Daily news - 11th November 2019

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Alcohol Awareness Week

It's Alcohol Awareness Week running from 11-17 November so let's get thinking about our drinking! This week is all about Alcohol and me, awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more | Alcohol Change UK, UK


UK news

Cannabis-based medicines: Two drugs approved for NHS

Two cannabis-based medicines, used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, have been approved for use by the NHS in England | BBC, UK

Cannabis-based medicinal products

This guideline covers prescribing of cannabis-based medicinal products for people with intractable nausea and vomiting, chronic pain, spasticity and severe treatment-resistant epilepsy | NICE, UK

GW Pharmaceuticals receives positive NICE recommendation for EPIDYOLEX® (cannabidiol) oral solution for the treatment of seizures in patients with two rare, severe forms of childhood-onset epilepsy

GW also welcomes the positive guideline recommendation for Sativex® (nabiximols) for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis as part of NICE’s evaluation of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs). Cannabidiol oral solution and nabiximols are the first and only plant-derived cannabis-based medicines to be routinely reimbursed on the NHS | GW Pharmaceuticals, UK

Eradicating hepatitis C in prisons

Successes and shortcomings characterising the experience of prisons in the North East of England illustrate how testing and treatment for hepatitis C could be optimised in custodial settings. Yet, without a strong pillar of harm reduction accompanying this approach, is it realistic to think prisons can combat the spread of hepatitis C? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Factors associated with past 30-day abstinence from cigarette smoking in adult established smokers who used a JUUL vaporizer for 6 months

[Open access] 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

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: The 'heartbreaking' reality

Eleven-year-old Reece and his brother Jordan, 10, do not like change. Their mother, Alison, says every day is like groundhog day, with the McNamara family following a strict routine | BBC, UK

Aged 90 and still taking cocaine — increase in older people admitted to hospital with drug’s effects

[Free registration may be required] Pensioners aged 90 and over are being admitted to hospital after taking cocaine. Ten nonagenarians were admitted with mental disorders “due to the use of cocaine” last year | The Times, UK

Police criticised for injecting 'heroin addict' with life saving drug - who turned out to be just sleeping 

Bodycam footage released by West Midlands Police showed two officers administering the drug Naloxone to a man who had passed out in Birmingham city centre | Telegraph, UK

Fingerprint test could tell if people took drugs or skipped medication

Now the University of Surrey has devised a state-of-the-art fingerprint test which can identify traces of drugs on human skin, even after someone has washed their hands. And it can ever tease out whether an individual has used the drug or shaken hands with someone who has handled it | Telegraph, UK

Support for people at risk of County Lines exploitation

MOPAC’s Strategic Assessment of County Lines found that hundreds of children and vulnerable adults are being exploited by gang members. What support are you giving these at-risk people to escape gang activity? | They work for you, UK

Survey for families of former members of the UK Armed Forces with substance use problems 

This survey is part of a research project by the University of York and Adfam which aims to find out about the experiences and needs of adult family members of former members of the UK Armed Forces with substance use problems in order to develop a new peer support intervention for this group of families. Your time filling out this survey and sharing your experience and views will be of great value to us. The survey should take 20-30 minutes to complete | Adfam and University of York, UK

Patrick Stewart demands medical cannabis be made legal as he admits arthritis treatment

Sir Patrick Stewart says cannabis is the only drug that can relieve him from the agony of arthritis – and wants GPs to be able to prescribe medical marijuana on the NHS | Express, UK

MP Keith Vaz standing down after suspension over ‘willingness’ to buy drugs

The former Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, 62, is currently suspended from the Commons after he was found to have ‘expressed willingness’ to purchase cocaine for two male escorts in 2016 | Metro, UK

Pete Doherty arrested in Paris for allegedly buying cocaine

Libertines frontman was detained on Thursday night after police stopped a drugs transaction in Pigalle district | Guardian, UK

Albanian parents smuggle children into UK drug trade

Parents in Albania are trafficking their teenage sons to the UK to join organised crime gangs that control large tranches of Britain’s cocaine market, an investigation by The Telegraph has found | Telegraph, UK

'Threats' mother stored £300,000 of drugs in Lossiemouth

A mother caught with more than £300,000 of drugs in Moray became involved in the illegal trade after criminals threatened to harm her children, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Arrests after cash, drugs and guns found in Liverpool raids

About £30,000, two guns, cannabis and a "large bag of white powder" were discovered at three properties in the city on Friday, Merseyside Police said | BBC, UK


