Weekly news - 28th September 2018


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Response to ACMD: cannabis-derived medicinal products, 21 September 2018

Home Secretary responds to the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs about scheduling of cannabis-derived medicinal products | Home Office, UK

Government announces definition for cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use will be available for specialist doctors to prescribe legally | Home Office, UK

Our right to know: How alcohol labelling is failing consumers (2018)

The AHA has launched a new report following an audit of alcohol labels in August and September 2018. In total, we reviewed 320 labels in 12 different locations across the UK. The report shows that fewer than 10% of the 320 alcohol products surveyed carry the current low-risk weekly drinking guideline of 14 units a week | AHA, UK

National County Lines Coordination Centre to crack down on drug gangs

The law enforcement response to county lines is set to be significantly strengthened as the National County Lines Coordination Centre becomes fully operational | Home Office, UK

Drugs gangs trick vapers with ‘spice’

Drug producers are capitalising on the rise of vaping to sell a liquid form of “spice” – an illegal synthetic substance nicknamed the “zombie” – to unwitting customers | Guardian, UK

Child awareness of and access to cigarettes: impacts of the point-of-sale display ban in England

[Open access]  England introduced a tobacco display ban for shops with >280 m2 floor area (‘partial ban’) in 2012, then a total ban in 2015. This study assessed whether these were linked to child awareness of and access to cigarettes | BMJ, UK

Exclusive: Labour To Fund 'Alcohol Care Teams' In Every English District Hospital

Shadow health secretary laments 'underfunded' and 'overwhelmed' addiction services | Huffington Post, UK

One in 20 of all deaths due to alcohol, says WHO

Report finds 13.5% of deaths among people in their 20s are linked to booze | Guardian, UK

Global status report on alcohol and health 2018

More than 3 million people died as a result of harmful use of alcohol in 2016, according a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) today. This represents 1 in 20 deaths. More than three quarters of these deaths were among men. Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5% of the global disease burden | WHO, Switzerland

Essex County Council delivers stop smoking support via vape shops

Using selected e-cigarette stores in Essex, training staff to deliver stop smoking support to their customers wishing to quit smoking by using an e-cigarette | PHE, UK

When could overweight and obesity overtake smoking as the biggest cause of cancer? (PDF)

While smoking rates have been falling, the proportion of the UK population who are overweight or obese has risen. And if these trends continue, obesity looks set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer at some point in the future. But when? | Cancer Research UK, UK

Obesity 'to be linked to more female cancers' than smoking

Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer in UK women by 2043, a Cancer Research UK report predicts | BBC, UK

Harm reduction special issue (part one)

Despite having been put on the ‘back burner’ in policy terms, harm reduction is still very much on practitioners’ minds | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Sober students look for alcohol-free halls at university

For many students, drinking and parties are a big part of the freshers' experience. But with more than one in five students saying they are teetotal, the demand for alcohol-free accommodation is on the rise | BBC, UK

Some 129 countries sign up to Trump's pledge at U.N. to fight drugs

Some 129 countries at the United Nations signed on to a U.S.-drafted pledge to fight the global drug problem on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump warned presented a public health and national security threat | Reuters, UK

Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs (PDF)

This report examines in detail how governments can take control of currently illegal drug markets through responsible regulation, thereby weakening criminal organizations that now profit from them | GCDP, Switzerland

European evidence-based guidance on prevention and control of HCV in prison settings (poster)

In the 31 EU/EEA countries, more than 590 000 persons are held in a custodial facility on any given day. According to recent reviews of prison studies from EU countries, prison prevalence estimates for HCV ranged from 4.3 % to 86.3 % | EMCDDA, Portugal

What can genetics tell us about the link between cannabis and schizophrenia? #MHQT

We have known for a long time that cannabis use is somewhat heritable: twin studies estimate this to be around 45%. However, we don’t yet know what genetic variants predict cannabis use | Mental Elf blog, UK

