Daily news - 6th February 2020

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UK news

Chronic pain: prescribe mental health support as well as drugs, say experts

Calls for social interventions to be used along with opioids, which often have little effect | Guardian, UK

Ban term 'painkiller' to end obsession with drugs

The term "painkiller" should not be used, to help bust the myth they cure pain, a government adviser says. Prof Jamie Coleman said the phrase raised unrealistic expectations - with "pain-reliever" a better option | BBC, UK

Roadmap to a Smokefree 2030 (PDF)

The UK Government has announced that its ambition is for England to be smokefree by 2030 | Smokefree Action, UK

Parents travel to Westminster to demand free cannabis prescriptions for their children

Parents from across the Midlands are travelling to Westminster today to lobby of MPs over medication for severely epileptic children | ITV, UK

Hooked - Prescription drugs - audio

Melissa and Jade speak to Nicki who was addicted to prescription drugs for 20 years | BBC, UK

Teens, Parents and Booze - audio

How do parents’ attitudes to alcohol affect their children? How do parents broach the subject with a teen? Where can they get the best advice? And how do teens cope with a parent with alcohol dependency and how can the wider family find help? | BBC Sounds, UK

My soulmate's death made me an activist - video

Raychel's partner Kevin died from an accidental overdose in 2017. Here she tells her story | Transform, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's policy on electronic nicotine delivery systems will be at the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Pregnancy: Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help reduce smoking rates among pregnant women | They work for you, UK

Tobacco: Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Green Paper entitled Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s, when he will call for independent evidence to assess the effectiveness of heated tobacco products in helping people to quit smoking and reduce the health harms from smoking | They work for you, UK

Strange but true: even in single-session brief advice interventions the practitioner matters

One of the learning points from this on-line course instalment exploring the influence of the practitioner on alcohol screening and brief interventions. “Invaluable,” “a godsend,” “useful and brilliantly written,” “phenomenal ... tremendous ... fantastic,” say subscribers | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Mum used Kinder eggs to smuggle drugs into Berwyn prison

Mother-of-two Chelsea Bennion, 28, tried to pass the containers, which usually contain toys, to a prisoner she was visiting at HMP Berwyn, in Wrexham, in October 2018 | BBC, UK

Leicestershire cryptocurrency drug dealer jailed

A drug dealer who used cryptocurrency to import drugs into the UK has been jailed for eight years | BBC, UK


International news

Vaping: Companies feel burn from US lawmakers

US lawmakers called for tougher rules for e-cigarette companies at a hearing on Wednesday as they blamed executives for introducing a new generation to nicotine | BBC, UK

The highs and lows of the opium trade in southern Africa

In July 1877 an unpleasant surprise greeted British Imperial consul, Captain James Frederick Elton, as he led an expedition through the Zambezi valley in Mozambique. An agricultural experiment was underway, and it seemed to be thriving. The enterprise was Portuguese; the crop was opium | Talking Drugs, UK

Police discover bag labelled ‘bag full of drugs’ is filled with drugs

'They don't always make it that easy for us,' said Lieutenant W Robert Cannon of the Florida Highway Patrol of the clearly marked drug bags | Independent, UK

Russian police convicted of busting own drug den

A court in the Russian city of Kostroma has convicted two policemen for busting a drug den they created themselves to chalk up a crime-fighting success, it's reported | BBC, UK

Strip search inquiry cut short after NSW government sacks commissioner

Exclusive: Labor questions if removal of LECC chief commissioner Michael Adams was an attempt to shut down inquiry | Guardian, UK

Belgium will ban all tobacco advertising from 2021

Currently, newsagent’s shops are still allowed to advertise tobacco products in the store, and on the facades. However, the parliament voted unanimously that all these forms of advertising will also be abolished... | Brussels Times, Belgium

Association of coincident self-reported mental health problems and alcohol intake with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality: A Norwegian pooled population analysis

In the general population, the mortality rates associated with more mental health problems and a high alcohol intake were increased when the risk factors occurred together | PLOS Medicine, Norway

Comparative Effectiveness of Different Treatment Pathways for Opioid Use Disorder

Methadone and buprenorphine were associated with reduced overdose and opioid-related morbidity compared with opioid antagonist therapy, inpatient treatment, or intensive outpatient behavioral interventions and may be used as first-line treatments for opioid use disorder | JAMA Open, USA

Federal flavor ban goes into effect Thursday, but many flavored vape products will still be available

A nationwide ban on many flavored e-cigarette products goes into effect Thursday, but teenagers will still have access to nicotine vapes, experts say | Nbc news, USA

E-cigarette use high among recent quitters but rare among those who gave up longer ago

Survey of European current and former smokers finds that daily vapers are more likely than non-vapers to be recent quitters | EurekAlert, USA

Female-focused approaches are big draw for women seeking help with substance abuse

Across the Twin Cities, non-profits are boosting substance abuse treatment services specifically for women to meet a growing demand for help | The Star, USA

Is Delaware the New Center of the OD Crisis?

One of the smallest states in the US is increasingly being hit the hardest by fatal overdoses as the rest of the county seems to be making notable progress on stopping opioid-related overdose deaths | Filter Magazine, USA

Budget Hawks Threaten Hopes for Cannabis Equity In San Diego

In San Diego, the second-largest city in California, marijuana is big business. But only people with the big bucks can afford to open storefront dispensaries after the state legalized in November 2016 | Filter Magazine, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

A brief window of opportunity: The case of MUP in England

In a move which surprised the alcohol policy field, the 2012 UK coalition Government’s Alcohol Strategy (GAS) included a commitment to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in England, following the adoption of similar measures by the Scottish Yet by July 2013, the Government announced to Parliament that it was placing the introduction of MUP on hold indefinitely | IAS blog, UK

Legalisation is the only effective way of tackling Britain’s deepening drugs crisis

Waging war on illegal substances has failed. Now Labour should lead the way in calling for the removal of charges for possession | Guardian, UK

From book clubs to the Archers, how to reinvigorate the local village pub

A busy yet serene pub at the heart of a thriving village community is an image most of us are familiar with. The reality, however, is that there has been a decline in the number and usage of these community hubs. In 2018, the Office for National Statistics found that 23% of pubs across the UK had closed between 2008 and 2018 | Conversation, UK

Video: Meet the 170-year-old sobriety movement

The current wave of attention might make it seem like tackling alcohol harm is a new thing, but far from it. Movendi International has been working in the area for nigh-on 170 years, with a name change from IOGT last month the latest evolution | Phil Cain, UK

Working for a Fundamentally New Approach to Drugs

Anyone’s Child family members, activists and members of the public gathered on College Green on Saturday to mark the lives of those who have died from drug overdose | Anyone's Child blog, UK

The Pharmacist review – when doctors become drug dealers

Netflix’s gripping new true crime series sees a murder investigation give way to deadly truths about America’s opioid emergency | Guardian, UK