Daily news - 11th October 2018

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UK news

Smoking cessation in secondary care: mental health settings

Updated page information and provided a link to the self-assessment tool | PHE, UK

Parental alcohol misuse and the impact on children: A rapid evidence review of service presentations and interventions (PDF)

[From August] This report is based on independent research commissioned from the Children’s Policy Research Unit and funded by the National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research, the Department of Health and Social Care or its arm's length bodies, and other Government Departments | UCL, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the potential effect of legalising cannabis-oil medicines on the availability of cannabis as a gateway drug for social use | They work for you, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government's Drugs Taskforce on improving the safety and healthcare of prisoners | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will outline the scope of the consultation exercise to be undertaken in preparation for the forthcoming alcohol strategy | They work for you, UK

Young people turning their backs on alcohol

"Shunning alcohol becomes 'mainstream' among young people as a third are now teetotal," reports The Independent | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

E-cigarettes research shows clear benefits of switching from tobacco

Latest figures from the WHO show that smoking is still the number one preventable disease, killing seven million people globally each year | Medical Xpress, UK

E-cigarettes should be used more actively to help smokers quit, experts recommend

New research by the University of Exeter and University of Melbourne, funded by Cancer Research UK, suggests stop smoking services which are e-cigarette friendly should advertise this more openly, and says greater use of e-cigarettes has the potential to make considerable impact in helping people give up smoking | University of Exeter, UK

The growing epidemic of image and performance enhancing drug use in the Welsh valleys

Known locally as the “Valley Soldiers”, the users are buff men with an image-conscious lifestyle centred around the gym, eating high-protein diets and using Ipeds | New Statesman, UK

How are pubs tackling the loneliness epidemic?

Loneliness has been described as a looming public health concern. But pubs are helping fight this creeping epidemic by bringing people together with food, drink and inclusive events | Morning Advertiser, UK

You can now buy cannabis beer at a Welsh high street pub

But The Last Resort pub in Swansea says the only high in the Green Times beer comes from the name of the street where it is sold | Wales Online, UK

Plans to allow drug use at new £150,000 homeless shelter

Radical proposal would see specific room for drugs in battle to beat addictions | Liverpool Echo, UK

Women's Practitioner Learning Day

Free event. 23rd October. Birmingham. Join us for our Learning Day on working with women affected by someone else’s substance use, and domestic violence and abuse | Adfam, UK

Drugs and Consciousness - audio

Does LSD open the doors of perception or just mess with your head? Matthew Sweet and a play inspired by taking part in psychedelic drug trials plus the philosophy of tripping | BBC, UK

Study Drugs:100 Pills A Day - BBC iPlayer

A student uses so-called "study drugs" believing it makes him smarter, but his obsession sees him taking hundreds of pills a day | BBC, UK

Drug driver Thomas Jones jailed after M6 crash

A drug driver who had traces of cocaine and cannabis in his system has been jailed after he crashed into a van on the M6 in Cumbria | BBC UK

Limpets under threat due to rise in antidepressant use, scientists warn

Limpets are being killed due to the rise in antidepressant use which means they struggle to cling onto rocks, scientists have warned | Telegraph, UK


International news

Experts Urge Ireland to Decriminalise Drug Possession

Ireland should decriminalise personal drug possession to improve health outcomes, reduce stigma, and save money, a new report has declared | Talking Drugs, UK

Alexis Goosdeel pays official visit to Cyprus

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is paying an official visit to Cyprus today, where he is meeting with health and security officials. This is in line with the EMCDDA Strategy 2025, which aims to contribute to a healthier and more secure Europe | EMCDDA, Portugal

When Xenia Clegg Littler and her friends were underage, their idea of fun was shopping, walking in parks and eating ice cream, not doing shots or chugging beer. She never had a drink until she was 18, the legal age in Britain and now, at 19, she has as little interest in alcohol as ever | NYTimes, USA

A Philadelphia neighborhood is the largest open-air narcotics market for heroin on the East Coast. Addicts come from all over, and many never leave | NYTimes, USA

Addiction Treatment Gap Is Driving A Black Market For Suboxone

Months in prison didn't rid Daryl of his addiction to opioids. "Before I left the parking lot of the prison, I was shooting up, getting high," he says | npr, USA

Nearly 2 million U.S. adult nonsmokers vape

A study highlights concerns that e-cigs, marketed as a way to stop smoking, may be addictive | Science News, USA

Juul surpasses Facebook as fastest startup to reach decacorn status

If it seems like seeing people vape on devices that look like USB flash drives came seemingly out of nowhere, you’re absolutely right | Yahoo, USA

Gambling disorder and mental health disorders

Many people experiencing gambling disorder also experience at least one other mental health disorder. When the American Psychiatric Association most recently revised its diagnostic guidelines (creating the DSM-5), it reduced the number of symptoms required for a diagnosis of Gambling Disorder (GD) from 5 of 10 criteria to 4 of 9 criteria | BASIS, USA

Toke Up, Eh? Canada Readies for Marijuana to Become Legal Nationwide

Mat Beren and his friends used to drive by the vast greenhouses of southern British Columbia and joke about how much weed they could grow there | TIME, USA

THC amounts identical in most cannabis strains, UBC study finds

But newly uncovered compounds could explain different pharmacological effects | EurekAlert, Canada

More than 100 pot shops set to open as Canada legalizes weed

On Oct. 17, Canada becomes the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace. Uruguay launched legal sales last year, after several years of planning | Medical Xpress, Canada

Nine harm-reduction points to make with your teen about marijuana

There is a lot scientists don’t know. But researchers believe that starting before age 15 and using heavily through your teenage years is associated with the highest risk of harm | Globe and Mail, Canada

Peter Dutton rejects pill testing at music festivals

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has condemned measures to make drug use “acceptable” as he committed himself to a campaign against illicit substances | News.com.au, Australia

CESSATE Stop Smoking Study

The world-first CESSATE Stop Smoking Study will compare two quitting aids (Desmoxan and Champix) to find out if both medications work equally as well as each other, or if one is more effective for stopping smoking | NDARC, Australia

Treating mental disorders with psychedelic psychotherapy

Millions of Australians suffer from a myriad of mental health issues. Depression, PTSD and addiction to name a few. But what if we could help them by trying something a little trippy? | Medical Xpress, Australia

31 Christchurch synthetics users hospitalised in last 22 days

Thirty-one people have now been admitted to Christchurch Hospital since the first reports of people suffering the effects of synthetic drugs three weeks ago | Newshub, New Zealand

Front line police work may not significantly change with legal cannabis

Personal cannabis use is already off the police radar, with a dramatic drop in arrests in recent years, and police officers in jurisdictions where cannabis is legal say it doesn't eliminate organised crime, a panel of experts warned the Police Association's annual conference, being held in Wellington on Thursday | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

California is overtaxing a public health necessity: e-cigarettes

According to the Center of Disease Control, cigarettes are responsible for about 480,000 deaths each year in America, and account for about 20 percent of the yearly death toll in the United States, as of 2014. The CDC estimates that over five million children in America today are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness if the rate of tobacco use remains the same | Daily Trojan, USA

The truth about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is often overlooked and understudied. Caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, it is sometimes referred to as an “invisible disorder.” | Conversation, Canada

“Journalist need brains”: Zombie media perpetuate myths about “flakka”

On the 13th September who.com.au ran a piece titled “Flakka the new ‘Zombie Drug’ taking over Australia”. The article, which is billed as a guide to the uses and side-effects of the drug otherwise known as Alpha-PVP, is not only highly stigmatising toward people who use Flakka, but also potentially dangerous | AOD MediaWatch, Australia