Daily news - 21st November 2019

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UK news

Alcohol care teams in district general hospitals: resources

A set of resources for alcohol care teams, co-produced with Public Health England | NHS and PHE, UK

Optimal Alcohol Care Teams(ACTs) as part of an effective alcohol treatment system (PDF)

This briefing is intended to support those in the NHS and local authorities involved in planning and commissioning hospital alcohol services and associated community services to secure optimal outcomes from existing services. It will also serve to support the design of new alcohol care teams where these are being introduced. It describes the case for optimising alcohol care teams (ACTs) as recommended for non-specialist acute hospitals in the NHS Long Term Plan | PHE, UK

NHS Hospital Alcohol Care Team guidance released

A set of resources relating to the delivery of hospital-based Alcohol Care Teams (ACTs) has been released | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Hepatitis C (England and Wales): 2019

Laboratory-confirmed cases of hepatitis C reported to Public Health England | PHE, UK

Going off script’: screening and brief advice in Scottish antenatal care

Highly skilled and practiced at having difficult conversations, midwives play an important role in screening for and giving brief advice about drinking alcohol in pregnancy. Based on the Scottish antenatal experience, are midwives following the standardised approach, and how important is it that they do? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Twice as many baby-boomer men are being admitted to hospitals for alcohol-related conditions as millennials

Men in this age category are most likely to exceed the government’s recommendation of 14 units per week | Independent, UK

Up in smoke: are we wrong about the dangers of vaping?

Since vaping became a popular alternative to smoking, the big tobacco companies have been moving into the market. But do we know enough about the risks? | Guardian, UK

Severe health warnings on e-cigarette packaging may deter smokers from switching to vaping, a new study has revealed

Research undertaken by the Centre for Addictive Behaviours at London South Bank University (LSBU) has shown that using “reduced risk” messaging was more successful in encouraging tobacco smokers to switch to vapes, without enticing non-smokers to start | Independent, UK

Legalised cannabis tax confirmed by Lib Dems would raise £1.5bn to fight crime

The Liberal Democrats General Election manifesto includes a pledge to create a 'regulated cannabis market' - and slams Labour and the Tories' 'prohibitionist attitude to drug use' | Mirror, UK

Pharmaceutical industry must fund clinical trials of medical cannabis, Royal College of Psychiatrists says

Although people with psychosis, social anxiety disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder could potentially benefit from medical cannabis, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has said, the current evidence was “in need of improvement” | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

A Celebration of Life | 2019 Memorial

30th November at 4pm. St James' Priory , Whitson Street , Bristol , BS1 3NZ. You are invited to join us for our annual memorial event to mark the lives of those lost to drugs and alcohol | BDP, UK

Fiona Measham wins the UKFA’s Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award

The UK Festival Awards has announced this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award will be presented to Professor Fiona Measham | Access all Areas, UK

Ex-Wales youth rugby player Peter Davies admits drug dealing

A former Wales youth international rugby player has been sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institution for drug dealing | BBC, UK


International news

Recreational Cannabis Legalisation in Europe – Countries to Watch

October 2019 marked one year since Canada legalised cannabis for recreational use and in the build up to the US election, cannabis has become a hot topic. However, with much of our attention focused on North America, it’s ‘high’ time we turned to Europe to see what progress is being made in countries closer to home | Volte Face, UK

Why Seychelles has world's worst heroin problem

Between 5,000 and 6,000 people out of a population of 94,000 - the equivalent of nearly 10% of the working population - are addicted to heroin, according to the Agency for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation (APDAR) in the Seychelles | BBC, UK

Healthy Ireland survey 2019 summary of findings (PDF)

The prevalence of smoking has dropped from 23% in 2015 to 17% in 2019 which means there are now an estimated 165,000 fewer smokers than there were five years ago. Plain packaging with health warnings, introduced under a new law in 2018, was cited by 25% of smokers as a good motivation to quit. In the last 12 months 40% of smokers have made an attempt to quit, with health concerns being the prime motivator for people wanting to quit. 5% of the population use e-cigarettes and a further 12% have tried them at some point | DoH, Ireland

Plain packaging of cigarettes credited with drop in number of smokers

Plain packaging of tobacco products is being branded a success, with the number of smokers here dropping by 165,000 in the last five years | Irish Examiner, Ireland

