Daily news - 16th February 2018

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UK news

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal smoking product on the market | PHE, UK

Sharp drop-off in support on leaving prison undermines ‘recovery wing’ model

Even if prison substance use services were five-star, without a home, job, and supportive social network for prisoners to return to, the investment could ultimately amount to nought. This is the caveat around the Drug Recovery Wing evaluation which found on the one hand considerable reductions in drinking, drug use, and self-reported offending six months after leaving prison, and on the other, big gaps in support leaving prisoners feeling unprepared to sustain their recovery in the community | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Alcohol dependency and malnutrition among homeless people (PDF)

Many homeless people drink heavily and don’t eat enough. This can mean they are at risk of developing diseases associated with both a high alcohol intake and poor diet | CLAHRC West, UK

'People care for five minutes': homeless man's death is wake-up call, says charity

Homeless charity says sustained austerity and cuts to vital services is leading to more deaths on the streets | Guardian, UK

PHE 'Prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?'

The resource collects alcohol-related figures and infographics designed to help make the business case for investing in treatment and early intervention | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

CGL Hepatitis C Strategy

Slideshow | CGL, UK

Could Guernsey's drug laws get a major overhaul?

Deputy Gavin St Pier says Guernsey has spent decades treating illegal drug use as a criminal issue rather than a health problem | ITV, UK

Non-medical use of prescription drugs

Event. Friday 16 March, University of York. Free but booking essential. This event will focus on the topic of non-medical use of prescription drugs. Despite significant numbers of people being prescribed psychoactive drugs like opiates, sedatives and stimulants there is insufficient information about who is at risk of developing problems such as dependency | University of York, UK

Beth Shipsey: Family wants tougher diet drug controls

The parents of a woman who died after overdosing on an illegal diet drug want tougher controls | BBC, UK

Oxford student plunged to his death while high on drugs after going for an 'adventure' climbing on a building site, inquest hears

An Oxford student plunged to his death while high on drugs after going for an "adventure" climbing on a building site, an inquest heard | Telegraph, UK

One positive drugs test in 2016-17 season, reveals Rugby Football Union

The Rugby Football Union insists it is running a "comprehensive" anti-doping programme, despite revealing a Premiership player could go a whole season without being tested | BBC, UK

Salesman three times over the drink drive limit was cleared because he was too drunk to give a breath test, court hears 

A salesman who was caught three times over the drink drive limit was cleared because he said he was too drunk to give a breath test, the Court of Appeal heard | Telegraph, UK


International news

Remarkable secrets of ketamine's antidepressant effect unlocked by scientists

Identifying way in which ketamine rapidly alleviates severe depression could pave way for new generation of treatments | Independent, UK

Antigua and Barbuda Set to Decriminalise Cannabis, as PM Says It is "Part of the Culture of the Country"

Legislators in Antigua and Barbuda’s lower house have voted to decriminalise cannabis possession, allow Rastafarians to use cannabis ritually, and expunge prior possession convictions | Talking Drugs, UK

Students’ Unions should advocate for decriminalisation of drug use, says Labour senator

The College View: Students’ Unions should be working with college authorities to advocate for students caught with illegal substances and campaigning for decriminalisation of drug use, according to Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin | Irish Times, Ireland

Dutch court stubs out smokers' corners in cafes

A Dutch court on Tuesday upheld an appeal by anti-cigarette campaigners and barred the use of public spaces in cafes and bars reserved for smokers | Medical Xpress, Netherlands

Study Explores Genetic Overlap Between Nicotine Addiction, Schizophrenia

 A dozen genetic pathways may contribute to both schizophrenia risk and nicotine addiction susceptibility, new research suggests | Genome Web, USA

New guideline warns pain benefits of medical cannabis overstated

A new medical guideline published today suggests Canada's family physicians should take a sober second thought before prescribing medical cannabis to most patients | Medical Xpress, USA

Ketamine found to reduce bursting in brain area reducing depression quickly

A team of researchers at Zhejiang University in China has found that the drug ketamine reduces neuronal bursting in the lateral habenula (LHb) brain region, reducing symptoms of depression in rodent models. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their study of the impact of the drug on depression and why they believe it may lead to a better understanding of the condition | Medical Xpress, USA

'It's a National Problem.' How Hospitals Are Treating Opioid Addiction's Youngest Sufferers

Two babies, born 15 months apart to the same young woman overcoming opioid addiction. Two very different treatments | TIME, USA

Changing the Game: 30 Years of Drug and Alcohol Research

NDARC shares game changing highlights from 30 years of drug and alcohol research | NDARC, Australia

Study finds support for pharmacy tobacco sales

A quarter of pharmacies would strongly consider selling tobacco if pharmacy was its only legal outlet, a new study has found | AJP, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

The frustrations of living in a city in such clear need of a safer drug consumption facility are real

I’ve now been living in Glasgow for almost a whole year and had certainly hoped we’d be closer to the reality of opening a SDCF by now | Cuppa with Kirsten blog, UK

Parental alcohol misuse and children

Parental Alcohol Misuse (PAM) can negatively affect children’s physical and mental health, and other outcomes including educational attainment and behaviour | Russell Webster, UK

Scaling back Obamacare will make the opioid crisis worse

In October, President Donald Trump declared the situation a public health emergency and set up a commission on opioids. On Feb. 9, Congress finally took action by allocating US$6 billion for substance abuse treatment in the budget bill. Though a step in the right direction, many experts argue that it’s still a drop in the bucket given the extent of the epidemic | Conversation, USA