Daily news - 13th April 2018

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UK news

Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599,912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies

Low-risk limits recommended for alcohol consumption vary substantially across different national guidelines. To define thresholds associated with lowest risk for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease, we studied individual-participant data from 599,912 current drinkers without previous cardiovascular disease | Lancet, UK

Just one alcoholic drink a day could shorten your life, study says

An analysis of 600,000 drinkers [see above] found that drinking five to 10 alcoholic drinks a week was likely to shorten a person's life by up to six months | BBC, UK

Pupils: Drugs:Written question - HL6661

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to protect pupils from new psychoactive substances which are not illegal but aim to mimic illegal substances | Parliament.uk, UK

Hepatitis B: explaining the screening result

Important information for women with hepatitis B, to help explain their screening result | PHE, UK

Passive Vaping: A guide for parrots - video

This short animated film explores the headlines and the evidence on the health effects of secondhand vapour. This is the last in a series of films supported by Public Health England and produced in partnership with the New Nicotine Alliance | NCSCT, UK

Innovative ‘HOT Team’ project to address alcohol A&E figures

The number of people being admitted to A&E departments in England is the highest since records began, new figures released today show | Addaction, UK

First-in-Human trial of cannabis-based therapy for Parkinson’s initiated

GB Sciences, Inc. is planning to file an Exploratory IND and perform a Phase 0 Clinical Trial to gather valuable First-In-Human data on its proprietary cannabis-based therapies… | European Pharamceutical Review, UK

A shift in the drug market may help to explain a surge in stabbings

City gangs have expanded into nearby counties, leading to turf wars in unexpected places | Economist, UK

Pilot scheme aims to break cycle of offending by tackling drug and alcohol misuse

The programme will be delivered by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland in partnership with Addiction NI | Belfast Live, UK

Legalising cannabis could help to end London gang violence, says Vince Cable

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable has suggested a possible solution to the wave of street crime which has left 50 dead in London – legalising cannabis | Metro, UK

Recovering addicts ‘targeted by dealers on Facebook’ warns Dundee drugs worker

A Dundee drugs worker has warned people in the midst of recovery to be wary of dealers “preying” on them online | Evening Telegraph, UK

Scotland Yard raid sees 'corrupted children' of the MDP gang responsible for violence and drugs on London's streets arrested

A notorious London gang peddling crack cocaine and hoarding a sub-machine gun was raided by the Metropolitan Police last night in the latest crackdown on crime | Telegraph, UK

Drugs gang leader jailed over £2m Manchester cocaine ring

The leader of a drugs gang that ran a cocaine supply ring worth more than £2m has been jailed for nine years | BBC, UK

Ex-Stephen Lawrence murder suspect 'should repay £960,000' over drug plot

Neil Acourt, who was jailed for conspiracy to supply cannabis, among those liable, court told | Guardian, UK


International news

Is the worldwide popularity of the ‘12 steps’ matched by evidence of effectiveness?

The deficit in UK recovery resources combined with heightened profile of abstinence-based recovery form the backdrop to this hot topic on 12-step mutual aid fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous. To the extent that there is evidence of their effectiveness, can this be attributed to the more distinct components of the 12 steps, or established mechanisms of behaviour change? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The UN’s Internal Struggle with Drug Policy

The UN General Assembly (GA) is responsible for passing the three main international drug conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 that shape modern drug policy | Volte Face, UK

Price of cigarettes should increase by 50% to £20 a pack to save more than 60 million lives worldwide, experts say

Increasing cigarette pack prices by 50 percent would cause around 67 million men from the world's poorest countries to quit smoking, a Canadian study found | Mail Online, UK

The Economic Impact of America's Opioid Epidemic - audio

Ohio is one of the worst hit US states for opioid addiction rates and deaths. Huge numbers of people have dropped out of the workforce and employers say they struggle to recruit the people they need | BBC, UK

Cannabis and the Drug Law in Tunisia: A Reform Rooted in Social Justice Claims (PDF)

