Daily news - 20th August 2019

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UK news

Alcohol Awareness Week 2019: ‘Alcohol and me’

Alcohol Change UK have announced Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) 2019 will take place from 11-17 November on the theme of 'alcohol and me' | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Local alcohol services and systems improvement tool

Updated to revise the guidance and the CLeaR tool | PHE, UK

Cannabis industry hopes its kitemark of quality will fly

[Free registration maybe required] Fears over the legality and quality of health supplements derived from cannabis plants are prompting the biggest manufacturers to introduce a “kitemark” guaranteeing standards. It will be the first time cannabis companies have attempted to become fully compliant with UK law | The Times, UK

Clinical and demographic patient characteristics, alcohol treatment goal preference and goal attainment during computer-assisted therapy with Breaking Free Online

[Open access] Few alcohol misuse interventions can be tailored to the individual and allow individuals to set personalized treatment goals, including reduction/moderation or abstinence. This study examined outcomes from a tailorable computer-assisted therapy program, Breaking Free Online (BFO), which prompts users to set personalized goals | Journal of Substance Use, UK

MDMA treatment for alcoholism reduces relapse, study suggests

Researchers say drug is safe and appears more effective than conventional treatments | Guardian, UK

Where did all the real mephedrone go?

The original legal high mephedrone is reported to be different to the mephedrone that came after the ban, in both positive and negative effects. Could it have been a different drug altogether? | Talking Drugs, UK

Restaurant numbers drop again as consumer tastes shift

2.4% decline in Licensed premises and related stats | CGA, UK

If you live in the UK and feel that your life has been impacted by drugs, we’d love to hear your story - survey

You may have been impacted directly, or through drug use by friends or family, or through your work. Your experiences may have been bad or good | Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group, UK

Noah Rubin interview: 'I don’t know if people realise alcohol and substance abuse in tennis is a thing'

To the casual observer, the life of a professional tennis player is nothing but glamour - the money, the fame, those immaculate white clothes | Telegraph, UK

Winchester hospital to go completely smoke free

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital on Romsey Road, will also be rolling out the ban at the Andover War Memorial Hospital and Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital | Hampshire Chronicle, UK



International news

Synthetic Drugs Will Change the Global Drug Trade Forever

Drug traffickers thrive on their ability to penetrate national borders, but a new era of toxic, man-made highs could dissolve those boundaries and transform the global drug trade | VICE, UK

Juul: Vaping attracts fresh funding despite new lawsuits

Investors have pumped another $325m into e-cigarette market leader maker Juul Labs despite growing health concerns and fresh legal action. The money will be used to finance the US company's global expansion at a time of increased regulatory scrutiny on its home turf | BBC, UK

Afghanistan sees boom in meth production as seizures of illegal drug more than double 

Afghanistan is seeing a boom in methamphetamine drug production, potentially providing a new revenue stream for the Taliban in a country already notorious for opium and heroin | Telegraph, UK

What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 2006–2016

 This report updates and extends estimates of the number of users, retail expenditures, and amount consumed from 2006 to 2016 for cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine in the United States, based on a methodology developed by the RAND Corporation for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The report also includes a discussion of what additional types of data would help quantify the scale of these markets in the future, including the new types of information produced by the legalization of marijuana at the state level | RAND, USA

Depression, cannabis use, and binge drinking are on the rise among US former smokers

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the prevalence of depression, cannabis use, and alcohol abuse increased among former smokers from 2005 to 2016 in the United States | Medical Xpress, USA

Man Who Died of OD Was Allegedly “Kicked Out of Treatment for Smoking”

Ican’t lose everything,” Paul Reithlinghshoefer told his mother when he relapsed back to using heroin in early 2017. Feeling suicidal, Paul was admitted to the psychiatric inpatient unit at Adventist Behavioral Health Hospital in Rockville, Maryland | Filter Magazine, USA

Delaware’s overdose victims described in detail

 new study into Delawareans who overdose on drugs shows that most are white men, between the ages of 25 and 54, who have never been married and have a high school diploma or its equivalent | Cape Gazette, USA

Canada Might Have Found a Back Door to End the War on Drugs

Every Tuesday afternoon at 4:45 p.m., Melody Cooper’s siblings and mother meet for bingo at Our Lady of Sorrows, a Catholic school in East Vancouver | VICE, Canada

Anti-smoking crusaders criticise Federal Government's push to cut smoking rate

Anti-smoking crusaders have labelled a new government push to help Australians butt out as a "recycled" and "frustrating" strategy, saying when the exact same policy was initially introduced more than a decade ago, it failed to reduce smoking rates | abc.net.au, Australia

Thailand Proudly Produces Its First Medical Marijuana

Unwilling to allow the public to get zonked or profit from recreational marijuana, Thailand has instead produced its first pharmaceutical THC and CBD oils, tablets, oral sprays, chocolate wafers and traditional potions after recently legalizing medical cannabis | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Does bribing people with psychosis to give up cannabis work?

Every man (or woman) has their price, the saying goes, what would you be willing to do for £240 worth of Tesco vouchers? | Mental Elf blog, UK

Baby boomers are keeping booze Britain afloat – but the young are drinking less

It looks like sobriety is having a moment in the spotlight, with drinking rates around the world on the decline – particularly among young people. In the UK, the amount of alcohol consumed per person actually peaked in the mid-2000s and seems to have been decreasing ever since. But is this the case for everyone? | Conversation, UK