Weekly news - 27th July 2018

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Opioids: Why 'dangerous' drugs are still being used to treat pain

The widespread use of opioids to treat pain frequently prompts concerns about addiction and even deaths. So, why are these sometimes dangerous drugs still being given to patients? | BBC, UK

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal smoking product on the market | PHE, UK

Cannabis Trades Association Receives Official Endorsement From the MHRA

This is long overdue recognition for the CTA's work which includes guidance to businesses on the law, regulations, professional and quality standards | Clear, UK

Police & Harm Reduction: How law enforcement can advance public safety, public health, and public confidence (PDF)

This is a briefing for law enforcement personnel around the world on how to incorporate, support, and create space for approaches that aim to increase public safety and health, reduce harm to people who use drugs, and provide law enforcement alternatives to common punitive models | OSF, UK

Prescribed medicines: an evidence review

Information and documents on Public Health England’s review of the evidence for dependence on, and withdrawal from, prescribed medicines | PHE, UK

Hepatitis C: tools for estimating disease burden

This tool provides ODN-level estimates of hepatitis C prevalence, diagnoses, treatment and severe hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease. This new tool is intended to support prevention, testing and diagnosis, and treatment activities at ODN level | PHE, UK

Warnings issued about Darth Vader pills that contain MDMA, ketamine and cocaine

They're blue and have led to numerous people falling ill | MixMag, UK

How cannabis and cannabis-based drugs harm your brain

Long-term use of either cannabis or cannabis-based drugs impairs memory say researchers. The study has implications for both recreational users and people who use the drug to combat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain | Medical Xpress, UK

Mamba: Societal Effect

I am delighted finally to lead this debate about the effect on society of the drugMamba, which is a growing issue both in my constituency and in similar towns across the UK | They work for you, UK

 iCARE - patient perspective of primary care treatment

The iCARE study: helpful aspects of treatment for substance use in primary care from the patient perspective. Dr. Paula Gomes Alves, Research Associate, University College London (UCL), presents her new NIHR-SPCR funded study | SMMGP, UK

Courts for addicted parents work. So why are they being stripped of support?

Family drug and alcohol courts keep children out of care and tackle dependency. But a funding crisis threatens their future | Guardian, UK

New device will stop drink-drivers from starting their cars

Police are to offer drink-drivers new devices which will breath-test them before their car starts in a first for the UK. Durham Police will pilot the scheme to fit alcohol “interlocks”, which mean the vehicle will be immobilised if the driver is over the limit | ITV, UK

City drug gangs priority says retiring police chief

angs intent on flooding north Wales with drugs will remain the top priority for the region's police force, its retiring chief constable has insisted | BBC, UK

Revealed: loopholes that let opiate addicts buy hundreds of pills online

People with addiction problems are able to order hundreds of powerful opiate painkillers by taking advantage of a lack of proper checks with registered online pharmacies, the Guardian can reveal | Guardian, UK

Blitz on drugs in prison underway

A £9 million project to clamp down on drugs supply and consumption at a single prison, with a major emphasis on tackling addiction, has been announced by Justice Secretary David Gauke | Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, and Jackie Doyle-Price MP, UK

Medical cannabis: what will pharmacy's role be?

How the UK has realised the benefits of medical cannabis and the involvement pharmacists could have in its supply | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Family Drug and Alcohol Court

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps are being taken to ensure that the graduation rate of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court is maintained beyond September 2018 | Guardian, UK

World Hepatitis Day 2018 Campaign

Worldwide, 300 million people are living with viral hepatitis unaware. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, we call on people from across the world to take action, raise awareness and join in the quest to find the “missing millions” | World Hepatitis Alliance, Various

Drug misuse: findings from the 2017 to 2018 CSEW

Examines the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a sample of 16 to 59 year old residents in households in England and Wales | Home Office, UK

Class A drugs return in popularity to levels not seen for 10 years

New figures reveal an upsurge in cocaine and ecstasy, which alarms the Home Office | Guardian, UK

Cannabis-derived medicinal products to be made available on prescription

Specialist clinicians will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products by the autumn, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced today | Home Office and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, UK

Medicinal cannabis: how two heartbreaking cases helped change law

Cases of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, who have severe epilepsy, along with lobbying, prompted change | Guardian, UK

Rise in prison assaults, self-harm and drug seizures signals crisis

A spike in the number of assaults and incidents of self-harm in prisons, as well as an increased number of phones and drugs seized, has prompted fresh warnings of a crisis in jails in England and Wales | Guardian, UK

Drug-user study to look at eliminating Hepatitis C virus

A major new study involving drug users is to explore a way of eliminating the killer Hepatitis C virus | BBC, UK

Curbs on legal highs cut need for hospital care

Fewer people sought hospital treatment for the toxic effects of so-called legal highs following temporary restrictions, a study based at an Edinburgh hospital suggests | Medical Xpress, UK