Daily news - 31st July 2018

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UK news

Substance in cannabis 'could boost pancreatic cancer treatments'

Scientists say cannabidiol could extend patients’ lives by a matter of years | Guardian, UK

Brain’s sense of pleasure and reward “blunted” in alcohol dependent individuals

New study shows that a crucial part of the brain’s reward system is “blunted” in alcohol dependent individuals, even after long periods of abstinence | Imperial College London, UK

Health visitors 'must ask parents about alcohol' to combat sudden infant deaths

Health visitors and other professionals should do more to deliver safe sleep messages to high-risk families to reduce sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI) | CYPNow, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding his Department spends from the proceeds of crime to support people affected by drug related harm | They work for you, UK

August 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

Illegal drugs samples tested at Kendal Calling in Cumbria

Almost 150 samples of illegal drugs were tested during a four-day music festival | BBC, UK

Warning have been issued about Donald Trump pills in circulation

They were found to contain over 250mg of MDMA | MixMag, UK

Guards confiscated drugs 537 times in one year at the Salford prison with a Spice 'epidemic'

Prison officers confiscated drugs 537 times last year - the highest of any jail in England and Wales | Manchester Evening News, UK

HMP Forest Bank tops drugs seizure list for third year

A privately run prison had the highest number of drugs seizures from inmates in England and Wales for the third year running | BBC, UK

Farnborough Airport cocaine trial: Drugs were worth 'more than £50m'

Five men attempted to import half a tonne of cocaine with a street value of more than £50m into the UK from Colombia, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Blandford crash death girl's mum 'hid alcoholism'

A mother who killed her three-year-old daughter in a crash while drunk was an alcoholic with a history of drinking and driving, a report has found | BBC, UK


International news

Amsterdam coffee-shop study explores the effects of cannabis on eye-witness memory

The fallibility of eye-witness memory has been well-documented by psychologists, including how alcohol intoxication undermines witness accuracy still further | BPS, UK

World Hepatitis Day

Specially selected from the Effectiveness Bank, the following articles and essays explore how best to stem the tide of hepatitis among injecting drug users. Click on the blue titles to view, and scroll to the bottom for useful resources and social media tips | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Harm Reduction International appoints Naomi Burke-Shyne as executive director

Harm Reduction International (HRI) announced today the appointment of Naomi Burke-Shyne as its new executive director. She will take the position on 1 September 2018, replacing Dr Rick Lines who has served as executive director since 2010 | HRI, UK

Cannabis Use Can No Longer Be Punished in Georgia, Court Rules

Georgia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that all punishments for cannabis consumption, including fines, be immediately abolished | Talking Drugs, UK

An unsolved murder at Italy’s most notorious tower block

Earlier this year, the remains of a teenage girl were found near Hotel House, a crumbling building largely occupied by recent immigrants, which many Italians regard as a den of drugs and violence. Did prejudice hamper the search for justice? | Guardian, UK

Courts Service of Ireland reduces shares in Big Tobacco, but still holds €4.5m worth in stocks

Critics state the Courts Services continued investment in the tobacco industry flies in the face of the government’s Tobacco Free Ireland vision | Journal, Ireland

HSE launches new Hepatitis C online information resource on World Hepatitis Day, Saturday 28th July

Find the missing millions: 300 million people worldwide are living with viral hepatitis and many are unaware that they have it | HSE, Ireland

The MPP welcomes the new WHO hepatitis C treatment guidelines

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) welcomes the new global guidelines for the care and treatment of persons diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C virus infection published today by the World Health Organization | MPP, Switzerland

UCI awarded $9 million grant to determine the long-term effects of cannabis on adolescents

tudy includes research on the impact of cannabis across the lifespan | EurekAlert, USA

More towns calling timeout on marijuana stores

The image of local stores selling recreational pot has residents of some Massachusetts cities and towns calling timeout on part of the voter-passed state law allowing retailers to offer marijuana products | Boston Globe, USA

Americans Still Favor Beer Over Other Alcoholic Beverages

Americans who drink alcohol continue to say they most often choose beer (42%) over wine (34%) and liquor (19%), after wine and beer essentially tied between 2011 and 2013 | Gallup, USA

Young People Adopt Vaping as Their Smoking Rate Plummets

 The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, is much more prevalent among Americans under 30 than among those who are older, and is as common among these young people as the use of conventional cigarettes | Gallup, USA

Opioid laws hit physicians, patients in unintended ways

New state laws on opioids intended to save lives have physicians complaining about unintended consequences | Modern Healthcare, USA

Media coverage of methamphetamine use “demonising”

The head of South Australia’s drug and alcohol services network says recent reports on the use of methamphetamine in the workplace are misleading and could cause people to turn away from seeking treatment | In Daily, Australia

New ID scanner could make it a lot harder to buy alcohol

Aussies may soon have to prove they haven’t been convicted of a drink-driving or a violent offence when buying alcohol from a bottle shop | News.com.au, Australia

Australia's Medical Cannabis 48-Hour Application Scheme Has Been Rolled Out In NSW, Victoria, And Queensland

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration quietly rolled out a streamlined application process for medical cannabis on Monday — but only Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales are involved for now | BuzzFeed, Australia

Synthetic cannabis crisis: 'They are looking for help now on the ground' - Drug Foundation

The Drug Foundation wants the government to come up with a practical response to the synthetic cannabis crisis, not a bureaucratic one | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alprazolam (Xanax): What are the facts?

Over the past year, there has been increasing media coverage about alprazolam (typically referred to by the brand name Xanax), highlighting what is being seen as a rise in the number of young people using it.  Most of the media reports have described individual cases or reports from treatment services, and there has been little discussion of the research evidence or the actual data | PHE Blog, UK

Tonia Antoniazzi MP & Mike Penning MP: Medicinal cannabis is far from legalised yet

The high-profile cases of Alfie Dingley, Billy Caldwell and Sophia Gibson have proven instrumental in delivering a comprehensive overhaul of Government policy. Whether the government will commit to allow medical cannabis to be prescribed routinely by GPs to patients with a wide range of conditions, remains to be seen | Politics Home opinion, UK

Secondhand smoking is causing thousands of stillbirths in developing countries

Pregnancy is a vulnerable time for a woman’s health and tobacco smoke harms mothers and their unborn children. In developing countries it is uncommon for women to smoke while pregnant – but their exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy is a lot higher, according to a recent study by the Demographic and Health Survey which was carried out in 30 developing countries and published in Tobacco Control | Conversation, UK