Daily news - 9th March 2020

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UK news

Exploring the Baseline Knowledge and Experience of Healthcare Professionals in the United Kingdom on Novel Psychoactive Substances

[Open access] An improvement within the self-reported knowledge of HCPs on NPS is evident in comparison to previous studies. Continued education of HCPs on NPS is fundamental for the provision of improved harm reduction services, which can enhance overall care for NPS service users | MDPI, UK

The use of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) within the homeless population: motivations, harms and the implications for developing an appropriate response

[Open access] Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) have become increasingly associated with a range of physical, mental health and societal harms. In response, several countries have introduced legislation aimed at restricting their supply and use | Addiction Research and Therapy, UK

'Urgent Advice' Needed To Protect Rough Sleepers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

As the illness spreads across the UK, charities want to make sure homeless people are safe | Huffington Post, UK

Last orders! Report calls time on boozy Westminster culture

MPs still binge drink more than average despite efforts to educate them, says BMJ survey | Guardian, UK

Revealed: Nearly three quarters of alcohol on UK shelves is being displayed without Government's safe drinking limits - four years after they were brought in

Nearly three quarters of alcohol bottles or cans are not displaying the Government's safe drinking limits four years after they were announced, an investigation has found. This included one in four that were showing the wrong, potentially harmful advice and claiming men could have up to 28 units a week and women up to 21 units a week | Mail Online, UK

Medicinal cannabis supporters hail new rules but insist wider NHS access must follow

Import restrictions have been relaxed to allow wholesalers to import in bulk, but still more needs to be done | i news, UK

HIV charity backs plans for unofficial drug consumption rooms

HIV Scotland said it would support individuals and charities operating a community-led facility if an official safe injecting room could not be established | BBC, UK

The impact of implementation of a national smoke-free prisons policy on indoor air quality: results from the Tobacco in Prisons study

[Open access] This is the first evaluation of changes in SHS concentrations across all prisons within a country that has introduced nationwide prohibition of smoking in prisons. All prisons demonstrated immediate substantial reductions in PM2.5 following policy implementation. A smoke-free prisons policy reduces the exposure of prison staff and prisoners to second hand smoke | BMJ, UK

Hooked: The Unexpected Addicts - audio

elissa and Jade speak to Josh Connolly about being a child of an addict | BBC Hooked, UK

Pregnancy: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent guidance he has issued to pregnant women on the effect of drinking alcohol during pregnancy | They work for you, UK

Seven pharmacies in Southwark to stop providing substance abuse services after cuts

Southwark Council funds pharmacies in the borough to provide clean needles and supervised drug taking – mostly methadone – to reduce the risk of death or overdose | News Shopper, UK

What it's like coming off heroin after a 20-year addiction

'It actually feels like the calf muscles are peeling off your bones... There’s stomach cramps, sweats, your sleep pattern goes out the window, and you’re on the toilet constantly' | Wales Online, UK

Leicester man who tried to throw socks into prison jailed

A man who tried to throw socks filled with drugs and tobacco into a prison has been jailed. Jon Bown, 43, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to conspiring to bring class B drugs into HMP Ranby in Retford, in February 2018 | BBC, UK

Grays drug burglars terrorised victims with chainsaws

Four men who attacked three innocent people in a failed aggravated burglary to get drugs and cash have been jailed | BBC, UK

Basingstoke teenager 'killed in drugs raid by rival gang'

A teenager was stabbed to death when drugs gang members raided the base of a rival group, a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Young Ukraine chess couple 'killed by laughing gas'

A 27-year-old Ukrainian chess champion and his girlfriend, 18, have been found dead in their Moscow flat, apparently poisoned by laughing gas | BBC, UK

Period of 2015 to 2018 saw increase in cannabis use in seniors

From 2015 to 2018, there was an increase in the prevalence of cannabis use among older adults, according to a research letter published online Feb. 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Study looks at lung injury and vaping THC and vitamin E acetate

The US has witnessed a spate of patients presenting with acute lung injury associated with e-cigarettes or vaping product use. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine shows the pattern of the outbreak in California where recreational cannabis use is legal and which has among the maximum cases of the strange illness | News Medical, UK

Record Expungement Is A Necessary Component Of Cannabis Legalization

People with drug convictions can have a hard time finding housing, a job or college funding. They often lose their right to vote and the ability to receive public assistance due to a combination of stigma and various state laws | Forbes, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Why we need to ask questions about the birth control conditions attached to treatment for women who use drugs

Dundee, the city with the highest rate of drug deaths in Europe, is the first place in Scotland to deliver the Pause intervention to 20 women from some of the city’s poorest areas | Conversation, UK

Using digital to help more people

How we built a new help and advice website for people with drug, alcohol and mental health issues | We are with you, UK

Shocking rough sleeper deaths show the NHS is failing those who need it most

People on the streets are dying decades early, often of treatable conditions | Guardian opinion, UK

The supply and demand for drugs will never end; meanwhile, vulnerable people are being needlessly criminalised - video

I've never known an area where drug dealers have been arrested and the supply of drugs has been stopped. Within hours, there was someone back selling drugs. It was never ending | MyPOV, UK

Time to take a break from sharing joints

I never thought I’d write a headline like that and actually mean it, sharing a spliff or whatever has long been a part of the cannabis culture. Sorry and I bet I won’t be popular for saying it but here goes: This is what I think is probably pretty obvious advice really, sharing spliff is a way to spread the disease | UKCIA blog, UK

Does knowing alcohol can cause cancer improve support alcohol policies?

Canadian research group study examines possibility | IAS blog, UK

Intoxicating Pharmacies? Apothecary Shops and New Intoxicants in Amsterdam, 1600–1850

Thinking about intoxicating spaces, apothecary shops are probably not what first springs to mind. Yet, these places are very relevant in discussing the assimilation of new intoxicants into European diets | Intoxicating spaces blog, UK