Daily news - 10th June 2019

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UK news

New co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug conditions capabilities framework and e-learning toolkit launched

A capability framework andan e-learning toolkit to better equip services to meet the needs of people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug use conditions. The capability framework and e-learning support the implementation of Public Health England’s 2017 guidance on the ground. These resources cover the values, knowledge, and skills required for effective care of people with co-occurring conditions | Revolving Doors Agency / Clinks, UK

Latest health guidance missing from alcohol labels

The alcohol industry has not updated health information labelling three years after health experts issued new guidelines, the BBC has found | BBC, UK

Drug campaigners issue urgent warning to Parklife festivalgoers over super-strength 'Skype' and 'Sprite' ecstasy pills 

The Loop said the pills were tested at the two-day festival and have been 'linked to welfare cases'. Anyone feeling unwell was urged to seek urgent medical help | Mail Online, UK

Michael Gove: Cocaine 'mistake' a 'deep regret'

Tory leadership candidate Michael Gove has said he "deeply regrets" taking cocaine more than 20 years ago | BBC, UK

High Tories: how the leadership candidates' drug pasts compare

Michael Gove’s cocaine confession has prompted his rivals to also come clean | Guardian, UK

Cocaine use should disqualify you from becoming an MP, majority of the public believe

The YouGov poll of 1,677 people shows 56 per cent of the population believe it is not acceptable for someone who has ever taken cocaine to be a member of Parliament | Telegraph, UK

New chief medical officer appointed

The Cabinet Secretary has announced Chris Whitty as the new Chief Medical Officer for England and the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser | Department of Health and Social Care and Professor Chris Whitty, UK

Addiction Awareness Week 10-16 June 2019

As honest but inspirational stories are shared, those affected by addiction will then feel more able to take the necessary steps to access help, hope, and freedom from their addiction | Addiction Awareness Week, UK

Oral evidence: Problem drug use in Scotland

Evidence given by Vicki Craik, Crewe 2000, Dr Iain McPhee, University of the West of Scotland, Dr Neil McKeganey, Director, Centre for Substance Use Research, Dr Angus Bancroft, University of Edinburgh | Parliament.uk, UK

Co-design of harm reduction materials for people who inject drugs to implement research findings

This commentary reflects on the involvement of PWID as co-designers of harm reduction materials to implement these research findings in a way that supports the uptake of LDSS equipment by NSP and service users. We present the user-centred design process, peer reflections on the project, and lessons learnt by the team working with the peers | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Prison watchdogs identify four UK jails as ‘squalid’

A new report, bringing together findings from independent monitoring boards (IMBs) across England and Wales from late 2017 to 2018, has described the physical condition of UK prisons as ‘extremely depressing’ and identifies staff shortages, new psychoactive drugs and deteriorating infrastructure as among the biggest challenges facing prisons | Justice Gap, UK

NHS Tayside (Drug Deaths)

To ask the Scottish Government when NHS Tayside’s next annual report on drug deaths will be published | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Sales

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2019 to Question 255697, what the timescale is for considering whether the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation could be used to amend the mandatory licensing condition on age verification | They work for you, UK

Five ways to quit smoking

Getting on with it is the most important thing. But there are tricks to make sure you don’t give in to the inevitable cravings | Guardian, UK

Irn-Bru maker invests £1m in alcohol-free spirits firm

AG Barr has invested £1m in a 20% minority stake in Stryyk, which makes alcohol-free rum, vodka and gin | BBC, UK


International news

'A bleak prospect': why legal weed in Britain may be a pipe dream

While public interest is growing, experts say a mix of political and social factors is holding back change | Guardian, UK

U.S. FDA warns flavored e-cigarette makers over social media posts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission on Friday issued warning letters to four flavored e-liquid product makers, stepping up pressure on firms using social media influencers to promote their products | Reuters, UK

Russian journalist released pending trial on drug charges

Ivan Golunov moved to house arrest after hundreds of supporters picket police HQ | Guardian, UK

Parents pay price for drug debts of children, says judge

A judge has warned that drug users are putting their families in danger due to the drug debts they build up, as he sentenced a man to a month in prison for possession of cocaine | Irish Examiner, Ireland

'Beyond the Pale': Ross lobbied by publicans, politicians to pivot on zero tolerance drink driving laws

The Minister for Transport has also received correspondence praising his approach in recent months | Journal, Ireland

The Message That Addiction Is a Disease Makes Substance Users Less Likely to Seek Help

Research finds that people with substance-use problems who read a message describing addiction as a disease are less likely to report wanting to engage in effective therapies, compared to those who read a message that addiction behaviors are subject to change. The finding could inform future public and interpersonal communication efforts regarding addiction | NC State University, USA

Naloxone access law in Pennsylvania falls short

A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago finds that only one-third of pharmacies in Philadelphia carry naloxone nasal spray, a medication used to rapidly counter the effects of opioid overdose, and that many of the pharmacies that do carry the drug require patients to have a physician's prescription for it | Medical Xpress, USA

Weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders

The death rate from drug- and alcohol-related causes in people who've had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is nearly triple that of the general public, according to University of Pittsburgh research | Medical Xpress, USA

Free heroin? Unusual clinic offers 'chance at being human again'

Low-dose drug program provides an alternative to potentially deadly street narcotics | CBC News, Canada

Supportive families and schools help prevent substance use among trans youth: UBC study

Strong family and school connections are helping prevent transgender youth from smoking cigarettes and using marijuana, even among those targeted by violence | EurekAlert, USA

Life at the sharp end of Melbourne's drug debate

It's saved lives and for some Richmond residents - and drug users like Steve - the injecting room has been a godsend. Others say the streets are less safe and are strewn with dirty needles, and worse | SMH, Australia

Liberal Party Pride group pushes for pill-testing in Victoria

A new push for pill-testing has emerged within the conservative side of politics with a Liberal group fighting for a controversial trial to prevent drug-related deaths at music festivals in Victoria | Age, Australia

Study suggests first timers most cautious after pill tests at music festival

A survey of music festival revellers indicates first time ecstasy users would be the most cautious about taking the drugs if pill testing was carried out at the events | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Michael Gove got high but his party champions a futile war on drugs

Our would-be prime ministers confess all, but countless lives are ruined by their laws | Guardian opinion, UK

Michael Gove’s breathtaking drugs hypocrisy brings contempt as pure as the cocaine

People at Westminster are guilty of displaying disgusting hypocrisy as they persist with destructive policies that have failed spectacularly | I news opinion, UK

I’ve been honest about alcohol. But the drinks industry hasn’t

I still enjoy a drink, but I know the harm it has done me. So why aren’t firms doing more to warn of the dangers? | Guardian, UK

Lisa's Year of Fear

In the first of an ongoing blog series, Lisa explains her Year of Fear and why she's decided to challenge herself not once, but twelve times in twelve months! | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Australia’s decision not to ban poppers is a win for sensible drug policy, but the stigma remains

The TGA decision is the best anyone could have hoped for but there is still a minefield of inconvenience and criminalisation | Guardian opinion, UK

Can a $12 pill test for ecstasy save lives? Well, it’s complicated

Can a A$12 pill test prevent deaths from ecstasy? Our research finds pill testing provides no magic answer | Conversation, Australia