Daily news - 14th August 2018

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UK news

Continuity of care for prisoners who need substance misuse treatment

An audit toolkit and guidance on data recording, for prison treatment providers and commissioners | PHE, UK

Rough sleeping strategy: prevention, intervention, recovery

Up to 6,000 vulnerable people will receive rapid specialist assessments and support under new measures in the government’s rough sleeping strategy | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, UK

The public health burden of alcohol: evidence review

[Updated] This review looks at the impact of alcohol on the public health and the effectiveness of alcohol control policies | PHE, UK

Vaping 'can damage vital immune system cells'

Vaping can damage vital immune system cells and may be more harmful than previously thought, a study suggests | BBC, UK

Alcohol misuse 'biggest health problem in Northern Ireland'

Figures obtained by BBC News NI show the number of alcohol-related deaths in Northern Ireland is the highest on record | BBC, UK

How to detect pentylone and N-ethylpentylone sold as MDMA/ecstasy pills

N-ethyl-pentylone (aka BK-EBDP or Ephylone) has caused problems before where it has been sold as MDMA due to the identical visual appearance but this year has seen an increase in the number of cases detected and more alerts have been issued | Reagents Test UK, UK

Does going teetotal in later life actually cause dementia?

A recent study found that abstaining from alcohol in midlife was associated with a higher risk of dementia – but the research's conclusions are far from definitive | Independent, UK

Smoking in Scotland factsheet (PDF)

Factsheet updated with latest statistics | ASH SCotland, UK

UK drugs BUST: Cocaine worth £150MILLION seized at borders in first 4 months of year

Harry Shapiro of drugs charity Drugwise said cocaine in the UK has seen a “dramatic” rise in purity, with street samples up to 80% or 90% pure | Daily Star, UK

Town bans pub glasses after Champagne flute murder

Residents of a Lancashire town have succeeded in a campaign for pubs to participate in an evening glass ban, following the killing of a young man | Morning Advertiser, UK

Young mum left learning to walk again after inhaling laughing gas has this warning for everyone

It's left her with little to no feeling from the chest down | Gloucester Live, UK

Teenager admits selling drugs to ecstasy death girl

Thomas Lamont, 18, sold Zoe Bremner and her two friends six tablets for £45 in Drumchapel, Glasgow, on 10 June last year | BBC, UK


International news

Cannabis could help treat inflammatory bowel diseases which affect millions, first study shows

Marijuana ingredient mimics body's inflammation off-switch and could lead to new drug targets for Crohn's and colitis | Independent, UK

New York's 'Methadone Pope' Fought For Addiction Treatment Decades Ahead Of His Time

It’s largely because of Dr. Robert Newman that people in the United States and in countries around the world have access to methadone | Huffington Post, UK

The War on Drugs Is Inseparable from US Imperialism

Much of the world used to treat drug addiction as a health issue, not a criminal one. And then America got its way | VICE, UK

Medical cannabis – the Australian experience

Watching from the other side of the world as the stories of Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell unfold has brought a sense of déjà vu to many Australians | Volte Face, UK

The people left behind by Philippines' brutal war on drugs - photo essay

One year after visiting the Philippines to document the impact of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, photographer James Whitlow Delano returns to the city of Navotas, Metro Manila, to assess the impact of a campaign that has now claimed up to 20,000 lives | Guardian, UK

More than munchies: how eating pot went from crude to 'elevated' dining

Cannabis is becoming a cooking ingredient in its own right – like a grown-up pot brownie – and chefs are creating elaborate cannabis tasting menus at private dinners | Guardian, UK

Alcohol Action Ireland today publish its annual alcohol market review and price survey 2018

It again demonstrates the remarkable affordability of alcohol to every day shoppers and the urgent necessity to implement the Public Health Alcohol Bill including Minimum Unit Pricing that will ensure the low cost of the strongest, cheapest alcohol will be tackled | Alcohol Action Ireland, Ireland

Benzodiazepines are associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease

The use of benzodiazepines and related drugs (Z drugs) is associated with a modestly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study | Science Daily, USA

How cannabis and cannabis-based drugs harm the brain

Through the legalisation in several countries of cannabis or cannabis-based drugs, there is an increased number of long-term users and more potent varieties are available for recreational users | EurekAlert, USA

Brief interventions during routine care reduce alcohol use among men with HIV

Among the more than 1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV, 19 percent meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder. The consequences can be severe, with heavy drinking associated with increased liver disease, greater engagement in risky sexual behavior, lower adherence to antiretroviral therapy and greater risk of death | Medical Xpress, USA

How America Convinced the World to Demonize Drugs

Much of the world used to treat drug addiction as a health issue, not a criminal one. And then America got its way | VICE, USA

Regina's managed alcohol program does battle against mouthwash

Dean Wapan admits he isn’t good at hiding his drinks | Regina Leader, USA

Decision to halt overdose prevention sites 'horrifying,' advocates say

Ottawa group had hoped to open mobile site | CBC, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol Duty Is A Fair Way To Pay For Our NHS

We can’t afford to leave any more money on the table | Huffington Post blog, UK

Deadly DNP

Many people will have heard warnings about the risks of using the toxic chemical called DNP (full name 2,4-DINITROPHENOL) for body building and weight reduction.  Yet despite these warnings the number of deaths has risen in 2018 | PHE blog, UK

To tackle the opioid crisis, the US should look to Switzerland’s successes with substitution therapy

The US is facing an opioid crisis at a colossal scale. But Switzerland has been there before. Christian Schneider looks back to the policy innovations introduced to tackle the European nation’s opioid crisis in the 1990s. By implementing substitution therapy, heroin-assisted treatment and harm reduction measures, he writes, the US may be able to begin to get a grip not only on the health consequences of this crisis but also on the illegal supply of opioids | LSE blog, UK

Designed to deceive: How gambling distorts reality and hooks your brain

To call gambling a “game of chance” evokes fun, random luck and a sense of collective engagement. These playful connotations may be part of why almost 80 percent of American adults gamble at some point in their lifetime. When I ask my psychology students why they think people gamble, the most frequent suggestions are for pleasure, money or the thrill | Conversation, USA