Daily news - 8th February 2019

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UK news

Beer before wine not fine, scientists find after vomit-filled tests

Research into old saying about alcohol consumption shows you get a hangover either way | Guardian, UK

ACMD Membership

Details of the council's committees and latest meeting minutes | ACMD, UK

The nature of violent crime in England and Wales: year ending March 2018

Victims believed the perpetrator(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in 39% (561,000) of violent incidents1. In 21% (305,000) of violent incidents, the victim believed the perpetrator(s) to be under the influence of drugs | ONS, UK

MDMA users more empathetic than people who take other drugs, study finds

Compared to users of cannabis, cocaine and ketamine, people who take ecstasy report feeling “significantly greater emotional empathy” and are better at identifying others’ emotions, researchers at the University of Exeter found | Independent, UK [see Journal of Psychopharmacology article summary here]

Murder of the dance floor: What's killing Britain's once-thriving nightlife?

Nobody can make up their mind about millennials. Are we the generation that is constantly complaining and drinking absurdly expensive coffee? The generation that goes out every night and spends all their money on drugs and alcohol? Or are we the boring, snowflake generation that keeps killing off industries? | The Overtake, UK

G4S faces prosecution over smoking at immigration detention centre

Crawley council brings case for alleged health and safety breaches at Brook House | Guardian, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department spent from the public purse on campaigns to promote the cessation of smoking in 2017-18 | They work for you, UK

How running helped me beat my drug addiction

Video. At three weeks clean he started running while attending a Glasgow rehab centre and from struggling to run one mile, within six months he was running 13 | BBC, UK

Study title: What do you think about drug-related risk? 

Survey. You are being invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it involves. Please take time to read the following information and discuss it with others if necessary. The purpose of this study is to get a better understanding of how people who use illicit drugs understand risk | PHI at LJMU, UK

Isle of Man reviews medicinal cannabis laws

People in the Isle of Man could be allowed to buy medicinal cannabis over-the-counter at their local pharmacy, according to one idea put forward in a public consultation | BBC, UK

New phone kiosks used for drug deals

Video. A new generation of payphones that offer free wifi, free phone calls and charging, are being used to make drug deals across London. Tower Hamlets has a total of 18 kiosks, but five of them have recently been suspended due to drug dealing activity | BBC, UK


International news

Why Europe Has Dodged America's Fentanyl Crisis

Europe's most lucrative heroin markets seem ripe for a fentanyl takeover. But why the no-show? | VICE, UK

World Health Organisation: Recognise Medical Use of Cannabis

As more countries continue to recognise the medical benefits of cannabis, the leading UN agency for international public health has called for the drug’s reclassification | Talking Drugs, UK

Two flavouring chemicals prevalent in e-cigarettes might harm lung function

Two common electronic cigarette flavouring chemicals impair human airway epithelial cells, new analysis from Harvard University has revealed. The team found that diacetyl and closely related 2,3-pentanedione suppress gene expression related to the production and function of cilia – cell structures responsible for clearing the lungs of mucus, dirt and bacteria | Chemistry World, UK

Sri Lanka to begin hangings within months, ending 43-year stay on executions

Crackdown inspired by Philippines’ war on drugs comes as president Maithripala Sirisena faces tough election | Guardian, UK

Veterinarian jailed for smuggling drugs in puppies

A Colombian veterinarian has been sentenced to jail after admitting to smuggling drugs into the US by implanting heroin in live puppies | BBC, UK

Implementation of a Quit Smoking Programme in Community Adult Mental Health Services–A Qualitative Study

Little is known about the experiences of people with severe mental health difficulties in smoking cessation interventions. This study aimed to review the implementation of a smoking cessation programme across 16 community mental health day services | Frontiers in Psychiatry, Ireland

Parenting in the age of legal pot: Household rules, conversations help guide teen use

When Washington voters legalized marijuana in 2012, many parents found themselves with a new teachable moment | EurekAlert, USA

JUUL raises nicotine levels in its e-cigarettes

Popular e-cigarette manufacturer Juul is one of the fastest growing vaping companies around. It has been targeting youngsters and adolescents with their flavoured e-cigarettes. The company has recently come under scrutiny for steadily raising the nicotine content of its e-cigarettes | News Medical, USA

Nicotine works inside cells to reinforce addiction: study

When a person takes a puff on a cigarette, nicotine floods into the brain, latching onto receptors on the surface of neurons and producing feelings of happiness. But nicotine does not simply stay on the surface of cells—the drug actually permeates into neural cells and alters them from the inside out | Medical Xpress, USA

What a Breakthrough E-Cigarette Study Illustrates About Addiction

The first large, systematic study of whether e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking was published January 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine, and covered by the New York Times, the BBC and many other major outlets | Filter Magazine, USA

Sure, Cannabis Is a “Gateway Drug”—Leading Toward Less Use of Other Drugs

As more and more prohibitionist cannabis policies are reversed in North America, a long-peddled, if long-debunked, perception that weed is a “gateway drug” to other substances is increasingly being challenged | Filter magazine, USA

Number of cannabis users relatively unchanged since legalization, StatsCan says

Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians reported plans to use cannabis in the next 3 months, according to study | CBC news, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

Jon Ashworth MP: My dad’s drinking meant sometimes there was no food in the fridge, but it was always stocked with wine

So many of my childhood memories are about alcohol. As an MP, I want to make sure other children don't suffer in silence | i news opinion, UK

The number of people with a drinking problem hasn’t fallen, but the number in treatment has. Harm reduction could help

Evidence from addiction specialists suggest some find the ‘mountain’ of abstinence so overwhelming, they never get help | i news comment, UK

Boozy, obese, and unwilling to change: why are men still not getting the health message?

In the eternal battle of the sexes there is at least one category where men are the undisputed champions: not listening to health advice | Telegraph, UK

Incentivising recovery

WDP's Capital Card scheme incentivises and empowers people in substance misuse treatment and recovery | Russell Webster blog, UK

The Sociological Approach, Part 2: Judy Garland and Billie Holiday

In California, the entertainment industry brought drug use to the forefront of public attention, where the constant press coverage of movie stars exposed drug abuse and trafficking in vivid detail | Points: blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, USA

In debates about drug use, fun is important

Millions of Australians use, or have used, illicit substances at some point in their life, while millions more are regular users of legal drugs such as alcohol, tobacco or sleeping pills | Conversation, Australia

Does microdosing improve your mood and performance? Here’s what the research says

Microdosing means regularly taking very small doses of psychedelic substances such as LSD or psilocybin (magic mushrooms) over a period of weeks or months. The practice has made countless headlines over the past couple of years, with claims it can improve health, strengthen relationships, and increase productivity | Conversation, Australia

High profile barrister Robert Richter QC quits smoking with vaping

Robert Richter QC is a high profile barrister from Melbourne known for a celebrity client list stretching from Melbourne's gangland figure Mick Gatto and Ray Williams of HIH, to former Elders IXL boss John Elliott and Cardinal George Pell. 12 months ago he finally quit a heavy smoking habit by switching to vaping. This is his story | ATHRA, Australia