Daily news - 27th April 2018

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UK news

Smoking cessation and smokefree policies: Good practice for mental health services (PDF)

Smoking disproportionately affects the health and wellbeing of people with mental health conditions. People who use mental health services, who smoke, often want to quit but historically have not been offered a way out of tobacco dependence that is genuinely helpful to them | NCSCT, UK

Drugs gangs recruiting children from small towns, research reveals

County lines drugs networks are increasingly recruiting children in provincial towns to sell drugs rather than trafficking youngsters from London and other major cities, research shows | Guardian, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prevent addiction to Xanax | They work for you, UK

MP Launches bid for safe drug room in Glasgow

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has launched a private members bill in a bid to change the law and enable a pilot scheme to be opened in Scotland's largest city | Herald, UK

Labeling alcoholic drinks as lower in strength could encourage people to drink more

Wines and beers labelled as lower in alcohol strength may increase the total amount of alcoholic drink consumed, according to a new study | Science Daily, UK

Alcohol and mental health support still falling short

new report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies and the Centre for Mental Health warns people with co-occuring alcohol and mental health problems are still receiving inadequate care | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Me and My Addiction - My5 catch up TV

Ten survivors talk candidly about the experiences that plunged them into the dark hole of addiction, and the battles they faced to escape it | Channel 5, UK

Consultation: Joint working between substance misuse and children's services: Revised Guidance by Public Health England

Public Health England (PHE) Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Directorate have commissioned TONIC to consult with relevant stakeholders working in substance misuse (drug and alcohol) services as well as children and families services to understand and further joint working between these two agencies in local areas | PHE, Tonic, UK

Forward Enterprise Fund

The Forward Enterprise Fund is £2m social investment fund that supports individuals, charities and social enterprises run by, or creating employment opportunities for, ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction | SIB Group, UK

Motivation, Inspiration and Self

New Motivation, Inspiration and Self (MIS) workshops with Black Prince Trust, Fight 4 Change, Blenheim and SLaM. The BPT began offering clients of Lambeth addictions services free memberships to their gym but despite showing huge interest, they didn’t feel confident enough to walk through the gym doors. These new workshops ‘bridge the gap’, and support our clients to feel more comfortable with integrating back into their community and accessing available resources | Blenheim, UK

World’s First MDMA Trials for Treating Alcohol Dependency Begin in UK

The study is being led by researchers from Imperial College London. It consists of multiple therapy sessions, with two of the sessions - in week three and week six - being MDMA assisted | Talking Drugs, UK

Improved links with prisons to reduce reoffending

Improved links between the Royal Borough’s alcohol and drug service and prisons has increased numbers engaging in substance misuse treatment on release from prison from 16%-38% | Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, UK

Upper Norwood library in late-night cabaret licence bid

A library has applied to extend its opening hours until late and serve alcohol so it can host cabaret evenings, concerts and comedy nights | BBC, UK

Video: Drink-driver films journey on dashcam

Footage from a drink-driver's own vehicle showing her driving dangerously has been released by police | BBC, UK


International news

French committee says risks of baclofen outweigh benefits in alcohol treatment

Our commentary on the first trial to rigorously test high-dose baclofen to treat dependent drinking has been updated with the release on 24 April 2018 of an opinion on the balance between safety and benefits from a scientific committee set up by France’s medicines regulator to help decide on an application to market the drug | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

World Cup 2018: England fans face alcohol ban in Moscow as Russia authorities crack down on hooliganism

Alcohol will not be sold in Moscow before games at the World Cup, with England expected to play their last-16 match at the Otkrytie Arena in the capital city | Independent, UK

Pilots accused of being over legal alcohol limit cleared after prison staff destroy blood samples

Two pilots accused of preparing to fly a plane while under the influence of alcohol have been cleared after blood samples were destroyed by prison staff | Telegraph, UK

Negotiations for wider availability of suboxone in ‘advanced stages’

There were 115 people receiving suboxone within the public health system at the end of February, according to figures provided to this newspaper by the HSE | Medical Independent, Ireland

FF TDs ‘disappointed’ party is not opposing drink-driving legislation

Party says measures are ‘disproportionate’ but will not stand in the way of Bill passing | Irish Times, Ireland

Poll: Should supermarkets stop selling cigarettes?

