Daily news - 10th January 2020

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UK news

Tobacco Harm Reduction: Untapped potential, escalating threats

An invitation to the launch of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Briefing co-hosted by the London Drug & Alcohol Policy Forum and Knowledge Action Change – promoting public health through harm reduction.  Written and edited by Harry Shapiro and Ruth Goldsmith (ex-DrugScope) | London Drug & Alcohol Policy Forum and Knowledge Action Change, UK

Medical Cannabis: Recent Developments

This House of Lords Library Briefing provides information on recent developments surrounding cannabis use for medicinal purposes | Parliament.uk, UK

Meeting of the Parliament - Session 5 - Tuesday 7th January (PDF)

Discussion of drug-related deaths, from page 4 | Scottish Parliament, UK

Drug-related Deaths

Each and every death is a tragedy, and tackling this issue is a priority for me and the Government. We set up the drug deaths task force specifically to advise on measures to reduce deaths, and it will meet for the third time next week. We are also working with local services to implement our action plan to deliver our strategy to reduce alcohol and drug harm in Scotland | They work for you, UK

County Lines Drugs Gangs - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement of the Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall Police that children involved in county lines drugs gangs should be seen as victims not criminals | They work for you, UK

Police call for ban on anonymous pay-as-you-go phones

Police inspectorate says ban would help combat county lines drug operations | Guardian, UK

Local alcohol services and systems improvement tool

Guidance and tools to help plan and improve local alcohol systems, services and interventions to reduce alcohol harm, using the CLeaR approach. Updated information about the CLeaR enhanced support offer and peer assessment | PHE, UK

Changes in smoker characteristics in England between 2008 and 2017

At a time of declining smoking prevalence in England, it is useful to document any changes in the characteristics of smokers. This has implications for targeting tobacco control policies and interventions | Addiction, UK

Neighbourhood tobacco supply and individual maternal smoking during pregnancy: a fixed-effects longitudinal analysis using routine data

Tobacco policy is increasingly focusing on the ‘tobacco endgame’ which commits to eradicating tobacco use (prevalence below 5%) within the next two decades. Strategies for achieving the endgame are likely to include addressing the supply of tobacco products, yet current evidence to support this approach is primarily cross-sectional | BMJ, UK

Guidance - NDTMS: test scenarios for software suppliers

Guidance for software suppliers submitting core dataset P files to the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS). Updated by replacing test scenario document for dataset O with version for dataset P | PHE, UK

Nine ways Liverpool Council's budget plan could affect your life

We round up all the crucial information from the city council's major financial plans | Liverpool Echo, UK

Ross Kemp left unable to speak after inhaling spice for new documentary

Kemp said he smoked a version of the drug called Man Down, which ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ | Independent, UK

Five men and a woman arrested after £160k Belfast cannabis find

Cannabis with a street value of about £160,000 and £1,000 worth of Class A drugs and cash were recovered following searches at several properties | BBC, UK

Eight held in Blackpool £200k drug raids

Eight people have been arrested and Class A drugs with a street value of £200,000 seized in a series of raids in Blackpool | BBC, UK

Two men plead guilty to drug offences following cocaine seizure worth more than £20 million

Two men are facing lengthy jail sentences after police made one of the largest ever land seizures of cocaine in the UK | ITV, UK

Man jailed after £1m of cocaine found at Kent business

A man has been jailed after more than five kilograms of cocaine with a street value of £1m was found at a business | BBC, UK

Mother and daughter jailed over airport drug smuggling

A mother and daughter have been jailed after they were caught smuggling drugs into two different Scottish airports within 24 hours of each other | BBC, UK


International news

The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2018 (PDF)

This report presents data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey carried out in 2018 in the Republic of Ireland. This is the sixth time that data of this kind have been collected from young people across the Republic of Ireland; previous surveys were conducted in 2014, 2010, 2006, 2002 and 1998 | Department of Health and National University of Ireland, Ireland

Alcohol-related deaths increasing in the United States

An analysis of U.S. death certificate data by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that nearly 1 million people died from alcohol-related causes between 1999 and 2017. The number of death certificates mentioning alcohol more than doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017, the year in which alcohol played a role in 2.6% of all deaths in the United States | NIAAA, USA

Marijuana detected in homicide victims nearly doubles

Researchers assessed the time trends in alcohol and marijuana detected in homicide victims and found that the prevalence of marijuana almost doubled, increasing from 22 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2016. Alternately, the prevalence of alcohol declined slightly from 40 percent in 2004 to 35 percent in 2016 | Science Daily, USA

Explaining link between emotion and addictive substance use

What drives a person to smoke cigarettes? What role do emotions play in this addictive behavior? Why do some smokers puff more often and more deeply or relapse many years after they've quit? | Science Daily, USA

Vaping Kills a 15-Year-Old in Texas

The teenager was the youngest to die so far in the outbreak of lung illnesses that affected thousands of people | NYTimes, USA

Teen perceptions about e-cigarette health risks vary by socioeconomics and personal demographics

Teenagers' gender, sexual orientation, household income and their parents' level of education are among factors that impact whether they believe that nicotine, toxins and other chemicals in e-cigarette and vaping products are harmful to their health... | Medical Xpress, USA

American Lung Association’s “Quit, Don’t Switch” Campaign a Big Mistake

Nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit. In an effort to help them, the American Lung Association (ALA) recently launched its “Quit, Don’t Switch” campaign | Filter Magazine, USA

“An Abstinence-Based State”—Utah Harm Reduction Faces Unique Challenges

Deaths involving opioids, methamphetamine and other drugs have reached record highs in Utah | Filter Magazine, USA

How Emergency Departments Fail Pain Patients in Need

Since 2000, Anne Fuqua has been on opioid pain medications, including fentanyl and Oxycontin, notorious for their involvement in different waves of the overdose crisis. She has never experienced problematic use and believes she “wouldn’t be here” if she hadn’t had access | Filter Magazine, USA

Developing National Indicators for Drug-impaired Driving in Canada: Practices in Detection, Monitoring and Reduction

Canada lacks a standardized set of national indicators to adequately measure the full impact of drug-impaired driving (DID). This report summaries consultations with over 100 DID experts from across Canada. They provide insight on how DID data should be collected. A DID Indicators Advisory Committee will use the insights in this report and the expertise of committee members to develop a list of recommended indicators for DID | CCSA, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug-Related Death research mapping

In September 2019 DRNS conducted a mapping of research relating to drug-related deaths (DRD) in Scotland.  DRNS members and newsletter subscribers were asked to submit details of relevant research and PhDs. The report below summarises the information we received | DRNS blog, UK

How to stop smoking in 2020, according to science

Don’t stop quitting - each attempt gets you nearer your ambition of becoming a non-smoker | i news opinion, UK

Tweets about cannabis’ health benefits are full of mistruths

There has been a lot of talk in the U.S. about legalizing recreational cannabis, and about cannabis’ potential to help with health issues | Conversation, USA

The true cost of cannabis: Why don't its illnesses, deaths command media headlines?

I've covered things that injure, sicken and kill kids and adults for more than 30 years. From auto safety to medical errors, I've competed to break stories on the latest deadly defect or health policy change, most recently on electronic cigarettes | USA Today opinion, USA

No Elephant in the Room? The ADHS at AHA in NYC, and the end(!)(?) of the War on Drugs

Today’s post on the recent annual conference of the American Historical Association comes from contributing editor Bob Beach. Beach is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Albany | Points blog, USA