Daily news - 5th March 2018

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UK news

Admissions to hospital for drug-related mental health problems soar

NHS hospitals in England treating twice as many people with drug-related disorders as they did 10 years ago. [Harry Shapiro from DrugWise quoted] | Guardian, UK

[See data here: Hospital admissions for drug-related mental and behavioural disorders fall by 12 per cent in a year | NHS Digital, UK]

Government response to ACMD Report: Commissioning impact on drug treatment services (PDF)

The Government thanks the ACMD for its report on commissioning structures within treatment services entitled Commissioning Structures, the Financial Environment and Wider Changes to Health and Social Welfare Impact on Drug Misuse Treatment and Recovery. The Committee made a number of recommendations for the Government to consider; the Government response is set out below | DHSC, UK

Research and analysis: E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review

[Amendments made -Amended some references, and amended text relating to the Voke nicotine inhaler in full report.] Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts | PHE, UK

Dashboard: Alcohol learning resources: e-learning completed

This dashboard shows information about how the Alcohol learning resources: e-learning completed service is currently performing | PHE, UK

Tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors: emerging lessons from practice

This report shares learning and insight from services that are using innovative ways to address the problem of multiple unhealthy risk factors in their populations. It draws on interviews and information from eight case studies in local authorities and the NHS and updates the evidence base on tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors | Kings Fund, UK

Patterns of regional variation of opioid prescribing in primary care in England: a retrospective observational study

Opioids are a widely prescribed class of drug with potentially harmful short-term and long-term side effects. There are concerns about the amounts of these drugs being prescribed in England given that they are increasingly considered ineffective in the context of long-term non-cancer pain, which is one of the major reasons for their prescription | IJDP, UK

Interventions to reduce the negative effects of alcohol consumption in older adults: a systematic review

[Open access] Older individuals are consuming alcohol more frequently yet there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of current interventions. This systematic review aims to investigate interventions that target alcohol use in individuals aged 55+ | BMC Public Health, UK

Improving recruitment to pharmacological trials for illicit opioid use: findings from a qualitative focus group study

[open access] To explore potential study participants’ views on willingness to join clinical trials of pharmacological interventions for illicit opioid use to inform and improve future recruitment strategies | Addiction, UK

Alfie Dingley: Cannabis plea boy back in hospital

A six-year-old boy whose parents are fighting for permission to treat his epilepsy with cannabis is back in hospital | BBC, UK

Green Party urge overhaul of 'utterly failing' drug laws to cut prisoner numbers

Britain has highest incarceration rate in Western Europe - with around 84,000 people in prison over illegal drug use | Independent, UK

This Is What Super-Strength Pills Will Do to You in the Long-Run

Ecstasy these days can be six times as strong as it was in the early-90s, and Second Summer of Love casualties already give us a lot to worry about | VICE, UK

Number of illegal raves in London doubles in a year

Closure of traditional nightclubs in capital a key factor in rise in number of unlicensed events | Guardian, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care how many alcohol attributable hospital admissions there have been in each of the last three years; and if he will publish that information by (a) sex and (b) age group | They work for you, UK

Young Offenders: Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of people who enter young offender institutions with drug and alcohol problems | They work for you, UK

Substance Misuse (Ayrshire)

To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s position is on the dangers of teenagers in Ayrshire ingesting substances purporting to be the drug MDMA. (S5F-02098) | They work for you, UK

Drug Use in Prisons

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce drug use in prisons. (S5O-01836) | They work for you, UK

Society for the Study of Addiction; upcoming grant deadlines

PhD's and Academic fellowships | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Study title: Perception of alcohol-free events - survey

With this survey we aim to learn how people perceive dance events (“raves”) that do not include alcohol consumption | Birmingham City University, UK

Sexist branding 'could violate alcohol-marketing guidelines'

Breweries that chose to use sexist branding to advertise beer could soon be in violation of alcohol-marketing guidelines, after the Portman Group announced plans to launch a full public consultation of its code of practice | Morning Advertiser, UK

Dan Evans joins LTA anti-drug campaign on return from cocaine ban

Dan Evans, the wayward minor genius of British tennis who tested positive for cocaine last year, returns to the Tour next month and will devote some of his time to an anti-drugs campaign | Guardian, UK

Pub opening hours to be extended for royal wedding

The Home Office confirms that licensing hours in England and Wales will be relaxed for two days at the time of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding | ITV, UK

Jeremy Kyle vs Teesside Cannabis Club - airing this Monday

In September last year, the controversy-courting chat show host and his camera crew were invited into the clandestine Club Exhale to film for the Kyle Files | Northern Echo, UK

Drug gang member's £450,000 seized

A member of a gang responsible for bringing millions of pounds worth of drugs into the North East has had more than £450,000 of his assets seized | BBC, UK

Sniffer dogs trained to find Spice in Scottish jails

Justice chiefs say every prison in the country now has issues with inmates taking new psychoactive substances that contain chemicals which can produce similar effects to cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy | Sunday Post, UK

Louis Tomlinson in Twitter row with police over cannabis discovery

A pop star has questioned the police's use of social media after officers posted a tweet about discovering a cannabis farm in a house | BBC, UK


