Daily news - 29th June 2018

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UK news

Alcohol and Health: Special DDN supplement

We all know that alcohol is linked to health problems. The range and scale of those harms is far wider than many of us think. In particular, drinking very heavily brings with it a number of serious physical risks. This special publication provides a clear and detailed overview of those risks, as well as advice for people likely to encounter such problems in their day-to-day work | DDN, UK

Medical use of cannabis

This briefing provides a short overview of the control of cannabis in the UK, and information about the recently announced review on the medical use of cannabis | Parliament.uk, UK

Drugs Policy

On 18 June, I announced the creation of an expert panel to advise Ministers on individual applications to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products. As of today (27 June), the panel is now accepting applications, and will meet for the first time later this week | They work for you, UK

Medical cannabis could be prescribed by doctors in two weeks

Prescriptions for medicinal cannabis could be prescribed in exceptional cases within a fortnight | i news, UK

Podcast - the medicinal uses of cannabis

Ian Dunt is joined by Steve Rolles , senior policy analyst at Transform, and Kirstie Dous, head of legal services at Release, to discuss all you need to know about the medicinal uses of cannabis | Politics.co.uk, UK

Legalising cannabis 'would raise £1bn in tax for the UK'

The report from the Institute of Economic Affairs has valued the UK's black market in cannabis at £2.6bn | BBC, UK

Tobacco giant Imperial Brands invests in medical cannabis

A company subsidiary, Imperial Brands Ventures, is taking a stake in the UK firm, but its size is unknown | BBC, UK

Binge drinking may raise blood pressure in younger men

"Knocking back as few as four drinks on a night out puts young adults at risk of heart disease," reports the Mail Online | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Addiction - current issue

Latest key findings from the July edition of the journal, UK

Eloise Parry death: Bernard Rebelo convicted of manslaughter

A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a bulimic student who bought a toxic slimming aid online | BBC, UK

Clients from UK drug and alcohol charity take part in landmark MDMA trial for alcohol addiction

Clients from drug and alcohol charity Addaction are taking part in a ‘world first’ clinical trial to investigate if MDMA could be used to treat alcohol addiction | Addaction, UK

Action on Addiction: Annual Review 2017

Latest developments and achievements | Action on Addiction, UK

Does vaping stain your teeth?

So you’re one of the many, many people who’s moved from smoking cigs to vaping | Metro, UK


International news

Open letter re exclusion of naloxone at AIDS 2018

INPUD - alongside numerous other drug user networks and harm reduction organisations - have written to the Responsible Alderman for Health Care (Wethouder) Ms. Kukenheim, emphasising we are deeply concerned by the decision of International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD, Amsterdam) to exclude naloxone as a component of harm reduction services | INPUD, UK

Cannabis legalisation: Are there more young users in the US?

The legalisation of cannabis by some US states has led to increased usage, particularly among young people | BBC, UK

Senator Chuck Schumer introduces legislation to federally decriminalise marijuana

'The time to decriminalise marijuana is now,' says New York Democrat | Independent, UK

'Resounding victory': Australia wins tobacco plain packaging dispute

WTO rejection of challenge seen as global test case could lead to tighter rules for unhealthy foods and alcohol | Guardian, UK

Mexico election: A grieving widow defies the drug cartels

More than 130 candidates have been killed in Mexico during a deadly election campaign leading up to general and presidential elections on Sunday | BBC, UK

Train drivers' alcohol limit four times higher than taxi and bus drivers'

Something fell between the gaps’ says department official | Irish Times, Ireland

Impact of public smoking bans on children’s exposure to tobacco smoke at home: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Meta-analysis of the impact of public smoking bans on children’s exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure at home | BMC Public Health, Germany

New Annual Data Released by White House Drug Policy Office Shows Record High Cocaine Cultivation and Production in Colombia

Reaching an all-time high, Colombian coca cultivation increased 11 percent from 188,000 hectares in 2016 to 209,000 hectares in 2017. Colombian potential pure cocaine production also increased by 19 percent from 772 metric tons in 2016 to 921 metric tons in 2017 | The White House, USA

Researchers examine whether taking a hallucinogen can curb cocaine use

Unlike with alcohol or nicotine, there is not a pharmacological option available to individuals addicted to cocaine to help them stop using the drug. However, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham believe the tool to help individuals treat their addiction may very well exist | News Medical, USA

Can Blue Lights Deter Public Drug Use?

