Daily news - 28th March 2019

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UK news

£6 million capital spending for local alcohol projects

Public Health England (PHE) have announced 23 local authorities will be sharing a £6 million capital fund to invest in improving services and facilities for people with alcohol problems. Whilst some welcomed the news, others also pointed out ongoing cuts to national public health budgets and declines in overall alcohol treatment figures | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Collective Voice announces new Chair and Vice Chair

Collective Voice is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Chair and Vice Chair. Paul Townsley, CEO of Humankind, will take over from Chair Karen Biggs from 1 April 2019. Lucie Hartley, CEO of EDP Drug and Alcohol Services, will take over from Vice Chair John Jolly on the same date. Paul, Lucie and the rest of the board will work closely with Director Oliver Standing to implement a new organisational strategy from April | Collective Voice, UK

Is it time to raise the smoking age to 21?

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health put forward the idea earlier this month, and now a leading doctor, Imperial College London respiratory specialist Dr Nicholas Hopkinson, has written in the British Medical Journal arguing the case for the change | BBC, UK

How many cigarettes in a bottle of wine?

Drinking one 750ml bottle of wine a week increases the risk of developing cancer over a lifetime by the equivalent of 10 cigarettes a week for women and five for men, a study says | BBC, UK

Female alcohol deaths increase by 65%

One of Northern Ireland's leading liver consultants has voiced concern about the growing number of women dying from alcohol-related diseases | BBC, UK

'I couldn't function without alcohol' - video

"I was very painfully shy growing up and therefore alcohol to me was the answer to that, I thought I needed drink to fit in," she said | BBC, UK

Medicinal Cannabis Products

What estimate he has made of the number of prescriptions for medicinal cannabis products that have been issued since November 2018 | They work for you, UK

Alcohol support centre to open

Portsmouth City Council and the Society of St James (SSJ) have successfully won £249,000 funding from Public Health England to create a new Alcohol Treatment Centre (ATC) in the city and improve treatment for alcohol dependent residents in Portsmouth | Portsmouth News, UK

Adfam West Midlands Regional Forum

Free event. Thu, 21 March 2019. 10:00 – 15:00 GMT. BVSC, The Centre for Voluntary Action 138 Digbeth Birmingham B5 6DR. Adfam’s regional forum is a chance to meet together with others working with those affected by someone else’s drug and alcohol use. It is an opportunity to share good practice, hear updates and news, and presentations on topics relevant to the sector. Affected family members are also very welcome to attend | Adfam, UK

Can theatre in schools tackle county lines drug phenomenon?

Children are being taught how to recognise the dangers of county lines drug networks, after "significant problems" in north Wales | BBC, UK

Inmate died after being administered with higher than recommended dose of methadone by Cardiff prison GP

The prisoner's medical records do not explain the GP’s decision | Wales Online, UK

Suffolk cannabis farm gardeners 'bottom of drugs chain'

wo cannabis "gardeners" tending a £1m drugs factory were "expendable" links in a criminal network, a court heard | BBC, UK


International news

The French must drink less wine, say health officials

Health agency advises no more than two glasses a day to cut down alcohol-related disease risk | Guardian, UK

“The relationship can heal”

Impressively wise, unprecedentedly comprehensive, backed by the American Psychological Association, and based on expert assessments and 16 new evidence reviews, the overview featured in this analysis has claims to being the single most important document for treatment practitioners who want to develop their relationship skills based on what works in promoting client welfare | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Groups make push for to decriminalise drug possession

Community groups at the frontline of the drugs crisis are making a final push in urging a State group to recommend decriminalisation of possession of drugs for personal use | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Health, rights and drugs. Harm reduction, decriminalization and zero discrimination for people who use drugs (PDF)

This report outlines that although decriminalization of drug use and possession for personal use increases the provision, access and uptake of health and harm reduction services, criminalization and severe punishments remain commonplace. An estimated one in five people in prison globally are incarcerated for drug-related offences, around 80% of whom are in prison for possession for personal use alone. In addition, the report lists 35 countries that retain the death penalty for drug-related offences | UNAIDS, Switzerland

Researchers examine classic versus novel psychedelic use in United States

Classic psychedelics, which include LSD, mescaline and psilocybin, have been used by humans for millennia, and there is a rather extensive body of scientific knowledge surrounding these substances and their effects. Recently, new drugs referred to as novel psychedelics have emerged on the scene. Though similar in pharmacology to classic psychedelics, there is a much smaller body of evidence on these substances | Medical Xpress, USA

Beyond Purdue: Our Deadly Unlearned Lessons From the Overdose Crisis

There is a profound moment in the film And The Band Played On, about the early days of the US AIDS epidemic | Filter Magazine, USA

Study: To keep leftover opioids out of harm's way, give surgery patients disposal bags

Many surgery patients head home from the hospital with opioid pain medicine prescriptions, and most will have pills left over after they finish recovering from their procedure | Medical Xpress, USA

Top dark web marketplace will shut down next month

Dream Market, today's top dark web marketplace, announced plans to shut down on April 30, next month | ZDNet, USA

The collapse of an effort to legalize marijuana in New Jersey revealed the thorny and knotty difficulties in trying to legalize marijuana | NYTimes, USA

Why is SF considering banning fake cigarettes but allowing the real ones to stay on the market?

This is a political maneuver under the guise of a desire to protect children’s health | San Francisco Examiner, USA

Can medicinal cannabis treat the tics in Tourette syndrome?

Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at University of Sydney facilitating supply for clinical trial | EurekAlert, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Supporting people from substance misuse treatment into employment

PHE is working with community substance misuse treatment providers in seven areas in England to deliver a ground-breaking randomised controlled trial (RCT) of an innovative, specialist form of employment support – Individual Placement and Support (IPS) | PHE blog, UK

The public health crisis of Scotland’s drug use

Drug consumption rooms should be a part of the solution as Scotland looks to bring about a reduction in drug-related deaths, according to Scottish Drugs Forum CEO David Liddell | Healthcare Scotland, UK

The Psychoactive Consumer and International Drug Policy: A Sweeping Sketch

The role of the consumer, in its complexity and diversity, is often marginalised in analyses of drug policy. Of course, it is obvious that consumers play a part – if nobody were smoking, injecting, drinking or otherwise consuming psychoactive materials, there would not be a control regime trying to stop them | GDPO blog, UK

Written submission to the Health and Social Care Committee's inquiry on Drugs policy: medicinal cannabis

From Transform Drug Policy Foundation, and Release. Feb 2019 This submission outlines how the unique nature of cannabis as a medicine and the unique history of cannabis based medicinal products | Transform and Release, UK

Last orders: how can alcohol brands and bars respond to declining interest in Gen Z?

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis | The Drum opinion, UK