Daily news - 19th February 2020

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UK news

City checking: Piloting the UK's first community‐based drug safety testing (drug checking) service in 2 city centres

[Open access] To explore the feasibility of delivering community‐based drug safety testing (drug checking), to trial service design characteristics and to compare with festival‐based testing | BJCP, UK

Drug advisory panel candidate was blocked after criticism of Hunt

Exclusive: Graham Parsons denies his political views compromised his objectivity | Guardian, UK

Text messaging support helps smokers quit, but apps not yet shown to work

Text messaging support helps people quit smoking, more than minimal support such as self-help materials. Also, when text messaging is combined with another smoking cessation intervention, it is more effective than just that intervention alone. However, the evidence to support smartphone apps is absent or of poor quality | NIHR, UK

Management’s influence on alcohol screening and brief intervention

Key studies on management’s influence on the delivery and effectiveness of screening and brief intervention for risky drinking. UK guidance insists managers “must” support this work, but how far should they go to divert normal clinical practice, and is reserving brief interventions for non-dependent drinkers a big mistake? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Addiction doctors 'might not exist in a decade' report warns

Royal College of Psychiatrists blames funding cuts and loss of posts when services transferred to non-NHS providers behind fall in services | i news, UK

Plan to give addicts free heroin to cut crime and undermine drug trade

Police Commissioner Arfon Jones wants backing for his Heroin Assisted Treatment programme | North Wales live, UK

Guideline of the month: Cannabis-based medicinal products

In November 2018, then home secretary Sajid Javid announced that specialist doctors would be legally allowed to prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products in certain situations, following several high-profile legal battles | Pulse, UK

Addressing Partner Abuse Perpetration by Men in Substance Use Treatment

Thu, 27 February 2020. 13:00 – 14:00 GMT. University of Leeds. Substance use is strongly and consistently associated with intimate partner abuse (IPA) perpetration. The rate of IPA perpetration is up to 4 times greater among men in substance use treatment compared to men in the general population | School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, UK

Kids on Drugs - audio

Three kids get kicked out of school every day for something to do with drugs or booze. The Next Episode investigates why, meeting the playground buyers and sellers | BBC, UK

Drugs in prisons - audio

Melissa and Jade speak to Viv, a former prisoner who talks about drug use in prisons and how to get help and treatment | BBC Hooked, UK

Leeds Class A drugs delivered quicker than takeaway, BBC finds

How quickly can you get Class A drugs delivered in the UK? In Leeds, students say dealers with business cards can bring them cocaine and ecstasy in half an hour. But as I found out, it can be even quicker than that | BBC, UK

Cornwall cocaine driver hit 130mph on M5 in police chase

A driver high on cocaine was chased by a convoy of police cars and a helicopter as he hit speeds of 130mph on the M5 | BBC, UK


International news

Why People in the UK Don't Use Meth

The drug is pervasive in the United States. Why hasn't it gained a foothold in Britain? | VICE, UK

Over-the-counter painkiller could alleviate emotional pain – but should you use it?

A study has suggested that a readily available pill can ease heartache but there are other ways to address your mental health | Guardian, UK

UK confectionery expert helps produce legal cannabis gum in US

UK confectionery expert Andy Baxendale has been recruited by a US firm to develop a range of legal cannabis-based chewing gum, responding to a notable surge in demand for sweets infused with the drug | Confectionary Production, UK

Who, what, where, and when? Examining adolescent substance use with routine activity theory

When studying why teenagers use drugs, it is important to consider the environments that allow substance use to occur: How do teens access drugs? | BASIS, USA

Community LGBTQ supportiveness may reduce substance use among sexual minority adolescents

A new research study provides novel insights into community-level predictors of lifetime substance use among a sample of 2678 sexual minority adolescents | EurekAlert, USA

American Heart Association Journal Finally Retracts Study Implying That E-Cigarettes Cause Heart Attacks Before People Use Them

The journal's editors recognized the problem before publication, but the authors failed to address it | Reason, USA

My Friend Died Because of Philly’s Addiction-Treatment Smoking Ban

Imet Bobby in 2011, when we were both residents in a local recovery house. Bobby was 19 years old and I was 37, so it’s an understatement to say we had initial difficulty finding common ground. But over time we developed a close friendship, a bond which helped to lay the foundation for my recovery from opioid addiction and my path to wellness | Filter Magazine, USA

New Report Reveals Huge Market For CBD Pet Products

The booming CBD market has spawned a very interesting subset within its category—pet products. Recently, Nielsen, the well-known measurement company and Headset, a provider of data and analytics for the legal cannabis industry, unveiled a new report that shows there's a huge market opportunity for CBD pet products | Forbes, USA

'Alcohol can cause lifelong harm to your baby': Regulator approves new warning label

Australian drinkers will be warned "alcohol can cause lifelong harm to your baby" under a new mandatory labelling scheme approved by the regulator, unless state and federal ministers veto the plan | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Collective Voice responds to Commission on Alcohol Harm

Below we publish our response to the Commission on Alcohol Harm, which has been established to examine the current evidence on alcohol harm, recent trends in alcohol harm and the changes needed to reduce the harm caused by alcohol | Collective Voice, UK

Wales’ most vulnerable drinkers at risk from Minimum Unit Pricing

Increased awareness of MUP and improved access to treatment services essential as legislation disproportionately affects low income drinkers | Kaleidoscope Project, UK

Minimum unit pricing: what can we learn from the 1700s?

With MUP due to be introduced in Wales on 2 March 2020, alcohol consultant Lauren Booker considers how we can look to the 1700s to ensure that MUP makes a change that lasts | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Could Labour’s next leader be in favour of cannabis law reform?

Over the past few years, drug reform has become a hot topic in the Labour Party. It was only fitting, then, that one of the questions put to the Labour leadership candidates during the televised Channel 4 debate last night asked whether they would decriminalise cannabis | Labour List, UK

Bristol: Take Drugs Seriously

Transform recently partnered with the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England to host a series of events showcasing the diverse range of work being done around drugs and drug policy in the city | Transform, UK

Inside Mexico’s war on drugs: Conversations with ‘el narco’

In this blog, Dr Karina Garcia Reyes shares her experience interviewing Mexican drug cartels for her PHD research. Which sheds light on the catastrophic impact of drug prohibition and how it fails to protect vulnerable people from harm and the futility of governments to fight violence with violence | Anyone's Child blog, UK

“A Sovereign Remedy”: Grimault & Co’s Asthma Cigarette Empire

Most today agree that smoking is, medically speaking, bad for you. From the Surgeon Generals’ first warnings in 1964 through the anti-tobacco media campaigns of the Truth Initiative to the growing and controversial trend of vaping | Points blog, USA