Daily news - 27th February 2018

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UK news

Scotland to set 50p minimum unit price for alcohol

The Scottish government has recommended that the minimum price for a unit of alcohol should be set at 50p | BBC, UK

Improving Scotland’s Health: Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

The Scottish Government plans to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol on 1 May 2018.  Before they introduce the Minimum Unit Price, the Scottish Ministers ran a public consultation to gather views from people, businesses, public bodies and interested parties about the Scottish Government’s preferred price of 50 pence per unit of alcohol | Scottish Government, UK

Effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions in primary care populations

Brief interventions aim to reduce alcohol consumption and related harm in hazardous and harmful drinkers who are not actively seeking help for alcohol problems | Cochrane Library, UK

P-05-784 Prescription drug dependence and withdrawal - recognition and support

Petition text: ​ We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to take action to appropriately recognise and effectively support individuals affected and harmed by prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal | National Assembly for Wales, UK

Trial of physical Activity and Reduction of Smoking (TARS)

Researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) will lead a national study with £1.8 million of funding from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme to test the effectiveness of new support to help smokers who want to reduce but not quit | Plymouth University, UK

New research finds ‘wonder drug’ for alcohol use disorder ineffective

A new study, published in the Addiction journal, conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool highlights the ineffectiveness of a specific drug treatment for alcohol use disorders | University of Liverpool, UK

WATCH: Cannabis oil is 'transforming' toddler's life

A couple from Preston say cannabis oil is transforming their daughter's life | ITV, UK

Impact of Bus Passes on your Recovery

Survey. The National Partnership for Action on Drugs suspects that current arrangements for access to concessionary travel bus pass support creates a barrier to recovery from problematic alcohol or drug use. We’d welcome your help to collect data that will help us better understand the  issues across Scotland to help identify if changes are necessary | PADS, UK

‘Huge reduction’ in smoking at Ipswich and Colchester hospital sites thanks to vaping areas

Markedly fewer people are smoking within the grounds of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals since vaping zones were introduced, bosses have said | EADT, UK

Drugs testing in football: The lottery, stage-fright and 'no pill for skill'

As drugs-testing rates in the game continue to increase, BBC Sport speaks to players about what the process is like, and looks at what football is up against in the fight against drugs cheats | BBC, UK

Drunk woman drove from Alcoholics Anonymous meeting

A woman has pleaded guilty to being almost eight times the drink drive limit while travelling home from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in West Lothian | BBC, UK


International news

CND 61: Key issues and opportunities - Webinar series

This third edition of the IDPC multilingual webinar series on the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) focuses on its 61st Session, which will take place in Vienna from 12-16 March 2018. This webinar series will shed light on the contentious issues that are likely to structure the debates, discuss tabled resolutions and opportunities for engagement, and showcase the experience of IDPC network members | IDPC, UK

The Paolo Pertica Award was established in 2004 by the European Network of Drugs and Infections Prevention in Prisons (ENDIPP) to mark the 10-year anniversary of the network. The creation of ENDIPP stemmed largely from Paolo Pertica’s work with prisoners in London. The award was created to acknowledge his contribution to the development of work with drug using prisoners in the UK and within European criminal justice systems | City Health International, UK

Why legal US cannabis businesses can’t use banks

Cannabis is legal in nearly two-thirds of American states, but many legal marijuana businesses are forced to operate without a bank account | BBC, UK

Canadian cruise ship passengers admit smuggling cocaine worth £12m into Sydney  

Two Canadian cruise ship passengers have pleaded guilty to smuggling cocaine worth $21 million (AUD) (£12m) into Sydney on a cruise ship which set off from Britain | Telegraph, UK

South Australia election: Xenophon’s party to force ice users into rehab

Liberal opposition accuses Labor government of abandoning the most vulnerable in society | Guardian, UK

NT puts minimum price on alcohol in Australian first

Attorney general says government tackling ‘the No 1 social issue’ after release of Riley review of alcohol abuse crisis | Guardian, UK

Barriers to shield children from alcohol ‘are too short’

New barriers to shield children from alcohol in shops and supermarkets will have little impact as they will be no taller than a 7-year-old, the National Off-license Association association has warned | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Non-Irish receive longer jail terms for drugs

Foreign nationals receive prison sentences an average of 11 months longer than those handed down to Irish nationals for possession of drugs for sale/supply worth less than €13,000 | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Surge in prison drug and weapon seizures

The number of drugs and weapons smuggled into prisons soared last year - despite costly attempts to clamp down on contraband | Independent, Ireland

Thousands protest deadly drug war in the Philippines

Catholic cardinal leads 'walk for life' and denounces 'throwaway culture', which he says has cost many Filipino lives | Aljazeera, Qatar

FDA to broaden access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the FDA expects to roll out guidance to expand access to opioid addiction therapy known as medicated-assisted treatment | CNN, USA

