Daily news - 5th December 2018

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UK news

Alcohol-specific deaths in the UK: registered in 2017

Deaths in the UK that are known to be direct consequences of alcohol misuse, such as alcoholic liver disease | ONS, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: December 2018 data update

Update of Indicators in the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) interactive tool | PHE, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: short statistical commentary, December 2018

New mortality data for 2017 has been added to the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) tool on the Fingertips platform | PHE, UK

Alcohol-related deaths among UK women at highest rate in 10 years

ONS figures show eight deaths per 100,000 women in 2017, as total death rate also rises | Guardian, UK

Scots top UK drink death rates but numbers are falling

Scotland is the only country in the UK to have seen a significant reduction in alcohol-related deaths this century, an official report has revealed | BBC, UK

Funding to help improve the lives of those affected by alcohol

£10.5 million funding awarded to local projects to support adults and children impacted by alcohol | PHE, UK

Safeguarding children affected by parental alcohol and drug use

A guide for local authorities and substance misuse services to help them work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children | PHE, UK

Vulnerabilities and substance use: ACMD report

Independent report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) investigates the risk factors to substance use-related problems and harms | ACMD, UK

Health Survey for England 2017

The Health Survey for England (HSE) monitors trends in the nation’s health and care. It provides information about adults aged 16 and over, and children aged 0 to 15, living in private households in England. The survey is used to monitor overweight and obesity and to estimate the proportion of people in England who have certain health conditions and the prevalence of risk factors and health related behaviours, such as smoking and drinking alcohol | NHS Digital, UK

Most adults living unhealthy lifestyle

The overwhelming majority of adults in England are so unhealthy they put their lives at risk, a survey shows | BBC, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: December 2018 update

An overview of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | PHE, UK

New materials designed with people who inject drugs to promote the benefits of low dead space equipment

New posters, a booklet and an animation, co-designed by service users from Bristol Drugs Project, are being launched on 24 January to promote the benefits of low dead space injecting equipment for people who inject drugs, alongside broader harm reduction messages. See also related videos | CLAHRC, UK

First person in UK to get cannabis prescription was previously given opiates 50 times stronger than heroin for chronic pain

Carly Barton suffered six years of debilitating pain until cannabis provided her relief | i news, UK

Girl, 2, who has 30 seizures a day becomes first child in Britain to be prescribed medicinal cannabis, which will cost her family £1,000 a month and a trip from Belfast to London for every repeat prescription

Little Jorja Emerson yesterday became the first child in the UK to be prescribed medicinal cannabis | Mail Online, UK

Prisons: Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) drug and (b) alcohol treatment services have been commissioned by his Department in each prison in England and Wales | They work for you, UK

Charter for Change Questionnaire

Survey. We have created this questionnaire so that older adults can share their experiences of finding and using help for alcohol use. We will use the information from this survey to develop a "Charter for Change", which will be presented to people who make decisions about how we help people with alcohol problems | DrinkWise AgeWell, UK

Drug dealers who 'plagued' Whitehaven jailed

Chad Jamieson, 24, and Jordan Anthony Thomas Malkinson, 23, planned to spend their money on "partying, clothes and holidays", Carlisle Crown Court heard | BBC, UK

Croydon boy used as 'foot soldier' in county lines drug plot

The 16-year-old was detained by officers after leaving the Carlisle flat of addict Peter Kenney on 22 May | BBC, UK


International news

Would you pay more for fair trade cocaine?

People spend more per gram on cocaine than any other drug, with a global average of €80 ($91) per gram.However, the majority of the economic gains don’t ever make it to the primary country of origin, Colombia | Talking Drugs, UK

Marlboro-maker in takeover talks with Canadian marijuana group

Altria makes big tobacco’s first push into legalised cannabis | FT, UK

Medical marijuana bill passes in Utah after compromise gains support from Mormon church

Governor Gary Herbert says state now has 'best designed medical cannabis programme in country' | Independent, UK

HSE data management report: September 2018 (PDF)

No. of substance misusers (over 18) for whom treatment has commenced within one calendar month following assessment | HSE, Ireland

Medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids: questions and answers for policymaking

