Daily news - 3rd June 2019

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UK news

Checkpoint Cymru: 'Contracts' to cut reoffending rates

People caught with small amounts of drugs could be offered the chance to attend a course rather than face a fine or prosecution in north Wales | BBC, UK

YouGov 2019: Attitudes towards tobacco control in Wales (PDF)

To understand public opinion in Wales relating to tobacco control ASH Wales Cymru conducts an annual opinion poll in conjunction with YouGov. The survey questions were asked of a representative sample of 1,046 adults (aged 18+) in Wales, 50% of respondents had never smoked, 37% used to smoke but have since given up and 13% currently smoked at the time of the survey | ASH Wales, UK

Cancer media campaigns: an effective policy lever?

new study has found a media campaign designed to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer was associated with an increase in support for alcohol-related control policies | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Children bear witness to pervasive influence of alcohol

Scotland’s leading alcohol reduction charity is working with the Children’s Parliament to build support for the concept of an alcohol-free childhood for young people | Scotsman, UK

Up to 25 cups of coffee a day safe for heart health, study finds

Some previous studies have suggested that coffee stiffens arteries, putting pressure on the heart and increasing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke, with drinkers warned to cut down their consumption | Guardian, UK

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts - Research Special

The Centre for Justice Innovation established a new national partnership to support current and new Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) across the country. The Centre is hosting and directing the national team, in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and RyanTunnardBrown. They will also continue to work in partnership with researchers at Lancaster University and others within the FDAC communities | LIP Network, UK

Curb Drug Dealing Inside Closed Prisons By Letting Inmates Take Outside Jobs, Charity Says

The government can help curb re-offending and drug dealing in closed prisons by letting more inmates leave jail for a day to take on jobs, according to a charity | RightsInfo, UK

'Chinese Ecstasy' drug linked to 125 deaths has arrived in Britain, NCA warns festival goers

The United Nations (UN) has ordered a worldwide ban on N-Ethylnorpentylone in an attempt to close down its production in illegal psychoactive drugs “factories” in China which have flooded the market | Telegraph, UK

This Man Faces Deportation For Carrying Cannabis Despite Living In Britain Since He Was 4

“How can this possibly be just because I wasn’t born here? I grew up here, all my life’s been here... this is very hostile and cruel," Shannoy McLeod told BuzzFeed News | BuzzFeed, UK

Cricket drinking culture deterring British Asian players from getting to the top, ECB researchers say

British Asian cricketers are deterred from getting to the top of the sport because they are put off by club drinking culture, England and Wales Cricket Board researchers have said | Telegraph, UK

Latest industry statistics published

The latest statistics, which include online gambling services offered to customers in Britain, cover the period between October 2017 – September 2018 | Gambling Commission, UK

Closing the Employment Gaps - Round Table

Free event. Fri, 28 June 2019 09:15 – 12:00 BST, Wembley.The Forward Trust, in partnership with Brent Council, are running a Round Table event to mark UK Employability Day 2019 | The Forward Trust, UK

London Bridge Inquest: Terrorists not 'juiced up' on steroids, says toxicologist

The London Bridge attackers were unlikely to have become more aggressive as a result of taking bodybuilding steroids, an inquest has heard | ITV, UK

Girl and Tonic blogger: 'Giving up booze helped me buy my house'

Laurie McAllister, 28, said one month she spent £1,000 just on going out, and that her lifestyle in London left her "struggling with anxiety" | BBC, UK

Hells Angels Euro Run: Thirty-four arrested at anniversary event

The arrests were made on suspicion of drugs offences and possession of offensive weapons | BBC, UK


International news

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 31 May 2019

This month: does prevention begin at home; can personalised psychosocial interventions improve outcomes among patients prescribed opioid substitutes (but still using illicit drugs); are custodial settings conducive to recovery; and will ‘drug checking’ services make festivals safer? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Comparing alcohol taxation throughout the European Union

[Open access] The World Health Organization recommends increasing alcohol taxes as a ‘best‐buy’ approach to reducing alcohol consumption and improving population health. Alcohol may be taxed based on sales value, product volume or alcohol content; however, duty structures and rates vary, both among countries and between beverage types | Addiction, UK

