Daily news - 14th February 2018

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Children of Alcoholics Week 11-17 February 2018

Raising awareness of children affected by parental alcohol problems. We want everyone to know they are not alone and help and support is available | COA Week, UK


UK news

ACMD Register of interests

This register of interests for the council members of the ACMD lists their occupations, the organisations they work for and the nature of any interests they might have | ACMD, UK

How we drink, What we think: Alcohol in the North East (PDF)

Eight in 10 North Easterners think the UK’s relationship with alcohol is ‘unhealthy’, a major new report has revealed | Balance North East, UK

Safer care for patients with personality disorder (PDF)

Individuals with PD are often frequent users of mental health care. However, management of PD patients is notoriously challenging and influenced by the type of PD, the degree of severity and the presence of comorbid psychiatric disorders | Manchester University, UK

North-south divide revealed as prescription of opioid drugs rise

The prescription of opioid drugs by GPs in England is steadily rising, especially in more deprived communities, even though they can cause complications and adverse effects and have not been proven to work for chronic pain, finds a new study led by UCL and UCLH | UCL, UK

Teens 'buying anxiety drug Xanax on social media'

A BBC investigation has found the prescription drug Xanax is being sold online to teenagers. Xanax is widely prescribed in the US to treat anxiety but can only be obtained on private prescription in the UK. Drugs charity Addaction said children as young as 13 had bought it online | BBC, UK

Cannabis in the UK To Engage With Political Parties

For decades, the debate about drug policy reform has been a ‘third rail issue’ in the UK. Last year, neither of the two main political parties mentioned drug reform at all in their general election manifestos | Volte Face, UK

High street store starts stocking cannabis oil as sales go through the roof

Health-food specialist Holland & Barrett is now selling the oil, thought by some to help with problems such as multiple ­sclerosis, joint pain, anxiety and depression | Nottingham Post, UK

Love and drugs on the street: Girls sleeping rough - BBC iPlayer

Kelly is 18 and has been homeless since leaving care a year and a half ago. She’s living in a tent in a park in Brighton and dreams of being a singer | BBC, UK

Stop and search: young black men share their experiences

Video.Young black men from London speak to BBC Newsnight about their experiences of stop and search | BBC, UK

Light and non-alcoholic beers boost Heineken as it warns of profit squeeze

Rising demand for beer containing little or no alcohol in Europe helped brewing giant Heineken buck the wider industry’s moribund growth | Telegraph, UK

Crack and cheese: do pleasurable things really affect your brain like drugs?

Claims that cheese, sex and Facebook affect your brain in the same way as drugs fundamentally misunderstand how it all works | Guardian, UK

New integrated services in Islington

We are excited to announce the new integrated services in Islington in partnership with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust WDP and Blenheim | Blenheim Project, UK

Outreach event succeeds in raising £4,000 for drug and alcohol addiction charity

An outreach event was organised at the weekend to support the work of Teen Challenge North East Scotland; a charity which helps men and women turn their lives around from addiction | Evening Express, UK

Plans to improve image of drug-marred Wrexham bus station

The council is already set to make £73,000 in improvements to the station after a grant from the Welsh Government. It now hopes to raise further cash to enhance CCTV at the station which has been marred by drug problems | BBC, UK

Vaping in taxis could be banned by Calderdale Council

Long-term health impact of e-cigarettes is not yet known | Huddersfield Daily Examiner, UK

Warwickshire Police issue drug warning after two men found dead

The deaths of two men found at the same property may be linked to an illegal psychoactive drug, detectives believe | Shropshire Star, UK

Why are most problem gamblers men?

Men are seven-and-a-half times more likely than women to become problem gamblers, research suggests. What makes them more prone to developing an unhealthy gambling habit? | BBC, UK


International news

What lessons can the UK learn from Iceland to decrease drug use among its young people?

Download your free copy by filling in a few details | Volte Face, UK

Portugal police 'find cocaine in traveller's padded pants'

Police in Portugal have detained a man at Lisbon's international airport accused of carrying 1kg (2.2lb) of cocaine in fake bottoms | BBC, UK

US drug companies accused of being 'cheerleaders' for opioids

The five biggest companies making prescription opioids have been accused by a US Senate committee of spending $10m on patient advocacy and medical groups to encourage use of the addictive drugs, which are at the root of a public health crisis in America | Guardian, UK

Meet the Sacklers: the family feuding over blame for the opioid crisis

Philanthropic heirs to OxyContin fortune have a ‘moral duty to help make this right’ says the widow of one of Purdue Pharma’s founders | Guardian, UK

