Daily news - 14th July 2017

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UK news

New drug strategy to safeguard vulnerable and stop substance misuse

The Home Secretary has today launched the government’s new Drug Strategy, to reduce illicit drug use and increase the rate of individuals recovering from drug dependence | Home Office, UK

Drug Strategy 2017

The drug strategy 2017 (PDF) sets out how the government and its partners, at local, national and international levels, will take new action to tackle drug misuse and the harms it causes | Home Office, UK

Collective voice response to the 2017 Drug Startegy (PDF)

The Home Office has today published the government’s latest, and long-awaited, drug strategy. Collective Voice is very pleased to welcome the strategy as a serious and realistic platform which, if delivered, will improve society’s collective efforts to minimise the various harms flowing from illegal drug use. Our optimism is driven by four key aspects of the strategy | Collective Voice, UK

DDN reports on new drug strategy

- The government’s long-awaited drug strategy has been published, and includes a new ‘national recovery champion’ role and a cross-government drug strategy board – as well as a focus on a ‘strong law enforcement approach’.

- The new drug strategy represents a ‘balanced approach’ to enforcement and support: comment piece by Sarah Newton, minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability.

- Budget cuts spell more pain for services: The King’s Fund warns of a huge setback to public health

New Drugs Strategy puts prevention at its centre

The government's new national drug strategy, published today, puts prevention "front and centre", signalling a measurable shift towards evidence-based drugs education and away from 'scare tactics' | Mentor, UK

Drugs Strategy Condemned As ‘Business As Usual’ For Ignoring These Radical Solutions As Deaths Soar

The Government’s new drugs strategy has been condemned as “business for usual” for failing to embrace radical solutions to soaring drug deaths | Huffington Post, UK

New Drug Strategy Promises More Death, Misery And Ill Health For UK

The long overdue update to the UK Drug Strategy is published today by the Home Office | Clear, UK

Drug strategy 2016: development review

A review of the evidence on the 2016 drug strategy by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) | ACMD, UK

Updated drug misuse clinical guidelines published

Please note that this link should be live later this morning

The update to Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management (often called the orange book) has been published. Last updated in 2007, the newly updated guidelines endorse much of the previous guidelines. But there is a stronger emphasis on recovery and on a holistic approach to the issues and interventions that can support recovery. Key additions and reinforced messages for 2017 include: incorporation of clinical guidance on prison-based treatment, new psychoactive substances and club drugs, mental health co-morbidity, misuse of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, smoking cessation, and preventing drug-related deaths, including naloxone provision | PHE, UK

Psychoactive Substances Bill: evaluation review

An evaluation review of the Psychoactive Substances Bill by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) | ACMD, UK

Strategy targets legal highs and chemsex

So-called "legal highs" and "chemsex" drugs will be targeted in a government move aimed at cutting illicit drug use | BBC, UK

Small-town children at risk of exploitation by criminal gangs, say MPs

Plight of young people groomed into drug running by dealers who have spread out from major cities highlighted by report | Guardian, UK

Are middle class kids being groomed to carry drugs?

Children and young people from middle class families are in danger of being groomed by urban criminal gangs to sell drugs in county towns, according to a new report | ITV, UK

Teens found selling drugs on Snapchat and Instagram, finds BBC Three investigation

Gang members can make £26,000 in just two days by selling drugs over apps including Snapchat and Instagram | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Girls inherit smoking miscarriage risk

Women exposed to cigarette smoke while in their mothers' wombs are more likely to experience miscarriage as adults, according to a study | BBC, UK

Impact of large-scale distribution and subsequent use of free nicotine patches on primary care physician interaction

Large-scale distribution efforts of free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) have been documented to be cost-effective interventions for increasing smoking quit rates. However, despite nearly a dozen studies evaluating their effectiveness, none have examined whether free NRT provision promotes further primary care help-seeking and the impact that it may have on cessation efforts | BMC Public Health, UK

More than 250 dangerous drivers removed from streets

The operation, which ran throughout June, saw officers from the force’s Roads Policing Unit carrying out additional checks on roads across the county in a bid to reduce the number of offenders and casualties | ITV, UK

The real price of alcohol: counting the cost in the North East

New figures released by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, reveal the estimated cost for alcohol harm to the North East, hitting front line public services and employers with a staggering bill of around £1.01bn in 2015/16 | Balance North East, UK

Figures show heavy drinking costs North East £1bn in frontline services and lost work

Figures released this week show that alcohol harm hit the region's taxpayers and businesses £1.01bn in 2015-16 through hospital admissions, crime and disorder, lost productivity among staff and in social services support for families affected by alcohol | Northern Echo, UK

