Daily news - 29th March 2019

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UK news

Health Matters: tobacco and alcohol CQUIN

This professional resource focuses on preventing ill health caused by tobacco and alcohol use and makes the case for why NHS providers should implement the Screening and brief advice for tobacco and alcohol use in inpatient settings CQUIN, published in March 2019. See also Public Health England’s implementation guidance | NHS England, UK

Coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse

You can now comment on this draft quality standard. Closing date for comments: Wednesday 10 April 2019 at 5pm | NICE UK

Medical cannabis industry should be told to provide evidence if it wants products prescribed, MPs hear

Keith Ridge told the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee hearing on medical cannabis policy that he saw the primary purpose of rescheduling medical cannabis as supporting development of good evidence | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

A comparison of gender-linked population cancer risks between alcohol and tobacco: how many cigarettes are there in a bottle of wine?

In contrast to our knowledge about the number of cancers attributed to smoking, the number of cancers attributed to alcohol is poorly understood by the public. We estimate the increase in absolute risk of cancer (number of cases per 1000) attributed to moderate levels of alcohol, and compare these to the absolute risk of cancer attributed to low levels of smoking, creating a ‘cigarette-equivalent of population cancer harm’ | BMC Public Health, UK

The monster downstairs - BBC audio

Camilla Tominey hears stories of what it is like growing up with an alcoholic parent | BBC, UK

Pregnancy: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England's guidance, Health Matters: Identifying and offering brief advice to tobacco and alcohol users, published on 21 March 2019, for what reasons that guidance does not make reference to the risk of drinking alcohol in pregnancy | They work for you, UK

Borders public alcohol consumption problem assessed

A council is trying to find out if alcohol consumption in public places is considered a problem in its area | BBC, UK

Cranstoun’s residential detoxification service, City Roads – an announcement

It is with deep regret that, after 40 years of operation, Cranstoun is announcing the proposed closure of City Roads, our London based detoxification unit | Cranstoun, UK

Sackler Trust: Donations - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the wider implications of the decisions by the National Portrait Gallery and Tate to forgo the intended donations from the Sackler Trust | They work for you, UK

Reinforcing Behaviour Change in Addiction Treatment

Free event. 5th April. Kings College, Lonon. This one-day conference will include presentations covering the existing scientific evidence base for Contingency Management, findings from two UK trials assessing the effectiveness of contingency management targeted at encouraging completion of hepatitis B vaccinations (CONMAN Trial) and abstinence from street heroin (PRAISE Trial), and consider the implications of these findings for practice and policy across the UK addiction service provider network | SSA, UK

Bristol's New Recovery Orchestra Debut

Free event today. The first ever performance by Bristol's brand new Recovery Orchestra is nearly here! In just a few short weeks 15 musicians who have experienced problematic drug or alcohol use, have come together under the creative baton of Jonathan James to create a beautiful and original piece of music. Come and hear it for yourself on Friday 29th March, 12pm at The Unitarian Hall, Brunswick Square, Bristol BS2 8PE | BDP, UK

Forward Leeds develops new treatment path for synthetic cannabinoids

Forward Leeds, the city’s alcohol and drug service, are offering a ground breaking approach to the growing national problem of Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists, known on the UK streets as ‘Spice’ | Forward Leeds, UK

Picking up the pieces: caring as a result of somebody else's substance use

Survey. When there is a drug or alcohol related crisis in a family, it tends to be women who pick up the pieces. This survey is exploring why. It asks about the experience of women caring for someone as a result of drug and alcohol use, and aims to establish what can be done to better support them.  If you are a woman and  consider yourself to have a careering role towards someone affected by substance use please fill in our survey. Otherwise please do share it widely | Adfam, UK

Legalise cannabis sales to tackle criminal gangs, says Tory MP

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the  All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, is urging the Government to control sales as he claims that 50 years of “prohibition” has failed  “lamentably” | Evening Standard, UK

Jump in antidepressant prescriptions in England

A total of 70.9 million prescriptions for antidepressants were dispensed in England in 2018 | BBC, UK

