Daily news -15th March 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Holding back the years - BBC iPlayer

Our Director, Harry Shapiro, quoted in this piece which asks if we are a nation addicted to painkillers. [Item starts 12 minutes in] | BBC, UK

CGL statement on the discontinuation of BritLofex (lofexidine hydrochloride)

We have been informed that BritLofex (lofexidine hydrochloride), the opioid detoxification medication, has been temporarily discontinued...We have begun conversations with Public Health England regarding this matter, as well as commissioners and colleagues in Collective Voice to establish safe and effective solutions for service users | CGL, UK

Hepatitis B: vaccine recommendations during supply constraints

[Vaccine supplies are improving but remain constrained. The vaccine remains available for those at highest risk of exposure, including those who inject drugs. PHE has recently published a recovery plan to support re-introduction of the vaccine for lower priority groups in a phased approach to maintain continuity of supply. Commissioners and providers of drug services are advised to read the plan noting that they can now order larger volumes of vaccine, likely without need for an override request] | PHE, UK

Young people drug and alcohol treatment business definitions

Business definitions for young people drug and alcohol treatment providers to input data onto the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

Secure setting drug and alcohol treatment business definitions

Business definitions for secure setting drug and alcohol treatment providers to input data onto the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

MP urges ministers to allow legal drug consumption rooms

Ministers have been urged to back legal drug consumption rooms in a bid to help end the “damaging” status quo for addicts and the public | Glasgow Evening Times, UK [Alsion Thewlis speaks on the issue in parliament | parliament.uk, UK]

Calls for heroin prescriptions and a safe drug room to be launched in Bristol

41 people died from suspected drug related deaths in Bristol last year | Bristol Post, UK

'Weak' evidence linking e-cigarette use with future smoking

"Children who tried e-cigarettes are 12 times more likely to start smoking tobacco," is the hard-hitting headline from the Mail Online. But the link is not as robust or clear-cut as this would have you believe | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Podcast: Are there any smoking cessation programmes that can help adolescents to stop smoking?

The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group has produced dozens of reviews of the effects of a wide variety of interventions to help smokers quit | Cochrane, UK

Tax treatment of heated tobacco products: response to the consultation (PDF)

Summary of responses and next steps | HM Treasury, UK

Alcohol labelling politics across the EU: clarity for consumers?

Health and consumer groups in England and the EU have been re-iterating calls for mandatory alcohol labelling of health relevant information including calories, criticising the latest proposal from alcohol industry bodies for self-regulation | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Alcohol harms and labelling: right to know vs. don’t want to know

Free event - Bristol, 26th March. A free public event to share findings from our research exploring what drinkers think about providing health information on alcohol labels (funded by the Medical Research Council and Alcohol Research UK) | TARG, UK

Video: 'I take 'smart drugs'... despite risks'

Some students at universities in the UK, like Leora, have resorted to taking drugs normally given to people suffering from conditions like attention deficit disorder | BBC, UK

Cannabis oil 'Buffalo Soldier' beer launched in UK

Punters will be able to get their hands on a bottle of the new ale from next month | Daily Record, UK

Bargain Booze owner finds £30m tax bill

The owner of the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack chains has revealed an unexpected £30m tax bill that must be paid by the end of this month | BBC, UK

Cross-border drug gang jailed

Four members of a drugs gang have been jailed for their role in supplying hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of drugs into Londonderry and Donegal | BBC, UK

Pet warning: The damage smoking can cause your cats and dogs Revealed

Smokers are being warned not to light up around their pets in a new campaign launched today to stop animals being harmed by cigarette fumes. A leading veterinary charity says passive smoking is just as dangerous for cats and dogs as people, yet many pets are being poisoned in the home out of ignorance | Express, UK


International news

Rodrigo Duterte to pull Philippines out of international criminal court

President accuses ICC of crusade against him after it opened inquiry into his war on drugs | Guardian, UK

Singapore Restarts Drug Offence Executions within Days of Trump’s Endorsement

A man has been executed, and another faces imminent execution, for drug offences in Singapore - days after President Trump endorsed the country’s execution of people for drug trafficking | Talking Drugs, UK

'It's a snapshot of America in this moment' – behind the Netflix film on Adderall abuse

While the government focuses on opioid addiction, Take Your Pills serves as a cautionary reminder that a drug intended for those with ADHD is still causing problems nationwide | Guardian, UK

