Daily news -7th February 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Statistics on Drug Misuse, England 2018

These statistics will be released on 7 February 2018 9:30am | NHS Digital, UK

PHE launches opioid treatment quality improvement programme

PHE will work with drug treatment providers and service users to develop tools to improve the quality of substitution treatment | PHE, UK

Local tobacco control profiles for England: February 2018 update

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

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: February 2018 update

Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) data update for February 2018 | PHE, UK

England: Alcohol-related hospital admissions hit record levels – again

The number of alcohol-related admissions to hospitals in England has risen yet again, with middle-aged drinkers most likely to be admitted, according to new Public Health England figures | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Desperate for help: prescription drug addicts turn to the web

Lack of government-funded services means growing numbers have nowhere else to turn | Guardian, UK

Orange 'Tesla' drug warning after children hospitalised

Several students have fallen ill after taking super-strength ecstasy in North Yorkshire, prompting a warning to pupils and parents | BBC, UK

E-cigarettes: a guide for healthcare professionals

This course has been developed to assist health and social care professionals support people who want to use electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to help them quit smoking | NCSCT, UK

E-cigarettes should be on sale in hospital shops, health body says

More could be done to get people to switch to products that are safer than smoking cigarettes, say Public Health England | Guardian, UK

The structured ambivalence of cannabis control in England & Wales

The two reclassifications of cannabis in England & Wales in 2004 and 2009 have been subjected to a series of academic analyses which have largely been centred on either the relationship to evidence, or in terms of the implications and realities of policing and health under the changes | IJDP, UK

Drugs: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to prevent the sale of illegal drugs online | They work for you, UK

Resilient Communities (Full Report) (PDF)

This report's aim was to identify and describe different models/ approaches to developing resilient communities and to assess their effectiveness | PHI, UK

Love Island exposed viewers to millions of smoking images, says research

Report claims 20 per cent of content includes picture of tobacco usage, with impressions highest among those aged 16 to 34 | Independent, UK

Facebook Is Deleting Valuable Drug Harm Reduction Groups

Sesh Safety – a group offering real-time advice to drug users – was permanently deleted recently, which is bad news for everyone | VICE, UK

E-cigarette trial makes Isle of Man jail 'calmer and safer'

Allowing inmates to smoke e-cigarettes has made an Isle of Man jail "calmer and safer", a report has found | BBC, UK

Crime commissioner's call for new West Midlands drug policy

That was how senior police drugs squad officers described their efforts to enforce the laws on substance abuse when I talked to them privately nearly 20 years ago | BBC, UK

Butcher becomes first in Scotland to be convicted of selling under-counter tobacco

John Trutten racked up a staggering £4,000 in fines for selling non-duty-paid fags and tobacco from him butcher shop in Glasgow over two years | Scottish Sun, UK

North Yorkshire Police drug plot investigators receive a Chief Constable’s Commendation

Twenty-six North Yorkshire Police officers and staff were awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for their role in an investigation which saw two university friends jailed for more than 17 years | Northern Echo, UK

Eight million cigarettes seized at Belfast Port

The cigarettes were found on Saturday in what has been described by officials as the biggest such seizure at the port in six years | BBC, UK

Alcohol issues prompt Llandudno theatre security boost

Boozy theatregoers have been spoiling performances, prompting a council to beef up security at a seaside venue | BBC, UK

New UCL Study Seeking Participants

A new UCL study is looking for participants who either do or don’t smoke Cannabis, and are between the ages of 16-19 and 25-27. The study is seeking to understand more about how Cannabis impacts on adolescents and will be monitoring them over 12 months | Volte Face, UK


International news

E-cigarette users are accidentally smoking concentrated food flavouring drops and leaving poor reviews on Amazon

People are mistakenly vaping food flavouring then giving it terrible ratings on Amazon because it doesn't deliver their expected nicotine high | Independent, UK

Just 58 drivers test positive for ‘drug-driving’ in eight months

Garda expresses concern about low detection figures and issues with testing devices | Irish Times, Ireland

‘Broken’ health care system to blame for huge rise in opioid use, say GPs

Prescriptions for powerful painkillers increased by over 1,000% in the last decade | Irish Times, Ireland

Cork mother has lost three sons to heroin overdoses, inquest hears

“I have never heard, yet alone seen anything the like of this,” coroner Frank O’Connell said of the death of Alan Kidney, who like two of his brothers died as a result of heroin. “It is terribly sad.” | Irish Examiner, Ireland

'2,100 have died during two-year delay to booze law'

Around 2,100 people have died from alcohol-related disease during the two-year delay in bringing forward the Government's proposed legislation aimed at tackling the country's booze culture, it has been claimed | Independent, Ireland

