Daily news - 14th May 2019

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UK news

Review of drugs: call for evidence

The responses to this call for evidence will be used, in conjunction with other sources such as official statistics, visits, research reports and academic literature, to build a detailed, up-to-date picture of drug use and supply, and to assess the effectiveness of interventions. The closing date for submissions is 11:59pm on 7 June 2019 | Home Office, UK

Working with people who use drugs: Guidance for homelessness accommodation services

Guidance for managers and staff of homelessness accommodation on developing positive, welcoming services for people who are continuing to use drugs | Homeless Link, UK

Suicide, drug abuse and alcoholism linked to more middle-aged deaths than heart disease

A leading economist has said the UK faces a sharp rise in self-inflicted deaths as people face increasing economic isolation. He says that among Britons aged 45 -54 the number of deaths of despair per 100,000 people has risen from just over 20 in 1993 to 43 in 2017. See also: Inequalities in the twenty-first century: introducing the IFS Deaton Review | Sky News, UK

Council workers to face random tests for drugs and drink

[Free subscription may be required] Scottish teachers and council workers could face drugs and alcohol tests if they are deemed to be acting strangely or colleagues accuse them of being inebriated on the job | The Times, UK

New UK strategy for tackling drugs and drug use problems in prisons

The Prison Drugs Strategy aims to create a pathway for “real and positive change across the prison estate” – restricting the supply of drugs, reducing demand, and building recovery. It highlights the challenges of managing health conditions in custodial settings, and arguably shows on which side policymakers tend to fall when walking the tightrope between reducing harm and enforcing the law | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The Timpson Review of School Exclusion (PDF)

Includes a look at the role of alcohol and other drugs in school exclusions | Department for Education and Race Disparity Unit, UK

Toolkit For Tackling Chronic Opioid Use In Non-Cancer Pain

The Medicines Optimisation Group East Anglia was supported by NIHR CLAHRC Eastern to develop an approach to opioid tapering. We combined research evidence with experiences of health organisations and practitioners to develop a programme theory | UEA, UK

Medicinal cannabis: Legalised yet impossible to access

It became lawful for the NHS to prescribe marijuana in November, yet as Harry Sumnall discovers, its impact has been felt by very few people | Independent, UK

Tobacco display ban 'safeguards young people'

A ban on displaying cigarettes and tobacco at shop counters has reduced the risk of young people taking up smoking, according to a new study | BBC, UK

Changes in roll-your-own tobacco and cigarette sales volume and prices before, during and after plain packaging legislation in the UK

[Open access] New legislation resulted in higher prices for RYO and manufactured cigarettes. However, sales volumes of RYO continued to increase throughout the study period, perhaps because RYO remains a less expensive means of smoking tobacco | BMJ, UK

9/48 Tobacco cessation, control and harm reduction interventions (HS&DR Programme)

A call for research proposals in tobacco cessation, control and harm reduction interventions | NIHR, UK

Teenager arrested following death of 15-year-old girl thought to have taken ecstasy 

Police investigating the death of a 15-year-old girl believed to have taken MDMA have arrested a teenage boy on suspicion of drugs offences | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis haul found after police follow scent in Ramsey

A nose for drug dealers paid off on Sunday when a police patrol followed a scent and discovered what they called "devil's lettuce" worth £45,000 | BBC, UK

The terrifying messages sent by drugs boss to customers in Wales

Paul Hickman was jailed for 12 years for supplying Class A drugs | Wales Online, UK


International news

Vaper trail: the rise of the ecigarette

[Free registration may be required] As smoking declines, ecigarette firms are sparking into life across Ireland. Yet EU regulations and a lack of state support are drags on their success | The Times, UK

Booby trap scuppers police raid on Dutch floating crystal meth lab

Forensic experts were forced off cargo ship when it suddenly began taking on water | Guardian, UK

Philippines elections: Duterte faces key poll test

The opposition has been campaigning against Mr Duterte's war on drugs, which is thought to have killed thousands of drug users and alleged dealers and is widely condemned by rights groups | BBC, UK

Tough to swallow: Brewing giant AB InBev slapped with €200m fine over import restrictions

The world’s largest brewer has been slapped with a €200m (£172m) antitrust fine from the EU today for restricting the cross-border sales of beer | City A.M., UK

Prevalence of Awareness and Use of JUUL E-cigarettes in a National Probability Sample of Adolescents in the United States (PDF)

[Open access]  In this study, we estimate the prevalence of awareness and use of the JUUL e-cigarette among adolescents in the United States | American Journal of Health Behavior, USA

New program focuses on preventing alcohol, e-cigarette use by children

The bottom line is to help children grow up safer and healthier and to increase parents' ability to help them do that, says the investigator leading a $1.4 million state-funded alcohol and substance abuse prevention program | News Medical, USA

In March, both states seemed days away from a landmark legalization deal. Now inertia is feeding doubts that it can happen this year | NYTimes, USA

It’s Time for People With Privilege to Come Out About Their Drug Use

I had a counselor look me in the eye the other week and say, “No drug user can be a decent mother, come on!” | Filter Magazine, USA

Pain Patients Like Me Are Rising Up Against Discrimination and Suffering

If it were up to me, it’s unlikely I would be sitting down to write about my life with chronic severe pain, or the government policies and the social attitudes government encourages that generate unnecessary suffering for far too many Americans. I’d rather be going for a walk, doing some gardening or painting watercolors. But I have no choice | Filter Magazine, USA

Tobacco giant suspends social media campaign as young 'influencers' exposed

Cigarette maker Philip Morris International has suspended a global social media marketing campaign in response to Reuters inquiries into the company’s use of young online personalities to sell its new "heated tobacco" device, including a 21-year-old woman in Russia | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Online now: NDARC seminar presented by Dr Jacques Raubenheimer

The presentation focused on the use of a tool developed by Dr Raubenheimer for accessing raw Google Trends search probability data, and how this might be used for contemporaneous forecasting of drug interest, as well as limitations to the data which indicate that they cannot provide a complete picture of drug interest, but can, it is hoped, supplement conventional drug interest survey data | NDARC, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Find it difficult to resist alcohol or drugs? How running can help

Exercise can have a powerful impact on people struggling with addiction, as members of the Skid Row Running Club know all too well. Could this be one of the best natural ways to address withdrawal symptoms? | Guardian, UK