Public health experts say the blue lights make people more prone to hurting themselves and further stigmatize those who struggle with addiction | The Fix, USA

E-cigarettes disappoint in a workplace quit-smoking study

It’s a big question for smokers and policymakers alike: Do electronic cigarettes help people quit? In a large study of company wellness programs, e-cigarettes worked no better than traditional stop-smoking tools, and the only thing that really helped was paying folks to kick the habit | Daily Tribune, USA

Social media may be creating a new generation of smokers

A recent study conducted by Georgia State professors found that the noted decline in youth tobacco consumption may not have fully accounted for the rapid growth in JUUL usage | Georgia Stait Signal, USA

Kids sneak smoking substitute into school

An easily-concealed device designed to wean smokers off tobacco is turning up in classrooms as kids puff the discreet JUUL device to get a nicotine dose. Scientists surveyed thousands of social media posts to track the trend | Science Daily, USA

Heroin could could help patients with narcolepsy

A new study has found that users of heroin have high levels of a brain chemical called hypocretin. This hypocretin leads to “wakefulness” among the users and understanding this could help patients with narcolepsy | News Medical, USA

Health Canada announces regulations surrounding cannabis legalization

Health Canada just released the regulations that support the Cannabis Act, which will come into effect on October 17 | Daily Hive, Canada

On a mission to change how family doctors view medical marijuana

For the past year and a half, David Hepburn has been travelling Canada, educating his fellow family doctors on why and when to prescribe medical marijuana | Globe and Mail, Canada

End in sight for alcohol advertising on public transport

Alcohol advertising is set to start disappearing from public transport, in line with a McGowan Government election commitment | Government of Western Australia, Australia

Australia wins landmark WTO ruling on plain cigarette packaging

Australia has triumphed in a major trade dispute over its pioneering plain tobacco packaging law, with World Trade Organisation (WTO) judges rejecting arguments brought by Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic | Age, Australia

ACT Health crafted statement in preparation for pill test tragedy

Emails also reveal widespread uncertainty within the ACT government as the date for the pill testing trial looms | Age, Australia

Dry July: What happens to your body when you quit drinking for a month

Waking up after having way too many drinks the night before is never a pleasant experience | News.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Expert Reaction: Licensing arrangements for accessing medicinal cannabis

The Home Office has released new licensing arrangements for accessing cannabis for medical reasons. Lecturer in Mental Health, Ian Hamilton, comments on the process | University of York, UK

An ‘Expert Panel’ is Not Good Enough – We Need to Re-Schedule Cannabis

The Home Office today announced the details of an expert panel which will take clinical applications for medical cannabis licenses. While we welcome a legal pathway for patients to access their medication, this does not address a key issue | Beckley Foundation, UK

Mentor welcomes Boris Pomroy as new Chief Executive

This week we give a warm welcome to Boris Pomroy who joins the Mentor family as Chief Executive. Boris comes to Mentor UK with over 15yrs experience in the not-for-profit sector, most recently as Fundraising and Communications Director at Transparency International UK | Mentor blog, UK

More drugs, more deaths, more damage... U.N. drug report shows global drug trade grows despite draconian enforcement efforts

In 2012, Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, referred to current drug control efforts as something akin to riding a stationary bicycle | IDPC blog, UK

You booze, you lose: Why the NRL must ban alcohol ads

The NRL has a problem. And it is afraid to admit it. Earlier last week, a report released by La Trobe University found that on State of Origin nights there was a 40 per cent increase in domestic assault incidents and approximately a 70 per cent rise in non-domestic assaults | Roar, Australia