Daily news - 13th July 2018

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UK news

Drug and alcohol treatment outcomes: measuring effectiveness

[Updated with new forms] Outcome monitoring forms and guidance on how alcohol and drug treatment outcomes information is collected and how it can be used to improve local services | PHE, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to enable the provision of new nasal forms of naloxone to help prevent deaths from opioid overdose; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what meetings his Department had with representatives of the alcohol industry in (a) 2017 and (b) 2018 to date | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England's blog of 9 November 2017, Alcohol and drug treatment in England: the picture from the 2016-17 data, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the 12 per cent fall in the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol in the last three years | They work for you, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many patients with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders are receiving treatment on the NHS | They work for you, UK

In Good Health: A Report following the All Party Pharmacy Group’s 2018 Inquiry into Long Term Conditions

MPs publish a report (PDF) on community pharmacy and NHS care for people with long term conditions [including hepatitis C] | All Party Pharmacy Group, UK

Dark web blamed for Cornwall drugs use increase

The dark web, a collection of thousands of websites that use anonymity tools to hide their IP addresses, has been identified in the past as a source of illegal drugs | BBC, UK

Medical cannabis use 'should be legalised' in Northern Ireland

A neurologist has called for the government to give medicinal cannabis users easier, legal access to the drug | BBC, UK

Potential link between alcohol and death rates

Drinking heavily results in uncontrolled iron absorption into the body, putting strain on vital organs and increasing the risk of death, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition | Science Daily, UK

“Wasted this Summer?” is the question from Forward Leeds

Wasted this summer is the title of a campaign aimed at helping people in Leeds to make wiser choices about their behaviour over the summer | Forward Leeds, UK

Drugs warning ahead of Boardmasters festival

Organisers of Cornwall's Boardmasters festival have issued a warning that drug use will not be tolerated | ITV, UK

Commercial barrister who bought and supplied cannabis fined £1,500

A commercial barrister who purchased and supplied cannabis has been fined and reprimanded by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) | Legal Cheek, UK

Three jailed after £400,000 Dundee drug raids

Three drug dealers caught in a Dundee flat with worth more than £400,000 of cocaine have been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Astonished sunbathers look on as police helicopter chases off drug smuggling boat on Malaga beach

Sunbathers on a beach near Malaga looked on in astonishment as a police helicopter chased an alleged smuggling boat on to the shore, in a dramatic chase caught on camera and released by Spanish authorities | Telegraph, UK

Iranian man flogged 80 times for drinking alcohol as a child

Amnesty International has condemned the Iranian authorities for publicly flogging a man who was convicted of consuming alcohol when he was 14 or 15 | BBC, UK

A gene required for addictive behavior

Cocaine can have a devastating effect on people. It directly stimulates the brain's reward center, and, more importantly, induces long-term changes to the reward circuitry that are responsible for addictive behaviors | EurekAlert, Germany

New Foundation Revives Debate About Health Research Funded by Big Tobacco

New York–based Philip Morris International (PMI), which sells cigarettes and other tobacco products in 180 countries outside the United States, announced in September that it would contribute a total of $960 million over the next 12 years to the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World | JAMA, USA

Harm Reduction Movement Hits Obstacles

Amid the opioid crisis, a race is underway among more than a dozen cities from San Francisco to New York City to try to open the country's first safe injection site for heroin users | npr, USA

In Medicaid patients, high opioid doses and concurrent sedative use are risk factors for fatal opioid overdose

Among Medicaid recipients taking prescription opioids, high opioid doses and concurrent treatment with benzodiazepine sedatives are among the key, potentially modifiable risk factors for fatal overdose, reports a study in the August issue of Medical Care | Medical Xpress, USA

Regulations to support coming into force of the Cannabis Act

Regulations under the Cannabis Act will establish the rules and standards that will apply to the production, distribution, sale, importation and exportation of cannabis by federal licence holders. Those regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 11, 2018 | Government of Canada, Canada

1 in 3 young people under youth justice supervision receive treatment for alcohol and other drug use

The report, Overlap between youth justice supervision and alcohol and other drug treatment services, shows 1 in 3 young people aged 10–17 under youth justice supervision during the 4 years to June 2016 also received alcohol and other drug treatment services at some point during the same period | AIHW, Australia

Everything We Know About New Zealand's Medicinal Cannabis Law Change

What's coming up this month in Parliament, and what it means for patients, growers and consumers | VICE, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

An introduction to the Public Health Dashboard

This blog accompanies the official release of the Public Health Dashboard and is intended to serve as an introduction to the tool | PHE blog, UK


It could be the parent who's lost a child through alcohol or drugs who is too scared to go to a local bereavement support group for fear of judgement, or the child struggling at school due to their caring responsibilities but feeling unable to tell a peer or teacher | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

A medicine, not a magic cure: The facts behind cannabis

Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old autistic boy with epilepsy, may never know that the heart wrenching ordeal he’s been through changed a 50-year-old drug policy in the UK for good | Politics.co.uk, UK

The Irish Times view on the road safety Bill: A good day for road safety

An increase in road fatalities this year indicates the magnitude of the challenge | Irish Times, Ireland

The great vaping debate

It sounds so well-intentioned: Preventing “harm” to consumers by erring on the side of scientific “doubt.” But the practical effect of the so-called “precautionary” principle is often just the opposite: denying consumers ready access to demonstrably beneficial goods and services | Washington Times, USA

It’s time for methadone to be prescribed as part of primary care

Opioid use disorder, which claims 115 lives a day by overdose in the United States, is a complex, chronic medical condition, but one that can be successfully treated with proven medications | STAT news opinion, USA