Daily news - 9th August 2017

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UK news

Fentanyl DrugWatch briefing (PDF)

Fentanyl’s history, pharmacology, use, effects, legal status and harm reduction | DrugWatch, UK

Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix 2017

Résumé of the 2017 refresh of the Alcohol Treatment Matrix. Released fortnightly, the 25 cells and ‘bite’ commentaries cumulated to a course reflecting on the most significant research underpinning practice in brief alcohol interventions and the treatment of problem drinking | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 8 August 2017

At the intersection of problem substance use and crime, a study evaluating 'stepped care' for drink/drug-driving offenders, and a review of relapse to drug use and crime after prison-based programmes. Then whether young people’s excessive drinking and cannabis use can be moderated from the doctor’s surgery? And finally, a search for effective psychosocial remedies for “highly addictive” cocaine and amphetamine use | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Women's Drug Deaths Soaring Across England and Wales as Their Needs Are Overlooked

Women’s deaths as a result of drug misuse have increased by a staggering 82 per cent in England and Wales over the last decade. Paradoxically fewer women are using drugs, yet record numbers are dying as a result of using them | Talking Drugs, UK

Concern over alcohol consumption figures - BBC radio

Why is alcohol being blamed for a rise in hospital admissions in the county? | BBC radio Wiltshire, UK

Struggling for inspiration? A pint of beer could release creative block, say scientists 

Downing a pint of beer for men, or around 350ml for women, boosted test scores in 132 men and women who were given a range of creative tasks. In one word association test, alcohol increased test scores by around 40 per cent | telegarph, UK

Alcohol and summer events survey

What do you, your friends, colleagues and neighbours think about alcohol at public summer events? | Aberdeenshire ADP, UK


On 17th July a group of providers, academics and the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners (FDAP) met to set up a Trailblazer Group (TbG) to look at the possibility of putting forward a case for an apprenticeship qualification for the drug and alcohol sector. This followed an initial meeting in May to look at the process | SMMGP, UK

Respite for families affected by drugs and alcohol

Over the past four years, Adfam has worked to support families in the Royal Borough of Greenwich affected by drug or alcohol use. We are delighted to receive funding from the borough and Public Health England to now be able to also provide heavily subsided respite breaks | Adfam, UK

Belfast and Enniskillen cannabis finds lead to three arrests

A 64-year-old woman has been arrested after £100,000 of cannabis was found at a house in Enniskillen on Monday night | BBC, UK

Wakefield Trinity's Adam Walker dropped by Scotland after positive cocaine test

Scotland have dropped Adam Walker from their provisional squad for this year's World Cup after the Wakefield Trinity prop failed a drugs test | BBC, UK


International news

Current global shortage of hepatitis B vaccine

There is currently a global shortage of hepatitis B vaccine which has been caused by problems in the manufacturing process | PHE, UK

UK rations hepatitis B vaccine amid global shortage

UK health officials are putting a temporary limit on who can have a hepatitis B vaccination because stocks are running low | BBC, UK

My Life as an International Cocaine Smuggler

Pieter "Posh Pete" Tritton was making £30,000 a month while he was still in his twenties – but it wasn't long before it all came crashing down | Vice, UK

Breast cancer survivor sues her neighbor for SMOKING because the 'secondhand smoke drifting into her apartment is making her sick'

Phyllis Davis claims the smoke from her neighbor's adjacent apartment in Farmington Hills, Michigan constantly travels into her home via a shared ventilation system | Mail Online, UK

Donald Trump declares US will 'win' fight against deadly opioid crisis

'Strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society,' the President said | Independent, UK

Opioid crisis: Donald Trump rejects calls to declare national emergency

At ‘major briefing’ on epidemic, president says ‘strong law enforcement is absolutely vital to having a drug-free society’ | Guardian, UK

US mayor talks about son's drug overdose

As President Donald Trump vows to address the opioid crisis, the mayor of Nashville appears publicly to talk about her son's death from an unspecified drug overdose | BBC, UK

