Daily news - 22nd January 2020

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UK news

Call to tax 'hidden' sugar in pre-mixed alcoholic drinks

Many "ready to drink" pre-mixed spirits are packed with excessive sugar and hidden calories and should be subject to a sugar tax like fizzy drinks, health experts say | BBC, UK

Tranquillisers: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure specialist withdrawal services are available to support patients dependent on prescribed benzodiazepine and z drug tranquillisers | They work for you, UK

County Lines

What the Met is doing to target so called Drug Lords to cut off funding and logistics support to County Lines, and would the Deputy Commissioner offer a private briefing for Assembly Members on the subject? | They work for you, UK

Up in smoke: You could be fined £5,000 and banned from driving for vaping behind the wheel

Motorists who use e-cigarettes while driving can find themselves in hot water with police if the clouds of vapour obscure their vision | The Sun, UK

On-line course explores the effectiveness of alcohol screening and brief interventions

First instalment of a fortnightly course on the evidence for alcohol treatment and related topics. This instalment selects, explains and explores seminal and key research on the effectiveness of screening and brief interventions, intended to reduce harm across a population of heavy but not dependent drinkers. “Invaluable,” “a godsend,” “useful and brilliantly written,” “phenomenal ... tremendous ... fantastic,” say subscribers | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The Complicated Relationship Between Drugs, Sex and Consent

Findings from the first ever study looking into consensual sex following drug taking | VICE, UK

People prescribed opioids for pain sought for research on overdose prevention

Researchers from the University of Stirling and NHS Fife are conducting a study to better understand what can be done to reduce drug-related overdose and death among people who are prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain | SDF, UK

Drug Policy Voices survey

The purpose of this survey is to include the experiences and opinions of people who have used drugs, plant-based medicines and other psychoactive compounds into the debate about the future of drug policy in the UK.  We believe in giving a voice to a range of people that have personal experiences as they are often most affected by policy but often left out | Drug Policy Voices, UK

Hannah Steinberg obituary

Pioneer of psychopharmacology who was one of the first researchers to test systematically how psychoactive drugs affect the mind | Guardian, UK

Prison counsellor jailed for smuggling drugs after inmates threatened him to become courier 

Aprison counsellor has been jailed for smuggling drugs inside a jail after he was threatened by inmates to become a courier when he scuppered their deals | Telegraph, UK


International news

World Health Organisation: E-cigarettes are harmful to health and are not safe

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued its strongest warning to date about e-cigarettes, claiming they increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders | Telegraph, UK

E-cigarettes: how risky are they?

E-cigarette FAQs | WHO, Switzerland

EMCDDA and CICAD give seal of approval on latest joint work programme activities

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is in Washington today where he will meet Ambassador Adam Namm, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) | EMCDDA, Portugal

No joke: Denmark to cut kids off from laughing gas

Denmark plans to ban sales of laughing gas to minors to prevent them from using the substance—which is used for making whipped cream or filling balloons—to get high, officials said Tuesday | Medical Express, USA

E-cigarette popularity on Instagram is still growing despite an FDA anti-vaping campaign

A first-of-its-kind study of over 200,000 Instagram posts showed that positive vaping hashtags are used 10,000 times more often than an FDA awareness campaign hashtag, highlighting limited impacts to address the growing use of vaping among young users | EurekAlert, USA

JUUL use more than doubled among U.S. teens, young adults in one year

Between 2018 and 2019, use of JUUL vaping devices doubled among U.S. young people aged 18 to 20 and more than tripled among those aged 21 to 24, a new study finds | Reuters, USA

New Jersey law bans sale of flavored vaping products

The sale of flavored vaping products is banned in New Jersey under legislation Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed Tuesday | Medical Xpress, USA

Feds to let states tap opioid funds for meth, cocaine surge

Alarmed by a deadly new twist in the nation's drug addiction crisis, the government will allow states to use federal money earmarked for the opioid epidemic to help growing numbers of people struggling with meth and cocaine | Medical Xpress, USA

Patient-centered care in substance addiction research - How far have we come and where are we going?

Recently, patient centered care (PCC) has been gaining momentum as a treatment strategy. Simply put, PCC aims to prioritize each patient's unique needs by fostering patient-physician communication and shared decision making | BASIS, USA

Study: Non-medical cannabis use is more common in adults suffering from pain

A new study from researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons found that non-medical cannabis use--including frequent or problematic use--is significantly more common in adults with pain than in those without pain | News Medical, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s Blog 96: The WHO reneges on universal health rights for all

On 10th  December 2017, the Director General of the WHO Tedros Ghebreyesus released this statement on Human Rights Day. It was headed “Health is a fundamental human right” | NSP blog, UK

E-cigarettes: A mixed blessing?

E-cigarettes were barely heard of ten years ago and yet they are now the most widely used tobacco product within the US. E-cigarettes have been shown to be helpful in assisting adult smokers in quitting | The Psychologist, UK

Lord Brooke: We must empower local communities to tackle harmful drinking

A grown-up, joined-up approach to alcohol harms could strengthen the health of our nation, reducing health inequalities and supporting healthier and happier lives, writes Lord Brooke | Politics home, UK

Young risky drinkers: overrepresented as victims and perpetrators of alcohol's harms to others

Evidence highlights human cost of alcohol-related violence triggered by risky drinking behaviours | IAS blog, UK

We’ve fought hard to reduce the stigma around mental health – now the same must be done for addiction

As well as GPs, employers and politicians pushing for change, we also need the public to accept that addicts aren’t weak or feckless – they are trying to survive | Independent voices, UK

Our new user-focused website: 10 things we learned

Your first impression of an organisation like ours can be the difference between you getting help or not | CGL, UK

Why the war on drugs must end

Punishing people who make the personal choice to consume an illicit substance has no place in the 21st century | The Hill opinion, USA

Grand slammed: Aussie tennis fans hit with the most alcohol sponsors

The Australian Open is the world’s worst Grand Slam tournament when it comes to alcohol sponsorship and for placing kids at risk of alcohol harm | Drink tank, Australia