Daily news - 20th September 2019

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UK news

Drug misuse: findings from the 2018 to 2019 CSEW (PDF)

Examines the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a sample of 16 to 59 year old residents in households in England and Wales | Home Office, UK

User guide to drug misuse statistics

Provides classifications, conventions used and other background information on the drug misuse releases | Home Office, UK

The UK's New Drug Stats Tell Us What We Already Knew

Once again, Britain has been shown up as a country full of caners. In news that will surprise no one who's been within spitting distance of a nightclub toilet in the past couple of years, record numbers of British people are taking Class A drugs, according to new Home Office figures | VICE, UK

Class A drug use among young adults at 16-year high

Eight per cent of people aged 16 to 24 have taken a class A drug in the last year – official figures | Guardian, UK

Drug related harms in homeless populations: government response

Government response to recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs | Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Department of Health and Social Care, and Luke Hall MP, UK


Breaking up is never easy but remember, it's not you, it's them! Join in with the thousands of others dumping smoking for 28 days this October. Now explore the free support options to help you stay strong. There's something for everyone, so what's stopping you? | NHS, UK

PHE Strategy 2020 to 2025

This strategy sets out Public Health England's priorities for the next 5 years | PHE, UK

Prescribing trends of gabapentin, pregabalin, and oxycodone: a secondary analysis of primary care prescribing patterns in England

Substantial increases in gabapentin, pregabalin, and oxycodone prescriptions are concerning and will increase iatrogenic harm from drug-related morbidity and mortality. More research is needed to understand the large variation in prescribing between general practices, and to develop and implement interventions to reduce unwarranted variation and increase the appropriateness of prescribing of these drugs | BJP Open, UK

Members of children’s parliament want alcohol to be made ‘less visible’

Members of Scotland’s Children’s Parliament have called for alcohol to be made less visible and for tougher measures to stop people drinking in public spaces | Scotsman, UK

Scots mum to hand Government £8K medical bill for epileptic son's cannabis treatment

Mrs Gray, from Edinburgh, will travel to London today to hand the Department of Health an invoice for the cost of the medicine | Daily Record, UK

Smoke alarm: what are the risks of vaping?

In this week's programme David Aaronovitch asks why have e-cigarettes become so popular, and what are the risks of using them? | BBC Sounds, UK

IMS User group event 2019

Presentations for the event, including summary of IMS activity for the past year, an overview of drug related death reporting, and presentations by two IMS reporting services; the New Start 'RISE' Harm Reduction Service, and the Footsteps Project | PHI, UK

Experiences and needs of families of former members of the UK Armed Forces with substance use problems 

Survey. The University of York and Adfam would like to invite you to take part in the above named research project.  The project has research ethics approval from the University of York.  It is funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) | Adfam and University of York, UK

Opiates & Us

Comic strip on opiates and stress | Talking Drugs, UK

Lt Gen. Sir Hugh Cunningham KBE

Sir Hugh will be remembered as a highly respected longstanding supporter of the charity. Former Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Hugh was a trustee of Clouds – one of three charities that merged to form Action on Addiction – from 1992-2004, becoming Life President of the merged charity in 2007 | Action on Addiction, UK

County lines gangs linked to police cuts, says Sadiq Khan

Mayor calls for more youth investment after more than 4,000 recruits found in London | Guardian, UK

Concerns raised over prosecution of trafficked British children

Children’s commissioner to talk with CPS about cases of young victims being charged rather protected | Guardian, UK

Men caught with £200,000 of heroin after fire in Aberdeen jailed

Two men who were caught after a fire led to the discovery of heroin worth almost £200,000 in an Aberdeen flat have each been jailed for four years | BBC, UK

Man, 81, was 'getaway driver for drug dealer stabbing'

An 81-year-old man has denied being the getaway driver for a dealer accused of stabbing a rival in a drugs dispute | BBC, UK

Jodie Chesney: Girl 'killed after drugs bought from rival dealer'

A 17-year-old girl was stabbed to death by drug dealers after her friend bought cannabis from a rival rather than from them, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Northern Gambling Service

We’re here to provide specialist addiction therapy and recovery to people affected by gambling addiction, as well as those with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and suicidal feelings. We also provide intervention to people close to those with gambling addiction, such as family, partners, and carers | NHA, UK


