Daily news - 16th January 2018

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UK news

Feeling the heat: The decline of stop smoking services in England (PDF)

Budgets for stop smoking services were cut in half (50%) of local authorities in 2017. They increased in 4% of local authorities | Cancer Research UK, UK

Help to quit smoking is victim of health squeeze

[May require registration to access] Smokers are no longer being given medication to help them quit by GPs in many areas as a result of budget cuts, health experts have found | The Times, UK

Three in five turn to drink to cope with pressures of daily life

[May require registration to access] Almost three in five adults say they drink alcohol because it helps them cope with the pressures of day-to-day life, a survey has found | The Times, UK

More than half of adults drink alcohol to cope with stress

Almost 60 per cent of adults are drinking alcohol in order to cope with the stresses of everyday life, a study has discovered | Independent, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics January to March 2018

Families of substance users have been described as the ‘forgotten’ carers, and it’s true that tallies of alcohol-related harm do not account for their distress. Does it help them, their addicted relatives, and treatment services to be told addiction is a brain disease - or divert treatment down neurology-based blind alleys? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The relationship between alcohol use and long-term cognitive decline in middle and late life: a longitudinal analysis using UK Biobank

Using UK Biobank data, this study sought to explain the causal relationship between alcohol intake and cognitive decline in middle and older aged populations | JPH, UK

What happens to your body during Dry January

Giving up alcohol for January can have both a positive and negative effect on your body, an expert has shared | Independent, UK

Can psychedelic drugs 'reconnect' depressed patients with their emotions?

Imperial research suggests psilocybin can help relieve the symptoms of depression, without the 'dulling' of emotions linked with antidepressants | Medical Xpress, UK

NEPTUNE project (Novel Psychoactive Treatment UK Network)

New set of free e-learning modules launched | NEPTUNE, UK

‘The more help they get the better’ – needle dispense unit set up for drug-users in Sleaford

A needle dispensing unit has been installed in a Lincolnshire town to help prevent the risk of infection to drug addicts | Lincolnshire Live, UK

Violence, overcrowding and prison deaths put Welsh prisons among UK's worst

A worrying picture of life inside Wales' biggest prisons is painted in official information | Wales Online, UK

A woman caught taking cocaine in a club turned out to be a police officer 

A woman who was found taking cocaine in the toilets of a nightclub has been revealed as a member of the Garda, the police force of Republic of Ireland | MixMag, UK


International news

Drug users find safety, community in underground injection facility

Intravenous drug users who inject in a secret U.S. facility where staff provide clean needles and guard against overdoses say they appreciate the site for letting them in off the streets and for its history-shaping role | Reuters, UK

Sri Lanka destroys $108 million haul of cocaine

Sri Lanka on Monday destroyed $108 million worth of cocaine in public, seized by authorities in the port of Colombo which is increasingly becoming a transit hub favoured by drug smugglers in Asia | Reuters, UK

Is marijuana a medical miracle? The truth is, we still don't know

What’s the evidence behind medical cannabis? While many attest to its healing powers, research into the full potential has long been legally restricted | Guardian, UK

Marijuana legalisation causing violent crime to fall in US states, study finds

Rates of assault and murder decreasing in regions near Mexican border where cannabis use has been partially legalised | Independent, UK

Pot entrepreneur and ex-felon fights for black role in California's budding industry

When his medical cannabis operation was raided in 2008, Virgil Grant wound up in prison. Now he’s back in business, and determined to make space for people of color in an industry that’s fast being white-washed | Guardian, UK

Australia's Rainbow Serpent festival bans laughing gas

'These bulbs are not recyclable ... and the empty boxes, balloons and cartridges are left everywhere' | MixMag, Australia

Woman who consumes 'enormous amount' of alcohol can't be forced into rehab, judge says

A High Court judge has said he can make no further orders in the case of an "extraordinarily vulnerable" woman who doctors fear may die due to her "enormous" alcohol consumption | Independent, Ireland

EMCDDA scientific award

The scientific award celebrates scientific writing and distinguishes high-quality research in the field of illicit drugs. Scientific papers judged to enhance understanding of the European drug problem are acknowledged yearly in an award ceremony. This year’s awards presentation will take place in the framework of Lisbon Addictions 2017, 24-26 October | EMCDDA, Portugal

“Norway Can Set the Standard for Nordic Countries” – Interview with Ina Spinnangr

Our interview with Ina Roll Spinnangr, the director of the Association for Safer Drug Policies, the NGO that organised the first Nordic Drug Policy Reform Conference last year | Drug Reporter, Norway

Google is pulling addiction treatment center ads worldwide

The move comes after reports that Google profited enormously from ads in the UK | The Verge, USA

Greece set to allow medical cannabis use

Greece's parliament is expected to approve the medical use of cannabis in the coming weeks, a deputy minister said Sunday, adding that the change would attract investment to the country | Medical Xpress, USA

NIH study shows steep increase in rate of alcohol-related ER visits

Increases were larger among females than males, providing more evidence of narrowing gender gaps in alcohol-related harms in the U.S. | NIHR, USA

Russians cut back on drinking, smoking as fitness trend grows

Russians are drinking less than at any point since the fall of the Soviet Union, figures show, as a raft of government measures bear fruit and healthy living becomes ever more fashionable | Medical Xpress, USA

Behind the headlines: The Herald Sun’s Ian Royall on the campaign for Richmond’s safe-injecting centre

Ian, why was your coverage of the campaign for a safe-injecting centre so nuanced, as opposed to the usual NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) stories we find in newspapers? | AOD MediaWatch, Australia

Almost one quarter of young males use cannabis outside of work

About a quarter of young men use cannabis for recreational purposes, but it will never be acceptable at work, the Employers and Manufacturers Association boss says | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Introducing you to All Our Health

This blog is to introduce new readers to the ‘All Our Health’ call to action for health and care professionals (HCPs), to provide an update to those who are already aware and to say thank you for colleagues who have worked with us to develop the approach and resources | PHE blog, UK

InterMAHP – a new way of calculating alcohol-attributable fractions

The International Model of Alcohol Harms and Policies is a new research tool for estimating alcohol harms | IAS Blog, UK

Bizarre conclusions from alcohol study

paper entitled The relationship between alcohol use and long-term cognitive decline in middle and late life: a longitudinal analysis using UK Biobank was published last week in the reputable Journal of Public Health | Medium, UK

Thangam Debbonaire: ‘The moment I saw the light about alcohol and cancer’

The Labour MP and former cancer patient tells how her mission to change Britain’s drinking culture is not a moral crusade – it’s about saving lives | Guardian, UK