Daily news - 7th November 2018

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UK news

Synthetic Cannabinoids: Reclassification

[House of Commons Debate] I beg to move, That this House has considered the reclassification of synthetic cannabinoids | UK Hansard, UK

Revealed: Families Threaten to Take NHS to Court Over Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis might now be legal in the UK, but for many, it's just as hard to access it as it's ever been | VICE, UK

Alprazolam: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has made in tackling the diversion of Xanax from the regulated supply chain to the criminal market; for what reason that diversion has taken place; how many prosecutions there have been; and what plans have been put in place to prevent that diversion | They work for you, UK

The toxic impact of drug panics

Alarm surrounding the bizarre effects of the latest street drug can be seductive and makes for excellent headlines. But, ask Emily Goddard and Ian Hamilton, what about the harm this causes? | Independent, UK

Alcohol most misjudged drug when it comes to harm

People young and old underestimate the dangers of alcohol more than any other drug, shows a new study from Brunel University London | Brunel University, UK

Become an expert on drug treatment research

Online course exploring key studies on harm reduction and treatment now complete. The 25 instalments remain freely available, enabling you to become an expert on drug treatment research | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Research Funding opportunities -Cannabis-based products

Closing date: 19 March 2019. Apply now | NIHR, UK

Research Funding opportunities - Tobbaco cessation

Closing dates range from 12 march to 16th May 2019. Apply now | NIHR, UK

Hep SEE- A Patient Centred Conference - 8th November - webinar

[Registration required] There has been a lot of interest in the conference and all tickets are now allocated. Therefore for those who would have liked to come or who found it too difficult to travel to Glasgow on Thursday, we will be broadcasting, as a webinar, the whole of the conference | Hepatitis Scotland, UK

GPs to prescribe medical cannabis in Jersey

Patients in Jersey will be able to get medical cannabis from all doctors after politicians voted to change the law | BBC, UK

What is Fentanyl? Mac Miller’s death caused by overdose involving the drug

After a toxicology report reveals the drug fentanyl caused Mac Miller's death, here's what we know about the drug | i news, UK

Gambling addiction clinic set to serve north of England

An NHS clinic for gambling addiction, the only one outside London, is set to be based in Leeds | BBC, UK

Beer firm BrewDog moves into whisky and rum

BrewDog, the Aberdeenshire breaker of brewing conventions, is moving into the whisky business with plans to make it more "playful" | BBC, UK


International news

Teen vapers smoke just as much as youth who don't use e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes aren't likely to keep kids away from traditional cigarettes, a U.S. study suggests | Business Insider, UK

What can Irish cities learn from the response to drug use in New Orleans?

There is an increasing recognition by police services that drug use is not a policing matter, but requires a health led response, writes Tony Duffin | Journal, Ireland

When gaming becomes more than a game

Ja Wei Lee examines the issue of gaming addiction, and asks experts whether it is a meaningful psychological condition and, if so, how it can be treated | Medical Independent, Ireland

Over 2 million Americans have hepatitis C; opioids help drive spread

More than 2 million Americans have hepatitis C—and the opioid epidemic is a major contributor to the problem, according to a new government study | Science Daily, USA

Impact of opioid epidemic on children varies by state

A new study published in Child Abuse and Neglect finds between 2010-2015, 60 opioids were prescribed for every 100 people in California and New York. While in West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana, it was more than 100 prescriptions per 100 people | Medical Xpress, USA

Study indicates opioid overdose reversal products chemically stable past expiration date

A widely used naloxone nasal spray (NNS) and naloxone injection (NIJ), otherwise known as Narcan and Evzio, which are administered to prevent opioid overdose deaths, were found to be chemically stable up for at least ten months and beyond one year of the expiration date, respectively | Medical Xpress, USA

Meth use producing younger, harder-to-treat heart failure patients

Widespread methamphetamine use is creating a unique form of severe heart failure, according to new research that shows these patients tend to be younger and have poor outcomes | Medical Xpress, USA

Youth e-cigarette epidemic: Unintended consequences or strategic marketing?

[Video] A product that was intended to help adult smokers quit and reduce harm has addicted a new generation of non-smokers at epidemic levels, potentially undoing years of tobacco control progress. This panel discussed what must be done right now to stop the exploitation of our youth and young adults | Truth Initiative, USA

Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol in Epilepsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy presents seizures despite adequate treatment. Hence, there is the need to search for new therapeutic options. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major chemical component of the resin of Cannabis sativa plant, most commonly known as marijuana | Springer Link, USA

Adolescent cannabis use alters development of planning, self-control brain areas

Adolescent marijuana use may alter how neurons function in brain areas engaged in decision-making, planning and self-control, according to researchers | Science Daily, USA

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use

Compounds in cannabis can impair or improve memory depending on age, disease | Science Daily, USA

Abstinence not Required: Individuals with Alcohol Dependence May Benefit from Less Drinking

Individuals who seek help for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) may be presented with either of two treatment goals: abstinence or no heavy-drinking days, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in testing medications to treat AUD | Newswire, USA

Unseen women of Color Who Use Weed Know Why Legalization Is Only a Start

Marijuana is getting ever more legal. As of November 6, we have nine states where it’s legalized for recreational use, and 30 where medical use is legal | Filter Magazine, USA

Michigan Voters Approve Marijuana Legalization

Voters in Michigan have opted to make their state the next to legalize marijuana | Forbes, USA

Do people with severe gambling-related problems recover on their own?

Approximately 0.3% of the U.S. population experience gambling disorder, or about 880,000 people. For comparison, this is more than the number of people who live in South Dakota | BASIS, USA

Toronto’s drug-use sites could shut down under new provincial rules, activists say

Some of Toronto’s supervised drug-use sites could be forced to move or shut down under the province’s new rules, critics warn, even as the city’s opioid overdose crisis mounts | Globe and Mail, Canada

Legalising cannabis could net govt $240m in tax a year

Video. New research shows decriminalising cannabis and introducing a regulated market would be a boost for New Zealand's economy. The Government is working through plans to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis on or before the 2020 election | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why reclassifying Spice as a Class A drug won’t work

We need to leave the ‘war on drugs’ mentality behind | Medium blog, UK

Medicinal cannabis legalisation could well open the door to allowing recreational use, whatever Sajid Javid says

The home secretary is adamant that the law change will not mean further marijuana liberalisation, but there are substantial financial forces working for exactly that outcome | Independent voices, UK

Krokodil: how ‘flesh-eating zombie drug’ is causing a global crisis

Desomorphine has been in the news lately. Never heard of it? That’s quite possible. But you may well have heard its street name: “Krokodil.” However you know it, it’s a cheap substitute for heroin that has been widely branded a “flesh-eating zombie drug” – and it’s bad news | Conversation, USA

Surveying Drug Prevention

Today’s post comes from contributing editor Dr. Seth Blumenthal. In it, he surveys how schools, parents, and Congress responded to increased drug use in the 20th century through anti-drug abuse education initiatives | Points blog, USA

Weekly Dose: quetiapine, the antipsychotic ‘sleeping pill’ linked to overdoses

Quetiapine is a drug designed to reduce hallucinations and delusions experienced by people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder | Conversation, Australia