Daily news - 20th January 2020

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

‘Ready to Drink’ Alcoholic Beverages

Popular ‘ready to drink’ pre-mixed spirits sold in major UK retailers are unnecessarily high in hidden sugar and calories and should be forced to reformulate immediately to the agreed criterion set by government in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) or pay the fine– according to a NEW product survey by Action on Sugar at Queen Mary University of London to mark Sugar Awareness Week (20th-26th January 2020) | Action on Sugar, UK

'Equivalent of four doughnuts': experts warn of high sugar in alcopops

Calls for tax hike as analysis shows one pre-mixed drink contains 15 teaspoons of sugar | Guardian, UK

Almost three quarters of drinkers unaware of links between alcohol and cancer, poll claims

Nearly 80 per cent say they will continue to drink after learning of risk | Independent, UK

Mental health: needs of gang-affiliated young people

A briefing on the burden of mental illness faced by young people involved with gangs, part of the 'Ending Gang and Youth Violence' programme | PHE, UK

How a boy from Vietnam became a slave on a UK cannabis farm

It was a horrifying death for the 39 Vietnamese nationals found in the back of a trailer in an industrial park in Essex, in October last year. The story shone a light on the subterranean world of people smuggling and human trafficking, reports Cat McShane, specifically the thriving route between Vietnam and the UK | BBC, UK

Tyler Peck drugs death: Mother jailed for 10 years

A mother who gave her son prescription drugs that led to his death has been jailed for 10 years | BBC, UK


International news

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 20 January 2020

Rubbing shoulders in this bulletin, interventions with different methods and aims derived from differences in what we value most and how we see drug use: always bad, or only bad if it causes harm. Within the harm-reduction tradition, turning heroin into a medication to reduce illegal use of the same drug and needle exchange to prevent disease spread, but also brain stimulation methods targeting craving and dependence plus spiritual and religious interventions helping people take what for many are ‘12 steps’ toward recovery | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Brexit explained: Can I still bring back alcohol from the EU?

For years the ability to hop across the channel to buy cheap wine and beer has been one of the advantages of being in the EU | BBC, UK

Medicinal cannabis may not ease sleep problems in the long run

Medicinal cannabis might not ease sleep problems in people with chronic pain over the long term, because frequent users might build up tolerance to its sleep-inducing effects, suggests preliminary research published online in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care | Medical Xpress, USA

More than two million patients with heart disease report use of marijuana

Even as more states begin to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use and more marijuana products become available for consumption, marijuana's cardiovascular effects are not well understood | Medical Xpress, USA

New research confirms lingering mood benefit of psychedelics

People who had recently used psychedelics such as psilocybin report a sustained improvement in mood and feeling closer to others after the high has worn off, shows a new Yale study published the week of Jan. 20 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | Medical Xpress, USA

Release of First-Ever National Clinical Guidelines on Substance Use Disorders among Older Canadians

Canadian healthcare providers now have the tools they need to better support the prevention, assessment and treatment of older adults at risk of, or living with, substance use disorders. The Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health (CCSMH) officially launched 4 sets of Clinical Guidelines on Substance Use Disorders in Older Adults today | CCSMH, Canada

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. This report consolidates the most recently available information on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia, and includes key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment for vulnerable populations. Further, information on a range of health, social and economic impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are highlighted | AIHW, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Forward supports Reform's call for increased funding to tackle worsening prison drug problem

Commenting on the report released today about increasing drug problems in custody by independent think tank Reform, Mike Trace, Chief Executive at The Forward Trust (formerly Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust), said... | Forward Trust, UK

Vaping is still at least 95% lower risk than smoking - debunking a feeble and empty critique

The commentary claims to show the “invalidity” of the statements made by Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) regarding the relative risk of vaping and smoking – in short that vaping is likely to be at least 95% lower risk than smoking | The Counterfactual blog, UK

Callum's Story

My new co-pilot crunched a quarter of a tablet into powder and says do you want a line? I hadn’t used anything more than the odd bit of smuggled cannabis in prison before. “Subby geez ye a good buzz, we aw take it in here” my copilot says. Subutex was the new jail drug and was king and master of Barlinnie, I fell under its deadly spell that day. Addicted from that day forward for the next 4 years | First Time Inside, UK

The Trip Report

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Twitter's 'Secret Drug Addict' Talks About Cocaine at the Height of Britpop

We spoke to the man behind it about addiction, his time working with Oasis and why he thinks the UK is in the midst of a drug death crisis | VICE, UK

A compelling NZ academic argument to end cannabis prohibition – from 1975

Later this year New Zealand will vote on whether to legalise cannabis, but it’s far from a new idea, as a 1975 study reminds us. Alice Webb-Liddall looks at the views of two Otago University academics, 45 years apart | The Spinoff, New Zealand