Daily news - 12th February 2020

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UK news

Spray for overdosed drug addicts trailed by North Wales Police

The North Wales force will train 12 officers in Flintshire to administer Naloxone via a nasal spray in a six-month trial starting in March | BBC, UK

Back from the brink of death: reversing a heroin overdose - audio

Anti-overdose drug naloxone has been in clinical use since the 1970s but not always where it’s needed most. The Guardian’s Jamie Grierson visited Redcar in North Yorkshire where a group of former drug users provide at-risk people with kits that could save their lives | Guardian, UK

E-cigarettes may be helping disadvantaged smokers to quit

New research confirms that low numbers of young people are vaping, with vaping more common in young people from disadvantaged households who had never smoked before | University of Glasgow, UK

Development and first validation of the Refined Alcohol Expectancy Task (RAET)

Addressing limitations of existing self-report measures of alcohol-related thoughts and behaviours, researchers have begun to measure these pictographically. To date, however, these novel measures have been developed somewhat unsystematically... This report therefore documents the development of a Refined Alcohol Expectancy Task through (1) selection (2) development and (3) testing of stimuli for inclusion of this pictograph-based tasks. It also provides initial validation data | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Medical cannabis and drug policy in the UK - free recorded webinar

Speaker: Professor David Nutt. Chair: Dr Steve Brinksman, Clinical Director SMMGP. This webinar covered policy regarding access to medical cannabis in the UK | SMMGP, UK

County Lines: Exploitation of Children

To ask what steps are being taken to stop county lines drugs gangs exploiting children | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Tobacco Control Plan 2017-2022 is making adequate progress to reduce adult smoking prevalence to 12 per cent by 2022 | They work for you, UK

Is it what you don’t do that really matters?

Focuses on the “possibly dispiriting finding” that in brief advice for heavy drinkers, “doing lots of the ‘right’ things ... matters little, while just one lapse to the ‘wrong’ sort of comment can be destructive”. Interpreting these findings takes us close to the heart of what makes for an effective brief intervention | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

City law firm recruits cannabis partner

Ince is looking to cash in on the burgeoning legal weed scene with the appointment of its first partner specialising in cannabis law | Legal Cheek, UK

Planet Youth - free event

Tuesday 25th February 2020. 10am-12.30pm. University of Stirling, FK9 4NF. Emmet Major (Drugs Task Force Community Liaison Worker) shares learning from his experience of trialling “Planet Youth” in the west of Ireland. Planet Youth is community-based Icelandic prevention model that aims to reduce risk factors and improve protective factors for young people, and had been implemented in 30+ countries worldwide | DRNS, UK

Reducing ill-health, hospitalisation & death among people who use drugs - free event

5th March, 1.00-3.30.  Strathclyde University, Glasgow
Dan Lewer (University College London) will share learning on meeting the physical health needs of people who use heroin and/or cocaine to reduce health inequalities and mortality | DRNS, UK

London's Pubs Saved Me from Becoming an Alcoholic

Compared to the situation in my home country, Britain's drinking culture is tame | VICE, UK

Norfolk churchyard death: Ex-Navy engineer Robert Worthington died homeless

A former Royal Navy engineer and paramedic had found himself homeless and died in a church graveyard, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Market town homeowners aren't reporting drug crimes over house price fears, say police

Residents in Melbourne, South Derbyshire, believe their house prices will drop, according to Derbyshire Police officers | Telegraph, UK

Manchester Arena bomber 'disapproved of brother's drug use'

Defendant Hashem Abedi didn’t want sibling to know he smoked weed, his trial hears | Guardian, UK

Shakira Pellow: Cousin denies supply after girl's drug death

A teenager supplied ecstasy to his 15-year-old cousin before she died of an overdose, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Drug dealer who returned home for Christmas jailed

A drug dealer who was on the run for 14 years has been jailed after he returned to Britain to visit family during the Christmas holidays | BBC, UK

Should you report local drug crime – or keep schtum to protect house prices?

According to police, residents of Melbourne in Derbyshire are reluctant to report incidents for fear of causing property prices to drop. But the town is hardly the drugs capital of the UK … | Guardian, UK


International news

The ‘abstinent alcoholic’

Classic description of the patient who has sustained abstinence after treatment but is still unhappy, unfulfilled and/or nervously hanging on - in other words, not really ‘recovered’ | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Spanish court rules workers can have pay deducted for smoking breaks

A company that stopped paying its employees for smoking breaks has won its case in Spain's high court | BBC, UK

'He told the doctor it does him good' - Man caught growing cannabis to treat his diabetes jailed

A 45-year-old man caught cultivating cannabis at his home in Kanturk has been jailed for one year as the sentencing judge said he was not going to sanction the man’s belief that cannabis was a useful medication for him | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Comprehensive overview of common e-liquid ingredients and how they can be used to predict an e-liquid’s flavour category

