Daily news - 5th July 2019

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UK news

Children as young as seven 'being enslaved by UK drug gangs'

Scale of exploitation and lack of help for victims of ‘county lines’ dealers shown in report | Guardian, UK

The prevalence of wholly attributable alcohol conditions in the United Kingdom hospital system: a systematic review, meta‐analysis and meta‐regression

[Open access] The prevalence of alcohol‐related conditions is often reported as higher in hospital in‐patients compared with the general population. However, formal prevalence estimates are commonly derived from small studies which report highly varied results | Addiction, UK

1 in 5 hospital patients have alcohol-related problems

Various media sources report on the worrying extent of the alcohol problem in the UK, with the BBC and the Sun reporting that 1 in 5 people in hospital beds are heavy drinkers | NHS Choices, UK

Dangerous Drugs

The purpose of the draft order is to amend schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act by reducing the scope of the generic definition of the compounds referred to as the third generation of synthetic cannabinoids | They work for you, UK

‘How have infertility treatments affected your drinking?’

Problems with fertility can be caused or exacerbated by substance use, and in the reverse direction, women can lean on drinking and drug use to cope with the emotional and physical toll of infertility treatment. Enquiring about drug and alcohol problems may be an ‘ethical and medical duty’ for reproductive specialists, but can screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment be successfully integrated into their routine practice? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

CBD, with Dr Amir Englund - podcast

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in cannabis. In recent times it's began to be found on our high streets, available in everything from coffee to ice-cream to vape liquid. It's also been touted as a medication to treat a variety of health ailments, from childhood epilepsy to insomnia. In this episode Suzi is joined by researcher Dr Amir Englund from Kings College London to separate myth from evidence around what CBD is, and what it can, and can't do | Say why to drugs, UK

The importance of recovery cafes for people experiencing addiction

Although they’ve been around for many years, it’s safe to say the recovery café is still a fairly novel idea in the UK | Metro, UK

'I got hooked on painkillers at 16'

Katie was just 16 when she was first prescribed strong painkillers. It wasn't long before her addiction spiralled out of control | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Survey on digital drug/alcohol interventions in England: participants wanted!

The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England have commissioned a research project on digital interventions for drug/alcohol prevention/treatment/recovery. The project will look at which interventions are currently being developed, commissioned, used or evaluated in England. A systematic review is also being conducted, to identify what research evidence exists about digital drug/alcohol interventions and see how this matches what is currently in use, and where gaps remain | LSHTM and UCL, UK

Hospital trust to fine and discipline smokers

Staff will face formal action if caught smoking three times at Sandwell and West Birmingham hospitals | BBC, UK

Tin: Twin Town follow-up focuses on 'cannabis town'

A west Wales town whose "prime asset" is cannabis will be the subject of the follow-up to cult film Twin Town, its director Kevin Allen has said | BBC, UK

Telegraph says sorry to drug dealer for Boris Johnson's 'spa break' claim

Press regulator acts after Tory leadership candidate’s column about ‘crook-coddling’ | Guardian, UK

Fatal A424 crash driver 'drank and used cocaine'

A driver had used cocaine and drank a significant amount of alcohol before causing a crash that killed him and another man, an inquest has heard | BBC, UK

Mad admits £240,000 cocaine charge three years on

A man caught with cocaine with a street value of about £240,000 more than three years ago has admitted being concerned in supplying the drug | BBC, UK

Harwich port: £30m of cocaine found in frozen meat lorry

Border Force seized the haul, with an estimated street value of £30m, at Harwich Port in Essex | BBC, UK


International news

Netflix to cut back on showing smoking in its original shows

It's after a report said programmes on the streaming site showed "much more tobacco" than on US TV or cable | BBC, UK

Cocaine production in Colombia is at historic highs

There is not much the government can do about it | Economist, UK

Substance misuse issues in Dublin’s north east inner city. A Community-based needs analysis. Executive summary (PDF)

This report is a community-based analysis informed by the opinions of the people who are experiencing substance misuse issues (who may or may not be engaged in services), families who have (or have had in the past) a member with a substance misuse issue as well as community representatives and those tasked with service provision and overseeing change | North Inner City Drug and Alcohol Task Force, Ireland

Activities of Irish psychiatric units and hospitals 2018

There were 17,000 admissions to Irish psychiatric hospitals and units during 2018 according to the latest figures from the Health Research Board (HRB). This represents an increase of 257 from 2017. Depression, schizophrenia, mania, neurosis and alcoholic disorders account for over two-thirds of all admissions | HRB, Ireland

Incarceration and economic hardship strongly associated with drug-related deaths in the US

Growing rates of incarceration in the USA since the mid-1970s may be linked with a rise in drug-related mortality, and may exacerbate the harmful health effects of economic hardship, according to an observational study involving 2,640 US counties between 1983 and 2014, published in The Lancet Public Health journal | Medical Xpress, USA

DOJ asks congress to permanently classify fentanyl-like drugs

A temporary order classifying fentanyl-like drugs as controlled substances should be enacted into law, the U.S. Department of Justice is telling Congress | Medical Xpress, USA

They're cutting opioid prescriptions by stopping pain before it starts

Doctors today are reducing their patients' need for strong opioid medications after surgery by pre-treating patients with other pain relievers before they even enter the operating room | Medical Xpress, USA

Kush. Bud. Herb. Who knows what to call marijuana these days? | NYTimes, USA

Ignoring cues for alcohol and fast food is hard—but is it out of our control?

A UNSW psychology experiment has shown why it can be so hard to direct our attention away from cues that might lead to behavior we'd like to avoid, like drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy food | Medical Xpress, Australia

'Nowhere to hide': World-first study exposes untold risk of smoking

Smoking is killing 17 Australians a day from stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular conditions, wiping out almost double the population of Port Douglas every year, warn the researchers of a world-first study | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Druggie zombie junkies, and the language battle at the heart of our attitudes towards addiction

Unless there is a change in how we speak about drug users, it is easy to justify an environment where treatment and support is shrinking – which it is at an alarming rate | Independent voices, UK

Adolescent cannabis use and risk of depression and suicide

Cannabis is a commonly used illicit substance, with a postulated 3.8% global use and with major research into its role in psychosis already permeating the public field | Mental Elf, UK

Should we legalise cannabis?

In any public debate there may come a point when the evidence for a shift in direction clearly outweighs that against. Has this point been reached for drug policy reform? | BMJ editorial, UK

It's time to decriminalise drug use to beat Scotland's crippling death crisis

People are dying. We have to help them by treating drugs as a health issue and not turning users into criminals | Daily Record, UK

E-cigarettes: why I’m optimistic they will stub smoking out for good

There are over a billion smokers across the world – a habit which causes more than 7m deaths per year. We have known that smoking kills for decades, but this simple fact has not been enough to persuade every smoker to quit | Conversation, UK

Letters: It is wrong to offer vulnerable women help that is contingent on them agreeing to reproductive control

Dundee City Council recently announced plans to introduce "Pause": a programme of intensive support for women with complex needs (such as substance use, mental health problems, or domestic violence) whose children have been, or may be, removed from their care. Continued support is conditional on their use of long-acting reversible contraception | Herald, UK

My Psychedelic Trip Out of Depression

Approximately 70 percent of people who try ketamine for depression say they respond to it. I’m one of them | Undark, USA

How rehab helps heavy drug and alcohol users think differently

Around 16,700 Australians stay in residential rehabilitation centres each year, most commonly for problems with alcohol, amphetamines and opiates | Conversation, Australia