Daily news - 12th November 2019

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UK news

Staying alive in Scotland

A resource containing strategies to reduce drug-related deaths in Scotland has been updated and re-launched by Scottish Drugs Forum. ‘Staying Alive in Scotland’– links directly to the Government’s alcohol and drugs strategy, ‘Rights, Respect and Recovery’ and the subsequent action plan | SDF, UK

Progress towards smokefree mental health services

This report presents the findings of a survey of NHS mental health trusts in England conducted by ASH for Public Health England in Spring 2019. It examines whether the Government’s objective for all mental health trusts to be smokefree by 2018 has been achieved | ASH, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week 2019

The Alcohol Awareness Week public health campaign, coordinated by Alcohol Change UK, was designed to get people thinking and talking about alcohol. Read more about what the campaign involves, and browse customised alcohol-related searches of the Effectiveness Bank | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

1.4 million adults are using 'street cannabis' as medicinal to treat chronic conditions

Survey of more than 10,000 people by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis shows might higher incidence than previously thought | I news, UK

Vaping nearly killed me, says British teenager

A teenage boy nearly died after vaping caused a catastrophic reaction in his lungs, doctors in Nottingham say. Ewan Fisher was connected to an artificial lung to keep him alive after his own lungs failed and he could not breathe | BBC, UK

Exercise interventions for smoking cessation

Taking regular exercise, whether cardiovascular‐type exercise or resistance exercise, may help people to give up smoking, particularly by reducing cigarette withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and by helping to manage weight gain | Cochrane, UK

Study: Links between teenage anxiety and later harmful drinking

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalized anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later, thanks to the long-term health study Children of the 90s | Medical Xpress, USA

Leave no one behind: A manifesto for hepatitis C elimination

The opportunity to free the world from a disease such as hepatitis C does not come around very often. As a country, we are in the rare position of being able to achieve this in the coming decade – but we need the Government to build on the momentum we have generated and make sure the impact of its promises are being felt on the ground | Hepatitis C Trust, UK

Marking 50 years of Cranstoun

Cranstoun turns 50 this year. We have been taking the opportunity to reflect on our own journey from our beginnings in 1969, through each decade to the present day. If you haven’t already checked out our timeline, do take a look – Cranstoun’s 50th Timeline | Cranstoun, UK

Recovering drug and alcohol addicts getting free meals - thanks to food donations from Tesco

Recovering drug and alcohol addicts are getting free, freshly cooked meals made with surplus food donations from Tesco | Bucks Free Press, UK

Cocaine worth more than £200k found after raid on one of UK’s most prestigious private schools

Caretaker of £21,000-a-year school charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs | Independent, UK


International news

More than 750kg of cocaine washes up on French Atlantic beaches

More than 750kg (1,654lb) of cocaine - most of it 83% pure - has washed up in packages along France's Atlantic coast this month | BBC, UK

US man receives double lung transplant after organs damaged by vaping

More than 2,000 Americans who vape have become sick since March, and at least 40 people have died | Guardian, UK

Neil Young says US citizenship 'delayed over marijuana'

Canadian-born rock star Neil Young has said his application for US citizenship has been delayed partly because he smokes marijuana | BBC, UK

Philippine drug war: Do we know how many have died?

The new head of the anti-drugs campaign in the Philippines, Leni Robredo, has said the "killing of the innocent" must come to an end, referring to a government policy human rights groups have blamed for thousands of state-sponsored killings | BBC, UK

Man (30s) arrested in connection after €1.4 million cocaine seized by gardai

A man has been arrested after gardai seized €1.4 million worth of what is believed to be cocaine | Independent, Ireland

E-cigarettes may be more harmful to the heart than traditional cigarettes, study shows

A new study from researchers at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai shows that electronic nicotine delivery systems, including devices such as e-cigarettes, may be just as harmful to the heart, if not more, than traditional cigarettes | News Medical, USA

Stopping meth helps reverse drug-induced heart failure

Heart failure is more severe when it stems from using methamphetamine, but heart failure patients who get proper medical treatment and are able to stop using meth can improve just as much as patients who never used meth, according to preliminary research... | Medical Xpress, USA

The small African kingdom that’s perfect for growing cannabis, but maybe not for regulating it

