Daily news - 16th September 2019

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UK news

Tens of thousands unaware they have deadly hepatitis C infection

Report estimates that around two-thirds of people living with hepatitis C may not realise they have the virus, with PHE urging those at risk to get tested | PHE, UK

Funding for councils' child addiction services slashed

Labour describes the cuts as ‘shameful and utterly counterproductive’ | Guardian, UK

Labour royal commission into legalisation of drugs could lead to decriminalising heroin and cocaine

[Free registration maybe required] A Labour government would launch a royal commission to review the legalisation of drugs including cannabis, cocaine and heroin | Sunday Times, UK

Legalise cannabis, says Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor

Siobhan Benita says the capital should make the move to tackle youth crime | Guardian, UK

Alcohol guidelines for pregnant women: Barriers and enablers for midwives to deliver advice (PDF)

The aim of this study was to explore knowledge and implementation of the CMO guidelines amongst UK midwives. A mixed-methods design was used to explore implementation barriers and midwives’ beliefs about addressing alcohol during antenatal care with pregnant women | IAS et al, UK

UK attacked for defence of flavoured e-cigarettes

European tobacco control expert echoes Donald Trump’s concerns about e-cigarettes designed to mimic the taste of sweets and desserts | Guardian, UK

Vaping could be a 'ticking time bomb', Chief Medical Officer warns amid growing concerns of e-cigarette risk

England's chief medical officer has raised fears that vaping is “a ticking time bomb” which could do long-term harm, amid growing concern about the safety of e-cigarettes | Telegraph, UK

Impact of e-cigarette health warnings on motivation to vape and smoke

A prevailing hypothesis is that health warnings for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) could drive people away from vaping and towards smoking cigarettes. We consider an alternative hypothesis that e-cigarette warnings discourage both vaping and smoking | BMJ, UK

Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England Quarter 1, 2019-20

10.4% of mothers were smokers at the time of delivery | NHS Digital, UK

Charity issues drug mixture warning after 'unintentional overdoses' hospitalise teens

Four Londonderry teenagers have been admitted to hospital with "unintentional overdoses" after mixing two prescription drugs, a charity has revealed | Belfast Telegraph, UK

How Ketamine Became the UK Teenager's Drug of Choice

It's always been around, but in 2019 ketamine is back at the top of the teenage drug menu | VICE, UK

'CBD lubricant is a bestseller': cannabis oil products are booming – but does the science stack up?

Last month, Lisa Jenkins went for a walk alone around her local park for an hour, the first time she had done so unaided for 13 months. Jenkins was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three | Guardian, UK

Sex, Drugs and Murder: Channel 4 Dispatches

Channel 4 Dispatches and BuzzFeed News have joined forces to investigate the impact of GHB, fronted by LGBT editor Patrick Strudwick. GHB is a silent killer which is killing hundreds of gay men per year and receives little attention | Channel 4, UK

County lines: Drug dealers 'pretend to be uni students'

Gang members are enrolling in universities and masquerading as students in order to sell drugs in new cities, an academic has warned | BBC, UK

Revealed: surge in vulnerable children linked to UK drug gangs

Scale of county lines crisis laid bare as officials raise concerns over nearly 9,000 young people | Guardian, UK

Airbnb and a free lunch: how county lines drug gangs lure teenagers

‘Glamorous’ criminal networks promising easy money are posing a serious challenge for social services | Guardian, UK

Man jailed for smuggling £1.2m of strong cocaine to Glasgow

A man who smuggled a £1.2m haul of strong cocaine from England to Glasgow has been jailed for more than five years | BBC, UK

Asco: Grime artist jailed for 'county lines' drug dealing

A grime artist who signed a record deal with one of the world's biggest labels has been jailed for drug dealing | BBC, UK


International news

Vaping deaths in the US: what do you need to know?

Despite six confirmed deaths connected to vaping in the US there is no consensus on risks | Guardian, UK

After six deaths in the US and bans around the world – is vaping safe?

In Britain, e-cigarettes are seen as central to the fight against smoking, but many experts believe the evidence is contradictory | Guardian, UK

Experts warn US vaping backlash is turning people back to cigarettes

Smokers are turning back to traditional cigarettes amid health scares over vaping, US experts have warned | Telegraph, UK

Vaping: How popular are e-cigarettes?

