Daily news - 18th February 2020

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Pivotal THINK! campaign calls on young men to step in and stop their mates from drink driving

Young men are over-represented in alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries on the road. Intervention can help save lives | Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, UK

Take charge of battery safety when using e-cigarettes

Follow safety advice from OPSS and our partners to take charge of e-cigarette battery safety | Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Office for Product Safety and Standards, UK

Increased risk of HIV and other drug-related harms associated with injecting in public places: national bio-behavioural survey of people who inject drugs

[Open access] Whilst injecting drugs in public places is considered a proxy for high risk behaviour among people who inject drugs (PWID), studies quantifying its relationship with multiple drug-related harms are lacking and none have examined this in the context of an ongoing HIV outbreak (located in Glasgow, Scotland) | IJDP, UK

Rapid tests to help tackle Glasgow's HIV outbreak

New HIV tests that provide results in minutes have been introduced in Glasgow to help tackle the worst outbreak of the infection in decades. Drug users sharing needles are in the group most affected by the surge of HIV cases in Scotland's biggest city | BBC, UK

Who pays the tab? The distributional effects of UK alcohol taxes

Alcohol duty does not disproportionately burden worse-off households, according to new research from the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS). The analysis shows alcohol taxes account for a similar share of the incomes and budgets of rich and poor households alike, and at worst are only mildly regressive | IAS, UK

Higher alcohol taxes to fund NHS would benefit poor – study

Research appears to upend idea alcohol taxes are regressive and prompts call for rise in budget | Guardian, UK

What is Sober Spring?

Sober Spring is a three-month alcohol-sabbatical, running from 21 March to 21 June | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Keir Starmer Backs Police Forces That Avoid Arrests For Cannabis Possession

Former Director of Public Prosecutions says he would not decriminalise the drug "immediately". | Huffington Post, UK

Free webinar: Reducing drug-related deaths in criminal justice settings

Thu, Mar 12, 2020 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Presenters: Dr Jake Hard, Chair RCGP Secure Environments Group; Dr Dev Vrat Singh Clinical Lead in Substance Misuse; Person with lived experience. This webinar will cover issues in the criminal justice system regarding drug-related deaths, and measures that can be taken to reduce them. It will include provision of naloxone and approaches that can be taken in both secure environments and the community | SMMGP, 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

Men and Alcohol: What's Next? - free event

March 20th, 2020 at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, Alliance House, 12 Caxton St, Westminster, LONDON from 14:00-16:00. Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) are co-hosting a four part seminar series to discuss issues relating to men and alcohol | SHAAP and IAS, UK

Property firm Savills works with cannabis consultancy to aid farmers looking to export

Savills has formed a joint venture with Hanway Associates and greenhouse maker CambridgeHOK | Business Live, UK

Andrew Weatherall changed British music – and shunned the fame and glory he deserved

Andrew Weatherall, the DJ and producer who has passed away at age 56, didn’t look the part of the superstar deck-spinner. In his later years he cultivated an endless woodsman’s beard, the sort in which you expect to find small birds nesting | Telegraph, UK

London's 'oldest tavern' threatened with demolition – archive, 1911

18 February 1911: Surveyors are already busy taking measurements for a new thoroughfare that could threaten Cloth Fair’s Dick Whittington | Guardian, UK


International news

The great vape debate: are e-cigarettes saving smokers or creating new addicts?

The US is cracking down on vaping while the UK is promoting e-cigarettes as an aid to giving up smoking. Where does the truth lie? | Guardian, UK

Best of Alcohol and Alcoholism

Explore a selection of high impact articles published in Alcohol and Alcoholism. This collection brings together the best new research from the journal; collating the most talked about, the most read, and the most cited papers in 2019, as well as recent commentaries on the global debate on baclofen | Oxford Academic, UK

Opioid vending machine opens in Vancouver

MySafe scheme for addicts aims to help reduce overdose deaths in Canadian city | Guardian, UK

Inside the World's 'Only Official Prison Tattoo Parlour'

This behind-bars ink shop is preventing HIV and hepatitis, one teardrop tattoo at a time | VICE, UK

Mandatory minimum sentencing has done little to tackle serious crime

Three crimes incur mandatory terms, murder, firearms possession and drug dealing | Irish Times, Ireland

