Daily news - 24th July 2019

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UK news

Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s (PDF)

The NHS is aiming to do more on prevention. The Long Term Plan contained a whole chapter on prevention, and set out a package of new measures, including all smokers who are admitted to hospital being offered support to stop smoking and establishing alcohol care teams in more areas | HM Government, UK

Who are the smokers that haven't quit?

In 1974, almost half of all adults in the UK smoked. For many, spending time in smoke-filled homes, pubs and workplaces was simply a part of daily life | BBC, UK

Learning from tragedies: an analysis of alcohol-related Safeguarding Adult Reviews published in 2017

In 2017, 5,507 deaths in England were directly attributable to alcohol, an increase of 11% since 2006, while hospital admissions caused primarily by alcohol were 17% higher over the same period | Alcohol Change UK, UK

People experiencing homelessness set to benefit from new jobcentre support

Dedicated training on homelessness is being delivered to hundreds of jobcentre managers in a crucial move to improve support for vulnerable benefit claimants | DWP, UK

Hepatitis C: patient re-engagement exercise

Information for GPs about the NHS England and Public Health England initiative to support finding and treating diagnosed patients | PHE, UK

Charity asks Scots to defy Home Office on fix rooms

[Free registration maybe required] Scottish citizens will have to risk prosecution to help addicts inject in illegal fix rooms to convince the Home Office that they can save lives, drug charities have said | The Times, UK

Matt Hancock: We will do absolutely everything we can to tackle Scottish drug deaths

The Health Secretary has promised to “do absolutely everything” he can and put aside party politics to tackle rising drug deaths in Scotland | Herald, UK

West Midlands Police first force to carry life-saving drug treatment on the streets

West Midlands Police is leading the way in the fight against drug-related overdoses by being the first force in the country to offer training to officers on the beat to use the life-saving medicine naloxone | West Midlands Police, UK

Announcement of the reappointment of the Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)

I am pleased to announce that Dr Owen Bowden-Jones has been reappointed to the ACMD both as a member and as its Chair. This re-appointment is for a 3-year term, beginning on 1st January 2020. Dr Bowden-Jones is an experienced clinician who provides assessment and treatment for people experiencing harms from emerging problem drugs | They work for you, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many UK companies have been issued with a licence to sell cannabis products for the NHS | They work for you, UK

Clinic prescribing medical cannabis for children set to open in Harley Street

Families seeking medical cannabis for their children could soon be able to get it in Harley Street when London’s first private clinic to offer the drug to youngsters opens next week | Evening Standard, UK

Gambling online with credit cards

Following a recent call for evidence on the issue of gambling online with credit cards, the Gambling Commission has confirmed it will be holding a twelve-week consultation to begin in mid-August | Gambling Commission, UK

National Alcohol Awareness Day Competition

The biennial MCA National Alcohol Awareness Day competition will open on 1st March 2019 and entries must be received by 31st July 2019.  It is open to UK medical and nursing students | MCA, UK

Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic

Free event. 27 July 2019 14:00 - 15:00. Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Kent. Author and Co-Curator Mike Jay will talk in depth about mescaline's geographical and historical significance | Museum of the Mind, UK

UK hemp farm could lose £200,000 in crop destruction

One of the UK's largest hemp farms, Hempen, expects to lose about £200,000 of sales by destroying its crop after it says it lost its licence to grow it | BBC, UK

Didsbury 24-hour alcohol licence 'could attract prostitutes'

About 70 residents opposed the plans for the Shell garage on Wilmslow Road on grounds of anti-social behaviour, litter and noise | BBC, UK


International news

Capitalism gone wrong: how big pharma created America's opioid carnage

A web of firms ramped up narcotic painkiller sales, creating the biggest drug epidemic in American history as profits surged | Guardian, UK

British former head of Dulwich College Shanghai facing up to 50 years in jail on meth and ecstasy possession

A British former headmaster of an international school in China appeared in a Singapore court Tuesday charged with consumption and possession of methamphetamine and ecstasy, reports said | Telegraph, UK

Mike Pence mysteriously cancelled trip after finding out he was meeting drug trafficker

Donald Trump had teased reporters by saying a ‘very interesting problem’ had kept vice president from visiting New Hampshire | Independent, UK

Actor accused of drug dealing claims it was 'experiment' for TV role

Imanuelle Grives, 34, from Netherlands was found with drugs at Belgian festival | Guardian, UK

Inside Switzerland’s Radical Drug Policy Innovation

A look at how Switzerland radically and successfully changed its approach to drug policy following a heroin epidemic in the late 1980s and 90s, and what the effort teaches us about the social innovation process | SSIR, USA

FDA issues warning to CBD company for 'unsubstantiated' health claims

In a move to crack down on the marketing of cannabis-related products, the US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to the company Curaleaf for selling some unapproved cannabidiol products with "unsubstantiated" health claims that the products treat cancer and Parkinson's disease, among other health conditions | CNN, USA

FDA uses magic tricks in first TV ads to prevent teens from vaping

The US Food and Drug Administration put out its first TV ads focused on e-cigarette prevention | CNN, USA

Using e-cigarettes daily helps smokers to quit combustible cigarettes

A new study from the Massachusetts General Hospital's (MGH) Tobacco Research and Treatment Center provides critical population-level evidence demonstrating that using e-cigarettes daily helps U.S. smokers to quit smoking combustible (i.e. regular) cigarettes | News Medical, USA

US: Bill Seeks to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Would Expunge Records, Open Industry to Drug War Victims | Human Rights Watch, USA

When Harm Reduction Expansion Stifles Activism: A Lesson From Europe

For six weeks this summer I had the extraordinary opportunity to visit harm reduction programs all over Western Europe. In Belgium I toured a safe consumption site where people smoke and inject drugs under medical supervision | Filter Magazine, USA

Microdosing Psychedelics May Boost Mood and Focus. But What Are the Drawbacks?

Microdosing psychedelics is a growing trend that involves ingesting very small sub-hallucinogenic amounts of substances like LSD or dried psilocybin-containing mushrooms | Live Science, USA

University of Guelph researchers unlock access to pain relief potential of cannabis

University of Guelph researchers are the first to uncover how the cannabis plant creates important pain-relieving molecules that are 30 times more powerful at reducing inflammation than Aspirin | EurekAlert, Canada

Federal Government Again Rejects Pill Testing Despite Expert Advice

Pill testing is "dangerous and unfounded", the health minister has claimed, in slapping down the harm minimisation strategy despite a growing group of experts in support of the move | 10Daily, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Exclusive: Alcohol safety labelling “grace period” kept quiet for 22 months

The UK government kept quiet for 22 months about the “grace period” it gave alcohol suppliers to omit the official safety guidelines, Alcohol Companion has discovered | Phil Cain, UK

Alcohol drinking and risk of liver diseases in Chinese men: why and what do we learn from them?

Pek Kei Im describes her KBS award-winning paper on the relationship between alcohol consumption and liver disease risk among Chinese men | IAS blog, UK

Balance responds to publication of Prevention Green Paper

Responding to the publication of the Government’s Green Paper on Prevention, Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “When it comes to tackling alcohol related harm, the Prevention Green Paper is a grave disappointment | Balance North East, UK

Casualties of War – the Philippines

Three years ago, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a so-called ‘war on drugs’. Since then, at least 6,600 people have officially been killed in anti-drug operations – and many, many more by mysterious ‘vigilantes’. Most of those haven’t been wealthy narco-barons but slum-dwellers who could barely scrape two pesos together, leading some to describe it as a ‘war on the poor’ | Anyone's child blog, UK