Daily news - 20th September 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

'Don't go cold turkey' to quit smoking

Smokers looking to quit as part of the annual Stoptober campaign are being warned not to go "cold turkey" | BBC, UK

Public health experts split over deal with industry funded charity

Public Health England’s decision to partner with Drinkaware has raised questions about how it should engage with the public. Tom Moberly talks to delegates at PHE’s annual conference | BMJ, UK

Primary Care brief interventions 'cost effective': a future a priority?

new study has reported the levels of alcohol brief intervention in Primary Care are 'extremely low' in England and investment through training and incentives would be cost-effective | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Partygoers on flights warned 'excessive drinking' will lead to hefty fines

Airline industry says revellers flying to end-of-season parties in the Med risk fines of £5,000 or being kicked off flights for antisocial behaviour | Guardian, UK

Are drink-driving limits too high?

Have you ever decided to drive your car after a few drinks and wondered whether you were close to the limit - if it was safe? | BBC, UK

'£1bn in unpalatable county council cuts' ahead in England

Council bosses in England say the "worst is yet to come" in cuts to services, as the government further reduces local authority funding | BBC, UK

Assessment of Aberdeenshire Attitudes towards Cannabis Regulation - survey

Views about drug regulation are changing across the UK. Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) would welcome hearing your views in order to inform the partnership's position about the legal status of cannabis. This survey aims to collect the views of ADP members, community members and key partners such as GPs, educators and police | ADP, UK

Members-only 'cannabis lounge' opens in Ipswich

A members-only "cannabis lounge" has opened in Ipswich because of "growing demand" for the plant's medicinal qualities | BBC, UK

Cannabis coffee could make your mornings less stressful

Cambridge-based researchers claim that a ‘healthy’ new cannabis-infused coffee could reduce drinkers’ feelings of stress and anxiety | Metro, UK

Mother of socialite Daisy Boyd warned clinic about cocaine before her death

The mother of socialite Daisy Boyd tried to warn a private clinic about cocaine on the wards the day before her daughter took a potentially toxic amount of the drug and died, an inquest heard | Telegraph, UK

Security firm 'won't stop drug-dealing' in Glastonbury

Anti-social behaviour in Glastonbury will not be curbed by private security guards, the town's mayor has said | BBC, UK

Sefton children, under six, 'exposed to drugs for months'

Three children aged under six were exposed to "significant levels" of heroin and cocaine for months, despite having been identified as vulnerable | BBC, UK

'Mobile drugs lab' dealer Robert Wright jailed

A criminal once stripped of his art collection has been jailed for eight years after police discovered a mobile drugs lab | BBC, UK



International news

DanceSafe (with Mitchell Gomez)

This week Elle is joined with Mitchell Gomez, Executive Director of DanceSafe. Together they find out what's the crack with DanceSafe and their onsite regent drug testing in the US nightlife community! Find the episode on iTunes, your smartphones podcast app, or on Acast | What's the crack, UK

Colombia cocaine production acreage at 'record level'

Colombian cocaine production hit record levels in 2017, according to newly released UN statistics | BBC, UK

New Zealand to pay out millions after thousands wrongly evicted for drug use

Overzealous meth testing regime unnecessarily made some public housing tenants homeless | Guardian, UK

Arrests in Georgia church for selling edible marijuana

Two women have been arrested after they were caught selling sweets and cakes containing marijuana in a church in the US state of Georgia | BBC, UK

China's anti-opium policy: fields of beautiful but deadly poppies are gone – archive, 1911

20 September 1911: Crop change brings cheaper food, clearer brains, and fewer suicides, but those who are unhappy with the policy are ruthlessly crushed | Guardian archive, UK

Coca Crops in Colombia at all-time high, UNODC Report finds

The area under coca cultivation in Colombia reached the highest ever recorded figure of 171,000 hectares (ha) in 2017, according to UNODC's Coca Cultivation Survey Report for Colombia, launched in Bogota today. This represents an increase of 25,000 hectares, or 17 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016 | UNODC, Austria

Barriers to accurately assessing prescription opioid misuse on surveys

Surveys are the leading method of gathering data on prevalence and correlates of prescription opioid misuse. As the opioid crisis continues in the United States, reliable data on misuse have become increasingly important as under- and overreporting is common | T and F online, USA

