Daily news - 14th November 2019

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UK news

Minimum alcohol pricing to be introduced in Wales next year

The Welsh Government will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p from March next year after it was approved by the National Assembly | ITV, UK

Drug users offered Greggs vouchers to get tested for hepatitis C

Newcastle incentive is part of NHS England’s drive to eliminate virus by 2025 | Guardian, UK

Medicinal cannabis: just 18 NHS prescriptions issued since change in law

Exclusive: A Freedom of Information request also shows that 104 private prescriptions have been handed out since last November | i news, UK

Scottish Government accused of complacency over dishing out anti-overdose kits amid drugs crisis

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick has admitted he has no idea how many people are trained to administer naloxone, the anti-overdose medication | Daily Record, UK

Criminal Justice Project: Drug Interventions Programme DIP Activity in Sefton (2018/19) (PDF)

Between April 2018 and March 2019, there were 383 Criminal Justice Intervention Team (CJIT) contacts recorded by the drug and alcohol treatment provider in Sefton. This is a 5% increase when compared to the previous year | PHI, UK

What does drinking alcohol actually do to your driving?

As the party season approaches, it’s important to understand exactly how alcohol consumption impacts yours and others’ safety | Telegraph, UK

Cheshire man admits to buying cannabis for terminally ill brother

Exclusive: Ben Findlay, who bought drugs for £5k to make painkilling oil, has come clean to highlight cruelty of law | Guardian, UK

Used heroin needles on streets show extent of problem

Used heroin needles being found throughout Belfast is a worrying indicator of the extent of the city’s problem with the highly addictive opioid | ITV, UK

Britain's Child Drug Runners - video

Children as young as seven are being groomed to sell drugs for 'county lines' drugs gangs in towns and villages all over the UK. This film follows four young people trapped in this world | Channel 4, UK


International news

What’s behind the vaping deaths in the US? - audio

Vaping is often recommended to help people give up smoking tobacco - because it’s a safer way of obtaining nicotine. But in the United States 39 deaths and more than 2000 lung injuries have been linked to vaping e-cigarettes. We hear how the chemical vitamin E acetate and THC found in cannabis are now being blamed for the epidemic | BBC, UK

British Army veteran Andrew Neal cleared after spending year in UAE jail on drugs charges

A British Army veteran has been cleared of supplying drugs in the United Arab Emirates after more than a year in detention, his family has said | Telegraph, UK

Cirque du Soleil founder detained for growing cannabis on private island

The co-founder of global circus company Cirque du Soleil has been detained for growing cannabis on his private island in the South Pacific | BBC, UK

Are other prisoners key to improving the uptake of hepatitis C testing and treatment?

Prisons are important sites for delivering public health interventions, but also present unique challenges. Could prison peer workers help link other prisoners to testing and treatment for hepatitis C? This study looks for answers in an Irish men’s prison | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drug-related intimidation causing ‘havoc’ in Traveller community

Families fear reporting matter to gardaí as Drogheda drug feud continues, says Pavee Point | Irish Times, Ireland

A Medication To Treat Meth Addiction? Some Take A New Look At Naltrexone

Melinda McDowell had used drugs since she was a teenager. But she didn't try methamphetamine until one fateful night in 2017 after her mother died suddenly of a stroke. She went to a neighbor's house and he had crystal meth | npr, USA

Meth Is Cheaper, More Potent, and More Common than Ever

Meth's big comeback has been driven by large-scale production, and it's riding the long tail of the opioid crisis. | VICE, USA

Chronic adversity dampens dopamine production

People exposed to a lifetime of psychosocial adversity may have an impaired ability to produce the dopamine levels needed for coping with acutely stressful situations | Science Daily, USA

Injecting illegal drugs ups risk for death after heart surgery

People who inject drugs (PWID) have shorter survival following cardiac surgery than non-PWID, according to a review published online Nov. 8 in BMC Infectious Diseases | Medica Xpress, USA

Clinical Challenges: Cannabis Gains Ground as Sleep Aid

But efficacy of CBD, THC products to treat sleep disorders remains largely untested | MedPage Today, USA

Opioid-based plant might not be best solution to curb habitual alcohol use

Lawmakers across the United States continue to debate the safety of kratom, an opioid-containing plant that has been listed as a "drug of concern" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Kratom is sold over the counter in specialty stores and online | Medical Xpress, USAs

Study: How Punitive Policies Harm Pregnant Drug Users

The United States has state-level laws that criminalize pregnant people who use drugs, separate families, and require clinicians to report suspected drug use to authorities | Filter Magazine, USA

Equipping Defense Attorneys to Fight Drug-Induced Homicide Charges

Amid the overdose crisis, drug warrior district attorneys across the US have added a new tool to their prosecutorial arsenal: drug-induced homicide charges | Filter Magazine, USA

Age to purchase tobacco, e-cigarettes raised to 21 in New York

As of Wednesday, the legal age to purchase tobacco and electronic cigarettes in the state of New York has gone up from 18 to 21 years old | Axios, USA

Increased problematic use of marijuana in states where recreational cannabis is legal

Adults 26+ use marijuana more frequently in these states and there was a slight increase in problematic use among adolescents | EurekAlert, Canada

Gamblers under the influence of alcohol place higher bets after losses

Gamblers don't always make rational decisions. Their approach to any given bet is often influenced by the bets, wins and losses that have come before it—even when those things have no bearing whatsoever on the outcome | Medical Xpress, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 95: Flavour bans are fruitless

Anti-tobacco harm reduction campaigners backed by US Federal and state authorities, supportive media and large wodges of Bloomberg cash are about to deliver the worst possible news for millions of American smokers who wish to continue using nicotine while significantly reducing the risk of a premature and painful death | NSP blog, UK

With Cheryl’s support, I reduced my drinking on my own terms

I was stuck in a loop of going cold turkey then binge drinking. Cheryl showed me another way | Addaction blog, UK

Doctors with drink problems: letting go of denial

It is five years since my husband died. He was an alcoholic. He was a very talented man, a brilliant clinician, articulate, funny, intuitive, creative, kind. Watching him slowly kill himself was a terrible kind of torture. Living with his illness was also a terrible kind of torture. By the time he died the whole family was ill | BMJ blog, UK

Medical cannabis in the UK - one year on, what has happened?

In November 2018, The UK joined the ranks of many other forward-thinking countries and decided to legalise the use of medical cannabis | Drugs and me blog, UK

Britain’s Child Drug Runners, review: this documentary should be required viewing in every school

One of the most heart-rending devices in film-making is also one of the simplest: show a picture of a child, full of innocence and hope for the future, and contrast it with how they ended up. Jacob was a cheeky, grinning little boy | Telegraph, UK

Opioid Addiction In Jails: An Anthropologist's Perspective

Dr. Kimberly Sue is the medical director of the Harm Reduction Coalition, a national advocacy group that works to change U.S. policies and attitudes about the treatment of drug users | npr, USA