Weekly news - 20th January 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Inquiry to look at police and cybercrime after drugs in the post investigation

Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Yvette Cooper wants the UK to learn from countries like New Zealand, where there are closer links between police and the postal service | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Drugs In The Post - video

Is your postman unknowingly delivering drugs ordered online? Newsbeat finds that few checks take place in the UK's postal system, with users saying they are so sure their orders will arrive, they are trying out new drugs | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Hospital vaping ban sends 'mixed message' about dangers, says public health expert

Smoking tobacco products was banned in all Scottish hospital grounds in 2015, but individual health boards can choose whether to allow "vaping" - smoking electronic cigarettes which give smokers a nicotine fix without tobacco | Herald, UK

Over 1000 doctors sign letter calling for new tobacco plan for England

The doctors including former presidents of royal colleges are right to draw attention to the urgent need for a new Tobacco Control Plan (1,2). A move that the Institute of Health Promotion and Education endorses | BMJ, UK

Alcohol Use Disorders (EKU18) - podcast

Alcohol use disorders are common in general practice. Its use is linked to at least 60 diseases and linked to premature mortality. Dr Alan Cohen, author of the EKU18 module on Alcohol Use Disorders speaks to Dr Sally Higginbottom about this topic | RCGP, UK

Newsnight - BBC iPlayer

Naloxone investigation (starts around 13.45) | BBC Newsnight, UK

Why addicts take drugs in 'fix rooms'

Britain could soon see its first "fix room" for drug users - a safe space where addicts can take illegal narcotics under medical supervision. But who uses such places and how do they work? | BBC, UK

Public health experts call for ban on alcohol advertising in UK

Public health experts have called for a ban on alcohol advertising in the UK in light of new research that claims the industry’s marketing practices encourage young people to drink | Guardian, UK

Special Issue: The Regulation of Alcohol Marketing: From Research to Public Health Policy

Large selection of open access articles | Addiction, UK

Alcohol flips brain into hungry mode

Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered | BBC, UK

Cannabis for epilepsy: is there enough evidence of efficacy?

Parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy are searching for something to help, and some are turning to cannabis to try to reduce seizure frequency. With clinical trials of cannabidiol-based drugs under way, evidence for this treatment option may soon be forthcoming | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

What's the Crack - podcasts

Barely a week goes by without legal highs, binge drinking, or the latest celebrity rehab hitting the headlines. But have you ever wondered what the facts are behind drug and addiction news stories? Three researchers from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London – Rob Calder, Elle Wadsworth, and Lindsey Hines – want to know: What’s The Crack? | Rob Calder, Elle Wadsworth and Lindsey Hines, UK

Early signs show legal high ban is pushing sales from the high street to street dealers

In the first six months after a new law banned the sale and production of psychoactive substances in Britain, over 31 shops have been shut and four people convicted. But there are early indications that the law could actually be increasing the street market for synthetic cannabinoids – commonly known as “spice” – but at higher costs | Conversation, UK

Rebalancing Act

This resource is structured around the themes of policy; prevalence; and partnership and governance. In adopting this approach, we have tried to provide an introduction to the context, the need for action, and to highlight some of the activity being undertaken now in local areas to try to address some of the challenges outlined here | Revolving Doors, UK

Safeguarding: provision of personal, social and health education

Children and Social Work Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 10th January 2017 | They work for you, UK

Study reveals how alcohol shifts brain into 'starvation mode'

"Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered," BBC News reports | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK

Young people’s statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS): financial year ending March 2016

Results from the NDTMS on the number of young problem drug and alcohol users in contact with specialist treatment agencies and general practitioners between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016 | PHE, UK

Specialist substance misuse services for young people

Public Health England (PHE) commissioned The Children’s Society to undertake scoping research in early 2016, to understand some of the opportunities and challenges currently facing those now responsible for commissioning and delivering young people’s specialist substance misuse services and to outline some critical good practice principles | PHE, UK

What we know about young people in alcohol and drug treatment

This week PHE has published two important documents about young people’s substance misuse | PHE Blog, UK

New advice on reducing health inequalities in the criminal justice system

Local bodies can use new advice to close the shocking health gap between people in the criminal justice system and the wider population | PHE, UK

Upcoming business: Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Transference of responsibility for drugs policy and rehabilitation of drug users from the Home Office to the Department of Health – Lord Hylton Oral questions | They work for you, UK

Health effects of marijuana and cannabis-derived products presented in new report

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of scientific research published since 1999 about what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products | EurekAlert, USA

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research

In one of the most comprehensive studies of recent research on the health effects of recreational and therapeutic cannabis use, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of relevant scientific research published since 1999. This report summarizes the current state of evidence regarding what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including effects related to therapeutic uses of cannabis and potential health risks related to certain cancers, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries | National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, USA