Addiction in America: On the Front Lines of Medicine - video

Michael Botticelli, Executive Director of Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center and others discuss how doctors and health-care providers are working to curb over-prescriptions while addressing patient needs with new therapies and substance abuse treatment models | Washington Post, USA

Stressful Experiences Affect Likelihood of Remission of Drug Dependence, Continued Drug Use, and Relapse

This study: Showed that stressful life events are associated with reductions in a person’s chances of becoming or remaining abstinent from drugs for at least 3 years. Suggests that coping with stress and negative affect play an important role in relapse prevention for addictive behaviors | NIDA, USA

Targeting pathway may reduce cocaine's cardiovascular harms

Scientists have discovered a potential new pathway to treat the harmful effect of cocaine on the cardiovascular system, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension | EurekAlert, USA

Metal Concentrations in e-Cigarette Liquid and Aerosol Samples: The Contribution of Metallic Coils

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) generate an aerosol by heating a solution (e-liquid) with a metallic coil. Whether metals are transferred from the coil to the aerosol is unknown | EHP, USA

Smoking E-cigarettes daily doubles risk of heart attacks

Daily use of electronic cigarettes is associated with nearly a doubling of the odds of a heart attack, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco. This is the first evidence of a substantial, human health impact of the popular devices that were first introduced about a decade ago, indicating that e-cigarettes may be more dangerous than previously thought | Medical Xpress, USA

E-cigarettes could be helpful for smoking cessation in hospitals

Research published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal indicates electronic cigarettes, used as an alternative form of nicotine replacement, are well tolerated by alcoholics admitted to hospital for detoxification and could be helpful for curbing smoking during hospital stays | Medical Xpress, USA

Almost all adolescents in an economically disadvantaged urban population exposed to tobacco smoke

Ninety-four percent of adolescents ages 13 to 19 in an economically disadvantaged, largely minority population in San Francisco had measurable levels of a biomarker specific for exposure to tobacco smoke (NNAL) | Science Daily, USA

Exclusive: Trump privately talks up executing all big drug dealers

In Singapore, the death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking offenses. And President Trump loves it. He’s been telling friends for months that the country’s policy to execute drug traffickers is the reason its drug consumption rates are so low | Axios, USA

The Kremlin won't admit that Russia's HIV epidemic is getting worse 

The incurable virus is jumping from intravenous drug users to the general population | VICE, Canada

Vaping could help smokers quit, but Australian research is still ongoing

The Cancer Council Australia has urged Wagga smokers to be cautious about overseas research claiming that e-cigarettes could help them kick the habit | Daily Advertiser, Australia

Alcohol-related disease claims 6000 lives

Alcohol-related diseases are being blamed for causing the deaths of nearly 6000 Australians each year | News.com.au, Australia

Remember the Government’s Plan To Drug Test Unemployed Young People? It’s Back

5,000 unemployed young people in NSW, QLD and WA could be tested for cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine | BuzzFeed, Australia

“Faulty batch” warning not helpful

A warning has been released by Canterbury DHB after 9 people presented at Christchurch hospital Saturday night | Know your stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Policies on smoking have been deliberate, punitive and, above all, successful

Economic headlines tend to be about big aggregate numbers, like GDP or public expenditure | The Times comment, UK

Nick Hopkinson: Making sense of e-cigarettes—Public Health England’s review of the evidence

“I switched over to vaping but someone told me they were just as bad as cigarettes so I went back to smoking again.” | BMJ opinion, UK

Real challenge is improving access and quality of services

Addaction expects that drug-related deaths will continue to rise in 2018. We have services across the country and are getting regular reports of people dying/overdosing in alarming numbers. Similarly, we are told that people have access to and are using a cocktail of drugs | The Times opinion, UK

Latest figures on drug treatment in prison

Last month (18 January 2018), Public Health England published the stats from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) on drug and alcohol treatment delivered in secure settings for 2016/17 | Russell Webster, UK

Obesity is a greater threat for millennials than cannabis. It’s absurd

Millennials look set to be the fattest generation of Britons ever, yet the government continues to dodge the issue | Guardian opinion, UK

Update from Interim Chair

The last few months have seen some interesting developments. Sadly, Drug Related Deaths are still increasing and it is sad some areas have low naloxone coverage. In the next few weeks, I will be training Police officers on the use of naloxone. I am proud that the Birmingham City Centre Team will, hopefully, be the 1st Force in the UK to actually carry this life saving medication whilst patrolling the streets | NNEF, UK

Weekly Dose: phenibut – the Russian anti-anxietydrug linked to Gold Coast teens’ overdoses

Phenibut was initially developed in the 1960s in Russia as an anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) drug with cognitive enhancing properties. It has since attracted a strong following of users in the “smart drug” market, with claims of boosting memory recall and exam performance | Conversatoin, Australia