So, how much is being spent on e-cigarettes, and how safe are they? | BBC, UK

New York moves to ban sale of flavored e-cigarettes amid health concerns

Governor Andrew Cuomo announces ‘emergency executive action’ amid a surge in youth vaping | Guardian, UK

US drug companies seek removal of judge set to preside over opioids trial

Petition claims Judge Dan Polster’s ‘unusual level of commitment’ to reaching a settlement in the case had affected his decision-making | Guardian, UK

Blingy vaporizers and gold rolling papers: luxury cannabis brands court the affluent

As marijuana becomes more acceptable and its consumer base grows, companies are aiming for prestige | Guardian, UK

The Irish Times view: Change in lifestyle behind pubs’ struggle

Bar will continue to be one of the cornerstones of Irish social and cultural life, just not in the same numbers | Irish Times, Ireland

Health minister Harris seeks to crackdown on alcohol promotions

The awarding of loyalty points and short term price promotions would be banned under the new regulations | Journal, Ireland

The Convention Secretariat calls Parties to remain vigilant towards novel and emerging nicotine and tobacco products

The emergence in the global market of novel and emerging nicotine and tobacco products has been discussed by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control | WHO, Switzerland

Can a mass media campaign raise awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer and public support for alcohol related policies?

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of several cancers, but public awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer is low. Research indicates that public opinion about alcohol related policies can be influenced by mass media campaigns and awareness of alcohol as a carcinogen | Science Direct, Denmark

Kosovo country overview 2013

This Country overview provides an overview of the drug situation in Kosovo (designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence) | EMCDDA, Portugal

Researchers identify focus points to reduce opioid overdose deaths

A new study identifies specific locations where medication and harm reduction services for people with opioid use disorder should be available in order to have the greatest impact on reducing opioid overdose deaths | Medical Xpress, USA

Pear Therapeutics CEO explains app for addiction treatment

Smartphone apps have transformed the way we read the news, hail rides and connect with friends and family | Medical Xpress, USA

Generation healthy: alcoholic seltzer craze sweeps US

Health-conscious American millennials have found their drink of choice: alcoholic carbonated water that is lower in calories and carbs than beer and wine | Medical Xpress, USA

Weed Is Way Stronger Than It Used to Be. That's Why It Should Be Legal

"A More Potent Marijuana Is Stirring Fresh Debates." Certainly, the story didn't disappoint: "Most marijuana now being sold throughout the United States is three to 10 times more potent than the marijuana that was sold two years ago," the New York Times wrote | VICE, USA

Impact of e-cigarette health warnings on motivation to vape and smoke

[Open access] A prevailing hypothesis is that health warnings for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) could drive people away from vaping and towards smoking cigarettes. We consider an alternative hypothesis that e-cigarette warnings discourage both vaping and smoking | BMJ, USA

Men arrested for drug crimes were crammed inside cells in the city of Zubair in Basra province | NYTimes, USA

What is a 'safe supply' of drugs and how would it work?

Advocates say it's needed to combat growing death toll of the opioid crisis | CBC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Tackling inequalities in hepatitis C testing and treatment

The World Health Organisation estimate that a staggering 325 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B and C, leading to 1.4 million deaths a year | PHE blog, UK

Ian Hamilton: Prescription drugs are no cure for deprivation

The burden of poverty can muddy diagnoses of depression and lead to the overprescription of antidepressants, says Ian Hamilton | BMJ opinion, UK

Dishing out more drugs won’t stop the pain. Doctors need new tools

As a GP, I know opioids have their place. But we shouldn’t be complacent about a US-style crisis happening in Britain | Guardian opinion, UK

Alcohol treatment: meeting the challenges head on

Pete Burkinshaw, Clinical and Commissioning Development Lead at Public Health England, looks at the current state of play for alcohol treatment and opportunities to strengthen the sector | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Cheap booze and fags: the last gasp of government health policy

Drowning our sorrows in duty-free whisky may be the only way to cope but as official policy, it stinks | Guardian opinion, UK

Luxembourg's cannabis legalisation is EU opportunity

The announcement that Luxembourg would legalise and regulate cannabis for recreational purposes attracted much media attention this summer | EU Observer opinion, Belgium

Should Sweden's alcohol store Systembolaget stay open on Sundays?

Swedish conservative opposition leaders have sparked debate about the country's alcohol monopoly and tacos (bear with us) after calling for Systembolaget to be open on Sundays | Local, Sweden

How a person vapes, not just what a person vapes, could also play a big role in vaping harm

In the wake of six deaths and 380 cases of confirmed and probable lung disease across the U.S., the Trump administration has called for banning most flavored e-cigarettes  because of their huge appeal to young people | Conversation, USA

Cannabis in the Americas: It’s time to talk about marijuana policy

Cannabis has been considered one of the “most dangerous” psychoactive substances with little to no medical benefit since the first United Nations drug control treaty was established in 1961 | Globe and Mail opinion, Canada

Drugs don’t affect job seeking, so let’s offer users help rather than take away their payments

The Morrison government is having another shot at getting its proposal to drug test people on welfare through the Senate | Conversation, Australia