma giant's hold on a hepatitis C drug whose price—costing thousands of dollars for a typical course—has unleashed a fierce patent battle | Medical Xpress, USA

Where Is Marijuana Legal? Canada's Liberal Government To Announce Cannabis Legalization By Next Month

In keeping up with his promise of legalizing marijuana that was seen as one of the primary reasons for the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party's win in 2015, the government will announce the legislation next month | IBTimes, USA

Addiction Specialists Ponder a Potential Aid: Pot

Some clinicians think marijuana may help ease the transition out of addiction, while critics say substituting one drug for another is no solution | NYTimes, USA

What Happens When You Put Disturbing Labels on Cigarette Packs

One of the things that keeps cigarette smokers smoking is the relationship they develop with tobacco brands | attn, USA

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? | Huffington Post, USA

Hitler's Doctor Said the Dictator Almost Died from a Cocaine Overdose

An assassination attempt got Hitler addicted to "that cocaine thing," according to a new book | VICE, USA

School axes controversial drugs assignment

A Victorian school has axed an assignment which asked students to create "attractive" packaging for an illegal drug | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Death of the Party

Can we stop illegal drugs from causing more destruction? | Phoebe Scott, UK

Modern slavery on UK cannabis farms

The anti-slavery commissioner has complained that data gathering for tracking victims of cannabis farms is “a mess” (Police ‘failing to tackle’ slave trafficking on cannabis farms, 25 March) | Gurdian letters, UK

Pay people to stop smoking? It works, especially in vulnerable groups

Cigarette smoking in the U.S. has dropped dramatically since the landmark publication of the 1964 U.S. Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health. This has led to improved health for millions of Americans | Conversation, USA

A Defense Department Hotline That Keeps Smokers Hooked

Meet Roger, a 2-pack-per-day smoker. His twin brother, Joe, also a smoker, was just diagnosed with lung cancer at age 58. Roger had been trying to quit for several years, terrified of a fate like Joe’s.  He’d used nicotine gum, patches, hypnosis, group therapy, even acupuncture.  Sometimes he could stop for a week, even a month, but then he'd backslide | Forbes opinion, USA