Daily news - 25th July 2018

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UK news

Cannabis-derived medicinal products recommended to be available on prescription

The ACMD has recommended that cannabis-derived medicinal products should be placed in Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 | ACMD, UK

Mamba: Societal Effect

I am delighted finally to lead this debate about the effect on society of the drugMamba, which is a growing issue both in my constituency and in similar towns across the UK | They work for you, UK

 iCARE - patient perspective of primary care treatment

The iCARE study: helpful aspects of treatment for substance use in primary care from the patient perspective. Dr. Paula Gomes Alves, Research Associate, University College London (UCL), presents her new NIHR-SPCR funded study | SMMGP, UK

Courts for addicted parents work. So why are they being stripped of support?

Family drug and alcohol courts keep children out of care and tackle dependency. But a funding crisis threatens their future | Guardian, UK

Aviation: Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what rules are in place for the testing of (a) drugs and (b) alcohol consumption by commercial pilots | They work for you, UK

Sport: Performance-Enhancing Drugs - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will give assistance to the governing bodies of individual sports to take steps to identify and prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs in junior and amateur sport | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to introduce in the forthcoming alcohol strategy a new national minimum standard of support for families affected by alcohol as called for by the Alcohol and Families Alliance | They work for you, UK

Addiction August 2018

Podcast presenting the contents of the current issue of Addiction journal | Addiction, UK

Ketamine for Depression: patient and public consultation day

Free event. Wednesday 22 August 2018 - Wellcome Collection, London. We are inviting patients, carers and others to join us to share views about the best way for ketamine and similar drugs to be used in the UK | NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, UK

Pop-up Hub helps Doncaster homeless

A group of organisations in Doncaster opened up a pop-up hub to help the homeless and rough sleepers | Aspire, UK

New device will stop drink-drivers from starting their cars

Police are to offer drink-drivers new devices which will breath-test them before their car starts in a first for the UK. Durham Police will pilot the scheme to fit alcohol “interlocks”, which mean the vehicle will be immobilised if the driver is over the limit | ITV, UK

City drug gangs priority says retiring police chief

angs intent on flooding north Wales with drugs will remain the top priority for the region's police force, its retiring chief constable has insisted | BBC, UK

Y Not Festival to offer drug testing facility for first time

A drugs testing facility will open its doors at Y Not Festival for the first time as part of efforts to prevent substance-related illness, harm and potentially death | Derbyshire Constabulary, UK

Walsall council plans to drug test employees

Plans to drug test council employees are being put in place after drugs paraphernalia was found | BBC, UK

Actress Melanie Hughes died after battle with alcohol

A former Miss Wales and TV actress died after a battle with alcohol addiction, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Elton John opens up about trying to help George Michael with drug problems

Sir Elton John has said he tried to help his late friend George Michael with his problems with drug addiction, but "you can't help people who don't want to help themselves" | Telegraph, UK

Manchester man denies murder of girlfriend after cocaine binge

Michael Marler threw himself from a window after stabbing Danielle Richardson, court told | Guardian, UK

Scouts charged with drug offences at international gathering

Eight scouts have been sent home from an international gathering in Perthshire after two teenagers were charged with drug offences | BBC, UK


International news

Opium contaminated with lead poisons two in Melbourne and leaves hospitals on alert

Department says opium is suspected to originate from overseas and is in the form of a dark resin or paste | Guardian, UK

Demi Lovato: The young singer's long struggle with fame, drugs and mental health

Singer songwriter Demi Lovato has reportedly been hospitalised for an apparent heroin overdose in Los Angeles, according to multiple reports, in a shocking turn of events for a celebrity who had fearlessly fought addiction in the public eye and encouraged her fans to do the same for themselves | Independent, UK

What Would You Do With $100? - BBC iPlayer

Lesley Curwen travels to Washington DC where the $100 note is printed. In the city, she meets Maurice Abbey Bey, a former drug user now charity worker who would spend his imaginary $100 on both a necessity and a small luxury, while Margarita Womack, a former scientist turned entrepreneur would use her imaginary $100 to relax, away from her hectic daily life | BBC, UK

Key Findings from RAND Health's Research on Opioid Policy

The opioid epidemic is a moving target. Individuals may start using opioids for medical or recreational purposes | RAND, USA

What happens when you give an octopus MDMA?

A team of researchers bathed octopuses in MDMA and found that it makes the typically asocial animals more social | Psymposia, USA

Could pot-linked drug help ease agitation in Alzheimer's?

The active ingredient in pot that gets you high can calm agitation in people with advanced Alzheimer's disease, a small new study suggests | Medical Xpress, Canada

Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill

Final report of the Health Committee | New Zealand Parliament, New Zealand

National Party leader Simon Bridges sets out alternative bill on medicinal cannabis

National leader Simon Bridges has announced the details of a bill which would allow medicinal cannabis products to be treated like any other medicines and available from the chemist | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Putting families first in alcohol policy

Tuesday 3 July 2018 was a momentous day for the Alcohol and Families Alliance. It saw almost 50 people – including MPs, an array of organisations from the alcohol and children and families sectors, and those with lived experience – gather together in Parliament for the launch of Families First: an evidence-based approach to protecting UK families from alcohol-related harm | Adfam blog, UK

Medical cannabis users could still be criminalised in UK despite government accepting its benefits

Cannabis is high on the agenda at the moment. Not only have California and Canada passed new laws to legalise marijuana, but in the UK, two recent high profile medical cases have forced the issue of medical cannabis right up to government level | Conversation, UK

Binges, bouts and gaps in treatment

I’m going to suggest in this post that the approach of alcohol policy and treatment in the past few decades has had a crucial blind spot.  As ever, it’s not peer-reviewed research, so what you’ll find is the usual mix of personal and professional experience, in this instance prompted by literature | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK