Daily news - 18th January 2019

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UK news

Alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings: statistics summary 2017 to 2018

This National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) statistics report presents information on specialist treatment interventions for drugs and alcohol misuse in secure settings during 2017 to 2018. The report contains information on adults (aged 18 and over) in contact with treatment services in prisons, including youth offender institutions (YOIs) for 18 to 21 year olds, and immigration removal centres (IRCs) | PHE, UK

Software suppliers for the national drug treatment monitoring system

Software suppliers who have participated in the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) compliance programme and the level of compliance awarded | PHE, UK

Prisoners: Alcoholic drinks and Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the number of prisoners who have reported a drug or alcohol misuse problem upon arrival at prison in the latest period for which figures are available | They work for you, UK

Babies being born brain damaged by alcohol is a national emergency

[Free registration may be required] There is a public health emergency looming over our country, a hidden epidemic of staggeringly damaging proportions that demands our attention | The Times, UK

Cannabis: Prescriptions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS prescriptions have been issued for patients to use medical cannabis since 1 November 2018 | They work for you, UK

Alcohol related deaths in Northern Ireland have reached their highest levels on record. Should there be minimum pricing? - BBC audio

Dr Paul Darragh, Paula Bradshaw and Jeremy Hutton discuss | BBC, UK

New SMMGP / FDAP website launched

Currently includes two free webinars: How to deliver effective opioid substitution treatment in prisons (recorded, watch at any time) Presenters: Drs Joss Bray and Jake Hard and Tamara Healey, and Compassionate Pragmatism: an integrative harm reduction approach to treating problematic substance use. Wed 27th February Presenter: Dr Andrew Tatarsky | SMMGP, UK

Commissioning guidance on drug and alcohol support in homelessness services

Homeless Link is funded from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to produce a series of good practice resources to help services to respond to, and prevent, homelessness. They are currently developing new guidance for homelessness accommodation services to support people who are dependent on alcohol and/or drugs. Homeless Link are looking for consultations to deliver this work – if you are interested please download the Consultancy specification (pdf) | Collective Voice, UK

Human rights of Dundee drug addicts ‘are not being respected’

The human rights of drug users being treated for addiction are not being respected, Dundee’s drugs commission has heard | Dundee Evening Telegraph, UK

Prison for woman whose flat was base for 'county lines' dealer

A woman whose flat was used by "a nasty county lines dealer" has been jailed for 10 months for possessing crack cocaine and heroin | BBC, UK


International news

Alcohol and tobacco by far the worst drugs for human health, global review finds

No country in the world reports harm from illegal drugs rivalling culturally acceptable substances | Independent, UK

Cai Dongjia: China's 'godfather of crystal meth' executed

The former Communist Party chief of a Chinese village once notorious for its drug production has been executed, Chinese state media report | BBC, UK

‘Example to the world': Sri Lanka president plans to copy Duterte's war on drugs

President Maithripala Sirisena praises Philippines over policy that has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings | Guardian, UK

Silent Voices: Initiative to study affect of parental alcohol misuse on children (PDF)

A new initiative is being launched today aimed at highlighting the impact parental alcohol misuse has on children. The project called "Silent Voices" will look at promoting an understanding of the issue as well as providing supports for those affected... | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Plans to introduce additional needle bins in Cork city centre

The HSE is to increase the number of needle bins in Cork city centre to reduce the volume of used drug paraphernalia discarded in the city | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Study finds dangerous increases in patients mixing opioids, benzodiazepines or Z-drugs

The number of Americans taking a dangerous combination of both opioids and benzodiazepines—a group of drugs commonly prescribed for pain, insomnia and anxiety—increased by 250 percent over a 15-year period, while there was an 850 per cent increase in patients taking both benzodiazepines and so-called Z-drugs, which act similarly to benzodiazepines, according to a new study published in the journal Sleep | Medical Xpress, USA

Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate

A filing in a Massachusetts lawsuit contains dozens of internal Purdue Pharma documents suggesting the family was far more involved than the company has long contended | NYTimes, USA

Brain's cerebellum found to influence addictive and social behavior

The surprising finding indicates that the cerebellum plays a major role in reward processing and social behaviors and could potentially lead to new strategies for treating addiction | Medical Express, USA

Highly effective protocol to prepare cannabis samples for THC/CBD analysis

Porvair Sciences reports on a highly effective protocol, using its Plant Genomics microplate, for preparing cannabis samples for analysis of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) | News Medical, USA

Why vaping is so dangerous for teens

Most of what we know about nicotine addiction in teens, we know from cigarettes. But experts say the technology and chemistry of vaping might pose an entirely different threat | CNN, USA

SAMHSA Launches The 2019 Communities Talk: Town Hall Meetings To Prevent Underage Drinking

SAMHSA supports the Communities Talk: Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking initiative. This round of Communities Talk events will launch in January 2019 | SAMHSA, USA

Fifteen Examples of Discrimination Against People With Substance Use Disorders

In light of the imminent threats to the confidentiality of substance use disorder patients, Legal Action Center, along with Faces and Voices of Recovery, has documented some of the impacts of stigmatization and discrimination due to SUD treatment | Filter Magazine, USA

Confidentiality for Patients With Substance Use Disorders Is Under Threat

When patients seek treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs)—in a society that stigmatizes and discriminates against people with SUDs in so many ways—they naturally want to know if their treatment will be “confidential.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Inside Brooklyn’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary

I‘m greeted by an employee sporting a crisp button-down and a dotted blue bow tie. Petite succulent plants decorate the counter, and shelves are lined with branded gear—water bottles and t-shirts bearing the logo “Made in Brooklyn.” | Filter Magazine, USA

'Evidence backs pill testing trials': physicians tell Berejiklian

Australia's peak body for physicians have called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to introduce pill testing trials at NSW festivals, telling her there is sufficient evidence to support the intervention | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Experience: I run a drug treatment service for young men in prison

Feltham prison houses some of the most challenging and vulnerable young men in Britain. It’s a unique environment. It can be oppressive and dangerous but also offers a chance for rehabilitation and change | Addaction blog, UK