Daily news - 2nd August 2018

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UK news

Middle-aged non-drinkers may have 'higher risk' of dementia

Long-term study tracking Londoners aged 35 to 55 also found link to heavy drinking | Guardian, UK [See BMJ editorial and blog in Blog section below]

Cocaine use on the rise in richer English and Welsh homes

Cocaine is increasingly becoming a marker of the UK’s socioeconomic divide, official figures suggest | Guardian, UK

Caroline Flint on the Families First report - podcast

Alcohol Alert, July 2018: This episode features MP for Don Valley Caroline Flint, who led calls for the government to introduce policies that protect children from alcohol-related harm at the parliamentary launch of the Families First report | IAS, UK

Life on steroids: 'It's my personal choice'

BBC Radio 5 Live has been given exclusive access to a steroid clinic in Newport, south Wales | BBC, UK

Bristol’s last residential rehab centre Chanos House facing closure after severe funding cuts

It has saved hundreds of lives over the last 35 years, but it could close with funding slashed by Government and the local authority | Bristol Post, UK

E-cigarettes could be taxed for the first time as Treasury looks to raise £20 billion promised to the NHS

The Government is considering a tax on e-cigarettes as a way of funding the extra £20 billion promised to the NHS by the Treasury | Mail Online, UK

Vype e-cigarettes sold at Sainsbury's have been recalled over fears they could catch on fire

In a statement released by the company, 'a small number of consumers' reported concerns with their Vype eTank Pro devices | Mail Online, UK

MDMA Producers Are Dumping Tons of Waste in Nature Reserves

In May of 2018, Dutch forest ranger Erik de Jonge decided he'd had enough. "Dear ecstasy users. It's 3.39AM. We've been working since 6PM to clean up the waste from your little pills," he tweeted | VICE, UK

Pensioner supplements pension by 'selling crack cocaine and heroin from retirement home'

A pensioner has been accused of selling crack cocaine and heroin from his retirement complex to "supplement his pension", police have said | Telegraph, UK

County Durham: Sixteen arrested in police drugs raids

A hundred police officers took part in early morning raids to catch suspected drug dealers | BBC, UK


International news

Lung cancer deaths among women expected to rise 43 per cent by 2030, study warns

Higher lung cancer deaths in Europe and Oceania a legacy of smoking becoming socially acceptable for women well before America and Asia, authors say | Independent, UK

Breastfeeding mothers should not drink any alcohol: Booze in breast milk is not safe and damages the thinking and reasoning skills of a child

Exposure to booze in breast milk reduces children's thinking and reasoning skills at six-to-seven years old, a study found | Mail Online, UK

Trends in opioid use in commercially insured and Medicare Advantage populations in 2007-16: retrospective cohort study

[Open access] To describe trends in the rate and daily dose of opioids used among commercial and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries from 2007 to 2016 | BMJ, UK

More than a hookup! Drug dealers and users reveal they use Grindr to buy and sell drugs on the app as it's 'safer' than dealing on the streets

Grindr, the world's largest gay dating app, isn't just a social networking platform for men looking for romance and hookups anymore - but a place to sell and buy illegal substances, a shocking new report claims | Mail Online, UK

One of the world's largest beer makers is about to start producing marijuana-infused drinks

Molson Coors is entering a joint venture with The Hydropothecary Corporation, a Canadian marijuana producer, to make non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages | Business Insider, UK

Israeli Weapons Manufacturer Selling Guns to Duterte’s Drug War

An Israeli firearms manufacturer is supplying hundreds of assault rifles and other guns to anti-drug police forces in the Philippines | Talking Drugs, UK

Pub choir: 'Singing is not traumatic - it's fun'

Pub Choir director Astrid Jorgensen says that the pub - and sometimes the alcohol - helps people feel more comfortable and proves singing in public is not traumatic | BBC, UK

HSE and GAA partnering to promote health message

The HSE and The GAA announced an exciting partnership to promote an important health message at this year’s All-Ireland Football Semi-Final on August 11th. This year, Croke Park is partnering with the HSE’s Ask About Alcohol Campaign to encourage fans to “Drink Less and Gain More – On and Off the Pitch” | HSE, Ireland

US opioid use not declined, despite focus on abuse and awareness of risk

Use of prescription opioids in the United States has not substantially declined over the last decade, despite increased attention to opioid abuse and awareness of their risks, finds a study published by The BMJ today | Medical Xpress, USA

How opioids reshape your brain, and what scientists are learning about addiction

None of us has the brain we were born with. Brains grow and adapt. This process, called neuroplasticity, doesn't end when you step out of the classroom. Even habits—reaching for cookies when stressed out, keeping your head down during staff meetings—cut "trails" in the brain throughout life that can be hard to overcome | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers develop system that senses smoking movements, sends motivational text messages, videos to help users quit

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are using wearable sensor technology to develop an automatic alert system to help people quit smoking | Medical Xpress, USA

Ketamine has potential therapeutic role in adolescents with treatment-resistant depression

A new study has shown a significant average decrease in the Children's Depression Rating Scale (42.5%) among adolescents with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) who were treated with intravenous ketamine | EurekAlert, USA

Rethinking psychedelics: U of T study looks at the practice of microdosing to ease anxiety and sharpen focus

Tune in, turn on…and boost your focus? A new study from the University of Toronto reveals fascinating insights into how and why people use small doses of psychedelic drugs for therapeutic effects | University of Toronto, Canada

Alcohol lobby groups accused of spreading lies to thwart new strategy

Health experts have accused the alcohol industry of making "problematic" and "dangerous" claims in a bid to thwart the development of meaningful alcohol policy measures, and say key lobby groups are peddling outright lies | The Age, Australia

Drug users shouldn’t be treated like criminals

Once a year in Sydney’s Ashfield Uniting Church, the Rev Bill Crews and his Exodus Foundation hold a remembrance ceremony for the families and friends of people who have died as a result of using drugs | Adelaide Now, Australia

Legalising Weed Alone Won’t Stop Synthetics Deaths in New Zealand

Forty dead from synthetics in one year. It’s a horrifyingly high number, evidence that New Zealand has never faced an illegal drugs crisis as deadly as this one—not the rise of homebake heroin in the 1980s, nor the perpetual harm caused by meth | VICE, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Relation between alcohol consumption in midlife and dementia in late life

Alzheimer’s disease is a rapidly growing clinical and public health problem with currently no disease modifying therapies to treat or prevent the disease. Research suggests that pathological changes precede clinical symptoms by decades, resulting in an increased interest in modifiable lifestyle and health related risk factors in midlife | BMJ editorial, UK

Séverine Sabia: The role of health behaviours in cognitive ageing

The number of people living with dementia worldwide is expected to triple in the next 30 years, with 135 million people predicted to have dementia by 2050 due to population ageing | BMJ blog, UK

The launch of the Prisoner Policy Network at HMP Grendon

I recently visited HMP Grendon to attend the launch of the Prisoner Policy Network organised by the Prison Reform Trust | CGL blog, UK

The estate where local people refused to call last orders

The Bevy, a co-operative pub in a ‘dodgy bit of Brighton’, has brought a fragmented working-class community together | Guardian, UK

Penny’s Story – My son might still be alive if drugs were legally regulated

One weekend Aidan took heroin, but it was too strong and he tragically died of an overdose | Anyone's Child, UK

Why I support drug testing at festivals

Testing drugs for safety at festivals can save lives and make people think twice about taking drugs | Virgin blog, UK

Here in Colombia, the hypocrisy of western cocaine users is laid bare

Middle-class tourists fail to see the connection between their recreational drug use and the violence that’s scarred Latin America | Guardian, UK