Daily news - 21st November 2018

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UK news

Alcohol Framework 2108: Preventing Harm - next steps on changing our relationship with alcohol

This updated Alcohol Framework sets out our national prevention aims on alcohol: the activities that will reduce consumption and minimise alcohol-related harm ariring in the first place. It builds on the 2009 Framework, and retains three central themes which are well accepted and understood: reducing consumption; positive attitudes, positive choices; supporting families and communities | Scottish Government, UK

Mental health hospital admissions linked to cocaine use treble in 10 years

NHS data shows significant rise, with increased availability of the drug amid government cuts blamed | Guardian, UK

TV alcohol adverts could face '9pm watershed'

Drink adverts could be banned on TV before the "9pm watershed" under Scottish government plans to curb alcohol abuse | BBC, UK

Drug Strategy Board: Membership

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will publish the (a) names and (b) job titles of the members of the Drug Strategy Board | They work for you, UK

Hepatitis C treatment monitoring in England

This report summarises the content and completeness of data contained within the Hepatitis C patient registry and treatment outcome system at the end of April 2018, enabling a preliminary assessment of HCV treatment and its monitoring in England | PHE, UK

PHE and NHSE launch national drive to trace hepatitis C patients

Public Health England and NHS England are working to find thousands of people living with hep C, offering them new treatments that, in most cases, cure the illness | PHE, UK

Commissioned rapid evidence reviews

Rapid reviews are a form of evidence synthesis that may provide more timely information for decision making. We intend that these reviews improve public knowledge on key areas and help inform our research activities going forward. Budget: £20,000 per review including VAT | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Sharing our new medication-assisted treatment toolkit

Drug-related deaths are the highest they have ever been. We know that medication-assisted treatments (MAT), such as the prescription of methadone and buprenorphine, are our most powerful interventions. Supporting opioid-dependent service users to begin MAT at the earliest and safest opportunity saves lives | CGL, UK

'Generational scandal' as number of child gamblers quadruples

Research by the Gambling Commission indicates there could be a further 70,000 children aged 11 to 16 who are at risk of developing problems among the 450,000 children who bet regularly | ITV, UK

Cocaine-test bus driver wins unfair dismissal case

A bus driver who was sacked after testing positive for cocaine has won almost £40,000 in compensation at an employment tribunal | BBC, UK


International news

How 'fixing rooms' are saving the lives of drug addicts

Across Europe, facilities that offer medical supervision for addicts are dramatically reducing drug-related deaths | Guardian, UK

Authoritative recommendations on improving group therapy outcomes

How can we make the most of group therapy, a common treatment/support format? Recommendations do not get more authoritative than those advanced in this review commissioned by the American Psychological Association, based on findings across psychotherapy linking group ‘cohesion’ with better outcomes | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How Cocaine First Came to Europe

Once a prestige drug of the rich and famous, cocaine is now more affordable and plentiful in Europe than ever before. It all started with a band of fishermen in north-west Spain | VICE, UK

Inconsistencies in the assumptions linking punitive sanctions and use of cannabis and new psychoactive substances in Europe

The level of drug use in the population is an ongoing topic of concern for policymakers, and regular adjustments to the penalty for this might reflect how much sanctions are viewed politically as appropriate to deter use | Addiction, UK

Everyday Americans 1: The Opioid ‘Demon’

Podcast. Exploring the real-time impact of the US opioid epidemic in Louisville, Kentucky | BBC, UK

Massachusetts opens first legal marijuana shops on East Coast

'I am actually going to probably preserve it and display it … because it is historically significant' | Independent, UK

The rehab clinics treating China's young people addicted to 'electronic heroin'

It’s probably fair to say many of us feel addicted to the internet – whether it’s using our phones for social media, endless internet shopping or even gaming | ITV, UK

Is your drinking dangerous?