Solicitor who brought small amount of cocaine into Mountjoy Prison given option to avoid conviction

Aonghus McCarthy said he did not know how the 0.33g of cocaine was in his wallet | Journal, Ireland

Costs and unintended consequences of drug control policies (PDF)

There is broad consensus that one overall aim of drug policy is to advance the health and welfare of mankind and reduce the individual and public health-related, social and safety problems resulting from the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances | Pompidou Group, France

Low-tech, low-cost test strips show promise for reducing fentanyl overdoses

Fentanyl is one of the most potent forms of opioid, and is often laced into street drugs, making it difficult for street users to ascertain their potency and therefore the potential for overdosing | Medical Xpress, USA

Study suggests opioid addicted newborns do better in room with mother than in NICU

A team of researchers affiliated with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice has found evidence suggesting that newborn babies addicted to opioids do better when they are kept in hospital rooms with their mothers than in the NICU. The team has published their findings in JAMA Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

Symptoms of alcoholism make taking medication to treat the disease more difficult

Symptoms of alcoholism make it more difficult for some people to regularly take the prescription drug naltrexone, which could help treat their disease, a researcher at Oregon State University has found | Medical Xpress, USA

New technique for identifying alcoholism puts treatment options at patients' and providers' fingertips

Ninety percent of adults in the U.S. with an Alcohol Use Disorder don't get treatment, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Study questions link between medical marijuana and fewer opioid deaths

The association between medical marijuana and lower levels of opioid overdose deaths—identified previously in several studies—is more complex than previously described and appears to be changing as both medical marijuana laws and the opioid crisis evolve, according to a new RAND Corporation study | Medical Xpress, USA

SF safe injection sites expected to be first in nation, open around July 1

San Francisco is on track to open its first two safe injection sites this July, a milestone that will likely make the city the first in the country to embrace the controversial model of allowing drug users to shoot up under supervision | SF Chronicle, USA

Alabama files lawsuit against opioid manufacturer

Alabama on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of OxyContin and other opioids, becoming the latest state seeking to hold drug companies accountable for an addiction epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

In Mexico, Is Legalized Pot Just A Pipe Dream?

They were astonishing comments from a cabinet member made in the most deliberate of settings | npr, USA

Entitled to Addiction? Pharmaceuticals, Race, and America's First Drug War

This article rethinks the formative decades of American drug wars through a social history of addiction to pharmaceutical narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants in the first half of the twentieth century | Bull Hist Med, USA

Tough new NSW road safety rules introduced after horror holiday road toll

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a swathe of tough new road safety rules | Age, Australia

Policing takeaway alcohol sales 'discriminatory', Hotels Association says

The group representing pubs and clubs in the Northern Territory says it would be reluctant to have staff police takeaway alcohol sales, because it is an ad hoc measure that is discriminatory in nature | abc.net.au, Australia

'Troubling phenomenon': Potentially deadly nitrous oxide being delivered to people's front doors

One of Australia's top drug experts says he is troubled by a website selling potentially deadly nitrous oxide canisters straight to people's front doors | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Key questions and findings from our e-cigarette evidence update

Back in 2015, the bold conclusions of our previous e-cigarette (EC) report  were controversial in providing qualified support for the use of ECs but have since contributed to a shift in international opinion | PHE blog, Uk

Big Tobacco should pay for the damage it does

This spring ASH is running a campaign to coincide with the annual shareholders meetings of three of the largest tobacco companies in the world: Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco, and Philip Morris International. In line with the “Polluter Pays Principle” we’re calling on governments to make Big Tobacco pay for the damage it does. Help us share this message over the next few months. We must #MakeThemPay | ASH, UK

Stories from dry January

Thank you all for the most successful Dry January ever! We couldn't have done it without you. It's been wonderful to see everyone tracking their progress on the app, supporting each other on Facebook and most of all, to hear from participants about their own experiences of Dry January | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Can England really eliminate hepatitis C by 2025?

The World Health Organisation set a goal to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030. The NHS recently announced that it will go one better than that: it will eliminate the disease in England by 2025. In theory, the goal is achievable, but there are still significant challenges to overcome | Conversation, UK

Why treating addiction with medication should be carefully considered

When a patient has diabetes, doctors typically prescribe insulin, along with diet and exercise. When a patient has high blood pressure, we prescribe medication, and we also reinforce the importance of healthy eating, exercise, weight loss and quitting smoking | Conversation, USA

Want Teens To Smoke Less Pot? Legalize It

As of January 2018, twenty-nine U.S. states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical use. Another fourteen have decriminalized possession of the drug, and eight states have fully legalized marijuana even for recreational use | Psychology Today blog, USA