Daily news - 19th November 2018

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Alcohol Awareness Week: 19th - 25th November


UK news

New alcohol charity launches following merger: Alcohol Change UK

A new leading alcohol charity has launched today [19 November 2018], with a new name, brand, website and strategy. Alcohol Change UK is formed from the merger of Alcohol Concern (the charity behind Dry January) and Alcohol Research UK. The charity’s mission is to significantly reduce serious alcohol harm in the UK | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Letting children try alcohol at home won’t deter binge drinking, say UK experts

Campaign dispels myth that introducing alcohol earlier encourages adult moderation | Guardian, UK

Guideline scope 4 Cannabis-based products for medicinal use (PDF)

The Department of Health and Social Care in England has asked NICE to develop guidance on prescribing of cannabis-based1 6 products for medicinal 7 use | NICE, UK

EU and UK at odds over drug consumption rooms

While this refreshed review of the evidence from the European Union’s drug misuse monitoring centre has once again come down in favour of safer injecting facilities, the UK Government remains unmoved in its insistence that it has ‘no plans’ and ‘no intentions’ to trial such facilities in Britain. The EU’s experts admit the research is far from conclusive, but resistance to drug consumption rooms has deeper roots than this | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to his Department's Drugs Strategy, published in July 2017, whether a (a) National Recovery Champion and (b) Steering Committee has been appointed; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department remains the ministerial lead for the medicinal use of cannabis-based products | They work for you, UK

Cannabis: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Drug Rehabilitation Requirements with cannabis testing conditions on reducing rates of reoffending | They work for you, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department provides to organisations that support people to stop smoking through the encouragement of the take-up of vaping | They work for you, UK

Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October to Question 176664 on Public Health England: Drinkaware Trust, for what reason it was decided that Public Health England would not consult its Alcohol Leadership Board before beginning a partnership with Drinkaware | They work for you, UK

Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (Impact on Sales)

To ask the First Minister what plans the Scottish Government has to evaluate the impact on sales of minimum unit pricing of alcohol | They work for you, UK

Beer duty 18% lower than 2012, following yet another real-terms cut

Beer duty is now 18% lower than in 2012, accounting for inflation, according to an Institute of Alcohol Studies analysis of the 2018 Budget. The report – which takes stock of the impact of recent fiscal policy following real terms cuts to alcohol duty for the sixth year out of seven – also found that cider and spirits duty have each fallen by 10%, and wine duty by 2% | IAS, UK

How the tobacco industry meddles with government attempts to stop people smoking

Evidence suggests that taxes can stop people smoking – but tobacco firms play price games such as cutting the number of cigarettes in a pack to disguise increasing prices | Independent, UK

Child criminal exploitation 'still not properly understood', Ofsted warns

Local agencies still don't fully understand the scale of and risks posed by "county lines" drug running and other forms of child criminal exploitation, and must learn lessons from past child sexual exploitation (CSE) cases if they are to tackle the issue, a report has found | CYPNow, UK

How running 'helped me to reach my clean Sundays'

Ronnie, from Glasgow, is a former addict who has used running as a tool to help him towards recovery. Similarly, Iain Murphy has found inspiration through running to help him in his battle with alcohol | BBC, UK

Boy, eight, left suicidal because of his Tourette's sees his involuntary tics halted after being given a daily dose of cannabis oil

An eight-year-old boy with Tourette’s saw his involuntary tics halted after being given daily doses of cannabis oil | Mail Online, UK

'I want to have a life again': can ketamine treat depression?

Can ketamine help patients suffering from treatment resistant depression? There are just a few clinics in the UK that offer ketamine for the most severe types of depression | BBC, UK

Is coke vegan? And other urban drug myths busted

When it comes to drugs, there's an endless supply of myths out there - whether it’s a tale about the best way to take a particular drug, a justification for taking them (even though they’re actually illegal), or a remedy users swear can help combat the after-effects | BBC, UK

DAWS shares best practice with delegation visiting from China

On the 31 October Kensington and Chelsea’s Drugs and Alcohol Wellbeing Service (DAWS), delivered in partnership by Turning Point and Blenheim, welcomed a delegation from the Drugs Rehabilitation Association of the Zhejiang province in China | Blenheim, UK

Recovery Street Film Festival Screening and Panel Discussion

Free event. Recovery Street Film Festival Screening and Panel Discussion, Thursday, 6 December 5:30pm -7.00pm (Tea from 5:00). Room C111 (1st Floor of the College Building), Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT | DARC, UK

A BAP Public Lecture presented by Professor David Nutt: Not all in the mind...

Wed 9 January 2019. 18:00 – 20:30 GMT. University of Manchester. David will talk about how brain science is helping both professionals and patients better understand their mental health problems and is also leading to new treatments. He will use examples from research in anxiety, depression and addictions | British Association for Psychopharmacology, UK

We are recruiting volunteers with lived experience of substance use in Tayside!

Do you have a lived experience of substance use and want to use this experience to help others? | SDF, UK

Britain’s first cannabis-infused vegan restaurant to open in Brighton

The Canna Kitchen will dish up vegan & vegetarian cuisine most which will be infused with cannabidiol | i news, UK

How long can gin stay in high spirits?

