Daily news - 4th October 2018

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UK news

Calls for guidelines to be revised over antidepressant withdrawal symptoms

A review of the evidence about antidepressant withdrawal symptoms found more people may experience them for longer than previously thought, and many people describe these symptoms as severe | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Scotland could be first UK country to ERADICATE hepatitis C

It takes just a drop of infected blood to put someone at risk of hepatitis C | Daily Record, UK

HIV Scotland receives core funding from Scottish Government

A leading Scottish HIV charity has received new funding from the Scottish Government, which will enable it to operate over the next three years | SDF, UK

Why “spice” is worse than other drugs

It is particularly hard to wean users off these synthetic cannabinoids | Economist, UK

Trust me, I'm a doctor - BBC iPlayer

Michael Mosley finds out what giving up alcohol for a month really does to your health. Gabriel Weston investigates what we really know about the risks and benefits of medical cannabis. Dr Zoe Williams reveals how to get the most out of your GP appointment. Dr Alain Gregoire discovers a surprising way massage benefits your health. And Dr Giles Yeo finds out how to avoid exam stress | BBC, UK

Devastated family ask people to share this photo after teen’s tragic drug death

They hope this may just prevent another family going through the same heartache | i news, UK

Mutiny Festival deaths: 'I warned my sister about taking drugs'

"She wouldn't listen and she would just do whatever she wanted anyway". | BBC, UK

Events & dates 2018: DARC framing risk, European Alcohol Policy, MCA, SSA, Club Soda & more

orthcoming alcohol conferences and events in 2018 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Ketamine drug trial to treat alcoholism at Exeter University is recruiting

Places are still available for people who want to join the trial | Devon Live, UK

Perth Prison drug smugglers filmed themselves on drone camera

Two drug smugglers were caught after accidentally filming themselves packing cannabis and pills into a drone which they planned to fly into Perth Prison | BBC, UK

University of York finds drugs trace in Bronze Age jug

There had been a "long-standing" theory the jugs had been containers for opium and a new technique was used detect a plant compound related to it | BBC, UK


International news

Cigarette smoking: an assessment of tobacco’s global environmental footprint across its entire supply chain, and policy strategies to reduce it (PDF)

Cigarette production and consumption have seen dramatic growth in recent decades and although the health effects of smoking are widely recognized, its impacts on the environment are largely overlooked. From tobacco cultivation and curing, to cigarette manufacturing, distribution, consumption and discarding, every stage in the global tobacco supply chain involves considerable resource inputs, and results in the production of wastes and emissions | WHO, Various

Cannabis 'more harmful than alcohol' for teen brains

Teenagers using cannabis are causing long-lasting damage to their developing brains, a Canadian study suggests | BBC, UK

Daily glass of wine increases risk of early death by 20%, study shows

The health benefits of a daily glass of wine or alcoholic tipple may have been somewhat overstated, according to a study that shows regular drinking – even within “safe” limits – substantially increased the risk of premature death | Independent, UK

Alcohol may be helpful for people at risk of heart disease but not cancer, study suggests 

Alcohol may be helpful for people at risk of heart disease, but should be avoided by people with a family history of cancer, a new study suggests | Telegraph, UK

Labor denounces big tobacco's push to overturn Australia's vaping ban

Plibersek says still no evidence to support e-cigarettes and ‘big tobacco only cares about creating new markets and increasing their profits’ | Guardian, UK

Ray Hadley's son Daniel applies for drug charge to be dealt with under Mental Health Act

Daniel Hadley, a former senior constable, was off-duty when allegedly caught with cocaine | Guardian, UK

Cannabis capitalism: who is making money in the marijuana industry?

Marginalized groups that championed legalization struggle to compete with corporate refugees jumping on the bandwagon | Guardian, UK

Drug-related blood borne viruses (PDF)

The main risk factor for transmission of bloodborne viruses (BBVs) in drug users in Ireland is injecting opioids, particularly heroin. Estimates from a 2014 capture-recapture study indicate that there are just under 19,000 problem opioid users in Ireland, with over 70% living in Dublin | HPSC, Ireland

Overtones singer had taken crystal meth before he fell from balcony

A singer from the band The Overtones died after taking crystal meth and falling from a 13th floor balcony, a coroner has concluded | Independent, Ireland

Preventing overdose deaths in Europe (Perspectives on drugs)

More than 9 000 lives were reported to be lost to drug overdoses in Europe (28 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway) in 2016, the latest reporting year, and this is an underestimate. Reducing drug-related deaths therefore remains a major challenge for public health policy. This analysis describes some of the factors that increase the risk of fatal and non-fatal overdoses and a number of interventions developed to prevent these events | EMCDDA, Portugal

