Daily news - 2nd September 2019

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UK news

‘Fewer than half of middle-aged drinkers cutting back alcohol intake’

The YouGov poll found that despite the vast majority of 40 to 64-year-olds thinking that drinking less is a good way to improve your health, just 49% have attempted to do so | ITV, UK

Joining the Dots: Linking pathways to hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment (PDF)

This new report, highlights that, with people being diagnosed with hepatitis C at various different locations such as at a drugs service, prison, GP practice, or outreach service, it is crucial these organisations have systems that can process and share patient information efficiently. Effective data sharing is essential to ensure that people receive timely care and so that progress towards eliminating hepatitis C can be checked | London Joint Working Group on Substance Use and Hepatitis C, UK

Tramadol and methadone users are at increased risk of hypoglycaemia, study reveals

Researchers hope their findings will motivate research about the unique molecular mechanism leading to hypoglycaemia as a side effect of taking tramadol and methadone | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Briefing: Opioids in the UK

This short briefing looks at opioid dependence, misuse and related deaths, comparing the UK with the US and the OECD average, and discusses the complex causes of the opioid crisis as well as suggested policy interventions | CDPRG, UK

Scotland's drug battle hampered by 'failure in counting number dropping out of treatment'

Research from West of ­Scotland University in Paisley claims some Alcohol and Drug Partnerships refuse to properly count the number of drop-outs by checking a simple box | Daily Record, UK

The Elephant On Stage

There is an elephant-sized headline act on the stage at every music festival up and down the UK. Festival organisers, DJ’s and attendee’s all know it, yet everyone has to play their part in pretending it’s not there. Illegal drugs are the fuel that keeps the festivals going. And yet, while we continue this facade people are dying | Volte Face, UK

Peter Rice On Minimum Unit Pricing Compliance - podcast

Following on from NHS Health Scotland’s evaluation that minimum unit pricing legislation is being effectively enforced, this episode looks at the ways in which this is being done | IAS, UK

Fake drugs flooding Derry, says addict's family

The family of a Londonderry woman who was addicted to prescription tablets have said they are gravely concerned about the amount of drugs in the city | BBC, UK

Birmingham City FC to sell cannabis extract drink on match days

The Blues have announced a partnership with city-based Green Monkey CBD, which will begin to sell its products at Saturday's match against Stoke City | BBC, UK

Recovery College - "The Changing Face of Substance Use"

Free event. October 4th. The Northern Recovery College is running its fifth event “The Changing Faces of Substance use”  in Goole sponsored by the East Riding Partnership. The College principles are to aim to bring together lived, taught and worked experience in addiction, share current and best practise through workshops and guest speakers | Tony Margetts - East Riding Partnership, UK

LCDPR Glasgow Public Meeting

Thu, 5 September 2019. 18:00 – 20:00 BST. Unite the Union, 145-165 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4RZ. The Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform (LCDPR) believes the UK’s drug policy needs to change and it is bringing this conversation for reform to communities across the country with a series of 'Public Meetings' | LCDPR, UK

LCDPR Yorkshire Event

Thu, 3 October 2019. 18:30 – 20:30 BST. University of York. Heslington. YO10 5DD. The Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform (LCDPR) believes the UK’s drug policy needs to change and it is bringing this conversation for reform to communities across the country with a series of 'Public Meetings' | LCDPR, UK

‘Huge drugs bust’ at Gatwick turns out to be vegan cake mix

Officers left with egg substitute on their faces after discovery of 25 bags of white powder | Guardian, UK

Judge slams Dyfed-Powys Police for 'staggering' delay in drugs case

A judge who felt obliged to let two drug dealers walk free has criticised police for a "staggering" delay | BBC, UK

Police raid £1m Middlesbrough cannabis farm in business unit

A cannabis farm with plants believed to have a street value of more than £1m has been discovered at a Teesside industrial estate | BBC, UK


International news

Major trial of ways to extend brief alcohol interventions

Could combinations of three strategies - training and support, financial reimbursement, and the opportunity to refer patients to a website - effectively and cost-effectively boost delivery of brief alcohol interventions in five European countries, including England? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Juul will make it harder for minors to buy its e-cigarettes

‘Don’t start using nicotine if you don’t have a preexisting relationship with nicotine,’ CEO Kevin Burns said | MarketWatch, UK

Netherlands moves towards legalising cannabis production with four-year coffeeshop trial

Long known for its relaxed attitude to the use of soft drugs, the Netherlands is now taking experimental steps towards legalising cannabis production | Telegraph, UK

Tyler Skaggs: Angels pitcher overdosed on drugs and alcohol

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs had drugs and alcohol in his system at the time of his death, which was accidental, a coroner's report says | BBC, UK

Drug users and their families offered training on dangers of a overdose

Drugs charity Merchant's Quay is highlighting how life-saving medicine Naloxone can be applied by first-aiders | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Homeless charity says 32 lives in Northern Ireland saved over past two years through drug programme

Depaul said the lives were saved through intervention and the administration of Naloxone, a life-saving antidote which reverses the effects of an overdose when administered | Irish Times, Ireland

