Daily news - 28th September 2018

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UK news

Welsh ministers opt for minimum alcohol price of 50p a unit

Many health professionals say 50p level, planned to come into force next summer, is too low | Guardian, UK

Youth Drinking in Decline

This report launches a new four-year study funded by the Wellcome Trust, which aims to examine the patterns and causes of the decline in youth drinking. In this first publication, we bring together data from two long-running, nationally-representative surveys, the 1988-2016 Smoking Drinking and Drug Use amongst Young People in England surveys (SDD) and the 2001-2016 Health Surveys for England (HSE), to present the most comprehensive picture to date of the downturn in alcohol use among young people aged 8 to 24 | University of Sheffield, UK

Re-appointment of Chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse

Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, has today announced the re-appointment of Caroline Phipps as Chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse | Welsh Government, UK

Spending on prostitutes and drugs falls

Virtue or lower prices are changing the nation's spending patterns, as the amount spent on "vices" such as prostitutes and drugs has fallen by nearly a fifth since 2009, official data suggests | Telegraph, UK

Spice is throwing up problems not seen with other drugs

Public services grapple with a street drug that is like no other | Economist, UK

PHE, Drinkaware & public policy: reaction and debate continues

In the weeks since Public Health England (PHE) announced its partnership with Drinkaware for the 'drink free days' campaign, it has faced widespread criticism | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Cannabis #MHQT

Video. Smoke Signals: what does legalised cannabis mean for mental health? | Mental Elf, UK

Retracted: The impact of medically supervised injection centres on drug-related harms: A meta-analysis

In light of two critical reviews received by the journal after publication (available on request), and additional commissioned independent assessments, the Journal has retracted the paper from publication | IJDP, UK

Sheffield University criticised over 'never inject alone' drug advice

ARussell Group university has been criticised over offering drug advice to its students which states to “never inject alone” | Telegraph, UK

Get tops marks on tobacco

Our new tobacco-free schools resource pack is linked to the Curriculum for Excellence and includes a range of practical tools to deliver high quality education on smoking, health and wellbeing | ASH Scotland, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of reclassifying (a) GHB (b) GHL as a Class A substance | They work for you, UK

North Wales police boss calls for drug overdose reversing spray to be carried by cops

The nasal spray that saved the life of US pop star Demi Lovato should be carried by every police officer in North Wales, according to the region’s policing boss | North Wales Pioneer, UK

Teenage drug dealer jailed after schoolgirl ecstasy death

A teenage drug dealer has been jailed for a year after selling ecstasy to a 14-year-old girl who died after taking it | BBC, UK

Zak Hardaker: Wigan Warriors player in drink drive charge

The Wigan Warriors and England full-back has also been charged with driving while uninsured and driving without a valid MOT after being arrested on Tuesday in Pontefract, West Yorkshire | BBC, UK


International news

Pakistan’s HIV Epidemic and the Need for Prison-Based Harm Reduction Programmes (PDF)

Pakistan is advancing towards a public health crisis with an estimated 133,529 people having contracted HIV/AIDS. Problematically, ‘the primary mode of HIV [and Hepatitis B and C] transmission in Pakistan continues to be the use of ontaminated injection equipment among people who inject drugs’ (PWID) | GDPO, UK

Is Decriminalisation Enough? Drug User Community Voices from Portugal

This is the first community-driven evaluation of the outcomes of Portugal’s decriminalisation of people who use drugs. Introduced in 2001, Portugal’s model of decriminalisation has been hugely influential and is frequently referred to as an example of legislative reform that has improved public health, social order, and the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs | INPUD, UK

Chief executive of British American Tobacco steps down after eight years

The chief executive of British American Tobacco is to stand down, as the world’s biggest cigarette manufacturer grapples growing investor concern | Telegraph, UK

Imperial to launch new e-cigarette alongside heated tobacco

British tobacco company Imperial Brands aims to launch Nixx, a tobacco-infused e-cigarette, during the first part of 2019, its chief executive said on Tuesday, as the company bolsters its portfolio of cigarette alternatives | Reuters, UK

Duterte critic arrested as 'darkness and evil' prevail in Philippines

Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty over failed coup attempt revoked and charges revived | Guardian, UK

