Daily news - 1st February 2019

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UK news

Smoking prevalence in young adults aged 18 to 34 years

Detailed ad-hoc analysis of smoking prevalence, calculated from the Annual Population Survey | PHE, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2018 to September 2018

This quarterly report presents results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services in England during the period April 2018 to September 2018. NHS Stop Smoking Services offer support to help people quit smoking | NHS Digital, UK

E-cigs 'twice as effective' than nicotine patches, gum or sprays for quitting

"E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective at helping smokers give up tobacco than other alternatives such as nicotine patches or gum," Sky News reports | NHS Behind the Headlines, UK

Rough sleeping in England: autumn 2018

Of the 2,039 people (62% of total) sleeping rough who had a support needs assessment recorded, 41% had alcohol support needs, 43% drug support needs, and 50% mental health support needs, with 18% having all three needs, and 18% having none of these three needs. No support needs assessment was recorded for 38% of people seen sleeping rough | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, UK

Spike in deaths of Oxford rough sleepers rocks community

Friends cite lack of support in university town for those with mental health and addiction problems | Guardian, UK

Shocking number of pupils kicked out of school each day over booze and drugs

New figures reveal that almost 50 children each day are sent home for drug and booze offences | Mirror, UK

Drugs epidemic forces council to bring in security guards to help police 

Manchester’s spice and drugs epidemic has forced the council to pay for security guards to patrol a part of the city for 12 hours a day, as crime has continued to rise despite police efforts | Telegraph, UK

Exclusive: Airport drinking ban punishes many for the behaviour of few, says retail chief

Aradical ban on serving early morning alcohol at airports would punish the majority for the behaviour of a few, the head of a retail group that represents more than a dozen major UK airports as well as Duty Free shopping has told Telegraph Travel | Telegraph, UK

Addaction welcomes decision to remove age fields from online rehab directory

Drink Wise, Age Well, a programme led by drug and alcohol charity Addaction, has welcomed a decision by Public Health England (PHE) to remove age fields from their online rehab directory. The move should make it easier for older adults to access alcohol and drug rehabilitation services | Addaction, UK

Member: cannabis-derived products for medicinal use guideline committee

We are looking for a GP to join the cannabis-derived products for medicinal use guideline committee. Closing date: 5pm, Sunday 10 February 2019 | NICE, UK

Cannabis vaporisation study for healthy volunteers

Call for participants. We are conducting an imaging study looking into the acute effects of cannabis. We are looking for people aged 16-17 and 26-29. Overall, you will get paid £150 + travel + extra bonuses for task performance (~£25) | UCL, UK

The History of Alcohol (15/01/2019) - audio

Historian Jane Peyton chats to Sarah about our relationship with booze. Listen from 1 hr 9 mins 20 secs in | BBC, UK

'First British beer' discovered in Cambridgeshire A14 roadworks

Road workers have uncovered what is thought to be the earliest evidence of beer being brewed in Britain, dating back more than 2,000 years | BBC, UK

Gambling as a public health issue in Wales (PDF)

Gambling is increasingly being recognised as a public health priority. Recent years have seen a rapid growth in the availability and advertising of gambling, driven by factors including relaxed ambling regulations and technological development. More than half of adults in Wales participate in some form of gambling. Whilst many suffer only affordable losses, for some, gambling can lead to significant financial, health and social harms | Bangor University, UK


International news

Can the disappointing roll-out of brief alcohol interventions be cost-effectively turned around?

In a bid to reach the estimated ‘19 in 20 eligible patients’ not currently being screened for risky drinking in Europe, this study tested the cost-effectiveness of different levers to improve implementation of brief interventions. It identified optimally cost-effective strategies in England, the Netherlands and Poland - but does an ‘Achilles heel’ issue undermine the reliability of the calculations? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Two tonnes of cocaine seized at Italian port

Largest drugs haul in country in 25 years comes after sting operation involving Colombia and Spain | Guardian, UK

Scottish aristocrat Jack Marrian to remain on trial in Kenya over cocaine claims in shock ruling

A Scottish aristocrat charged with smuggling cocaine into Kenya is to remain on trial after a magistrate in Nairobi refused to allow the prosecution to drop charges against him | Telegraph, UK

Snoop Dogg's cannabis company facing legal battle from NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs over 'copying' logo

