Weekly news - 15th February 2019

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Professor Dame Carol Black announced as independent reviewer of drugs

The wide-ranging review will look into ways drugs fuel serious violence | PHE, UK

Sajid Javid Launches Major Review Into Link Between Drugs And Violent Crime

Professor Dame Carol Black has been appointed to lead the review| Huffington Post, UK

UK hospital admissions for addiction soar as treatment budgets fall

MPs say freedom of information data reveals cuts ‘simply a false economy’ | Guardian, UK

Abandon treatment referral as a crime-prevention tactic?

At issue was whether by referring heroin users to treatment, probation services in England would protect them from fatal overdose and prevent drug-related crime. Yes to one, but not the other, were the answers; unexpectedly, crime went up. Enough to warrant abandoning treatment referral as a crime-prevention tactic? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

NICE updates guideline on alcohol education in schools

New draft recommendations will support the Department for Education’s (DfE) plan to make alcohol education a compulsory component of personal, social and health education (PSHE) in all state-funded schools in England from September 2020 | NICE, UK

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Documents published on the scope of the new NICE guidance which is due to be published this October | NICE, UK

Smoking in pregnancy: Stigma 'causes women to do it in private'

Mothers-to-be who smoke or drink could be hiding their habits in private - because of negative reactions, a study has found | BBC, UK

How Brexit Will Shape Britain's Drug Supply

Drugs will always get in, but what they look like once they make it here might be about to change | VICE, UK

Number of US teens using e-cigarettes surges to 5m in one year – study

Vaping among young people increased by 1.5 million in 2018, prompting calls for regulation | Guardian, UK [see CDC report below]

Tobacco Use By Youth Is Rising: E-cigarettes are the main reason

More than 1 in 4 high school students and about 1 in 14 middle school students in 2018 had used a tobacco product in the past 30 days. This was a considerable increase from 2017, which was driven by an increase in e-cigarette use. E-cigarette use increased from 11.7% to 20.8% among high school students and from 3.3% to 4.9% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018 | CDC, USA

Alcohol-related violent crime 2018: still a national priority?

The latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) 2019 indicate victims of crime believed the perpetrator(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in 39% of 561,000 violent incidents (218,790) for the year 2017/18. See here for an IAS thread summarising the key figures | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

El Chapo verdict: Jury reaches decision in trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán

The jury in the Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman trial has reached a verdict, after entering into a sixth day of deliberations Tuesday | Independent, UK

EMCDDA signs two new working arrangements with ECHA and EFSA

Two new working arrangements will be signed in Brussels today between the EMCDDA and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) | EMCDDA, Portugal

County lines report calls on Ofsted to prioritise inclusion

Charity says education watchdog has role to play in preventing children being lured into drug dealing | Guardian, UK

Opioid Expert Working Group meets at MHRA

An Expert Working Group (EWG) of the UK’s Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) met yesterday at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to begin the review of the benefits and risks of opioid medicines, including dependence and addiction | MHRA, UK

CLeaR local tobacco control assessment

Updated - Added Illicit Tobacco deep dive tool and updated CLeaR improvement model self-assessment tool to version 2.1. Guidance for local authorities, public health bodies and the NHS on using ‘deep dive’ self-assessment tools to improve their tobacco control work | PHE, UK

Controlled drugs: licences, fees and returns

UPdated - Factsheet on cannabis, CBD and cannabinoids updated. How to apply for licences to handle controlled drugs as a company or individual traveller, including import and export procedures and fees | Home Office, UK

Pregnancy: Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to allocate funding to (a) local authorities and (b) clinical commissioning groups to achieve the national target of reducing the number of smokers during pregnancy to six per cent by 2022; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction to the public health budget on the number of patients admitted to hospital because of alcohol-related diseases and injuries | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure alcohol product labels warn consumers of the health risks of alcohol | They work for you, UK

Cannabis use in teens linked to depression

UK and Canada researchers said they had found "robust" evidence linking one in 14 cases of depression in the under-35s to use of the drug in adolescence, although there was no definitive proof | BBC, UK

Research on children living in households with mental health issues, parental substance misuse and domestic abuse

We wanted to hear directly from children and give them the opportunity to talk about their experiences of living in households with mental health, parental substance misuse and domestic abuse | Children's Commissioner, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to assist local authorities in providing support for children in homes where there is parental alcohol misuse | They work for you, UK

UK drink-drive deaths at highest level since 2009

Between 240 and 330 people killed in crashes in 2017 with at least one driver over limit | Guardian, UK

Reported drinking and driving (RAS51)

Reported drink drive accidents and casualties in Great Britain since 1979 data table updated for the 2017 provisional statistics drink drive release | Department for Transport, UK

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts: Private donors raise £280k

A group of private backers has stepped in to fund a national unit supporting courts which help parents deal with drug or alcohol addiction so their children are not taken into care | BBC, UK

Cannabis-based treatment will be offered to dementia patients 

Cannabis will be used to treat symptoms of dementia in the first major UK trial to test its use, scientists have announced | Telegraph, UK

Teenage cannabis use linked to depression in later life

A review has found that teenagers aged under 18 who used cannabis were 37% more likely to get depression in early adulthood than teenagers who didn't | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Prisons 'playing catch-up to psychoactive drug use' says minister

Rory Stewart says drugs such as spice are fuelling endemic rise in prison violence | Guardian, UK

Take medical use of cannabis seriously, say MEPs

MEPs propose ways to address research gaps on medical cannabis and call on member states to seize the potential of cannabis-based medicines | European Parliament, Belgium