Daily news - 23rd November 2018

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UK news

Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 [PAS]

This survey series provides England’s best source of data on trends in child mental health. [Includes data on alcohol and drug use in the chapter on Behaviours, lifestyles and identities (PDF) ] | NHS Digital, UK

Hit squads sent into over 100 jails to seize drugs, phones and drones

Hit squads of specially-trained officers are to be sent into more than 100 prisons across Britain to seize drugs, drones and mobile phones | Telegraph, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to paragraph 77 on page 27 of the report of the Health and Social Care Committee Prison Health, published on 1 November 2018, HC 963, what steps he plans to take to prevent prisoners from developing a problem with illicit drugs while in prison | They work for you, UK

Tobacco: Excise Duties

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what effect has plain packaging had on the tax received from tobacco duty receipts in each financial year since that policy was introduced | They work for you, UK

Special Report: Alcohol related deaths double in the North West

At the start of Alcohol Awareness Week, our correspondent Mel Barham has a series of reports in which we are all being urged to re-examine our relationship with drink | ITV, UK

New Scottish national alcohol strategy framework 2018 published

The Scottish government has published a new alcohol framework 2018, outlining 20 key actions that seek to 'reduce consumption and minimise alcohol-related harm arising in the first place' | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Drug-Related Deaths Among Women

Drug-related deaths (DRD) have increased significantly in Scotland in recent years.  Although men still account for the majority of cases, over the last 10 years the percentage increase in deaths has been much greater among women than among men | DRNS, UK

Cause and manner of death associated with use of NPS 1135 Thu 8 Nov 2018 - podcast

Cause and manner of death associated with use of NPS: a population-wide data analysis of the UK since 2007 | SSA, UK

Edinburgh e-cigarette firm plans £2m facility to 'meet growing demand'

E-cigarette firm Vaporized has unveiled plans to invest £2 million in a manufacturing facility at its base in Edinburgh in a bid to meet growing demand for its products | Herald, UK

Psychedelic healing: could magic mushrooms help reboot the brain?

At any given moment, more than 3 per cent of the UK population are thought to be suffering from depression. For some people, like Kirk Rutter, symptoms persist despite treatment. Could psilocybin – the psychedelic drug found in magic mushrooms – help to put an end to depression by ‘rebooting’ the brain? | Science Focus, UK

CLEAR Announces New Policy On Home Cultivation Of Cannabis

Cannabis for medical use is no longer a matter for the criminal law. However, the absurd NHS guidelines are preventing doctors from prescribing freely. People who need cannabis as medicine have only two choices – go private or continue to source their medicine from the criminal market. In these circumstances the ethical and economic choice is to grow your own | CLEAR, UK

Obituary: Beryl Poole

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Beryl Poole, who died on 8th October 2018. Beryl's life is honoured in this obituary by Dr Chris Ford who says "Beryl was one of the most humane, inspirational, passionate and intelligent women I have ever known” | SMMGP, UK

More than £1m of heroin seized in Edinburgh raid

Officers recovered 11kg of the Class A drug during a raid at an address in Captain's Drive on Wednesday | BBC, UK


International news

British brothers held in Thailand over suspected drug offences

Two brothers wanted by police in Merseyside over suspected drug trafficking offences have been arrested in Thailand | BBC, UK

Harm reduction is the right way to treat drug abuse

Europe should re-embrace an approach it pioneered | Economist, UK

The FDA turns its attention to menthol cigarettes

Concerned about their appeal to children, the FDA wants to ban minty smoke | Economist, UK

Antigua and Barbuda Set to Pass Inclusive Cannabis Regulation Law

Antigua and Barbuda is set to legalise the regulated production and supply of cannabis for religious and medical purposes, following consultations with Rastafarian communities | Talking drugs, UK

Ireland set to become the first European country to adopt World Health Organisation recommendations to reduce alcohol harm

It’s a much-needed intervention given that our problem drinking is estimated to cost us a whopping €2.35billion annually in lost working days, alcohol-related crime and hospital treatment | Irish Sun, Ireland

Hepatitis C sufferers to be offered community-based programmes

National treatment programme to expand to reach more of the 30,000 infected with virus | Irish Times, Ireland

El Chapo’s Trial Solves Nothing: The “Freelancer Effect” Applies Everywhere

It’s 1985. Law enforcement is closing in on the last remnants of the South Philadelphia fiefdom of mob boss Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo | Filter Magazine, USA

Asia Has a Smoking Epidemic—But Also Incredible Harm Reduction Innovations

The second Asia Harm Reduction Forum convened in Manila on November 14. Organized by the Harm Reduction Alliance of the Philippines (HARAP) and the Indonesian Public Health Observer Foundation (YPKP), its purpose was to strategize on reducing the harms of smoking combustible tobacco in the world’s largest continent | Filter Magazine, USA

Are components of e-cigarette flavors reactive?

Researchers examined the flavor components of e-cigarettes to determine if they are potentially reactive | Medical News Bulletin, USA

FDA warns two companies about bogus opioid addiction treatment

The agency has received reports of serious health problems associated with use of the products, which are marketed as dietary supplements and contain an unsafe food additive called tianeptine. The warning letters were sent to Jack B Goods Outlet Store for its Tianaa Red, Tianaa White, and Tianaa Green products and to MA Labs for its Vicaine product | Medical Xpress, USA

Some pharmacies thwart efforts to improve access to the opioid overdose reversal drug

In response to the opioid crisis, all 50 states have changed their laws to make naloxone, the overdose reversal drug, easier to get and use | Medical Xpress, USA

Heart surgery, counselling may reduce infection-related deaths among drug users

In London, 55 per cent of people who experience heart-valve infections are injection drug users. They are particularly vulnerable to the disease and on-third of them die as a result of this infection | Medical Xpress, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol and inequality

On Monday 19 November, the first day of Alcohol Awareness Week 2018, Parliamentarians including Baroness Hayter and Fiona Bruce MP are meeting in Westminster for an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm meeting to discuss the severe inequalities related to alcohol found across the UK | Alcohol Change blog, UK

How are MPs coping with Brexit? The amount of booze they drink gives it away

Most of the drinking is done quietly at corner tables or leaning on the bar where they swap gossip, tell dirty jokes and bemoan the state of the world they were once idealistic enough to imagine they could change | Independent voices, UK

Sponsored Post: Gerry Stimson: A healthy critique and an unhealthy invitation

First, the critique. Kicking the policy can down the road is often expedient, but never wise. Not least when every day 200 people die from failure. That is where we are on UK tobacco policy. It is an important-but-never-urgent issue starved of the political attention it merits | Conservative Home, UK