Daily news - 13th February 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Eight new members appointed to the ACMD

Experts in topics including healthcare, social science, enforcement, toxicology, and pharmacology have been recruited to help deliver the ACMD’s ongoing work. [DrugWise is pleased to announce that our Director, Harry Shapiro, is one of the new members] | ACMD, UK

Alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?

Local commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals can use the ‘Why invest?’ slides to help make the case for investing in drug and alcohol treatment and interventions | PHE, UK

E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review

Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts | PHE, UK

At Least Three UK City Centres to Get Drugs Testing Facility

Harm reduction organisation The Loop will be offering its drug testing services in a matter of weeks | VICE, UK

Drug and alcohol treatment in England 2016/17

Updating the previous year’s “really brilliant analysis” (Professor Susanne MacGregor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), our analysis of the performance of England’s drug and alcohol treatment system up to 2016/17. With the help of 21 charts, it examines the falling numbers, ageing caseloads, and the puzzle of waning success with opiate users but increasing with drinkers | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Prescription of opioid drugs continues to rise in England

Doctors give patients drugs such as tramadol despite risks of addiction and ineffectiveness when treating chronic pain | Guardian, UK

Deaths from painkillers double in a decade as Britain follows US 

A study led by University College London Hospital shows a sharp rise in prescribing of opoid drugs, despite repeated warnings that the drugs should not be given for long periods because of their addictive qualities | Telegraph, UK

Practical proposals to tackle the scourge of drugs announced by Police and Crime Commissioner

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has announced a set of practical proposals to tackle the cost of drugs to public services, reduce drug related crime and the shocking number of deaths in the region, in a report published today | West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, UK

Plans for heroin to be prescribed to addicts in West Midlands

Police and crime commissioner David Jamieson sets out policy at odds with national approach | Guardian, UK

Prescribed heroin part of West Midlands anti-drug plans

Heroin prescriptions for those addicted to the drug have been proposed as a means of cutting drug-related crime in the West Midlands | BBC, UK

Healthy Child Programme: rapid review on safeguarding

Rapid review to update the safeguarding guidance for the Healthy Child Programme for children aged 5 to 19 | PHE, UK

Can converted buses help people find a route out of homelessness?

Concerned citizens are transforming old buses to provide beds for increasing numbers of rough sleepers in towns across England | Guardian, UK

Survey to acquire feedback from people who use online recovery resources

This survey is for anyone who currently accesses online resources in relation to substance misuse and recovery. The aim is to find out about what online resources are used, and how they are used. This survey will help inform signposting to appropriate resources for people at different stages of recovery, family and friends affected by a loved one’s substance misuse, and those working in recovery | Breaking Free Online, UK

Drug and Alcohol Recovery Academy

A Doncaster NHS drug and alcohol service has teamed up with Sheffield Hallam University and Spectrum Community Health to set up a Recovery Academy in Yorkshire for people working in addiction services and for those in recovery from substance misuse | ASPIRE, UK

Residents cured of mystery headaches after police point finger of blame at secret cannabis farm

Police have cured residents’ mystery chronic headaches by unearthing secret cannabis farm near their houses | Telegraph, UK

Man cleared of throwing drugs at HMP Berwyn super-prison

Rhys Robert Jones, 18, from Liverpool, denied throwing a quantity of class B drug Spice and two phones towards The Bala Wing at HMP Berwyn on 26 May | BBC, UK


International news

Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Programme

We want people to learn from GFN and have the opportunity to implement the learning in their home countries. There will be 15 scholarships for the year, with funds available to support agreed projects up to the value of $7500. The scholarships will commence at the GFN Conference in Warsaw, Poland on 13th June 2018 | GFN, UK

Why alcohol makes people violent, solved by scientists 

The mystery of why alcohol makes people violent has finally been solved | Telegraph, UK

Fatal car crashes increase 12% on annual marijuana celebration '420 Day'

Cannabis ingredient is known to delay reaction times but driving after smoking drug is remarkably common, say authors | Independent, UK

Dream catchers, succulents and joints: a visit to an LA cannabis shop

Catering to wealthy people, today’s dispensaries aim to present the drug as part of a healthy lifestyle | Guardian, UK

The drug seen as more harmful than marijuana

Of the more than 1,900 people in Oregon asked by researchers from the Research Triangle Institute, an overwhelming 70.5 percent of those aged 18-34 believed alcohol is more harmful to a person's health | I news, UK

'The training stays with you': the elite Mexican soldiers recruited by cartels

Last year, Mexico’s murder rate reached the highest level on record – and years of military defections are fueling the violence | Guardian, UK

Is risk of fatal crashes increased on 4/20 counterculture holiday celebrating marijuana?