Uganda bans the sale of alcohol sachets - audio

Authorities in Uganda have banned the sale of alcohol in small sachets, at a time when alcohol abuse is becoming a growing concern in Africa. We hear more from the capital Kampala | BBC, UK

Illinois will become 11th US state to legalise recreational marijuana use

The bill will also pardon some past offences | Independent, UK

'No one buys albums - lots of people buy weed!': why pop stars are selling cannabis

From Jenny Lewis to Margo Price, pot is music’s new money-spinner. And it’s targeting women | Guardian, UK

Frank Lucas, the drug lord who inspired American Gangster, dies aged 88

Mobster who climbed ranks of New York crime in 1970s was played by Denzel Washington in acclaimed 2007 movie | Guardian, UK

Alcohol country fact sheets (2019)

The 30 country fact sheets for EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland present data on consumption, harm and policy implementation for the year 2016, aiming to give guidance to national decision-makers for further priority-setting in the field of alcohol and public health | WHO, Switzerland

Turn of the Century: Reasons why people did not seek help for drinking between 1991 and 2002

There are many reasons why people who experience Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) might not seek treatment. They might not be aware that effective treatment options exist, or they might not have access to those treatment options | BASIS, USA

Media reporting of unused opioid medication disposal

Proper and timely disposal of unused prescription opioid medication can prevent accidental overdose or misuse of these medicines. However, the debate surrounding unused opioid medicines and whether people can flush unused medicines down the toilet or drain—especially when it comes to environmental harm—can make proper disposal confusing | Medical Xpress, USA

Body's endocannabinoid system appears to be new target for drug development against OCD

The body's endocannabinoid system, due to the critical role it plays in regulating neurotransmitter signaling, is an enticing target for drug development against disorders associated with anxiety, stress, and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) | News Medical, USA

The F.D.A. has been wary of cannabis-derived products. But it is now under pressure to help them get to market legally | NYTimes, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 31 May 2019

Every day thousands of people are being admitted to hospital because of smoking-related conditions, with one in four hospital beds occupied by a smoker. It cannot be right that it is more acceptable to smoke at the front door of some hospitals than it is outside a pub | PHE blog, UK

Which Conservative Leadership Candidate Has The Intelligence And Courage To Legalise Cannabis?

"There are a host of strong, evidence-based reasons why legalising cannabis is a very good idea. It’s also an idea that fits perfectly with Tory principles of free enterprise, small government and fighting crime. In private, most politicians now realise this and that the present policy on cannabis causes far more harm than it prevents. But do any of the Conservative Leadership candidates have the vision to make this policy their own?"

Rory Stewart’s opium usage exposes the madness of British drugs policy

No one in politics thinks Rory Stewart should go to prison for taking opium – yet both major parties’ manifestos say that he should | New Statesman, UK

Towards an Abolitionist Drug Policy Reform

Drugs policing is driving mass criminalisation and incarceration in the UK and beyond. As of March 2019, there are 82,847 people in prison in England and Wales, of which 11,015 were sentenced for drug offences. A further 1,738 people are remanded in custody for drug offences | Talking Drugs, UK

What really is behind the 2,000-per-year pub decline?

It goes without saying (doesn’t it?) that a reduction in beer duty would help Britain’s pubs, currently disappearing at a rate approaching 2,000 a year? | Morning Advertiser opinion, UK

Reviewed Work: “Changing Perceptions of Harm of e-Cigarette vs Cigarette Use Among Adults in 2 US National Surveys From 2012 to 2017”

Americans are bombarded with information about the harm and risk of e-cigarette use—much of which is confusing or conflicting. This is because the e-cigarette debate has become fractured and polarized, resulting in mixed messages from public health organizations, media and government agencies | R Street, USA

In Treating Alcohol Use Disorder, Gender Matters

These days, talking about the differences between men and women can be perilous. The subject is a polarizing one and for a good reason | Phillip Levin, USA