Daily news - 17th October 2019

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UK news

Welsh minimum alcohol price set for March 2020

The minimum price for alcohol in Wales will come into force on 2 March next year, under Welsh Government plans | BBC, UK

Mental health hospital to hand out free e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking

One of the UK's largest mental health hospitals is to hand out free e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking, in a deal with a vaping retailer | Telegraph, UK

Vaping helps 50,000 smokers give up cigarettes each year, study shows

A study found that more people were turning to e-cigarettes than in 2011, with more also successfully packing in regular cigarettes | Evening Standard, UK

Smoking Cessation Local Delivery Plan standard quarterly reporting, 2018/19 LDP Standard Q1-Q4 (PDF)

This release by Information Services Division (ISD) presents information on NHS smoking cessation services in Scotland and their progress towards their 2018/19 Local Delivery Plan (LDP) Standard. The LDP Standard for NHS Scotland in 2018/19 is to achieve at least 7,568 selfreported successful twelve-week quits (those people still not smoking after 12 weeks) through smoking cessation services in the most deprived areas | NHS Scotland, UK

A rapid narrative review of literature on gendered alcohol marketing and its effects: exploring the targeting and representation of women (PDF)

This report presents findings of a rapid narrative literature review exploring the gendered nature of alcohol marketing and its effects, focussing specifically on the ways in which women are both targeted and represented, and the implications for drinking practices and gender equity | PHI, UK

New ‘Drugs Uncut’ SDF podcast hits the airwaves

A new, monthly podcast on drug-related issues in Scotland has launched and is available to listen to for free | SDF, UK

Medical Cannabis - what we've learnt from our membership

As anyone who reads this will already be aware there is currently an immense groundswell of interest from medical professionals, patients and the general public in the use of medical cannabis for many chronic conditions that are also prevalent in people who use alcohol and other drugs | SMMGP, UK

Home Office grants licence to grow high-THC cannabis in Somerset

The drug will be used for medical tests and multiple crops will be grown at a secure site | Grimsby Live, UK

Sarah Handley: Drug-driver jailed for girlfriend's crash death

A drug-driver who left his girlfriend to die at a crash scene following a police pursuit has been jailed | BBC, UK



International news

Canada’s legal cannabis market – one year on

17th October 2019 marks the one year anniversary of Canada’s establishment of legally regulated adult market for non-medical (recreational) cannabis. Canada follows Uruguay and 11 US States in legalising cannabis for recreational use, and is the first commonwealth country and G7 member to do so | Transform, UK

Drug Treatment Centres or Private Torture Clinics?

On January 11, 2019, a fire at a drug rehabilitation centre in Guayaquil, Ecuador, claimed 18 patients’ lives. Locked into their rooms and forced to detox “cold turkey,” the victims couldn’t escape as flames engulfed the building | Talking Drugs, UK

Man pleads guilty to cocaine possession after being caught with powdered milk so he could move from county jail

He says he wanted to stop languishing in Oklahoma County Jail | Independent, UK

More than 2,000 inmates receiving methadone treatment

The number of inmates on a methadone treatment programme across the prison system last year was the highest since 2012 | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Cannabis use and Associated Health Problems – What’s the Harm? (PDF)

A concerted public health response is required to address escalating cannabis related health harms which have coincided with the arrival of more potent cannabis | Irish Medical Journal, Ireland

Alcohol a factor in more than half of all fatal fires in Irish homes

Study examined 101 domestic fires between 2014 and 2016 that resulted in 106 fatalities | Irish Times, Ireland

Alcohol marketing on social media sites in Finland and Sweden A comparative audit study of brands’ presence and content, and the impact of a legislative change (PDF)

The study focuses on the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube accounts of 38 alcoholic beverage producers in Finland, and 52 in Sweden. The material consists of content published by these producers on their social media accounts in January 2014, January 2016 and January 2017 | University of Helsinki Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance (CEACG), Finland

Drug Giants Close In on a $50 Billion Settlement of Opioid Cases

The nation’s three largest drug distributors, as well as two manufacturers, are in intense negotiations to settle thousands of cases before a trial set to begin on Monday | NYTimes, USA

