Daily news - 25th January 2018

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UK news

Calls for mandatory health information on alcohol labels

The Royal Society for Public Health is calling for change in alcoholic drinks labelling, citing a public "awareness vacuum" on how alcohol affects health | BBC, UK

Stop-smoking services from community pharmacists cut by a fifth of local authorities in past three years

A freedom of information request sent outto all the local authorities in England revealed significant variation in community pharmacy-led smoking cessation services across the country | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Just one cigarette a day increases heart disease and stroke risk

A new review of 141 studies covering more than 12 million people showed that people who think "light" smoking is relatively harmless are wrong | NHS Choices, UK

Safe Injection Room (Glasgow)

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the United Kingdom Government regarding introducing a safe injection room for drug users in Glasgow. (S5O-01707) | They work for you, UK

Giving alcohol to teens at home fuels binge drinking, parents told

Children given alcohol by parents in the belief it will foster responsible drinking are more likely to become binge drinkers, a major new study has found | Telegraph, UK

“A tale of two cities”: Is local variability in alcohol policy a virtue or a vice?

In this guest post, John Mooney, a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Sunderland, explores the findings and potential lessons from a recently published case study research project exploring two differing approaches to local alcohol strategies | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Pubs Code 2016

I beg to move, That this House has considered the application of the Pubs Code 2016 | They work for you, UK

Ian Birrell Interviewed Volteface Director Steve Moore About ‘Cannabis in The UK’

Last week we launched a call for partners for Cannabis in the UK. This week we invited multi-award winning journalist Ian Birrell to interview our Director Steve Moore on the foundational ideas behind the project | Volte Face, UK

Charlotte Church searches for mental health answers

A world-first scan of a live brain carried out in Cardiff, showing how neural circuits interact, could one day help diagnose mental health disease | BBC, UK

Showjumper's father imported £4m cocaine into Britain in horse box to fund daughter's career, court hears

Ashowjumper's father smuggled £4 million of cocaine into Britain inside a horsebox to fund his daughter's career, a court heard | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis police find caiman during search of house

A 4ft-long spectacled caiman was found during a search of a house by police working on a drugs investigation | BBC, UK


International news

US panel rejects Philip Morris claim iQOS tobacco device cuts disease risk

The panel concluded the company had not proven that the sleek, pen-like device reduces harm compared with cigarettes | Guardian, UK

Cannabis growers in marijuana mega-merger

Two Canadian marijuana growers are hoping to get high on profit after agreeing to merge and create a $6bn (£4.2bn) company | BBC, UK

Mexico's war on drugs: Arrests fail to drive down violence

Mexico experienced its most violent year in 2017 with more than 25,000 murders, official figures suggest. It is the highest annual tally since modern records began. Organised crime accounted for nearly three-quarters of those murders | BBC, UK

The plant used to make cocaine could become the next superfood, if Colombian farmers have anything to do with it

Henry Ruiz rubs the small green leaves between the fingers of his right hand – and then looks out across the valley where one of the world’s most reviled crops is ruffled by a warm breeze | I news, UK

The Severely Ill Man at the Centre of Malta’s Medical Cannabis Debate

The imprisonment of a severely ill man for self-medicating with cannabis in Malta has ignited controversy in the country, where the regulation of medical cannabis has recently risen into national debate | Talking Drugs, UK

Fentanyl is lethal and almost impossible to keep out of the country

Finding a needle in a haystack would be a lot easier | Economist, UK

Dáil passes legislation allowing alcohol to be sold on Good Friday

The ban was introduced in 1927 | Journal, Ireland

Suspected ‘Crystal Meth Lab’ discovered in Dublin

Gardai have revealed tonight that they discovered a suspected ‘Crystal Meth Lab’ as part of ongoing operations targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

France will slash fines for cannabis use

The French government announced on Thursday that it will slash fines as part of a new policy on cannabis use but that it will not pursue decriminalisation of the drug. Cannabis use is on the rise in France, with around 700,000 people estimated to use the drug every day | AFP, France

FDA Rejects Proposal for 'Lower-Risk' Cigarette Alternative

U.S. government experts have rejected a proposal from Philip Morris International to sell its “heat-not-burn” tobacco device as a lower-risk alternative to cigarettes that reduces disease | TIME, USA

Substance use: Housing First or treatment as usual?

A recent BASIS op-ed by James O’Connell, MD outlines the challenges associated with treating substance use disorders (SUD) among people experiencing homelessness. One approach to reducing homelessness is Housing First, which offers free housing to people experiencing homelessness without requiring abstinence from substance use | BASIS, USA

What’s missing from the conversation about safe injection sites: drug users’ voices

The opioid addiction epidemic has been declared a state of emergency both in the state and the nation, and locally, the City of Philadelphia has been ramping up its response to the crisis in the past year, recently suing opioid drugmakers | Generocity, USA

Study shows a potential new approach to opioid crisis

In a six-month study recently concluded, a research unit affiliated with two hospital institutions and a university in Ottawa found that a reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked daily also reduced a smoker's dependence on opioids | Medical Xpress, USA

Developing a roadside test for marijuana intoxication isn't as easy as it sounds

As marijuana legalization gains momentum in the United States, researchers worry about keeping the public safe, particularly on the roads | Science Daily, USA

17 universities oppose anti-smoking group with tobacco ties

Seventeen public health schools in the U.S. and Canada pledged Thursday to refuse research money from a new anti-smoking group funded by the tobacco industry | Medical Xpress, USA

Association of parental supply of alcohol with adolescent drinking, alcohol-related harms, and alcohol use disorder symptoms: a prospective cohort study

Some parents supply alcohol to their children, reportedly to reduce harm, yet longitudinal research on risks associated with such supply is compromised by short periods of observation and potential confounding. We aimed to investigate associations between parental supply and supply from other (non-parental) sources, with subsequent drinking outcomes over a 6-year period of adolescence... | Lancet, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

It’s no surprise that prescription drug addiction in the UK is on the rise – I should know, they nearly killed me

Ever since I’d started taking the painkiller, I’d had urges and impulses telling me to kill myself. I was sure it was the drug – but the doctor wouldn’t listen, and increased my dose sixfold | Independent voices, UK

The link between drugs and music explained by science

For centuries, musicians have used drugs to enhance creativity and listeners have used drugs to heighten the pleasure created by music. And the two riff off each other, endlessly | Conversation, UK

The comeback and dangers of the drug GHB

A highly potent drug called GHB is making a comeback in nightlife scenes, along with overdoses and even death. On Jan. 23, 2018, “Storm Chaser” star Joel Taylor died on a cruise ship. Celebrity news site TMZ reported that Taylor may have used GHB in the hours before his death | Conversation, USA

The Color and Character of AA

An early criticism of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was that its program of recovery was drawn primarily from the collective experiences of white men and thus unsuitable for people of color | Points blog, USA