What is the evidence base for the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids? What is the difference between cannabis preparations and medicinal products and why is this important? How is this issue regulated in the EU? These and other questions are explored in this report which responds to growing interest in this topic as more European countries develop policies and practice in this area | EMCDDA, Portugal

Study examines effects of different opioids on driving performance

Taking opioids for the treatment of pain has been associated with increased risks of crashing among drivers, but it is unknown whether this applies to all opioids or pertains to specific opioids only | EurekAlert, Norway

Study of infrequent cannabis users compares adverse effects of vaping and smoking

In a small study of infrequent cannabis users, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have shown that, compared with smoking cannabis, vaping it increased the rate of short-term anxiety, paranoia, memory loss and distraction when doses were the same | News Medical, USA

Fentanyl overdose deaths may have peaked

The peak may have occurred in September 2017 at a staggering 73,143 deaths and been as low as 70,859 more recently. Although still appalling, the reverse may be cause for optimism | AEI, USA

Drug wholesalers drove fentanyl's deadly rise, report concludes

Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid implicated in nearly 29,000 overdose deaths in the United States last year, most likely spread because of heroin and prescription pill shortages, and also because it was cheaper for drug wholesalers than heroin, according to a report on illicit US drug markets by researchers at UC San Francisco | Medical Xpress, USA

Maps show surprising variations in drug enforcement across U.S. states

Drug use and arrests are rising on the national level, but those changes vary greatly depending on the state | Big Think, USA

I Lost My Daughter to Heroin, Can I Start Over With Her Child?

Animation | NYTimes, USA

How Cocaine-Fueled Corruption Helped Spark the Migrant Caravan

Honduras is being eaten up by the drug cartels and their violence, so it's only natural people want out. That's just the end of a long story | VICE, USA

We Need to Talk About Benzodiazepines—Including Their Use in Drug Combinations

Opioids like heroin and fentanyl have grabbed the media and legislative spotlight—from soaring overdose fatalities to the misguided prescription restrictions and drug-induced homicide laws ostensibly intended to combat them | Filter Magazine, USA

Harm Reductionists Should Remember the Real-World Reasons for Abstinence-Only Messaging in Communities of Color

“As a society as a whole, we need to start talking about sober fun,” Jacen Zhu, a gay porn star and crystal meth activist (above), told an audience at “ParTy boi, Meth & Health.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Cannabis-based compound may reduce seizures in children with epilepsy

Interest has been growing in the use of cannabinoids--the active chemicals in cannabis or marijuana-- for the treatment of epilepsy in children. A recent Epilepsia analysis of relevant published studies indicates that this strategy looks promising | EurekAlert, Canada

Blogs, comment and opinion

Don’t blame an increase in drug scares among older people on the 1960s

More over-45s are arriving at hospital with drug-related mental health issues, but there’s a myriad of reasons why | Guardian, UK

We must study marijuana's impact on the environment before it's too late

The focus on human health with Canada’s legalization has highlighted the lack of discussion on the potential effects of on freshwater supplies | Guardian, UK

Marijuana in Mexico: how to legalise it effectively, fairly and safely

Around the world, there is a steady shift towards the legalisation of marijuana. But how should governments considering such a move ensure it is done effectively, fairly and safely? | Conversation, UK

Artist Joe Roberts: 'The psychedelic experience is an incredible tool'

The San Franciscan’s hallucinogenic journeys inspire colourful paintings featuring Mickey Mouse, Freddy Krueger and the Wu-Tang Clan | Guardian, UK

New Wine in Old Skins: Cannabis Branding and French Wine Appellations

As cannabis legalization sweeps across the United States, producing $8.5 billion in sales in 2017 and a projected $40-50 billion by the end of 2019, growers and distributors in the nation’s 36 states and territories where cannabis is to some degree legal are clamoring for ways to position their products above the rest | Points blog, USA

Fear mongering nitrous oxide is no laughing matter

Media reports last week linked the use of “nangs” to the death of a teenager at schoolies week on the Gold Coast. Hamish Bidgood died when he fell from a balcony. He and his friends had reportedly been using “nangs” that day | AOD MediaWatch, Australia