Daily news - 21st February 2019

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UK news

MSPs to consider proposals to get tougher on drug driving

People who use prescription medication will be reminded to ensure it does not impair their ability to drive, as a move to crack down on drug-driving is considered by MSPs | The National, UK

Measurement-based care using DSM-5 for opioid use disorder: can we make opioid medication treatment more effective?

[Open access] Measurement-based care (MBC) is an evidence-based health-care practice in which indicators ofdisease are tracked to inform clinical actions, provide feedback to patients and improve outcomes. The current opioid crisis in multiple countries provides a pressing rationale for adopting a basic MBC approach for opioid use disorder (OUD) using DSM-5 to increase treatment retention and effectiveness | Addiction, UK

Special edition: Recovery in Prison (PDF)

A special open access edition of the Prison Service Journal devoted to promoting recovery in prison | Prison Service Journal, UK

Mindful drinking: the role of low and no alcohol drinks?

A new report from Drinks Retailer News, the 'Buyer's guide to mindful drinking', says the mindful drinking movement is gathering pace which could be seen as an 'impending disaster' for the drinks industry who 'cannot ignore the growing trend for moderation' Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Pregnancy: Alcoholic Drinks

What discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on including awareness-raising of the risks of pre-natal exposure to alcohol in the Government's alcohol strategy | They work for you, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome: Diagnosis

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to facilitate diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders | They work for you, UK

The Volteface Response to the Centre of Social Justice Report on Cannabis

At the end of last year, the think tank the Centre for Social published its report ‘Cannabis: The Case Against Legalisation’, a systematic take-down of why the UK should not follow the path of legalisation | Volte Face, UK

Is vaping safe?

E-cigarettes are everywhere and they’re rarely out of the news. Lucy Trevallion looks at the pros and cons of vaping | BHF, UK

Addiction Journal podcast

Rob Calder and Suzi Gage discuss the March 2019 issue of Addiction | Addiction, UK

PhD studentships

Overall purpose: to provide the opportunity to pursue a PhD in addiction science registered at a UK university and hosted at an appropriate organisation which, in the opinion of the Trustees (or officers with devolved authority), furthers the aims of the SSA. The SSA aims to provide up to two full-time studentships per year | SSA, UK

A Study of the Contents of Cannabis Joints 2019 (PDF)

This study aims to give guidance in relation to the amount of cannabis in a joint | Unpublished - via Pete Collins, Force Drug Expert Lead, Avon and Somerset Police, UK

Daniel Radcliffe opens up about alcohol struggle during Harry Potter fame

Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role in Harry Potter, says he "really struggled" with fame and subsequently alcohol after becoming a household name | ITV, UK

Spy Michael Bettaney died from alcohol intoxication

A former MI5 double agent died from alcohol intoxication, 25 years after he was jailed for trying to pass secrets to Russia, a coroner's court heard | BBC, UK

Cannabis factory in remote County Armagh cottage dismantled

Plants with a value of £20,000 were uncovered at the property near Crossmaglen | BBC, UK

Physics of Gin - BBC audio

Soft-matter physicist Dr Anne Pawsey explains the physics of alcohol, the influence of ice, and why you actually shouldn't shake a Martini - soundtracked with an exploratory and cinematic mix of contemporary classical, electronica, ambient and acoustic music | BBC Radio Ulster, UK


International news

Democratic 2020 Candidates on Cannabis and Other Drug Policy

The push for drug policy reform, particularly cannabis legalisation, has become increasingly popular on the US left since the 2016 election. Many of the main candidates for President Trump’s challenger in 2020 have pledged progressive reform – but for some, their records don’t match up with their rhetoric | Talking Drugs, UK

Rodrigo Duterte: Philippines president suggests deadly war on drug dealers will get even ‘bloodier’

Controversial leader pledges harsher crackdown to eradicate drugs | Independent, UK

How genes affect tobacco and alcohol use

Data from 1.2 million people reveal how tobacco and alcohol use may be linked to your genes and to various diseases | EurekAlert, Norway

Increased Methamphetamine, Injection Drug, and Heroin Use Among Women and Heterosexual Men with Primary and Secondary Syphilis — United States, 2013–2017

During 2013–2017, the national annual rate of reported primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis cases in the United States increased 72.7%, from 5.5 to 9.5 cases per 100,000 population | CDC, USA

American drug overdose death rates the highest among wealthy nations

In the most comprehensive international comparison of its kind, a USC study found that the United States has the highest drug overdose death rates among a set of high-income countries | Medical Xpress, USA

Monthly buprenorphine injections effective for opioid use disorders

A newly published study suggests the long-acting buprenorphine formulation BUP-XR is more effective than placebo in helping patients struggling with addiction to opioids. BUP-XR is a monthly extended-release injection | Medical Xpress, USA

Improvement in psychiatric symptoms in the absence of counseling for Opioid Use Disorder

Many people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) experience other psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety, which are painful and can exacerbate addiction | BASIS, USA

Researchers Announce Completion of First Clinical Trial of Marijuana for PTSD in Veterans

Researchers announced that the first randomized controlled trial of whole plant (botanical) marijuana as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms has been formally completed, with all 76 veterans having been enrolled and treated | MAPS, USA

How I Started South Carolina’s Only Formal Syringe Exchange

When I was 19, living in New Jersey and injecting drugs, I found out that I had hepatitis C. All of my friends learned that they had it too, after one of them got tested in jail. We had been sharing needles. It was devastating news to me, as I knew nothing about the disease. I thought it was a death sentence | Filter Magazine, USA

New Evidence Backs Calls to End Cash Bail

In February 2018, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announcedthat his office would stop seeking monetary bail for defendants accused of some low-level felonies and misdemeanor charges | Filter Magazine, USA

New problem for legal weed: Exploding pot factories

Legalization of marijuana at the state level has resulted in at least 10 recorded instances of fires or explosions at facilities that extract hash oil | Politico, USA

A University Of California Santa Cruz Student Was Charged With Creating An App Called "Banana Plug" To Sell Drugs

The app was named after the school's mascot, Sammy, the banana slug, and was available for download in Apple's app store | BuzzFeed, USA

MAPS Canada charts the way for psychedelic therapy

When McGill students hear about psychedelics, their minds might wander to that friend who tried magic mushrooms once, or maybe MK Ultra’sacid-based electrotherapy experiments | McGill Tribune, Canada

Ruthless meth networks get ill-prepared Myanmar hooked

Mobs of stick-wielding church-goers in Myanmar's northeast used to descend on dealers and addicts in a desperate effort to save their communities from a meth-induced health crisis sweeping the country | Medical Xpress, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Experts Still Disagree Over the Value of Vaping

E-cigarettes are a powerful smoking cessation tool, a new study shows. But not all experts want to embrace vaping | Medium blog, UK

Go abroad – here is how to take the first step

In this blog, Dr Samuel Tomczyk, EUSPR ECF Lead offers us insights on exchange opportunities in the Unites States for early career researchers in the field of prevention. Inspiring discussions on this topic with prominent professors at the Washington State University took place at the 9th EUSPR conference and members’ meeting this October | EUSPR blog, UK