Daily news - 23rd August 2019

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UK news

Cannabis oil too expensive to prescribe to epileptic children on NHS, advisory body finds

Acannabis drug used to treat children with epilepsy is too expensive to prescribe even though it reduces patients’ seizures, the UK’s medical advisory body has said | Telegraph, UK

The Cannabis Debate: It’s time we were made legal, say London’s cannabis dealers... but don’t do it for skunk

Investigations Editor David Cohen reports on how weed dealers in the capital would welcome being decriminalised... but worry that big business will swoop in and take all the profits | Evening Standard, UK

Trail - Cannabis: Miracle Medicine or Dangerous Drug?

Dr Javid Abdelmoneim explores the latest research behind whether medicinal cannabis will help or harm patients - and what it does to the body and brain | BBC, UK

Overdose Awareness Day | Pop-up Performances

To highlight this year's International Overdose Awareness Day, BDP's Creative Community groups are taking to the streets of Bristol City Centre and showcasing a public pop-up performance | BDP, UK

Scot Squad actor Darren Connell ate psychedelic tree bark to beat depression

When actor and comedian Darren Connell suffered from depression he didn't want to go down the road of traditional anti-depressants. Instead he flew to Peru to take a psychedelic substance - banned in the UK - which has been used by indigenous groups in South America for centuries | BBC, UK

Nathan Dean inquest: Fire death after man fell asleep with lit cigarette

A man died in a fire on his first night in a halfway house after falling asleep with a lit cigarette, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Police Find Thousands Of Cannabis Plants Inside Abandoned Woolworths Store

Police in the Midlands were shocked to discover thousands of cannabis plants when they raided an abandoned Woolworths store | LADBible, UK

Police seize £190k of county lines drugs cash in suitcase

A suitcase containing £190,000 in cash was found by police investigating a county lines drug dealing network between London and Kent | BBC, UK



International news

French absinthe receives Brussels 'green' light for protected status 

French producers of absinthe, the green spirit said to have inspired Van Gogh, have won a 15-year battle to have their fiery drink receive European protected status | Telegraph, UK

A cannabis chemical may have a “major impact” in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study

Flavonoids in question also appear capable of killing other cancer cells | Independent, UK

US opioid prescribing: the federal government advisers with recent ties to big pharma

With the US facing an epidemic of opioid deaths linked to overprescribing, Tim Schwab finds that the influential National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine has not disclosed that one of its presidents, and members of a panel it convened to advise on prescribing opioids, had recent links to the drug industry | BMJ, UK

Number of people being treated for problem gambling reaches record levels

Figures show 257 cases recorded last year – the highest number since records began in 2010 | Irish Times, Ireland

Latest UNODC Monitoring Report shows decline of coca cultivation in Bolivia

In 2018, the cultivation of coca crops in Bolivia decreased by six per cent compared to data from 2017, according to the latest Coca Cultivation Survey presented today in La Paz by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The cultivated surface decreased by 1,400 hectares, from 24,500 hectares in 2017 to 23,100 hectares in 2018 | UNODC, USA

Naloxone: Wide distribution effective in preventing 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 | University of Michigan, USA

Meth and heart disease correlation not fully understood

Although frequently overshadowed by the opioid epidemic, surging methamphetamine use nationally and around the world has fueled a chilling crisis of its own, according to a new report | Medical Xpress, USA

Prescription size predicts persistent opioid use after cardiothoracic surgery

Prescription size is associated with increased new persistent opioid use among patients after cardiothoracic surgery, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery | Medical Xpress, USA

Vaping promotes the same cellular responses found in smokers with emphysema

E-cigarette "vaping" is widely assumed to be safer than cigarette smoking, but scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have uncovered evidence suggesting that vaping promotes the same cellular responses found in smokers who suffer with emphysema | News Medical, USA

E-cigarette firms probed over health concerns by U.S. House panel

Four dominant e-cigarette manufacturers face a probe into the health impacts of their products, as the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee asked on Wednesday about the firms’ research and marketing practices | Reuters, USA

Five of the Ways Unsanctioned Harm Reduction Continues to Blaze Trails

Unsanctioned grassroots initiatives—from the unofficial to the plain illegal—are both the origins and the soul of the harm reduction movement | Filter Magazine, USA

CBD products, hemp oil may be helpful but more research is needed, review says

Cannabidiol (CBD) oils and products have become increasingly popular with consumers as ways to find relief from aches and pains, anxiety, sleep disturbances and other chronic issues. But are these products safe, and are they helpful? | Medical Xpress, USA

7 out of 10 smokers say they might switch to vaping if they had more information — but Australia's strict rules even dictate what you can say about e-cigarettes

68% of smokers say they would be open to switching to so-called “better alternatives” like e-cigarettes if they had more information about them, according to new research from tobacco company Philip Morris | Business Insider, Australia

'Long overdue': public drunkenness to be decriminalised in Victoria

Public drunkenness will no longer be a crime in Victoria in a landmark law reform that seeks to redefine alcohol abuse as a health issue | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Improving how people find our services

We’ve been working on improving how people find services on our website so we can make it easier for people to get help | Addaction blog, UK

Reefer Madness Behind the Iron Curtain

Today’s post comes from guest writer Dr. Ned Richardson-Little, and it begins a two-week special series on drug use in East Germany during the Communist period | Points blog, USA