Daily news - 24th September 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Medical cannabis product approved for epilepsy

The EU has approved for the first time the use of a medicinal cannabis product aimed at patients with two rare, but severe, forms of childhood epilepsy | BBC, UK

NICE cannabis guidance could 'detract' from doctors considering prescribing for epilepsy, RPS warns

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society also said the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence should consider evidence other than from randomised controlled trials in its guidance on prescribing cannabis-based medical products | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

New advice for universities and students on the dangers of initiations

Universities UK, in collaboration with Newcastle University, has today launched a briefing to raise awareness of the dangers of initiations and excessive alcohol consumption among students | Newcastle University, UK

'Half as many Britons' vape as smoke

The number of people vaping in the UK has reached 3.6 million - about half the number of smokers - figures from Action on Smoking and Health suggest | BBC, UK

Free webinar- Medical Cannabis and Anxiety with Dr Dani Gordon

22nd October at 7pm. Delivered by Dr Dani Gordon, a leading expert in clinical cannabinoid medicine, this webinar will cover: The evidence base, including prescribing regimens and A clinician’s experience of prescribing medical cannabis for anxiety | SMMGP, UK

Temperance tours to inclusive packages: a history of Thomas Cook

The father of modern tourism set up shop, modestly and soberly, 178 years ago in the east Midlands | Guardian, UK

Bristol Prison: Throwing items over jail wall 'deeply disturbing'

Footage of people throwing items into a prison where a fifth of inmates have a drugs habit have been described by a minister as "deeply disturbing" | BBC, UK

Drug dealer ordered to hand over £600,000 crime cash

A drug dealer caught with guns, ammunition and more than £3m worth of heroin and cocaine has been ordered to hand over £600,000 following a proceeds of crime action | BBC, UK



International news

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

We reviewed the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy for MA/A use disorder to assess the qual-ity, publication bias and overall strength of the evidence | Addiction, UK

German court rules that hangovers are an 'illness'

Frankfurt court made ruling in relation to illegal claims by a company selling anti-hangover ‘shots’ | Guardian, UK

West Coast forward Willie Rioli returns positive test for cannabis

The immediate AFL future of Willie Rioli looks even more grim after the AFL released a statement confirming the Eagles player has been notified of a further adverse analytical finding and a potential violation of the AFL’s anti-doping code | Guardian, UK

FDA Opens Criminal Investigation Around Increasing Vaping-Related Illnesses

News of the criminal investigation comes as the number of reported cases climbed to more than 500 in 38 states | Convenience Store, USA

The Great American Vape Panic of 2019 Is Producing Some Wild Lawsuits

"I'm not exaggerating when I say that I talk to at least 10 families a day," one lawyer said | VICE, USA

Older adults with COPD more likely to use synthetic cannabinoids, study finds

Researchers suggest that greater frequency of use, and use in potentially concerning ways, raise possible safety concerns regarding the use of this drug class in this population | EurekAlert, USA

The Truth About Looking in the Mirror on Psychedelics

The dangers of looking in the mirror while on psychedelics is the stuff of urban legends. Art warns against it. Online message boards debate the potential terrors. Psychedelic users create videos to recreate the experience | VICE, USA

Significant developments in cannabis farming in Thailand

In what’s thought to be the first-ever industrial scale manufacturing facility for medical cannabis within the Asean Region, Maejo University in Chiang Mai has planted 12,000 cannabis sprouts – the largest lot in the country | The Haiger, USA

Should doctors prescribe heroin to curb opioid deaths?

Last year, the Public Health Agency of Canada says that 4,460 Canadians died from an opioid overdose. The vast majority of the deaths were accidental. A new and controversial Canadian guideline for front-line health-care workers was published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Experts are hoping the guideline will help to stem the tide | CBC, Canada

Enough evidence to support introduction of pill testing in NSW, inquiry told

A world expert on drug policy has told an inquiry into the drug ice and other amphetamines, including MDMA (ecstasy), that there is "sufficient evidence" overseas and in Australia to support the introduction of drug or pill testing in NSW | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

John Britton: Electronic cigarettes and the precautionary principle

Smoking kills. That such a damaging and irrational behaviour persists in many countries where the health risks of smoking are well understood and most smokers want to quit, is testimony to the power of nicotine addiction | BMJ opinion, UK

Welcome to Fresher's week

 In this blog alcohol consultant Lauren shares some tips for making sure drinking doesn’t ruin your night, what to do when you don’t fancy drinking, and how to know when you need to get some extra support | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

The Trip Report 23/09

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scully, UK

An increasing number of countries are banning e-cigarettes – here’s why

The White House recently announced plans to ban flavoured e-cigarettes – except for tobacco-flavoured products – because of a rise in the number of middle and high school students using these products | Conversation, UK

Still blowing smoke in Asia

Over half a billion smokers live in Asia, and Asian countries have some of the highest per capita smoking rates – and some of the highest numbers of smoking-related deaths – in the world | NSP blog, UK

From smoking to vaping: Why do we abuse our lungs?

Today’s growing toll of deaths and serious illnesses associated with vaping represents just the latest variation on an age-old theme: our propensity to willfully inhale substances that damage our lungs | Conversation, USA

Drug Use: It's in the Water

You probably know that scientists can test your urine to see if you’ve used a drug. Drugs break down into chemicals called metabolites in a person’s body—so what scientists see in the lab isn’t the actual drug, but proof that the drug was recently in the person’s system | NIDA blog, USA

A campaign promise kept: Canada’s modestly successful cannabis legalization

The anniversary of Canada’s recreational cannabis legalization arrives Oct. 17, just days before the federal election. Legalization was a Liberal campaign promise from the last election, so it’s timely to review how it’s worked out | Conversation, Australia