Daily news - 18th May 2018

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UK news

Minister signs order to extend pub opening hours for the Royal Wedding

Alcohol licensing hours will be relaxed in England and Wales to mark the Royal Wedding, the Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability confirmed today | Home Office, UK

How smaller drinks could reduce the UK’s alcohol consumption

Cutting down drinking is difficult, but could smaller servings of alcohol help? Our study suggests it might | Guardian, UK

Devising and communicating public health alcohol guidance for expectant and new mothers: a scoping report (PDF)

The aim of this research was to understand how the new CMO guidance on pregnancy was received by the target audience | Alcohol Research UK, UK

Temporary Withdrawal of Britlofex Tablets 0.2mg (PDF)

Letter from Britannia Pharmaceuticals whoi will no longer be supplying  Britlofex (lofexidine) tablets  from the end of May, as all stock they have on hand is due to expire at the end of this month | Britannia Pharmaceuticals, UK

Shortage of lofexidine hydrochloride tablets 200 microgram (Britoflex)

Lofexidine is licensed for the management of symptoms of opioid detoxification. Britannia Pharmaceuticals has advised that the current batch of product expires end of May 2018, and due to change in manufacturer it is unlikely that the product will be available for several months. This memo provides advice on management of patients during the shortage | Specialist Pharmacy Service, UK

Tobacco update: Draft scope consultation

Tobacco suite: prevention, cessation and harm reduction (update): Draft scope.You can now comment on this draft scope | NICE, UK

Northern Ireland drug offences rise by 20%

The number of drug offences recorded by the PSNI increased by 20% last year, reaching their highest level since current records began | BBC, UK

Police Service Release Annual Crime Statistics

"An indication of our commitment to ‘Keeping People Safe’ is the 23.9% increase in drug seizures.  There were 6,872 drug seizure incidents during 2017/18, compared to 5,546 incidents recorded in 2016/17. We are removing more drugs off our streets and reducing the harm to our communities and bringing those responsible before the courts.  In 2017/18 there were 3,121 people arrested for drug related offences, this is 15.5% higher than 2016/17 and equates to 419 more arrests than the previous year.” | PSNI, UK

Why You Should Stop Smoking Weed Right Now, According to Vapers

We found out why some career cannabis smokers are making the switch to vaping | VICE, UK

Drugs minister accused of 'hypocrisy on a grand scale' over husband's involvement in legal cannabis farm

Victoria Atkins has previously spoken out against legalising and regulating the drug | Independent, UK

MP's identity 'stolen by drug dealer'

A Scottish MP has fallen victim to identity theft by a suspected drug dealer in Manchester | BBC, UK

Ant McPartlin reunited with Declan Donnelly after stint in rehab

Television presenter Ant McPartlin has been spotted with his co-star Declan Donnelly for the first time since his arrest for drink-driving in March | Telegraph, UK

Luton fast food owner jailed over drugs in takeaway bag

The owner of a takeaway grill who used his shop as a cover to store £1.5m worth of cocaine has been jailed | BBC, UK

What does Liverpool think of new betting machine rules?

"Twenty seconds on those FOBTs and your wages are gone... it's like a drug" | BBC, UK


International news

Dutch researchers find ecstasy and cocaine are getting stronger

A new report from Dutch addiction centre Trimbos Institute has found that ecstasy pills are getting stronger and street-sold cocaine is becoming more pure | MixMag, UK

Not to your health: Germany bans beer ads that suggest it's good for you

Consumer rights group sues brewery for using the word ‘bekoemmlich’ which implied its beer was wholesome | Guardian, UK

Surge in young Americans using marijuana as first drug

Surge in young Americans using marijuana as first drug
Proportion of young people who tried cigarettes as their first drug fell over the same period, US study says | Guardian, UK

Two Doses of Cannabis Compound CBD Reduce Seizures by 40% Among Patients with Severe Form of Epilepsy

New research into cannabidiol (CBD) has highlighted the considerable health benefits that even occasional doses of the cannabis compound can offer to people who suffer from a severe form of epilepsy | Talking Drugs, UK