Gin has gone from a drink for posh parents and old buffers to the hippest spirit in the UK - but is it on the wane again? | BBC, UK

Prisoner who killed himself 'told staff voices were telling him to do so'

Michael Berry, 27, died two days after he was remanded in HMP Bedford, report says | Guardian, UK

Border officer jailed for 23 years for drugs and guns smuggling plot

Simon Pellett was arrested by French police with 10 handguns, ammunition, heroin and cocaine in October 2017 | BBC, UK

Drug gang who 'cuckooed' disabled woman's house is jailed

Cuckooing is when drug dealers take over the property of a vulnerable person, either by intimidation or in exchange for free drugs | BBC, UK


International news

Living in a cold, dark climate more likely to lead to heavy drinking

Data from 193 countries provided evidence climate contributed to a higher incidence of binge drinking and liver disease | BBC, UK

Dutch teenager dies after inhaling deodorant spray in effort to get high

19-year-old placed towel over his head and sniffed spray during drug relapse | Independent, UK

Greece Health Ministry Plans Drug Consumption Rooms

The Greek health ministry is preparing a legislative amendment to permit the opening of drug consumption rooms in Athens, after a university’s claim that it’s overwhelmed by widespread public drug use | Talking Drugs, UK

Sackler family members face mass litigation, criminal investigations over opioids crisis

Exclusive: Suffolk county in Long Island has sued several family members, and Connecticut and New York are considering criminal fraud and racketeering charges against leading family members | Guardian, UK

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on proposed new steps to protect youth by preventing access to flavored tobacco products and banning menthol in cigarettes

As a physician who cared for hospitalized cancer patients, I saw first-hand the devastation that smoking-related diseases had wrought on the lives of patients and their families, and dedicated myself to helping ease this suffering | FDA, UK

Public Health Experts On New FDA E-Cigarette Rules: It's Complicated

Nearly all e-cigarette flavorings can no longer be sold in convenience stores or any other brick-and-mortar store except adult-only vaping shops, according to new regulations announced by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb this week | Forbes, USA

Results from 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey show dramatic increase in e-cigarette use among youth over past year

Sharp rise in e-cigarette use results in uptick in overall tobacco product use; prompts new, forceful steps by FDA to firmly confront and reverse youth epidemic | FDA, USA

As vaping grows more popular, especially among teens, here are answers to some basic questions about its health effects | NYTimes, USA

A Mother Who Lost Two Sons to Fentanyl Fights Back

Imagine the worst thing that could happen to you. Now imagine it happening twice | Filter Magazine, USA

Sexual orientation identified as a risk factor in opioid misuse

Men and women who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are more likely to misuse opioids when compared with those who identify as heterosexual, a new study shows | EurekAlert, USA

The Current Damage Of Lingering Reefer Madness Propaganda

Cannabis inches closer to mainstream acceptance every day. Through legalization efforts, rebranding, and medical patients of various walks of life, old and negative attitudes toward cannabis have faded | The Fresh Toast, USA

How Canada marijuana legalization impacts on Latin American drug policy?

Marijuana in Canada is now legal, and while the change is unlikely to have a significant impact on Latin America’s black market, it could trigger a shift towards more progressive international drug policies | Open Democracy, USA

Substance use costs $1,000 to $2,600 per person in Canada each year, study says

Canada's territories are spending the most per capita on costs related to substance use, according to a report released Thursday | CBC news, Canada

One-third of cannabis buyers still using illicit dealers, according to IPSOS poll

Pot shortages, lack of brick-and-mortar stores and accessibility issues aren't helping the government's case to buy legal weed | Global News, Canada

Conditional probabilities of substance use disorders and associated risk factors: Progression from first use to use disorder on alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, sedatives and opioids

Relatively little is known about factors that may lead to the development of a substance use disorder (SUD), across a range of drug classes. This study aimed to identify factors that predict the likelihood of transition from use to SUD and the speed with which this may occur at the population level, with a focus on the impact of pre-existing mental disorders | DAD, Australia

Bulletin No. 26: Models for the decriminalisation of the personal use and possesion of drugs

The aim of this document is to provide a relatively simple summary of the various models for the decriminalisation of personal use/possession of illicit drugs. We take current Australian laws as our starting point, and describe four possible models with reference to Australia. Nonetheless this work is also relevant for other countries | UNSW, Australia

As synthetic cannabis crisis rages on, advocates call for decriminalisation

Those on the frontline of the lethal synthetic cannabis crisis are urging politicians to decriminalise and regulate the drug | TVNZ, New Zealand

Matters of Substance

Latest news including: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to sign up to President Trump’s War on Drugs statement at the United Nations General Assembly last month. We applaud her for that stand, but her position – that drugs should be treated as a health issue – must be demonstrated with real action back... | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

America’s opioid crisis is a warning to the NHS. Don’t let big pharma loose on policy

The US watchdog that is supposed to protect patients is in thrall to an industry profiting from addiction | Guardian opinion, UK

A Recovery Stigma Case Study 

I regularly receive emails and phone calls that poignantly illuminate the stigma and discrimination people can face as they make the journey through addiction to recovery and a life of purpose and meaning | William White Papers, USA

The FDA made the wrong call on this powerful, new opioid

The Food and Drug Administration may be a scientific agency, but that doesn’t mean it always lives up to medical science. Too often it makes the wrong call on products that might exacerbate problems facing our country, such as the opioid epidemic | Washington Post opinion, USA

How medical marijuana made me a better mom

I had a medical marijuana card for nearly two years before I worked up the nerve to buy legal weed. Living in laid-back Vermont, I had access to a friend’s homegrown herb, which my husband used to make me cannabis-infused coconut butter in the family Crock-Pot | Washington Post, USA