Daily news - 17th January 2020

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UK news

Drug-Related and Drug-Misuse Deaths 2008-2018

There were 189 drug-related deaths registered in Northern Ireland in 2018. Half (95) of these deaths were of men aged 25-44. These are some of the findings of the statistics published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) | NISRA, UK

Drugs deaths in Northern Ireland reach highest level

The number of drug-related deaths in Northern Ireland soared to 189 last year, according to official statistics. The figure is 40% higher than 2017 (136), and has more than doubled over the last 10 years | BBC, UK

Economies of ale: changes in the UK pubs and bars sector, 2001 to 2019

Changes in the UK pubs and bars sector in the latest year, following 2018’s Economies of ale report | ONS, UK

UK pub numbers rise for the first time in a decade

The total number rose by 315, or 0.8%, last year to 39,130, driven by food sales | BBC, UK

Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Pilot

A pilot scheme requiring offenders to abstain from alcohol and wear an alcohol monitoring tag returned positive results, according to an initial report by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) | Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, UK

An Evaluation of Regulatory Regimes of Medical Cannabis: What Lessons Can Be Learned for the UK?

This paper evaluates current regulatory regimes of medical cannabis using peer-reviewed and grey literature as well as personal communications. Despite the legalization of medical cannabis in the UK in November 2018, patients still lack access to the medicine, with fewer than 10 NHS prescriptions having been written to date | Karger, UK

Factors that influence smokers’ and ex-smokers’ use of IQOS: a qualitative study of IQOS users and ex-users in the UK

[Open access] One of the most widely available heated tobacco products is IQOS by Philip Morris International. However, there is a lack of independent research exploring IQOS initiation and subsequent use among smokers and ex-smokers | BMJ Tobacco control, UK

Justice secretary hits back at criticism of nitrous oxide ban

Robert Buckland says laughing gas is dangerous after David Nutt argues beer is more toxic | Guardian, UK

Health: Vaping

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effect of vaping on public health | UK Parliament, UK

Motor Vehicles: Breathalysers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government plans to align with EU policy requiring Alcolock built-in breathalysers to be fitted in all new motor cars from 2022; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Dry - theatre show

Jan/Feb 2020. Edge of your seat drama about alcohol and the couple next door | Human Story Theatre in Partnership with Turning Point, UK

'My sister died after taking a line of cocaine'

Stacey Jordan still wonders whether she could have done more to save her sister | BBC, UK

Trust me I'm a doctor - BBC iPlayer

Dr Javid Abdelmoneim investigates what’s really in the cannabis-based health products you can buy over the counter | BBC, UK

Drink driving: Number caught drink driving up by 30%

The number of motorists caught drink driving in the PSNI's winter operation was almost a third higher than last year | BBC, UK

Lewis Bagshaw death: Man 'stabbed over family drug row'

A 21-year-old man was stabbed to death by a teenage drug dealer and three other men after confronting them over an attack on his father, a court heard | BBC, UK


International news

Midwives’ engagement in smoking- and alcohol-prevention in prenatal care before and after the introduction of practice guidelines in Switzerland: comparison of survey findings from 2008 and 2018

The current study assesses the changes in midwives’ engagement in smoking and alcohol use prevention before (2008) and after the introduction of the Guideline (2018) | BioMed Central, UK

'I was sexually abused by a shaman at an ayahuasca retreat'

The psychedelic powers of a traditional Amazonian plant medicine called ayahuasca are attracting more and more tourists. It's said to bring spiritual enlightenment and to help with addiction, depression and trauma. But a string of allegations suggests there's a darker side to the ayahuasca scene | BBC, UK

Drug gang violence in Sweden linked to 60% increase in bomb blasts

Last year 257 bomb attacks were reported to police, up from 162 in 2018 | Guardian, UK

Prohibition: US activists fight for temperance 100 years on

It is 100 years to the day since Prohibition came into effect. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution banned anyone in the US from selling, making, importing or even transporting alcohol | BBC, UK

CDC, States Update Number of Hospitalized EVALI Cases and EVALI Deaths

As of Jan. 14, 2020, 60 deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia | CDC, USA

Update: Product, Substance-Use, and Demographic Characteristics of Hospitalized Patients in a Nationwide Outbreak of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use–Associated Lung Injury — United States, August 2019–January 2020

Nationwide, most EVALI patients with data on product source reported acquiring THC-containing products from only informal sources, whereas most nicotine-containing products were acquired from commercial sources. EVALI patients aged 13–17 years were more likely to acquire both THC- and nicotine-containing products from informal sources than were adults | CDC, USA

Most youths surviving opioid overdose not getting timely treatment to avoid recurrence

A study of more than 4 million Medicaid claims records during a recent seven-year period concludes that less than a third of the nearly 3,800 U.S. adolescents and young adults who experienced a nonfatal opioid overdose got timely (within 30 days) follow-up addiction treatment to curb or prevent future misuse and reduce the risk of a second overdose | Medical Xpress, USA

The Case For Sending Drug Users Home From The Hospital With Open IV Lines

Two mornings a week, Arthur Jackson clears space on half of his cream-colored sofa and waits for a knock at his front door. He leaves a few rolls of tape and some gauze | wbur, USA

Johns Hopkins Scientists Give Psychedelics the Serious Treatment

The first research center of its kind in the country is bringing renewed rigor to the investigation of the drugs’ therapeutic uses | Scientific American, USA

More Cannabis Workers Are Unionizing as Legalization Rolls Forward

Cannabis industry workers are winning key battles to unionize and make labor provisions a part of legalization proposals. On January 14, 95 workers at cannabis company Cresco Labs in Joliet, Illinois joined the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881 (UFCW) union after a majority vote in favor | Filter Magazine, USA

Starting today, you can buy edibles online through the Ontario Cannabis Store

70 new items can be purchased online as of 9 a.m. local time | CBC news, Canada

St Vincent’s S-Check Model of Care

The St Vincent’s S-Check Model of Care provides guidance and tools for community-based specialist and non-specialist services to implement a low-threshold brief intervention for people who use methamphetamine and other stimulants and who are not yet receiving treatment | NCCRED, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Cannabis conversations: the role of the health care professional

In this blog, the authors of a recent review in Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, discuss the role health care professionals play in having evidence-based discussions with patients who use cannabis whether medical or recreational | BMC blog, UK

'Positive sobriety', Dry January & the rise of alcohol-free in 2020

It's hard to imagine many people won't have heard about Dry January this month as the alcohol-free trend appears to go from strength to strength. At least that appears to be the case for younger generations where rising numbers of teetotallers mark a significant departure from the picture of the alcopop-fuelled binge Britain around the high-tide of the millennium | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Drug policy and scientific morality

David Nutt is in the news again, talking about the dangers of alcohol (and incidentally promoting his book).  He was on Radio 5 this morning, I think, but this piece in The Guardian offers a good summary of his current position | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Vaping made me realise addiction forces you to confront how pathetic and powerless you are

Say what you want about smokers, we know how to endure an objectively unpleasant experience until it becomes faintly enjoyable | Guardian, UK

In Defense of the Concept of Addiction

The term—and concept of—“addiction” is regularly frowned upon or even attacked by people in our field. But it won’t disappear, nor should it | Filter Magazine, USA

On being cited by the Supreme Court

So, in late June of this year, I was reading a United States Supreme Court case.  Not something unusual for me, as I am legal historian as well as a historian of alcohol policy | Points blog, USA