Weekly news - 6th January 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Children warn of smoking risks in hard-hitting campaign

New PHE film shows children creating personal images and warnings about the damage smoking causes to convince smokers to stop | PHE, UK

Psychoactive substances ban 6 months on: almost 500 arrests and first convictions

Nearly 500 people have been arrested since the government’s landmark Psychoactive Substances Act came into force 6 months ago | Home Office, UK

'Ban driven new psychoactive substances underground'

The new law to crack down on designer drugs has seen no prosecutions or cautions issued in three of the four Welsh police force areas | BBC, UK

Drink-driving: Thousands caught over the limit twice

More than 8,000 motorists have been caught driving over the limit twice in the past five years, according to the DVLA | BBC, UK

Young alcoholics cases on rise, survey shows

A growing number of young people are seeking help for alcohol addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous says | BBC, UK

NHS turning into 'national hangover service', health chief warns

The NHS is being transformed into the "national hangover service" as binge drinking diverts vital resources, the head of the health service in England said | Independent, UK

Fatal heroin overdoses to rise again, charity warns

Fatal heroin overdoses will rise in 2017 because of the strength of the drug and the number of users unknown to the services, a charity has warned | BBC, UK

Health chief's alcohol advice 'could have been better'

England's chief medical officer has admitted she could have chosen her words better when she told women to "do as I do" and consider the risks of breast cancer when drinking wine | BBC, UK

I’ll say it again: E-cigarettes are still far safer than smoking

Despite evidence suggesting e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, more people than ever believe them to be just as harmful. Professor Linda Bauld discusses the evidence | Guardian, UK

Are you having a Dry January? How to get through the month without drinking

It's a truth universally acknowledged that January is by far the worst four weeks of the year. A joyless, misery of a month that lurks in the shadows of our Twixmas hangover, poised to stifle our Yuletide glow and drag us kicking and screaming back to the humdrum of the 9-5 | Telegraph, UK

Women's binge drinking given more coverage than men's, says study

Women who binge drink are portrayed more negatively by the media than men who do the same thing, according to new research | BBC, UK

MHRA statement on products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) - updated

Our primary concern is patient safety and we wish to reiterate that individuals using cannabidiol (CBD) products to treat or manage the symptoms of medical conditions should discuss their treatment with their doctor. MHRA will now work with individual companies and trade bodies in relation to making sure products containing CBD, used for a medical purpose, which can be classified as medicines, satisfy the legal requirements of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 | MHRA, UK

E-cigarettes: regulations for consumer products - updated

Preliminary guidance on how to get an e-cigarette on the market in the UK, including the notification scheme and reporting problems with e-cigarettes | MHRA, UK

Problem drinking raises risk of heart attack and heart failure, study shows

Problem drinking can increase a person's chances of heart attack and heart failure, a new study has shown | Telegraph, UK

Alcohol drinkers struggle to reduce intake due to their partners' encouragement, says research

'It would be far healthier to talk through your bad day rather than turn to a glass of wine', says Drinkaware ambassador | Independent, UK

Gambling addiction triggers the same brain areas as drug and alcohol cravings

Gambling addiction activates the same brain pathways as drug and alcohol cravings, suggests new research | Science Daily, UK

Doctors urge Theresa May to publish anti-smoking strategy

In a letter to the PM, medical professionals say plan is essential to cut smoking rates, which are highest among poorest in society | Guardian, UK

Teenager who died at Fabric nightclub took MDMA, inquest told

Jack Crossley, the second teenager to die within six weeks of visiting the club, took a fatal dose of drug, toxicology report found | Guardian, UK

DrugScope library archive

Excellent progress is being made on making DrugScope library available | Wellcome Institute, UK

Is your postman delivering drugs?

Large amounts of illegal drugs are being delivered unknowingly by UK postal workers with few checks, Radio 1 Newsbeat has found | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Revealed: How thousands of London children are exposed to Scientology group in schools

Tens of thousands of schoolchildren have been exposed to a Scientology organisation through drugs education presentations, the Standard has learned | Evening Standard, UK

Scottish Conservatives call for action on cannabis as hospital admissions reach 10-year high

The SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison, however, said that drug use among the general population 'continues to fall and levels among young people remain low' | Independent, UK

Calls for rethink on vaping ban in hospital grounds

Vaping should be allowed in hospital grounds and in certain public places to prevent misleading messages over the harm of using e-cigarettes, public health experts say | Scotsman, UK

Alcohol policy in 2016 & what's in store for 2017?

By most accounts 2016 was a turbulent year in national and world politics; in UK alcohol policy terms it was by no means uneventful either - the revised drinking guidelines for instance. Looking forward to 2017, it could prove another significant year with the end of Scotland's Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) legal saga finally in sight, but potentially a new one beginning with Brexit's impact on alcohol to be played out | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Nurse-led brief intervention versus standard advice

A UK study of nurse-led alcohol interventions found reductions in
excessive drinking across all patients, but no significant advantage for
a structured brief intervention over standard advice. This study from
2006 is being revisited as part of our programme to fill gaps in
analyses of key studies highlighted in the treatment matrices whose
findings remain important to UK practice | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Short-term effects of announcing revised lower risk national drinking guidelines on related awareness and knowledge: a trend analysis of monthly survey data in England

To evaluate short-term effects of publishing revised lower risk national drinking guidelines on related awareness and knowledge. To examine where drinkers heard about guidelines over the same period | BMJ Open, UK

This Game Claims To Be Able To Help You Quit Smoking

‘People think games are frivolous, but we learn a lot through play.’ | Huffington Post, UK

2016: A Year in the World of Drugs

It’s probably fair to say that 2016 will not go down in history as one of our finest years | Volte Face, UK