Senate easily passes sweeping opioids legislation, sending to President Trump

The bill is a rare bipartisan achievement for Congress | Washington Post, USA

Opioid overdoses, depression linked

The link between mental health disorders and substance abuse is well-documented. Nearly one in 12 adults in the U.S is depressed, and opioid-related deaths are skyrocketing. As these numbers continue to climb, some mental health professionals have started to wonder if there's a link between the two | Medical Xpress, USA

Low self-esteem connected to greater risk for opioid use

New research reveals life stressors most associated with increased risk for using opioids to cope | EurekAlert, USA

Sales of JUUL e-cigarettes skyrocket, posing danger to youth

Sales of JUUL, an e-cigarette shaped like a USB flash drive, grew more than seven-fold from 2016 to 2017, and held the greatest share of the U.S. e-cigarette market by December 2017. The findings, from an analysis of retail sales data from 2013-2017, were released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in JAMA | CDC, USA

Study: Federal Agencies underestimate e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries

Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) are devices commonly powered by a battery that aerosolize liquid and chemical flavorants. These products have become popular among people of all ages, especially youth | News Medical, USA

Smokers with peripheral artery disease need more help to kick the habit

While many people with peripheral artery disease (PAD) smoke, few receive proven smoking cessation strategies from their doctor, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association | Medical Xpress, USA

As the WHO Gathers, Our Global Tobacco Control Framework Needs Radical Overhaul

Twenty-five years ago, when I started working on tobacco control at a government policy level, the politicians used to reject our recommendations that they ban tobacco advertising and up the tax on cigarettes. They said it was a slippery slope, the thin edge of the wedge—after demanding that they ban smoking, would we turn on chocolate, beer, eating out? | Filter Magazine, USA

Safer drug supply and decriminalization key themes in 2018 Overdose Action Exchange report

The report, released today by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), summarizes meeting discussions on six key themes and outlines actions that can be taken to prevent overdose deaths | BCCDC, Canada

Fears of longer public waiting lists and increased opioid drug use among chronic pain sufferers

Pain specialists are warning proposed changes to private health coverage for chronic pain treatment would push many sufferers into an already strained public system and potentially see some turn to opioid drug use | Abc.net.au, Australia

Is St Kilda the next Melbourne location for a safe injecting room?

This picturesque suburb is a must-stop destination for tourists but it’s dealing with a sinister problem with no obvious solution | abc.net.au, Australia

Synthetic drug compounds may be reclassified as Class A

Two of the most commonly used synthetic drugs could be reclassified as Class A, bringing them in line with heroin and cocaine | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Blog: Sleep and substance use - the scale of the problem

According to the famous poem by English dramatist James Shirley, death is a leveller because it comes to everyone regardless of their social status. In its own way difficulty sleeping is also a leveller. We all need sleep | Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre blog, UK

Middle class cocaine users are Sajid Javid’s scapegoat for ineffective drugs policy

British home secretary, Sajid Javid, linked middle-class cocaine use with the recent increase in violent crime, especially among young people. During his speech at the Conservative party conference, Javid announced that the Home Office will conduct a full review of drug buyers and sellers, including professionals such as City workers | Conversation, UK

If Sajid Javid really cares about the impact of drugs on violent crime, he should decriminalise them

Of course, you wouldn’t think that on hearing the home secretary’s latest announcement. Sajid Javid used his speech at the Conservative party conference to announce that ‘middle-class drug users’ are supporting violent crime | Metro, UK

Javid’s jolt for the City cokeheads

Credit where credit is due. And it is certainly due to Home Secretary Sajid Javid for his determination to crack down on middle-class cocaine users. I had despaired last week when he called for crime to be treated as a public health issue | Conservative Woman, UK

Wine is bad for you again but the conflicting alcohol advice is enough to make anyone need a drink

As scientists suggest we abandon the notion that a daily glass of wine might ‘somehow be healthy’, Alex Matthews-King looks at where these mixed messages might have come from | Independent voices, UK

A ten-year review of INCB positions on drug policy

The INCB Watch is running a short series of posts to explore how the Board has changed – or remained the same – over the past decade or so. This post gives an overview of the areas we will analyse in the course of this project | INCB blog, UK

Hazardous drinking: research finds that 40% of people over 50 drink too much

Mention hazardous drinking and most of us imagine teenagers or students getting drunk, causing havoc and filling our emergency departments on a Friday night | Conversation, Australia