Daily news - 13th November 2019

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UK news

DDN November edition - out now

Fifteen years ago we published our first issue of DDN. I interviewed the drugs minister Caroline Flint, who talked about the new drug intervention programme (DIP) and the recently launched Alcohol harm reduction strategy. There was a lot happening – the Home Office was pumping money into the sector to ‘break the cycle between drugs and crime’ | DDN, UK

Alcohol use in late adolescence and early adulthood: The role of generalized anxiety disorder and drinking to cope motives

The relationship between anxiety and alcohol use is unclear, and moderating factors, such as drinking to cope (DTC) motives, may explain mixed findings | DAD, UK

Our manifesto for the 2019 General Election

Alcohol harms have terrible consequences for individuals, public services, communities, workplaces and the wider economy. Alcohol harms are rising, and their burden falls most heavily on poorer communities. There is no magic, single solution, but considerable progress can be made using a joined-up approach | AHA UK, UK

Am I drinking too much? This is the truth about alcohol and how it is damaging our brains

Drink Wise, Age Well has launched a new campaign called 'Grey Matters: Alcohol and the brain' to raise awareness about alcohol-related brain damage | Wales Online, UK

Medical cannabis: does it have a role in the treatment of substance use disorders?

FREE WEBINAR Wed 20 Nov at 7 pm.  Presenter: Prof Nick Lintzeris  Chair: Dr Stephen Willott. With live Q&A. Prof Lintzeris is  Director of Drug and Alcohol Services at South East Sydney Local Health District, Conjoint Professor in Addiction Medicine, University Sydney, and President-Elect of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine in the RACP.  He has worked as a clinician and researcher, with particular interests in treatment approaches for opioid and cannabis use disorders | SMMGP, UK

Setting up services for people with dependency on prescription and over-the-counter medications

FREE WEBINAR Tues 10 Dec at 7 pm. Presenter: Graeme Dixon, Agencia. Chair Dr Steve Brinksman. With live Q&A. This webinar will discuss creating and running a service specifically designed to identify and support patients at risk of developing addiction to prescribed and over-the-counter painkillers | SMMGP, UK

Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control will host a series of events across Manchester

Free events. Come along and learn about the impact of drugs on the city and how we can better protect our community | Anyone's Child, UK

'You are not alone,' charity to hold drug addiction meeting for concerned loved ones

Homeless support charity Homeless Pembrokeshire is holding an informal meeting for anyone with concerns about drug addiction | Western Telegraph, UK

A gifted physicist reduced to living in his car: what killed Hamid Alamdari?

Hamid Farahi Alamdari 1962-2018: He was a charmer who spoke seven languages and claimed he had nearly worked with Stephen Hawking – but somehow Hamid ended up living in a Tesco car park and dying alone | Guardian, UK

Cocaine worth £20m found in frozen meat at Harwich Port

A lorry driver has been charged with attempting to import Class A drugs after cocaine with a street value of £20m was discovered inside frozen meat | BBC, UK


International news

Vaping continues to damage the hearts of smokers when they switch to e-cigarettes, study suggests 

Professor Thomas Münzel, of the Department of Cardiology of the University Medical Centre Mainz in Mainz, looked at the impact of e-cigarette vapour on blood flow in the artery in the upper arm in 20 healthy smokers before they vaped an e-cigarette, and then 15 minutes afterwards | Telegraph, UK

Drug policies used to criminalise the LGBTQIA+ community in Uganda

Events in Uganda this week highlight how drug policies continue to be used as a mechanism for social control and the criminalisation of marginalised communities | Talking Drugs, UK

New rules to curb alcohol adverts near young people

New advertising rules introduced today, under the Public Health Alcohol Act of 2018, will prevent drinks companies from promoting their products near schools, playgrounds or on public transport | RTe, Ireland

Minister Harris and Minister Byrne welcome first restrictions on advertising of alcohol that become law today

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D. and Minister of State, Catherine Byrne T.D. today welcomed the coming into operation of three sections of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 | Irish Government, Ireland

Cavan Drug Awareness Service to close by end of 2020 if funding issue not resolved

A direct appeal has been made to the government to consider seriously how it is to tackle the issue of drugs addiction | The Anglo-Celt, Ireland

EU Agencies join 10-year anniversary of EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter

The nine EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies are marking the 10-year anniversary of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights by pledging to continue to respect and promote fundamental rights throughout the work | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug dust

New technology could help law enforcement detect smaller amounts of fentanyl with a higher degree of accuracy than any other field-testing tool | EurekAlert, USA

The Dying California Desert Town Where Cannabis Is The Only Remaining Hope

From cul-de-sac-fever-dream gone bust to vertically integrated weed opportunity zone, the high desert town of California City is hoping the winds of fate will finally blow its way | VICE, USA

The Drug Policy Reform Movement Debates Its Next Moves

We have a saying in Pakistan,” smiled the taxi driver. We were discussing two-year-olds as we drove out of St. Louis, Missouri to the airport. “If they’re not breaking something or making noise, it’s time to call the doctor.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Overdose Lifesavers

This new website has two aims. First, it aims to support people affected by opioid overdose and thinking about using take-home naloxone. Second, it aims to inform the public about overdose and what can be done about it | La Trobe University, Australia

Lord mayor backs a pill-testing trial but Andrews just says 'no'

Lord mayor Sally Capp has backed a controversial pill-testing trial in Melbourne despite Premier Daniel Andrews reiterating the government’s opposition to the proposal | The Age, Australia

'We won't be changing our policy': Daniel Andrews shrugs off pill testing

Premier Daniel Andrews is unmoved by a push from paramedics to introduce "back of house" pill testing at festivals and raves | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why you shouldn’t write off e-cigarettes, despite the headlines

Vaping has been getting something of a bad name of late. Countries worldwide are considering restrictions and bans. But, as a way to help smokers quit, e-cigarettes are an important tool that we shouldn’t dismiss | Conversation, UK

A question of intent: Alcohol advertising campaign case studies make for sobering reading

It is time to leave claims of the innocuous goals of alcohol advertising aside and instead treat it with the regulatory attention it requires, says Nason Maani Hessari | IAS blog, UK

Making informed choices about our drinking

During Alcohol Awareness Week, headlines suggesting that the average Brit gets through 108 bottles of wine a year – more than most of the developed world – should give us pause for thought | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK


And finally...

High on the hog - wild boar dig up and destroy £17,000 worth of cocaine stashed in forest in Tuscany

Wild boar in Italy have no shortage of enemies, from farmers and vineyard owners to motorists, but to that long list can now be added drug dealers | Telegrph, UK