Daily news - 9th August 2019

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UK news

Barriers to accessing cannabis-based products for medicinal use on NHS prescription Findings and Recommendations (PDF)

This review was aimed at addressing the following question: Where they exist, what are the barriers to patients accessing cannabis-based products for medicinal use within the NHS where they are clinically appropriate for the patient, and how might these barriers be overcome? | NHS England and NHS Improvement, UK

Cannabis-based medicinal products

This guideline covers prescribing of cannabis-based medicinal products for people with intractable nausea and vomiting, chronic pain, spasticity and severe treatment-resistant epilepsy | NICE, UK

'Lack of evidence' holding back cannabis medicines

NHS patients are not getting cannabis-based medicines because of a lack of evidence they work, according to an official review | BBC, UK

Watchdog declines to back NHS cannabis treatment for epilepsy

Campaigners dismayed as Nice decides there is not enough evidence to prove it helps | Guardian, UK

Cannabis and Parkinson's: Our survey results

[From July2019] Earlier this year, 1,600 people with Parkinson's and 29 health and care professionals shared their views about and experiences of using cannabis-derived products. Here's what they said | Parkinson's UK, UK

‘S’-shaped curve: modelling trends in smoking prevalence, uptake and cessation in Great Britain from 1973 to 2016

[Open access] It is believed that declines in smoking prevalence naturally slow over time as the smoking population ‘hardens’ and that progress has come primarily from reducing uptake rather than increasing cessation. To address these issues, we undertook the first formal attempt to model the trajectory of smoking prevalence and indices of uptake and cessation in Great Britain from 1973 to 2016 | BMJ, UK

The difficulty with speaking to patients about codeine addiction

There is growing evidence that more people are becoming too reliant on codeine. How can you and your team engage with these patients? | Chemist and Druggist, UK

Drugs and addiction 'killing' Middlesbrough, mayor warns

Drugs and addiction are "killing" Middlesbrough, the town's mayor has told councillors debating the loss of a support service for homeless people | BBC, UK

Calling time on booze culture - podcast

This is the first in a series of ‘Challenging Approaches to Alcohol in the Workplace’ podcasts by Laura Uberoi to change attitudes and approaches to alcohol consumption in the legal profession | Law Society, UK

Everyone welcome at the Recovery Games

Free event. We’re on countdown to the Recovery Games which takes place on August 16 at Hatfield Activity Centre in Doncaster. This annual celebration attracts hundreds of people from across the UK to come together in a day of fun packed healthy gladiator style games and obstacle courses on the ground and in the water. This year we want even more people to come along, spectate and cheer on the teams | Aspire, UK

Vet drugs stolen in second burglary at Weymouth practice

A vet practice has been broken into and dangerous drugs stolen for the second time in less than three weeks | BBC, UK


International news

Searching for answers to common questions

How do women’s substance use problems, needs and outcomes differ from those of men? What impact does the client-therapist relationship have on treatment? How have classic drug and alcohol studies shaped the way we respond to ‘addiction’ and ‘dependence’ today? Try one of 11 customised searches of the Effectiveness Bank to find answers to common questions and evidence organised into core themes | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

US regulators order 4 e-cigarette companies to pull flavored e-liquids from the market

US regulators have told four companies to remove 44 of their flavored e-liquid and hookah tobacco products that do not have the required approval for sale in the US | Mail Online, UK

Outdoor smoking ban escalates war over Barcelona's restaurant terraces

Restaurateurs say ban on top of new regulations on outdoor space threatens their survival – while residents claim the city’s real issues are being ignored | Guardian, UK

Scientists produce 'Atomik' vodka from Chernobyl grain

Alcohol is free of radioactivity and could help economic recovery in region | Guardian, UK

Fugitive drug dealer in Australia due to be deported back to UK after failed crossbow jet-ski escape

A British fugitive who failed in a brazen bid to flee northern Australia on a jet ski while armed with a crossbow is facing deportation back to the UK | Telegraph, UK

Africa Is Going Through an Opioid Crisis, But It's Not What You Think

Labourers are taking counterfeit pills in order to work longer hours | VICE, UK

A purrr-fect way to chill out: Trendy cannabis company launches special CBD oil for DOGS and CATS to help pet owners treat their animals' stress and anxiety

It's not just humans that are stressed and reaping the benefits of ultra-trendy CBD oil these days; one-third of pets are also suffering from anxiety and could do with some mellowing out | Mail Online, UK

Drug-testing at Irish festivals: Government criticised for delays forming 'working group'

The working group was first floated in 2017 and was originally expected to be up and running earlier this year | Journal, Ireland

The Emergence of New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) Benzodiazepines. A Survey of their Prevalence in Opioid Substitution Patients using LC-MS (PDF)

Benzodiazepine prescription and use is common in the addiction population. Of significance we found evidence of consumption of an illicit new psychoactive benzodiazepine, Etizolam | Irish Medical Journal, Ireland

