Daily news - 22nd August 2018

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UK news

Addaction expresses concern at increase in cost of buprenorphine

Senior clinical staff at Addaction, a leading drug and alcohol charity, have expressed deep concern at the increasing cost of buprenorphine tablets | Addaction, UK

Adrian Chiles 'horrified' at drinking 100 alcohol units a week

Presenter Adrian Chiles has urged people to track their alcohol intake after revealing he sometimes drank 80 or 100 units a week | BBC, UK

'Why I drink 100 units of alcohol a week'

People have been sharing their drinking habits after presenter Adrian Chiles revealed he sometimes drank more than 100 units a week - more than seven times the recommended limit | BBC, UK

Regular moderate drinking may lower heart disease risk, study finds

People with unstable drinking patterns more likely to suffer from coronary illness, scientists say | Independent, UK

North East landlords blame cheap supermarket booze for closures

Cheap supermarket booze rather than alcohol taxes is the main reason why pubs are closing, according to a major new survey of North East landlords - while few have seen any benefit from tax cuts in alcohol duty over recent years | Balance North East, UK

Medical Cannabis Reform in Britain: Five Things You Need to Know

At the start of 2018, very few people could have predicted that the embattled and Brexit-obsessed minority government of Theresa May would find the time to address the controversial issue of cannabis, let alone have the stomach to set a new direction | Volte Face, UK

Drug diaries: 'This isn't a life, it's existing'

Video. The town of Reading has one of the highest rates of drugs deaths in England and Wales | BBC, UK

Local MPs see the impact of cheap alcohol first hand at Clouds House

Local MPs Dr Andrew Murrison and John Glen have visited Clouds House in East Knoyle - one of the best known and longest established residential treatment centres in the UK for people with alcohol and other addictions - to learn more about the impact of cheap alcohol on addiction | Action on Addiction, UK

Police discover cannabis farm following Caernarfon fire

Police and firefighters found the plants while they investigated a major fire in Pool Street on Monday | BBC, UK

Dealer caught with mobile drugs lab after raid on Glasgow yard

A drug dealer once ordered to give up his expensive art collection has been convicted of a major cannabis seizure | BBC, UK

Man jailed over Clackmannanshire drug demand stabbings

A man who stabbed two people in Clackmannanshire after demanding drugs from them has been jailed for more than four years | BBC, UK


International news

Number of pubs drops by 1,400 in Ireland

There were 1,477 fewer pubs in Ireland last year than there was in 2005 – a rate of two closures every week | ITV, UK

Drones hunt cocaine farms in Colombia

The Colombian government has started to use drones to destroy the plants that produce cocaine | BBC, UK

Israel bans Juul e-cigarettes citing 'grave' public health risk

Israel on Tuesday outlawed the import and sale of e-cigarettes made by Silicon Valley startup Juul Labs, citing public health concerns given their nicotine content | Reuters, UK

USSR Wages War on Alcohol - BBC Radio

Sales of alcohol in the USSR were severely limited in 1985 in a bid to fight drunkenness. But the anti-alcohol campaign was abandoned three years later when the Soviet economy was in trouble, and the government need more taxes. Dina Newman discussed the reasons for the campaign's failure with the former advisor to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Alexander Tsipko | BBC, UK

Drug outreach services to be provided at Electric Picnic campsites

Medical professionals and other volunteers will be providing advice and other help in Stradbally | Journal, Ireland

Are the “Best Buys” for Alcohol Control Still Valid? An Update on the Comparative Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Strategies at the Global Level

[Open access] This article uses global evidence on alcohol use exposures and risk relations, as well as on intervention costs and impacts, to re-examine the comparative cost-effectiveness of a range of alcohol control strategies | JSAD, Switzerland

New wave of complex street drugs puzzles emergency doctors

At a time when drug overdoses are becoming more prevalent and lethal, a new report provides a snapshot of regional illicit drug use and, for the first time, highlights the complexity of detecting and treating patients at hospital emergency departments for a severe drug-related event | Medical Xpress, USA

