Daily news - 31st October 2018

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UK news

North-south divide in early deaths deepening, study finds

There has been a “profoundly concerning” rise in early deaths from accidents, suicide, alcohol misuse, smoking, cancer and drug addiction in the north of England, deepening the north-south divide, research has found | Guardian, UK

Lethal drugs can be bought online in just five minutes, health watchdog warns

It  takes just five minutes for anyone with a credit card to buy lethal drugs online, health watchdogs have warned, as they call for the public to take more care before buying prescription drugs from websites | Telegraph, UK

Incarceration is likely to increase HIV and HCV transmission among people who inject drugs, new study finds

Injecting drug use, through the sharing of needles, syringes and other injecting equipment, is a primary route of transmission for both HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), blood-borne infections that cause considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide | Bristol Health Partners, UK

Amnesty bins yield thousands of drugs in north west

More than 6,000 prescription and illegal drugs have been dumped in the first six weeks of an amnesty scheme in the north west | BBC, UK

I never imagined I'd be an alcoholic by the age of 25

The number of young people who are ruining their livers - and their lives - is on the rise | BBC THree, UK

Cornwall Council leaves homeless teenager in a tent

Cornwall Council made a host of significant failings when it accommodated a vulnerable 17 year-old boy in a tent and caravan over a summer, a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found | LGO, UK

Increase in alcohol tax 'another nail in the coffin', says Guernsey pub owner

A pub owner in Guernsey says an increase in alcohol duty tax could cripple business, describing it as "another nail in the coffin" for their industry | ITV, UK

Ishmael Osamor resigns over Bestival drugs supply charges

A Labour councillor caught with a large amount of drugs at a music festival has resigned as a councillor, having already left his cabinet post | BBC, UK

Gang jailed over large-scale drugs operation in Lincolnshire

Nine members of a gang which transported large quantities of drugs from the West Midlands into Lincolnshire have been jailed | BBC, UK

Wanted drug dealer model poses on Facebook from Bali

A male model involved with a drugs gang that imported raw steroids from China has been posing for holiday snaps while on the run in Indonesia, a court heard | BBC, UK



International news

Global Drug Survey 2019 - video

Short video introducing this year's global survey | GDS, UK

Quitting cannabis could lead to better memory and cognition

US research shows four weeks’ abstinence improved memory, but not attention skills | Guardian, UK

People who gave up smoking cannabis had a memory boost within a week

Cannabis use really does weaken your memory. People who gave up smoking the drug saw their cognitive abilities improve after just a week | New Scientist, uk

20 years of the Methadone Treatment Protocol in Ireland

This is an overview of the ICGP Substance Misuse Programme as it has developed with particular reference to the 20 years of the Methadone Treatment Protocol which came into effect October 1998 | ICGP, Ireland

Drink-driving ban appeals permit motorists to stay on road

Decision to contest new three-month ban may leave driver on road for several years | Irish Times, Ireland

Dopamine drives early addiction to heroin

A new study confirms the role of dopamine neurons in reinforcing the effects of heroin in mice, and could help to refine addiction treatment as well as the development of non-addictive painkillers | EurekAlert, Switzerland

NIH ousts three employees over controversial alcohol study

The National Institutes of Health has ousted three employees who were involved in a highly questioned study of moderate alcohol use, and Director Francis S. Collins said he’s determined to prevent other bum studies from moving forward in the future | Washington Times, USA

Call to end vaping: include e-cigarettes in Great American Smokeout

E-cigarettes or “vapes” are known as the wildly popular “safe” alternative to cigarettes and tobacco products. Though many see them as harmless, little is known about the direct health effects of the products | The Hill, USA

Religion and problem substance use in disadvantaged urban mothers

People who are involved in religion have lower rates of substance use. Researchers attribute this association to religious teachings of morality, physical health, and respect to authority, as well as social support gained from attending religious services | BASIS, USA

How the Young Lords Took Lincoln Hospital, Left a Health Activism Legacy

“They just took over the Nurses’ Residence at Lincoln Hospital,” says Walter Bosque, an acupuncturist and community organizer. His salt-and-pepper eyebrows are an archive | Filter Magazine, USA

Drug campaigners gather to remember victims

The names of more than 250 victims were recited at the annual remembrance ceremony. Families stood in line to lay flowers at a "memorial stone" | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Budget 2018: A missed opportunity

Ahead of this year’s Autumn Budget, we called for a 1% increase in alcohol duties, ring-fenced to help address the crisis in alcohol treatment services. That 1% could have brought £100 million a year into essential services. We are disappointed, then, that the Chancellor has chosen to freeze duties for spirits, cider and beer, especially as there is no announcement of new funding for public health | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

ASH comment on Budget: Missed opportunity

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is pleased to see that the minimum excise tax (MET) on cigarettes has been uprated from £5.60 to £5.88 in the Budget today | ASH comment, UK

Professor Mike Barnes On The Urgent Need For Medical Education In Cannabis 

Doctors just don’t know about the endocannabinoid system. They have never been taught it and thus don’t understand it and certainly don’t appreciate the benefit of medicinal cannabis | Clear, UK

Beyond Legalization: Making the Case for Centering Pot in the 2018 Midterms

Ready to vote in next week’s midterm elections? Today’s post comes from contributing editor Bob Beach, in which he explains the status of America’s shifting cannabis laws and shows what new state and federal initiatives might mean for 2018 and beyond | Points blog, USA