Daily news - 29th July 2019

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UK news

Hepatitis C: interventions for case-finding and linkage to care

An evidence review of what interventions are effective in increasing case-finding and linkage to care for hepatitis C-infected patients | PHE, UK

Mayor joins charities and doctors to spread the World Hepatitis Day ‘Get tested for hepatitis C’ message

On 26 July, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, joined forces with the London Joint Working Group on Hepatitis C, King’s College Hospital, The Hepatitis C Trust, and the Manna Centre, to draw attention to World Hepatitis Day (28 July) and the good news that hepatitis C – once seen as a ‘silent killer’ – can now be cured with tablet treatments | London Joint Working Group, UK

New plan to tackle substance misuse in Wales launched

Consultation closing date: 9th August. Tackling substance misuse amongst the homeless and prisoners and dealing with mental health issues associated with addiction are some of the aims of a new Welsh Government plan published for consultation | Welsh Government, UK

SNP under fire for cuts to drug and alcohol treatment programmes

The SNP has been criticised for cutting millions from drug treatment programmes while demanding new powers for “shooting galleries” for addicts | Press and Journal, UK

Labour MSP demands Scottish Parliament be recalled to deal with drug death crisis

Neil Findlay wants MSP to return from summer recess for an emergency session to discuss the issue | Daily Record, UK

Drink Free Days evaluations: a worthwhile partnership?

Two evaluations have been released assessing the 'Drink Free Days' (DFD) campaign launched last year as a partnership between Drinkaware and Public Health England (PHE), prompting controversy | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Drugs warning ahead of Edinburgh dance music event

Elrow Town music festival takes place at the Royal Highland Centre Showground in Ingliston on Saturday. Police Scotland have reminded those attending of a zero tolerance of drugs and warned against bringing drugs, alcohol or weapons into the venue | BBC, UK

Cannabis oil: Girl's medicine confiscated at Stansted Airport

The mother of a girl with epilepsy said her child is at risk of "becoming comatose" after her medical cannabis oils were seized at a UK airport | BBC, UK

Trial under way of anti-cocaine spray aims to deter drug use

It makes powder clump together and stick to to treated surfaces making it impossible to sniff up | BBC, UK

Boris Johnson to relax stop and search rules as he launches plan to recruit 20,000 police officers

Boris Johnson has vowed to urgently relax stop and search restrictions for police officers across the UK, in a controversial first full policy announcement as prime minister | Independent, UK

Prisoners: Synthetic Cannabinoids

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what programmes there are in prisons to provide support for prisoners with synthetic cannabis drug dependency | They work for you, UK

Experiences and needs of families of former members of the UK Armed Forces with substance use problems - survey

The project aims to find out about the experiences and needs of adult family members of former members of the UK Armed Forces with substance use problems.  The findings from the project will be used to develop a new peer support intervention for this group of families | Adfam and University Of York, UK

Cardiff Principality Stadium's alcohol-free zone to stay

It polled hundreds of thousands of fans and decided to make an "enhanced and upgraded" zone a permanent fixture at all WRU-owned events at the stadium | BBC, UK

Bristol post office gets alcohol licence despite objections

A post office in an "alcohol-fuelled" crime hotspot has been granted permission to double up as an off-licence despite police objections | BBC, UK

Anti-drug vigilantes smash up CBD food supplement shop

The vigilantes appear to have confused CBD, a legal substance derived from hemp, with cannabis | Independent, UK

All you can drink cruise packages criticised by P&O passengers as police rule out clown as brawl perpetrator

All you can drink cruise packages have been criticised by a passenger on the P&O journey which descended into a mass brawl, as police ruled out a clown as the perpetrator | Telegraph, UK

Waitress slammed for secretly serving alcohol-free drinks to a woman she believed was pregnant

The server brought several rounds of virgin drinks to the customer over the course of her shift - despite her ordering booze | The Sun, UK

16 sentenced after south-east England 'county lines' drug sting

Fifteen men and one woman were involved in operation to transport and sell class A drugs | Guardian, UK


International news

Legalising Weed: Canada's story - BBC iPlayer

Canada's legalised it, so three MPs go on a weed trip to see if Britain could do the same. Being the first major Western country to go fully legal, Newsbeat ask - has it worked? | BBC, UK

The UK 'will legalise cannabis' within five to 10 years say MPs

A group of cross-party MPs who've been on a fact-finding trip to Canada predict the UK will fully legalise cannabis use within five to ten years | BBC, UK

Former health minister took cannabis oil for BBC documentary

Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb has called for the legalisation of the substance | Guardian, UK

Cannabis factories could create jobs in deprived areas, says ex-minister

Building cannabis factories in Britain’s neglected post-industrial towns may be the solution to unemployment problems, a former Conservative justice minister has suggested | Telegraph, UK

Can new digital technologies facilitate contingency management?

