Daily news - 13th July 2017

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UK news

DDN July/August issue

Problematic substance use rarely travels alone. The body of evidence keeps growing on the many strands that converge to make us lose direction. We also talk a lot about revolving doors – to prison, debt, homelessness and a state of disconnection.

As a clear case study we focus on veterans this month, through talking to the charity Combat Stress. Plus Kevin Flemen’s article should help to provide accurate advice, grounded in harm reduction | DDN, UK

Spice (Synthetic Cannabinoids SCRAs) Briefing for professionals 2017 (PDF)

Spice is a nickname for a herbal mixture containing one or more of a group of drugs called synthetic cannabinoids | Mike Linnell for Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, UK

Government's public health cuts 'will leave needles in the streets', warn pharmacists

There are around 87,000 people who regularly inject drugs in the UK, according to the NHS | Independent, UK

'Reckless' cuts to sexual health services fuel soaring STD levels 

Spending on sexual health has plummeted while levels of diseases are soaring, a think tank has warned | Telegraph, UK

Join PHE’s live stream to launch our 'Health Profile for England'

This landmark publication brings together our wealth of data – from life expectancy to health protection issues – for the first time, to paint the full picture of our population’s health | PHE, UK

Addiction: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to increase funding for addiction services in England | They work for you, UK

Promoting recovery through employment

High levels of unemployment persist among problem substance users, and
so too does the message that ‘getting people back into work’ is both
good for the individual and good for society. But at what point does
employment become a realistic ambition; and is being in work the end
goal, or just a means to an end of recovery and reintegration? | Drug
and Alcohol Findings, UK

Independent Inquiry Announced for Contaminated Blood Scandal

The Hepatitis C Coalition released the following statement regarding the recently announced independent inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal | Blenheim, UK

Pubs in 2017: diversify or demise?

Its no secret that the number of pubs has been declining for decades, long before the introduction of the smoking ban ten years ago. The changing picture of the nation's pubs though, like many alcohol policy areas, is both often politicised and complex | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

What is ... Bibliotherapy for Addiction

Guided reading, often referred to as bibliotherapy, has been shown to significantly impact people when reaching a crossroads and facing critical decisions | SSA, UK

Drinking alcohol while in charge of a child can get you arrested 

Being drunk while in charge of a child under the age of seven is illegal | Independent, UK

Does coffee make you live longer?

"Drinking three cups of coffee a day could add years to your life, suggest studies," reports the Metro | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Housing providers join forces in anti-cannabis campaign

A group of housing providers have teamed up with local authorities to combat cannabis use in rented accommodation around Merseyside | Your Move Magazine, UK

The Fear of Experts?

Free event. London, 19th July. Do we listen to experts? Do we lack evidence in our policy making? Join us for the Stop and Search podcast as we take a look at the interplay between politics and science | LEAP, UK

PhD study exploring smokers' habits and secondhand smoke in the home in Merseyside

Survey. This is a research project exploring the smoking habits of parents/full time carers to pre-school children and levels of secondhand smoke in the home.  If you would like to take part please complete this short questionnaire | LJMU, UK

Adam Watt murder: Drug dealer is jailed for life

A drug dealer who murdered a man for failing to pay a £10 debt has been jailed for life and faces deportation | BBC, UK


International news

Balearic Islands plead for alcohol ban on flights

Spanish islands famous for their party resorts ask for ban in effort to tackle ‘anti-social tourism’ | Guardian, UK

Is North America's opioid epidemic a crisis of masculinity?

Men accounted for 80% of the 935 fatal overdoses in British Columbia last year – and a researcher says it’s time to pay more attention to the risks they face | Guardian, UK

Marijuana shortage: Nevada considers emergency measures

State officials in Nevada are considering emergency measures to deal with a lack of marijuana | BBC, UK

Myanmar’s Drug Vigilantes

Myanmar’s northernmost state is in the grip of a heroin epidemic. Nicola Kelly travels to Kachin State to meet those affected - and those who seek to benefit - from the crisis | BBC iPlayer, UK

Kim Kardashian quashes cocaine rumours after awkward marble table selfie

Kim Kardashian has put rumours to rest after sharing an awkward selfie that appeared to show lines of white powder on a table | Telegraph, UK

New Zealand Politicians Talk Drug Law Reform as Election Approaches

As New Zealand’s general election draws closer, some of the parliamentary candidates have been discussing drug policy; while they may disagree with each other about what needs to be done, many believe that change is necessary | Talking Drugs, UK

Vote on tougher drink-driving laws deferred

A Dáil vote on beefing up drink-drive laws has been postponed until the autumn but a number of ministers have expressed concern about plans to take offenders off the roads | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Alcohol & Pregnancy: Key Issues Before, During and After Pregnancy

Free event. Tuesday 26 September. Galway, Ireland. According to recent research, Ireland has the world's highest rate of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The aim of this seminar is to highlight and address both the risks and harms arising from alcohol consumption during pregancy as well as alcohol-related issues pre and post pregnancy | Western Region Drug & Alcohol Task Force & Galway Healthy Cities Forum, Ireland

Health committee rejects Bill to legalise medical cannabis

Report says proposals would have unintended consequences | Irish Times, Ireland

Rome bans alcohol in public on summer nights

Italy maybe famous for its pizzas and wine, but from this summer, one half of that combination may have to be dropped. The Mayor of Rome has banned alcohol from the the streets and public squares of the capital, saying she didn't want excessive drinking to hamper the "Roman summer experience" | Economic Times, India

