Daily news - 14th January 2019

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UK news

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) cost-effectiveness of alcohol care teams in hospitals | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had in 2018 with representatives of (i) the alcohol industry and (ii) public health advocates to discuss minimum unit pricing for alcohol | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he plans to publish an alcohol workforce strategy to accompany the alcohol strategy | They work for you, UK

Morbidity, mortality and missed appointments in healthcare: a national retrospective data linkage study

Recently, studies have examined the underlying patient and practice factors for missed appointments, but less is known about the impact on patient health. People with one or more long-term conditions who fail to attend appointments may be at risk of premature death | BMC Medicine, UK

Public 'turning blind eye' to street drug dealing

Now communities have been urged to help deal with the rising problem by reporting sightings | BBC, UK

Newport heroin drug batch warning after men's deaths

Police are linking the sudden deaths of two men and warning about a "potentially volatile" batch of heroin in Newport | BBC, UK

Police issue drugs warning after boy is taken critically ill in Rugby

Warwickshire Police is warning people to be on their guard after a 16-year-old boy fell critically ill in Rugby after police suspect he took high-purity MDMA | Warwickshire Police, UK

Bright teenager, 19, who believed he was Jesus died after taking a mix of cocaine and Xanax

The teen, from Marle Avenue, Mossley, died of a drug-induced cardiac arrhythmia on January 14 last year and had been taking drugs since he was 13 | Manchester Evening News, UK

Drug-testing service in Durham highlights dangers of the illegal trade

Durham's Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner has praised a drug testing service which highlighted the dangers of the illegal trade | Chronicle Live, UK

The former drug addict criminal desperately seeking a new life but rejected because of his past

Carl Chant has won an award for his work at Grenfell and met royalty, but claims employers "can't look past" his life as a heroin addict | Wales Online, UK

Use low dead space: Driving uptake of safer drug injecting equipment

Free Event. Thu 24 January 2019. New posters, a booklet and an animation, co-designed by service users from Bristol Drugs Project, are being launched at this special event, which includes an exhibition of the materials | NIHR CLAHRC West, UK

Dorset: Take Drugs Seriously

Free Event. Mon, February 11, 2019Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Come along to learn about the impact of drugs on Dorset and whether legal regulation could better protect our community? | J Slater, UK

Irish police help in UK drug-and-gun supply arrests

Irish police have assisted an operation in England in which two men were arrested over the supply of drugs and firearms in the UK and Ireland | BBC, UK

Torbay drug death dealer ordered to repay £20k crime profits

A dealer who supplied a hallucinogenic drug that led to the death of a teenage boy has been ordered to repay the £20,000 he made out of crime | BBC, UK

Gambling addiction: Flaws exposed in online self-exclusion scheme

The head of a scheme designed to help problem gamblers says she is "deeply concerned" after an investigation found people were able to cheat the system | BBC, UK


International news

Minimum alcohol pricing move in Ireland won’t wait for Stormont

Health minister Simon Harris is set to proceed with minimum unit pricing for alcohol, despite previously saying it would be introduced only at the same time as Northern Ireland | Sunday Times, UK

'Dr Marijuana’ has licence suspended for 'indiscriminately' prescribing patients medical cannabis

Doctor accused of engaging 'in fraud, gross negligence, and professional misconduct' | Independent, UK

Kings of cocaine: how the Albanian mafia seized control of the UK drugs trade

‘They’re sophisticated, clever – and they always deliver’: from the ports of Europe to the streets of London, one criminal network is now at the top of the UK’s £5bn trade | Guardian, UK

Talking Horses: Ireland gets tough on jockeys testing positive for cocaine

Five-year suspensions will be the starting point in future for riders returning positive tests for cocaine | Guardian, UK

Ecuador fire: 17 die in rehab clinic blaze started by patients in attempt to escape

President Lenin Moreno vows deaths will not go unpunished | Independent, UK

Bills set to tackle online gambling targeting children

Two separate bills on gambling laws are due to be published in the coming weeks as popular YouTubers, with millions of followers, have come under fire for promoting controversial games linked to young people gambling | RTe, Ireland

Gold medal for the EMCDDA for the ‘extraordinary relevance’ of its work

The EMCDDA has been awarded a Gold Medal of the Order of Merit of the Spanish national plan on drugs (Delegación del Gobierno para el Plan Nacional sobre Drogas/DGPNSD) in recognition of, and appreciation for, its work over the past 20 years. EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is in Madrid today to receive the medal on behalf of the agency | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug overdose death rate increasing among middle-aged women

From 1999 to 2017, the drug overdose death rate increased 260 percent among women aged 30 to 64 years, according to research published in the Jan. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report | Medical Xpress, USA

Experimental heroin-prevention vaccine being tested in Syracuse

The latest tactic in fighting the heroin epidemic is a vaccine aimed to prevent users from getting addicted to and high on the drug | Stripes, USA

Despite Conflicting Evidence, A New Report Finds Legal Marijuana Does Not Impact Alcohol Sales

Weighing in on an issue that weighs heavily on alcoholic beverage suppliers, the Distilled Spirits Council released new research that shows the sale of legalized marijuana does not impact alcohol purchases, at least in the three states that have allowed recreational pot smoking the longest | Forbes, USA

The Parenting Journey of a Mom Whose Daughter Survived 13 Overdoses

Across North America, older people who never attended a protest in their lives are contacting elected officials and marching in the streets, demanding their governments transform and intensify the response to drug-overdose deaths | Filter Magazine, USA

A better strategy for quitting smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do, but studies have found that one strategy in particular can help many people: Start anti-smoking medication well before your intended quit date | Medical Xpress, USA

Does opioid use in pets create higher risk for abuse in humans?

The increase in opioid prescriptions for people over the past decade may have been paralleled by an increase in opioid prescriptions for pets, according to a study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Veterinary Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Family of 'beautiful' teen plead for pill testing after suspected festival drug overdose

Central Coast teenager Alex Ross-King, 19, collapsed after consuming an unknown substance at FOMO festival in Parramatta | Age, Australia

Drug, pill testing: The DIY drug test kit everyone is buying

Illegal drugs are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get | abc.net, Australia

The link between alcohol ads and risky drinking in Australian teens

A study of thousands of Australian high school students over more than 10 years has found that exposure to alcohol advertising encourages adolescents to participate in 'risky drinking' behaviours | Age, Australia

Cracks in the Ice: Evaluation of online crystal methamphetamine resources - survey

You are invited to take part in this research study. This research study aims to evaluate the online community toolkit, known as Cracks in the Ice (CITI). CITI aims to improve access to evidence-based information about ‘ice’ (crystal methamphetamine) for the Australian community. You have been invited because you are a member of the Australian community | University of Sydney, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why is Matt Hancock actively ruling out minimum unit pricing for alcohol?

Research shows that MUP does not “punish” moderate drinkers and is an effective measure to discourage excessive drinking | BMJ opinion, UK

The downside of Dry January

I’ve been thinking about Dry January a lot recently.  Well, it is January.  And like every year, there’s been lots of views aired by journalists and professionals | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Commentary on Stam et al. (2019): Drugs, death and statistics

The accurate reporting of drug‐related death is of critical public health importance. There is, however, good reason to believe that the official statistics provide substantial underestimates | Addiction commentary, UK

Craving insight into addiction

Dr David Marjot on the anti-boredom effect, and Dr Ian Flintoff on the damage done by a materialist society | Guardian letters, UK

Evidence clearly shows the benefits of pill testing

Evidence is growing that pill testing encourages young people to reconsider their drug use — and new forms of testing can provide even more benefits | UNSW, Australia