Indigenous Australians far more likely to die from cancer, new data shows

Remoteness, social disadvantage and higher rates of smoking all play part in imbalance for preventable cancers | Guardian, UK

United Nations Report Scolds Countries for Cannabis Legalization

The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) recently issued its 2017 annual report, and the takeaway with regard to cannabis is clear: The INCB is deeply concerned with the spread of adult-use legalization. Countries pursuing legalization are acting in 'clear violation' of the UN's 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, says the International Narcotics Control Board | Leafly, USA

Amid efforts to expand naloxone access, a controversial new study questions its value

Amid a worsening opioid epidemic, the overdose-reversal drug naloxone has taken center stage. Fire and police departments across the country stock the drug; nonprofits aim to get it into the hands of millions of residents as a bystander intervention. But a controversial new working paper has raised the question of whether the urgent push to expand naloxone access may be doing more harm than good | STAT, USA

Black and white: The Dangerous Misconceptions About the Opioid Epidemic and How We Respond

He was breathing strangely, keeping her awake. “I kept poking him because I was annoyed,” says Hanscome, a petite blonde. When she flicked on the light, she found the father of her children foaming at the mouth | The Intercept, USA

Legal Marijuana Is A Boon To The Economy, Finds Study

Researchers found that legalizing marijuana had a positive impact on the economy of Pueblo County, Colo. In a landmark report out of the Colorado State University-Pueblo's Institute of Cannabis Research, researchers found that a taxed and regulated cannabis industry contributed more than $58 million to the local economy... | Forbes, USA

Blunt products more popular in states where marijuana is legal

Market share of cigars with features popular for blunt use higher in legal states, raising health concerns | EurekAlert, USA

ACC: Cocaine/Marijuana may up mortality in younger MI patients

Cocaine and/or marijuana use is present in about 10 percent of myocardial infarction (MI) patients age ≤50 years and is associated with increased mortality, according to a study published online March 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Medical Xpress, USA

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking? Threats From Smokeless Nicotine Are Many

After e-cigarettes first emerged in 2004, they quickly became a popular, "healthier" alternative for those who wanted the feeling of smoking tobacco | Medical Daily, USA

E-cigarettes doing more harm than good: study

"E-cigarettes will likely cause more public health harm than public health benefit unless ways can be found to substantially decrease the number of adolescents and young adults who vape and increase the number of smokers who use e-cigarettes to successfully quit smoking," | Medical Xpress, USA

Study finds smokers at greater risk of hearing loss

Smoking is associated with increased risk of hearing loss, according to a study of over 50,000 participants over 8 years in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, published by Oxford University Press | Medical Xpress, USA

Claim doctors ‘turn a blind eye’ to medical cannabis in hospital

Doctors at a Queensland’s children’s hospital are allegedly “turning a blind eye” to parents administering illegal medicinal cannabis to their children | The New Daily, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The NHS Smokefree Pledge blog for FPH

As smoking prevalence continues to fall, NHS and public health organisations are taking things to the next level with the NHS Smokefree Pledge | Better health for all blog, UK

Alcohol-free drinks: let’s get things clear

Alcohol-free drinks used to have a poor reputation – and rightly so. There was often little choice, and what there was bore only a faint resemblance to normal-strength versions. I still recall a warm bottle of Kaliber that I left, unfinished, at a pub near Sheffield many years ago. It is not a great memory | Alcohol Concern/ ARUK blog, UK

Fact-check: Support for alcohol labelling

The alcohol industry’s Portman Group (PG) is using a study it co-funded to resist calls for providing health information on alcoholic drink labels. Here’s a look at what the study actually says | Phil Cain blog, UK

Big Tobacco is funding the anti-smoking lobby – but leaked documents reveal the real reason why

The world’s top experts on tobacco and health gathered at a conference in South Africa last week to discuss how to prevent an estimated a billion people dying of smoking-related diseases this century | Conversation, UK

CND blog

Live reporting from sessions at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs | IDPC, UK

Naloxone a moral hazard?

. . . a controversial new working paper has raised the question of whether the urgent push to expand naloxone access may be doing more harm than good | Addiction and Recovery News, USA

100 days to cannabis regulation:are we ready to guide the conversation?

In approximately 100 days, Canada will legalize, regulate and restrict access to non-medical cannabis use. This transformation in our drug policy will require an intense educational campaign to inform Canadians, particularly young people, about the effects of cannabis use | Sixth Estate opinion, Canada