Compared with supervised breathalyser tests, remote monitoring of drinking reduces the burden on everyone involved. Is this enough to help overcome obstacles to implementing interventions that incentivise abstinence? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

European panel okays GW Pharma cannabis drug for epilepsy

GW Pharmaceuticals’ (GWPH.O) marijuana-based treatment Epidyolex has won a positive recommendation for marketing approval from a European Medicines Agency (EMA) panel on Friday for use as an additional treatment for two types of seizures | Reuters, UK

WHO says e-cigarettes, 'smoke-free' products do not help reduce cancer

Electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are not helping fight cancer, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, urging smokers and governments not to trust claims from cigarette firms about their latest products | Reuters, UK

Battle against tobacco epidemic is far from won, WHO report finds

Billions live in countries where there are no stringent measures to control smoking | Guardian, UK

Drug suspects call police after getting stuck in a shipping container full of cocaine during the heatwave

Two men became trapped in a shipping container full of cocaine in the port of Antwerp on Wednesday, the hottest day ever recorded in Belgium | Telegraph, UK

Nine years on, Greek MPs agree to abide by own anti-smoking law

Metal ashtrays that grace the vestibule off parliament’s cafe are finally being removed | Guardian, UK

Merchants Quay Ireland considers appeal on supervised injection facility planning refusal

The future of the proposed supervised injecting centre hangs in the balance as Merchants Quay Ireland considers whether or not to appeal a decision refusing it planning permission | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Conflict over plan to soften drug law; Minority report outlines split in opinion on changes to legislation

Grave concerns within Government over its plan to liberalise Ireland’s drug laws are today revealed in a top-secret Cabinet document | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Making sense of street chaos: an ethnographic exploration of homeless people’s health service utilization

Homeless people have poor health and mortality indices. Despite this they make poor usage of health services. This study sought to understand why they use health services differently from the domiciled population | International Journal for Equity in Health, Ireland

Self-service cigarette machines set to be stubbed out

Simon Harris is considering new legislation which would ban the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines, which would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s, and ban the sale of tobacco at locations intended for children and events organised for children | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Offering help to quit tobacco use: WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2019

The report "Offering help to quit tobacco use" tracks the status of the tobacco epidemic and interventions to combat it. The report finds that more countries have implemented tobacco control policies, ranging from graphic pack warnings and advertising bans to no smoking areas. About 5 billion people – 65% of the world’s population – are covered by at least one comprehensive tobacco control measure, which has more than quadrupled since 2007 when only 1 billion people and 15% of the world’s population were covered | WHO, Switzerland

#WorldHepatitisDay: Supporting the HCV elimination agenda –– an EMCDDA initiative to increase access to hepatitis C care in drug services

Every year, on 28 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners mark World Hepatitis Day. Its aim is to increase awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases it causes | EMCDDA, Portugal

Hepatitis C: models of care for drug services within Europe

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has a high prevalence in people who inject drugs (PWID) in Europe. However, currently HCV infection is both preventable and curable. The importance of targeting PWID as a key population for the elimination of hepatitis C in Europe and promoting their access to testing and all other elements of the cascade of care is highlighted in European and national hepatitis C policies | EMCDDA, Portugal

Cannabis Better Than Aspirin In Reducing Inflammation, Relieving Pain

One of cannabis’ most important health claims -- that it reduces pain -- has been proven by a large body of medical studies over the decades. The THC and CBD in medical marijuana are credited with decreasing pain, inflammation (swelling and redness) and muscle control problems | Medical Daily, USA

Compound found in red wine opens door for new treatments for depression, anxiety

New research has revealed that the plant compound resveratrol, which is found in red wine, displays anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme related to the control of stress in the brain, according to a University at Buffalo-led study | Medical Xpress, USA

One in 100 new mothers go on to long-term opioid painkiller use; risk rises with size of Rx

Nearly half of American women having a baby in the last decade received a prescription for a powerful opioid painkiller as part of their birth experience, a new study shows | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug to treat opioid overdoses will be available in all Boston city buildings

A drug to treat opioid overdoses will be available in all city-owned buildings by the end of the year, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Saturday | Boston Globe, USA

Edible Cannabis, Cannabis Extracts and Cannabis Topicals: A Primer on the New Cannabis Products

Provides an overview of edible cannabis products, cannabis extracts and topical cannabis products. Outlines the differences among these products, including their use and effects | CCSA, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

My long term hope is that we eradicate hepatitis C altogether

With new treatments this goal is achievable, but we have a chance to do much more along the way | Addaction blog, UK

The truth about e-cigarettes

Vaping is still very new, compared to tobacco, so should we be wary about encouraging smokers to switch? | BBC Science Focus Magazine, UK

Developing new research on alcohol harm: rapid evidence reviews

We’re pleased to publish the first in a series of six rapid evidence reviews that were commissioned by us earlier this year, looking into priority areas in the field of alcohol harm reduction | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

When death comes too soon

Our new report, Learning from tragedies, looks at reviews of the deaths of vulnerable adults in which alcohol was a factor, in order to prevent future tragedies; in this blog Andrew considers one woman’s story | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

The drugs policies don't work

Readers in Scotland – and perhaps further afield, given the breadth of news coverage it achieved last week – won’t fail to have noticed that drug-related deaths in Scotland have doubled in the last five years and are now higher than any other country in the EU. Sadly, figures for the early part of this year suggest this dire trend is set to continue | Charlotte Street Partners, UK

Talk to Frank is still there… Part 1 Cannabis info

I think most of us have forgotten about Talk to Frank. Its seems a lifetime ago since the government's anti-drug information site was launched with a blaze of publicity, it's had a few make-overs over the years (some better than others) but has become almost forgotten in the public eye, but it's still there and still used as a part of drug education in schools and by drug support agencies | UKCIA blog, UK

CBD and genetic testing provide hope for ‘intractable’ epilepsy in children

It can start with a vacant stare, what appear to be muscle twitches or a full-blown seizure. But no matter how it begins, any time a child is diagnosed with epilepsy is often a frightening time for families | Conversation, USA