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UK news

The public health burden of alcohol: evidence review

This review (PDF) looks at the impact of alcohol on the public health and the effectiveness of alcohol control policies. [Press release] | PHE, UK

A rapid evidence review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol control policies: an English perspective

This paper reviews the evidence for the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of policies to reduce alcohol-related harm. Policies focus on price, marketing, availability, information and education, the drinking environment, drink-driving, and brief interventions and treatment | Lancet, UK

Health advisers call for minimum alcohol unit pricing

Introducing a minimum price per unit of alcohol in England would improve the health of the heaviest drinkers, a review by Public Health England says | BBC, UK

Alcohol-related crime, lost output and ill health costs UK £52bn a year

Doctors are urging Philip Hammond to raise the price of alcohol to tackle the “scourge” of drink-related harm after it emerged that crime, ill health and lost productivity cost up to £52bn a year, far more than previously thought | Guardian, UK

Circular 010/2016: a change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Provides information about a change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 that comes into effect on 14 December 2016 | Home Office, UK

Ban on smoking in cars with children to come into force

A new law making it illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under the age of 18 comes into force in Scotland on Monday | BBC, UK

Deadly 'legal highs' can now be 'ordered like a takeaway' because of the Government ban, users say

Bradford user says head shops have been replaced by criminal street dealers, while Centrepoint workers in the city say a proposed Young and Homeless Helpline, as championed by The Independent, would be vital to tackling the problem | Independent, UK

New report highlights new psychoactive substances in vulnerble people in Scotland

The Scottish Government has published a new report looking at the use and trends of new psychoactive substances (NPS) amongst vulnerable groups living in Scotland | SDF, UK

Media Advisory: Smokefree Private Vehicles Regulations

From Monday 5th December 2016 a new law takes effect in Scotland which will make it an offence to smoke in a car when a child is present. The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Act brings Scotland in line with the law in England and Wales which took effect on 1st October 2015 | ASH, UK

Power of psychedelic drugs to lift mental distress shown in trials

When Aldous Huxley was dying in 1963, he asked his wife to inject him with LSD, and he passed away, she wrote afterwards, without any of the pain and distress that cancer can cause in the final hours | Guardian, UK

Preston drugs users to be shown quality of cocaine and MDMA before they use it

Drug users in Preston will be allowed to take party drugs like cocaine and MDMA as long as they test their purity before under a new scheme backed by Lancashire Police. Walk-in booths will be introduced on Friday and Saturday nights in the city so clubbers can find out what their drugs are mixed with | IBTimes, UK

Fabric is reopening on Jan 6th

After being shut since September, the Farringdon venue will fire up once again a week into the new year, with fabriclive, fabric and WetYourSelf! returning over the weekend | MixMag, UK

Glasgow volunteers who want to quit smoking invited for e-cig study

Smokers who want to stub out the habit are being invited to take part in a pioneering study into the effects of e-cigs in Glasgow | Evening Times, UK

Sean Paul Race: Ex-police officer jailed for drug dealing

An off-duty police officer who admitted drug dealing after he was caught with 100 Ecstasy tablets in an undercover PSNI operation has been sent to jail | BBC, UK

NHS England announces major extension of national HIV prevention pregramme with public health england and funding for ten new specialised treatments

NHS England will fund a major extension to the national HIV prevention programme led by Public Health England with the aim of supporting those most at risk and reducing the incidence of HIV infection | NHS England, UK


International news

Nominations now open: 2017 National Rolleston Award

Do you know someone, or an organisation or group, that has made a significant contribution to harm reduction in Canada? Do you think they deserve international recognition for their work? | HRI, UK

Cannabis set to be legalised in Ireland for medicinal use

Legislation's sponsor says it would be good news for people suffering chronic illness | Independent, UK

Medicinal cannabis: Irish mother's relief over treatment for daughter's seizures

"The possibility of losing your child is with you every day and you can't take your eyes off them," says Vera Twomey, from County Cork, whose daughter Ava suffers from a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome | BBC, UK

Philippines' deadly drug war praised by Donald Trump, says Rodrigo Duterte

Philippines leader says US president-elect felt drug war which has killed thousands was being fought ‘the right way’ | Guardian, UK

The Philippines: No country for poor men

Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines won his presidency with a promise of a brutal crackdown on drugs. But six months and more than 4,000 deaths later, a troubling picture of the profile of those being targeted is emerging | BBC, UK

Duterte drug war: Manila's brutal nightshift - video

Raffy Lerma is a photo-journalist documenting the nightly killings in the Philippines' government's war on drugs | BBC, UK

Sausage Party: '12' rating in France prompts uproar from Catholic and family campaign groups

