Daily news - 7th March 2019

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UK news

Change Grow Live and Sova complete merger

Sova, formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of Change Grow Live that supports individuals with multiple and complex needs, has fully merged with its parent charity as of Friday 1 March 2019 | Change Grow Live, UK

Drug Safety Testing: A Brief Home Office Timeline

Last week, the UK’s first drug safety testing clinic to be licensed by the Home Office opened its doors in Weston-Super-Mare | Volte Face, UK

Drug consumption rooms 'should be considered' in NI

Consideration should be given to providing rooms where people can safely inject themselves with illegal drugs, NI's chief medical officer has said | BBC, UK

No quick solutions to drug problem, ex police chief says

Communities are being blighted by "misery and harm" caused by drug dealers despite a major sting in north Wales, says a former police chief | BBC, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Children:Written question - 227132

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to address the findings of the Public Health England report entitled Vaping in England: evidence update summary February 2019 that the number of children who have tried e-cigarettes has doubled since 2014 | Parliament.uk, UK

Deprescribing long-term opioids; Diagnosing concussion - audio

Research suggests opioids don't work in long-term chronic pain but dispensing in the UK has risen four-fold since the nineties, and we consume more than any other country in Europe. There is a dearth of good evidence for how best to help people come off these drugs. Mark Porter meets the team trying to change that. And an objective pitch-side test that takes the guesswork out of diagnosing concussion | BBC Sounds, UK

Striking scans show how 'lung cancer patient's tumours SHRANK within three months of him taking daily drops of cannabis-derived oil'

A cancer patient who accepted the disease would kill him saw his tumours shrink – by taking drops of cannabidiol (CBD) oil each day | Mail Online, UK

New Hepatitis C cases down by almost 70 per cent in HIV positive men in London

The new analysis of data from three clinics in London found 256 men were diagnosed between 2013-2018. New infections peaked at 17 for every 1000 people studied in 2015 and fell to six by 2018 | Imperial College London, UK

Birmingham booze shame with girls TWICE as likely to end up in hospital because of alcohol

New figures from NHS Digital reveal that 92 girls in the city were admitted to hospital because of illnesses directly caused by alcohol between 2015/16 and 2017/18 | Birmingham Post, UK

Drugs - BBC iPlayer

In this episode of Shake On It Brian and Thomas meet to discuss whether prison is the best solution for drug users and whether methadone therapy works. Coming from very different points of view will they be able to agree and Shake On It? | BBC, UK

Bestival music festival 2019 axed amid huge spiralling debts

The reason is reportedly due to spiralling debts owed by the festival to Dorset Police, who say they are still yet to receive any payment for policing Bestival and its sister event Camp Bestival | ITV, UK

Ex-law firm partner struck off after failing to report cocaine conviction to regulator

Gave ‘misleading information to the police’, according to agreed outcome | Legal Cheek, UK

HMP Highpoint: Spice death prisoner Shabul Ahmed was 'guinea pig'

A vulnerable prisoner died the day after he was given the psychoactive drug Spice by inmates who used him as a "guinea pig", an inquest has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Where is the world's hardest-drinking city?

Is it Vilnius, Seoul, Moscow or Kiev? And what do alcohol consumption statistics tell us about a city and its culture? | Guardian, UK

Gwyneth Paltrow turns trip adviser with praise for exotic - and sometimes deadly - hallucinogen

As a purveyor of lifestyle advice, Gwyneth Paltrow has promoted the benefits of pink Himalayan sea salt, conscious uncoupling and being stung by bees | Telegraph, UK

Ketamine-based drug approved for treating severe depression in the US

Avariant of the party drug Ketamine has been licensed in the US for treatment-resistant depression | Telegraph, UK

Where every 2020 presidential candidate stands on marijuana - recreational, expunging criminal records and more

Presidential candidates are embracing marijuana like no other time in American history, potentially paving the way for major reforms | Independent, UK

Revealed: Massive rise in antidepressant prescribing

In an RTÉ Investigates three-part series, Prescription Nation, we look at the consumption of prescription drugs in the public health system. Today part one puts antidepressants under the spotlight | RTe, Ireland

Over 100 people will die as a result of smoking this week, HSE warns

More than 100 people will die as a result of smoking this week, according to the HSE | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Investigation: Where Are Naloxone Confiscations Happening the Most?

The greatest tool that first responders and people who use drugs have in immediately combating an opioid-involved overdose—like those which killed almost 48,000 people in the US in 2017—is naloxone | Filter Magazine, USA

Opioid use associated with dramatic rise in dangerous heart infection

A surge in drug-related infections is transforming treatment of a previously uncommon condition | EurekAlert, USA

Social anxiety disorder may increase risk of alcoholism

New research published in Depression and Anxietyindicates that, unlike other anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder may have a direct effect on alcoholism | Science Daily, USA

Gaining a little weight after quitting tobacco is offset by the benefits for people with diabetes

People with diabetes who quit smoking tobacco may have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases -- and weight gain following smoking cessation does not mitigate the health benefits among these patients, according to one study. Long-term, heavy smoking is a risk factor for cognitive decline, researchers found in an unrelated study | Science Daily, USA

Truth telling about tobacco and nicotine

Debate among public health professionals over approaches to tobacco and nicotine regulation has intensified with the rise of vaping in the form of electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) and tobacco heat-not-burn products | Medical Xpress, USA

Fake warnings on e-cigarette ads distract kids from truth

When it comes to marketing electronic cigarettes to young people, fake news appears to stick | Medical Xpress, USA

Shots on goal: Depictions of drinking in sports betting commercials

Sports betting is among the most common forms of online gambling, and will continue to grow in popularity following legalization across the United States | BASIS, USA

Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill introduced to crack down on synthetic drugs

A bill has been introduced to Parliament today that will increase penalties for makers and suppliers of synthetic drugs while giving police more discretion to deal with users | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Minister Byrne launches Tobacco Free Fingal: A Toolkit for a Tobacco-Free Community

The Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne, today launched ‘Tobacco Free Fingal’, a toolkit that will assist communities in the Fingal area to implement and maintain a tobacco-free facility policy | Department of Health blog, Ireland