As Scotland’s ‘Trainspotting’ Generation Ages, the Dead Pile Up

What happens as opioid abusers hit middle age? “What your body tolerates at 18 it doesn’t tolerate at 38 or 48 | NYTimes, USA

TRANSCRIPT of August 6, 2019, CDC Vital Signs: Naloxone

Thank you all for joining us today for the release of a new CDC Vital Signs, which covers trends in pharmacy-based dispensing of naloxone | CDC, USA

FDA investigating 127 reports of seizures after vaping

The agency received about 92 new reports of people, especially kids and young adults, experiencing seizures after using e-cigarettes since it first announced its investigation into the issue in April. The FDA said it’s unclear whether e-cigarettes caused the seizures and cautioned these cases occurred over a 10-year period | CNBC, USA

How cigarette smoke makes head and neck cancer more aggressive

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world. The vast majority of cases are head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), a type of cancer that arises in the outer layer of the skin and mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat | Medical Xpress, USA

Nature vs. nurture: The interaction between early-life adversity and genetics in adult drug use

Early-life adversity can lead to substance misuse in adulthood and other kinds of mental and physical health harm | BASIS, USA

Black New Yorkers Hospitalized for Amphetamines at Alarming Rates

In late October 2012, just days before Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, Dominic Faison was binging on methamphetamine, or “tina,” as it is more commonly known in New York City queer scenes | Filter Magazine, USA

2020 Candidate Andrew Yang Tweets Support for Safe Consumption Sites

“We need more evolved approaches to opiate addiction,” Yang tweeted. “Overdose prevention sites would save lives—they are already helping people struggling with substance abuse in other countries.” | Filter Magazine, USA

“You Can’t Recover If You’re Dead”

 Katz Beyer was willing to try almost anything. Two of her three children, Bryan and Alex, couldn’t stop using opioids. The health care marketing consultant brought her sons to outpatient programs and inpatient programs, counseling, 12-step meetings near their New Jersey home. Nothing stuck | The Ringer, USA

Cannabis' effects on brain neurochemistry

A new study provides the first evidence of a blunted response to stress-induced dopamine signaling in the brain's prefrontal cortex in individuals at high risk for psychosis who regularly used cannabis | Science Daily, Canada

Thousands of B.C. nurses call for the province to save lives by decriminalizing drugs

Ending the war on drugs will reduce stigma and help address overdose deaths, reads a declaration issued by the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of B.C. and the Harm Reduction Nurses Association | Georgia Straight, Canada

First batch of medical marijuana delivered to Thai hospitals

The Thai government has delivered 4500 bottles of cannabis oil to treat hospital patients, the country's first official use of marijuana for medical purposes since a measure legalising such use took effect this year | SMH, Australia

Matters of Substance - July 2019

With medicinal cannabis use now legal and the 2020 referendum just over a year away, New Zealand is moving towards a more nuanced understanding of the drug. But it means there are new questions about whether cannabis use can or should be controlled to reduce harm for people who use it | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

How to save drug users’ lives

Scotland remains the drug overdose capital of Europe, the latest data show. Last year 1187 people there died from drug poisoning, more than ever before, up 27% from 2017 and more than double the count in 2008 | BMJ editorial, UK

CMC Response to NHSE and NICE CBMP Announcements

Together todayʼs announcements from NHS England and NICE provide welcome clarity on the current view in relation to clinical evidence and policy towards access to cannabis based medicine | CMC, UK

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society responses to Draft NICE guidelines into Cannabis-based medicinal products

“The draft guidelines produced today by NICE are very disappointing but sadly predictable. Many NICE committee members had already expressed negative views about cannabis as a medicine, and those with positive views were excluded from the process | MCCS, UK

Older people with alcohol dependence problems desperately need better support

Tom held a responsible position at a charity. Friends described him as a kind and caring man. But following the death of his father, he turned to alcohol and lost his job and a close relationship | Conversation, UK

Parents’ drug, alcohol and tobacco use negatively impacts all areas of child well-being – new study

We all know that the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs harms our own health. But many people are not aware that their use of these substances can sometimes also affect the health and well-being of others – including their own children | Conversation, UK

Alcohol safety labelling may be about to get worse

The alcohol industry Portman Group (PG) says it agreed with the health department “for the removal of out-of-date information” by September 1st. But it does not mention adding current low-risk guideline amounts | Phil Cain, UK

Caffeine Addiction & The Symptoms Of Caffeine Withdrawal

If you need a caffeine boost in the morning, you’re far from alone. Billions of people worldwide start their day with a caffeinated drink to get them up and ready for the day ahead | Barista Delcaffe blog, UK

Misleading information on e-cigarettes risks lives

As the popularity of e-cigarettes has surged in recent years, so has the public’s confusion over the health risks these products pose | The Hill opinion, USA