British couple arrested on suspicion of smuggling cocaine on board cruise liner

Two British nationals have been arrested on the holiday island of Madeira on suspicion of smuggling £2 million pounds worth of cocaine aboard a luxury cruise liner | Telegraph, UK

Cambridge Travelodge used by county lines dealers

Ibrahim Mohamed, 20, looked after a "significant" amount of heroin and cocaine in a room while two associates sold the product on the street | BBC, UK


International news

Ron Hogg leads international call by Police Officers to reform drug policies

A growing international movement of police officers calling for drug law reform are making their voices heard in the Police Statement of Support for Drug Policy Reform, launched at the United Nations in Vienna last week | Office of the Durham Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner, UK

Factors associated with past 30-day abstinence from cigarette smoking in a non-probabilistic sample of 15,456 adult established current smokers in the United States who used JUUL vapor products for three months

JUUL is the fastest growing and highest selling brand of e-cigarette/vapor products in the USA. Assessing the effect of JUUL vapor products on adult smokers’ use of conventional tobacco cigarettes can help inform the potential population health impact of these products | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Do interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms also reduce domestic abuse?

In celebration of International Women’s Day we are highlighting studies throughout 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’s review prompts thoughts about the role alcohol may play in initiating or exacerbating controlling and abusive behaviours in intimate relationships | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Seth Rogan announces launch of cannabis company, Housplant

‘Houseplant is a passion we've brought to life through drive and dedication’ | Independent, UK

People’s voice. The roar of the silent majority

This report attempts to clarify and articulate the key issues that need to be addressed to encourage coherent policies. It is our obligation to voice the opinions and interests of the silent majority that wish their communities, their families and their own lives to be free from drugs and drug-related harm | IOGT, Sweden

WHO official: With e-cigarettes, the tobacco industry just ‘changed clothes’

In an interview with EURACTIV.com, Dr Vera Luiza da Costa, the head of secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), has criticised the tobacco industry, saying that with its push for electronic cigarettes the trade “just changed clothes while the content remains the same.” | EurActiv, Belgium

Widespread Anti-Smoker Stigma Is Harmful, as Well as Wrong

Adult smokers are a highly stigmatized population, yet people rarely acknowledge that this is the case. The denial of this truth not only makes smokers vulnerable to receiving unequal treatment in society, but impedes their efforts to quit | Filter Magazine, USA

Surgical implications of rising heroin abuse

With heroin abuse on the rise in the United States, related surgical complications are also increasing, including severe infections and complications related to heroin injection | EurekAlert, USA

Researchers discover a critical receptor involved in response to antidepressants like ketamine

UMD School of Medicine Research helps uncover how certain receptors play role in the mechanism of fast-acting antidepressants | EurekAlert, USA

Drug Policy Metrics Map

Review detailed profiles for 44 countries. The map demonstrates the alignment and gaps between the metrics that countries use to assess the effectiveness of their national drug policies, as well as the actual drug- and drug policy-related outcomes they experience | CDPE, Canada

Supervised drug consumption sites considered for Canadian prisons

Correctional service 'exploring' new harm-reduction measure, union says Drumheller Institution a possible site | CBC, Canada

Homeless to suffer if big fines introduced for smoking weed in public

Rough sleepers could be needlessly criminalised by plans to fine people up to $4800 for smoking cannabis in public if the drug is legalised, lawyers have warned | SMH, Australia

What do we know about synthetic cannabinoids?

In this presentation, A/Prof Raimondo Bruno (School of Medicine, University of Tasmania), discusses existing knowledge around synthetic cannabinoids and presents findings from the 2018 national Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Human Genome Project: new alcohol abuse study could help us finally unlock secrets to beating genetic diseases

Human Genome Project has not lived up to the hype on beating disease, but new alcohol abuse study could change that | Conversation, UK

The Legend of Cocaine Island, Netflix review: the baffling true story of the man who went on a treasure hunt without a shovel

The big, spitball-worthy question at the heart of this documentary is: would you do it? Would you, if you knew the rough location of a 66lb (30kg) stash of cocaine in the Caribbean, go and dig it up? | Telegraph, UK