Drug overdoses can be prevented — new resources released

Latest estimates show that drug overdose deaths in Europe have risen for the fifth consecutive year, with a record 9 461 lives lost in 2017 | EMCDDA, Portugal

Frequently asked questions (FAQ): drug overdose deaths in Europe

Newly updated.This page provides an update on drug-related deaths in Europe, presenting and analysing the latest data on and trends in drug-induced deaths in the European Union, Norway and Turkey. It draws on contributions from specialists from these countries, as well as on information provided by European countries in the annual reporting exercise to the agency | EMCDDA, Portugal

Take-home naloxone

Drug overdose continues to be the main cause of death among problem drug users. Heroin or other opioids — often consumed alongside other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines and alcohol — are present in the majority of reported fatal overdoses | EMCDDA, Portugal

Statement from CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., and Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D., on federal and state collaboration to investigate respiratory illnesses reported after use of e-cigarette products

Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are working tirelessly to investigate the distressing incidents of severe respiratory disease associated with use of e-cigarette products. We were deeply saddened last week to learn of the death of an adult in Illinois who had been hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness following the use of an e-cigarette product | CDC, USA

With more than 200 cases of respiratory illnesses possibly related to vaping, and no single culprit, public health experts are advising young people not to buy cannabis and other e-cigarette products off the street | NYTimes, USA

Association of Primary Care Clinic Appointment Time With Opioid Prescribing

In this cross-sectional study, opioid prescribing for opioid-naive patients with pain diagnoses was significantly associated with increases as the workday progressed and with appointments that started late, although the effect size was modest. Nonopioid pain treatment orders did not show similar patterns | JAMA, USA

Post opioid-overdose interventions emerge in US

Opioid-related deaths continue to take the lives of thousands in the US each year, with non-fatal opioid overdoses as a significant risk factor for a subsequent fatal overdose. Post-overdose interventions are emerging in affected communities, using what support systems are available to assist in the program design | Science Daily, USA

Opioid settlement would divide money based on local impact

The multibillion-dollar settlement that the maker of OxyContin is negotiating to resolve a crush of lawsuits over the nation's opioid crisis contains formulas for dividing up the money among state and local governments across the country, The Associated Press has learned | Medical Xpress, USA

What Should “Overdose Awareness” Really Mean?

Fatal overdoses may be slightly declining in the United States, according to preliminary 2018 data, but they are not falling out of public discourse⁠—and nor should they | Filter Magazine, USA

Changing treatment practices for alcohol use disorder could save lives

More than 1 million Canadians have alcohol use disorders in any given year, but the vast majority never receives professional help. Despite interventions for alcohol use disorders being effective and -- if performed according to current guidelines -- cost-saving, they are rarely followed | Science Daily, Canada

Genetic and environmental risk factors in the non-medical use of over-the-counter or prescribed analgesics,and their relationship to major classes of licit and illicitsubstance use and misuse in a population-based sample of young adult twins

The non-medical use of over-the-counter or prescribed analgesics (NMUA) is a significant publichealth problem. Little is known about the genetic and environmental etiology of NMUA and how these risks relate to otherclasses of substance use and misuse | Addiction, Australia

Heroin overdose spike linked to painkiller changes

A sharp rise in heroin overdoses in Victoria since 2014 has been linked to the introduction of a new formulation of a prescription painkiller, which makes it harder to inject or snort | Age, Australia

Wellness not addiction: women embrace positive approach to alcohol moderation

A desire for wellness, rather than angst about addiction, is prompting women in their 30s and 40s to cut back on their drinking using apps like Hello Sunday Morning's Daybreak | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Taking opioids for chronic pain: here’s what the experts recommend

Chronic pain – acute pain that lasts for longer than three months – affects around one in five people in Europe. The increase in use of strong morphine-type drugs (opioids) for the treatment of chronic pain is an area of much concern, particularly in North America | Conversation, UK

Philip Morris International: money over morality?

In the ongoing UnSmoke Your World campaign, Philip Morris International (PMI) calls for never-smokers to stay away from cigarettes, for smokers to quit, and for those smokers who do not quit to change to better alternatives | Lancet editorial, UK

The government is starving our children of the resources I had growing up – no wonder they’re joining drug gangs

Retribution isn’t the answer. We need urgent investment in youth services to dissuade kids from easy money drug dealing | Independent voices, UK

How we live together: the rehab friends

It’s crucial for both of us to be in an alcohol-free household: it can be hard to avoid | Guardian, UK

Five ways to be sober-curious (and make a success of not drinking)

Staying alcohol-free at social events can be daunting, but be open to the new experience and own it | Guardian, UK

America’s opioid catastrophe has lessons for us all, about greed and racial division

We’ll build a wall to keep the damn drugs out.” So insisted Donald Trump at a rally last year to launch the White House’s initiative to stop opioid abuse. For Trump, at the heart of America’s opioid crisis lie open borders, illegal immigrants and foreign drug cartels | Guardian, UK

The war on drugs: making good dogs do bad things

These adorable furry heroes are used to help the police target vulnerable people | Guardian, UK

Giving the weed industry access to sophisticated financing would turn smaller businesses into big corporations | NYTimes opinion, USA