The Scottish health survey (PDF)

The survey provides us with an immensely valuable collection of data on cardiovascular disease and related risk factors including smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity and obesity. Information on general health, mental health and dental health is also included | Scottish Government, UK

'Dramatic' drop in teenage alcohol consumption in Scotland

A World Health Organisation study led by the University of St Andrews found Scotland's teenagers are consuming far less alcohol than previously | BBC, UK

British teenage girls are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe – and have overtaken boys

The study for the World Health Organisation shows that teenage girls in England, Scotland and Wales take three of the top six places in a drinking league table comparing 36 European nations | Telegraph, UK

Health matters: stopping smoking - what works?

This edition of Health Matters focuses on the range of smoking quitting routes that are available and the evidence for their effectiveness. Two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit, however most try to do so unaided, which is the least effective method. Smokers who get the right support are up to four times as likely to quit successfully | PHE, UK

Stoptober

Official website of the campaign, with lots of resources to help people quit | NHS, UK

Adolescent alcohol-related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014 (PDF)

Observations from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) WHO collaborative cross-national study | HSBC and WHO, Denmark

Drug policy and the sustainable development agenda (PDF)

The Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 are meant to be a transformational agenda to eradicate poverty, achieve gender equity or save the planet through their implementation. This implementation, based on coherent public policies, is still lacking at the national, regional and international levels. This is most visible in drug policy, where voices from health, human rights and science call for reform, while most countries continue to privilege ideology through law-enforcement and militarization | GCDP, Switzerland

Welsh ministers opt for minimum alcohol price of 50p a unit

Many health professionals say 50p level, planned to come into force next summer, is too low | Guardian, UK

Youth Drinking in Decline

This report launches a new four-year study funded by the Wellcome Trust, which aims to examine the patterns and causes of the decline in youth drinking. In this first publication, we bring together data from two long-running, nationally-representative surveys, the 1988-2016 Smoking Drinking and Drug Use amongst Young People in England surveys (SDD) and the 2001-2016 Health Surveys for England (HSE), to present the most comprehensive picture to date of the downturn in alcohol use among young people aged 8 to 24 | University of Sheffield, UK

Re-appointment of Chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse

Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, has today announced the re-appointment of Caroline Phipps as Chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse | Welsh Government, UK

Spending on prostitutes and drugs falls

Virtue or lower prices are changing the nation's spending patterns, as the amount spent on "vices" such as prostitutes and drugs has fallen by nearly a fifth since 2009, official data suggests | Telegraph, UK

Spice is throwing up problems not seen with other drugs

Public services grapple with a street drug that is like no other | Economist, UK

PHE, Drinkaware & public policy: reaction and debate continues

In the weeks since Public Health England (PHE) announced its partnership with Drinkaware for the 'drink free days' campaign, it has faced widespread criticism | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Cannabis #MHQT

Video. Smoke Signals: what does legalised cannabis mean for mental health? | Mental Elf, UK

Report on the risk assessment of 2-methoxy-N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]acetamide (methoxyacetylfentanyl) in the framework of the Council Decision on new psychoactive substances

This publication presents the data and findings of the risk assessment on 2-methoxy-N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]acetamide (methoxyacetylfentanyl), carried out by the extended Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA on 21 March 2018. On the basis of the Risk Assessment Report — and on the initiative of the European Commission — on 27 September 2018, the Council decided that methoxyacetylfentanyl should be subject to control measures across the Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

Report on the risk assessment of N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]cyclopropanecarboxamide (cyclopropylfentanyl) in the framework of the Council Decision on new psychoactive substances

This publication presents the data and findings of the risk assessment on N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl]cyclopropanecarboxamide (cyclopropylfentanyl), carried out by the extended Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA on 21 March 2018. On the basis of the Risk Assessment Report — and on the initiative of the European Commission — on 27 September 2018, the Council decided that cyclopropylfentanyl should be subject to control measures across the Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal