Daily news - 5th February 2020

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UK news

Statistics on Alcohol, England 2020

This publication provides a range of information relating to alcohol use and misuse drawn from a variety of sources for England unless otherwise stated. Topics covered include: alcohol-related hospital admissions; alcohol-specific deaths; prescriptions for drugs used to treat alcohol dependence; drinking behaviours among adults and children; road casualties involving illegal alcohol levels and affordability of alcohol | NHS Digital, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: February 2020 data update

Update of Indicators in the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) interactive tool | PHE, UK

Baby boomers are the booziest generation – and are driving a 60 per cent rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions  

Experts describe the figures, which show a record 1.3 million hospital admissions linked to alcohol, as a ‘national health disaster’ | Telegraph, UK

Reduce UK drug deaths by funding treatment services, experts urge

Addiction specialists call for support for innovative work such as peer-to-peer naloxone project | Guardian, UK

'I feel like I have a purpose': the ex-addicts working to save lives

A project in Redcar is training people to administer naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose | Guardian, UK

First look inside Bransholme Alcohol Hub dedicated to helping people curb their addictions for free

It has undergone a major refurbishment and the services are free | Hull Live, UK

Gender Matters

Following Hard Edges (2015), we began a process to explore how disadvantages might cluster differently in the lives of women. This included consultation with women facing multiple disadvantage about the experiences most relevant to them | Lankelly Chase, UK

Tobacco products and e-cigarette cross-border sales registration

Registration for the supply of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to consumers within the UK and European Economic Area | PHE, UK

Drug dealer caught after accidentally texting price list to police officer at Leeds Festival

'He decided to sell drugs while completely high; he rocks up, takes a lot of them himself, then sends message to police' | Independent, UK

Drugs gang 'brought misery' to communities in south Devon

A gang member who police said brought "misery" to communities in south Devon has been jailed for 25 years for drugs and sex offences | BBC, UK


International news

Despite being banned, Big Tobacco is still on social media

Big Tobacco likes to stay ahead of the curve – to survive, it has to. Its fundamental problem is that one in two of its long-term users die from tobacco-related diseases. To hook a new generation into addiction, it has to try every advertising and marketing trick in its playbook | Independent, UK

‘If my mother doesn’t get drugs, she beats me’: the Afghan children forced to feed their parents’ addiction

An estimated 60,000 minors are working the streets in Kabul alone | Telegraph, UK

The great kava boom: how Fiji's beloved psychoactive brew is going global

From trendy bars in New York, to anti-anxiety pills sold in Australia and New Zealand, the powdered root is taking off | Guardian, UK

Justin Bieber recalls ‘scary’ drug issues

‘I was waking up in the morning and the first thing I was doing is popping pills and smoking a blunt and starting my day,’ says singer | Independent, UK

Cocaine in Galway: ‘It’s not snowing, there is a blizzard’

‘There will be a lost generation if we don’t engage with this as quickly as possible’ | Irish Times, Ireland

2020 National Drug Control Strategy (PDF)

Today [3rd February], the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is pleased to release the President’s National Drug Control Strategy and the accompanying National Treatment Plan | White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, USA

The Wrong Way to Fight the Opioid Crisis

People struggling with addiction who share a lethal dose of drugs are being prosecuted as killers | New Yorker, USA

This addiction treatment medicine is often sold on the streets and may be preventing overdoses

It's a refrain dealers chant every day up and down Philadelphia's Kensington Avenue, the city's largest drug marketplace: "Subs—subs—subs!" | Medical Xpress, USA

Extreme difficulty breathing and swallowing linked to teen's vaping?

A teenage girl with no hint of prior asthma or respiratory illness began to feel hoarseness in her throat and a feeling that she needed to clear her throat frequently. Within a few weeks, her hoarseness and throat-clearing worsened with early morning voice loss and feeling as if food were lodged in her throat. She started having trouble swallowing and began to avoid food all together | EurekAlert, USA

Most Youth Don’t Vape––And Those That Do Are Infrequent Users

News media and policy makers have zeroed in on rising teen e-cigarette use, but they have tended to ignore its actual scale. And it’s not big, according to a new study that found that most teens in 2018 had not vaped in the past month, and the majority of vaping youth don’t do so regularly | Filter Magazine, USA

Language matters: The specific terms used to describe harm reduction services may make a big difference in the public’s acceptance and support of them

Despite evidence that supervised consumption sites (also called “safe injection facilities”) reduce overdoses and enhance the health of people who inject drugs, they remain illegal in the United States. In this study, authors show that public support is increased for this intervention simply by using the term ‘overdose prevention site’ instead of ‘safe consumption site’ | Recovery Answers, USA

Super Bowl swigs: Applying social practice theory to alcohol consumption

Some things just go hand in hand: peanut butter and jelly, birthdays and cake, football and beer. In fact, It’s very difficult to imagine attending a Super Bowl party that has no beer. But why is that? | BASIS, USA

Matters of Substance

DPA's video series, Matters of Substance, breaks down important drug policy concepts in under 60 seconds. Watch and learn in just a minute | DPA, USA

Ontario to ban flavoured vaping products from being sold in convenience stores

The Ontario government is moving to ban most flavoured vaping products from convenience stores and gas stations and cap nicotine levels in a bid to prevent young people from using e-cigarettes | Globe and Mail, Canada

Alcohol and medication a dangerous cocktail for older Australians

A new research program has found many older Australians who consume alcohol are putting their health at serious risk when taking commonly prescribed medications | ECU, Australia

Medical cannabis linked to reduced pain and anxiety, improved quality of life - study

Medical cannabis may ease anxiety, depression and chronic pain, a study of the first 400 New Zealand patients to be prescribed cannabidiol (CBD) has found | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

As two more deaths in Britain are linked to e-cigarettes, we ask: Is vaping really that much safer than cigarettes?

Public Health England insists vaping is 95 per cent safer than using cigarettes. But as it soars in popularity — from 700,000 in 2012 to 3.6 million today in the UK, questions are being raised over whether smoking e-cigarettes poses health risks, too | Mail Online, UK

The trip report

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 Scally, UK

Raising the Voices of People with Lived Experience - Changing Lives

Jennifer Harrison, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Changing Lives, shares a perspective on how policymaking can become more inclusive of people with lived experience of accessing services similar to ours, and why this matters | Changing Lives blog, UK

What does a Conservative majority spell for drug policy reform?

With a disappointing election result, Labour lost the chance to govern and Britain lost the opportunity to move towards a public health approach to drugs. Britain faces five years of Boris Johnson. This means Brexit and a points based immigration system, but what does it mean for drug policy reform? | Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform blog, UK

Cannabis in South Africa: the duplicity of colonial authorities

The history of cannabis in South Africa contains two particular trajectories that were sometimes in direct contradiction with one another | Conversation, USA