Daily news - 25th March 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Funding awarded to 23 projects to help those affected by alcohol

Local authorities across the country will use £6 million funding to increase access to alcohol treatments, with a focus on helping parents and rough sleepers | PHE, UK

Alcohol-specific hospital admissions

Directly age and sex standardised admission rate for alcohol-specific conditions per 100,000 registered patients, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Maternal smoking at delivery

The percentage of women who were smokers at the time of delivery, out of the number of maternities, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Emergency admissions for alcohol related liver disease

Directly age and sex standardised rate of emergency admissions for alcohol related liver disease in adults aged 19 years and older, per 100,000 registered patients, 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Emergency alcohol-specific readmission to any hospital within 30 days of discharge following an alcohol-specific admission

Indirectly age and sex standardised ratio of emergency readmissions with a primary diagnosis or an external cause code of an alcohol-specific condition within 30 days of a previous discharge following an alcohol-specific admission, with 95% confidence intervals | NHS Digital, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2019 to Question 207185 on Cannabis: Medical Treatments, whether data on prescriptions of cannabis-based medicinal products will (a) be published in the public domain, (b) include UK-wide data and (c) include the numbers of people obtaining a such a prescription | They work for you, UK

Drugs Policy

I associate all of us in the Scottish Conservatives with the First Minister’s remarks and offer our support for any measures that are required to reassure those who attend mosques in Scotland | They work for you, UK

Hospitalisation and deaths linked to the consumption of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP)

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has issued an alert to NHS colleagues regarding recent hospitalisations and deaths reported across the UK relating to the consumption of the image and performance enhancing drug (IPED) 2,4- Dinitrophenol (DNP) | SDF, UK

Eboney Cheshire: Girl, 13, died from ecstasy overdose in Rainhill, Merseyside

The teenager's death was treated as unexplained but a post-mortem examination has confirmed she died of MDMA toxicity | Sky News, UK

Health warnings on plain-packaged cigarettes have more impact on smokers compared to branded packs

In one of the first studies to explore how smokers responded to standardised (plain) packaging, experts at the Institute of Social Marketing surveyed current smokers in 2017, when both standardised and fully-branded packs were on the market | News Medical, UK

Cannabis Innovate

Cannabis Innovate aims to provide research and analysis across the three pillars of policy, legislation and technological innovation. The initiative constitutes a partnership between the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) at Swansea University and Equinox International; with some activities undertaken in collaboration with the Transnational Institute (TNI) | Cannabis Innovate, UK

New training website to support Scottish workforce launched

The new website, launched by Scottish Drugs Forum, enables staff and other stakeholders to access information and book on to training courses that are related to substance use. These include the Scottish Government-funded face-to-face courses on understanding stigma, preventing drug-related deaths, trauma, children affected by parental substance use, and drug and alcohol awareness | SDF, UK

As drugs epidemic spirals and funding for services goes down, we risk another decade of tragedy

With more than 55,000 Scots living with a drug problem, Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton reveals how his party would tackle crisis | Daily Record, UK

Study title: What do you think about cannabis policy?

Survey. This study investigates what members of the public think about issues related to cannabis policy, including things like legalisation and decriminalisation | LJMU, UK

'I'm being offered drugs every day': Residents tell their horror stories of life in private homeless hotels

Going round some of Glasgow's private hotels and B&B's this week it's easy to see what he means | Herald, UK

Drugs smuggled into Guys Marsh prison in dead rats

Drugs, tobacco and mobile phones were smuggled into a prison stuffed inside dead rats | BBC, UK

UVF paramilitaries flooding Belfast with cocaine, court told

Three men have been remanded in custody after being arrested during police raids targeting loyalist paramilitaries in east Belfast | BBC, UK

Revealed: 'Alarming' cocaine use at Wembley for England vs Czech Republic

Cocaine use appears to have been rife among those attending England’s opening European Championship qualifier at Wembley, according to a Sunday Telegraph investigation | Telegraph, UK

Being deprived of alcohol living in Saudi Arabia made me drink more on my return, drink diver claims