Clinical trial looks at tramadol for opioid withdrawal

A randomized clinical trial compared tramadol extended-release with clonidine and buprenorphine for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms in patients with opioid use disorder in a residential research setting | Science Daily, USA

Opioid maker fined $35mn over shipments that fed addiction crisis

Drug manufacturer Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals was fined $35 million Tuesday for supplying and not reporting suspicious massive orders of its highly addictive oxycodone, helping to fuel the US addiction crisis | Medical Xpress, USA

Examining the relationship between mental health and rates of prescription opioid use

Prescription opioid misuse has become a national crisis in the United States, impacting an estimated 2 million Americans in 2015. For some individuals, using a doctor-prescribed opioid to treat pain symptoms can lead to dependence and even death | BASIS, USA

House panel seeks to block FDA 'vaping' rules

A House panel is again trying to exempt increasingly popular e-cigarettes from new Food and Drug Administration rules | Medical Xpress, USA

Shrooms Could Be Legalized Sooner Than You Think

Folks in Oregon are looking to put it to a vote in 2020 | VICE, USA

A third of millennials have used Venmo to pay for drugs

new survey finds that 33% of millennials have used Venmo, the payments app owned by PayPal that’s popular with the demographic, to buy illicit drugs | Quartz, USA

Oregon to Make Heroin and Coke Possession a Misdemeanor

If Governor Kate Brown signs the approved bill into law, it would give first-time offenders with small amounts of drugs less jail time and lower fines | VICE, USA

Demolition of Prohibition-era wall reveals centuries-old wine collection

Museum workers in New Jersey broke through a Prohibition-era wall and a locked wooden cage to discover over 50 bottles and 42 demijohns of rare Madeira wine dating back as early as 1769 | CNN, USA

A Hostile Climate for People Who Use Drugs Hurts Everyone

We’ve made much-needed societal progress on mental health and sexuality, but drug use stigma remains common | VICE, Canada

Drug Use During Festival Season

Summer time is here and so is music festival season. While music festivals and other summer parties are a great way to celebrate the season, it is important to consider safety, especially when it comes to drugs and alcohol | Canadian Government, Canada

Australia cautiously enters medical marijuana market

At a secret location in Australia's southeast, Peter Crook delicately tends to a two-month-old cannabis cutting | Medical Xpress, Australia

Overdose deaths drive new Melbourne push for safe injecting room

The grungy, inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond is known for its abundance of authentic Vietnamese food and burgeoning live music scene | The Citizen, Australia

Doctors plead for e-cigarette reforms

Australia must make it as easy as possible for smokers to get their hands on e-cigarettes, doctors and a giant tobacco company have told federal parliamentarians | News.com.au, Australia

Exposed: big tobacco's behind-the-scenes 'astroturf' campaign to change vaping laws

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is running an under-the-radar campaign to convince federal politicians to legalise e-cigarettes containing nicotine, with anti-smoking campaigners accusing the company of using the same "astroturf" tactics it used in its fight against plain packaging | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Chickens coming home to roost: local government public health budgets for 2017/18

The Department for Communities and Local Government has released new data on local authorities’ planned budgets for public health in 2017/18. It does not make good reading | Kings Fund Blog, UK

No, PSHE And RSE In Schools Does Not Mean Teaching 5-Year-Olds About Sexuality, Rape And Abuse

Ian Macdonald writes a rebuttal to unrealistic reservations about RSE and PSHE's place in schools | Teachwire, UK

IntoWork17 blog: Social justice for all must start with the most excluded

For many people experiencing multiple needs, moving towards work is an important ambition. Achieving social justice requires a focus on those with the furthest to travel. In this blog I explores some of the issues that came up in my IntoWork debate | Learning and Work Institute, UK

Why the pub isn’t the only place drinkers should buy craft beers

Our best small breweries are in danger of being absorbed by big beer. We can do our bit by shunning fake ‘craft’ beers in the supermarket | Guardian opinion, UK

Why it is closing time for so many London pubs

Alehouses in the city's outer regions are especially vulnerable | Economist blog, UK

Make minimum pricing happen

AS GPs working in the most socio-economically deprived areas of Scotland, we deal on a daily basis with the damaging consequences of alcohol on the physical and mental health of our patients and their families, including avoidable premature deaths, long term illness and misery. The detrimental effects on children of growing up in affected households are profound and long-lasting | Herald opinion, UK

My role in the smoking ban

Caroline Flint MP was public health minister from 2005 to 2007 and oversaw the introduction of the smoking ban, which she describes below | ASH Blog, UK

Alcohol Bill and media companies

Sir, – In “New laws on alcohol advertising could cost media companies ¤20 million a year” (Business, July 7th), the media industry warns that new advertising restrictions proposed in the Bill could “reduce the annual revenues of media companies here by €20 million” | Irish Times, Ireland

Nearly a Third of Millennials Have Used Venmo to Pay for Drugs

Released in 2009 and acquired by PayPal in 2013, Venmo is a true 21st-century product that has transformed the way we handle money and payments | Lendedu, USA

A brief history of DARE, the anti-drug program Jeff Sessions wants to revive

Speaking at a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) conference this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised the past work of the famous anti-drug program, saying it saved lives | Washington Post Blog, USA

Recent Publications in Contemporary Drug Problems: Withdrawal and Maintenance

Each of the articles below appeared in recent issues of the journal Contemporary Drug Problems, concerning drug withdrawals, substitution, and maintenance | Points Blog, USA