A Sweeping Cannabis Bill Has Passed A Historic Milestone In Congress

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act is the first comprehensive national legalization bill to pass a congressional committee | Buzzfeed, USA

U.S. health regulators drop plan to sharply cut nicotine in cigarettes: Bloomberg

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has shelved a proposal to drastically cut the level of nicotine in cigarettes, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday citing a regulatory document | Reuters, USA

Doctors' group calls for ban on most vaping products

The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a ban on all e-cigarettes and vaping products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help people quit smoking tobacco cigarettes | Medical Xpress, USA

New opioid library unveiled to help address epidemic

The new site - http://www.opioidlibrary.org - provides a single clearinghouse of actionable, evidence-based resources to address the epidemic. The site includes research, policy prescriptions and therapies vetted and ranked on a sliding scale from "proven" to "problematic." | Medical Xpress, USA

Politics and Harm Reduction: Four Countries’ Syringe Access Stories

Drug policy varies greatly among European countries, despite common foundations in UN treaties or EU strategies. In this article I’ll review syringe service programs (SSPs) in four East-Central European countries—the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary | Filter Magazine, USA

Bringing the Worker Co-Op Revolution to Legal Weed

It turns out that folks would rather be the CEO of a dollar than the co-owner of one thousand dollars,” said Lanese Martin, co-founder of the Hood Incubator | Filter Magazine, USA

After False Drug Test, He Was Put in Solitary for 120 Days

Hundreds of New York State prisoners were locked in cells, denied release or removed from programs when tests erroneously showed they had used narcotics, according to a lawsuit | NYTimes, USA

Ketamine for depression: Study investigates side effects

As interest in ketamine as a treatment for depression increases, so do concerns about side effects. A recent analysis takes a closer look and concludes that, at least in the short term, ketamine appears safe | MNT, USA

Oxy sales in China driven by misleading addiction claims

Thousands of lawsuits across the United States have accused a drug company owned by the billionaire Sackler family of using false claims to push highly addictive opioids on an unsuspecting nation, fueling the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history | Medical Xpress, USA

National Addictions Awareness Week

This year NAAW is from November 25 to December 1 and the theme is Stigma Ends with Me. With your help, we want to increase understanding of the devastating stigma associated with substance use and addiction and its impact on the well-being of people touched by this health issue | CCSA, Canada

New type of e-cigarette vaping injury described in CMAJ

A research case report describing lung injury related to e-cigarette use in a 17-year-old Canadian may be the first documented case of a new form of damage from vaping products | EurekAlert, Canada

Court Authorizes Family to Grow Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes

The child suffered 50 epileptic seizures a day. After the introduction of the medication, the child showed significant improvement, but the family does not have the financial means to pay for high-cost therapy | RioTimes, Brazil

2019 NDARC Annual Research Symposium

The 2019 NDARC Annual Research Symposium was held on Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at the John Niland Scientia Conference and Events Centre, UNSW Sydney. A number of presentation videos and slides from the event are available | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Split up with smoking

It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health – but the wider impact can often be overlooked. This year the national NHS Smokefree Stoptober campaign focused on the idea of “dumping” cigarettes and likening it to the end of a relationship | Turning Point blog, UK

The Nightcrawlers review – are the Filipino authorities executing drug addicts?

This gripping documentary follows the brave photographers capturing the carnage triggered by President Duterte’s policy of executing supposed dealers and users | Guardian, UK

What Will the Opioid Crisis Look Like in Five Years?

Few people had ever heard of fentanyl five years ago. By 2018 this synthetic opioid was implicated in more than 30,000 fatal overdoses in the United States. The next stage of the fast-changing opioid crisis may well depend on how the illegal drug markets morph in the years to come | RAND Corporation, USA

Some smokers credit e-cigarettes with saving their lives – does that matter?

In a major blow to the vaping industry, the American Medical Association has called for a ban on e-cigarettes and vaping products that the FDA doesn’t deem tobacco cessation devices | Conversation, Canada

As a former top cop, I feel a duty to speak out

I have always said there are no bad guys in the illicit drug debate, only concerned guys. However, I feel a responsibility to respond to Premier Berejiklian and Police Commissioner Fuller's comments following the Coroner’s report into six music festival deaths | SMH opinion, Australia