Daily news - 25th February 2020

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UK news

England predicted to miss target of becoming smoke-free by 2030

The government is expected to miss its targetof England being smoke-free by 2030 because so many poorer people are still using cigarettes, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has warned | Guardian, UK

Britons turn to alcohol to beat loneliness

More than one in ten (12%) Britons who experience loneliness are drinking to cope, according to a Turning Point/YouGov poll. The survey of more than 2,000 British adults reveals the issue is greater in the North (21%) than the South (10%), with the North West (26%) the most affected region in Britain | Turning Point, UK

Footprints Survey Report 2020 - Residential Registered Care Services

Every two years at Phoenix we ask the people who use our services the questions other people probably haven’t asked them. People who access services, particularly for substance use issues are asked a lot of questions. But our Footprints survey asks the questions that give us an understanding of the life lived before a person comes to us | Phoenix Futures, UK

Hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment, impact on engagement and behaviour of people who inject drugs, a service evaluation, the hooked C project

There is emerging evidence that Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment engagement is associated with change in drug behaviours and reduced drug‐related death rates among people who inject drugs (PWID). The project aims to investigate whether HCV diagnosis and treatment engagement reduces all‐cause mortality and drug‐related death, and whether any effect is dependent on treatment regimen and intensity of engagement with staff | JVH, UK

Inside the Middlesbrough clinic where heroin users get a 'last chance'

Sitting in one of four booths, looking at himself in the mirror under a bright light, James injects himself with diamorphine - pharmaceutical heroin | BBC, UK

Mock drug consumption room to go on show in Glasgow

A Mock drug consumption room will be set up at a conference in Glasgow this week ahead of the UK Drug Death Summit being held in the city | Glasgow Times, UK

Expert issues three step plan to help tackle drugs deaths crisis ahead of crunch Glasgow summit

Addaction Scotland chief Andrew Horne lays out the policy changes that will help save lives in Scotland | Daily Record, UK

Call for 'date rape' drug GHB to be reclassified

A mother whose son was found dead with high levels of the drug GHB in his system is calling for the drug to be reclassified | BBC, UK

Spirits duty cut in the budget would boost the economy, report says 

Think tank co-founded by Margaret Thatcher says duty freeze could lead to increased investment and exports for the UK | Telegraph, UK

Government appoints new Pubs Code Adjudicator

Fiona Dickie has been been named as the new Pubs Code Adjudicator |
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Pubs Code Adjudicator, UK

Aspire research to improving patient care

A Doncaster service has joined forces with research teams in Yorkshire and the USA in a bid to improve the future care and treatment for people experiencing drug and alcohol problems | Aspire, UK

Gangs: Call to use stop and search more often on women

A woman who was "forced" into a gang has called for police to use stop and search powers more often on girls and young women in order to "save them" | BBC, UK

Life changing drug treatment scheme yields positive results

Participants on Middlesbrough’s groundbreaking new drug treatment have called the scheme “life changing” as early findings show their offending has reduced significantly since its launch | PCC for Cleveland, UK

Brierley Hill cannabis factory deaths: Two more arrests

Khuzaimah Douglas, 19, and Waseem Ramzan, 36, died after about seven men targeted an address in, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, on 20 February | BBC, UK


International news

Channel 4 Dispatches - The Secrets of Big Tobacco: Has Philip Morris Really Given Up Smoking?

Over a decade has passed since major tobacco companies were found to have misled the public over the dangers of smoking. In 2008, Philip Morris International – or PMI - was spun off from one of those firms into a new company, headquartered in Switzerland. Now PMI says it wants to deliver a smoke free future. Considering the controversial history of Big Tobacco, can this campaign be trusted? | Channel 4, UK

The Jamaica Deportations Reveal the Racial Injustice of the UK's Drug Laws

Rhetorically, drug policy is objective and indiscriminate. Practically, it is quite the opposite. As the recent deportations over minor drug offences make clear, the drug war produces profoundly different outcomes depending on race | Talking Drugs, UK

Programming document 2020-22

The Programming Document 2020-22 translates the long-term priorities defined by the EMCDDA Strategy 2025 into short-term operational priorities. The year 2020 marks the end of the first strategic roadmap and the beginning of the second one (towards 2025) and is a time for mid-term assessment and reflection on the way ahead | EMCDDA, Portugal

Alcohol ads lead to youth drinking, should be more regulated, experts say

 The marketing of alcoholic beverages is one cause of underage drinking, public health experts conclude. Because of this, countries should abandon what are often piecemeal and voluntary codes to restrict alcohol marketing and construct government-enforced laws designed to limit alcohol-marketing exposure and message appeal to youth | EurekAlert, USA

Childhood physical abuse linked to heavy cigarette use among teens who smoke

Researchers have known that kids who are at high risk of being mistreated at home—who live in poverty or have parents who use drugs or have mental health problems—are more likely to start smoking | Medical Xpress, USA

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma starts ad campaign for claims

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma launched an ad campaign Monday to tell people harmed by their powerful prescription opioid where they can file claims against the company | Medical Xpress, USA

Teaching Children How to Reverse an Overdose

In rural Carter County, Tenn., health officials have embraced a strategy for stemming addiction: Teaching children as young as 6 how to administer Narcan, a nasal spray that can stop an opioid overdose from being fatal | NYTimes, USA

Number of overdose deaths in B.C. decreased last year for first time since 2012

British Columbia’s death toll from overdoses decreased last year for the first time since 2012, but health officials say the crisis is far from over | Globe and Mail, Canada

Alcohol too easy for minors to buy online

In an Australian first, public health researchers examined the sales, marketing and delivery practices of the 65 most popular online alcohol retailers in Australia, and the easy access to liquor—for anybody willing to buy it—shocked them | Medical Xpress, Australia

Methamphetamine use and its impact on violence laid bare in world-first study

Almost a third of middle-aged New Zealanders have tried methamphetamine at least once, according to a new University of Otago, Christchurch study looking at the link between using the drug and violence in the general population | Medical Xpress, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Vaping and heart disease: setting the record straight

In June 2019, a paper by prominent US academics found that people who used e-cigarettes were at greater risk of a heart attack. The authors concluded that e-cigarettes were just as risky as tobacco in provoking heart attacks, and that using e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes at the same time was even riskier | Conversation, UK

Alcohol control policies and alcohol-related traffic harm in Lithuania: a short summary of a success story

Mindaugas Štelemėkas chronicles the country's recent developments in alcohol policy | IAS blog, UK

If you’re ageing and on medication, it might be time to re-assess your alcohol intake

Drinking patterns tend to change as we age. The older we get, the more likely we are to drink on a daily basis. But older adults often perceive that drinking is only a problem if a person appears drunk | Conversation, Australia