Daily news - 8th March 2018

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UK news

Our Invisible Addicts (2nd edition)

The publication of Our Invisible Addicts in 2011 represented an important landmark in recognising the extent of substance-related health problems amongst older people and that the special service needs to deal with the complexity of such problems, which often involve co-morbid mental and physical health problems, polypharmacy and psychosocial adversity | RC PSYCH, UK

The misuse of synthetic opioids: harms and clinical management of fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and other novel synthetic opioids (PDF)

This document focuses on the misuse of fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and other novel synthetic opioids and does not address issues pertaining to their use in legitimate therapeutic and clinical contexts. Specifically, this document focuses on the clinical management of the health-related harms associated with the misuse of these substances, both acute harms as well as harms from frequent and long-term use (chronic harms). It is aimed primarily at a clinical audience | Neptune, UK

Domestic abusers could be electronically tagged and banned from drinking alcohol under new proposals

Courts will be given express powers to impose electronic monitoring as a condition of the proposed Domestic Abuse Protection Orders and prohibition on drinking alcohol, says Home Office | Independent, UK

MPs call for clarity on low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks labelling

Politicians from all parties will today (7 March) call for new, clear regulation on the labelling of low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks | Talking Retail, UK

The Association Between Smoking and Electronic Cigarette Use in a Cohort of Young People

[Open access] Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is associated with smoking initiation among young people; however, it is also possible that smoking is associated with e-cigarette initiation. This study explores these associations among young people in Great Britain | JAH, UK

Expert Faculty of Commissioners Announcement: invitation to participate (PDF)

Decision-making for substance use disorder services has changed greatly. Commissioners in Public Health departments of Local Authorities are central stakeholders today. A group of experts experienced in commissioning and providing services for drug and alcohol problems have set up a Faculty which aims to support bestpractice. If you are involved in commissioning services for drug and alcohol problems please consider connecting with the Faculty | Expert Faculty of Commissioners, UK

Xanax: Six drug users treated in Brighton and Hove

At least six people in one week have needed hospital treatment in Brighton and Hove after taking the drug Xanax recreationally, the city council said | BBC, UK

Alfie Dingley: Ex-minister backs cannabis plea boy

A former Home Office minister has appealed for a six-year-old boy with epilepsy to be given a special licence to use medicinal cannabis | BBC, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Dementia

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance the NHS provides on the connection between heavy consumption of alcohol and the onset of dementia | They work for you, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has assessed the effect of vaping on second-hand smoke inhalers; and what steps his Department is considering to tackle those potential effects | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people were admitted to hospitals with (a) drug and (b) opioid overdoses in each of the last ten years for which figures are available | They work for you, UK

The need for harm reduction when it comes to drugs

Students have less than a week to fill in the Students’ Drug Survey. We want to understand students’ drug use habits and patterns across further and higher education in the UK, so we can do more to reduce harm for students | NUS Connect, UK

Adfam's 2017 impact report

Today we are pleased to launch our impact report for 2017! This document provides an overview of our work with families, practitioners and strategic partners | Adfam, UK

New ‘Drugs Commission’ in Dundee to tackle increase in drug-related deaths

Dundee city council has convened a ‘Drugs Commission’ to tackle the emerging crisis of increasing drug-related deaths in the city, with representatives from the NHS, Police Scotland and local drugs agencies | SDF, UK

SDF receives new funding for work on blood borne viruses and sexual health

After a tendering exercise, Scottish Drugs Forum has secured three year funding from Scottish Government to focus on key projects around viral hepatitis, HIV and sexual health for vulnerable populations | SDF, UK

Public Health Research Programme Rapid Funding Scheme

The Rapid Funding Scheme (RFS) offers researchers the opportunity to apply for funds to conduct rapid baseline data collection, as well as other feasibility work, prior to intervention implementation, for time-limited opportunities such as a natural experiment or similar evaluations of a new public health intervention | NIHR, UK

Man suspected of swallowing drugs wins stand-off with police after refusing to use toilet for 47 days

Lamarr Chambers released from custody and taken to hospital following medical and legal advice, heralding the end of 'poo watch' | Independent, UK

Editor of Bristol Post apologises for 'Faces of Evil' front page of 21 years ago

To the people who produced it nearly quarter of a century ago, it was just another Bristol Evening Post front page | Bristol Post, UK

