Daily news - 13th March 2019

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UK news

DDN Conference 2019

Read the full reports, and view videos and presentations | DDN, UK

End of Life Care – a guide

People with alcohol and other drug problems, and their families, deserve the same respect and dignity at the end of their lives as everybody else | DDN, UK

Tobacco and alcohol: commissioning for quality and innovation

Guidance for the Screening and brief advice for tobacco and alcohol use in inpatient settings commissioning for quality and innovation (CQUIN) scheme | PHE, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to include tackling the advertising of alcohol to children in the upcoming alcohol strategy | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they have received from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the risks and factors that cause vulnerable people to misuse drugs, including how drug-related harms in homeless populations can be reduced | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 February 2019 to Question 222001, when Public Health England plans to undertake an independent academic review of heated tobacco products | They work for you, UK

SDF Statement on Recent Media Coverage

This week, SDF has been attacked through a Scottish media outlet.  We have been implicitly charged with being a cause of drug-related deaths in Scotland because we have advocated evidence-based interventions to reduce and prevent drug-related harms. This is both ridiculous and offensive | SDF, UK

Drug addiction isn't a moral failing, it is society's failing

Our columnist argues that, too often in Scotland, the response to the addicted is judgment and scorn, where compassion and empathy are needed | Daily Reocrd, UK

Peterborough 'crystal meth' labs found in city raids

Police have uncovered suspected crystal meth labs and made four arrests during raids on several properties | BBC, UK

Football's cocaine problem: 'Strong evidence' to link increase in disorder at games to drug use says top police officer

The Class A substance is the 'massive elephant in the room' according to Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts | Independent, UK


International news

Cocaine shipment worth £60m discovered in container arriving in US from Colombia

Seizure shows market for substance is resurging | Independent, UK

Drug prevention: exploring a systems perspective

This report considers substance use prevention in Europe through the lens of a system, highlighting the wide range of factors that need to be addressed to successfully implement substance use prevention programmes and policies. They are considered from different viewpoints by practitioners, policymakers and researchers. Systems thinking may have the potential to unify these differing perspectives within a single model | EMCDDA, Portugal

Opioid crisis: Only a US phenomenon? Prescription opioid use rises in the Nordic countries

Addiction to prescription opioids has reached a crisis level in the United States. Now the drug is causing concern across the Atlantic. Researchers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden urge caution after discovering that prescriptions for the pain medication oxycodone have significantly increased during the last decade | Science Daily, USA

Adolescents are more likely than adults to use fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes were initially intended as a smoking cessation tool, yet vaping has skyrocketed among kids to the point that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Surgeon General both recently declared youth e-cigarette use an epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

The States Working to Reduce Criminal Punishment for Transmitting HIV

In 2008, Betsie Gallardo, a 24-year-old Florida woman, was sentenced to five years in prison for spitting on a police officer. Her spit was considered a “deadly weapon” because she was HIV positive—even though saliva can’t transmit the virus | Filter Magazine, USA

Finding my father: Running, reconnection, and recovery from Gambling Disorder

One day, out of the blue, my father showed up in my life. I was about 8 years old or so. He’d been there all along, actually; living in the house with us, caught up in a gambling addiction that financially and emotionally decimated our family | BASIS, USA

Dramatic rise in U.S. opioid deaths as epidemic spreads to eastern states

The opioid epidemic ravaging the United States has claimed a staggering number of lives, but a clear picture of how the crisis has changed over the years – and who it currently affects the most – is surprisingly hard to find | Medical Xpress, Canada

Access to e-cigarettes will improve Australia’s health

For existing smokers, swapping tobacco cigarettes for e-cigarettes with nicotine will improve their health. But the shift could also mean a net health gain for Australia, if it weren’t illegal | University of Melbourne, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Staying smoke-free after quitting smoking: what helps?

In this blog for people who have just stopped smoking Robert Walton, a general practitioner, helps you work out how best to stay smoke-free, looking at the latest Cochrane evidence on relapse prevention | Evidently Cochrane blog, UK

Pregabalin: A range of misuse‐related unanswered questions

Although initially marketed as having a low abuse potential, further recent, large‐scale, papers have once again convincingly emphasized the pregabalin potential of misuse. However, after a decade of intensive pregabalin‐focused studies, still a few issues remain open | Wiley Online Library letter, UK

The good, the bad, and the ambiguous: the Portman Group revamps its regulatory Code

This month, the Portman Group launched the sixth edition of their Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks. We’ve been having a read of the new document | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

An expert explains the true health cost of moderate drinking

Conventional wisdom has been that drinking alcohol at moderate levels is good for us, but newer studies suggest that probably isn't the case | I news comment, UK

How I accepted I'm an introvert – and learned to refuse invitations without guilt

After years of drinking through social engagements to make them bearable, I finally acknowledged my fear of talking to strangers and made peace with it | Guardian opinion, UK

Clinics in Canada and the United States are trying a new way to urge drug abusers to get clean: give them tangible gifts when they test negative | NYTimes opinion, USA

Stop Funding Southeast Asia’s Brutal Drug War

Little pink meth pills are becoming more popular in the region than heroin or even marijuana. The United States is making the crisis worse | NYTimes opinion, USA

Health check: is moderate drinking good for me?

For the past three decades or so, the conventional wisdom has been that drinking alcohol at moderate levels is good for us | Conversation, Australia