Daily news - 24th January 2019

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UK news

NHS Long Term Plan commits to Alcohol Care Teams - a genuine pledge?

The Government recently announced its new NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), which includes a commitment to establish Alcohol Care Teams (ACTs) in hospitals with the highest rate of 'alcohol dependence-related admissions' | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Improving safety for people who inject drugs

An estimated 1 in 6 people who inject drugs share needles and syringes with other people, increasing their risk of infection with HIV, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus. These infections are usually spread when blood from one person collects in the space between the needle and the plunger - the ‘dead space’ - and the injecting equipment is shared with someone else without having been cleaned | NIHR, UK

Needle and syringe programmes cost-effectively prevent hepatitis C transmission

Providing clean injecting equipment through needle and syringe programmes is a highly cost-effective way of preventing hepatitis C (HCV) transmission among people who inject drugs and could save millions of pounds in infection treatment costs in the UK, according to research led by the University of Bristol and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | Medical Xpress, UK

Glass half full for residential/inpatient treatment of drinking problems in England

On the important national indicator of completing treatment and not returning for treatment in the following six months, inpatient and residential treatments for alcohol use disorders in England appeared to be effective half the time. Longer duration of treatment and ongoing care were associated with a greater likelihood of successfully completing treatment | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Mother speaks about dangers of dark web drug fentanyl

A woman who found her son dead after taking drugs he bought on the dark web has spoken about her devastation | BBC, UK

Rory Stewart: ‘I’ll resign if prison violence doesn’t improve’

The prisons minister says airport-style security in prisons would cut off the supply of drugs to inmates | Guardian, UK

Study title: What do you think about drug-related risk?   

Survey. You are being invited to take part in a research study. The purpose of this study is to get a better understanding of how people who use illicit drugs understand risk | PHI, UK

Journal of Illicit economies

New journal with open access articles relating to the international drugs trade | LSE, UK

Spirit of the ‘ginaissance’: revival of gin fuels distillery boom

England now home to more distilleries than Scotland as gin makers try to keep up with soaring consumer demand | Guardian, UK


International news

Revealed: the free-market groups helping 

More than 100 free-market thinktanks from North America to Europe and south Asia took positions helpful to the tobacco industry or donations, Guardian investigation shows | Guardian, UK

Guidance on some of the trickiest decisions therapists have to make

It’s a dilemma for all therapists and counsellors - how much to disclose about yourself. Another difficult decision is when to directly confront what is happening then and there in therapy. A review for the American Psychological Association finds that generally positive reactions follow, but also that these tactics can backfire. Guidance is offered on when and how to try them | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

CBS refuses to run Super Bowl ad for medical marijuana

CBS has rejected a Super Bowl television ad calling for the legalization of medical marijuana sponsored by one of the largest cannabis investment companies | Guardian, UK

Injecting centre for Cork drug addicts still under evaluation

A medically supervised safe injecting centre for drug addicts will not be established in Cork city until the success of a planned facility in Dublin is evaluated first | Evening Echo, Ireland

Gardaí seize cannabis in Drogheda worth over €900,000

Investigating officers arrest and detain woman in her 30s for drug trafficking offences | Irish Times, Ireland

More people in recovery from substance use problems are quitting smoking than ever before

Study finds those who entered recovery from 2006 to 2015 quit smoking sooner than those entering recovery 20 years earlier | EurekAlert, USA

Cigarette smoking associated with increased risk of peripheral artery disease in African-Americans

African Americans who smoke cigarettes are more likely than those who don't smoke to develop peripheral artery disease, according to new research | EurekAlert, USA

Cannabis use disorder: The policy climate matters

Adolescents and young adults living in states with more liberal policies reported higher average rates of past-year cannabis use than those in states with more conservative policies, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health | EurekAlert, USA

In the Tobacco Harm Reduction Debate, Civility Has Gone Up in Smoke

In the pursuit of reducing the harms caused by cigarettes, those of us who advocate for vaping as a public-health harm reduction tool are constantly battling with bullying and harassment, “justified” by moral outrage | Filter Magazine, USA

More Companies Should Offer Bathroom Syringe Disposals Like Starbucks

One sign of the extent to which the overdose crisis has shifted public discourse is how few places remain unaffected. Public restrooms are no exception | Filter Magazine, USA

New study warns of growing public health concern around vaping for young women

Alarming new research shows how many young Aussie women are trying vaping and many of them have never touched a cigarette | news.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

With the chemsex scene booming, are gay men using drugs to medicate complex issues around sex?

Experts say many men have a ‘sex problem’ and are using drugs as the solution. Traditional treatment methods may not be enough | Addaction blog, UK

40 years practicing criminal law showed me that UK drugs laws are a catastrophe

I was a criminal lawyer for over 40 years – indeed I still am, now pushing my last couple of cases through the Criminal Cases Review Commission.  My big takeaway from such a long career? Easy, and here it is in one sentence. Our criminal justice approach to drugs is a national catastrophe | Transform blog, UK

Backlash against cannabis culture has begun

[Registration may be required] Critics of the commercialisation of marijuana say big business is choosing to downplay the huge health risks involved | The Times, UK

The scent of London has changed: all I can smell now is cannabis

Fewer people are smoking cannabis these days, down to 1.4 million from two million, they say. I say, if you believe that, you’re high | The Spectator, UK

The Irish Times view on drink-driving: a cop-out at the heart of Cabinet

Politicians frequently mistake lobbying by vested interests with widely-held public views | Irish Times opinion, Ireland

How does MDMA kill?

MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), commonly referred to as ecstasy, was manufactured as a potential pharmaceutical early last century. It had some limited use in the 1970s as a therapeutic aid in trauma treatment and in relationship counselling, and more recent studies using MDMA for trauma have shown some promise | Conversation, Australia