Daily news - 14th February 2019

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UK news

County lines report calls on Ofsted to prioritise inclusion

Charity says education watchdog has role to play in preventing children being lured into drug dealing | Guardian, UK

Opioid Expert Working Group meets at MHRA

An Expert Working Group (EWG) of the UK’s Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) met yesterday at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to begin the review of the benefits and risks of opioid medicines, including dependence and addiction | MHRA, UK

CLeaR local tobacco control assessment

Updated - Added Illicit Tobacco deep dive tool and updated CLeaR improvement model self-assessment tool to version 2.1. Guidance for local authorities, public health bodies and the NHS on using ‘deep dive’ self-assessment tools to improve their tobacco control work | PHE, UK

Controlled drugs: licences, fees and returns

UPdated - Factsheet on cannabis, CBD and cannabinoids updated. How to apply for licences to handle controlled drugs as a company or individual traveller, including import and export procedures and fees | Home Office, UK

Pregnancy: Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to allocate funding to (a) local authorities and (b) clinical commissioning groups to achieve the national target of reducing the number of smokers during pregnancy to six per cent by 2022; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction to the public health budget on the number of patients admitted to hospital because of alcohol-related diseases and injuries | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure alcohol product labels warn consumers of the health risks of alcohol | They work for you, UK

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts backed by private donors

A group of private backers has agreed to fund a national unit supporting courts which help parents deal with drug or alcohol addiction so their children are not taken into care | BBC, UK

‘London Assembly passes motion calling on Mayor to raise awareness of hepatitis C’

A motion calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to take the lead on raising awareness of hepatitis C passed unanimously yesterday in the London Assembly | LJWG, UK

HMP Durham Prison bosses 'immensely frustrated' by lack of technology to tackle drugs

A prison hit by rising violence and a spate of suspected drug-related deaths was promised scanning equipment, only for it to be diverted to another jail, according to a watchdog report | ITV, UK

Events & dates 2019: Alcohol Change UK national conference, BSA careers, SHAAP/SARN 'Alcohol Occasionals'

Up and coming events in the field of alcohol | Alcohol Policy Uk, UK

Australian medicinal cannabis company Althea to launch in UK

Australian medicinal cannabis company Althea Group Holdings Limited (Althea) has launched in the UK bringing its heritage as an experienced supplier of cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPM) | PharmField, UK

Depressed alcoholic told to start drinking again by GP eight days before he killed himself

AGP told a depressed alcoholic to start drinking six pints of beer a day again to ease his withdrawal symptoms eight days before he killed himself, an inquest heard | Telegraph, UK

Drug-laced sweets 'aimed at children' found in Kent

A Kent Police spokesman said the "distinctively packaged" sweets had been laced with an unknown drug | BBC, UK

Ex-soldier held in Dubai over drugs claims

A British war veteran and father-of-two has been held in a Dubai jail for four months over drugs claims | BBC, UK

Heroin addict convicted of killing 100-year-old Holocaust survivor in street robbery

A heroin addict has been convicted of killing a 100-year-old Holocaust survivor when he broke her neck while trying to steal a handbag.  Artur Waszkiewicz, 40, was found guilty at Derby Crown Court of widow Zofija Kaczan in the street robbery on May 28 last year | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis worth £1.8m found at disused Warboys airfield

A cannabis factory with a street value of £1.8m has been found at a disused airfield - two days after another was discovered at the same location | BBC, UK


International news

Association of Cannabis Use in Adolescence and Risk of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality in Young AdulthoodA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies and 23 317 individuals, adolescent cannabis consumption was associated with increased risk of developing depression and suicidal behavior later in life, even in the absence of a premorbid condition. There was no association with anxiety | JAMA Network, Canada

Cannabis use in teens linked to depression

UK and Canada researchers said they had found "robust" evidence linking one in 14 cases of depression in the under-35s to use of the drug in adolescence, although there was no definitive proof | BBC, UK

Up to 60,000 cases of depression in UK could be avoided if teenagers stay off cannabis, study says

‘Some teenagers think because it’s a plant it’s without harm – it’s important to inform adolescents about the risks and the kind of cannabis they use,’ Dr Gabriella Gobbi says | Independent, UK

New research into cannabis use shows we need a more pragmatic approach to drugs policy

[Free registration required] Cannabis legalisation in countries such as Canada allows for age limits, quality control, and crucially might close the gap between research and policy | Independent Minds, UK

Tobacco control legislation for UK Overseas Territories

Guidance on implementing Articles 8, 11 and 13 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control for UK Overseas Territories | PHE, UK

Global Drug Policy Observatory - Quarterly News

Latest updates the GDPO at Swansea Unuversity | GDPO, UK

The El Chapo trial should give some drug users pause for thought

There's a lot more to the UK's street violence issue than an appetite for cocaine at 'middle-class parties', but there's no hiding from the fact that it makes its way to users through a chain of human misery | Independent, UK

Bolshoi ballet dancer arrested in Moscow for suspected drugs

British dancer Oscar Frame detained in Russian capital after allegedly confessing to possessing cocaine | Guardian, UK

Safe consumption sites: Study identifies policy change strategies and challenges

A new qualitative study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health identifies several key lessons from early efforts to establish sanctioned safe consumption sites in five U.S. communities. The results offer insights on one approach some localities are exploring to address the escalating drug overdose crisis in the U.S | Medical Xpress, USA

Why Philly’s Smoking Ban at Addiction Treatment Centers Will Be Harmful

Late last year, public health officials in Philadelphia—which ranks second among large cities hit hardest by the US overdose and drug poisoning death crisis—announced a ban on residents of publicly funded addiction treatment programs going outside to smoke cigarettes, effective January 1, 2019 | Filter Magazine, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Parents need to start having frank conversations about cannabis

[Free article] would encourage parents to be as open as possible to conversations with their children about drugs such as cannabis. Listening rather than offering advice, tempting as that can be, will keep the lines of communication open | The Times, UK

Alcohol: putting a value on the hidden costs of drinking

Is it better to spend £3 on a bacon sandwich or a pint of beer? Or to spend £2,000 on a holiday in the Seychelles rather than fix a leaky roof? As consumers we are usually very able to decide which option offers the better return on our investment – and often those returns will be improvements to our quality of life | Conversation, UK

7 February 2019: Expressing yourself through artwork

It can be considered that to draw is a natural instinct for human beings (Dutton 2009). As we get older the activity of creating a piece of artwork evolves from erratic scrawling to illustrations that can make sense of our experiences (Case & Dalley 1999). In turn this enables us to communicate and express ourselves | Action on Addiction, UK

The Guardian view on drug wars: protect the innocent

The jailing of a notorious cocaine smuggler will not end the drug wars. We must fight them with more regard for the victims | Guardian opinion, UK

If you support marijuana legalization, you should support safe injection sites | Opinion

Last week, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania William McSwain filed a lawsuit against Safehouse, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit intent on opening the nation’s first overdose prevention site, commonly called supervised injection site | Philadelphia Inquirer, USA

E-Cigarettes and Youths

While this study contributes to literature on the potential value of e-cigarettes as smoking-cessation devices, it does not address the public health threat of flavored e-cigarettes marketed toward youths | NYTimes opinion, USA