International news

Global Drug Survey 2020

Welcome to GDS2020. Thank you for taking part and adding your experience to the world’s largest drug survey. Global Drug Survey (GDS) is independent and free from the influence of government funding or commercial interests. Funds we generate go into running the survey and creating free harm reduction tools | GDS, UK

UK's alcohol shame: How Britons get through an average 108 bottles of wine a year - more than most of the world - and baby boomers are fuelling the problem

Britons drink almost one litre more pure alcohol each year than Americans, who consume the average amount, a report revealed today | Mail Online, UK

CDC reports 'breakthrough' over vaping lung illnesses as cases top 2,000

The discovery of vitamin E acetate in lung samples offers the first direct evidence of a link between the substance and vaping-related lung injuries. The substance has also been identified in tests by US and state officials of product samples collected from patients with the vaping injury | Guardian, UK

Brain implants used to fight drug addiction in US

Patients with severe opioid addiction are being given brain implants to help reduce their cravings, in the first trial of its kind in the US | BBC, UK

‘Devastating’: the drug inquest findings that condemn ‘wholesale’ strip searches

Deputy coroner urges pill-testing trial, the scrapping of drug-detection dogs at festivals and says strip searches should be dramatically curtailed | Guardian, UK

Mexican Mormons accuse local government of 'complicity' in massacre of nine relatives

Amember of the Mormon family murdered in Mexico has accused the local authorities of complicity in the killings, mocking their claims that they took 10 hours to arrive on the scene because they didn’t have enough petrol | Telegraph, UK

'The tribe has taken over': the Native Americans running Las Vegas' only cannabis lounge

Nevada law restricts marijuana consumption to private residences until 2021, but sovereignty exempts the Las Vegas Paiute | Guardian, UK

Taking on Eysenck: one man's mission to challenge a giant of psychology – Science Weekly podcast

In 1992, Anthony Pelosi voiced concerns in the British Medical Journal about controversial findings from Hans Eysenck – one of the most influential British psychologists of all time – and German researcher Ronald Grossarth-Maticek. Those findings claimed personality played a bigger part in people’s chances of dying from cancer or heart disease than smoking | Guardian, UK

Methadone usage at Cork Prison revealed

There were 299 inmates in the prison on that date, meaning those on methadone represented 13.7% of the prison population | Cork News, Ireland

Transcript of CDC Telebriefing: Update on Lung Injury Associated with E-cigarette Use, or Vaping

Updates on the investigation into cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping. This update includes new lab findings from the investigation | CDC, USA

Best practice treatment guide to quickly detect, treat patients with vaping-associated lung injury

As the outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with e-cigarettes, or vaping, continues to spread across the U.S., researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City have effectively developed a best practice treatment guide to quickly identify and treat patients who develop the new and potentially fatal respiratory injury, according to a new study | News Medical, USA

ONDCP Releases Data on Coca Cultivation and Production Potential in Bolivia

Today, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the U.S. Government’s annual estimates of coca cultivation and cocaine production potential for the Plurinational State of Bolivia.  According to these estimates, Bolivia remains the third largest producer of cocaine in the world | ONDCP, USA

Trump Demanded⁠—And Now Won⁠—The Death Sentence for Chinese Fentanyl Traffickers

China is making good on its commitment to President Donald Trump to apply the death penalty to fentanyl manufacturers | Filter Magazine, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Chief Exec's Blog - No Apology for my Outrage

In more traditional leadership theory, anger isn’t deemed to be a very effective leadership characteristic. We all had those experiences of shouty leaders or people pursuing blame games to prove they are right and creating chaos and hurt in the process | Phoenix Futures, UK

Portugal Solved Its Drug Crisis. Why Can't America Do The Same?

When 1% of its population was caught in the grips of a heroin epidemic, Portugal took the radical step to decriminalize drugs. It worked | Huffington Post, UK

Self by Will Self review: a deliberately repulsive portrait of the author's junkie years

There is a moment in his new book, Will, in which the teenage Will Self contemplates his acne-covered face in the bathroom mirror. “He smooths his hair back – sneers his lip,” he writes. “Will feels the world’s scrutiny as an excruciating hive all over his skin | Telegraph, UK

When the coroner looked at how to cut drug deaths at music festivals, the evidence won. But what happens next?

The much-awaited NSW coroner’s report into music festival deaths was released on Friday. In the report, Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame recommends pill testing, a ban on sniffer dogs and a reduction in the number of strip searches, among other measures to prevent deaths | Conversation, Australia