Daily news - 22nd August 2019

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UK news

Get an up-to-date overview of new and emerging drug-related health harms

Read Public Health England’s summary of the latest intelligence and clinical messaging on new and emerging drug-related health harms. The information included in the ‘dashboard’ summary comes from a range of intelligence sources (including the Report Illicit Drug Reactions national pilot) and aims to support frontline practitioners, service providers and other stakeholders in responding to new and emerging drug-related health harms.  Practitioners can also report adverse reactions to illicit drugs via RIDR | PHE, UK

‘Fundamental mismatch’ between problems prisoners face and level of support they receive

Recognising that prisons can cut off occupants from sources of social support and stability, while failing to cut off the supply of illicit drugs, dedicated ‘drug recovery wings’ were designed to cultivate a space within prisons where recovery looked possible. But what about when their prison sentence ended; did recovery wings return participants to the community feeling prepared and supported to continue on their recovery journeys? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

County Lines and the Children They Exploit - video

The National Crime Agency says they are seeing increases in the "scale and scope of the threat" from county lines | BBC, UK

The young people saving the British pub - audio

For decades we’ve been warned about the demise of the British pub, but despite this the number of young people signing up to run them appears to be rising | BBC, UK

Free pub meals for kids during school holidays

A pub has given away more than 500 free meals to help families struggling throughout the school holidays | Morning Advertiser, UK


International news

'Extraordinary rise' in strip-searches by NSW police fuelled by use of sniffer dogs

Officers misusing controversial practice that was intended as a last resort, report says | Guardian, UK

Bitter leaves: tobacco's devastating global legacy

A new book by Rocco Rorandelli, Bitter Leaves, explores the environmental, health and social impacts of the tobacco cycle, from seed to sale | Guardian, UK

'Time to try something else': Luxembourg official tells Euronews on cannabis legalisation

As Luxembourg steps up preparations for new legislation to fully legalise recreational cannabis, the country's Health Minister Étienne Schneider spoke to Euronews | Euronews, Belgium

Reports and Detailed Tables From the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

NSDUH’s latest annual report focuses on substance use and mental health in the United States based on NSDUH data from 2018 and earlier years. The annual report presents estimates that meet the criteria for statistical precision and facilitate stable examination of trends over time to study changes in society and emerging issues | SAMHSA, USA

Under the peer influence: Heavy drinking beliefs in college students

Humans are social beings. Behavior that we perceive in others largely shapes our own and creates social norms within communities. A good example of this is heavy drinking in college: students tend to drink based on how much they believe their fellow students drink, and as you might guess, these beliefs are wrong much of the time | BASIS, USA

CDC, FDA, States Continue to Investigate Severe Pulmonary Disease Among People Who Use E-cigarettes

CDC is providing consultation to state health departments about a cluster of pulmonary illnesses possibly related to e-cigarette product use, or “vaping,” primarily among adolescents and young adults. Many states have alerted CDC to possible (not confirmed) cases and investigations into these cases are ongoing | CDC, USA

How do nicotine-free e-cigarettes affect blood vessels?

New research examines the effects of a few puffs of nicotine-free electronic cigarettes on endothelial function, a measure of blood vessel health | MNT, USA

Hazardous patterns of prescription opioid misuse in the US

Among adults aged 18 years and older, 31 percent used prescription opioids only as prescribed by a physician medically and 4 percent misused them. Thus, the overwhelming majority (88 percent) of all past-12-month prescription opioid users used the drugs for medical purposes only | Science Daily, USA

Wide distribution of Naloxone effective in preventing opioid-related deaths

Broad distribution of the opioid reversal drug naloxone is highly cost-effective in reducing fatal overdoses, according to a new University of Michigan study | Medical Xpress, USA

HIV Infection “Clusters” Put Focus On Harm Reduction Programs 

Health officials in Huntington, West Virginia, say a cluster of HIV infections has grown to 71 confirmed cases. That’s in a city that usually sees about eight HIV infections in a year. As with an earlier such cluster in northern Kentucky, officials say the primary cause of infection is needle drug use | Ohio Valley Resouce, USA

How Harm Reduction Is Serving⁠—and Failing⁠—Asian Americans

The “4th wave of the overdose crisis” has arrived, tweeted Brett Giroir, a top official in the US Department of Health and Human Services, on August 15. He was referencing a surge in stimulant-involved overdose deaths, which in 2018 exceeded those involving prescription opioids, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provisionally observed | Filter Magazine, USA

UNM study confirms cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain

Researchers use mobile app to measure how commercially available cannabis products affect pain intensity | EurekAlert, USA

Ketamine may not be an actual antidepressant, but may decrease the burden of symptoms

The study investigates the hypothesis that depressed individual receiving ketamine infusions, associate feelings of lightness and floating which are a typical occurrence in the use of psychoactive-substance, with an antidepressant state | Medical Xpress, USA

Oregon Has Way Too Much Legal Weed. This Is Where It's Going

Picture hundreds of pounds of bud rotting in trash bags | VICE, USA

International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose | Penington Institute, Australia

Register now: Free naloxone training at NDARC

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, NDARC is holding a naloxone training session at 2.00pm on Wednesday, 28 August 2019 | NDARC, Australia

Ardern labelled a hypocrite for enforcing drug sanctions on beneficiaries

The Prime Minister has been labelled a hypocrite for continuing to enforce the former National's Government's drug sanctions on beneficiaries | TVNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Boomtown 2019

Festival’s are strange, wonderful and sometimes scary places and all of the Twitter articles in the world can’t prepare you for every eventuality that can occur in the five or six days you are within their borders | Nick Hickmott, UK

Our drugs policy is not working. We must act now to save lives

While successive Government administrations have flip-flopped over drugs policy, shifting between the zero tolerance ‘war on drugs’ approach, through abstinence, declassification and even legalisation, what none have done is taken in to account the full wealth of evidence available | Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, UK

The unanticipated consequences of vaping: Implications for policy

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a tobacco product originally designed to offer an alternative to combustible cigarettes by delivering nicotine at lower heat by a battery-powered device | The Hill opinion, USA