Daily news - 25th July 2019

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UK news

Half of young drinkers are unaware of health messages on alcohol packaging

Just half of 11-19 year old drinkers recall seeing health messages or warnings on alcohol packaging – despite being an important target market for this information, according to new research | University of Stirling, UK

Are diversionary schemes a justified policy focus?

Diverting people away from the criminal justice system and into treatment has been a prominent ‘solution’ to drug-related crime in the UK. Do such schemes have the desired effect of reducing drug use and future offending, and do they do so in a cost-effective way? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Awareness of product-related information, health messages and warnings on alcohol packaging among adolescents: a cross-sectional survey in the United Kingdom

[Open access] Alcohol packaging can be used to communicate product-related information, health messages and health warnings to consumers. We examined awareness and recall of such information and messaging among adolescents in the United Kingdom | Journal of Public Health, UK

Incentives for smoking cessation

Financial incentives, monetary or vouchers, are widely used in an attempt to precipitate, reinforce and sustain behaviour change, including smoking cessation. They have been used in workplaces, in clinics and hospitals, and within community programmes | Cochrane Library, UK

Fingerprint-based drug testing now supporting quicker and more effective health and justice rehabilitation

Change Grow Live now using Intelligent Fingerprinting drug test to support probation project clients in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham | Intelligent Fingerprinting, UK

Birmingham police to carry heroin overdose antidote

Police officers are to be issued an emergency antidote to allow them to treat drug users who have overdosed on heroin | BBC, UK

Life-saving training to help reverse heroin overdoses given to homeless cafe's latest volunteers

Susan Gill's homeless cafe opens every weekday to give support and feed those struggling, but risked having to close for the day on Wednesday | Teeside Live, UK

ADDICTION LIVES: Susanne MacGregor

Professor Susanne MacGregor is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at Middlesex University London, and previously held academic posts at the University of Edinburgh, Institute of Psychiatry, Birkbeck University of London, and Goldsmiths University of London | SSA, UK


International news

The last gasp: Australian council bans smoking in public places

Vote hailed as long overdue by mayor of North Sydney, but greeted with despair by area’s dwindling number of smokers | Guardian, UK

A measured, not radical, approach to drug use

An expert group has submitted its report on changing the State’s response to drug possession. The Cabinet is due to discuss proposals based on the report tomorrow. Security Correspondent Cormac O’Keeffehas obtained a copy and examines its findings | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EU and Russian drugs agency chiefs meet in Moscow to exchange information and good practice

Representatives of the EMCDDA and the General directorate for drug control of the Ministry of internal affairs of the Russian Federation are meeting in Moscow to discuss and exchange views on the drug situation in the European Union and the Russian Federation | EMCDDA, Portugal

A Safe Place to Use Drugs: Lessons from Europe's Supervised Consumption Sites

“People are always against harm reduction programs at first. But once they see the results, their views change.” - Frederick Bernard, Liege Chief Commissioner of Police | The Fix, USA

NIH establishes network to improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice settings

Ten clinical research centers will address gaps in accessing high-quality care | NIH, USA

Starting Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Prior to Prison Release Substantially Reduces Overdose Deaths

Individuals with opioid use disorder being released from prison are at particularly high risk for fatal overdose, yet virtually no US correctional facilities initiate or continue medications for addiction treatment that would protect people against overdose following release from prison. This study explored whether a novel program in the state of Rhode Island that continued inmates’ opioid use disorder medications led to decreased drug overdoses | Recovery Answers, USA

Facebook and Instagram are tightening rules around e-cigarettes, alcohol

The social networks are limiting content related to alcohol and tobacco products | CNET, USA

Drinking: Small changes make a big difference post-grad

Increased drinking is a staple of many a college experience, and comes with its share of short term consequences including alcohol poisoning, driving under the influence, and academic problems. Often, heavy drinking is confined to college years; students tend to “mature out” after graduating | BASIS, USA

Device could automatically deliver drug to reverse opioid overdose

Opioid users tend to be alone and incapacitated during an overdose. Purdue University researchers are developing a device that would automatically detect an overdose and deliver naloxone, a drug known to reverse deadly effects | Medical Xpress, USA

40% of treatment facilities won't accept people prescribed meds to fight opioid addiction

As American policymakers and health care providers try multiple approaches to reduce the number of deaths related to the opioid epidemic, treatment facilities are commonly recommended. But there's a major obstacle: Many facilities that serve individuals with opioid-related needs often won't accept people who have been prescribed medications to combat the addiction | Medical Xpress, USA

Black individuals are less likely to receive buprenorphine prescriptions than White individuals

Opioid mortality rates remain at record highs in the United States. Buprenorphine (commonly known by its brand name Subutex, or when prescribed with naloxone, known by the brand name Suboxone) is an effective, first-line treatment for opioid use disorder. This study tested the prominent concern that, despite a substantial increase in access to this life-saving medication, racial/ethnic minorities may not have equal access to this medication as White individuals | Recovery Answers, USA

Kamala Harris Cannabis Legalization Bill Is Also About Immigrant Justice

On July 22, Senator Kamala Harris, the betting markets’ favorite to become the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, introduced federal marijuana reform legislation into the Senate, demonstrating that her drug policy approach has moved past laughing at the possibility of cannabis decriminalization | Filter Magazine, USA

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. This report consolidates the most recently available information on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia, and includes key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment for vulnerable populations. Further, information on a range of health, social and economic impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are highlighted | AIHW, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Collective Voice responds to the Government’s Prevention Green Paper

The government’s new prevention green paper Advancing our health: Prevention in the 2020srightly recognises the importance of good health as a personal and social asset and endorses the NHS Long Term Plan’s focus on reducing health inequalities | Collective Voice, UK

Alcohol taxes can improve health outcomes and stimulate the UK economy

Contrary to government thinking, higher taxes on alcohol would not be bad for the economy as a whole: they would bring economic benefits, as well as be an effective public health measure, writes Aveek Bhattacharya. This potential ‘double dividend’ is the reason why the next Chancellor will do well to look again at alcohol duty | LSE blog, UK