In the midst of opioid crisis, treatment for drug-dependent newborns evolves

Dr. Jodi Jackson has worked for years to address infant mortality in Kansas. Often, that means she treats newborns in a high-tech neonatal intensive care unit with sophisticated equipment whirring and beeping. And that is exactly the wrong place for an infant like Lili | Medical Xpress, USA

Poisonings from kratom, sold as an herbal supplement, are rising. But no one knows how much

An unregulated herbal product that advocates say can relieve pain and help with opioid withdrawal has been linked to at least four deaths in the Philadelphia region, but with many authorities failing to track kratom poisonings, there's no way to know if there are more deaths related to the substance | Medical Xpress, USA

'Compulsivity circuit' in heavy alcohol drinkers

Heavy alcohol drinkers attempt to acquire alcohol despite the threat of a negative consequence more so than light drinkers, a study has found, and this behavior is associated with unique activation of brain circuitry in heavy drinkers | Science Daily, USA

Prevention and cessation best options to reduce tobacco-related heart disease

Community and policy interventions key, along with ongoing clinician involvement | EurekAlert, USA

Insight into development of lung cancer

Lung cancer results from effects of smoking along with multiple genetic components. A new study identifies two main pathways for the role of chromosome 15q25.1 -- a leader in increasing susceptibility to lung cancer -- in modifying disease risk | Science Daily, USA

Federal method fails to detect most stores that sell cigarettes to minors

A study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics reports that the method federal regulators use to monitor illegal underage tobacco sales fails to detect most stores that sometimes sell cigarettes to adolescents | News Medical, USA

More harm than good: Problems with parental supply of alcohol to children

Some parents supply their adolescent children with alcohol in an attempt to protect them from heavy drinking and alcohol-related harms. However, this practice is not validated by research, and may actually be harmful since adolescence and young adulthood marks the peak onset of alcohol use disorder | BASIS, USA

Large quantity of crystal meth mistakenly mailed to Apple Store in New York

A large quantity of crystal meth was mistakenly mailed to Apple’s flagship store in Grand Central Terminal in New York according to an MTA spokesperson, via the New York Post, who report two pounds of the drug were delivered on July 7 | Apple Post, USA

International Overdose Awareness Day 2018 will see Vancouver call for steps beyond harm reduction

The event scheduled for August 31 is one of a series around the world in response to an epidemic of drug-overdose deaths that is increasingly global | Georgia Straight, Canada

Cannabis producers seek reprieve from federal fee after Ontario delays launch of retail stores

Canada’s major producers of cannabis are urging the federal government to suspend the introduction of an $82-million levy on their revenues in the wake of Ontario’s decision to delay the opening of physical stores by nearly six months | Globe and Mail, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Reviewing Transforming Rehabilitation

Mike Trace, Chief Executive of the Forward Trust, argues that we mustn't miss this opportunity to to make a step change in the number of offenders' lives turned around | Russell Webster, UK

Keeping tobacco cheap: how tobacco companies undermine government tax measures

Tobacco taxation is widely acknowledged to be among the most effective tobacco-control measures. Higher tobacco taxes reduce consumption, discourage initiation and, when so earmarked, provide revenue to help support public health programmes. But for tobacco taxes to accomplish all three goals, they must be effectively implemented | BMJ editorial, USA

Bad batch: synthetic marijuana overdoses on the rise

New Haven, Connecticut, faced over 100 overdoses from the drug K2 between Tuesday and Thursday, Aug 14-16, 2018, mostly in and around New Haven Green, a large park in the downtown of the city near Yale University campus | Lancet: United States of Health blog, USA

Opioids, Addiction, Podcasts, and How You Can Help Points

We need to know what you think of Points. What do you like about this blog? What do you want to see more of? What topics don’t we cover enough? | Points blog, USA

Melbourne injecting room already saving lives

After all the fracas, the Medically Supervised Injecting Room is hitting all KPIs, as NSW calls for more rooms in needy areas | AJP opinion, Australia