Daily news - 22nd November 2019

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UK news

Parties set out drug and alcohol manifesto pledges

A Labour government would establish a Royal Commission to ‘develop a public health approach to substance misuse’, says its 2019 election manifesto, It’s time for real change. This would focus on harm reduction rather than criminalisation, the document states | DDN, UK

Drugs Analysis: Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2019

The Liberal Democrats are once again at the forefront of progressive drug policy, with the release of their 2019 manifesto promising real transformative change in the UK | Volte Face, UK

I smoked cannabis at university and liked it, says Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson

She told BBC’s Newsnight she had not tried cannabis recently but added: “I did at university. I’m not going to be one of those people who says, ‘I tried it once and I didn’t really inhale.’ | Evening Standard, UK

Cannabis-based medicinal products (PDF)

In September 2018, the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommended a change in the scheduling of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) to allow them to be prescribed by clinicians. Following this, the College convened an Expert Reference Group to examine the evidence and consider its position on cannabis relating to medicinal use, as well as recreational use (discussed in a separate, forthcoming statement). This position statement examines the existing evidence on CBMPs and how they relate to mental health | RC PSYCH, UK

Drug-drivers face Christmas crackdown to tackle increase

Three in five mouth swabs used in a campaign last December showed the presence of cocaine and cannabis | BBC, UK

Posters - SSA Annual Conference 2019

Posters from the conference are now online | SSA, UK

Questioning the 'war on drugs'

At a time when the legalisation of cannabis for medical reasons is top of our health agenda, is it right that the criteria for winning the ‘war on drugs’ should be a drug free world? | University of Oxford, UK

Winchester university exhibits sober role models to inspire students

An exhibition of portraits and stories of 12 young people who have chosen not to drink alcohol has been installed at the University of Winchester | BBC, UK

PSHE/Citizenship GCSE: Anna's experience of drinking alcohol at 17

Anna fell out with her friends after drunkenly kissing her best friend's ex-boyfriend at a party | BBC Teach, UK

PSHE/Citizenship GCSE: Alan's experience of drinking alcohol at 14

Alan tells how an evening of drinking alcohol led to a sequence of events that changed his life | BBC Teach, UK

Luke Sutton exclusive interview: 'A warning to players and clubs – professional sport is a breeding ground for addiction'

Luke Sutton is supposed to be driving his diabetic daughter to a hospital appointment. Instead, he is slumped on his kitchen floor drunk | Telegraph, UK

Catch 22 of drunken sailor who cannot return to the UK for sentencing because he has a conviction

A sailor who was facing up to two years in jail for being drunk in command of a supertanker has been unable to be sentenced because immigration officials will not let him back into the country due to his conviction | Telegraph, UK


International news

Smoking levels falling faster than increases in e-cigarette use

Healthy Ireland survey shows slight increase in vaping rates to one in 20 people in Ireland | Irish Times, Ireland

Update: Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers regarding the Management Approach of Patients with Suspected E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)

CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and public health and clinical stakeholders continue to investigate a national outbreak of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) | CDC, USA

Study shows increase in perceived harm of electronic cigarettes among U.S. adults

The number of U.S. adults who perceive e-cigarettes to be at as harmful as, or more harmful than, cigarettes has increased between 2017 and 2018, even prior to the national outbreak of vaping-related lung disease and deaths, a study by tobacco researchers from Georgia State University's School of Public Health has found | News Medical, USA

Food and Drug Administration delays plan to lower nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of regulations it plans to work on in 2020, omitted from that list was a regulation to reduce nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes. That regulation was initially announced by former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in 2017 | Medical Xpress, USA

Survey: Most teenagers in legalized states see marijuana marketing on social media

Despite restrictions on paid advertising cannabis on social media, most teenagers reported seeing marijuana marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, according to a public health study | EurekAlert, USA

Defining a recovery-oriented cascade of care for opioid use disorder: A community-driven, statewide cross-sectional assessment

In light of the accelerating and rapidly evolving overdose crisis in the United States (US), new strategies are needed to address the epidemic and to efficiently engage and retain individuals in care for opioid use disorder (OUD) | PLOS One, USA

New study shows how cancer survivors develop opioid addictions

Pain remains one of the most difficult symptoms associated with cancer. More than half of cancer patients undergoing treatment experience moderate to severe pain. Despite the accepted role of opioids in acute pain relief, the use of opioids for chronic pain (pain lasting longer three to six months) remains controversial | EurekAlert, USA

Miami-Dade opioid deaths drop by nearly 100. Needle exchange may be the reason

Since 2016, public health advocates in Miami-Dade County have led the state in confronting Florida’s opioid epidemic by starting a needle exchange that also widely distributed naloxone, a drug that counters overdoses, and getting it onto the streets | Miami Herald, USA

FDA urged to investigate use of unapproved anti-opioid implant on prisoners and the homeless

But the California-based company has come under fire for plans to test an unapproved naltrexone implant on Louisiana prison inmates and homeless Philadelphians who are struggling with addiction, in violation of federal laws protecting human research subjects | Medical Xpress, USA

Brain biomarker predicts compulsive drinking

Although alcohol use is ubiquitous in modern society, only a portion of individuals develop alcohol use disorders or addiction. Yet, scientists have not understood why some individuals are prone to develop drinking problems, while others are not | Science Daily, USA

Can the course of ADHD progression influence an individual’s risk for developing Nicotine Dependence?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often diagnosed in children characterized by problems with inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity. ADHD is also associated with an increased risk for developing problems with nicotine and other substances | BASIS, USA

Could psychedelic drugs be a new treatment option for people with depression?

After being relegated to the fringes of legitimate scientific inquiry for nearly five decades, an increasing number of researchers ...are exploring whether psychedelics, or related compounds, could be a new treatment option for people with depression | Medical Xpress, USA

Frequency of cannabis and illicit opioid use among people who use drugs and report chronic pain: A longitudinal analysis

We observed an independent negative association between frequent cannabis use and frequent illicit opioid use among PWUD with chronic pain. These findings provide longitudinal observational evidence that cannabis may serve as an adjunct to or substitute for illicit opioid use among PWUD with chronic pain | PLOS One, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

How Scotland’s double standard on alcohol is killing us – Alex Watson

Alcohol claimed the lives 1,136 people in Scotland last year, while thousands are admitted to hospital due to alcohol-related mental health problems, writes Alex Watson as she tries to stick to a policy of moderation | Scotsman opinion, UK

Flavored E-Cigarettes and Public Health

Stakeholders in government, medicine and industry make their cases | NYTimes opinion, USA

Popcorn lung: Teen first case of life-threatening vaping injury

E-cigarettes first emerged in North America in 2004 — as a supposedly safer alternative to smoking traditional, carcinogenic, tobacco cigarettes, and as a potential means to help smokers quit smoking altogether | Conversation, Canada