Cannabinoid drugs make pain feel 'less unpleasant, more tolerable'

Researchers have determined that cannabinoid drugs do not appear to reduce the intensity of experimental pain, but, instead, may make pain feel less unpleasant and more tolerable | Science Daily, USA

Opioid deaths 1999 to 2015 may be dramatically underestimated

States may be greatly underestimating the effect of opioid-related overdose deaths because of incomplete cause-of-death reporting, according to a study recently published in Public Health Reports | Medical Xpress, USA

Reports warn of growing opioid crisis among seniors

Against the backdrop of an unrelenting opioid crisis, two new government reports warn that America's seniors are succumbing to the pitfalls of prescription painkillers | Medical Xpress, USA

Newborn opioid withdrawal requires a 'cascade of care,' study suggests

Effective management of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) - withdrawal symptoms occurring in infants exposed to opioids in utero - requires a coordinated "cascade of care" from prevention through long-term follow-up, reports a study | EurekAlert, USA

Pill testing could be held outside Spilt Milk festival, ACT Government says

The ACT Government could consider setting up pill testing outside the bounds of the Spilt Milk festival, after it was denied permission to provide the service on Commonwealth land, Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury has said | abc.net.au, Australia

Constructions of alcohol consumption by non-problematised middle-aged drinkers: a qualitative systematic review

[Open access] Current research into alcohol consumption focuses predominantly on problematic drinkers and populations considered likely to engage in risky behaviours. Middle-aged drinkers are an under-researched group, despite emerging evidence that their regular drinking patterns may carry some risk | BMC Public Health, Australia

Numbers are decreasing, but Australian women continue to smoke while pregnant

The number of Australian women smoking while pregnant has dropped from 13% in 2011 to 10% in 2015, but antenatal expert Dr Wendy Burton says more needs to be done to get the message across to all mothers | RACGP, Australia

Labor ministers consider supporting push to legalise cannabis

Labor ministers are considering a push from their backbench to legalise cannabis for personal use in Canberra | Age, Australia

How Victoria's safe injecting trial is going three months in

In 2016, 35 people died from heroin overdoses in North Richmond, and three coroners recommended a safe injecting room to deal with the crisis - something similar to the Medically Supervised Injection Centre in Sydney | abc.net.au, Australia

Housing New Zealand releases report into its approach to meth contamination

The sheer number of people affected by Housing New Zealand's zero tolerance approach to meth contamination is "mind-blowing", the Drug Foundation says | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

‘Legal highs’ may be more dangerous than traditional drugs of abuse

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS), or “legal highs”, have had various definitions but can simply be thought of as new drugs of abuse. Some may be entirely new, some may be designed to mimic existing drugs, some are based on psychoactive plants and some are medicines | Conversation, UK

AA is a book not a meeting

Alcoholics Anonymous is the name of a book that was published in 1939. This book, referred to as the Big Book, was written by one hundred men and women who had found a common solution to their common problem – alcoholism | Discovering Health blog, UK

Tell me more, tell me more – what’s this industry-led public health initiative about?

How useful are the messages given by Public Health England’s partnership initiative with industry sponsored Drinkaware? Researcher Colin Angus finds out | IAS blog, UK

Public Health England’s capture by the alcohol industry

Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it | BMJ editorial, UK

Taking the E-asy path: E-cigarettes not the only option to address tobacco harms

There has, and continues to be, much debate about the stance taken by some organisations in the United Kingdom (UK) on the role of e-cigarettes in the battle to avert the unparalleled harm caused by the consumption of tobacco products | BMJ blog, UK

Freshers’ week: how to resist the pressure to drink (if you don’t want to)

Leaving behind your “home” friends, trying to eke out your student loan and learning to deal without mum and dad are all challenges that can make settling into university life pretty stressful at the beginning | Conversation, UK

The medicinal cannabis panel is already failing children like my daughter

CBD oil is being treated as the option of last resort. This is simply no good to my four-year-old and many others | Guardian opinion, UK

Are Music Festivals to Blame for Overdose Deaths?

The Australian authorities vowed to shut down a popular music festival after two people died of suspected drug overdoses and 700 others sought medical attention over the weekend | NYTimes opinion, USA