Drug Policies of the Brazilian Presidential Candidates

With ten days to go until Brazil’s general election, TalkingDrugs takes a look at how the leading presidential candidates approach drug policy | Talking Drugs, UK

Ghanaian mother, Joyce, shares her struggle with alcohol addiction

Joyce from Ghana struggled to stay sober for 15 years. She started drinking alcohol in her early 20s but she quickly became an alcoholic | BBC, UK

Study challenges Ireland's reputation as big drinkers

Our unenviable reputation as a nation of big drinkers is challenged by a new survey which shows Irish teens have reduced their weekly alcohol intake dramatically | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products is an international treaty with the objective of eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products through a package of measures to be taken by countries acting in cooperation with each other: it is a global solution to a global problem. On 27 June 2018, with 41 Parties, the conditions for the entry into force of the Protocol were met. Accordingly, the new international treaty will enter into force on 25 September 2018 | WHO, Switzerland

ID checks and stronger parental controls may be driving down teenage drinking habits

Young people in the Nordics are drinking less than they did a few decades ago. Finnish researchers think that this may be due to better controls — both by parents and by those who sell and serve alcohol | ScienceNordic, Denmark

Report on the risk assessment of 2-methoxy-N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]acetamide (methoxyacetylfentanyl) in the framework of the Council Decision on new psychoactive substances

This publication presents the data and findings of the risk assessment on 2-methoxy-N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]acetamide (methoxyacetylfentanyl), carried out by the extended Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA on 21 March 2018. On the basis of the Risk Assessment Report — and on the initiative of the European Commission — on 27 September 2018, the Council decided that methoxyacetylfentanyl should be subject to control measures across the Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

Report on the risk assessment of N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]cyclopropanecarboxamide (cyclopropylfentanyl) in the framework of the Council Decision on new psychoactive substances

This publication presents the data and findings of the risk assessment on N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]cyclopropanecarboxamide (cyclopropylfentanyl), carried out by the extended Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA on 21 March 2018. On the basis of the Risk Assessment Report — and on the initiative of the European Commission — on 27 September 2018, the Council decided that cyclopropylfentanyl should be subject to control measures across the Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

Trudeau reaffirms Canada's support for the war on drugs, ignoring concerns it will lead to more overdose deaths

While Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal begin discussions on decriminalization, Canada's Liberal government again insists it is not going to happen | Georgia Straight, USA

Talking pot with youth (PDF)

This guide will help you understand the youth perspective on what makes an effective youth ally | CCSA, Canada

How a program is working to turn around the lives of alcoholics facing jail time

Future of the program uncertain due to lack of funding, limited treatment spaces | CBC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Big Tobacco’s opposition to plain packaging is plain spin

No matter how you look at it, a standardized cigarette pack is ugly. The colours are unappealing, the font bland and the large graphic health warnings gruesome | Conversation, UK

Spending now to cut alcohol-related harm could save both money and lives

It’s freshers time at universities and across mainstream and social media we have been seeing the inevitable pictures of students lurching around city centres in a drunk and dishevelled state | Nursing Times opinion, UK

Even freshers are staying sober – is this the end of British booze culture?

Drinking is no longer a social duty, as young people swap the bar for the gym – and change corporate culture | Guardian, UK

How can you go sober this October? - Expert Q&A

As Autumn sets in, you might be thinking about cosy nights at home with a few glasses of red, or some last of the Indian-summer wine (or pints) with friends at the local. And yet after the summer heatwave that packed out beer gardens and parks, our livers are probably begging for a break | Telegraph, UK

Diagnosing opioid addiction in people with chronic pain

Over the past two decades, a steep rise in the number of opioids dispensed for pain treatment has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in overdose deaths in the United States. In 2016, up to 32 000 deaths reportedly involved prescription opioids, and the economic burden of prescription opioid overdose has been estimated to exceed $78bn (£59bn; €67bn) annually | BMJ editorial, UK

The Irish Times view on the alcohol Bill: drinks lobby pulls out all the stops

The tenacity of the drinks industry in protecting its profits at the expense of public health has been single-minded | Irish Times opinion, UK