Daily news - 11th January 2019

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UK news

Mental health patients missing GP appointments 'at risk'

The University of Glasgow study looked at 274,547 patients with long-term mental health conditions, at surgeries across Scotland between 2013 and 2016. Of those who missed appointments, 32.1% were addicted to alcohol and drugs | BBC, UK

News & updates December 2018: violence, banking app block option, drink-drive reports, biggest beer seizure reported

Selected media stories since the November 2018 round up | IAS, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland on (a) the level of consumption of alcohol and (b) public health | They work for you, UK

BDP Launches New Veteran's Support Service

Working with the Royal British Legion, Bristol Drugs Project have launched Veteran’s Independence from Problematic Substances (VIPs), a new project to offer support to veterans who want to access veteran specific drug or alcohol treatment | BDP, UK

Police arrest 22 and charge 10 in 'county lines' drugs crackdown

Arrests in Cumbria, West Midlands and London follow spate of drug-related deaths in Barrow-in-Furness | Guardian, UK

Revealed: the ‘dire consequences’ of football’s relationship with gambling

The relentless involvement of betting companies in football has drawn a generation of young men into strongly associating their support for the game with gambling, leading to “dire consequences” for many, a study has found | Guardian, UK

Criminal barrister fined for ‘inadvertently’ sending cocaine to a chambers

An experienced criminal barrister has been reprimanded and fined by the regulator after he “inadvertently” sent cocaine to a chambers | Legal Cheek, UK

'Triad gang link' to Belfast £1m cannabis haul

Seized herbal cannabis with a potential street value of almost £1m has been linked to a Triad organised crime gang by police | BBC, UK

Gang jailed for £3m Dublin drugs smuggling plot

Three members of a gang who admitted trying to smuggle £3m of class A and B drugs into Ireland have been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Strong therapeutic relationships help clients get where they want to be. Now with newly extended commentary

Comprehensive review for the American Psychological Association concludes that the working relationship between clients and counsellors/therapists is one of the largest and most consistent determinants of outcomes. Includes practice recommendations. Re-released with more on why this relationship was found less of an influence among drug users and why forging a strong relationship does not mean always accepting the client’s views or wishes | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Social media addicts behave like those addicted to drink and drugs 

Social media addicts make bad decisions, as though they are reliant on drink or drugs, a study suggests | Telegraph, UK

Mexico investigates battle between drug gangs that left at least 20 dead

The bodies, some burned, found in the northern border town of Tamaulipas that’s convulsed by fighting to control drug trafficking | Guardian, UK

Drug and Alcohol Trends Monitoring System (DATMS) 2018: year 3

Mapping treatment demand identifies that drug and alcohol dependence is a community wide issue affecting all socio-economic groups, though is more pronounced in deprived areas | Blanchardstown Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force, Ireland

These digital ads help Stockholm’s homeless find shelter

Digital ads can do good in the world–they can be programmed to serve the community in times of crisis | Fast Company, Sweden

Fatal drug ODs soaring among middle-aged women: CDC

The rate at which middle-aged American women die from overdoses involving opioids and other drugs nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2017, new government data shows | Medical Xpress, USA

Health officials are sounding an alarm on the drug gabapentin. And it's not even an opioid

People are using the prescription painkiller gabapentin to boost their highs, doctors say | nbc news, USA

Front or back seat: Do patients with AUD prefer to make their own treatment decisions?

For many years, members of the medical establishment have considered abstinence the only acceptable goal of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) treatment, even though some controlled drinking might be an appropriate goal for some AUD patients | BASIS, USA

Risky decisions: Excessive social media use is comparable to drug addiction

Bad decision-making is a trait oftentimes associated with drug addicts and pathological gamblers, but what about people who excessively use social media? New research shows a connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making, which is commonly deficient in substance addiction | Science Daily, USA

Team uncovers the disconnect between the brain's dopamine system and cocaine addiction

Researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio have revealed significant insight into cocaine addiction, a phenomenon which has grown significantly in the United States since 2015 | Medical Xpress, USA

Friends' vaping could pose danger to kids with asthma

Add another danger that e-cigarettes pose to teenagers: A new study finds secondhand exposure to vaping may raise the chances of asthma attacks in adolescents with the respiratory condition | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug combo shows promise in treatment of depression and addiction

The combination of naltrexone and ketamine can help treat both symptoms of addiction and depression, a preliminary study by Yale University researchers suggests | Medical Xpress, USA

The extraordinary therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs, explained

I spent months talking to psychedelic guides and researchers. Here’s what I learned | Vox, USA

StatsCannabis data availability: Crowdsourced cannabis prices, fourth quarter 2018

The government of Canada legalized the production and sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes on October 17, 2018. Prior to legalization, Statistics Canada updated the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application to try and capture changes in consumer behaviours due to the new legalized status of cannabis for non-medical use | Canada

The electronic cigarettes trend in Australia

E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes, are battery operated devices that are meant to look and feel like a conventional cigarette or cigar | Best in Australia, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

I lead an A&E outreach team. Here’s how we help ‘frequent attenders’ with drug and alcohol problems

Most people use Accident and Emergency (A&E) for something out of the ordinary, an accident or a sudden change in health. However, for some, hospital waiting rooms become part and parcel of everyday life | Addaction blog, UK

London’s gangs have changed, and it’s driving a surge in pitiless violence

Jayden Moodie, 14, was killed in Waltham Forest, where gangs have moved focus from postcodes to drugs profits | Guardian CIF, UK

“How to Paint a Morphine Addict”: Notes from the “Substance Use and Abuse in the Long 19th Century” Conference

Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century was a two-day conference at Edge Hill University, England, on 13th-14th September 2018. It was an interdisciplinary symposium with fascinating talks on topics ranging from alcoholism and cocaine use to opium, logistics and concepts of addiction | Points blog, UK

Naltrexone, Ketamine Combo Shows Promise For Depression And Addiction

The combination of naltrexone and ketamine can help treat both symptoms of addiction and depression, a preliminary study by Yale University researchers suggests | Science Blog, USA

There's merit in a pill-testing trial

Five young people are dead from drug-taking at music festivals in the past four months. The most recent was a 20-year-old man who died in Victoria. This means heartbreak and anguish for families and concern for us all. How do we combat such tragedies and keep our young people safe? | Age editorial, Australia