Daily news - 20th February 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Opioid dependence: buprenorphine prolonged-release injection (Buvidal)

Buprenorphine prolonged-release injection (Buvidal, Camurus) is an opioid partial agonist/antagonist. It is administered as a weekly or monthly subcutaneous injection and must be given by a healthcare professional | NICE, UK

Is shame a barrier to sobriety? A narrative analysis of those in recovery

[Open access] Experiencing shame can be a risk factor for relapse for people recovering from alcohol dependence, but for some it may act as a necessary protective factor for preventing relapse. Knowing how best to manage shame is therefore an important issue, yet the precise nature of the relationship between shame and alcohol dependence remains largely unexplored | DEPP, UK

Death of a Member

It is with great sadness that I have to inform the House of the death of the hon. Member for Newport West, Paul Flynn. A dedicated, principled, fearless and award-winning parliamentarian, Paul represented and championed the Newport West constituency and the wider interests, as he saw them, of Wales for 31 and a half years in this House | They work for you, UK

How Britain's post-industrial cities got hooked on booze

With heavy industry mostly gone, cities such as Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool have become worryingly dependent on the alcohol-driven night-time economy | Guardian, UK

'I'm not spending money on that': the rise of the teetotal student

Universities are seeing an increase in teetotal clubs and alcohol-free accommodation. Why are students drinking less? | Guardian, UK

A dodgy holiday drink made me go blind

Hannah Powell had been throwing up and felt exhausted after a night out on a bar crawl with two friends in Zante, Greece, in August 2016 | BBC, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome: Cumbria

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cases of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder have been diagnosed in Cumbria in the last 12 months for which information is available | They work for you, UK


International news

Australians spent $9.3bn on drugs in 2018, wastewater shows

Consumption of cocaine, meth, MDMA and heroin rises from previous years [See study in Australia section at end of International news below] | Guardian, UK

New Zealand university students offered free drug-testing in 'harm-prevention' first

Students’ association in Otago will help check pills during orientation week | Guardian, UK

EU Commission accused of ignoring science on e-cigarettes

The European Commission’s recent statement comparing electronic cigarettes to “poison” has prompted a strong reaction from stakeholders, who accused the EU executive of disregarding scientific evidence | EURActiv, Belgium

How alcohol is still proving deadly for the French

In France, alcohol kills tens of thousands of people each year, with French men particularly affected, a new report shows | The Local, France

War on e-cigarettes: Hong Kong intends to jail vaping offenders. But will it make people quit?

Like so many other smokers, Hong Kong-based Chan didn't savor his addiction. He wanted to quit smoking cigarettes, but struggled to end his nicotine habit | CNN, USA

How My First LSD Trip Led Me to Accept My Sexuality

Someone had to tell me what to do with it: under your tongue, leave it there for a while, don’t swallow | Filter magazine, USA

Smoking: Just to Get By

Video. Smoking is a stress relief,” says one of the interview subjects of this Filter film about the reasons people smoke cigarettes, despite the severe harms, and the benefits they find in nicotine | Filter Magazine, USA

Over 100 drug dealers surrender in Bangladesh crackdown 

In 2018, Bangladesh launched a 'war on drugs' after the proliferation of illegal substances, mostly pills called 'yaba | Aljazeera, Qatar

National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program

For this sixth report, wastewater samples were collected during weeks of June and August 2018.  Wastewater analysis was conducted at 58 sites (22 capital city and 36 regional) across all Australian states and territories, covering 13 substances, providing a detailed picture of national drug consumption. The report covers 56 per cent of the population, which is around 13 million Australians | ACIC, Australia

Decades before the pill testing debate these little bins caused an uproar

They are commonly found in public toilets across the country, but 30 years ago needle bins were part of an intense public debate on drug use, harm reduction, and the spread of HIV and AIDS | abc.net.au, Australia

Drug deaths won't stop pill testing trials: Barr

Meanwhile one of the service's staunchest opponents has accepted an invitation to observe the trial | Age, Australia

Labor frontbench to push for household limit on legal cannabis plants

The Labor frontbench will flag plans to set a limit on the number of cannabis plants households can have, when a bill to legalise the drug returns to the ACT Legislative Assembly | SMH, Australia

How many Australians are accessing unapproved medicinal cannabis?

The number of special access approvals has shot up by hundreds over the past few months | AJP, Australia

Medical marijuana is on the rise in Australia, but we still don't know a lot about how it works

Yesterday, the ABC revealed more than 3,100 medicinal cannabis scripts had been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) since the Federal Government relaxed restrictions in March 2018 | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A tribute to Paul Flynn MP - courageous advocate for drug law reform

Paul was, among his many achievements, a titan in the UK drug law reform movement. When Transform was established back in 1997 Paul was the first MP to offer his support | Transform blog, UK

Gambling: an unaddressed public health challenge, especially for children

There is an increasing understanding that gambling is a public health issue, yet insufficient mainstream effort is being used to address gambling related harms. While many people gamble and experience no adverse consequences, many others experience harms from their gambling | BMJ blog, UK

“shaming,” “stigmatizing,” and call-outs

Something is amiss in recovery advocacy. Earlier this week, the Surgeon General’s office tweeted the following paraphrase of a speech given by the Surgeon General. (Later clarified to be incorrectly transcribed.) | Recovery News blog, USA

Paul Manning: Doctors, not officials, should decide who gets medical cannabis- Paul Manning

The Government's binding referendum on personal cannabis use at the 2020 general election has sparked speculation around how products could be regulated. However, what requires more immediate public attention is getting a good regulatory framework in place for the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis | NZHerald comment, New Zealand



And finally...

Oscars nominees' $100,000 gift bag will include cannabis truffles

If this Sunday’s Oscars speeches are a little more bizarre than usual it may have something to do with what was in the nominees’ $100,000 gift bags | Telegraph, UK