Daily news - 4th April 2018

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UK news

E-cigarettes could hinder smoking cessation in some groups, research shows

More research is needed to determine whether regular use of e-cigarettes aids or hinders smoking cessation, researchers have concluded after a prospective study showed that patients who used an e-cigarette after discharge from hospital were less likely to be abstinent after six months than smokers who did not use e-cigarettes | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Digital interventions for reducing alcohol consumption: do they work and if so, how and why?

Digital interventions are those delivered via computer technology, which includes smartphone apps, websites, computer programs, wearable devices, and telecommunications, that aim to promote behaviour change | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Inside the pioneering Cardiff laboratory exploring whether cannabis can be used to treat cancer

MediPen believes chemical compounds in cannabis can help people with a range of illnesses and ailments | Wales Online, UK

The unspoken alcohol problem among UK Punjabis

For many British Punjabis, alcohol abuse is an open secret. Alcohol consumption is glamorised across different aspects of Punjabi culture and shame stops many seeking the help that they need | BBC, UK

The SSA Fred Yates prize for Researcher of the Year 2018

Congratulations to Dr Andrew McAuley, Senior Epidemiologist in the Sexual Health and Blood-Borne Virus Team at Health Protection Scotland and Senior Research Fellow within the School of Health & Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, and winner of the 2018 Fred Yates prize | SSA, UK

Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody opens up about his battle with depression - ‘I used to think about not existing’

As Snow Patrol return, the band's frontman talks to Craig McLean about his battles with addiction and depression | Telegraph, UK

Kent auction house in row with Chinese over auction of looted vases from 1860s Opium Wars

AKent auction house has become embroiled in a row with the Chinese over a vase that was looted from Beijing during the Opium Wars | Telegraph, UK

3rd April 2018: Woman loses licence after driving under influence of drugs - BBC radio iPlayer

A Suffolk woman drove under the influence of cocaine and cannabis with a child in her car | BBC, UK

Meet the dogs fighting Heathrow Airport smugglers

Meet Jessie, one of Heathrow Airport's dogs helping to protect the UK border by searching for illegal cash, drugs, weapons and other contraband | BBC, UK

Lorry driver handed two holdalls of heroin in Greece

A lorry driver claimed a stranger walked up to his truck at a service station in Greece and threw him two holdalls full of heroin | BBC, UK


International news

Inside La Línea, the Spanish town in the frontline against drug trafficking

Violence and hashish-carrying speedboats have surged since Spain’s 2008 economic crisis boosted the town’s smuggling gangs | Guardian, UK

New study shows most unique US drug slang broken down by state

A recent study conducted by the drug education platform Project Know has broken down how drug terminology for cocaine, LSD, xanax, MDMA, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine varies from state-to-state | MixMag, UK

Weedmaps: why 'Yelp for pot' is under fire for its Silicon Valley attitude

The app helps users find dispensaries – but California legalization is creating new challenges as regulators say it must kick off unlicensed vendors | Guardian, UK

White House Wants Americans To Share Addiction Stories On New Website

The website features stories from everyday Americans as well as former Fox News host Eric Bolling and MLB great Darryl Strawberry. Could a new website serve as a way to bring attention to the opioid crisis? | The Fix, USA

Medical marijuana gets wary welcome from older adults, poll shows

Few older adults use medical marijuana, a new national poll finds, but the majority support its use if a doctor recommends it, and might talk to their own doctor about it if they developed a serious health condition | Medical Xpress, USA

Main bank for Illinois' medical marijuana industry is pulling out, leaving some operators to deal in cash

The main bank serving Illinois medical marijuana companies is pulling out of the industry, leaving operators with few options other than dealing in cash | Chicago Tribune, USA

How Israel's Inspired By Silicon Valley's Billion Dollar Cannabis Industry

January 2018 marked a drastic change in cannabis culture as we know it, with cannabis becoming legally available to all adult residents of California, irrespective of medical need | Forbes, USA

Pain, emotional responses, and alcohol-seeking

Approximately 25 million American adults suffer from daily experiences of pain. Self-reported pain severity is related to increased risk for alcohol use and alcohol use disorder | BASIS, USA

How Advertising Shaped the First Opioid Epidemic

And what it can teach us about the second | Smithsonian Magazine, USA

City Of Calgary Staff Want Councillors To Ban Public Marijuana Consumption

The proposed bylaw would make exceptions for people with medical marijuana licences | Huffington Post, Canada

400-year-old documents reveal evidence of Japanese opium production and winemaking

Research from the Eisei Bunko Research Center of Kumamoto University reveals that Tadatoshi Hosokawa, a 17th century lord of Kyusyu, Japan, ordered his people to produce not only wine but also opium for medical purposes | EurekAlert, Japan

E-cig health claims up in smoke

They've been hailed as the danger-free alternative to nicotine-based cigarettes. But are electronic cigarettes really safer? The short answer: no | Medical Xpress, Australia

Extend medical cannabis decriminalisation to non-terminal patients and growers, Govt told

The Labour-led Government is being urged to extend a legal defence for medical cannabis to non-terminal patients and people growing cannabis for pain relief | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Gambling and alcohol: the odds are stacked

I was delighted to speak on behalf of Alcohol Concern at last week’s ‘Problem Gambling’ event in Cardiff, hosted by Citizen’s Advice, whose report ‘Out of Luck’ highlighted the devastating effects problem gambling has on individuals and families across the country | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

There’s no such thing as an ‘opioid-addicted’ newborn

Heartbreaking media reports abound regarding how pregnant women who use opioids allegedly “pass down addiction to unborn children.” But news stories that describe any baby as “born addicted” not only misunderstand addiction but also foster hysteria that can have unintended negative consequences | Washington Post blog, USA

Major shift in global drug policies: the Human Rights Council catches up with the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

In a resolution titled Contribution to the implementation of the joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem with regard to human rights, the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations made an unexpected step ahead in the discussions on drug policies at the international level | FAAAT blog, USA

The Disconnects in Indian Drug Policy: Article 47, Drug Research, and Social Policy

Policymakers in India have responded to proliferating reports of substance use disorders with great concern, opening the winter session of Parliament with a discussion of drug addiction and ways and means to reverse the trend | Points blog, USA