Weekly news - 5th May 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Fentanyl, the Drug Deadlier Than Heroin, Has Reached the UK

Everything you need to know about the drug that has already caused a spate of fatal overdoses | VICE, UK

Legal highs: Calls about spice to addiction helpline ‘increased by 25%’ since Government ban

Founder of Addiction Helper treatment helpline reveals 25 per cent rise in calls about spice since the Government ban: ‘It hasn’t made a blind bit of difference. More and more people are using this stuff’ | Independent, UK

Would You Drink ‘Fake Booze’? Distribution and Consumption Patterns of Counterfeit Alcohol

On Tuesday 2 May, Jon Spencer, Reader in Criminal Justice, is convening an Expert Group Meeting with stakeholders from the UK and Ireland to engage in dialogue on the distribution and consumption of counterfeit alcohol in the UK | University of Manchester, UK

New laws on cigarettes and tobacco coming into effect this month 

Small cigarette packs of 10 and tobacco rolling packs of 10g and 20g will be axed completely. Menthols and a variety of fruit, candy, spice, herbs, alcohol and vanilla flavoured tobacco will also be included in the ban | Independent, UK

Standardised tobacco packaging: will banning branding cut down smoking?

Cochrane UK’s Sarah Chapman looks at what new Cochrane evidence can tell us about the health impacts of standardised tobacco packaging (or ‘plain’ packaging), ahead of its full enforcement in the UK next month | Cochrane, UK

Research reveals the addictive potential of a drug legally available in the UK and other countries

New research into a widely available anti-inflammatory drug by psychopharmacologists at the University of Sussex has discovered the first neurological evidence of its rewarding properties, sparking warnings around it being used as a recreational substance especially in rehab clinics and detention facilities | Medical Xpress, USA

Further death linked to 'deadly heroin batches'

Police have issued a further warning to heroin users after the death of a 43-year-old man in West Yorkshire | BBC, UK

Intervention targets personality traits of high-risk London pupils

Can tailoring school-based drug use prevention to the personalities of
individual pupils improve on generally poor results from drug education?
A study in London gives a partial 'yes' in respect of cannabis use,
though there are reasons to question the findings and whether such
programmes can be widely implemented | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Study looks at cannabis ingredient's ability to help children's tumours

UK research into cannabidiol (CBD) comes after surge in parents administering it to children without medical advice | Guadian, UK

NHS gives first medical cannabis prescription to 11-year-old boy with severe epilepsy

Billy Caldwell has been taking cannabis oil for his seizures since visiting a US doctor in November | Independent, UK

Naloxone Conference 2017

Presentation videos | SSA, UK

Adult drinking habits in Great Britain: 2005 to 2016

Teetotalism, drinking in the week before interview, frequent drinking and units drunk, including changes in drinking patterns in recent years | ONS, UK

Official Statistics: Local Alcohol Profiles for England: May 2017 data update

Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) data update for May 2017 | PHE, UK

Are Britons falling out of love with booze?

Britain has always been known as a nation that loves a tipple. But the latest Office for National Statistics lifestyle survey suggests this may be coming to an end | BBC, UK

Official Statistics: Local tobacco control profiles for England: May 2017 data update

The Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England quarterly data update for May 2017 | PHE, UK

Violent crime 'moving into homes'

More violence is happening behind closed doors in people's homes, documents obtained by the BBC reveal | BBC, UK

'Offenders need positive role models'

After spending almost two decades in and out of prison for drugs and violence offences, Eddie has turned his life around and now works as a mentor to young offenders | BBC, UK

The talking route to recovery

Time to consolidate the lessons of last five instalments of the online course on alcohol treatment research. Every treatment involves direct or indirect human interaction, but this row is about therapies in which interaction is intended to be the main active ingredient | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Pharmacists warned to look out for fentanyl-tainted heroin

Pharmacists have been asked to raise awareness of contaminated heroin after "several recent deaths" linked to the drug cut with synthetic opioids fentanyl and carfentanyl | Chemist and Druggist, UK

The Story of Spice, the Street Drug That's Not Going Away

It had humble beginnings, but the formerly legal high is now a runaway threat wreaking havoc on Britain's streets and prisons | VICE, UK

'Social smokers' face same risk of heart disease as everyday users, research finds 

Smoking the odd cigarette when out with friends may seem relatively harmless, but a new study suggests it can be as dangerous for the heart as an everyday habit | Telegraph, UK

‘A Better Tomorrow’ for Ex-Convicts Seeking to Escape the Past

If you had unpaid drug debts at HMP Hewell, Trevor was the man you did not want to run in to. “I was number one hitman in Hewell,” he explains. “If someone didn’t pay a debt, I was the one going in there and smashing them up | Volte Face, UK

Intimate Partner Violence and Drug Use - podcast

This week, Rob, Elle and Lindsey find out what's the crack with Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and drug use. They talk to Karen Bailey from King's College London about her research and experience working with IPV and drug and alcohol use. We discuss some of the myths, prevalence and patterns of behaviour that are associated with IPV as well as some of the issues facing those seeking treatment and help following an abusive relationship | What's the crack?, UK