Daily news - 27th November 2018

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UK news

Deep cuts to public health spending are shortsighted, Labour warns

Between 2013/14 and 2016/17 specialist drug and alcohol misuse services for children and young people spending reduced by 25%, while expenditure for treatment for drug misuse in adults was cut by 21% | ITV, UK

Week ahead at Holyrood: Tackling Scotland's drug problem

On Wednesday afternoon, MSPs will be tackling the tough subject of substance misuse and drug-related deaths. This will be a debate led by the Scottish Conservatives | BBC, UK

Tories call for drug addicts to be given ‘life plan’ in new proposals

In addition to the establishment of local commissions, which could order first time drugs offenders into treatment if they opt to avoid prosecution, the Conservatives want personalised “life plans” to be drawn up for everyone who comes forward for help, and reviews of all drugs deaths | ITV, UK

Interim guidance on use of medical cannabis to be produced

NHS England has asked the Association of British Neurologists to draw up interim guidance on the use of cannabis-based products for medical use in adult neurological conditions — including multiple sclerosis — which prescribers will be advised to adopt | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Economies of Ale: changes to the pub industry in the UK

Since 2008, nearly a quarter of pubs in the UK have closed – but the turnover of the pub industry is holding up and employment is on the rise. What’s happening? And what about pubs in your area? | ONS, UK

More than 25% of UK pubs have closed since 2001

More than a quarter of Britain’s pubs have closed their doors since the turn of the millennium, according to “shocking” official figures that have prompted fresh calls for the government to step in | Guardian, UK

Public Health and Alcohol

To help drive a conversation about alcohol, this collation of papers highlights key alcohol research across a range of Oxford University Press Journals. The article collection explores some of the different areas impacted by alcohol such as childhood to parenthood, the older population, disease, ethics, policy, prevention, technology, and the workplace. Read the latest Oxford Journals alcohol research papers for free until the 31st January 2019 | Oxford Academic Journals, UK

Research Project Announcement : The Social Media Project

Volteface is delighted to announce our next research project that will be exploring social media and drug dealing | VolteFace, UK

Interview with Craig Gunn

Suzi Gage interviews Craig Gunn about his paper "A systematic review of the next‐day effects of heavy alcohol consumption on cognitive performance", published in the December 2018 issue of Addiction | Addiction, UK

Warning of 'dangerous batch' of heroin in Durham after three men fall ill after taking drugs

Police officers are investigating whether there is a link between the three men but suspect they had been taking heroin | Chronicle, UK

Peterborough male prison – many strengths but must address drugs and violence

Peterborough men’s prison has much good practice to share with the wider service but was found by inspectors to have become less safe over the last three years because of the ravages of drugs and violence | HM Inspectorates of Prisons, UK

Inhalable alcohol shots claim to give you an instant buzz - with NO hangover

The days of nursing a hangover after a heavy night of tequila shots could soon be a thing of the past | Mirror, UK

‘Alcoholic’: Hornsey off-licence slammed by neighbours and national charity over ‘highly inappropriate’ booze-themed sign

A Hornsey off-licence has attracted the outrage of a national charity by rebranding itself under the “highly inappropriate” name Alcoholic – complete with a picture | Ham High, UK

Stowmarket skater Luke Jarvis died after taking friend's medication

An "all or nothing" skateboarder died after taking a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Devon and Somerset Fire Service chair 'smelled of alcohol'

A fire service boss sent a threatening email, arrived at work smelling strongly of alcohol and disclosed confidential information to a third party, a hearing has been told | BBC, UK

Devon drug dealer guilty of murder with ornamental fork

Matthew Jackson was attacked with a two-pronged carving fork when he went to David Ablett's bedsit in Teignmouth, Devon, to buy £30 worth of heroin, Exeter Crown Court heard | BBC, UK


International news

Outcomes best from therapies which ‘make sense’ to patients

Review commissioned by the American Psychological Association suggests therapists should incorporate strategies to enhance the credibility of treatment when explaining its rationale and throughout therapy. The more a treatment ‘makes sense’ to a patient, the better outcomes tend to be | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Therapist empathy more closely related to outcomes than therapy type

The more therapists empathically communicate their understanding of clients, the better the outcomes - a relationship stronger than between outcomes and the type of therapy. Recommendations in this review commissioned by the American Psychological Association will help practitioners solidify this foundation for therapist-client relationships | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Fentanyl in cocaine: The deadly truth of new drugs cocktail

Video. The US government has warned that a surge in cocaine deaths is being exacerbated by the presence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 80-100 times stronger than morphine | BBC, UK

How to Achieve Weed Equality

With countries like the UK debating cannabis reforms, could Massachusetts – the latest US state to open its doors to legal cannabis sales – provide an alternative model of social justice? | VICE, UK