Police seize nearly two tonnes of ecstasy allegedly bound for Australia

Seventeen people arrested in three countries, including two brothers and the son of Kings Cross club identity John Ibrahim | Guardian, UK

This company wants to pay you to travel the world drinking

A Scottish whisky company is using an interesting recruitment technique to find its new sales ambassadors | Independent, UK

Narcan: The Irish weapon in America’s drugs war

The drug has saved lives amid the US’s opioid epidemic, but it remains controversial | Irish Times, Ireland

Mortality and causes of death among homeless in Finland: a 10-year follow-up study

Homelessness is associated with increased mortality, and some predictors of mortality have been previously identified. We examined the overall and cause-specific mortality among homeless men in Helsinki and the associations of social background and health service use with mortality | BMJ, Finland

Addressing the Nation’s Opioid Epidemic: Lessons from an Unsanctioned Supervised Injection Site in the U.S.

Over half a million people have died of overdose in the U.S. since 2000. As of 2014, an estimated 774,434 people inject drugs in the U.S., the majority of whom inject opioids including prescription opioids and heroin | AJPM, USA

Regular energy drink use linked to later drug use among young adults

Could young adults who regularly consume highly caffeinated energy drinks be at risk for future substance use? A new study by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, suggests that there is reason for concern | Medical Xpress, USA

Smoking is on the rise among pregnant women with depression

Smoking is increasing among pregnant women with depression in the United States, according to new research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York | Medical Xpress, USA

'Ego-dissolving' psychedelic drugs could assist with mental health

The altered state of consciousness and temporary lack of ego that results from using psychedelic drugs could help some mental health patients recover from their symptoms, according to academics at the University of Adelaide | Medical Xpress, USA

Can Someone Really Die From An ‘LSD Overdose’?

Last week the San Louis Obispo County Sheriff’s office released the autopsy report on the death of twenty-year old Baylee Ybarra Gatlin, who died over Memorial Day weekend while attending Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) in Bradley, California | Dance Safe, USA

How Can The Opioid Epidemic Be Solved?

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he will be briefed on the opioid epidemic in the United States from his summer vacation at his private golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey | IBTimes, USA

FDA focusses on discouraging e-cigarettes use by kids

In a press release the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that the agency would focus on a new public health education campaign that would discourage the use of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) by kids. The campaign is titled “The Real Cost” | News Medical, USA

Research sheds new light on why smoking in pregnancy is harmful

Maternal smoking during pregnancy contributes to various long-term health problems in offspring, especially respiratory disorders | Medical Xpress, Australia

Alcohol and Drug Connections August newsletter

Latest roundup of research news | NDARC et al, Australia

How to pave over our big (cigarette) butt problem

Cigarette butts are toxic for the environment. Encapsulating them into asphalt traps the chemicals in the filters and improves the performance of the construction material | Science Daily, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The war on fentanyl, the drug linked to 60 deaths in the UK since 2016

Could fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller that has been linked to an alarming increase in drug overdose deaths in North America, now be gaining a foothold in the UK? | Conversation, UK

Alcohol addiction: 'How could I explain to my friends that our house was different?'

Addiction is not just suffered by those going through it. It is also suffered by those who see their family members or loved ones going through it. #StillJustMe is an anti-stigma campaign launched in 2017 by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services | Journal opinion, Ireland

Better medical education: One solution to the opioid crisis

We are in the middle of an overdose crisis in Canada and around the world. Opioid overdose is a complex problem, but opioid addiction can be managed with effective interventions. Nonetheless, many evidence-based interventions are underused, and inadequate medical education is contributing to the problem | Conversation, Canada

Big Nicotine, Part I: Big Tobacco’s Drug Problem

Just over a week ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced what new FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottileb called “a cornerstone of our new and more comprehensive approach to effective tobacco regulation”: an initiative to reduce the nicotine content in cigarettes to “minimally or nonaddictive” levels. The 2009 Tobacco Control Act gave FDA authority to reduce any “additives, constituents…, or other component of a tobacco product.” | Points Blog, USA