Cocaine trafficker jailed after bogus parcel delivery

A drug trafficker who used his former South American cellmate to help smuggle cocaine into Scotland has been jailed for more than five years | BBC, UK

Heroin addict ordered by judge to lock herself in her flat for three months

Collette Massey, 43, was ordered to stay in overnight, lock her door and stay away from other drug addicts | Daily Post, UK


International news

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2017

Our Global Overview series monitors the death penalty for drugs in law and practice worldwide, and also considers critical developments on the issue. Since being launched in 2007, Harm Reduction International's death penalty work has been the leading global resource on the issue of the death penalty for drug offences | HRI, UK

Banning drug offenders from accessing public housing sets ‘troubling precedent’

Social workers operating in Sydney’s inner city public housing estates have slammed a new policy that denies homes to those with a history of serious drug offences, saying it sets a “troubling precedent” that further marginalises people trying to leave their past behind them | Guardian, UK

Coca-Cola plans to launch its first alcoholic drink

Coca-Cola is planning to produce an alcoholic drink for the first time in the company's 125-year history - with an alcopop-style product in Japan | BBC, UK

New figures suggest alcohol consumption in Ireland continues to decline

New figures from the Revenue Commissioners suggest that alcohol consumption in Ireland fell in 2017 | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Alcohol minimum unit pricing could be delayed by Brexit and North’s political crisis

Move to increase price of cheapest, strongest drink made before referendum, Stormont crisis | Irish Times, Ireland

Public Health Alcohol Bill remains the key legislative framework to sustain a new momentum to reduce our consumption levels

Alcohol Action note today’s (6th March) release from Revenue on the provisional alcohol clearance data for 2017 and welcomes a downward indicator for the nation’s alcohol consumption | Alcohol Action, Ireland

Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study (Perspectives on drugs)

The findings of the largest European project to date in the emerging science of wastewater analysis are taken up in this ‘Perspective on drugs’. The project in question analysed wastewater in around 60 European cities and towns (hereinafter referred to as ‘cities’) to explore the drug-taking habits of those who live in them. The results provide a valuable snapshot of the drug flow through the cities involved, revealing marked geographical variations | EMCDDA, Portugal

Adolescent Exposure to Toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals From E-Cigarettes

There is an urgent need to understand the safety of e-cigarettes with adolescents. We sought to identify the presence of chemical toxicants associated with e-cigarette use among adolescents | Pediatrics, USA

E-cigarettes: Teens 'should not be using them at all'

A new study confirms that e-cigarettes are harmful to teenagers and urges adolescents to stop putting their health at risk | MNT, USA

Scientists seek unfiltered truth about 'light' cigarettes

Would banning ventilated filters on cigarettes protect public health? | Medical Xpress, USA

How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling

Addictive drugs and gambling rewire neural circuits in similar ways | Scientific American, USA

We're not addicted to smartphones, we're addicted to social interaction

Mobile-device habits may not be anti-social, but rather hyper-social -- stemming from a healthy human need to socialize. This is the finding of a new review of the dysfunctional use of smart technology, which concludes that the most addictive smartphone functions all share a common theme: they tap into the human desire to connect with other people | Science Daily, Canada

Duterte says ICC has no right to try him

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says there is no chance of him going on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), because "not in a million years" would it have jurisdiction to indict him | The Australian, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

West Midlands: devolution and drug treatment

Marching wilfully with a sense of purpose into politically and legally sensitive territory is always likely to make headlines. And that is exactly what the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner got after publishing his drug policy proposals | Collective Voice blog, UK

Non-medical use of prescription drugs #NonMedicalDrugs

Drugs can soothe people’s lives and that is why so many turn to them when things are going badly, going well or just to change the way they experience life. But things can go wrong and although we think of drugs like cocaine or heroin as the culprits, another group of drugs can cause problems, prescription drugs | Mental Elf, UK

Finding a new frame for cannabis reform

For me it was Tom Chivers who really nailed it last week in his piece on the new Kings College cannabis potency study | Volte Face, UK

The British have Brexit. We French have our wine delusion

Sure, it occasionally leaves us horizontal, but it’s a proud part of our identity. And anyway, we don’t drink as much as you. Right…? | Guardian opinion, UK

Phenibut, online drug markets and the limits of law enforcement

Seven high school students in Queensland were taken to hospital last month after reportedly overdosing on a substance identified as Phenibut. It’s an anti-anxiety drug developed for Russian cosmonauts that also has cognitive-enhancing qualities | Conversation, Australia