International news

Mysterious outbreak of vaping-related illnesses jumps to 530 cases

US officials say there have been seven deaths from lung-related illnesses tied to the devices, with no sign outbreak is easing | Guardian, UK

Trends in social norms towards smoking between 2002 and 2015 among daily smokers: Findings from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey (ITC 4C)

To assess trends in daily smokers’ social norms and opinions of smoking between 2002 and 2015 in Canada, US, UK and Australia | Nicotine and Tobacco Research, UK

Bisexual women seven times more likely to consume medical cannabis daily than heterosexual women, study finds

Bisexual women are seven times more likely to consume medical cannabis on a daily basis than their heterosexual counterparts, according to the first study of its kind | Independent, UK

Pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine/amphetamineuse disorder—a systematic review and meta-analysis

[Open access] On the basis of low- to moderate-strength evidence, mostmedications evaluated for methamphetamine/amphetamine use disorder have not shown a statistically significant benefit.However, there is low-strength evidence that methylphenidate may reduce use | Addiction, UK

75% of farmers feel drug use is ‘widespread’ in rural communities

The latest Irish Examiner/ ICMSA poll shows that men are more likely than women to believe that drug use is prevalent in rural areas, and that while all age groups see it as a problem, those aged 45 to 54 are most likely to hold that view, at 81% | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Transcript of CDC Telebriefing: Update on Lung Injury Associated with E-cigarette Product Use, or Vaping

Thank you for all of you for joining us for an update on the update lung injury among people who use e-cigarettes or vape.  We are joined today by CDC Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director, who will provide an update on our support of the investigation | CDC, USA

Without knowing what has caused a spate of vaping-related illnesses, experts said it was unclear whether new state and local regulations could have much immediate effect | NYTimes, USA

Smoking abstinence has little impact on the motivation for food

Results suggest motivation for cigarettes increases during abstinence, but smokers aren't willing to spend their money on food, UB researchers say | EurekAlert, USA

Medications underused in treating opioid addiction

Though research shows that medication-assisted treatment can help people who are addicted to opioids, the three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are underused, according to a review of current medical data on opioid addiction in the U.S | Science Daily, USA

US awards $3M to fill gaps in medical marijuana research

The U.S. government will spend $3 million to find out if marijuana can relieve pain, but none of the money will be used to study the part of the plant that gets people high | Medical Xpress, USA

The 12-year police veteran worked off-duty providing security to the Mexican drug lord’s wife during his trial | NYTimes, USA

Comparison of Prescribing Patterns Before and After Implementation of a National Policy to Reduce Inappropriate Alprazolam Prescribing in Australia

This study found a reduction in subsidized alprazolam use after the policy change, but prescribing contrary to best-practice recommendations was common, with a likely shift to the private market | JAMA Open, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug use in England and Wales is up for the fourth year in a row

Once a year we get a glimpse of how many people are using drugs such as heroin and cocaine in England and Wales. The Home Office conducts an annual household survey that asks people if they have used drugs and, if they have, to provide some details about which drugs and how often they have consumed them | Conversation, UK

As our cocaine use rises again, hypocritical politicians are wasting a £10bn warchest

Our current drug laws were formulated at the time decimalisation was introduced in the 1970s. It’s no wonder an increasing number of us don’t see the law as relevant | Independent voices, UK

Women and alcohol: why we need a trauma-informed response

Policy proposal: Ensure local areas have adequate service provision for those with complex needs | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

More Wales, less ales?

On the eve of the rugby union World Cup Mark Leyshon, based in our Cardiff office, reflects on his recent experience of Wales’ Principality Stadium’s new alcohol-free zone | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Rethinking alcohol and high achievement

A rational explanation of why alcohol consumption and high-achievement so often seem to go hand-in-hand may help us find better alternatives | Phil Cain blog, UK

Maybe Next Year: The Failure to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis in New York

On August 28, 2019, New York State officially decriminalized marijuana. Most saw decriminalization as an important step toward the even more equitable legalization measure that failed to pass the Democrat-led state legislature this year, but which seems inevitable given recent trends in legalizing (with the recent addition of Illinois this year) | Points blog, USA

It’s safest to avoid e-cigarettes altogether – unless vaping is helping you quit smoking

Health authorities in the United States are investigating 530 cases of lung illness, including seven deaths, reportedly connected to vaping. Some of these patients have been diagnosed with lung inflammation caused by inhaling oil | Conversation, Australia