Jarvis Cocker: how Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool‑Aid Acid Test changed my life

At the dawn of the 1960s, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters were dropping LSD and kickstarting a revolution – and Wolfe went along for the ride, capturing the birth of the counterculture | Guardian, UK

Major Irish drugs gang dismantled in Spain

Spanish police say they have “dismantled” a major Irish drug-trafficking gang after a joint operation with gardaí resulted in the seizure of 170kg of cannabis herb and the arrest of four Irish men | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Young French people's 'risky' thirst for alcohol revealed in new study

A new study by the French government has revealed that many French people particularly among the younger generation have a dangerous drinking habit | The Local, France

Is Sweden's zero-tolerance approach to drugs a failing model?

Sweden is accustomed to being praised for its forward-thinking approach, but there's one area where many feel it lies behind the curve | The Local, Sweden

Young people are choosing marijuana before cigarettes and alcohol

More young people are turning to marijuana as their first substance of choice, rather than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. This pattern is especially prevalent among young men of specific racial and ethnic groups in the US, says Brian Fairman of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development | Medical Xpress, USA

NIH Halts Controversial Industry-Funded Study of Alcohol’s Health Benefits

Public health advocates had argued that the study was hopelessly compromised | Mother Jones, USA

Faster test for cannabis quality

Researchers have developed a new method of measuring phytocannabinoids -- the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis -- that will lead to faster, safer and more accurate information for producers, regulators and consumers alike | Science Daily, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

The state of alcohol treatment

The alcohol treatment system is in crisis. The recent report from Alcohol Concern/Alcohol Research UK reveals that the pressures services are under largely reflect those seen in last year’s State of the Sector report which looked at the state of the drug and alcohol treatment system | Collective Voice blog, UK

Changing the conversation to make drug use safer (PDF)

Last week, the 2018 Global Drug Survey (GDS) published its annual findings on recreational drug use (both legal and illegal) among 130000 people across 44 countries | Lancet editorial, UK

2018 Alcohol stats

This year’s official Statistics on Alcohol in England has just (1 May 2018) been published by NHS Digital. The report pulls together new and existing information from a range of sources to provide an up-to-date compendium of alcohol facts and figures | Russell Webster, UK

Drinking in pregnancy: how should the guidance work?

How should advice on alcohol and pregnancy be communicated? This seems like a simple question: just tell expectant mothers what the science says, and suggest how they should act on that information. But a new study, funded by Alcohol Concern Cymru, has found that the reality is more complex | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Harm reduction and hepatitis C in prison

Earlier this month (11 May 2018), a cross-sectional survey of harm reduction and viral hepatitis C in European prisons in 25 countries was published in the Harm Reduction Journal | Russell Webster, UK

Alcohol on long-haul flights: How many refills is it reasonable to ask for?

Long-haul flights are one of the few situations in which it's socially acceptable to day-drink. It's been part of the culture since the golden days of flying and is arguably, for this writer anyway, a deeply ingrained ritual that eases the discomfort of being strapped to a narrow chair for a 10 or 12-hour slog | Telegraph, UK

Why it's time to ban toddlers - and their millennial parents - from our pubs

Now that the good weather’s finally arrived, I’m finding it increasingly hard to tell the difference between pubs and playgrounds – both are overrun with armies of marauding children | Telegraph, UK

A Multi-Front Effort on Substance Abuse

As drug overdose deaths have grown to unprecedented levels in America, federal efforts have attempted to combat the substance abuse problem on multiple fronts | Watch Blog (USGAO), USA

Plain packaging of cigarettes has failed again and again, but its advocates are doubling down

The implementation of plain packaging for cigarette packs in the United Kingdom exactly one year ago was a huge step backwards for the country that historically has pioneered trade mark usage rights | Washington Examiner opinion, USA

Proposed federal legislation on cannabis and alcohol impaired driving

Impaired driving in Canada refers to the operation of a motor vehicle while the driver’s ability is impaired by alcohol or drugs | CARBC blog, Canada