Daily news - 31st January 2018

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UK news

DfE call for evidence on PSHE - a crucial opportunity

The DfE call-for-evidence on PSHE, including relationships and sex education (RSE), closes soon. This is a crucial opportunity to influence the future of PSHE education and make the case for its statutory status on the curriculum for all pupils, in all schools | PSHE, UK

The Standards for employers of public health teams in England

These Standards will help ensure that the workforce is fit to practice and are relevant to employers and workers with a role in the commissioning or delivery of public health functions | LGA, UK

'Dangerously' drunk tourists may not win insurance claims

A man who fell and hit his head after "drinking all night" was correctly refused travel insurance cover, an ombudsman has said | BBC, UK

Motivation to reduce alcohol consumption and subsequent attempts at reduction and changes in consumption in increasing and higher-risk drinkers in England: a prospective population survey

To assess how far motivation to reduce alcohol consumption in increasing and higher-risk drinkers in England predicts self-reported attempts to reduce alcohol consumption and changes in alcohol intake during the following 6 months | Addiction, UK

A Deadly Prescription - BBC radio iPlayer

There were a record 3,744 drug related deaths in England and Wales last year. While many were linked to street drugs such as heroin, a growing number also involve prescription medicines such as benzodiazepines and Fentanyl | BBC, UK

Blanket ban on smoking in mental health hospitals declared ‘lawful’

Two patients detained at low and medium secure psychiatric units who claimed that the blanket ban on smoking in the grounds of the mental health hospitals breached their human rights have had their actions dismissed | Scottish Legal News, UK

These products are safer than cigarettes – why don’t the regulators want to know?

Evidence-based policy’ is the mantra of the public health lobby, but two events last week revealed how empty this slogan can be when ideology is in play | Spectator, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the appropriateness of the current classification of the drugcommonly know as Spice as a class B substance; and if she will reclassify Spice as a class A substance | They work for you, UK

Exclusive: Gangs grooming children to carry drugs using increasingly violent tactics

The thousands of British children being exploited by drug gangs are increasingly exposed to a world of extreme violence, with police and prosecutors struggling to get a grip on the “county lines” phenomenon | ITV, UK

Ex-gang leader: How I groomed young kids to be drug mules - and taught others to do the same

A former gang leader has revealed how he would groom the most vulnerable children to become drug mules | ITV, UK

'County lines': English gangs running drugs into Scotland

Police forces across the UK have reported a rise in crime associated with the practice | STV, UK

Islanders with addictions 'falling under the radar'

A Guernsey charity says it believes many islanders with addictions are falling under the radar and not accessing help for alcohol or drug abuse | ITV, UK

In Conversation With Anne-Marie Cockburn -podcast

Anne-Marie Cockburn and Bevan John​ speak honestly and beautifully for Populate Co-op's​ 2nd "Looking at Our Future" podcast at The Bear & The Bean.​ Anne-Marie Cockburn is the bereaved mother of Cherwell schoolgirl Martha Fernback. After the death of Martha, Anne-Marie became an author and active drug policy campaigner, advocating for all drugs to be legally regulated | Anne-Marie Cockburn, UK

Recovery Games looking for sponsors

A drug and alcohol service which supports people to recover from substance misuse is looking for sponsors to help stage its fifth annual Recovery Games | ASPIRE, UK

February 2018 – Current Issue

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue | Addiction, UK

Third of prisoners test positive for drugs ahead of release

Opposition parties have called for a change in strategy to keep drugs out of Scottish jails after nearly one-third of inmates were found to have tested positive for banned substances ahead of their release | Scotsman, UK

Smoking ban and short staffing 'sparked prison riot'

A ban on smoking and short-staffing led to a prison riot causing "many thousands of pounds worth of damage", a court has heard | BBC, UK

Investigation after £50m cocaine seizure at Farnborough

Five men are being questioned by National Crime Agency investigators following the seizure of approximately half a tonne of cocaine from a private jet at Farnborough Airport | NCA, UK

Police warning to public after horse painkillers stolen from farm in Prescot

Merseyside Police has issued a warning to the public after a large number of horse painkillers were stolen from a farm on Gellings Lane in Prescot overnight | ITV, UK

Government boosts funds for UK Anti-Doping, enabling 50 per cent more tests

Up to 50 per cent more drugs tests could be carried out in British sport each year after UK Anti-Doping received a major funding boost from the Government | Telegraph, UK


International news

Stronger cannabis linked to rise in demand for drug treatment programmes

Study drawing on data from the Netherlands is the first to show how admissions to treatment centres rise and fall in line with cannabis strength | Guardian, UK

Measuring the ‘world drug problem’: ARQ Revision. Beyond traditional indicators? (PDF)

Almost two years after the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS), the implications of the resultant Outcome Document remain unclear, and complex | GDPO, UK

Drug dealers jailed for possessing enough fentanyl 'to kill 18 million people'

