Daily news -13th March 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

DDN March 2018

How do we get connected? With healthcare, with peers, colleagues, commissioners, policymakers, politicians? It’s a question that goes far beyond the DDN conference – but the spirit of this event confirmed that where there’s a will, things can happen. On the following pages you will find not just the record of the day’s events, but a host of possibilities, questions and ideas | DDN, UK

No Smoking Day (14 March 2018)

For this year's national No Smoking Day we're asking you to pick your way, #TellUsYourWay and Quit Your Way! | NHS Inform, UK

New campaign will see young people share their advice and experience on quitting smoking

In advance of No Smoking Day on 14 March, ASH Scotland is highlighting the support available to young people to help them stop smoking. This year’s No Smoking Day is encouraging people to use the #TellUsYourWay hashtag to share how they gave up smoking | ASH Scotland, UK

Alcohol price law 'important tool' in tackling drinking

Assembly members have been urged to back minimum unit pricing for alcohol as a "major new and important tool" in tackling harmful drinking in Wales | BBC, UK

Fund set up to develop family support groups across Scotland

Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD) have partnered with The Scottish Government and the Corra Foundation to set up a fund to give existing family groups and new or not-yet-formed groups access to small grants to promote family recovery across Scotland | SDF, UK

Phoenix Futures: Online Community Advisory Panel

Could you spare a couple of hours every few months to donate your thoughts and directly help us with our stigma reduction campaigns.
We are looking for people to give us their feedback and opinion on what we say and how we say it. Your insights and opinions will have an immediate effect on the way that we communicate | Phoenix Futures, UK

How Chemsex Helps Queer Men Find Their Place in Harsh Cities

We speak to gay cultural theorist Jamie Hakim about how chemsex is a response to neoliberalism and the alienation of the modern city | Vice, UK

Family-focused practices in addictions: a scoping review protocol

[Open access] Families are significantly impacted by addictions and family involvement in treatment can reduce the harms and can also improve treatment entry, treatment completion and treatment outcomes for the individual coping with an addiction | BMJ, UK

Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP): a school-based and community-based cluster randomised controlled trial

[Open access] To assess the effectiveness of a combined classroom curriculum and parental intervention (the Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP)), compared with alcohol education as normal (EAN), in reducing self-reported heavy episodic drinking (HED) and alcohol-related harms (ARHs) in adolescents | BMJ, UK

Weston-super-Mare: Takes Drugs Seriously

Free event. April 5th. Weston-Super-Mare. Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Come along to learn about the impact of drugs on Weston-super-Mare and how we can better protect our community | Anyone's Child, UK

A Storm is Coming - BBC iPlayer

Deaths of rough sleepers spike in the winter months as the temperature plummets, and with a snowstorm forecast, there’s a rush for Kelly, Charlotte and Diana to find somewhere warm to sleep | BBC, UK

Sell cannabis in off-licences, says police boss

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner says he doesn't see why recreational drugs such as cannabis should not be sold in the same way as alcohol, over-the-counter in licensed shops | ITV, UK

Drug expert calls for Scots prisoners to be given free cannabis to prevent Spice deaths

Dr Stephanie Sharp has said it is safer for inmates to be given cannabis rather than psychoactive substances | Daily Record, UK

The Scheme's Marvin Baird jailed over drugs

The Scheme star Marvin Baird has been jailed for 18 months after being caught with heroin in a police raid | BBC, UK

London cannabis seed seller Gypsy Nirvana faces extradition to US

A British businessman known as Gypsy Nirvana is facing extradition to the US for allegedly distributing cannabis seeds, an activity his lawyers argue is legal in the UK | Guardian, UK

Stubbing out in the health food restaurant - archive, 1968

13 March 1968 Feeling healthy and virtuous after a vitamin bursting meal, a Guardian correspondent gives up smoking - for a day | Gaurdian archive, UK


International news

EU Calls On Member States To Find Alternatives To Coercive Sanctions For Drug Users

Last week, the Justice and Home Affairs Council adopted recommendations on alternatives to coercive sanctions for drug using offenders. These recommendations were approved within the frame of the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2017-2020 which requests member states to provide alternatives to coercive sanctions for drug using offenders “where appropriate, and in accordance with their legal frameworks” | Volte Face, UK

Hollyweed: fledgling cannabis industry struggles to woo the stars

A display of non-psychoactive cannabis products before the Oscars highlighted the challenges of reaching customers | Guardian, UK

Australia fights drug addiction with plane flying lessons

Video. The experience of flying a plane as it stalls is being used as part of a rehabilitation programme in Australia. Under the scheme, young people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction are briefly put in charge of a light aircraft | BBC, UK

Secrecy over costs in Philip Morris plain packaging case stokes TPP fears

[Australia] Coalition refuses to reveal how much tobacco giant’s investor-state dispute settlement bid cost | Guardian, UK

Duterte goes to war with UN as he threatens to throw rights team to the crocodiles

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fuelled an extraordinary war of words with the United Nations by saying that their human rights team should be fed to crocodiles if they came to investigate his controversial war on drugs | Telegraph, UK

