Daily news - 7th August 2019

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UK news

Drug overdose eclipses suicide as biggest killer of middle-aged men, ONS figures reveal

Suicide was previously the leading cause of death for males aged 35 to 49. However, figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that men in this age group are now more likely to be killed by drug overdoses or accidental poisonings, amid concerns from public health experts of a looming opiate crisis | Telegraph, UK

Substance misuse: January to March 2019

Data on clients seen at drug and alcohol treatment agencies. Data to be released at 9.30 am today | Welsh Government, UK

Official Statistics: Local Alcohol Profiles for England: August 2019 data update

Update of Indicators in the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) interactive tool | PHE, UK

Pain or insomnia main reasons for cannabis use in those without medical certificate

Research has shown that people using cannabis without a medical certificate report decreasing or stopping their use of prescription or over-the-counter analgesics and sleep aids | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Derry judge calls for drop-in drug test centres

A district judge in Londonderry has called for the set up of drop-in drug test centres to tackle addiction | BBC, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the increased numbers of people vaping on (a) nicotine addiction, (b) incidences of increased blood pressure and (c) heart attack rates | They work for you, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban e-cigarettes wherever the smoking ban is in place | They work for you, UK

Children: Exploitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2019 to Question 273801 on Child Exploitation, what plans his Department has to ensure that local authorities monitor the risk of criminal exploitation to children within their area | They work for you, UK

UK startup launches low ABV beer with CBD with help from Danish cannabis boss

A drinks startup in the UK has developed two beers infused with CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, and its directors have already set their sights on national pub listings | The Drinks Business, UK

How Brexit could change the taste of whisky - video

Whisky is one of the UK’s most important exports. Currently EU regulations require a product labelled 'whisky' or 'whiskey' to be aged for a minimum of three years | BBC, UK

Camra calls time on sexist names at Great British beer festival

Drinks checked for inclusivity as campaigners say industry needs more female drinkers | Guardian, UK

Stop and search is discriminatory, so why is it on the rise?

Podcast. The first stop and search Jamal ever experienced was when he was 11 years old. Now, at 24, he has been stopped numerous times. Most recently, a stop became aggressive and he was hit in the face with handcuffs, but was charged and convicted with assaulting an officer. There is little evidence stop and search works in combating violent crime, but critics say it disproportionately targets young black men | Guardian, UK

Heroin worth £40m seized at Port of Felixstowe

The drugs, worth a street value of around £40m, were hidden under towels and bathrobes when Border Force officers discovered them on Friday 2 August | ITV, UK

HMP Liverpool prison officer admits plot to smuggle drugs into jail

Sniffer dogs detected traces of heroin and cannabis on 31-year-old Phillip Meadows as he arrived at HMP Liverpool | BBC, UK


International news

US regulators call on e-cigarette brands to reveal the 19 'hidden' toxins they suspect may be in vapor

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to double down on its demands for transparency from e-cig companies by requiring them to disclose 19 additional toxic chemicals the agency suspects are common in e-liquids | Mail Online, UK

Drinking coffee does not have impact on your sleep, major study finds

Caffeine is known to be a powerful stimulant which perks up drinkers, increases alertness and promotes wakefulness.  Yet a surprising new study has found that drinking tea or coffee within four hours of bedtime does not actually impact sleep at all | Telegraph, UK

'Alcohol industry fingerprints all over' Australia's plan to tackle overdrinking

Health campaigners raise concerns about the level of influence the alcohol industry exerts on government | Guardian, UK

Review of approaches taken in Ireland and in other jurisdictions to simple possession drug offences. A report for the Irish Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Health (PDF)

This report reviewed approaches taken in Ireland and nine other jurisdictions to simple possession drug offences with the aim of identifying alternative approach options that would be possible in the Irish context and the advantages and disadvantages of each | UNSW Australia and University of Kent, UK and Australia

Cigarette sales in Ireland down 25% over past 5 years

The number of cigarettes sold in Ireland has dropped by nearly a quarter over the past five years, according to a report. It’s 15 years since Ireland became a world leader overnight when the first workplace smoking ban was introduced | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Drugs at festivals 'a reality': Ana Liffey Drug Project call on people to avail of welfare services

The head of services at the Ana Liffey Drug Project has called on young people attending festivals and concerts to avail of welfare services if they are feeling unwell after taking drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Teenager dies after suspected drugs overdose at Cork music festival

Jack Downey (19) from Clonmel fell ill at Indiependence on Friday | Irish Times, Ireland

Poll: Do you support the government's new approach to possession of drugs for personal use?

Opposition parties have argued the approach does not go far enough | Journal, Ireland

Beer and cigarettes not suitable funeral offertory gifts, priest says

Fr Tomás Walsh, of Gurranabraher in Cork, critical of lengthy eulogies being delivered | Irish Times, Ireland

OD Buster – Digitally Empowering the Response to Opioid Overdose

The Stop Overdose Now Foundation is developing a suite of mobile tools to digitally empower the response to the opioid overdose epidemic. It’s core application is OD Buster, a community based overdose response networking app | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Urban–rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, by Sex, Age, and Type of Drugs Involved, 2017

The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths was higher in urban than in rural counties (22.0 and 20.0 per 100,000, respectively) | CDC, USA

Still Not Enough Naloxone Where It’s Most Needed

The overdose-reversing drug naloxone saves lives – but only if it’s readily available when an overdose occurs. Despite a huge increase in naloxone prescribing in recent years, CDC researchers report in the latest Vital Signs study published today that far too little naloxone is being dispensed in many areas of the country that need it the most | CDC, USA

A lifesaving, overdose-reversing drug might be slowing the opioid crisis

Prescriptions of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone are soaring, and experts say that could be a reason overdose deaths have stopped rising for the first time in nearly three decades | USA Today, USA

Sleep interrupted: What's keeping us up at night?

One of the largest longitudinal studies to date examined evening consumption of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine among an African-American cohort and objectively measured sleep outcomes in their natural environments instead of laboratory or observatory settings | Science Daily, USA

Voices of Poverty, Pain, Addiction Must Be Heard in Cannabis Debate

The New Zealand government’s announcement of a non-binding 2020 referendum on full cannabis legalization for people over 20 has reignited public debate here around legalizing drugs for personal use | Filter Magazine, USA

Decriminalisation of drugs by stealth law passes

From today the Police will be directed not to prosecute all drug users as the Government sneakily introduces the decriminalisation of drugs, National’s spokesperson for Drug Reform Paula Bennett says | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comments and opinion

Type 2 diabetes: small reduction in alcohol, big reduction in heart disease risk

People with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of getting cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke. Lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, affect the risk of developing diabetes, but there has been little research about how people with diabetes can change their lifestyle to lower their long-term risk of cardiovascular disease | Conversation, UK

Will we ever stamp out smoking entirely?

A government paper recently laid out plans to eradicate smoking by 2030. Is that feasible? | New Statesman, UK

Japan’s conservative attitude to cannabis is softening

Cannabis has long been part of traditional medicine in Asia. In Japan, the earliest traces can be found as far back as 8,000 BC – this may be the earliest ever recorded | City AM, UK