'Lives undoubtedly saved' by seizure of 45kg of synthetic opioid, says top lawyer | Independent, UK

The opioid crisis and why Australia is cracking down on codeine

Move aims to arrest Australia’s growing opioid crisis but there are fears it will push people towards illicit products [See also NDARC item below] | Guardian, UK

17-year-old bridesmaid dies of alcohol poisoning after being 'forced to drink' at wedding in southern China

A 17-year-old bridesmaid has died of suspected alcohol poisoning amid accusations she was "forced to drink" at a wedding banquet in southern China | Telegraph, UK

'Heated cigarettes' must face highest taxation here - TD

The Government has been urged to tax so-called 'heated cigarettes', targeted at young people, at the highest rate imposed on tobacco products | Independent, Ireland

Trump vows to stop 'scourge' of opioid epidemic, calls for crackdown on drug dealers

More than 64,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, many involving heroin or prescription painkillers, in 2016 | CNBCnews, USA

Memory loss hitting some fentanyl abusers

Over a dozen cases have emerged in which drug abusers have developed severe short-term memory loss, possibly after experiencing an overdose, said Marc Haut. He's chair of West Virginia University's department of behavioral medicine and psychiatry | Medical Xpress, USA

Exposure to e-cigarette flavors can cause inflammation to white blood cells, research finds

Sugar and spice are not so nice, at least when it comes to vaping or inhalation. Exposure to e-cigarette flavoring chemicals and liquids can cause significant inflammation to monocytes, a type of white blood cell -- and many flavoring compounds are also toxic | News Medical, USA

Vape shops sue to block U.S. regulation covering e-cigarettes

A group of vape shops in five U.S. states on Tuesday announced a trio of lawsuits challenging a rule adopted by the Food and Drug Administration that allows the regulator to treat e-cigarettes and similar devices like cigarettes | Reuters, USA

US officials seek packaging fix for diarrhea-drug abuse

The request comes amid a spike in overdoses from large doses of the over-the-counter drugs, which contain a small amount of an opioid | Medical Xpress, USA

Building a 21st century approach to drugs (PDF)

The ‘war on drugs’ was built on shaky foundations. Now, countries around the world from Canada, to Uruguay, Portugal and many US states are beginning to dismantle it piece by piece | Health Poverty Action, USA

Can Magic Mushrooms Help Us Come To Terms With Death?

Promising research suggests psychedelic experiences could be the future of palliative care | VICE, USA

Dennis Peron, father of medical marijuana in California, dies at 72

Dennis Peron, the cannabis activist who fired up the movement to legalize medical marijuana in California, died on Saturday in a San Francisco hospital. He was 72 | Reuters, USA

Canada’s fix to the opioid crisis: Vending machines that distribute prescription opioids to addicts

You cannot get someone into rehabilitation when they’re dead | Washington Post, USA

All of Canada's Approved Supervised Consumption Sites

Supervised Consumption Sites are key components to an evidence-based treatment approach saving countless lives across Canada | PIVOT, Canada

Three out of four codeine dependent people do not seek treatment

More than three quarters of people who develop dependence on codeine do not seek help despite highly effective treatments being available, says National Drug and Alcohol Research Fellow Dr Suzanne Nielsen | NDARC, Australia

Daniel Andrews faces push to support pill-testing after mass overdose

The Victorian government is facing a renewed push to support illicit pill-testing after a mass drug overdose at Melbourne’s Festival Hall | The New Daily, Australia

Parliament votes down Green's cannabis bill

Parliament has voted down the Green Party's cannabis bill which would have allowed people to grow their own medicinal cannabis | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 48: Warning! The cautionary principle could seriously damage your health

Over January 24th/25th, the US Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) sat in session to consider PMI’s Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (MRTPA) for the heated tobacco product IQOS | NSP blog, UK

An Interview With Mandie – Young People’s Substance Misuse Practitioner / PIPS Worker

I support young people who have been referred to the service due to problems around drugs and/or alcohol. I’ll usually see the young person on a one-to-one basis at school for about six weeks, but I also provide one-off sessions and targeted group work with about six kids, usually around cannabis and alcohol | CGL Blog, UK

Homelessness and public health

Homelessness is soaring, with serious health implications for those affected | BMJ editorial, UK

Headlines saying ‘vaping might cause cancer’ are wildly misleading

Researchers from New York University School of Medicine looked at how e-cigarette vapour affected the DNA of mice, and human cells in a dish | Cancer Research UK blog, UK

E-cigarettes are what the doctor ordered

Even the most ardent e-cigarette enthusiasts hardly ever claim that e-cigarettes are “medicine.” And, by conventional standards, they aren’t | Washington Examiner opinion, USA

If You Bought Drugs on the Silk Road Using Bitcoin, the Feds Might Know Who You Are

If you've ever used bitcoin to buy drugs on the Silk Road, there's a nonzero chance that researchers in Qatar know your real name | Reason blog, USA