Thailand Legislators Overwhelming Endorse Medical Cannabis Legalisation

Thailand’s parliament has almost unanimously accepted the first reading of a bill to legalise medical cannabis, but there is growing fear that foreign companies will monopolise any new marijuana industry | Talking Drugs, UK

Tobacco, gambling and alcohol donations 'rise during critical debates'

Study finds donations are targeted during debates on alcohol tax and gambling law reform and immediately before elections | Guardian, UK

Gardaí Say: ‘State Should Supply Heroin To New Drugs Centre’

Gardai recommended the State provide the heroin for the proposed supervised injection clinic at Merchant’s Quay Ireland in Dublin’s city centre, secret documents seen by Extra.ie reveal | Extra, Ireland

The five types of problem drinking are more common at different ages

Alcohol abuse is more complicated than simply drinking too much. There may be five separate types of problem drinkers, according to Penn State researchers, and each one may be more common at different stages of life | Science Daily, USA

Alcohol dependence, psychiatric disorders share genetic links

An international team of researchers has identified a gene that regulates how quickly the body metabolizes alcohol as a key risk factor for alcohol dependence. The researchers also linked genetic factors associated with alcohol dependence to other psychiatric disorders | Science Daily, USA

Does teen cannabis use lead to behavior problems—or vice versa?

More youth use cannabis than smoke cigarettes in the United States. In other parts of the world, cannabis use has become almost as regular as tobacco use among adolescents and young adults | Medical Xpress, USA

NanoSphere develops new intraoral product that has potential to revolutionize cannabis therapies

NanoSphere Health Sciences Inc. is pleased to announce the Company has developed a new intraoral delivered cannabis product for the Canadian market, which produces similar effects to smoking cannabis, but is safer and more effective than edibles | News Medical, USA

Governor Cuomo’s Approval Is All That’s Stopping Supervised Consumption Spaces in New York

The fight for safer consumption spaces in New York looked promising in October, after Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed tentative openness to them in a gubernatorial debate. Then he won reelection in early November. He has not taken action since | Filter Magazine, USA

Russia’s Harm Reductionists Are Once Again Under Attack

In 2014, as the Ukraine crisis erupted, “little green men” started popping up across the Crimea—a Black Sea peninsula the size of Maryland dangling off the south of Ukraine | Filter Magazine, USA

How ancient viruses got cannabis high

Ancient viruses contributed to the evolution of hemp and marijuana | EurekAlert, Canada

E-cigarettes to be banned from NZ bars, restaurants and offices in new vaping laws

New laws proposed in New Zealand would see vaping products more heavily regulated and banned from bars and restaurants | SBS, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Is alcohol bad for you? It depends on the drink and how you drink it

Recent headlines claim that a glass of wine or a pint of beer a day shortens your life. It’s enough to dampen any thoughts of a celebratory drink or two at Christmas. But those conclusions are based on a partial view of the alcohol debate | Conversation, UK

'I think cannabis should be legalised - this is why'

The devastating consequences of Greater Manchester's ever-growing illegal drug-trade has become difficult to ignore | Manchester Evening News, UK

Smoking rates in US have fallen to all-time low, but how did they ever get so high?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls cigarette smoking “the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., accounting for over 480,000 deaths per year.” The CDC just announced that smoking rates among U.S. adults have fallen to the lowest level ever recorded – only 14 percent, less than a third the rate just 70 years ago. While this decline is remarkable, it also points to a puzzle: How did smoking rates ever get so high in the first place? | Conversation, USA

What if psychedelics could revolutionize the way you die?

My story begins eight years ago, when I was approached by my first client requesting that I supervise her in a therapeutic session with a psychedelic medicine | Conversation, Canada

Ambulance call-outs for pregabalin have spiked – here’s why

Pregabalin (sold under the brand name Lyrica) is prescribed as an anti-epileptic and a painkiller for nerve pain. Australian prescriptions of pregabalin have risen significantly in the past five years. It’s now in the top ten most expensive medications for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) | Conversation, Australia

Removing Criminal Sanctions for Drug Use: An Interview With Australia21’s Dr Alex Wodak

“We call on Australia’s federal, state and territory governments to treat drug use primarily as a health and social issue and to remove criminal sanctions for personal use and possession,” begins think tank Australia21’s recently released fourth report on illicit drug policy in this country | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia

Dr Benedikt Fischer: Canada provides lessons on legal cannabis

New Zealand is debating its cannabis policy, a process that led to legalisation of cannabis use and supply in Canada just last month. Since the two countries share many traits and values - and high cannabis use rates - they have many insights to share on these matters | NZHerald opinion, New Zealand