Weekly news - 4th January 2019


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PHE Health Harms campaign encourages smokers to quit

The Health Harms campaign encourages smokers to quit, by demonstrating the harms to health that come from every cigarette | PHE, UK

Smoking v vaping: Watch lab test results

Video. If you're going to try to quit smoking in the new year, try vaping, a UK government advisory body says | BBC, UK

Vaping kits for prisoners to cost £150,000

It follows a nationwide ban on smoking in prisons which came into force at the end of November | BBC, UK

How ‘Dry January’ is the secret to better sleep, saving money and losing weight

New research from the University of Sussex shows that taking part in Dry January – abstaining from booze for a month – sees people regaining control of their drinking, having more energy, better skin and losing weight.  They also report drinking less months later | University of Sussex, UK

Doctors see huge rise in drug abuse by over 50s

Requires registration for free access. The number of people aged above 50 receiving hospital treatment after taking drugs has more than quadrupled in the past decade, The Times can reveal | The Times, UK

England's unexpected World Cup progression behind record-high alcohol poisoning cases, NHS says

England's unexpected progression to the football World Cup semi final led to a record-high number of people going to hospital with alcohol poisoning, according to NHS England | Telegraph, UK

Airline double standards over violent, drunken passengers

Disruptive incidents on flights have doubled, with Ryanair worst affected | Which, UK

Cannabis strength doubles across Europe in 11 years

A study tracking increased potency of both herbal and resin types of the drug points to greater dangers for users | Guardian, UK

Long-acting buprenorphine an advance on daily doses

What could prove a technical advance in the medication-based treatment of opiate dependence was rigorously tested and partially vindicated among hundreds of patients at over 30 US clinics. Perhaps the puzzle was why extended-release buprenorphine injections only modestly bettered the standard daily regimen | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drug safety testing, disposals and dealing in an English field: Exploring the operational and behavioural outcomes of the UK’s first onsite ‘drug checking’ service

[Open access] In a year when UK drug-related deaths and festival drug-related deaths reached their highest on record, a pilot festival drug safety testing service was introduced with the aim of reducing drug-related harm | IJDP, UK

Dry January: a convenient distraction for the alcohol industry

Six years on and Dry January is more popular than ever, but does quitting booze for a month actually make a difference to your life? Looking at the Dry January website, managed by Alcohol Change UK, you’re left in little doubt: you can lose weight, save money, sleep better and have more energy | Conversation, UK

Drug misuse claims life 'every other day'

The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) has warned of the dangers of taking drugs and mixing them with alcohol following the deaths of four people in Belfast during the Christmas holidays | BBC, UK

Vaping by young people remains a burning issue among health experts

Sifting through contradictory evidence is common when it comes to choosing the right thing to do to improve our health, not least at new year when many of us promise to leave old habits behind and make a fresh start | Guardian, UK

Trying to quit smoking? New research suggests higher levels of nicotine may help

Allowing smokers to determine their nicotine intake while they are trying to quit is likely to help them kick the habit, according to an early study in 50 people led by Queen Mary University of London | EurekAlert, UK

How Not To Die From Ecstasy - video

When Lewis and his best friend Luke were 16, they decided to celebrate their last day of school by going on a big night out | BBC Three, UK

Criminal gangs apply for jail jobs to smuggle drugs, say police

Police say there is growing evidence that members of organised criminal gangs are getting prison service jobs to smuggle banned items | BBC, UK

'Cuckooing': When drug gangs take over your own home

A man who said his home was taken over by drug dealers has described his experience as "terrifying" | BBC, UK

Mobile van to offer needle exchange in Glasgow to tackle HIV outbreak among drug injectors

A mobile van will distribute needles and provide healthcare out of hours to the city centre's drug injecting community in a bid to tackle Glasgow's HIV outbreak | Evening Times, UK

Cannabis control and the right to privacy

In 2018 the highest courts in countries across three continents have asserted that state intervention in the private life of their citizens who wish to (grow and) use cannabis is not always justified | EMCDDA, Portugal

UNODC Opioid strategy

The potentially deadly consequences of the non-medical use of opioids have been known since science discovered their huge medical potential. Over the past 150 years, humanity has experience several opioid crises but none as devastating as the present one affecting mainly North America with fentanyl and its analogues, and in parts of Africa and the Middle East with tramadol | UNODC, Switzerland