Daily news - 8th March 2019

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UK news

Impact on hepatitis C means needle exchanges save lives and can reduce costs

What would happen to rates of infection with hepatitis C and resultant ill-health if we closed down all the needle exchanges? In three UK areas, the answers led researchers to judge these services among the best investments UK health systems can make | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Half of Yorkshire smokers and ex-smokers would NOT try vaping, new research shows

Commissioned by Yorkshire Cancer Research, the survey of 844 smokers and 1,156 ex-smokers across the UK also found that two thirds have attempted to kick the habit at one time or another – four times on average – but to date they haven’t managed to stop for good | Yorkshire Cancer Reaserch, UK

Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery, England - Quarter 3, 2018-19

10.5% of pregnant women were known to be smokers at the time of delivery during quarter 3 of 2018/19 | NHS Digital, UK

No Justice in the Capital? (PDF)

This report estimates that the most vulnerable Londoners were unable to access any legal support for as many as 37,500 legal problems since the introduction of legal aid cuts. The estimate is based on a recent survey of people who come into repeat contact with the criminal justice system, as a result of multiple non-violent offences (such theft or minor drug offences) driven by vulnerabilities such as mental ill health, homelessness and domestic abuse | Revolving Doors Agency, UK

Home Office: Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which of his Department's premises do not operate a no-smoking policy | They work for you, UK

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of prescriptions dispensed in the community for nicotine replacement therapy in each year since 2010 | They work for you, UK

Scottish Women's Football announces sponsorship deal with alcohol campaign group

Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) has launched their newest sponsorship agreement with Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP)| Scotsman, UK

Insta-gram: How British cocaine dealers got faster and better

It's possible to get a gram of cocaine delivered quicker than it takes to order a pint in a busy pub. But how did coke become this available? | MixMag, UK

Examining the Tragic Bestival Drug Death of Louella Fletcher-Michie

The media and courts have been unanimous in their condemnation of Louella's boyfriend, Ceon Broughton. But it's not a cut and dry case | VICE, UK

My mum was a drink and drug addict, this is my story

My name is Tia, I'm 16-years-old and I want to tell you about when I was younger and living with an addict, my mum | BBC Newsbeat, UK


International news

Spend more of tobacco tax on helping smokers quit, urges charity

[Free registration required] Smoking costs the state more than 140 times the amount it spends on helping people to quit, the Irish Heart Foundation has said | The Times, UK

A Longitudinal Study of European Students' Alcohol Use and Related Behaviors as They Travel Abroad to Study

New research has revealed that European students who travel abroad to study increase their alcohol consumption by 35% while they are away from home. This corresponds with an increase in alcohol-related harm | Cardiff University, UK

Health Risks Associated with Mephedrone Use: What We Know So Far

When mephedrone first hit the UK drug scene in 2009, there was hysteria in the media. It was a hardly-known, seemingly untested drug with potentially serious long-term health consequences. Despite being prohibited in the country in 2010, it has remained popular among certain groups – including the chemsex population – in the UK and other European countries | Talking Drugs, UK

New ketamine-related drug could be ‘watershed’ in treating depression

‘Rapid acting’ esketamine was approved by the FDA to treat people who don’t respond to traditional psychiatric drugs | Guardian, UK

Vaping raises the risk of having a heart attack, biggest ever study says

Vapers are significantly more likely to have a heart attack, develop coronary artery disease and suffer depression compared with those who don’t use them, a new study suggests | Telegraph, UK

The Rise and Fall of 'Red Mitsubishis': the Pill That Terrified Australia

In the 90s they were the pinger of choice. By the early-2000s they'd become public enemy number one | VICE, UK

Amid the opioid crisis, a different drug comes roaring back

Deaths caused by meth use have risen 18-fold this decade | Economist, UK

Karamo Brown has opened up about his past cocaine addiction, admitting that the drug became an escape for him

Karamo Brown has opened up about his past cocaine addiction, admitting that the drug became an "escape" for him | Independent, UK

Sharp regional variations in benzo prescribing

In Prescription Nation, the three-part series from RTÉ Investigates, we look at prescription drug consumption in the public health system. In part two, we look at benzodiazepine prescribing | RTe, Ireland

ECDC Executive Director Dr Andrea Ammon visits EMCDDA

Today, EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel welcomes to the agency Dr Andrea Ammon, Executive Director of the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control | EMCDDA, Portugal

Health Professionals Call on the CDC to Address Misapplication of its Guideline on Opioids for Chronic Pain through Public Clarification and Impact Evaluation

 We urge the CDC to follow through with its commitment to evaluate impact by consulting directly with a wide range of patients and caregivers, and by engaging epidemiologic experts to investigate reported suicides, increases in illicit opioid use and, to the extent possible, expressions of suicidal ideation following involuntary opioid taper or discontinuation... | Health Professionals for Patients in Pain, USA

Yale experts develop new free app to tackle opioid addiction

As the opioid overdose epidemic continues to take its toll, causing 47,600 deaths in 2017, researchers continue to seek innovative solutions to the crisis | Medical Xpress, USA

Women who vape around pregnancy may wrongly think it safe

In a survey of more than 3,000 new mothers in Oklahoma and Texas, 7 percent said they had used electronic vapor products, including e-cigarettes, around the time of their pregnancy; 1.4 percent used them during pregnancy | Reuters, USA

Intoxication Has Always Been the American Way—Let’s Work With That

Mood modification through drugs—intoxication—is a standard cultural reality in American history, but possibly even more so today. Rather than hopelessly pursuing a drug-free country or world, a mature response demands that we ask: How can we successfully manage this reality? | Filter Magazine, USA

US Smokers Mistakenly Equate Harms of Snus With Those of Cigarettes

Most American smokers continue to believe that snus, a moist tobacco product placed under the lip that originates from Sweden, is as harmful as combustible tobacco—even though it is not | Filter Magazine, USA

Online now – NDARC seminar presented by Professor David Nutt

The 2019 NDARC Seminar Series commenced on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 with a special presentation by Professor David Nutt from Imperial College London | NDARC, Australia

Naloxone can save people who overdose on opioids, but it's been a struggle to get it into communities

Video. Executive Director of the NZ Drug Foundation Ross Bell says naloxone is a miracle drug that reverses an opioid overdose. We need it to be distributed through GP's and needle exchange programmes. Whilst one part of government has agreed that it should be widely available other parts of government have not allowed that to happen | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Prescription drug misuse in women: US review inconclusive

The misuse of prescription drugs is big news in the USA, where there is a rising death rate due to opioid overdose (Gomes et al., 2018). There are news reports of prescription drug misuse (PDM) decimating rural American communities, and it has been linked to celebrity deaths | Mental Elf blog, UK

‘I saw someone get his face carved’: knife and gun crime up close

Sean, not his real name, tells the Guardian how self-defence turns into gang ‘pre-emptive strikes’ | Guardian, UK

How alcohol companies are using International Women’s Day to sell more drinks to women

International Women’s Day on March 8 celebrates women’s achievements across the world and calls for action to speed up gender equality. Many alcohol companies also see it as an ideal opportunity to market their products to women | Conversation, UK

Problem gambling explained in six graphs

Why we’re asking MPs to support a gambling levy | Addaction blog, UK