A few G&Ts in the evening, a bottle of wine at the weekend - normal, right? Wrong, say the experts - you're risking serious health problems | Independent, Ireland

America’s Health-Care System Is Making the Opioid Crisis Worse

Arcane rules and outdated beliefs about addiction are keeping many people from getting treatment | The Atlantic, USA

Naloxone drug Evzio stops opioid overdose deaths. Its price was raised 600 percent

Amid the worst drug overdose crisis in US history, a life-saving drug’s price keeps going higher | Vox, USA

Opioids increasingly tied to deaths of pregnant women

Deaths during or soon after pregnancy rose 34 percent during that time, and the percentage involving heroin, fentanyl or prescription painkillers (such as OxyContin) jumped from 4 percent to 10 percent, the researchers said | Medical Xpress, USA

Study finds no differences in quit rates for 'dual users' of both traditional and electronic cigarettes

People who vape and smoke cigarettes are no more likely to drop the nicotine habit than those who just smoke, a new study suggests | News Medical, USA

As vaping increased in popularity, use of cigarettes declined

A comprehensive analysis examining the relationship between vaping and smoking among youth and young adults finds that cigarette smoking dramatically decreased between 2013 and 2017 just as e-cigarette use became more popular | EurekAlert, USA

Neuroimaging study reveals 'hot spot' for cue-reactivity in substance-dependent population

When patients with dependence on alcohol, cocaine or nicotine are shown drug cues, or images related to the substance, an area of their brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) shows increased activity, report investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina | Medical Xpress, USA

Anabolic steroids linked to higher rates of premature death in men

Men who use androgenic anabolic steroids--such as testosterone--may face a higher risk of early death and of experiencing more hospital admissions... | EurekAlert, USA

Ketamine offers a new option for people with stubborn depression that doesn't respond to other medications

Many people know of ketamine as a hallucinogenic and addictive street drug, which, when abused, can put people in medical peril. But today, doctors are increasingly looking to ketamine as a potentially lifesaving treatment for people with severe, treatment-resistant depression, who may be at high risk for suicide | Harvard Medical School, USA

Victorian Liberals to shut down injecting room in a week if elected

The opposition will shut down the state’s only medically supervised drug injecting room within a week if voted into government in this Saturday's state election | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

We predicted banning legal highs wouldn’t work – and a new review shows it’s as bad as we feared

The trade in “legal highs” was banned in 2016 when the UK government introduced the Psychoactive Substances Act. Two years later, the government has published a review of the effects of its legislation | Conversation, UK

The Trip Report 19/11

Even if you know exactly what you’re taking, drug use is never safe — that said, it’s much safer when you do | Medium, UK

Minimum alcohol pricing was a risk that had to be taken – leader comment

Scotland has an alcohol problem and a minimum price should help – a view now backed by the World Health Organisation, based on evidence in Canada and Russia | Scotsman opinion, UK

Alcohol has a ripple effect. It can be devastating

Why supporting someone with an alcohol problem is never just about alcohol | Medium blog, UK

Hooked on heroin: how are we treating it?

He guides the needle smoothly into a shrivelled vein, with expert precision, careful to avoid any blowouts or a citric burn. Letting go of his friend’s limp arm, he watches him drift into a ‘good’ place, content there’s no overdose risk | CGL blog, UK

The disease of black and white thinking about addiction

Today (#OurDay) I was at an event in Bournemouth where we were discussing how we could get the different services to work efficiently and effectively together, when there’s decreasing resources at the same time as many of the people who need support are facing increasing challenges, such as unstable housing... | Thinking to some purpose, UK

Alcohol is killing women at an alarming rate – so why aren’t we talking about it?

Women are the target of a force-fed story that wine is their best friend, “mommy-juice” makes children more tolerable, low-calorie booze is good for them, a glass of red wine a night is healthy – and that all of this is perfectly okay, just don’t get addicted | Independent voices, UK

Legalization will vastly expand our understanding of the ancient drug plant and how it can improve lives | NYTimes opinion, USA