Daily news - 6th March 2020

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UK news

Fundraising plea after Telford girl's epilepsy diagnosis

The family of a six-year-old girl are trying to raise £15,000 for a cannabis-based treatment after she was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy | BBC, UK

Free webinar: Medical cannabis and the treatment of pain

Tue, Mar 24, 2020 7pm - 8pm. Presenter: Dr Sunil Arora, Consultant in Pain and Anaesthetics. Chair: Dr Steve Brinksman, SMMGP Clinical Director. This webinar will include: the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of pain
Lucy Stafford - a patient with lived experience | SMMGP, UK

Meetings and Conferences

List of conferences and meetings in the field of subtsance use from now until the end of the year | SSA, UK

Northern Gambling Service

New service. The NHS Northern Gambling Service (also known as the Northern Gambling Clinic) provides specialist addiction therapy and recovery to people affected by gambling addiction, as well as those with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and suicidal feelings. We also provide help to people close to those with gambling addiction, such as family, partners, and carers | Leeds and York NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Drug trafficker jailed for raping women in East Lothian

A cocaine and cannabis trafficker who raped young women in East Lothian when they were under the influence of drugs has been jailed for 10 years | BBC, UK

Paignton head stab attack: Drug gang members jailed

Two members of a gang who dealt more than £1m of drugs have been jailed for the attempted murder of a man stabbed in the head | BBC, UK


International news

Groundbreaking Oregon Ballot Initiative Prioritizes Health over Punishment for Drug Use

The proposed initiative, The Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, would increase access to health and harm reduction services, establish new treatment centres, eliminate criminal penalties for drug possession for personal use, and decrease other penalties | Talking Drugs, UK

Coronavirus: Don't use vodka to sanitise hands

A rush on hand sanitiser to protect against the coronavirus has seen homemade versions spring up, including one based on a handmade vodka. But vodka maker Tito's quickly shot down a tweet suggesting the use of its spirits is strong enough for that purpose | BBC, UK

Scientists discover new repair mechanism for repairing alcohol-induced DNA damage

Researchers have discovered a new way in which the human body repairs DNA damage caused by a degradation product of alcohol. That knowledge underlines the link between alcohol consumption and cancer | Science Daily, USA

Device helps deliver electronic cigarette vapors for research

The increased use of electronic cigarettes and vaping products has increased the need to better understand how and if addiction to these products is different than in traditional cigarettes. One way to objectively measure addictive potential is through changes in the brain, but researchers say a limited number of methods currently exist to deliver the vapor (called aerosol) during magnetic resonance imaging, commonly called MRI | Medical Xpress, USA

Caffeine boosts problem-solving ability but not creativity, study indicates

While the drug is known to increase focus, alertness and motor skills, its effect on creative thinking had not been studied previously | EurekAlert, USA

How Former Soviet Countries Are Suppressing Harm Reduction “Propaganda”

Lawmakers in the former Soviet Union are seeking to impose harsher criminal penalties for drug-related “propaganda,” especially online. Their efforts are ostensibly supposed to keep people from promoting drug use. But local advocates fear that this approach will persecute those doing harm reduction work for people using drugs or living with HIV/AIDS | Filter Magazine, USA

Worldwide, Executions for Drug-Law Violations Are Increasing Again

Ali Reza Madadpur was waiting outside a house in Iran in November 2011. He had come for his first day of a cleaning job, thankful for any work after dropping out of university and struggling to make a living | Filter Magazine, USA

I Collect Drug-Dealer Text Exchanges. They're Hilarious and Revealing

A conversation with the person behind Shotta Texts, the popular Instagram handle that posts classic exchanges between dealers and customers | VICE, USA

Who Drives After Using Drugs? A Review of Prominent Characteristics

Explores the prominent characteristics of people who drive after using drugs and the circumstances under which this behaviour occurs. Better understanding of the characteristics of target groups of drivers is a critical step in reducing the prevalence of drugged driving and the negative consequences associated with it | CCSA, Canada

Toronto Just Opened A Ketamine Clinic To Help People With Depression

Field Trip Health is offering guided ketamine trips to people dealing with depression and anxiety | VICE, Canada

Risks Of Smoking When Pregnant Greater Than Risks Of Using Smoke-free Products

A review of studies on the effects of nicotine on pregnancy outcomes concluded that there is no reason to doubt that switching to smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products is better than continuing to smoke | Scoop, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry's blog 98: Science and Sense beat Smears and Propaganda 5-0 (after lots of extra time)

At the start of the year, the storm clouds of anti-tobacco harm reduction (THR) were darkening, threatening as ever the lives of smokers looking to switch or stop. But in the bleak mid-winter, rays of reason have shone a light on those that needed to be called to account | NSP blog, UK

8 things to know about e-cigarettes

Vaping is not risk free but is far less harmful than smoking. Our advice remains that people who smoke are better to switch completely to vaping but if you have never been a smoker, don’t start to vape | PHE blog, UK

Alan Simpson: Football and alcohol can have a healthy relationship

Most people like a drink after a big sporting occasion.Some are to celebrate, but many, like mine always tend to be, are to drown our sorrows after a defeat | Herald, UK

How not to talk to your children about drugs

[Free regsitration may be required] Whether discussing caffeine, cannabis or cocaine, young people can detect insincerity and exaggeration, explains author Dr Suzi Gage | Telegraph, UK

Naloxone saves lives. Tainting it with criminality will mean people die

At any time of the day or night, Indiana’s first responders may be seen delivering opioid overdose victims to hospital emergency departments. Often those patients are still alive only because someone — an emergency medical technician, a police officer, a loved one or a bystander — restored their breathing by administering the overdose-reversing drug naloxone | Washington Post opinion, USA