Daily news - 24th January 2018

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UK news

Vintage Street

New campaign launched today which aims to help people aged over 50 make healthier choices about alcohol. The programme has been set up because harmful use of alcohol is declining across the whole population but increasing among older adults. 'Vintage Street’ aims to generate a better understanding of the life transitions that can lead some older adults to drink more and ultimately prompt their family, friends, partners and peers to reach out and offer help | Addaction/Drink Wise Age Well, UK

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence welcomes announcement of a review into prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence welcomes Public Health England’s announcement today of an evidence review into prescribed drugs that may cause dependence and withdrawal | APPG, UK

'Growing problem' of addiction to prescription drugs probed

Public Health England is launching a review into the "growing problem" of prescription drug addiction | BBC, UK

Nearly half of UK 14-year-olds have tried alcohol, figures show

The research also found that among 14-year-olds, 17% of boys and 8% of girls had gambled in the previous four weeks, 17% had tried a cigarette at some point, and more than one in 10 admitted to binge drinking on at least one occasion – defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting | Guardian, UK


To ask Her Majesty's Government, following research by Release in regard to variation in the provision of, and access to, the potentially lifesaving drugnaloxone, what assessment they have made of the adequacy of the response from local authorities; and whether they will take action to implement a nationally coordinated and monitored take-home naloxone programme in England | They work for you, UK

Increasing soft drink prices could cause surge in alcohol sales, say experts

Price hikes in most sugary drinks associated with an increase in the amount of beer bought by some consumer groups | Independent, UK

Drug use among British Bangladeshis in London: a macro-structural perspective focusing on disadvantages contributing to individuals’ drug use trajectories and engagement with treatment services

The main aim of our study was to produce an understanding of factors contributing to drug-using trajectories among men and women from a Bangladeshi background living in East London | DEPP, UK

Martyn McLaughlin: The city where drug deaths are 1,315% above average

The failure to greenlight the UK’s first drug consumption room is costing lives, writes Martyn McLaughlin | Scotsman, UK

RTE under fire for actors striking up on TV shows

[Free sign up required] An anti-tobacco lobby group has criticised RTE’s drama series Striking Out for its portrayal of smoking | Sunday Times, UK

This Could Be Why Your Loved One Refuses To Try And Quit Smoking

Smokers are refusing to kick the habit because they believe the damaging health effects won’t hit until later in life, a new study suggests | Huffington Post, UK

Survey on the experiences of families affected by problem gambling in UK

Adfam is looking at the impact of problem gambling on families. We are consulting with families that have been affected by problem gambling to assess the overall situation in the UK and understand the scale of the issue | Adfam, UK

'Ticking time bomb' cannabis farm found in Liverpool

A cannabis farm described as a "ticking time bomb" due to the way it was set up to grow plants with a street value of £1.3m has been found | BBC, UK

Cocaine dealer fears 'Xbox ban' on release from prison

A member of Scotland's top crime gang fears prosecutors will stop him playing computer games when he is freed | BBC, UK


International news

Teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try smoking, report shows

A panel of public health experts has found that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try smoking, and devices that deliver nicotine can be addictive. However, the experts said that e-cigarettes were less harmful than smoking. The report comes from a panel at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, which assessed more than 800 peer-reviewed studies | Guardian, UK

France To Consider Decriminalising All Drug Use, Following Government-Commisioned Report

A new parliamentary report has recommended several options for modernising France’s penal process, including the decriminalisation of all drug use, but the government has yet to decide on the matter | Talking Drugs, UK

Mexico murder rate surges to highest in decades amid rise in drug trafficking voilence

Mexico saw a total of 25,339 murders last year, official data has shown, after 2017 was already established as a record-breaking year based on killings carried out until November | Telegraph, UK

The psychedelic renaissance: Can Ecstasy really be used to treat mental illness?

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be approved in the US and Canada as soon as 2021. Final round clinical trials are beginning in Vancouver, in the latest chapter of what has been dubbed the "psychedelic renaissance" | IBTimes, UK

EMCDDA–ECDC cooperation aims to build a healthier Europe

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is paying an official visit to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm today where he will spend two days discussing opportunities for further collaboration between the two agencies with ECDC Director Andrea Ammon | EMCDDA, Portugal

Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2016

The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that the burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products. Cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. adults, and about 480,000 U.S. deaths per year are caused by cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure | CDC, USA

New report takes comprehensive look at health effects of e-cigarettes

A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine takes a comprehensive look at evidence on the human health effects of e-cigarettes | News Medical, USA

New York hits big pharma with $500mn lawsuit in opioid crisis

New York turned the screws on pharmaceutical giants in America's opioid epidemic, suing manufacturers for $500 million on Tuesday as a photographer kickstarted a petition to hold Purdue Pharma accountable as a recovering addict | Medical Xpress, USA

A new theory on reducing cardiovascular disease risk in binge drinkers

A new study shows that binge drinkers have increased levels of a biomarker molecule—microRNA-21—that may contribute to poor vascular function | Medical Xpress, USA

Large study finds higher rates of early substance use among children with ADHD

A new study published online in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) engaged in substance use at a younger age than those without ADHD and had a significantly higher prevalence of regular marijuana and cigarette use into adulthood | EurekAlert, USA

Philadelphia approves ‘supervised injection’ of heroin, other drugs amid opioid epidemic

Officials in Philadelphia are moving to open safe-injection sites for drugs like fentanyl and heroin as the opioid crisis persists. But the state attorney general insists there's “no safe way to inject” the highly addictive drugs | RT, Russia

Canada’s weed stocks are out of control

Stocks in Canada’s biggest cannabis companies have skyrocketed in the past year – with the three largest rising by more than 200 percent each. But analysts are warning the high times won’t last as the nascent legal weed sector seems to be heading towards a bubble | VICE, Canada

Breaking tobacco habit among homeless cuts opioid use, Ottawa study finds

A new Ottawa study suggests that cutting the rate of smoking among the poor and homeless can also reduce their use of street drugs, including opioids such as heroin and fentanyl | Ottawa Citizen, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Good Samaritan laws: Can they save lives?

If you happened to see someone injured or fighting for their life, what would be your first reaction? Presumably, we’d all call for help and seek medical assistance. But what if you and the victim were afraid to do so? | Virgin blog, UK

Why marijuana retailers can’t use banks

Banks cannot handle dope money lest they fall foul of federal rules about money laundering | Economist blog, UK