Weekly news - 3rd August 2018


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In date order - Monday to Friday

People who inject drugs: HIV and viral hepatitis monitoring

Data tables and commentary for the unlinked anonymous monitoring surveys of infections and risk among people who inject drugs (PWID) | PHE, UK

Around 80% of people don’t realise hepatitis C can lead to cancer

PHE is working with the Hepatitis C Trust to raise awareness of the infection this World Hepatitis Day | PHE, UK

Letter from Sajid Javid: scheduling of Cannabis-derived medicinal products (PDF)

Letter to ACMD from the Home Secretary | Home Office, UK

Alcohol treatment in the prison system: fit for purpose?

A new Ministry of Justice (MoJ) analysis raises further questions over alcohol treatment options for prisoners. The MoJ 'Data Lab report [pdf]assesses the outcomes of 435 offenders engaged with the Forward Trust Alcohol Dependence Treatment Programme (ADTP) but found no improvement in outcomes compared with a comparison group | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Youth fund doubled to £22m to aid violent crime prevention

The government is to double the funding for an early intervention scheme tackling violence among young people, as part of a “public health” approach to combatting knife crime and other offences | Guardian, UK

Middle-class cocaine use fuels London's rising violence, says Sadiq Khan

Mayor says action needed against party-goers who buy drug as well as gang members | Guardian, UK

Air travel: Campaign warns holidaymakers of drink risks

Holidaymakers have been warned their getaways could be ruined if they drink too much at airports or on flights | BBC, UK

Smoking can increase cost of life insurance premiums by 65%, analysis reveals

New analysis by MoneySuperMarket today reveals that smoking, including e-cigarettes, can increase the cost of life insurance premiums by as much as 65 percent, which equates to over £312 every year | News Medical, UK

Stop 'super-cool' e-cigarette from taking off among kids, UK told

Ultra-discreet Juul device accused by US campaigners of luring children into addiction | Guardian, UK

Alprazolam (Xanax): What are the facts?

Over the past year, there has been increasing media coverage about alprazolam (typically referred to by the brand name Xanax), highlighting what is being seen as a rise in the number of young people using it.  Most of the media reports have described individual cases or reports from treatment services, and there has been little discussion of the research evidence or the actual data | PHE Blog, UK

Substance in cannabis 'could boost pancreatic cancer treatments'

Scientists say cannabidiol could extend patients’ lives by a matter of years | Guardian, UK

Brain’s sense of pleasure and reward “blunted” in alcohol dependent individuals

New study shows that a crucial part of the brain’s reward system is “blunted” in alcohol dependent individuals, even after long periods of abstinence | Imperial College London, UK

Health visitors 'must ask parents about alcohol' to combat sudden infant deaths

Health visitors and other professionals should do more to deliver safe sleep messages to high-risk families to reduce sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI) | CYPNow, UK

Illegal drugs samples tested at Kendal Calling in Cumbria

Almost 150 samples of illegal drugs were tested during a four-day music festival | BBC, UK

Warning have been issued about Donald Trump pills in circulation

They were found to contain over 250mg of MDMA | MixMag, UK

The public health burden of alcohol: evidence review

[Updated] This review looks at the impact of alcohol on the public health and the effectiveness of alcohol control policies | PHE, UK

Crackdown on online pharmacies that sell opioid painkillers welcomed by medical experts

Plans to ban online pharmacies that sell opioid painkillers by prescribing drugs to people who have completed internet questionnaires have been welcomed by experts | Evening Standard, UK

UK gangs 'using vulnerable people's homes to stash drugs'

Practice known as cuckooing leaves victims facing violence and abuse, police warn | Guardian, UK

Blaming Middle Class Coke Users for Street Murders Is PR Nonsense

The line has been parroted by politicians and law enforcement officials, but it is wrong for so many reasons | VICE, UK

Middle-class cocaine users are hypocrites, says Met chief

Cressida Dick criticises those with progressive politics whose drug use is fuelling violence and ‘misery’ | Guardian, UK

Every university 'needs' Alcoholics Anonymous meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings should take place in universities across the UK, student leaders have said | BBC, UK

Middle-aged non-drinkers may have 'higher risk' of dementia

Long-term study tracking Londoners aged 35 to 55 also found link to heavy drinking | Guardian, UK [See BMJ editorial and blog in Blog section below]

Cocaine use on the rise in richer English and Welsh homes

Cocaine is increasingly becoming a marker of the UK’s socioeconomic divide, official figures suggest | Guardian, UK

Cocaine: The drug that is more than a middle-class problem

"Middle-class" cocaine users have been accused by police and politicians of fuelling crime. But who actually uses the drug? | BBC, UK

No proof that moderate drinking prevents dementia

The study found that people who do not drink alcohol in middle age are 45% more likely to develop dementia than those who drink within UK recommended limits (no more than 14 units a week). But the same study found that dementia risk also increased for people who drank over the recommended limits | NHS Choices, UK

Get involved in International Overdose Awareness Day 2018

International Overdose Awareness Day takes place on 31st August. The day aims to raise awareness of overdosing and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death, as well as share information and advice: teaching people how to help reduce the harm caused by overdoses | NHS, UK