Daily news - 9th February 2018

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UK news

Supporting nurse mentors to reduce the barriers to implementing alcohol Interventions and Brief Advice in primary care’

New research published today (8 February) shows a marked increase in the delivery of alcohol brief interventions in primary care settings where nurse mentors are specifically trained, bringing significant benefits to those at risk of alcohol harm | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

A QUARTER of children have now tried drugs with youngsters able to access illegal substances on social networks

Social media is being blamed for a boom in drug use among children, as a quarter of school pupils now claim to have taken illegal substances. Charities last night warned that children have never been more exposed to drugs | Mail Online, UK

Marketing messages accompanying online selling of lower and regular strength wine and beer products in the UK: a content analysis

Increased availability of low/er strength alcohol products has the potential to reduce alcohol consumption if they are marketed as substitutes for higher strength products rather than as additional products | BMC Public Health, UK

Research suggests vapers are vulnerable to pneumonia

The vapour from e-cigarettes seems to help pneumonia-causing bacteria stick to the cells that line the airways, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London | Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: 2018 release

Public Health England have released updated data for the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE), which provides a picture of alcohol-related hospital admissions, mortality and other data across English regions and localities | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Survey: What Contributes to compassion Fatigue in Health Professionals Working in Drug and Alcohol Services

This study seeks to measure levels of compassion in staff working directly with people using drugs and/or alcohol. This study will also investigate what contributes to compassion fatigue | Lancaster University, UK

Family plant ‘fitting tribute’ to father lost to alcohol

The family of a Leeds man, who lost his life after battling alcohol misuse, has used the money collected at his funeral to plant trees in his memory | Forward Leeds, UK

8 February 2018: strategy for community rehabilitation launched

Action on Addiction has announced the launch of its new strategy to make its life-saving treatment available to more people in more places | Action on Addiction, UK

Baby born to teenage cannabis smoking teenagers must be given up for adoption, court rules

The lad’s mother was herself only 17 when she gave birth to him and both parents were already habitual cannabis users, a family court heard | Manchester Evening News, UK

Man suffers severe burns in hospital smoking fire

A man is being treated in intensive care after suffering severe burns following a fire on a ward at a Lincolnshire hospital | BBC, UK

Portsmouth head teacher admits cocaine and drink-drive charges

A head teacher has admitted possessing cocaine and drink-driving after he was seen driving through two red lights | BBC, UK

Gangster accused of swallowing drugs goes three weeks without a bowel movement as police tweet #poowatch

The man was arrested in Harlow, Essex, on January 17, and is charged with two counts of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply | Telegraph, UK

Newlyweds caught up in police chase during wedding day photo shoot

It was supposed to be a romantic setting for their big day, but newly weds Becky and Toby Eyre were in for a surprise when their photoshoot ended up in the middle of a police chase | Telegraph, UK


International news

ICC to examine claims of crimes against humanity by Duterte

Philippine opposition says move offers ray of hope for victims of president’s war on drugs | Guardian, UK

US Corp Cashes in as Lesotho Becomes the First African Country to Legalise Cannabis Cultivation

Lesotho has become the first African country to permit the legal cultivation of cannabis – but the production of the drug has been restricted to two foreign-owned companies, while rural farmers and the wider population continue to be prohibited from harvesting their own | Talking Drugs, UK

Losing a husband to a hidden drug addiction

Rachel Azimi was a happy mother of two and the wife of a New York teacher. She led a contented life until one night police came to her house and told her that her husband, Matthew, had died of a drug overdose. With a third child on the way, Rachel describes how she had no idea about her husband's addictions | BBC, UK

Alcohol Bill latest: ‘If you were serious about tackling the drink, start with the Dáil bars’

The debate on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill has heard a call for the closures of the bars in Leinster House | Irish Examiner, Ireland

40 babies admitted for drug withdrawal treatment

Some 40 babies were admitted and treated for neonatal abstinence syndrome at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin over the course of three years. ‘Neonatal abstinence syndrome’ is the term used to describe symptoms displayed by infants of opioid-dependent mothers | Medical Independent, Ireland

The diverse reasons for using Novel Psychoactive Substances - A qualitative study of the users' own perspectives

The increasing number of legally ambiguous and precarious Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) constitutes a challenge for policy makers and public health. Scientific and more in-depth knowledge about the motivations for using NPS is scarce and often consist of predetermined, non-systematic, or poorly described reasons deduced from top-down approaches | IJDP, Sweden

Fentanyl Overdose Reduction Checking Analysis Study (PDF)

The potential of death from even small amounts of fentanyl has changed the landscape of opioid use in the United States. Evidence to date suggests that people who use drugs often do not know whether fentanyl is present in what they are about to consume. A recent study among 242 heroin users across 17 sites in British Columbia, Canada, found that 29% tested positive for fentanyl, 73% of whom did not report knowingly using fentanyl | John Hopkins University, USA

Interview with Ethan Nadelmann and Stanton Peele

Audio. Zach Rhoads hosts Ethan Nadelmann and Stanton Peele as they recall crucial moments in their own lives/careers, their work together, and the future of drug policy | Social Exchange, USA

Drug shown to reverse brain deficits caused by alcohol

QUT researchers have identified a drug that could potentially help our brains reboot and reverse the damaging impacts of heavy alcohol consumption on regeneration of brain cells | Medical Xpress, USA

More efficient method devised to drug test athletes

A new way of testing blood and urine developed by University of Waterloo researchers cuts down the time required to analyze samples from 30 minutes to 55 seconds. They're working to reduce it even further to 10 seconds per sample by using a fully automated workflow | EurekAlert, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

How labels like ‘addict’ and ‘junkie’ mask class contempt for drug users

Terms such as “drug user”, “addict” or the blatantly pejorative “junkie”, “dope head” or “stoner”, are loaded with moral bias. They suggest that people who consume psychoactive substances are mentally weak and dangerous – when in fact chemically altering the mind (the natural drive for “intoxication”) has long been a part of human biology and culture, most of which does not lead to any harm or crime | Conversation, UK

Misconceptions about e-cigarette safety might be stopping smokers using them to quit

Public Health England has released its latest report on e-cigarettes, updating on research into their safety and making new recommendations | Cancer Research UK blog, UK

Why vaping should not be on prescription

Unlike traditional cessation methods, vaping is empowering. It represents a market-based, user driven, public health insurgency. That is why it is so successful | Herald letters, UK

The Therapeutic Potential of Magic Mushrooms

Since 2006 (and this is shocking), the use of anti-depressant medication has doubled in the UK. That’s just over 10 years | Gonzoworld blog, UK

Alcohol Bill: drinks lobby digs in

Having delayed the legislation by focusing on the prospect of increased costs for small retailers, the industry has switched its attack to health-related labelling | Irish Times opinion, Ireland

Bernard Noble Finally Granted Parole After Being Sentenced to 13 Years for Possessing Two Joints

Bernard Noble, who was sentenced to 13 years for possessing two marijuana joints, was granted parole yesterday after serving more than 8 years in a Louisiana prison. His case drew national attention and outrage, at a time when states are legalizing marijuana and individuals are making big bucks with the business of marijuana | DPA blog, USA