Daily news - 14th March 2019

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UK news

'Count 14' NHS Scotland campaign & debate on the future of alcohol guidelines

NHS Scotland has launched a new campaign to promote awareness of the recommended guidelines, whilst the journal Addiction has published a set of open access commentaries debating how drinking guidelines should be developed and communicated | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Young people drug and alcohol treatment business definitions

Updated core dataset O document | PHE, UK

Secure setting drug and alcohol treatment business definitions

Updated core dataset O document | PHE, UK

Criminal justice interventions teams (CJIT) business definitions

Updated Criminal justice interventions teams business definitions: core dataset O document | PHE, UK

Technical definitions for national drug treatment monitoring system

Updated NDTMS technical definitions: dataset O document | PHE, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients have been prescribed cannabis-based products for medicinal use; and how many were (a) private prescriptions and (b) prescriptions funded by NHS or NHS Scottish | They work for you, UK

'Methadone is force for good' says doctor whose work in 1980s highlighted link between dirty needles and HIV

Dr Roy Robertson passionately believes controversial opiate replacement therapy is the right treatment for those in the grip of heroin | Daily Record, UK

A forensic approach to street drugs - BBC audio

A startling insight into Scotland's drug problem when Dr Craig McKenzie talks to Pennie Latin about how he's taking a fresh approach to Scotland's worrying drug deaths statistics | BBC, UK

The Little-known 2C Drugs Causing Family Devastation

Video. What is the drug and what are the risks? | BBC, UK

Quit Right Tower Hamlets starts providing free e-cigarettes on No Smoking Day

Queen Mary University of London, in partnership with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, will be providing free e-cigarette kits to support local smokers who want to quit, starting this No Smoking Day (Wednesday 13 March) | QMUL, UK

London cafes selling cannabis oil as a health supplement

Cafe's in London are serving CBD oil, made from cannabis, in food and drinks | BBC, UK

Smokers, vapers and IQOS users - survey

Find out the possible health effects of e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products (e.g. IQOS). Take part in paid research study at UCL today | UCL, UK

Naloxone Anecdotes - survey

This is to collate your stories about the life-saving nature and usefulness of naloxone. We recognise that sometimes numbers aren't effective in painting a picture and in convincing people to change their minds. That is why we need your stories. We will use these stories to spread the work and myth bust about the usefulness of naloxone and it's life-saving potential on our communities | Community Planning in East Ayreshire, UK

Year-long Nottingham drugs crackdown sees more than 200 held

Nearly £1.8m worth of drugs have been seized and more than 200 people arrested in a year-long crackdown, police have said | BBC, UK

Northfield stabbing nightclub licence suspended

A nightclub has had its alcohol licence suspended after three men were hurt in a fracas | BBC, UK

Problem gamblers at 15 times higher risk of suicide, study finds

Swedish research, if applied to UK, suggests 550 suicides a year are linked to gambling | Guardian, UK



International news

IDPC Special Alert: 2019 Ministerial Segment and 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs 

The 2019 Ministerial Segment (14 - 15 March) and 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (18 - 22 March) are set to take place in the following weeks at the Vienna International Centre | IDPC, UK

Women’s rights must be central in drug policies, say UN experts

States around the world must address the specific concerns of women in drug policies, say UN human rights experts. The call by the UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice comes ahead of a high-level meeting on 14-15 March 2019 of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs | IDPC, UK

Emotions thought to drive effective therapy

Research findings amalgamated for the American Psychological Association show that the outcomes of psychotherapy are substantially and significantly better the more the therapist or especially the client display emotional arousal during therapy - though among substance use clients, focusing on emotions has not been universally helpful | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Is the end of smoking near? Tobacco giant Philip Morris will stop selling cigarettes in NZ - in favour of new nicotine technologies

The company is focusing its attention to IQOS products - a device which heats up a tobacco stick and releases nicotine, without burning it | Mail Online, UK

Japan Sega game sales halted after cocaine arrest

Games firm Sega is to stop sales of its video game Judgment in Japan, after actor Pierre Taki, who appears in it, was arrested for alleged drug use | BBC, UK

Major retail chain spared ban on selling cigarettes over sale to minor

Retail chain Circle K has been spared a conviction and a temporary ban on selling tobacco products after a child managed to buy cigarettes in one of their shops | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Man (20) has 'lungs of 80-year-old' because of chronic cannabis habit, court hears

The court heard how man’s cannabis habit is so bad that surgeons had to remove part of his lung | Independent, Ireland

EU drugs agency and the Republic of Albania strengthen their cooperation

The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and Albania will cooperate more actively on monitoring the drug phenomenon in future, thanks to a Working Arrangement being concluded today in Vienna | EMCDDA, Portugal

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on advancing new policies aimed at preventing youth access to, and appeal of, flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars

FDA is proposing to end current compliance policy as it applies to flavored electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products such as electronic cigarettes (other than tobacco-, mint-, and menthol-flavored products), and prioritize enforcement of such products offered for sale in ways that pose a greater risk for minors to access these tobacco products | FDA, USA

Researchers investigate the impact of the statewide opioid crisis on teachers

Researchers have evaluated the impact of the opioid crisis in classrooms across the Mountain State through a survey of 2,205 teachers in 49 counties | Science Daily, USA

Dietary Supplement? Or Drug? The Kratom Regulation Debate

Is kratom a plant (Mitragyna speciosa)—originating in Southeast Asia and long used in traditional medicines for the mild opioid-like and stimulant properties of its leaves—that can relieve pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms, induce relaxation, and provide what some people would call “reinforcing characteristics” of riskier substances to which people are addicted? | Filter Magazine, USA

Ketamine-based nasal spray to treat depression

The FDA recently approved a ketamine-based drug to assist with treating depression. The new medication, Spravato, is an intranasal spray that can help those suffering with extreme depression who see little results with psychiatric medications | Medical Xpress, USA

CBD for acne: Does it work?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural compound present in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is only one of over 100 compounds in cannabis, but it has many potential health benefits. Can CBD oil also treat acne? | MNT, USA

Meth-related deaths are rising across Canada

Frontline workers and healthcare providers are raising concerns over escalating rates of meth use and meth-related deaths in Canada, an issue that has flown under the radar as opioids have been the main focus of drug policy discussions and media attention | VICE, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Consultations on drug policy

A couple of days ago, I was asked by email for some comments on the current health and social care select committee (HSCC) inquiry and Black report consultations on drug policy.  Tonight, on my own time, I drafted some thoughts.  I've copied these below and would welcome comments | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

The Irish Times view on deaths from prescription drugs: Cause for alarm

Are doctors in Ireland prescribing drugs, with the potential for abuse, appropriately? | Irish Times opinion, Ireland

Trump Wants to Tax Your Juul

President Donald Trump's budget proposal would make vaping more expensive by targetting e-cigarettes with a new "user fee" intended to generate $100 million annually Reason blog, USA

Vape Me This: A Rational Debate on Teens and E-Cigarettes

Public health debates are no fun without a looming crisis or “epidemic.” Hysteria provides bureaucrats with something to do and gives activists a reason to get up and panic every morning. But it obfuscates real problems and obstructs objective application of science, appropriate legislative or regulatory solutions, and rational public debate | Observer opinion, USA

Vaping is an urgent threat to public health

Youth are using e-cigarettes (also known as vaping devices) at a rapidly increasing rate — a practice that constitutes an urgent threat to public health | Conversation, Canada