Weekly news - 18th October 2019


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SNP formally backs decriminalisation of drugs

At its conference in Aberdeen, a resolution was unanimously passed by delegates branding current drug control legislation "not fit for purpose" | BBC, UK

Grading cannabis strength ‘will improve mental health of users’

Addiction experts say standard units, similar to those used for alcohol, would help consumers know the level of drug they are taking and its effects | Guardian, UK

Parkinson's patients to receive cannabis oil in 'pioneering' trial to test drug's effectiveness

Study important as more people using expensive and unregulated CBD supplements that have not been monitored for effectiveness | I news, UK

Revealed: How much cocaine Londoners are taking every day

London's cocaine market is now worth an estimated £1bn a year after new tests revealed people in the capital are taking an average of 23kg of the Class A drug every day | Sky News, UK

Alcohol industry 'puts pregnant women at risk', researchers say

Firms and bodies are casting doubt on health advice for expecting women to abstain from drinking | Guardian, UK

Causes of hospital admission and mortality among 6683 people who use heroin: A cohort study comparing relative and absolute risks

Mortality in high-risk groups such as people who use illicit drugs is often expressed in relative terms such as standardised ratios. These measures are highest for diseases that are rare in the general population, such as hepatitis C, and may understate the importance of common long-term conditions | Science Direct, UK

Cannabis extract may work as a treatment for cannabis addiction

For people who are addicted to cannabis, one treatment option may be, paradoxically, to take pills containing an extract of cannabis | New Scientist, UK

Drug addicts in Glasgow to be offered help to cut deaths

The short-term strategy will focus on the city centre, Calton and lower Dennistoun | BBC, UK

Addaction Chief Executive Mike Dixon is leaving in October 2019 to take up a role at the Liberal Democrats

Mike Dixon, Chief Executive of Addaction, is leaving in October 2019 to take up the Chief Executive role at the Liberal Democrats | Addaction, UK

Written Statement: Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Minimum Unit Price) (Wales) Regulations 2019

Today, I have laid the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Minimum Unit Price) (Wales) Regulations 2019. These regulations – if agreed by the National Assembly – will introduce a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol of 50p | Welsh Government, UK

DDN Magazine will be 15 years old in November!

To mark this anniversary we are having a redesign. We will still be bringing you all the latest news, views, jobs and features free of charge in print and online.  But in a modern fresh format | DDN, UK

Modelling the impact of alcohol duty policies since 2012 in England & Scotland

Changes in UK alcohol duty since 2012 have led to increased levels of alcohol consumption, greater levels of alcohol-related ill health, prematuremortality,higher rates of alcohol-related crime and workplace absence than if the alcohol duty escalator had remained in place until 2015 as originally planned | University of Sheffield, UK

New drug-driving laws to come into force with roadside test kit unveiled

The new legislation sees a zero-tolerance approach to the eight drugs most associated with illegal use, including cannabis, heroin and cocaine | Daily Record, UK

Important Factors for the Scottish Task Force on Drug Related Deaths to consider

What urgent steps should we be taking to reduce the level of drug related deaths in Scotland? | Phoenix Futures, UK

Substance Abuse Hits Home for Close to Half of Americans

Close to half of U.S. adults, 46%, have dealt with substance abuse problems in their family: 18% have had just alcohol problems and 10% have had just drug problems, while 18% have experienced both | Gallup, USA

Welsh minimum alcohol price set for March 2020

The minimum price for alcohol in Wales will come into force on 2 March next year, under Welsh Government plans | BBC, UK

Mental health hospital to hand out free e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking

One of the UK's largest mental health hospitals is to hand out free e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking, in a deal with a vaping retailer | Telegraph, UK

Vaping helps 50,000 smokers give up cigarettes each year, study shows

A study found that more people were turning to e-cigarettes than in 2011, with more also successfully packing in regular cigarettes | Evening Standard, UK

Alcohol Charter - Early Day Motion

That this House reaffirms its support for the Alcohol Charter, which was launched on 16 October 2018 by the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm; notes that the charter is now supported by 35 organisations... | Parliament.uk, UK

Crime in England and Wales: year ending June 2019

Includes data on drug offences. There were 159,615 drug offences recorded from July 2018 until June 2019 | ONS, UK

Alcohol Policy must catch up with the changing age profile of the UK

In recent weeks the Government has sparked fresh controversy about its commitment to tackling alcohol harm, by tweeting out a video promoting the return of duty free allowances for tobacco and alcohol | ILC, UK

False fears over vaping may stop smokers quitting

[Free subscription may be required] Public health chiefs claimed that it would be a tragedy if smokers were put off vaping after it was revealed that e-cigarettes had helped as many as 70,000 people a year to quit | The Times, UK

CDC, States Update Number of Cases of Lung Injury Associated with Use of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Products

As of October 15, 2019, 1,479 confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products were reported by 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands | CDC, USA

Juul agrees to restrict youth advertising

New guidelines will set limits on how the embattled e-cigarette company can target young people with its product | Guardian, UK

Opioid crisis cost US $631 billion over four years

Unrealized lifetime earnings of people who died from the drugs accounted for the largest share of that total, followed by health care costs, the Associated Press reported | Medical Xpress, USA