In the UK it was given a 15 certificate and is rated R in the US, due to its consistent references to drug use, use of expletives, and an orgy scene involving a taco and a hotdog | Independent, UK

The village where cannabis is the only livelihood

For hundreds of years, the tiny village of Malana was just a speck lost amid the grandiose mountains of the Indian Himalayas | Independent, UK

'It really changed everything for me': How magic mushrooms helped treat anxiety in cancer patients

A day after taking the psychedelic drug, four in five patients no longer qualified as clinically anxious | Journal, Ireland

Drugnet Europe 96

In this issue: EMCDDA scientific award 2016 | Lisbon Addictions 2017 | New report on drug‑related hospital emergencies | Grounds for hope in treating hepatitis C | EC proposes amendment to EMCDDA founding regulation | New products and services | EMCDDA Director pays official visit to Europol | EMCDDA, Portugal

Extract from the Report of the 38th Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, convened from 14 to 18 November 2016, at WHO headquarters in Geneva*

Substances recommended to be scheduled in Schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), as amended by the 1972 and an update on cannabis and cannabis resin | WHO, Switzerland

SF’s top health official endorses safe drug injection sites

San Francisco’s top public health official on Wednesday endorsed safe injection sites where intravenous drug users could legally shoot drugs, giving the controversial idea a big boost and setting up a potential clash with Mayor Ed Lee, who has come out strongly against them | SF Chronicle, USA

NY tweaks medical pot law but still no talk of legalization

New York is loosening restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law but, to the dismay of some pot advocates, there is no sign the state is in any hurry to join eight other states in embracing full legalization | Medical Xpress, USA

The silent killer: Overdose victims often don’t even know they’ve consumed fentanyl

It’s the end of November and the light is woolly, the forest barren, still, out behind the Dolman place, perched on a ridge in North Gower, Ont | National Post, Canada

NDARC awarded $3.7M in grants for smoking, comorbidity, school-based prevention, online drug markets and drug policy research

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW has won $3.7 million in national health and medical research grants for five projects spanning a range of topics from smoking to online drug markets | NDARC, Australia

From Zero - The Business of Drugs

In the fifth episode of From Zero we examine the business of drugs in New Zealand: how are illicit drugs made and sold? Why are poorer communities targeted? Who takes the risks? Who makes the money? | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Interesting things about alcohol and other drugs: December 2016

Andrew Brown (@andrewbrown365) provides an update on new statistics on alcohol and other drugs, including a focus on the latest data from the substance misuse treatment system in England | MEAM, UK

Duncan Selbie's Friday message

[Friday] we published a review of the evidence on alcohol harm and its impact in England, as well as the effectiveness of different actions in alcohol-related harm | PHE, UK

Expert interview: Carrying out our alcohol evidence review

What’s the public health impact of alcohol and what is the effectiveness of policies for reducing alcohol-related harm? | PHE Blog, UK

Guest blog: Banning psychoactive substances is not enough, we need education too

Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), also referred to as 'legal highs', represent a bewildering array of unregulated psychoactive compounds, marketed globally as legal alternatives to well-known controlled drugs | Mentor Blog, UK

Concerns about drug-related infections

This blog post summarises the findings of two recent (November 2016) report on drug-related infectious diseases | Russell Webster, UK

Methamphetamine-related psychosis: an opportunity for assertive intervention and prevention

Methamphetamine-related psychosis is a growing public health concern. All individuals with transient amphetamine-related psychotic symptoms should be considered to be at risk for future development of an enduring psychotic illness, and prioritized for early intervention of integrated care across substance use and mental health services | Addiction editorial, UK

Counting the costs of alcohol: how useful an aid to policymaking?

Cost-of-illness studies are widely used to raise awareness of health issues, but despite their attractions they are not the best use of scarce resources in health economics research. Comparative evaluations of the impacts of alcohol policies are of a higher priority to design effective and efficient public health policies | Addiction commentary, UK

The ‘war on drugs’ doesn’t work. It’s time for a grown-up conversation

People will always take drugs, regardless of personal risk and the legality of it. Our laws should be amended to reflect that | Guardian, UK

Public Health Language on Drugs Has Been Co-opted for Prohibitionist Means

An insidious trend is emerging among public officials around the world: using public health language around drug policy as a cover for punitive approaches | Talking Drugs Blog, UK

Quarrelsome Cannabis in the UK: Evidence from Canada and Elsewhere

In September the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform in the UK stated there was “good evidence” cannabis could help alleviate the symptoms of several health conditions, including chronic pain and anxiety | Points: Blog of the alcohol and drugs history society, UK

Would you like some dope with that cute puppy?

Here I was, uploading a photo of my two-year-old stroking a puppy to Instagram, when I got a follow request from a cheeky weed leaf | Guardian, UK