Drug control policies in Tunisia are guided by the 1992 Narcotics Act (Act 92-52) adopted under the dictatorship following the 1987 Coup d’Etat. Until April 2017, the Act was one of the most punitive drug control laws in the world, sentencing people convicted of drug use or possession of small amounts to a mandatory minimum of one year in prison, and a monetary fine of 1000 Tunisian Dinars | GDPO, UK

Reducing Harm From A User’s Point Of View

This week I met with Dominic Milton Trott, the author of The Honest Drug Book: A Chemical & Botanical Journey Through The Legal High Years. A keen advocate of harm reduction, Dominic experimented with a large range of drugs with the aim of building a comprehensive guide to taking them whilst minimising the potential harms | Volte Face, UK

Marijuana eaten by mice, say Argentina police officers

Eight Argentine police officers have been dismissed for blaming missing drugs on mice | BBC, UK

Services sees more doctors seeking help for mental health and addiction issues

More doctors, dentists and pharmacists are seeking help for mental health and addiction problems | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Breakaway dissident group issues threat

A new dissident group have issued a threat, claiming they will "execute" anyone believed to be involved in selling drugs | Irish Times, Ireland

EU court adviser says ban on Swedish snuff tobacco product valid

An EU ban on the sale of snus, a wet snuff tobacco product made by Swedish Match, is valid, an adviser to the European Union’s top court said on Thursday | Reuters, USA

Linkage to care specialist facilitates access to hepatitis C treatment for people who inject drugs

A prospective, longitudinal study involving more than 1,000 people who inject drugs has identified a promising role for linkage to care specialists in facilitating rapid access to hepatitis C treatment | Medical Xpress, USA

In opioid epidemic, some cities strain to afford OD antidote

On a Baltimore street corner, public health workers hand out a life-saving overdose antidote to residents painfully familiar with the ravages of America's opioid epidemic. But the training wraps up quickly; all the naloxone inhalers are claimed within 20 minutes | Medical Xpress, USA

Is your waiter stoned? Study finds pot use highest among restaurant workers

A new survey of workers in pot-friendly Colorado finds the food service industry is the most likely to have employees who use marijuana | Medical Xpress, USA

Why alcohol, sugar lead to thirst

Researchers have identified a hormone that acts on the brain to increase the desire to drink water in response to specific nutrient stresses that can cause dehydration | Science Daily, USA

Alcohol & other drugs stigma

Experiences of stigma and discrimination are a common occurrence in the everyday lives of people living with problematic alcohol and other drug use, causing significant harm and creating major barriers to seeking help and support | Queensland Mental Health Commission, Australia

How much booze can you drink before it starts killing you? Not much

Drinking more than six glasses of wine or cans of beer a week reduces your life expectancy, according to a huge study on global alcohol consumption | Age, Australia

Canberra mother questions delays to prescription monitoring laws

More than eight years after Ann Finlay lost her son to prescription drugs, she is still asking why the ACT still has no real-time monitoring system | Age, Australia

Smoking in Australia: NSW bans vaping in all public spaces

Australian smokers have been slapped with another setback after the NSW government announced e-cigarette smokers will face fines of up to $550 if caught smoking in public spaces or public transport | news.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Five benefits of drug and alcohol treatment

Drug and alcohol treatment brings a host of benefits to individuals, families and communities... | Collective Voice blog, UK

Xanax: how does it work and what are the side effects?

More teenagers and young people use drugs than any other age group: in 2017, 16.5% of 16- to 19-year-olds and 21.2% of 20- to 24-year-olds across England and Wales said they had taken drugs in the past year | Conversation, UK

Matt Kilcoyne: To reduce gang violence, support the police, and boost the economy, legalise drugs

The Home Secretary is right to highlight the impact of drug gangs on our cities and young people, and on the rise of violent crime in the past twelve months – but she’s missed the obvious solution | Conservative Home, UK

Why The Panic Over JUUL And Teen Vaping May Have Deadly Results

Teens and electronic cigarettes are a combustible issue that’s been heating up the headlines lately | Forbes opinion, USA