Dawn breaks in the village of Marakabei, two and a half thousand meters up in the remote highlands of Lesotho, the landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa. Cowbells tinkle. Smoke from cooking fires rises above homes along the steep hillsides. An old donkey path winds around the edge of a peak | Quartz, USA

Australian women with endometriosis turning to cannabis to alleviate symptoms

A new study published today in Journal of Obstetrics Gynaecology Canadahas found one in eight Australian women with endometriosis use cannabis to alleviate pain and other symptoms, rating the plant based medicine as the most effective way to self-manage the disorder | News Medical, USA

Vaping Linked with Severe Lung Illnesses

Outlines the latest evidence about the recent outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping. The report describes how vaping is harmful to lung health and describes the possible causes. It concludes that further research is needed to evaluate the impacts of vaping on health and that people should not vape until further information is available | CCSA, Canada

The wild history of vaping, from a 1927 ‘electric vaporizer’ to today’s mysterious lung injury crisis

For thousands of years, people have been enjoying the subtle rush that smoking tobacco leaves, thereby ingesting nicotine, can provide | Business Insider, Malaysia

What works. Testing drugs for harm reduction (PDF)

The recent deaths of 6 young people at music festivals in Australia connected to MDMA has led to local calls for the introduction of drug checking services (sometimes called ‘pill testing’ in Australia and drug safety testing in the UK) to assist people who use drugs to make safer decisions about the drugs they intend to consume | 360 edge, Australia

Rules relaxed as WA GPs get go-ahead to prescribe medical cannabis

Australia's first medical cannabis product producer has welcomed changes to medical cannabis rules that will allow patients to seek prescriptions without the need for referrals to a specialist | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug experts on the new guidance for medicinal cannabis

It’s now one year since the government announced they would allow access to cannabis-based products for medicinal use, and guidelines advising doctors how to prescribe have now been published | Conversation, UK

Ian Hamilton: New guidelines for prescribing medicinal cannabis—another dashed hope for patients

New guidance from NICE leaves us no clearer about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis, says Ian Hamilton | BMJ blog, UK

The continuing UK ban on cannabis-based painkillers is absurd and inhumane

Politicians running scared of big pharma and the taboo around cannabis are blocking access to these vital drugs | Guardian, UK

Analysis: The NICE Guidelines

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released its guidelines for prescribing cannabis-based medical products (CBMPs) in the UK. The release is significant because it is these guidelines - rather than politically-imposed regulations - that will effectively determine the extent of medical cannabis access on the NHS | Hanway Associates, UK

For people with alcohol issues, abstinence isn’t the only answer

Forcing everyone down the same path means losing sight of many on the way | Addaction blog, UK

Tony Adams: “If you won’t get help for you, get help for the people you love.” Alcohol Awareness Week 2019

New survey shows that people are negatively affected by others’ drinking, but believe that their own drinking does not negatively affect others | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Reassuring people entering treatment increases their chances of getting better

We’re exploring the first four weeks of drug and alcohol treatment. This is what we’ve learnt | Addaction blog, UK

Framing the question: electronic cigarettes and harm reduction

It has been claimed by the promoters of electronic cigarettes that these nicotine delivery products are on a par with the implementation of syringe exchange to provide safe injection of heroin for drug users in the 1980s and that they are 95% safer than traditional cigarettes | JRSM, UK

Tobacco is deadly. Calling it ‘popular’ may send the wrong message

Tobacco control efforts are regularly complicated by the entry of new tobacco products into the marketplace. New products are often not well understood by the public, including members of the target markets, healthcare professionals, and community leaders | BMJ blog, UK

Supervised injection sites must focus on facilitating drug treatment

As the opioid epidemic and drug overdose fatalities continue to plague America, the opening of supervised injection sites —where addicts can use drugs in a safe environment —is again on the agenda | The Hill, USA

ALEX WODAK. Draft recommendations supporting drug decriminalisation released by the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into Ice 

The Commissioner of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into Ice, Dan Howard QC, will now consider what amounts to a draft report by Council Assisting, Sally Dowling SC. He will submit his officIal report in January, to be then considered by the NSW Government | John Menadue blog, Australia

Vaping-related lung disease now has a name – and a likely cause. 5 things you need to know about EVALI

More than 2,000 people in the United States have developed serious lung damage in a poisoning outbreak associated with the use of vaping devices this year. At least 39 people have died from the condition | Conversation, Australia