Opioid crisis costs about to skyrocket, healthy economy group warns

Meanwhile, another new report suggests the pharmaceutical industry has been spending millions to boost opioid prescriptions | Independent, UK

Pernod Ricard boss: We're eyeing legal cannabis market 'closely'

The boss of spirits giant Pernod Ricard has revealed that he and his rivals are studying the legalised cannabis market, as the drinks industry weighs the drug’s leisure potential | Telegraph, UK

Evaluation of California’s ‘Tobacco 21’ law

California’s law raising the minimum tobacco sales age to 21 went into effect on 9 June 2016. This law, known as ‘Tobacco 21’ or ‘T21’, also expanded the definition of tobacco to include electronic smoking devices. This paper describes the T21 evaluation plan and initial evaluation results | BMJ, UK

Revenue seize €44k and 46,000 cigarettes at Dublin Airport

Three separate operations this weekend saw €44,000 and 46,000 contraband cigarettes seized at Dublin Airport | Independent, Ireland

Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than Opioids

Medical cannabis therapy can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients age 65 and older without adverse effects, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center | EurekAlert, Israel

Meth, the Forgotten Killer, Is Back. And It’s Everywhere

The fight against methamphetamines was successful, but only to a point. In some states it’s now the leading cause of drug-related deaths | NYTimes, USA

Smoking: Is just one cigarette a day dangerous?

Cigarette smoking is related to an increased risk for developing stroke, lung disease, and coronary heart disease. In order to reduce negative health impacts related to cigarette smoking, some interventions advise smokers to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked each day | BASIS, USA

Investigators highlight potential of exercise in addressing substance abuse in teens

Exercise has numerous, well-documented health benefits. Could it also play a role in preventing and reducing substance misuse and abuse in adolescents? This is the intriguing question that a team of investigators from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic seeks to answer | Medical Xpress, USA

How opioid vending machines could fix Vancouver’s drug crisis

Overdoses killed 1,422 people in B.C. last year. For one doctor the solution is to “offer people the opportunity to get drugs that won’t kill them | Macleans, Canada

An Australian Politician Is Spending Valentine's Day Driving Around In A Pro-Vaping Van

The vaping bus is comin' and everybody's jumpin' (then probably wheezing tbh) | Buzzfeed, USA

Queensland drug trafficking convictions up 330 per cent in 10 years: report

he number of convicted Queensland drug traffickers has increased by 330 per cent in a decade, but most offenders did not come close to serving the maximum penalty for the crime, a new report shows | abc.net.au, Australia

Inside Australia's second-chance drug courts

We hear so often about the drug problem fuelling crime and tearing families apart, but what we don't hear about is why | 9news, Australia

Study of big pharma's education events for doctors raises concerns about overtreatment

Big drug companies are spending thousands of dollars educating doctors about expensive medications for depression, osteoporosis and overactive bladder that are not necessarily considered the preferred treatment, a new report has found | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 50: There is law on snus but is there justice?

So here is my half century blog post.  Thanks for all the positive feedback. The cheques are in the post. Sorry I don’t do online banking | NSP blog, UK

WHO cares? Treatment coverage for substance use disorders: results from 26 countries

Wherever there are humans there are drugs. But our understanding of the problems some people develop with drugs is dependent on where these people live | Mental Elf blog, UK

Accuracy of alcohol and breast cancer risk information on Drinkaware’s website

A recent paper in Drug and Alcohol Review analysed the information on cancer disseminated by 27 alcohol industry funded organisations. The independent UK alcohol education charity Drinkaware was among the organisations whose information was studied, and based on the analysis claims were made of misrepresentation of evidence about the alcohol-related risk of cancer and alcohol industry influence. This commentary challenges the validity of these findings in respect to the evidence relating to the Drinkaware information... | DAR commentary, UK

Making codeine prescription-only was right. Where do we go from here?

The restriction will save lives. But people need better support to move beyond codeine and take control of their pain | Guardian opinion, UK

Americans Need Naloxone and Pharmacists Shouldn’t Hesitate to Give It to Them

Every generation struggles with their own set of public health issues. Our generation is faced with the opioid epidemic–which has been brewing for over 20 years | IRETA blog, USA

How Will Cannabis Legalization Affect Alcohol Consumption?

Unlike Colorado or Washington, California's legalization allows local jurisdictions to license on-premises cannabis consumption. While this is nothing new to the Bay Area, an increasing number of Californians will confront the 'bar versus lounge' decision | RAND blog, USA

Can government-approved pot beat street weed?

A key goal of legalizing recreational cannabis is squeezing out illegal suppliers. But how competitive will legal cannabis retailing be against established black markets? | Conversation, Canada