Weekly news - 15th November 2019

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In date order, Monday to Friday

Alcohol Awareness Week

It's Alcohol Awareness Week running from 11-17 November so let's get thinking about our drinking! This week is all about Alcohol and me, awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Cannabis-based medicines: Two drugs approved for NHS

Two cannabis-based medicines, used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, have been approved for use by the NHS in England | BBC, UK

Aged 90 and still taking cocaine — increase in older people admitted to hospital with drug’s effects

[Free registration may be required] Pensioners aged 90 and over are being admitted to hospital after taking cocaine. Ten nonagenarians were admitted with mental disorders “due to the use of cocaine” last year | The Times, UK

Fingerprint test could tell if people took drugs or skipped medication

Now the University of Surrey has devised a state-of-the-art fingerprint test which can identify traces of drugs on human skin, even after someone has washed their hands. And it can ever tease out whether an individual has used the drug or shaken hands with someone who has handled it | Telegraph, UK

Global Drug Survey 2020

Welcome to GDS2020. Thank you for taking part and adding your experience to the world’s largest drug survey. Global Drug Survey (GDS) is independent and free from the influence of government funding or commercial interests. Funds we generate go into running the survey and creating free harm reduction tools | GDS, UK

CDC reports 'breakthrough' over vaping lung illnesses as cases top 2,000

The discovery of vitamin E acetate in lung samples offers the first direct evidence of a link between the substance and vaping-related lung injuries. The substance has also been identified in tests by US and state officials of product samples collected from patients with the vaping injury | Guardian, UK

Staying alive in Scotland

A resource containing strategies to reduce drug-related deaths in Scotland has been updated and re-launched by Scottish Drugs Forum. ‘Staying Alive in Scotland’– links directly to the Government’s alcohol and drugs strategy, ‘Rights, Respect and Recovery’ and the subsequent action plan | SDF, UK

Progress towards smokefree mental health services

This report presents the findings of a survey of NHS mental health trusts in England conducted by ASH for Public Health England in Spring 2019. It examines whether the Government’s objective for all mental health trusts to be smokefree by 2018 has been achieved | ASH, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week 2019

The Alcohol Awareness Week public health campaign, coordinated by Alcohol Change UK, was designed to get people thinking and talking about alcohol. Read more about what the campaign involves, and browse customised alcohol-related searches of the Effectiveness Bank | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

1.4 million adults are using 'street cannabis' as medicinal to treat chronic conditions

Survey of more than 10,000 people by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis shows might higher incidence than previously thought | I news, UK

Vaping nearly killed me, says British teenager

A teenage boy nearly died after vaping caused a catastrophic reaction in his lungs, doctors in Nottingham say. Ewan Fisher was connected to an artificial lung to keep him alive after his own lungs failed and he could not breathe | BBC, UK

Drug experts on the new guidance for medicinal cannabis

It’s now one year since the government announced they would allow access to cannabis-based products for medicinal use, and guidelines advising doctors how to prescribe have now been published | Conversation, UK

What works. Testing drugs for harm reduction (PDF)

The recent deaths of 6 young people at music festivals in Australia connected to MDMA has led to local calls for the introduction of drug checking services (sometimes called ‘pill testing’ in Australia and drug safety testing in the UK) to assist people who use drugs to make safer decisions about the drugs they intend to consume | 360 edge, Australia

DDN November edition - out now

Fifteen years ago we published our first issue of DDN. I interviewed the drugs minister Caroline Flint, who talked about the new drug intervention programme (DIP) and the recently launched Alcohol harm reduction strategy. There was a lot happening – the Home Office was pumping money into the sector to ‘break the cycle between drugs and crime’ | DDN, UK

Minimum alcohol pricing to be introduced in Wales next year

The Welsh Government will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p from March next year after it was approved by the National Assembly | ITV, UK

Drug users offered Greggs vouchers to get tested for hepatitis C

Newcastle incentive is part of NHS England’s drive to eliminate virus by 2025 | Guardian, UK

Medicinal cannabis: just 18 NHS prescriptions issued since change in law

Exclusive: A Freedom of Information request also shows that 104 private prescriptions have been handed out since last November | i news, UK

Saving Lives: Best practice guidance on the provision of naloxone

Naloxone is used to treat respiratory depression caused by opioids. Opioids produce their effects by acting on opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system. Naloxone works by blocking these opioid receptors, thus stopping opioids from acting on them | Release, UK

'Third generation' synthetic cannabinoids

Report to the Minister for Crime Prevention, which recommends a revised generic description of ‘third generation’ synthetic cannabinoids | ACMD, UK

Circular 009/2019: third generation synthetic cannabinoids update

This circular draws attention to the content of the Statutory Instruments SI 2019/1323 and SI 2019/1362 | Home Office, UK

Bristol gets first medical cannabis centre

The MyAccess service in Redland Court Road's May Wellness Centre is only the second medical cannabis clinic in the UK to get a licence, which the CQC announced last night | Bristol Live, UK

Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction

The "No Fire, No Smoke – the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2018" (GSTHR) report maps for the first time the global, regional and national availability and use of safer nicotine products (SNP), the regulatory responses to these products, and the public health potential of tobacco harm reduction |  Knowledge-Action-Change, UK

HIV-positive gay men in England report highest chemsex rates in four-country survey

A study presented at the recent 17th European AIDS Conference (EACS 2019), comparing reported drug use among HIV-positive men attending clinics in England, Spain, Greece and Italy, has found higher rates of drug use in England than in other countries and considerably higher usage of the drugs used in chemsex (sexualised drug use) – methamphetamine, GHB/GBL, mephedrone and ketamine | NAM Aidsmap, UK