Daily news - 30th August 2017

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31st August - International Overdose Day


UK news

Young People’s Use of E-Cigarettes across the United Kingdom: Findings from Five Surveys 2015–2017

[Open access] Concern has been expressed about the use of e-cigarettes among young people. Our study reported e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette ever and regular use among 11–16 year olds across the UK | MDPI, UK

E-cigarette teen warnings unfounded, says Public Health England

Warnings that e-cigarettes are luring teenagers into smoking tobacco are unfounded, a major Public Health England (PHE) study has found | Telegraph, UK

Fears over e-cigarettes leading to smoking for young people unfounded – study

Largest ever such survey of British 11- to 16-year-olds reveals experimentation with vaping devices does not translate into regular use and smoking rates still in decline | Guardian, UK

Getting In-Home Drinkers To Go Out

[Free access for a limited time but registration required] Over six in 10 enjoy going to the pub for a drink, but with many pubs closing down and price increases affecting those remaining, operators face a market where consumers are put off and many would rather drink at home | YouGov, UK

Further calls for mandatory alcohol labelling: new AHA & WHO reports

The issue of alcohol labelling has been raised again as health groups claim that voluntary efforts are failing consumers and statutory labelling requirements should be set out | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Medication-assisted withdrawal led by patients’ symptoms

In one UK hospital trust, a so-called ‘symptom-triggered’ approach to
prescribing was taken for patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal.
Clinicians were satisfied with the new protocol, but how did patient
safety and outcomes fare? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Acceptability of low dead space syringes and implications for their introduction: A qualitative study in the West of England

Lower-risk needle and syringe combinations seem acceptable to people who inject drugs in England, but given that a sudden change in equipment can be difficult to adjust to, their gradual introduction seems best, alongside an intervention to educate and support | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

A 'party drug' just crossed a major hurdle on the path to being legally prescribed as medicine

London-based psychiatrist Ben Sessa sometimes feels like a doctor at a nursing home | Business Insider, UK

Why fentanyl could become the UK's most dangerous drug

The painkiller and anaesthetic is 50 times more potent than morphine, is powerfully addictive, fatal even in tiny amounts, and has become a huge part of America’s opioid crisis | Guardian, UK

Sport doping study revealing wider usage published after 'scandalous' delay

Almost six-year wrangle delays release of anonymous surveys done after elite athletics events in 2011, in which 57% of competitors doing admitted doping compared to under 4% in Wada results | Guardian, UK

Boy, four, dies after being found in holiday park swimming pool on trip organised by drugs rehab charity

A four-year-old boy drowned at a holiday camp swimming pool during an event organised by drugs rehab charity after staff said something went "horrifically wrong" | Telegraph, UK

BrewDog to give away 20% of profits each year

Aberdeenshire-based craft brewer BrewDog is to give away 20% of its profits each year, the company has announced | BBC, UK

Euston station evacuated after 'e-cigarette explodes'

Euston Station has been evacuated by police after an e-cigarette is believed to have caused "a small contained explosion" | Independent, UK

Newport man Kyle Enos admits dark web fentanyl drug deals

A man has admitted using the dark web to export and sell the high-strength painkiller fentanyl | BBC, UK

Prison trashed in nine-hour riot after cigarette ban - and warders warn of more problems to come

Inmates smashed sinks, flooded cells and destroyed TVs at the Category C HMP Haverigg as they became the latest prison to be subject to the smoking ban | Mirror, UK


International news

Australia plans random drug tests for people receiving welfare

The Australian government is planning a two-year trial of random drug tests for welfare recipients starting in January 2018 | New Scientist, UK

Doctors and nurses warn against Coalition plan to drug-test welfare recipients

More than 980 health professionals say proposal would push already vulnerable Australians ‘further into the margins’ | Guardian, UK

Ecstasy could provide breakthrough therapy for soldiers suffering from PTSD, study finds

Traumatised combat veterans could soon be treated with MDMA after recreational drugs found to help those suffering from nervous conditions | Independent, UK

Iranian police seize carrier pigeons used to smuggle drugs

Birds trained to deliver substances contained in small bag attached to legs | Guardian, UK

Law on minimum alcohol pricing may pass in next session

Politicians should listen to experts more than to vested interests, says Simon Harris | Independent, Ireland

Alcohol was my toughest opponent to beat - Egan

Olympic boxing silver medallist Ken Egan says alcohol has been the toughest opponent he has had to defeat | Independent, Ireland

Focus on the homeless

One of the consequences of being homeless is the effect it has on a person’s health. New data from the Central Statistics Office shows that one in five homeless people consider they are not in good health – double the 9.6 per cent rate in the general population | Irish Times, Ireland

Women who inject drugs may be at greater risk of HCV than men

There is a clear body of research assessing sex and gender differences in risk behaviors among people who inject drugs, however little or no research has investigated sex differences in hepatitis C (HCV) susceptibility | NIDA, USA

Sessions: Drug overdoses 'the top lethal issue' in the US

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called drug overdose deaths "the top lethal issue" in the U.S. and urged law enforcement and social workers to "create and foster a culture that's hostile to drug use." | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug study implicates benzodiazepines in accidental overdoses

Common anti-anxiety drugs including Xanax and Valium have been implicated in half of all non-fatal injected drug overdoses in a new study | Medical Xpress, USA

Revising the language of addiction

When confronting the power of addiction, the power of language is important to keep in mind, specialists say | Medical Xpress, USA

How Massive Busts Could Create More Harm for People Who Use Drugs

With the biggest drug bust in Ontario history—$250-million—the province’s cocaine supply may have just gotten more dangerous | VICE, Canada

Drug-testing welfare recipients will 'increase crime and drive social division'

Medical professionals are urging the Senate crossbench not to support the Turnbull government's policy of drug testing welfare recipients | Age, Australia

Beer, bongs and baby boomers: the unlikely tale of drug and alcohol use in the over 50s

If you ask someone what a typical heavy drinker or drug user looks like, they’re probably more likely to evoke images of Gen Ys with tattoos and piercings than greying baby boomers | DrinkTank, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Signposting for online treatment and recovery resources

Last year, Breaking Free group published research on online treatment and recovery resources for substance misuse. This work encompassed a mass online survey, followed by online interviews, to gain an understanding of the types of online resources that people were accessing | Breaking Free, UK

The Daily Telegraph Misrepresents ‘Skunk’ Cannabis Mental Health Cases With Figure Of 82,000. True Figure Is 1,600

Hospital Episode Statistics are maintained in great detail by the NHS using a system of coding called ICD10 – a medical classification list by the World Health Organization (WHO) | Clear, UK

How the war on drugs fueled the fentanyl crisis

The campaign to cut off heroin supplies has encouraged the growth of labs producing the opioid. We need to instead embrace a public health approach | Guardian opinion, UK

Providing a State-by-State Picture of the Nation's Opioids Crisis

I am a firm believer that every problem has a solution. Before a solution is identified, however, the problem must be understood | AHRQ, USA

The Points Interview: J. J. Binder

Today’s Points interviewee is J. J. Binder, author of The Chicago Outfit (2003) and most recently Al Capone’s Beer Wars (2017) | Points Blog, USA