Studies suggest cannabis intoxication increases crash risk while driving. Many cannabis activists and enthusiasts gather at public celebrations on April 20 to consume marijuana | EurekAlert, USA

Hip-hop music influencing more African-Americans to try 'Molly'

More rap artists are talking about molly, which is the powder or crystal form of ecstasy, and that's having a big impact on Black listeners | Medical Xpress, USA

Balancing the benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes

What should physicians say to their patients who ask them about the safety of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and whether the devices can help them quit smoking? | Medical Xpress, USA

Altered pain processing after opioid discontinuation

An imaging study of the brain and spinal cord published in JNeurosci reveals pain processing changes in healthy men after receiving a short-term application of a strong opioid. The research provides a plausible mechanism underlying increased pain sensitivity after discontinuation of opioid medication | Medical Xpress, USA

Neurotransmitter may play a role in alcohol relapse, addiction

A study on alcohol addiction led by Indiana University finds the neurotransmitter glutamate may play a role in some addiction cravings | Science Daily, USA

Brain scans show why people get aggressive after a drink or two

MRI study highlights how areas in the brain that temper aggression shut off when people drink alcohol | Science Daily, Australia

MJA Podcasts 2018 Episode 10: Codeine dependence, with Dr Suzanne Nielsen

Dr Suzanne Nielsen is a Senior Research Fellow with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW. She discusses ways of identifying and treating codeine dependence | MJA, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Police and Crime Commissioner's New Health-led Approach to Drugs Will Save Lives and Reduce Crime

Today, Transform Drug Policy Foundation and the Anyone’s Child project welcomed the announcement of a new, health-led approach to drugs in the West Midlands. Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson published eight recommendations to help address the failure of drug policy in his region | Transform Blog, UK

What we’re doing to help keep our children and young people safe

Safeguarding children and young people is about ensuring that their welfare is looked after. This includes keeping them safe from harm, abuse and maltreatment, and that they grow up with safe and effective care | PHE blog, UK

Elizabeth Romer: Changing the way we talk about people who use drugs is a step towards challenging stigma

In a recent BMJ Opinion article, Ian Hamilton expressed his scepticism that “adopting a new vocabulary to describe people who have problems with drugs will reduce the stigma they experience.” | BMJ editorial, UK

The children of alcoholic parents need help. I know this all too well

Even if you’ve brave enough to overcome the shame and stigma and seek help, you’ll find services are being cut heavily | Guardian, UK

Parental Alcohol Misuse: where next for policy?

A new briefing on Parental Alcohol Misuse (PAM) has been released by the Government's Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. It follows increasing attention to the issue of parental drinking after several MPs have campaigned for more attention to the issue of 'Children of Alcoholics' (CoA) | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Dry January: did Bill and Lewis manage the whole month booze free?

We’ve loved being an official charity partner of Dry January 2018, the annual movement that helps people reset their relationship with alcohol. Maxine Lenza, World Cancer Research Fund Press and Communications Officer, takes a look at how our Dry January poster boys did | World Cancer Research Fund blog, UK

Stop the toasts: the Global Fund's disturbing new partnership

In the preface to Heather Wipfli's history of WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), she recounts how when she joined WHO to work on the FCTC, a recent fellow graduate from her masters programme invited her to lunch | Lancet letters, UK

I Worked in San Francisco Harm Reduction - I Know How Much the City Needs a Supervised Injection Facility

San Francisco is gearing up to open the United States' first legal supervised injection facility in July. For the more than 22,000 people who inject drugs in the city, a new day is on the horizon – and they'll live to see it | Talking Drugs, UK

Let's help Canberra's drug addicts help themselves

If the ACT Government is truly committed to adopting a harm minimisation approach to Canberra's growing drug problem then the time has come to sign the cheques | Age opinion, Australia