Daily news - 24th January 2020

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UK news

First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP

Interviews with young people under 18 years old who reported drinking alcohol found that Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) did not impact on the their acquisition, consumption or related behaviours, either positively or negatively. Many of the products favoured by the young people were, on average, already being sold above 50 pence per unit before MUP was introduced | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Trends for 2020: Nearly 60% of people trying lower alcohol substitutes

The latest survey from the alcohol social responsibility body the Portman Group shows that over half of alcohol drinkers (59%) have at least tried a low alcohol product (products with an ABV of above 0.05%, up to 1.2%) | Portman group, UK

Smoking: Public Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to ban smoking at the entrances of public buildings | They work for you, UK

Cannabidiol: Selling and marketing CBD products - video

Users of cannabidiol, better known as CBD, say it has medicinal benefits, but those who sell it - as an oil, a cream, or even a bath bomb - are not allowed to make any medical claims | BBC, UK

Drugs charity pinpoints used needle locations in Torquay and Bristol

There are fresh warnings about the huge scale of the West Country's drugs problem. It follows the publication of maps which reveal that thousands of needles were discovered across heroin hot-spots of Bristol and the Torbay area in recent months. Drugs charity Transform, which has a base in Bristol, used Freedom of Information requests to show exactly where discarded needles were found | ITV, UK

Could a safe room for users be the solution to city's drug 'crisis'?

A city councillor believes Norwich could be the ideal place to pilot a "safe space" scheme for drug users in a bid to address what he describes as a "crisis" hitting the city | Eastern Daily Press, UK

More x-ray scanners installed in prisons

Birmingham, Liverpool and Winchester will be the latest three prisons to receive the technology before it is rolled out to others later in the year | ITV, UK

Gangsters are stashing knives in playgrounds to get round stop and search

Gangsters are stashing knives, guns and drugs in children's playgrounds in order to circumvent the increase in stop and search, a senior police officer has said | Telegraph, UK

Portsmouth: Jack Whatmough reveals alcohol and gambling problems while injured

Portsmouth's Jack Whatmough says he battled alcohol and gambling problems while recovering from knee surgery | BBC, UK


International news

Tobacco harm reduction and the right to health (PDF)

People smoke for the nicotine. They die from the tar. Many people want to quit, but repeatedly fail. What if 1.1 billion smokers had access to safer alternatives? And what happens if that access is denied? Tobacco harm reduction and the right to health offers an introduction to what we mean when we talk about harm reduction and tobacco harm reduction. Denying smokers access to safer nicotine products is denying them their right to health - and millions of lives are at stake | GSTHR, UK

Jhon Viáfara: Colombia extradites ex-footballer to US on drugs charges

Former Colombian international footballer Jhon Viáfara has been extradited to the US on drug trafficking charges | BBC, UK

Researchers who quizzed kids about cannabis didn't ask about Class A drugs

Researchers who questioned children for a major Department of Health study on everything from their teeth to smoking cannabis didn’t ask them about Class A drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Anabolic androgenic steroid dependence is associated with executive dysfunction

Anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) dependence is associated with a high prevalence of intra- and interpersonal problems, hence it is central to identify cognitive factors related to the development and maintenance of dependence | DAD, Norway

Smoking Cessation A Report of the Surgeon General (PDF)

The purpose of this report is to update and expand the 1990 Surgeon General’s report based on new scientific evidence on smoking cessation. Since 1990, the scientific literature has expanded greatly on the determinants and processes of smoking cessation, informing the development of interventions that promote cessation and help smokers quit. This report summarizes this enhanced knowledge and specifically reviews patterns and trends of smoking cessation; biologic mechanisms; various health benefits; overall morbidity, mortality, and economic benefits; interventions; and policies that promote smoking cessation | HHS, USA

Not enough evidence that vaping helps smokers quit: US govt report

There is not enough evidence to conclude that e-cigarettes help smokers quit tobacco, a US government report said Thursday, as the vaping industry faces increased regulatory pressures | Medical Xpress, USA

'Bath Salts' Feel Like a Drug From the Past—But They're Still Wreaking Havoc

In some parts of the world they conjure wild memories from the 2010s. In Russia, they're more popular than weed | VICE, USA

The Futile Cruelty of the US-Led Drug War in Afghanistan⁠—What Now?

Areport published last month by the Washington PostThe Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war⁠—confirmed what many of us already knew about the war on opium in Afghanistan: It was a staggering, costly failure | Filter Magazine, USA

Use of e-cigarettes and smoked tobacco in youth aged 14–15 years in New Zealand: findings from repeated cross-sectional studies (2014–19)

Media reports of a vaping epidemic among youth have raised concerns about the creation of a new generation of nicotine-dependent individuals who could graduate to cigarette smoking. We investigated the use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes in the youth of New Zealand from 2014 to 2019, with focus on daily use of these products as an indicator of potential dependence | The Lancet, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Scotland’s attitude to alcohol must change – leader comment

Minimum unit pricing of alcohol has resulted in a fall in sales, but more must be done before Scotland, as a nation, stops being a problem drinker | Scotsman, UK

We are the Cavalry that the next generation is waiting for

I want to call readers attention to a post on this site that really resonated with me. My colleague, Mr. Austin Brown, posted “Back to Basics 2” on January 20, 2020.  If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so.  He hits some very important points, you can find his post here | Recovery Review blog, USA

The Ayahuasca Phenomenon in Historical Perspective

I recently attended the third World Ayahuasca Conference, which was held in Girona, Catalonia/Spain. Ayahuasca is a brew that combines the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and a DMT-containing plant, usually of the psychotria viridis genus | Points blog, USA

How opponents of vaping aid and abet Big Tobacco

Many opponents of vaping think the practice is a big tobacco conspiracy to keep people smoking and hook more kids. The reality is that vaping is a huge and disruptive threat to the tobacco industry. Campaigns against vaping support the cigarette market and are a huge gift to Big Tobacco | Spectator, Australia

SWAB: Safely Wipe Away Bacteria - Findings on injecting practices from the IDRS

A relatively neglected source of day-to-day ill-health among people who inject drugs is bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissue (SSTIs). Usually when we talk about infections among people who inject drugs, we are talking about blood borne viral infections, such as HIV and hepatitis C | NDARC blog, Australia