Former state pathologist says not enough is being done to tackle abuse of 'killer' Tramadol

The former state pathologist for Northern Ireland has warned that not enough is being done to tackle the abuse of the prescription drug Tramadol - which he has branded a "major killer" | Irish Times, Ireland

Remarks at the opening of the 61st Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Opening speech | UNODC, Austria

Alcohol makers fail to meet consumers’ expectations for on-label information

Information about the ingredients and nutritional value – such as the amount of sugar - of alcoholic drinks will still escape mandatory labelling rules which apply to all soft drinks. This is the disappointing conclusion of the alcohol industry plans published today | BEUC, Belgium

Sales of electronic cigarettes prohibited on Internet

The Council of State refused the request from two retail sellers to reverse the prohibition | Brussels Times, Belgium

Smoking heightens risk of psychoses

Smoking at least ten cigarettes a day is linked to a higher risk of psychoses compared to non-smoking young people. The risk is also raised if the smoking starts before the age of 13 | Science Daily, Finland

Current tobacco smoke exposure doesn't obstruct peds airflow

Current tobacco smoke exposure (TSE) is not associated with airflow obstruction among school-aged children, while prenatal smoking is associated with airflow obstruction in children with asthma, according to a study published in the March issue of Chest | Medical Xpress, USA

Racial Justice Drives Fight for, and Against, Legal Pot in New Jersey

Advocates say legalizing marijuana would address inequities in incarceration rates. But the state’s senior black senator says shops will harm minority communities | NYTimes, USA

How Trump's Death Penalty Policy Could Benefit Drug Dealers

In a speech to supporters in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Donald Trump once more brought up a policy idea he's picked up from the leaders of the Philippines, China, and Singapore. Echoing a statement he made last week, Trump suggested that the solution to the United States' worsening opioid crisis is allowing federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug traffickers | Refinery29, USA

Certain teens more likely to get hooked on opioids

Teenagers with any mental health problem are more prone to painkiller dependence after receiving a prescription opioid, a new study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Vancouver issues call for Canada to "immediately" drop criminal penalties for the personal possession of drugs

In response to the opioid crisis, the city officially recommends that the federal government decriminalize all illicit narcotics, including cocaine and heroin | Georgia Straight, Canada

What Do Australian Doctors Actually Think About Medicinal Cannabis?

Both sides of the medicinal cannabis debate in Australia are at odds over an interview with the head of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians | BuzzFeed, Australia

Drug and alcohol research connections - March newsletter

Latest research | NDARC et al, Australia

Study of smoking among doctors and nurses shows very low smoking prevalence and Smokefree 2025 goal can be achieved

A new study on smoking trends among doctors and nurses in New Zealand finds smoking has declined steadily within these healthcare professions. Researchers say this shows that very low smoking rates can be achieved in large occupational groups, suggesting that New Zealand's Smokefree 2025 goal is reachable | Medical Xpress, New Zealand

Kava drinking research highlighted in global report

AUT PhD student, Edmond Fehoko, continues to garner international attention with his master’s thesis on the experiences and perceptions of New Zealand-born Tongan males participating in the faikava or kava drinking circle | SCOOP, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Six key challenges facing the drug and alcohol treatment system

A perfect storm is brewing. Years of austerity, the degradation of public services, sluggish growth and falling wages are all contributing to increasing pressures on the poor and vulnerable in society | Collective Voice blog, UK

This is how social action can power complex-need mental health recovery

Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point, explores how social action can help provide a service that deals with all the issues affecting an individual and can help transform lives | MHT, UK

Guest Post: Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs (BEAD)

Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs (BEAD) is a project that was set up five years ago to offer peer support to people who have lost someone due to drug or alcohol use | DAWF blog, UK

Beyond a Binary Approach

In the Orwell classic Animal Farm there was a binary notion that the animals lived by – “four legs good, two legs bad”. This eventually morphed into “four legs good, two legs better” as the pigs who became the lead animals began walking on two legs like the evil farmer they had replaced | NSP blog, UK

BA (Hons) Graphic Branding and Identity students collaborate with WNFO charity on design competition

BA (Hons) Graphic Branding and Identity students recently collaborated with Why Not Find Out (WNFO), a charity which aims to raise awareness and offer information to young people about drugs, in a design project competition set by their Course Leader, Alison Barnes and charity CEO, Michael O’Toole | UAL blog, UK

CND blog 2018

Live reporting and updates from the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs | CND blog, UK

The government has been undercounting opioid overdose deaths up to 35 percent, study says

Federal government estimates of opioid overdose deaths have been rising year after horrifying year. But the crisis is even worse than it looks: A new study reveals that the government has been undercounting opioid overdose deaths by 20 percent to 35 percent | Washington Post blog, USA

The other opioid crisis: pain patients who can’t access the medicine we need

Changing guidelines for prescriptions have left people like me without care | Washington Post outlook, USA

People are dying because we misunderstand how those with addiction think

A philosopher explains why addiction isn’t a moral failure | Vox, USA