Daily news - 30th April 2019

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UK news

NICE consultation on QOF IBA indicators & prevention and treatment guidance

The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) is undertaking a consultation to review its guidance on prevention (PH24) and treatment (CG115), and new proposed QOF indicators for alcohol brief intervention in Primary Care | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

School exclusions for drugs and alcohol at ten-year high as 'county lines' gangs are blamed

School exclusions for drugs and alcohol have risen by 57 per cent in five years, an analysis of official data shows, as “county lines” gangs are blamed | Telegraph, UK

More than 2,500 prison staff disciplined in five years with majority for sex and drugs, MoJ figures show

Thousands of prison staff have been subject to disciplinary action in the past five years, including for relationships with inmates, assaulting prisoners and racism | Telegraph, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2018 to December 2018

166,880 people set a quit date and at the 4 week follow-up 86,167 people (52 per cent) had successfully quit (self-reported) | NHS Digital, UK

Victoria Derbyshire Show - Medical Cannabis - BBC iPlayer

Watch from 32 minutes in. Discussion with Carly who grows her own cannabis for medical reasons, Ron Hogg, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner and Neurologist, Professor Mike Barnes about increasing access to medicinal cannabis | BBC, UK

Scotch whisky brings in £5.5 billion to economy, new report finds

The Scotch whisky sector’s contribution to the UK economy has grown by 10% since 2016, according to an industry body | ITV, UK

MP calls on Government for drug legislation: 'Users are treated like lepers'

Scotland must stop spending “fortunes” on using prisons and courts to tackle drug use and deliver new treatments instead, a campaigner claims | National, UK

Charity workers bid for live-in rehab centre for Dundee drug addicts

Two charity workers have outlined ambitious plans to create a live-in rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in the city – and now they are calling for financial backers to make the dream a reality | Dundee Evening Telegraph, UK

Alex Hales dropped from England World Cup squad after drugs ban

Alex Hales, the 30 year-old Nottinghamshire and England batsman, has been dropped from all England squads with immediate effect, including their 15-man World Cup squad | Telegraph, UK


International news

People Before Politics: 4 Key Points in HR19’s Opening Ceremony

The Harm Reduction International Conference 2019 (HR19) has begun in Porto, with several influential speakers delivering inspiring and poignant remarks at the opening ceremony | Talking Drugs, UK

Craving cannabis: is marijuana addictive?

The persistent belief that marijuana is psychologically but not physically addictive is a myth, experts say | Guardian, UK

'I don’t want to overdose and die:' one woman's death, one country's shame

Saige Earley, who was found dead of a heroin overdose in a toilet stall at Syracuse airport, is the face of ‘real people’ devastated by the worst drug epidemic in American history | Guardian, UK

Pill testing at Groovin the Moo festival potentially saves seven lives, organisers say

Festivalgoers discard drugs after testing alerts them that pills contain dangerous ingredients | Guardian, UK

Using Cannabis and Tobacco/Nicotine Together Is Linked to Heavier Use and Poorer Functioning Among Young Adults

More than a third of young adults report using both cannabis and tobacco or nicotine products, providing a unique challenge to public health officials as cannabis is legalized in more jurisdictions, according to a new RAND Corporation study | RAND Corporation, USA

Ty Rowe with a Juul vape in March at a tavern in Columbia, S.C. Legislation across the country wants to address the health implications of vaping in young adults | NYTimes, USA

New studies examine teen vaping association with sexual risk behavior and drug usage

Electronic vapor product (EVP) usage among U.S. high school students is associated with a higher likelihood of engagement in nine out of 10 sexual risk behaviors, according to a new study which analyzed data from the 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey | News Medical, USA

Study estimates use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes among women of reproductive age in the U.S.

Cigarette use was lower among pregnant women in the United States (8 percent) than among nonpregnant women (14.3 percent) but rates of e-cigarette use were almost identical (3.6 percent for pregnant women and 3.3 percent for nonpregnant women) in a study based on national health survey data | News Medical, USA

Researchers use nitrous oxide to unravel rapid function of antidepressant mechanisms

Ketamine is commonly used in emergency medicine as an anesthetic drug. Later it was discovered to have rapid-acting antidepressant effects, but the mechanisms by which ketamine alleviates depression are still unknown | News Medical, USA

Cannabis, Alcohol and the Epigenome

It is well established that specific lifestyle choices, such as smoking and diet, as well as environmental factors or diseases, can modify the epigenome. With the legalization of cannabis in many US states, we explore the epigenetic effects of cannabis, cannabis-derived products, and alcohol | News Medical, USA

Prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder among special subpopulations: a systematic review and meta‐analysis

[Open access] Global subpopulations of children in care, correctional, special education, specialized clinical and Aboriginal populations have a significantly higher prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder compared with the general population, which poses a substantial global health problem | Addiction, Canada

Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction newsletter

This monthly newsletter shares the latest news and updates from the UNSW Medicine Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction Theme and SPHERE Clinical Academic Group (CAG) | UNSW, Australia

Methamphetamine still the drug of choice in New Zealand according to new police data from national wastewater testing

Methamphetamine is easily the most popular drug consumed in New Zealand each week, with an estimated $500 million spent on the Class-A drug each year | NZHerald, New Zealand



Blogs, comments and opinion

Daily skunk cannabis use associated with a 5-fold increase in psychosis risk

Last year, a paper by Jongsma et al. (2018) described an approximately 10-fold variation in incidence of first-episode psychosis (FEP) between Santiago, Spain and southeast London. In the Mental Health Question Time on cannabis and mental health last September, Prof. Robin Murray said that this variation could potentially be explained by new evidence included in a paper that was under review at the time | Mental Elf blog, UK

Treating Opioid Use Disorder

I write this today not to provide a listing of programs that my agency has funded nor an update on how we are doing in addressing the opioid crisis. I write this as a physician seeking the help of my fellow physicians and healthcare colleagues around the country | SAMHSA blog, USA