The rapper's new enterprise had filed for trademarks on branding and logos that are now being opposed by one of ice hockey's most famous teams | Independent, UK

'Record' fentanyl drug bust made at US-Mexico border

Agents on Saturday found 254 lbs (114kg) of fentanyl, as well as 395 lbs of methamphetamine in a lorry at an official US-Mexico border crossing | BBC, UK

A Mexican drug lord goes on trial

A court case offers vivid insight into Latin America’s drug trade | Economist, UK

Africa is heroin’s new highway to the West

The trade is poisoning politics and fuelling addiction on the continent | Economist, UK

Outdated drug policies leave millions of Africans in agony

The war on drugs has hurt patients who need painkillers | Economist, UK

Medical cannabis relieves symptoms in children with autism

In a new study of patients with autism who are 18 years old and under, researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center report that cannabis as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders appears to be a well-tolerated, safe and effective option to relieve symptoms including seizures, tics, depression, restlessness, and rage attacks | EurekAlert, Israel

National Drug Control Strategy: A Report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (PDF)

This Strategy consists of three interrelated elements designed to achieve the President’s goal of building and fostering a stronger, healthier, and drug free society: prevention, treatment and recovery, and reducing the availability of drugs in America | The White House, USA

Trump administration unveils drug strategy document after lengthy delay

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a strategic planning document two years in the making: the National Drug Control Strategy, traditionally a wide-ranging annual report that outlines the government’s approach to policing illegal drugs, reducing drug demand, and treating addiction | STAT news, USA

Treating Opioid Addicts Is Expensive. States Want Drug Makers To Fund It

The opioid crisis costs America at least $78 billion a year | Huffington Post, USA

Incarcerated Women Who Use Drugs Find Ways to Care for One Another

Faced with the inherent harms of drug prohibition, people who use opioids find ways to take care of themselves and one another. And that is no different for incarcerated women | Filter Magazine, USA

As millions of teens get hooked on vaping, what works to help them quit?

E-cigarette use is surging among American teenagers, with millions of kids flirting with nicotine addiction by regularly vaping | Medical Xpress, USA

A national survey has confirmed the massive scale of Nigeria’s drug problem

Over the past year alone, nearly 15% of the adult population in Nigeria (around 14.3 million people) reported  a “considerable level” of use of psychoactive drug substances—it’s a rate much higher than the 2016 global average of 5.6% among adults | Quartz, USA

Forget just festival pill testing, what about a dangerous-drugs alert system?

Just before New Years punters heading to Falls Festival received this text: "SERIOUS DRUG ALERT: There is an extremely dangerous orange pill in circulation. Regardless of pill variation, one pill can kill | abc.net.au, Australia

Excessive alcohol consumption remains the major reason for hospitalisations at music festivals

As the debate surrounding pill testing at music festivals continues to heat up, the harm associated with another drug — alcohol — appears to have disappeared from the spotlight | CourierMail, Australia

National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs grants

NCCRED will fund clinical researchers through competitive grants totalling $1.8 million AUD. Two types of funding have been established over three funding rounds: Seed Funding Grants and Capacity Building Grants | NCCRED, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

People take drugs for pleasure and fun – so why do we drown that out by obsessing over the harm?

We have been rather snooty about ignoring the wisdom of cultures who have found benefits to drugs that go beyond ritual | Independent, UK

E-cigarettes nearly twice as effective as other nicotine replacement therapies at helping smokers quit

Many smokers successfully quit by switching to e-cigarettes (vaping), but doctors can’t recommend this treatment without good evidence from clinical trials. They now have this evidence. Our latest study confirms that e-cigarettes are indeed an effective way to help smokers quit | Conversation, UK

Daily Mail Profits From Illegal Advertising For Cannabis

While the Daily Mail regularly misleads and misinforms on cannabis, it also regularly carries advertising that breaches medicines law.  This latest example claims medicinal benefits for a CBD product for joint pain, migraine, psoriasis, acne, depression, pain and inflammation. While there is probably a substantial amount of truth in these claims, it is unlawful to make them without the product having a licence or marketing authorisation (MA) from the MHRA | Clear, UK

Like Anne Hathaway, I ditched alcohol so I could be a better parent

I’m a recovering alcoholic mother, and the child of an alcoholic mother. I won’t put my children through the same dark chaos | Guardian opinion, UK