Daily news - 11th September 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Misuse of illicit drugs and medicines: applying All Our Health

Updated estimates of drug use and dependence figures | PHE, UK

[Poster and factsheets on bacterial infections for drug and other services]

PHE has produced a poster and factsheet on bacterial infections for drug and other services, following clusters of group A Streptococcus and Staphylococcus infections in some areas and especially in some prisons. There are two versions of each: one PHE-branded and designed, the other intended to be adapted, designed and branded as a leaflet and poster by services | PHE, UK

APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence welcomes groundbreaking report by Public Health England on prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal 

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence (APPG-PDD) today welcomes the publication of a report by Public Health England which recognises for the first time the scale of prescribing of drugs that can cause dependence and withdrawal | APPG, UK

1 in 4 people take 'addictive' medicines, finds review

Mail Online and The Guardian report that a staggering 1 in 4 people in England – nearly 12 million people – are taking addictive prescription medicines such as antidepressants, sleeping pills and opioid painkillers. They say: "the NHS must take action" | NHS Direct, UK

Ministers plan attack on vaping ads to deter children

[Free registration maybe required] Scotland could become the first country in Europe to crack down on vaping amid concerns that children might take up e-cigarettes | The Times, UK

Heineken UK Exposes Kids to Alcohol Ads

Heineken recently teamed up with UK social media influencer Tanya Burr to promote a home draught beer pump to her 3 million instagram followers, including minors. The promotion with Heineken featured her pouring beer from a home pump and offering viewers a 40% off promotional code | IOGT, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 10 September 2019

Published over the past month, studies exploring why ‘usual care’ might jeopardise the outcomes of women with a history of trauma, what happens after people leave the closed therapeutic environments of prison ‘recovery wings’ and residential treatment, and what is the best way to promote universal screening of primary care patients for risky drinking? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Cannabis extract CBD overtakes Vitamin C and D as top health supplement

Sales of the product have rocketed as people ditch traditional remedies | Daily Star, UK

About Alcohol Awareness Week

(11-17 November 2019) is a chance for the UK to get thinking about drinking - this year, the theme is Alcohol and me. It’s a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Wales: Take Drugs Seriously

Free events. Various dates. Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Come along to learn about the impact of drugs in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire and whether legal regulation could better protect our communities and families | J Slater, UK

Dr Duncan Stewart joins DRNS

DRNS is delighted to announce that Dr Duncan Stewart has joined our Steering Committee | DRNS, UK

Army bans smoking at Harrogate training college

Its commanding officer Lt Col Richard Hall said it was "unacceptable" that "most recruits don't smoke on arrival, yet most do by graduation" | BBC, UK

Nottingham Prison death: Inmate died from effects of smoking Mamba drug

A prisoner died after smoking a synthetic drug that was causing daily problems for prison officers, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Serial killer’s ex-dealer facing jail for GHB murder

Serial killer Stephen Port’s ex-drug dealer is facing life behind bars for murdering a former Bond actor | ITV, UK

Man grew 700 cannabis plants in Norfolk garden shed

A man who grew nearly 700 cannabis plants in his garden shed claimed they were to produce oil for pain relief | BBC, UK


International news

What's behind a vaping illness outbreak in the US?

There's no denying that vapes and e-cigarettes are huge right now, with nearly three million UK users | BBC, UK

Mac Miller's father reacts to alleged drug dealer's arrest in son's death: 'We find some comfort in that'

Cameron James Pettit arrested on charges that he allegedly sold counterfeit opioid pills to Miller | Independent, UK

Study finds flavors play a role in initiation, addiction to e-cigarette use

Flavors motivate individuals to start using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and are also associated with a stronger perception of being addicted to e-cigarettes, according to new research from the Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science of the American Heart Association | Medical Xpress, USA

The Mystery Lung Disease Caused by “Vaping” Was a Textbook Drug Panic

The opportunity that tobacco harm reduction haters have been waiting for finally arrived. On September 4, Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) used emergency powers to issue an executive order banning sales of flavored vapes in Michiganthe first state to take such a step | Filter Magazine, USA

The Facebook of gambling: Whom do online gambling communities attract?

People often cite the need to belong and self-presentation as primary motivators to use Facebook. But what about for potentially harmful, niche social networks like online gambling communities? | BASIS, USA

E-cigarette ban would create a vaping black market: Public health expert

As illnesses linked to vaping spread in the U.S., many are calling on Canada to tighten e-cigarette laws | CBC News, Canada

Prison should not be a death sentence (PDF)

Four in 10 Victorians who fatally overdosed with heroin in 2017 were former Victorian prisoners | VAADA, Australia

'Instagrammable' spirits blamed for 'worrying' spike in consumption

A social media trend for "Instagrammable" alcohol like pink vodka, purple gin and craft whisky has been blamed for a 7 per cent spike in Australia's consumption of pre-mixed drinks and spirits | SMH, Australia

Alison Ritter: Australian Social Policy Conference 2019 keynote address - audio

Listen to Professor Alison Ritter, director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program at the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre, give the keynote address, 'Of good character' - the policy dialogue on drug testing welfare recipients in Australia, on the final day of the Australia Social Policy Conference 2019 | UNSW, Australia

New research into synthetic cannabis deaths shows sharp geographic differences in fatal compounds

New research on deaths related to synthetic cannabis shows there are sharp geographic differences in the specific compounds causing fatalities | TVNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Achieving recovery through detoxification

According to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report published last month, drug-related deaths in England and Wales are the highest they have been since records began in 1993. The 4,359 deaths recorded in 2018 also represent the highest annual increase ever, with 603 more deaths (a 16% increase) since 2017 | Turning Point, UK

Addaction responds to Public Health England (PHE) evidence review into prescription medicines

Public Health England have published their first ever evidence review of the dependence and withdrawal problems associated with five commonly prescribed classes on medicines in England | Addaction blog, UK

SDF welcomes announcement of additional £20 million funding over two years for drug services in Scotland

Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) welcomes the announcement of an additional £20 million funding over two years for drug services in Scotland | SDF, UK

The UK is dangerously close to having a full-blown opioid crisis

Drug-related deaths are rising, and in our most deprived communities, prescribing rates are increasing. Rather than over medicalising, we need to look at the bigger picture | Independent voices, UK

Welfare drug tests a blunt, ineffective weapon

The Morrison Government’s proposed drug tests for Newstart recipients will most likely penalise recreational drug users but won’t cover people with serious alcohol issues, argues Nicole Lee | InDaily opinion, Australia