Young adults not seeking treatment for substance use disorders

A growing number of young adults are dealing with a substance use disorder—in some cases, multiple substance use disorders—and not seeking help, according to a study published in the Journal of American College Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Potential therapy to treat detrimental effects of marijuana

A new study using a preclinical animal model suggests that prenatal exposure to THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, makes the brain's dopamine neurons (an integral component of the reward system) hyperactive and increases sensitivity to the behavioral effects of THC during pre-adolescence | Science Daily, USA

Smoke signals: Study shows path linking nicotine addiction to increased risk for diabetes

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a circuit in rats that links cigarette smoking and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study featured on the cover of the October 17 issue of Nature | Medical Xpress, USA

Cultivating joy through mindfulness: An antidote to opioid misuse, the disease of despair

New research shows that a specific mind-body therapy, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), increases the brain's response to natural, healthy rewards while also decreasing the brain's response to opioid-related cues | Medical Xpress, USA

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

More than 60 percent of CBD users were taking it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people. Does it help? | NYTimes, USA

How Psychedelic Exceptionalism Harms Drug Users

Do you feel that some drugs are inherently worse for the user than others?” | Filter Magazine, USA

New Mexico's needle exchange program provided 9.8 million syringes in 2018

In 2018, the New Mexico Department of Health’s Syringe Services Program (SSP) gave out more 9.8 million syringes | KOB, USA

Canada's 2019 election shows that nobody in any position of power cares how many drug users die

There were more than 4,500 opioid-overdose deaths across the country in 2018, there's a federal election this month, and no political party is taking the crisis seriously | Georgia Straight, Canada

'This weed is so much better': Cannabis legalization in B.C. at one year

Thursday marks a year since non-medicinal cannabis was legalized nationwide on Oct. 17, 2018 | Vancouver Sun, Canada

Alcohol preloading leads to increased intoxication

People who preload alcohol before a night out drink more than they predict and are more intoxicated at the end of the night a Griffith University study has found | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug and Alcohol Research Connections

Latest reaserch news including: A review of Australian Clinical Guidelines for Methamphetamine Disorder: Circumstances of death of opioid users being treated with naltrexone Protocol for the Data-Linkage Alcohol Cohort Study (DACS): investigating mortality, morbidity and offending among people with an alcohol-related problem using linked administrative data | NDARC et al, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The causes of death for heroin users

New research finds that although heroin users run a number of specific health risks, they mainly die because of common long-term conditions | Russell Webster, UK

Looking past the ‘wounded soldier’ stereotype in drug and alcohol treatment

Veterans are as diverse and complex as everyone else, but too often services treat them as one homogeneous group | Addaction blog, UK

The Uncounted Victims of the War on Drugs

It’s time for a grown-up conversation about the racialization of antidrug policies. Ethnic and racial minorities are incarcerated, policed, shot, and killed at growing rates across the globe. The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent called for drug laws to be amended in light of racial injustice | OSF voices, UK

You can’t call yourself a climate change activist if you’re doing coke

What is the most blatant hypocrisy in the climate change movement? Recreational drug use | Metro opinion, UK

Side event: UN System Common Position on Drug-Related Matters

As we celebrate 40 years of cooperation, we promote solutions. The EU and Member States developed together a European approach to address the situation in a comprehensive way – the EU drug strategy and action plan | CND blog, UK

We’re launching the nation’s first safe-injection site. We hope it will be one of many

This month, a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that a supervised injection site that we co-founded is not illegal, opening the door for the first one to be established in the United States. We hope it will be one of many across the country | Washington Post opinion, USA

My Years in the Florida Shuffle of Drug Addiction

Cycling through relapse and recovery, and the industry that enables both | The New Yorker, USA



And finally...

'Narco cat' on the run as key piece of evidence for Russian drugs trial is scared off by dogs

ARussian cat slated to serve as the key piece of evidence in an ongoing drug smuggling case has disappeared, local media reported Wednesday, potentially undermining an investigation that centers on the cat’s role as an alleged narco mule for a prison inmate | Telegraph, UK