Daily news - 24th April 2019

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UK news

'People dying waiting for drug and alcohol treatment'

People are dying because they are not getting the treatment they need to deal with drug and alcohol abuse, according to the Welsh Conservatives | BBC, UK

'One in four' NHS doctors suffering from a mental health condition

More than a quarter of NHS doctors suffer from mental health conditions, a survey indicates, as leading medics say many refuse to seek help for fear it will ruin their career | Telegraph, UK

Popular children to be recruited as anti-drug 'influencers' in Government funded project

Teenagers, who have been voted by their classmates as the most influential, will be trained to discourage their peers from taking illegal substances | Telegraph, UK

County lines: posters for social housing staff

Posters to support the government’s work to deal with county lines – this is where urban drug dealers expand their activity into small town markets | Home Office, UK

CBD reduces impairment caused by cannabis

The more cannabidiol (CBD) in a strain of cannabis, the lower the impairment to brain function, finds a new UCL-led brain imaging study | EurekAlert, UK

Cannabis addiction influenced by genetic makeup

Some people may be more genetically prone to cannabis addiction, finds a new UCL-led study | EurekAlert, UK

London's Annual 4/20 Smoke-Up Has Gone Legit

On Saturday, the event at Hyde Park – traditionally a fairly amateur gathering – became a legit event, perhaps because legalisation is getting closer | VICE, UK

Rugby Football Union says more cases of positive tests reflects society use

Four Premiership rugby players tested positive for cocaine last season, which the Rugby Football Union say reflects increasing drug use in society | BBC, UK

Beer-carrying man rescued from the sea at Redcar

A man carrying a glass of beer has been rescued from the sea, prompting a warning from the RNLI about the danger of drinking around water | BBC, UK


International news

Therapy relationships that work 4: Managing perceptions of the treatment

Clients’ perceptions of and reactions to treatment are the focus of this final of four bulletins recapping 16 reviews for the American Psychological Association. Emerging from psychotherapy research worldwide are practical and effective ways to assess, shape and use these perceptions and reactions to improve outcomes for substance use clients. “Essential reading” Dr Luke Mitcheson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Asthma-causing bugs found in e-cigarettes for the first time

E-cigarettes are contaminated with lung-damaging bacterial toxins of the type found in waste-incineration plants, scientists have discovered | Telegraph, UK

Massachusetts' contentious tactic to fight its opioid crisis: jailing addicts

State is placing persons who are involuntarily committed to treatment – the section 35 process – in jail or prison even though no charges have been levied against them | Guardian, UK

Poll: Would you protest against a supervised injection centre in your area?

The first centre, planned for Dublin city, is still yet to open | Journal, Ireland

STAD in Europe: A manual for communities preventing alcohol related harm (PDF)

Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking1 has a great impact on public safety and health. This manual describes how communities can reduce alcohol related problems by using the STAD approach to limit the availability of alcohol. The manual is based on the original STAD programme and the outcomes from the seven European pilots that were performed within the project STAD in Europe | STAD, Sweden

My First 48 Hours Out or how naloxone saved my life

A visual aid for to post-prison release interventions for drug users | HA REACT, Germany

America’s Only Publicly Traded Addiction Treatment Chain Makes Millions Off Patients. What Could Go Wrong?

Mother Jones spent five months investigating deaths at American Addiction Centers | Mother Jones, USA

Understanding opioid users' views on fentanyl could help reduce overdoses

Opioid users fear accidental overdoses from street drugs laced with fentanyl, but unpredictable drug quality means they often lack reliable strategies to avoid it, according to a team of researchers who suggest that fentanyl test strips may reduce overdose deaths | Medical Xpress, USA

'Alexa, I'm in pain': Smart assistants could help combat opioid crisis

For patients suffering with chronic pain, relief could soon be found as close as their nearest smart assistant | Medical Xpress, USA

For the first time, the feds criminally charged a pharma distributor for the opioid epidemic

The federal government is escalating its action against bad actors in the pharmaceutical industry involved in the opioid crisis | Vox, USA

LA County is using an algorithm to clear 50,000 pot convictions faster

The district attorneys for Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties have teamed up with Code for America to help them clear around 54,000 marijuana convictions | Endgadget, USA

Should firms that finance the pot industry really be drug-testing employees?

There’s nothing like a growth industry to excite investors and financiers. Just look at the cannabis business, which is expected to generate hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide in the coming years and is already on a streak in the stock market | Quartz, USA

Parents using both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes may be more motivated to quit

A study by MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) researchers finds that parents who use both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes may be more receptive to smoking cessation interventions than parents who only smoke traditional cigarettes | EurekAlert, USA

New Evidence of Smoking Disparities Underlines That Tobacco Harm Reduction Is Social Justice

Americans experiencing compounded social marginalization are at greater risk of initiating use of—and not cutting use of—tobacco products, according to a new Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine study | Filter Magazine, USA

Walgreens to hike minimum age for store tobacco sales

Walgreens has decided to raise its minimum age for tobacco sales several weeks after a top federal official chastised the drugstore chain for violating laws restricting access to cigarettes and other tobacco products | Medical Xpress, USA

Experiences of 'ultimate reality' or 'God' confer lasting benefits to mental health

People over the millennia have reported having deeply moving religious experiences either spontaneously or while under the influence of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms or the Amazonian brew ayahuasca, and a portion of those experiences have been encounters with what the person regards as "God" or "ultimate reality." | Medical Xpress, USA

Gambling risk and losses disguised as wins

Did you know that slot machines are the most popular type of gambling game in the United States and Canada? | BASIS, USA

Majority of Professionals in NZ support cig alternatives

A majority of healthcare professionals in New Zealand view Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, as a viable alternative to cigarettes if they are legalised and regulated appropriately, according to new research conducted by Frost & Sullivan | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 86: Wormholes, black holes and dark matter

When I’m not unhealthily hunched over my laptop consuming my nth cup of nuclear coffee, I quite like to relax in front of Star Trek Discovery on Netflix | NSP blog, UK

The impact of pregabalin reclassification on GP prescribers

Mention addiction and most people think of illegal drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. But dependency and misuse of prescription medications is becoming a significant public health issue in the UK | Pulse opinion, UK

Should pharmacy sell e-cigarettes and encourage people to vape?

A smoking cessation expert and a pharmacist share their views on whether pharmacies should stock and recommend e-cigarettes to people who want to kick their tobacco habit | Pharmaceutical Journal opinion, UK