Daily news - 19th August 2020

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UK news

Press release: Government creates new National Institute for Health Protection

A brand new organisation whose primary focus is public health protection and infectious disease capability is being established by the government | Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, UK

The Future of Public Health, Keynote Speech by Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP

Speech by Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP on the scrapping of Public Health England | Policy Exchange, UK

Court overturns man's conviction for girlfriend's Bestival drug death

Ceon Broughton was found guilty of killing Louella Fletcher-Michie, who died after taking 2C-P | Guardian, UK

Newsbeat documentary: Dealer in your DMs

Over the past six months Radio 1 Newsbeat has been investigating how social media is being used to sell drugs. Britain’s most senior police officer when it comes to drugs says social media bosses would do more if it was their children dying from drugs bought this way | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Stimulant laxatives (bisacodyl, senna and sennosides, sodium picosulfate) available over-the-counter: new measures to support safe use

We have introduced pack size restrictions, revised recommended ages for use, and new safety warnings for over-the-counter stimulant laxatives (orally and rectally administered) following a national safety review | MHRA, UK

The treatment organisation is the healing context. Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell D3

Key studies on how treatment organisations affect the implementation and effectiveness of medical interventions for problem drinking. Asks whether evidence-based innovation is always a good thing, explores the evidence for and against integrating medical care with the treatment of alcohol dependence, and investigates the impact of quality in primary care practices | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Coronavirus: Passive Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of more people eating and drinking outside as a result of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the number of people being exposed to passive smoking; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

‘Change Will Come’ Our Strategy 2020-2023

Our ‘Change Will Come’ Strategy (2020-23) identifies 12 Key Changes which we want to see in the next 3 years. As well as these Key Changes, we will continue to develop and improve all of our existing services and activities. We will know we have succeeded when we have no more hidden families | SFAD, UK

Patients offered free support to tackle tobacco addiction while in hospital

Patients across the boroughs of Rochdale, Oldham, Bury and Salford will be offered specialist support to manage tobacco addiction when they are admitted to hospital | Rochdale Online, UK

Encrypted phone cracked to convict drug dealer

A drug dealer caught after police cracked an encrypted phone full of damning messages has been jailed for eight years | BBC, UK

Yoyo's on the case: the sniffer dog that helped Medway authorities seize 150,000 illegal cigarettes

Almost 150,000 illegal cigarettes have been taken off the streets of Medway thanks to the help of a sniffer dog named Yoyo | ITV, UK


International news

Philippines death penalty: A fight to stop the return of capital punishment

Capital punishment opponents expect a steep battle to prevent President Rodrigo Duterte from reimposing the death penalty, as he renews calls for the law as part of a "drug war" that has already killed thousands of Filipinos | BBC, UK

South Africans cheer lifting of ban on selling alcohol and cigarettes

Crime drops during five-month measure to free hospitals for Covid patients – and not everyone welcomes relaxation | Guardian, UK

Does smoke-free legislation work for teens too? A logistic regression analysis of smoking prevalence and gender among 16 years old in Ireland, using the 1995–2015 ESPAD school surveys

Smoking prevalence dropped from 41% in 1995 to 13% in 2015. The effects of policies differed between boys and girls. For girls, estimates for workplace bans, graphical images on packs and a unit real (Consumer Price Index adjusted) price increase reduced prevalence | BMJ Open, Ireland

The dark side of alcohol use disorder

Individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) often experience negative affective “dark side” symptoms, including major depressive episodes and anxiety. Are these symptoms present in all individuals with AUD or only the most severe cases? | BASIS, USA

Green apple vape flavorant enhances nicotine reward, heightens drug-seeking behavior

A common green apple vape flavor enhances nicotine reward, which could heighten reward and drug-seeking behavior, according to researchers at Marshall University | News Medical, USA

Association of Depression With Past-Month Cannabis Use Among US Adults Aged 20 to 59 Years, 2005 to 2016

In this repeated cross-sectional study of 16 216 adults, those with depression increased their rates of cannabis use significantly faster than those without depression | JAMA Network, USA

Inside the Work of a New York Psychedelic Trip Guide

Prometheus checked into a hotel in midtown Manhattan in 2018 with just a backpack, orange juice, and a bag of psilocybin mushrooms. Upstairs, he met Arlen for only his second time. They spent three hours together | Filter Magazine, USA

Democrats Platform Arch-Enemy of Syringe Exchange on DNC Opening Night

Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman spoke on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention on August 17 to endorse Joe Biden. Introducing herself as a “lifelong Republican,” | Filter Magazine, USA

A Guide to Cannabis for Older Adults

CCSA developed the three-page Guide to Cannabis for Older Adults in partnership with the Canadian Coalition for Senior’s Mental Health. It outlines what cannabis is and how it is used, as well as the health risks and potential benefits of cannabis use. It is intended to support adults aged 65 and over in making informed choices about using cannabis | CCSA, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

A message from Duncan Selbie

Today the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced the creation of the National Institute for Health Protection, a new organisation to address the next phase of the pandemic and a new chapter for the nation’s public health system. This effectively replaces Public Health England and therefore is a sensible moment for me to stand aside and create space for new leadership | PHE blog, UK

A range of well-evidenced actions that can be taken now to reduce drug deaths

In an article in The Herald on the 16th of August, it was claimed that there is “no quick fix” to the rising toll of drug-related deaths in Scotland and that it may be some years before there is a considerable reduction | SDF, UK

Navigating environmental constraints to injection preparation: the use of saliva and other alternatives to sterile water among unstably housed in PWID in London - commentary

I am beginning to suspect I would read a shopping list if it was written by Magdalena Harris who has generated some of the best research in the harm reduction field in recent years | SMMGP, UK

A plan to overhaul the UK’s unjust drugs policy is just around the corner

Values of fairness, justice and equality should underpin Labour Party policy and the way we seek to govern. For decades, the UK’s drug laws have gone against these ideals | Labour List, UK

Have Your Say! The Drop team

My name is Sorcha and I’m the 'Festival and Nightclub Harm Reduction Lead' at Bristol Drugs Project. Having started in this role in November, I spent the winter months learning the ropes at BDP, booking slots at some of Bristol’s biggest and best events, dreaming of a summer dancing to some of my favourite bands and DJs | BDP blog, UK