[Open access] Using information from e-cigarette manufacturers, we aim to identify the flavouring ingredients most frequently added to e-liquids on the Dutch market. Additionally, we used flavouring compositions to automatically classify e-liquids into flavour categories, thereby generating an overview that can facilitate market surveillance | BMJ Tobacco Control, Netherlands

Reported Heroin Use, Use Disorder, and Injection Among Adults in the United States, 2002-2018

Heroin-related morbidity and mortality have increased over the past 17 years in the United States, including an increase in overdose deaths from 2089 in 2002 to 15 259 in 2018 and an increase of multiple outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis infections related to injection drug use. Yet research has not examined whether heroin injection is increasing | JAMA Open, USA

Trump Administration Seeks Increased Funding to Continue Curbing Drug Crisis

Today [10th February], White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll released the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Drug Control Budget, which requests $35.7 billion for counter-drug efforts, an increase of $94 million from the previous year | The White House, USA

Trump is running on criminal justice reform but just praised China’s execution of drug dealers

“States with a very powerful death penalty on drug dealers don’t have a drug problem,” the president claimed, falsely | VOX, USA

What's the best way to administer the opioid OD antidote?

In the midst of a U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse, knowing how to quickly administer the anti-overdose drug naloxone could save a life | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis use consistently leads to increase in susceptibility to false memories

A team of researchers from The Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Germany and the U.S. has found evidence showing that the use of cannabis consistently leads to an increase in susceptibility to false memories | Medical Xpress, USA

CDC, States Update Number of Hospitalized EVALI Cases and EVALI Deaths

As of Feb. 4, 2020, 2,758 cases of hospitalized EVALI or deaths were reported by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). As of Feb. 4, 2020, 64 deaths have been confirmed in 28 states and the District of Columbia | CDC, USA

What are the reasons that smokers reject ENDS? A national probability survey of U.S. Adult smokers, 2017-2018

The objective was to examine the reasons smokers have discontinued or chosen not to use electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) | Science Direct, USA

Vapers show chemical changes in their genome linked to cancer

This is the latest study from a Keck School of Medicine of USC research team to show e-cigarette users develop cancer-related molecular changes similar to smokers | EurekAlert, USA

New Study Suggests Raising Taxes On E-Cigarettes Could Encourage Traditional Smoking

Sin taxes are excise taxes imposed on goods or behaviors - like booze and cigarettes - that lawmakers deem harmful. In addition to raising revenue, the idea is that bumping taxes high enough should trigger a slowdown in the behavior | Forbes, USA

Drug Checking—An approach to chemical anarchy

People use drugs. This is an inescapable reality that has been tormenting policymakers and legislators around the world. From ancient times, human beings seek altered states of consciousness, frequently via the use of psychoactive substances | Erowid, USA

Study: Opioid Substitution Meds, Not Detox, Prevent Overdose

The only treatment interventions associated with reducing an opioid use disorder patient’s overdose risk are buprenorphine and methadone, according to a new study. But only a minority of OUD patients are actually on these medications—and most are not even on them for long enough to reap the benefits | Filter Magazine, USA

Banning GHB at Raves Is Dangerous

I slipped out of a stall in the dimly lit basement bathroom of a Brooklyn soul food restaurant, sliding a frosted glass dropper bottle and chubby three-milliliter pink syringe into my friend’s hand as she quickly replaced me | Filter Magazine, USA

Can Weed Cure a Hangover?

Cannabis can quell nausea, alleviate anxiety, and dull pain. So we looked at the evidence for it as a hangover cure | VICE, USA

Anti-stigma campaign addresses addiction, teaches students mental-health literacy

The student-run campaign uses social media to break down the science behind addiction and share personal stories of people affected by it | University Affairs, Canada

International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement - survey

We are thrilled that you are interested in helping us understand the most important health outcomes for people with psychosis, personality disorder, and/or disorders related to substance use or addictive behaviours (including gambling and gaming). We hope to use the results to make sure that our recommendation reflects what matters most to you | ICHOM, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Safer Nightlife

Last week (7 February 2020), the latest version of the Safer Nightlife guidance went live. Now an online resource Safer Nightlife provides the latest key advice for everyone who works in pubs, clubs and at festivals on how to manage drugs safely | Russell Webster, UK

Why don’t we just… regulate MDMA?

Every weekend people of all ages flock to the venues of the north’s vibrant and varied dance music scene, raving together in huge warehouse-style venues or small specialist nights in spaces commandeered or custom built for clubbers | Big Issue North opinion, UK

A Paradigm Shift

I first started working in gambling disorders 25 years ago in Melbourne Australia. The service was and still is funded specifically for gambling disorders and related problems. A few years into the field, I noticed a phenomenon that a large proportion of cases who came to seek treatment had in fact experienced another addictive disorder at the same time or at some other point in their life | BASIS, USA

The Experiment of the Canadian Marijuana Market

The Canadian marijuana experiment is intertwined with the global market system, the international financial system, the investment world, the entrepreneur, the small business owner, the government regulators, the occasional recreational consumer, and the habitual consumer | Points blog, USA