Reducing drug deaths made national priority under Operation Tara

Reducing drug deaths has been made a national priority for An Garda Síochána under a new operation similar to the high-profile crackdown on burglaries | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Naval staff shortage may see ship tied up while Ireland ‘awash with drugs’

The Naval Service is so under-resourced that there are fears it won’t be able to combat maritime drug shipments while at the same time adequately patrolling EU fishery waters post-Brexit | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Guinness Easter eggs blasted by alcohol industry watchdog

Diageo insisted that the product, which comes with six 'Guinness Chocolate Pints', is 'designed and positioned as an adult offering | Irish Mirror, Ireland

Dublin primary school challenges permission for heroin-injecting facility

St Audoen’s National School is near a homeless and drug service centre on the quays | Irish Times, Ireland

What has happened since - NordAN 2020 report

The Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network (NordAN) has launched a new report on alcohol and drug policy developments in Nordic and Baltic countries. Some of the cases the report takes a look at is: The changes in Lithuania`s alcohol policy, The liberation of Finland’s alcohol, The Norwegian Governments Oil Fund`s investments in companies related to marijuana production and taxation cuts on alcohol in Latvia and Estonia | Eurocare, Belgium

SF’s meth epidemic: City to open 24-hour sobering center as crisis devastates the streets

When it comes to the scary behavior San Franciscans see on our streets — people ranting at no one, stripping off their clothes or threatening strangers — there’s often a clear culprit: methamphetamines | SF Chronicle, USA

One in four opioid ODs involves kids and teens

More than a quarter of all opioid overdoses in the United States involve teenagers, and a full fifth of those cases were likely suicide attempts, new research shows | Medical Xpress, USA

Vapers Show Chemical Changes in Their DNA That Are 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 | SciTech Daily, USA

Growing push for Sydney's second medically supervised injecting room

The Berejiklian government is facing a growing push to set up a safe injecting room in western Sydney as data on overdose deaths show the opioid crisis has spread to the outer suburbs | SMH, Australia

Universities called on to make drug testing kits available during Orientation Week

The director of New Zealand's only festival drug checking service is calling on universities to help keep their students safe by providing their own drug testing services | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why working together is better than going it alone

Humankind has always worked in partnership to deliver exceptional services to local people. Our partnerships have allowed Humankind to provide great services across the North of England, including in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. These include partnerships with NHS Trusts, charities small and large, community interest companies and service user led organisations. In recent years, we have grown our service profile and range by over twenty percent as a result | Humankind, UK

Analysis: Tories should make a bold move on consumption rooms

On Wednesday, January 8, Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard stood up during Prime Minister’s Questions to ask Boris Johnson if he would consider ‘a change in the law to allow vulnerable addicts to consume substances in secure facilities under medical supervision.’ | Herald, UK

Dry January: A reflective account of a participating alcohol researcher

This blog post provides a reflective account of my own experiences participating in Dry January – an alcohol abstinence challenge initiated by Alcohol Change UK  that encourages people to reduce their levels of alcohol consumption | UWE Bristol, UK

ACI Regulatory and Compliance Lead Dr Parveen Bhatarah Responds to Questions Relating to FSA CBD Guidelines

In the aftermath of the FSA’s announcement relating to CBD regulation and precautionary health advice, the ACI’s Regulatory Lead, Dr Parveen Bhatarah, has compiled the following answers to some of the common questions being posed to the ACI | ACI, UK

Psychedelic drugs have lost their cool. Blame Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop

Mushrooms used to be the territory of hippies, explorers, indigenous people and artists. Now tech bros and wellness gurus have taken over | Guardian, UK

Nicotine science and policy Q & A

Welcome, this is my substantially upgraded 2020 Q & A on nicotine science and policy. It mostly focusses on nicotine vaping as an alternative to smoking, but most of the argument also applies to heated tobacco products, modern smokeless tobacco and new oral nicotine products | The Counterfactual blog, UK

Thank you, taxpayers, for smoking

As Australians have weaned themselves off tobacco, one part of the country has become more addicted to cigarettes and smoking. The federal budget. So addicted is the budget to the revenues gleaned from smokers that if this year the government delivers a surplus, it will be solely due to the nation's smokers | SMH opinion, Australia

Rethinking drug policy: Why ‘Just Say No Campaign’ is failing? — Samantha Chong

I attended an Anti-drug campaign during high school. “Don’t ever do drugs or your life will be ruined!” we were reminded again and again | Malay Mail, Malaysia