Daily news - 6th September 2019

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UK news

Taskforce to tackle drug deaths emergency

£20m to support expert group to reduce drug harms | Scottish Government, UK

Drug Deaths Task Force: members' biographies

Professional backgrounds of the members of the Drug Deaths Task Force | Scottish Government, UK

Funding to support Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder projects

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently announced project funding to support work around foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England April 2018 to March 2019

This annual report presents results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services in England during the period April 2018 to March 2019. NHS Stop Smoking Services offer support to help people quit smoking. This can include intensive support through group therapy or one-to-one support | NHS Digital, UK

Is the evidence for residential treatment getting better?

Though billed as one of the great hopes for recovery by UK governments, the evidence base for residential treatment has been underwhelming. A new review asks whether enough high-quality evidence has accumulated over the past five years to improve confidence in the effectiveness of residential treatment for people with substance use problems | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Make supermarket booze more expensive, says think tank

Alcohol sold in supermarkets should be taxed at a higher rate than drink sold in pubs, a think tank has suggested | BBC, UK

Wine lovers pay seven times as much alcohol tax on a glass as cider drinkers, study shows

Wine lovers are paying up to seven times the alcohol duty per glass as cider drinkers, a new analysis reveals amid calls for a change after Brexit | Telegraph, UK

North Wales drugs raids target 'county lines' gangs

Sixteen people have been arrested in an operation to disrupt "county lines" drug gangs across north Wales, Merseyside and Scotland | BBC, UK

Driver who hit two had 'staggering' alcohol levels

A driver who drove a van into two men outside a nightclub had "staggering" alcohol levels, a court has heard | BBC, UK

George Barker murder: Ex-youth footballer found guilty of stabbing 'international drug dealer' to death at gym

Court hears ex-Millwall youth player stabbed man in 'merciless' killing over £20,000 debt | Independent, UK

Women jailed for Cumbria county lines drug dealing

Gang members in Berkshire sent Aneesa Ashraf, 20, to Carlisle in May to target addicts in the north of the county, Carlisle Crown Court heard | BBC, UK

Former Barnstaple bodybuilder jailed for dealing drugs

Richard Green was jailed for four and a half years after he was found hiding drugs and cash at his gym in Barnstaple, Devon | BBC, UK

Young gamers are being primed for gambling, warns former addict

A father and son are campaigning for tighter regulation on in-game spending, which they say ‘normalises betting for children’ | Guardian, UK


International news

TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [August 2019]

August 31 – International Overdose Awareness Day: the “Drugmap” project have published a first aid manual for what to do if you witness an overdose. DUNews, a documentary film studio, presented a new video on overdose prevention | Talking Drugs, UK

Second US death linked to vaping is reported in Oregon

The person was said to have fallen ill after trying a product bought at a dispensary for recreational cannabis | BBC, UK

'Demeaning': critics condemn reintroduction of bill to drug test welfare recipients

Previous bill stalled twice in the Senate amid concerns it demonised those on Newstart | Guardian, UK

British man charged over massive drug haul on remote Western Australian reef

Police arrested Graham Kurt Palmer, 34, along with a 51-year-old French national after receiving call about grounded yacht | Guardian, UK

Opioid Prescribing After Surgery in the United States, Canada, and Sweden

Do rates of opioid prescriptions dispensed after surgical procedures differ among countries? | JAMA, USA

SAMHSA directing $932 million to nation's communities through the continuation of its State Opioid Response grant funding

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced Wednesday that it is awarding $932 million in the continuation of its State Opioid Response grant funding to states as part of President Donald Trump's far-reaching, multifaceted approach to combatting the national opioid crisis | SAMHSA, USA

CDC Awards New Funds to Stop Drug Overdoses, Deaths

As the drug overdose crisis evolves and becomes more complex, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing $301 million in new Overdose Data to Action funds to states and jurisdictions | CDC, USA

Marijuana use among US college students reaches new 35-year high

National study of college students also shows dramatic increases in vaping of marijuana and nicotine | University of Michigan, USA

E-cigarettes disrupt lung function and raise risk of infection

A study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine raises health concerns about the use of electronic cigarettes | Medical Xpress, USA

Traditional and electronic cigarettes linked to poor sleep

The study included 1,664 college students, 41% of whom reported ever trying or currently using e-cigarettes and 29% of whom reported ever trying or currently using traditional cigarettes. Across all groups, average sleep scores indicated poor sleep for most students | EurekAlert, USA

Daybreak app more than halves alcohol use in three months

Use of the Daybreak digital app, developed as an intervention to support high-risk drinking individuals looking to change their relationship with alcohol, can lead to clinically significant reductions in alcohol use, according to new research | Medical Xpress, USA

Johns Hopkins has launched the first center devoted exclusively to researching psychedelic drugs in the U.S.

The university is launching a Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research within John Hopkins Medicine. It's believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. and the largest research center of its kind in the world, according to the school | CNN, USA

As First Cannabis Cafe in the US Opens, Can Such Venues Serve a Social Justice Need?

On September 24, the nation’s first first cannabis social consumption cafe will open in West Hollywood, California.Lowell Farms will feature fine dining and drinks as well as cannabis products, which customers can smoke and otherwise consume on-site | Filter Magazine, USA

That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas: Fatigue and alcohol consumption are associated with the duration of gambling sessions

Fatigue and intoxication can impair people’s thinking, including their decision-making and assessments of risk. However, little research has specifically examined whether links exist between episodes of gambling, sleep restriction and alcohol consumption | JGI, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Catriona Matheson: 'I support decriminalisation of illegal drugs for personal use'

Having spent her entire career researching pharmacy services for drug users, Catriona Matheson is well placed as head of Scotland’s Drug Deaths Taskforce. Here, she explains what the group will do to tackle rising drug deaths in Scotland | Pharmaceutical Journal comment, UK

Membership of Governmental Taskforce on drug-related deaths in Scotland announced

Details of a new Governmental Taskforce set up to address drug-related deaths in Scotland have been announced by the Public Health Minister | SDF, UK

NICE’s Draft Guidelines on Cannabis Prove That Its Methods Don’t Work and It Is Causing Harm to Patients

"The draft guidelines produced by the NICE committee are nothing short of ridiculous. The medical establishment, the Home Office and all the various regulators, including the MHRA, the FSA and the Royal Colleges are all institutionally opposed to cannabis and they are doing everything they can to stop it reaching the people who can benefit from it." | Clear, UK