Reilly, a major opponent of tobacco, argued that supermarkets should be “providers of nourishment and nutritional goods” | Journal, Ireland

Darknet markets ecosystem – Lifetimes and reasons for closure of over 100 global darknet markets offering drugs, sorted by date

Darknet markets — also known as cryptomarkets — provide a largely anonymous platform for trading in a range of illicit goods and services. It is estimated that around two thirds of the offers on darknet markets are drug-related. Drug sales on these markets, although modest when compared to the overall retail drug market, are significant and appear to be expanding.  EU-based suppliers are important players in the darknet ecosystem, the evolution of which is shown in this timeline | EMCDDA, Portugal

Looking past peer influence: Genetic contributions to increases in teen substance use?

Parents spend a lot of time worrying about the influence of peers on teen substance use. A new study examines if there is a genetic component that drives teens' desire for risk taking and novelty | Science Daily, USA

Community efforts to prevent teen problems have lasting benefits

Want to prevent kids from using drugs and make it stick into young adulthood? Get the community involved and intervene before they're teens, say researchers from the University of Washington | EurekAlert, USA

Google Maps' Feature For National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Fights Opioid Epidemic

Google announced Wednesday it is launching a feature in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that will help people find locations on its Maps platform for safe disposal of excess prescription drugs | IBTimes, USA

Can cannabis kill pain without getting you stoned?

More than 87 percent of medical marijuana users report smoking or ingesting it for pain-related conditions. Yet for many, the cognitively impairing properties of its active ingredient, THC, make cannabis impractical as an everyday painkiller | Medical Xpress, USA

Study to explore whether cannabis compound eases severe symptoms of autism

Philanthropic gift will fund multidisciplinary investigation of mechanisms and potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol for treating neurodevelopmental disorder | EurekAlert, USA

Juul Labs to spend $30 mln to prevent youth tobacco product use

 Juul Labs Inc said on Wednesday it was spending $30 million to support state and federal initiatives to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to over 21, a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a crackdown on the sale of its products to minors | Reuters, USA

A Review of Workplace Substance Use: Policies in Canada Strengths, Gaps and Key Considerations (PDF)

This study is the first of its kind to explore the state of Canadian substance use policies in the workplace. It is primarily intended for employers and human resources professionals interested in developing or improving workplace policies and best practices related to substance use, and secondarily for other professionals working with organizations | CCSA, Canada

Improving Quality of Life: Substance Use and Aging (PDF)

As the older adult population continues to grow so will the total number of older adults who use alcohol and other drugs, making it increasingly important to understand the needs of older adults and how the Canadian healthcare system can adapt to meet them | CCSA, Canada

Alcohol adverts may be in breach of advertising code, study finds

A study of young drinkers’ responses to alcohol advertising has found that not only are current advertisements highly appealing to young people, they appear to use actors under the age of 25 – in direct contravention of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

An addiction researcher shares 6 strategies to address the opioid epidemic

The devastating opioid epidemic is one of the largest public health problems facing the U.S. Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from opioid use disorder | Conversation, UK

Why we should test drugs for safety

I have long advocated for better drug laws that focus on people’s health and safety and put an end to the needless criminalisation of millions who use drugs. To me, these are the only drug policies that work | Virgin blog, UK

Mind-bending drugs and devices: can they make us smarter?

Demand for drugs and devices that can enhance brain functions such as memory, creativity, attention and intelligence, is on the rise. But could the long-term side-effects outweigh the benefits of being “smarter”? | Conversation, Australia