Daily news - 8th January 2020

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UK news

Urgent review of the classification of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and closely related compounds under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the scheduling of both drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (PDF)

Letter to the ACMD from Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP | Home Office, UK

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, financial year ending 2019 second edition

Update: Following the initial release of data, some corrections were received from Border Force which affected data on seizures of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Revisions have therefore been made to Summary Table 1, Summary Table 4, Area Table 1, Area Table 3, Appendix Table 3 and Appendix Table 4 and Chapter 2 and 3 of the publication | Home Office, UK

Law Society tells firms to swap boozy work events for escape rooms and pizza making to prevent sexual harassment and bullying

The Law Society has urged firms to swap boozy work events for escape rooms and pizza-making evenings in order to combat sexual harassment and bullying | Telegraph, UK

Smokers with mental health conditions

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) together with the University of Bath and the University of York have produced five inspiring new videos showing the journey of smokers with mental health conditions who’ve successfully quit and call on health professionals to do more to help others do the same | ASH, UK

Here is what we can learn from relapse prevention to help us with our new year’s resolutions

By February, 80 per cent of the UK will have failed to keep their 2020 goals. Sally Marlow and Ian Hamilton explore what we can learn from those who have overcome drug dependency to help us achieve ours | Independent, UK

Acids and Water: Time to go back to basics

One thing that has remained unchanged for our clients in the UK is that, when using brown heroin and crack cocaine, they need an acid and water source to prepare the drug for injection. Fortunately, one thing that has changed in the last 20 years is that they now have access to sterile acidifier powders and other paraphernalia as part of the harm reduction response | NNEF, UK

Bereavement support

Bereavement Through Addiction was founded in 2009 by two parents, as a result of their experience of losing their son. BTA host a monthly support group for family members and friends who have lost a loved-one through alcohol or drug use at BDP Brunswick Court. Find out upcoming dates by downloading the latest flyer | BDP, UK

New NHS gambling clinic set to open in Sunderland

A new National Health Service (NHS) clinic to tackle gambling addiction is set to open in Sunderland | Shields Gazette, UK


International news

'Most terrifying experience of my life': Cats viewers on seeing the film on drugs

Hundreds of people told the Washington Post about seeing the Tom Hooper-directed movie while using mind-altering substances | Guardian, UK

How to Check Drug Interactions With Hep C Medications

In the United Kingdom, half of surveyed people who inject drugs had been infected with hepatitis C (HCV), and some cities in the United States see comparable proportions. And HCV medications, or direct-acting antiretrovirals, bear some risks when used alongside certain illicit drugs | Filter Magazine, USA

Alcohol-related deaths have increased in the United States

An analysis of death certificates suggests that the number of alcohol-related deaths doubled in the United States between 1999-2017 | EurekAlert, USA

Vaping increases odds of asthma and COPD

Using data from a large federal government telephone survey of adults, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report evidence that inhaling heated tobacco vapor through e-cigarettes was linked to increased odds of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), conditions long demonstrated to be caused by smoking traditional, combustible cigarettes | Medical Xpress, USA

FDA documents analysis reveals inadequate monitoring of safe opioid use program

A risk-management program set up in 2012 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to curb improper prescribing of extended-release and long-acting opioids may not have been effective because of shortcomings in the program's design and execution, according to a paper from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers pursue single-dose gene therapy to treat cocaine addiction

In a radical new approach to treat cocaine addition, researchers at the Mayo Clinic are seeking approval for first-in-human studies of a single-dose gene therapy | Medical Xpress, USA

Horses offer emotional healing to recovering addicts, others facing mental health challenges

Tim Funk slid open the barn doors, and his herd of horses thundered into the arena, kicking up thick clouds of dust that mixed with their steamy breath to dance on the slivers of afternoon sunlight that peeked through the windows | Medical Xpress, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

National, regional, and global burdens of disease from 2000 to 2016 attributable to alcohol use: a comparative risk assessment study

Alcohol use has increased globally, with varying trends in different parts of the world. This study investigates gender, age, and geographical differences in the alcohol-attributable burden of disease from 2000 to 2016 | The Lancet, UK

Growing concerns about Fentanyl

Last Friday (3 January 2020) the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) published a new report on the Misuse of Fentanyl (and Fentanyl analogues). As many readers will know, Fentanyl is a licensed medicine used for anaesthesia and pain management | Russell Webster, UK

Groundhog decade not brave new world

“I was removed from my position as Chief Advisor of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in October 2009. A decade later, UK drug policy has done nothing but go backwards. We are currently in a worse position now than we were 10 years ago... | Drug Science, UK

Magic Cures and their Discontents: The Belladonna Treatment in the Early Twentieth-Century

When Bill Wilson had the “spiritual awakening” at the upscale Charles B. Towns Hospital in New York City that would inspire the founding and program of Alcoholics Anonymous, he probably didn’t know the strange, at times sinister, history of the treatment that made his transcendent experience possible | Points blog, USA