International news

Guidance: Tobacco products and e-cigarette cross-border sales registration

How businesses that supply tobacco products and e-cigarettes via cross-border distance sales can register with the UK government | PHE, UK

HIV and AIDS among adolescents who use drugs: opportunities for drug policy reform within the sustainable development agenda

[open access] The international community's commitment to halve by 2015 the HIV transmission among people who inject drugs has not only been largely missed, instead new HIV infections have increased by 30%. Moreover, drug injection remains one of the drivers of new HIV infections due to punitive responses and lack of harm reduction resourcing | JLAS, UK

Greek Parliament Passes Bill to Regulate Medical Cannabis Production

On March 1, lawmakers voted in favour of the bill, which will allow licensed businesses to cultivate and process cannabis for medical purposes | Talking Drugs, UK

Señor K: Russia and Argentina split over mysterious drug smuggling case

Andrey Kovalchuk, accused of stashing cocaine in a school, has claimed to be a cigar salesman, an intelligence officer, and an embassy worker | Guardian, UK

Azerbaijan fire: Blaze kills 26 people at drug abuse treatment centre in Baku

TV footage shows fire crews battling intense flames as they billow out of building with barred windows | Independent, UK

Three Italian men who disappeared in Mexico 'sold to drugs gang by police for £39'

Officers charged with abducting visitors and handing them over for money | Independent, UK

Former airport search officer awarded over €9k after being sacked for 'supporting medicinal cannabis'

The man claimed he was fired for his political beliefs but failed to get reinstated to his position | Journal, Ireland

A randomized controlled trial of screening and brief interventions for substance misuse in reproductive health

Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment may reduce substance misuse but has received minimal study among women who are treated in reproductive health settings | AJOG, USA

Researchers use cigarette smoking behavior to identify genes that regulate blood pressure

Using a technique that is opening the door to more complex analyses of the human genome, researchers have identified dozens of new genetic variations that affect blood pressure | NIH, USA

This Town Is At The Center Of The US Opioid Crisis. Here’s The Story Of An Average Day In Its “Drug Court.”

The drug crisis in Huntington, West Virginia, is at the center of the Oscar-nominated documentary, Heroin(e). Here's the story of the daily drama and mundane reality of the drug court at the center of the film | BuzzFeed, USA

Getting the Inside Dope on Ketamine’s Mysterious Ability to Rapidly Relieve Depression

The notorious party drug may act as an antidepressant by blocking neural bursts in a little-understood brain region that may drive depression | Scientific American, USA

New national guideline sets out best practices for treating opioid addiction

A new Canadian guideline for managing opioid use disorders lays out the optimal strategies for the treatment of opioid addiction, including recommending opioid agonist treatment with buprenorphine-naloxone as the preferred first-line treatment | EurekAlert, Canada

Implementing Supervised Injection Services (PDF)

This nursingG best practice guideline (BPG) is a comprehensive document that provides an overview of principles, resources, and structures for delivering evidence-based supervised injection services (SIS). It is not intended to be a manual or “how-to” guide; rather, it supports best practices and decision making for nurses, health workersG, and health system leaders | MAO, Canada

How ecstasy and magic mushrooms can be used in medicine

Addictions expert says Australia is falling behind in psychedelic science | Pharmacy News, Australia

Medicinal Cannabis and the Tyranny of Distance: Policy Reform Required for Optimizing Patient and Health System Net Benefitin Australia

In the evolution of any novel concept, there is a spectrum inthe rate at which individuals adopt a new idea, a diffusion ofinnovation stretching from innovators to laggards | Appl Health Econ HealthPolicy, Australia

Victoria's law-breaking teens could be forced into residential drug and alcohol programs 

Teenagers breaking the law or engaging in risky behaviour could be forced into mandatory residential drug and alcohol treatment as an alternative to jail time under a new tough but compassionate plan from Matthew Guy's Opposition Coalition | abc.net.au, Australia

Policy-relevant behaviours predict heavier drinking and mediate the relationship with age, gender and education status: Analysis from the International Alcohol Control study

To investigate behaviours related to four alcohol policy variables (policy-relevant behaviours) and demographic variables in relation to typical quantities of alcohol consumed on-premise in six International Alcohol Control study countries | DAR, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Jim Duffy: Scotland – a nation that relies on functioning alcoholics

The middle classes self-medicate with wine on a regular basis but most know when to stop, writes Jim Duffy | Scotsman opinion, UK

The UK Is The World’s Largest Producer And Exporter Of Cannabis But Its Citizens Are Denied Any Access At All

This is the astonishing fact revealed by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in its 2017 report on narcotic drugs | Clear, UK

Four ways alcohol is bad for your health

The growing list of alcohol-related diseases includes bowel cancers, mouth and oesophageal cancers, breast cancers, heart disease, respiratory infections and mental health problems | Conversation, Australia

Medicinal Cannabis and the Tyranny of Distance: Policy Reform Required for Optimizing Patient and Health System Net Benefitin Australia

In the evolution of any novel concept, there is a spectrum in the rate at which individuals adopt a new idea, a diffusion ofinnovation stretching from innovators to laggards | Appl Health Econ HealthPolicy commentary, Australia