A chocolatier has escaped jail for drink driving after telling a court how being deprived of alcohol and driving while living in Saudi Arabia left her struggling upon her return to Britain | Telegraph, UK

Drugs worth £2.3m seized in Clydebank house raid

Two people have been arrested after police recovered cocaine and other drugs worth about £2.3m during a house search | BBC, UK

Nine charged after Liverpool and Torquay drug dealing swoop

Five Liverpool men, three Torquay men and a man of no fixed address were charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs | BBC, UK


International news

Fear of being ‘misgendered’ is keeping transgender women away from drug and alcohol services

In celebration of International Women’s Day we are highlighting studies throughout the month of March that further our understanding of how sex and gender influence the course of addiction and treatment, with a particular focus on women. This week, how services can foster an inclusive and culturally-sensitive environment for transgender women, enabling them to focus on their substance use problems | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Make patients partners in therapy

Research findings amalgamated for the American Psychological Association show that outcomes of psychosocial treatments are substantially improved when clients and therapists agree on goals and methods and form collaborative relationships ... but when substance use is the problem, partnership has its limits | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Ketamine: can it really be an antidepressant?

A version of the club drug licensed in the US could usher in a wave of fast-acting treatments, but experts are worried | Guardian, UK

No link between strict anti-drug laws and teen cannabis use – study

Research contradicts earlier study showing decriminalisation led to greater uptake | Irish Times, Ireland

Cannabis brownies served at pensioners' lunch prompt police probe

‘We’ve got to get to the bottom of this, no doubt about it,’ says lunch club organiser in rural Canada | Independent, UK

Cannabidiol products now available at hundreds of CVS stores

Creams, sprays, and lotions infused with the nonintoxicating hemp component cannabidiol (CBD) are now being sold at more than 800 CVS stores in eight states | Medical Xpress, USA

New model found effective in predicting risk of opioid overdose

Current approaches to identifying people who are at high risk for overdosing on opioids target many who are not truly at high risk. A new study sought to develop and validate a way to predict the risk of opioid overdose among Medicare beneficiaries with at least one opioid prescription | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis consumption on the rise in Canada since legalization: Study

Marijuana use has risen in the country since legalization, according to a new study from Western Canadian research company Insights West, which shows that nearly a quarter of adult Canadians consumed cannabis in the last few months of 2018 | Vancouver Sun, Canada

New Vancouver detox centre serves as a reflection of how attitudes around substance abuse have evolved

For all the chaos he experienced in some 30 years of drug addiction, Todd Kenneth’s lowest moment came when it was quiet, and he was alone | Globe and Mail, Canada

Online now: New resources from Drug Trends

The Drug Trends program at NDARC triangulates data from various sources to identify emerging problems in substance use in Australia | NDARC, Australia

Shifting trends in the Perth ecstasy market: Harm reduction implications

This bulletin examines trends in the Perth ecstasy market (e.g. price, purity and availability), alongside trends in patterns of use (amounts being used, frequency of use) and reports of non-fatal ‘overdoses’ attributed to ‘ecstasy’ among a sample who regularly use ecstasy and other illicit stimulants | NDARC, Australia

Are psychedelics the new anti-depressants?

Audio. Next month St Vincent's hospital in Melbourne will begin a landmark study into the effects of psilocybin - a derivative of magic mushrooms - on anxiety | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

We need to know who is most at risk of developing psychosis

[Subscription may be needed] Further to your report “Studies flag psychosis risk from potent cannabis” (March 20): I think it is time to stop repeating research on this issue | Financial Times letter, UK

Tackling tuberculosis in under-served populations

Tuberculosis rates are not declining in all groups | PHE blog, UK

Child Slavery Rockets As Gangs Use Young People As Drug Mules

The number of child slavery cases has doubled in the UK as drug gangs are relying on young people to traffick illegal substances across the country | RightsInfo, UK 

How I overcame my heroin addiction – and started to live

Deciding to give up the drugs was easy. But Narcotics Anonymous meetings got me through the really hard bit – staying off them for good | Guardian, UK

Can we all chill out about cannabis? Not quite yet

Regulation has been unscientific and too restrictive. But the spectre of psychosis means some will always have to be wary | Guardian opinion, UK