Daily news - 12th February 2019

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UK news

NICE updates guideline on alcohol education in schools

New draft recommendations will support the Department for Education’s (DfE) plan to make alcohol education a compulsory component of personal, social and health education (PSHE) in all state-funded schools in England from September 2020 | NICE, UK

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Documents published on the scope of the new NICE guidance which is due to be published this October | NICE, UK

Smoking in pregnancy: Stigma 'causes women to do it in private'

Mothers-to-be who smoke or drink could be hiding their habits in private - because of negative reactions, a study has found | BBC, UK

How Bristol's Recovery Orchestra is helping musicians beat their addictions

Bristol Drugs Project already runs a successful choir and theatre group | Bristol Post, UK

Demand ‘rockets 8000% for cannabis drinks’ as customers fear product ban

People are panic buying CBD-infused drinks after the Food Standards Agency ruled they should be removed from shops as the EU re-classified the products as ‘novel’, a drinks maker has warned | Metro, UK

Prison that saw five 'drug deaths' in eight months had scanning equipment diverted to another jail

Staff trying to stop flow of drugs into jail 'immensely frustrated', inspectors find | Independent, UK

Revealed: the truth about Cressida Dick’s cannabis problem

The Metropolitan police commissioner says she can’t smell dope, and never has been able to. We ask an expert if that’s possible | Guardian, UK

Thames Valley Police officer tests positive for cocaine

A police officer resigned after two samples of his hair tested positive for cocaine, a force has said | BBC, UK

Dundee £60,000 drug cultivation duo jailed

Kim Bao Liu was caught growing cannabis on an "industrial scale" at the "sophisticated" cultivation in the city's Ladywell Avenue | BBC, UK

'People are trying to steal my weed off me,' 999 caller tells police

A man who rang 999 to report that someone was trying to steal his drugs, has been awarded "call of the week" | BBC, UK


International news

How Brexit Will Shape Britain's Drug Supply

Drugs will always get in, but what they look like once they make it here might be about to change | VICE, UK

Number of US teens using e-cigarettes surges to 5m in one year – study

Vaping among young people increased by 1.5 million in 2018, prompting calls for regulation | Guardian, UK [see CDC report below]

Tobacco heating products may not be safer than traditional cigarettes, early stage study finds

Tobacco heating products, also known as, ‘heat-not-burn’ products, can be as damaging to lung cell functioning as cigarette smoke, a study published in ERJ Open Research has found | Pharmaceuical Journal, UK

What does legalizing cannabis mean for children?

Companies are eager to avoid the notion that they are targeting young customers, but stories have highlighted medical benefits | Guardian, UK

Heineken claims its business helps Africa. Is that too good to be true?

The Dutch beer giant likes to blow its own trumpet about the economic and social benefits it brings to Africa – but revelations of sexual harassment and low pay show a different picture | Guardian, UK

Dublin’s first alcohol-free bar gears up for launch

Dublin's first alcohol-free bar is set to open later this month, with plans to export the concept to the UK if the brand proves successful | Harpers, UK

Record seizures tell of booming cocaine trade

Record production of cocaine and rising income levels in Ireland is creating a new boom in the cocaine trade, a senior garda tells Security Correspondent Cormac O’Keeffe | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Boy takes court challenge over school cannabis hearing

A student suspended by a Dublin private school over allegedly selling €20 of cannabis to a fellow student has taken a High Court challenge over a planned disciplinary hearing | Irish Times, Ireland

Tobacco Use By Youth Is Rising: E-cigarettes are the main reason

More than 1 in 4 high school students and about 1 in 14 middle school students in 2018 had used a tobacco product in the past 30 days. This was a considerable increase from 2017, which was driven by an increase in e-cigarette use. E-cigarette use increased from 11.7% to 20.8% among high school students and from 3.3% to 4.9% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018 | CDC, USA

Poor whites bear the brunt of U.S. opioid crisis, studies find

America's ongoing opioid epidemic has struck poor whites harder than any other group, and a new study argues that racism likely played a role in that | Medical Xpress, USA

How Stigma Against Addiction Devastates Pain Patients

First it was a hip replacement. Then it became complicated by a MRSA infection. Eventually, Dee Giles, formerly an ER nurse, had to endure amputation of her right leg and the right half of her pelvis | Filter Magazine, USA

Many Rural Americans Have No Access to Buprenorphine

Nearly a third of rural Americans live in a county without access to buprenorphine—the gold standard for treating opioid use disorder, according to a new Pew fact sheet | Filter Magazine, USA

Potent marijuana edibles can pose a major unrecognized risk to patients with cardiovascular disease

In a recent case, inappropriate dosing and oral consumption of marijuana by an older patient with stable cardiovascular disease resulted in distress that caused a cardiac event | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug trafficker found to be a mere courier, but apex court upholds death penalty

The apex court on Monday (Feb 11) ruled a drug trafficker to be merely a courier, but the Singaporean man still faces the gallows as he was not given a certificate of substantive assistance by the public prosecutor | Today Online, USA

National Cannabis Survey, fourth quarter 2018

About 4.6 million or 15% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using cannabis in the last three months. That was a similar percentage to what was reported before legalization. In addition, nearly one in five Canadians think they will use cannabis in the next three months | StatCan, Canada

The Defining Health Crisis of Our Time | Dr. Eileen de Villa

Video. Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, educates on the importance of harm reduction and why we need to rise up to support and care for individuals with substance use disorders, before it's too late | TEDx Talks, Canada

Cannabis legalisation to be delayed by new parliamentary rules

A bid to legalise cannabis in Canberra will be slowed by new parliamentary rules, despite support from Labor and the Greens | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

It is time': City of Sydney councillors back pill-testing 'dry-run'

The councillors unanimously backed calls for a drug summit, and supported a pill-testing demonstration in a bid to drive down the number of young people dying at music festivals | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

7 February 2019: Parental drinking: the elephant in the room

There is now a significant amount of research into problematic alcohol use and its impact on children – and one issue that crops up regularly in these studies is the secrecy which surrounds parental drinking | Action on Addiction blog, UK

Ecstasy users are more empathetic than those who take other drugs – even when not on it

If you’ve ever seen someone in a club on MDMA, it may not surprise you to hear it’s linked to a heightened ability to share other people’s feelings and emotions. Yet in our new study, we found that even when the effects have faded, mild MDMA users showed greater empathy than people who use other common recreational drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine and ketamine | Conversation, UK

Taking the principle of medicinal cannabis to practical implementation

This blog post follows the DrugScience Symposium on medicinal cannabis in January 2019. The meeting materials, including slides, pre-meeting report and summaries of international and American medicinal cannabis legislation are available for download here | Drug Science blog, UK

In an effort to reduce opioid addiction, doctors are cutting back on pain medication — and sometimes leaving patients to suffer | NYTimes opinion, USA

Why I quit the AMA over pill-testing hypocrisy

I have cancelled my membership of the Australian Medical Association after 30 years as a loyal member. I can no longer tolerate the AMA's hypocrisy on harm reduction:  supporting pill testing for drug takers but opposing vaping to reduce the harm from smoking | Sydney Morning Herald opinion, Australia