Daily news - 23rd January 2018

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UK news

Minimum unit pricing debate: Health Committee and Home Affairs Committee - live TV recording

Video. Monday 22 January 2018 Meeting started at 2.18pm, ended 5.35pm | Parliament.uk, UK

Nearly one-third of alcohol sold in England drunk by 4% of population

Figure from Public Health England emerged during parliamentary debate on minimum unit price on alcohol | Guardian, UK

Health fears over boys as young as 13 using steroids for 'good looks'

Children’s commissioners call for schools to tackle views of body image distorted by social media | Guardian, UK

People powered recovery: Social action and complex needs. Findings from a call for evidence (PDF)

Social action is about people coming together to tackle an issue, support others or improve their local area, by sharing their time and expertise through volunteering, peer-led groups and community projects. This report sets out the findings from a call for evidence on how social action can improve outcomes, prevent crisis, support recovery and develop more responsive services for people with complex needs | Tunring Point and APPG on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis, UK

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence calls on Camden CCG to reverse decision to close support service for patients dependent on benzodiazepines

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence calls on Camden CCG to reverse decision to close support service for patients dependent on benzodiazepines | APPG, UK

Abusers warned of 'benzo' drug overdose risks

Health authorities have warned of the danger of misusing diazepam-type drugs known as benzos | BBC, UK

Pub giant EI eyes High Court battle after industry regulator rules against it in tenant dispute

One of the UK’s largest pub companies is poised to launch a High Court challenge against the industry regulator, which could have major ramifications for thousands of tied tenants | Telegraph, UK

Think Tank claims a drug consumption room in Wrexham could reduce number of discarded syringes

Introducing drug consumption rooms in Wrexham where people can consume drugs in safer conditions could reduce drug-related litter and improve the health of people who use drugs, it has been claimed | Wrexham.com, UK

Update on the investigation into the death of Rashan Charles

The ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Rashan Charles in Hackney in July 2017 has identified conflicting available advice given to police nationally about searching people suspected of placing drugs or other packages in their mouths | IOPC, UK

The downfall of Scotland's most dangerous crime gang

The downfall of Scotland's most sophisticated crime gang was triggered by a surveillance operation on a Toyota Yaris | BBC, UK

Fixed-odds betting terminals: 'It's a silent addiction but at its worst it takes lives'

With a government consultation ending on Tuesday, we hear from those most affected by FOBTs | Guardian, UK

Joey Barton speaks out about gambling addiction

Former England player Joey Barton was banned by the Football Association in April 2017 for breaching betting rules | BBC, UK

Webinar on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity

An “appetite for excess” can refer to the use of alcohol, drugs and also behavioural addictions including compulsive sexual behaviour which is described as any sexual activity that "feels out of control”. We are pleased to publish our free webinar on this interesting and relevant topic | SMMGP, UK


International news

Medicinal cannabis available from Jersey hospital from today

People in Jersey will be able to receive a free prescription for a cannabis-based painkiller from today | ITV, UK

Vermont legalises marijuana despite Trump administration's attempt at crackdown

State becomes ninth to legalise marijuana – but sales won't be allowed | Independent, UK

Opiod addiction knows no colour, but its treatment does

Opioid addiction treatment is sharply segregated by income in New York, where there is a clear two-tier system. Jose A Del Real meets the poorer people relying on the highly regulated clinics they must visit daily to receive their plastic cup of methadone | Independent, UK

Low daily alcohol consumption in teen years ‘may increase risk of liver disease’

Study says safe limits may have to be revised after examination of habits of 43,000 men | Irish Times, Ireland

Schools rugby a potential risk area for doping

Main route into professional rugby is outside IRFU remit and exempt from drug-testing | Irish Times, Ireland

One in 12 drivers involved in collision or near miss because of drink driving

Transport Minister Shane Ross wants people who are caught drink driving to receive an automatic disqualification | Journal, Ireland

Over 300 retailers targeted in sting operations to see if they're selling cigarettes to under 18s

The HSE figures relate to the first three quarters of last year | Journal, Ireland

Alcohol consumption in late teens can lead to liver problems in adulthood

Alcohol is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver-related deaths. Results of a large long-term study in Sweden have confirmed that drinking during late adolescence could be the first step towards liver problems in adulthood and that guidelines for safe alcohol intake in men might have to be revised downwards | Science Daily, Sweden

FDA's tobacco stance faces test with Philip Morris iQOS device

In a decision expected to test the Trump administration’s approach to tobacco regulation, U.S. health advisers will vote this week on whether to allow Philip Morris International Inc to sell its novel iQOS tobacco device and claim it is less harmful than cigarettes | Reuters, USA

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers | Medical Xpress, USA

New Books on Addiction

Addiction publishes new book lists five times per year, both in print and on this website.  Items are alphabetised by author within each list.  Entry in this list neither precludes nor guarantees later review | SALIS, USA

Back to the core: A network approach to bolster harm reduction among persons who inject drugs

Injecting drugs safely almost always includes the presence of one’s social network, especially for the prevention of overdose. Yet, the systematic analysis of users’ social networks has yet to be established as a focal method in harm reduction research, and interventions | IJDP, Canada

People injecting oxycodone less after introduction of tamper-resistant formulation

Australia's prescribing of opioids has gone up 15-fold in the ten years to 2012 — and 70 per cent of opioid deaths in Australia are due to prescribed opioids | abc.net.au, Australia

Watch: Jacinda Ardern announces major government inquiry into mental health and addiction services - 'Too many still have unhappy stories to tell'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the government will be undertaking a ministerial inquiry aimed at improving New Zealand's mental health and addiction services | TVNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 47: Does Big irredeemably mean Bad?

If you attach the word Big to any multi-national industry, it immediately takes on a threatening and evil connotation: Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Alcohol, Big Energy and of course, Big Tobacco | NSP blog, UK

Rebalancing Act: one year on

In this blog, David Jamieson, West Midland Police and Crime Commissioner, discusses how strong local leadership can foster partnerships and make a real difference to people’s lives | Revolving Doors blog, UK

How I let drinking take over my life – podcast

Five years after his last taste of alcohol, William Leith tries to understand its powerful magic | Guardian, UK

Death by Prosecution: Was There a Bigger Player in Drug Case Involving Man Who Killed Himself After Federal Indictment?

Caleb Smith was an overwhelmed but idealistic 26-year-old with a master’s degree in biomedical science, studying for medical school entrance exams. When he wasn’t learning about the human body, Smith, a resident of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, worked on his car, watched anime cartoons, and played with his beloved Siberian Husky | In Justice Today, USA

Fighting opioid addiction requires a sea-change in attitudes

Canada’s current opioid crisis is a health emergency that has been growing for some time. Last year there were 2,816 reported opioid-related deaths in Canada. In 2018, public health experts estimate this number will exceed 4,000 | iPolitics opinion, Canada

Facing Prison for Providing Free Cannabis Medicine: An Interview with Jenny Hallam

The benefits of medicinal cannabis have been rediscovered over recent years. Clinical trials and research papers have documented evidence that shows cannabis medicines can treat conditions, such as  chronic pain, seizures in children with Dravet syndrome and multiple sclerosis | Sydney Criminla Lawyers blog, Australia

Ice psychosis: what is it, and why do only some users get it?

There is growing concern about crystal methamphetamine (ice) use in Australia and internationally, in part because of the psychological effects of the drug | Conversation, New Zealand