An Investigation into the prevalence and motivations of co-morbid drinking and gambling behaviours across age groups in Wales

Survey. You are invited to to take part in our research which will investigate motivations for co-morbid drinking and gambling behaviours across age groups in Wales. Before you decide to take part in our study, please take your time to carefully read and understand what is being asked of you. Please take your time to decide whether or not you wish to take part in the study | Alcohol Concern Wales, UK

Prisoners and families affected by bereavement

Adfam is co-hosting a roundtable with Clinks to identify and discuss key issues around supporting prisoners and family members affected by bereavement | Adfam, UK

Medical cannabis use could be legal in Channel Islands

Medical cannabis could be legalised in Jersey and Guernsey due to the findings of a report rejected in the UK | BBC, UK

Durham Police Commissioner Ron Hogg to call for radical reform of UK drug policy

Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg is to chair a meeting of experts at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham on Friday | Northern Echo, UK

Croydon Council supports move to crack down on illegal tobacco trade that generates £100 million per year

The campaign was initiated by London Councils, London Trading Standards and health professionals across the city | Your Local Guardian, UK

Jail for cocaine driver who killed Newport grandmother

A father-of-two has been jailed for eight years and eight months for killing a grandmother while sniffing cocaine at the wheel of his van | BBC, UK


International news

Nations that cannot fight tobacco industry should raise taxes, says WHO

World Health Organization says many governments have neither funds nor expertise to take on big tobacco companies | Guardian, UK

Philip Morris waging global effort to hobble anti-smoking treaty, files show

Philip Morris, the multinational company best known for Marlboro cigarettes, has developed a corporate strategy to undermine a global treaty and fight tobacco regulation around the world, leaked documents reveal | Guardian, UK

Why is it so Hard to Quit Smoking?

A billion people across the world smoke cigarettes, and many would agree it’s the hardest habit to quit. One such smoker, listener Sharif, emailed CrowdScience from Uzbekistan to ask if we could find out whygiving up is so difficult. Marnie Chesterton travels to San Francisco to meet addiction experts and discovers how nicotine tricks smokers into thinking tobacco’s good for them. And we meet ex-smokers at a weekly therapy session aimed at retraining the brain | BBC, UK

Most people addicted to opioids receive no treatment

ON A sweltering morning, a motley crowd queues at the BAART Beverly clinic near downtown Los Angeles to receive methadone treatment for their heroin and prescription-opioid addictions | Economist, UK

‘Smart’ vending machine could sell alcohol and ammunition

A vending machine fitted with biometric security has been developed which could be used to dispense a variety of restricted goods including alcohol, ammunition and cannabis | BBC, UK

Acrylfentanyl and naloxone effectiveness (PDF)

Recently there have been news reports of a “new” fentanyl analogue, acrylfentanyl, calling the drug ”extremely powerful” and implying that it can render naloxone ineffective. Elements of these reports are incorrect and misleading | ONDCP, USA

New report presents national strategy to reduce opioid epidemic

Years of sustained and coordinated efforts will be required to contain and reverse the harmful societal effects of the prescription and illicit opioid epidemics, which are intertwined and getting worse, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

House panel seeks to block FDA e-cigarette rules

The legislation approved Wednesday by the Republican-controlled Appropriations Committee would prevent the FDA from requiring retroactive safety reviews of e-cigarettes already on the market. It would exempt some premium and large cigars from those same regulations. E-cigarette products introduced in the future would face the safety reviews | STAT News, USA

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults

The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a new study | Science Daily, USA

US charges 412 people for health fraud, opioid scams

US authorities slapped 412 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with fraud charges Thursday, many for overprescribing opioids that have stoked an expanding national addiction crisis | Medical Xpress, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Health Profile for England: Telling a story about our health

We are delighted to publish our Health Profile for England, a landmark piece of work for PHE, using our data and knowledge to tell a story about the health of England’s population | PHE Blog, UK

Do Psychedelics Make People More Environmentally Active?

The social and environmental activism that made the 1960s such an iconic and influential decade sprang from an existential shift in consciousness. Movements emerged based upon a new spirit of connectedness and unity, and as has been posited many times before, this sense of universal oneness was largely fostered by the rise in popularity of psychedelic drugs | Beckley Foundation Blog, UK

Sizing up KBS: Conference highlights from an early career researcher

In early June, I attended the Kettil Bruun Society (KBS) meeting in beautiful Sheffield. It was the first time I attended KBS and it was quite different from other conferences I’ve been to | IAS Blog, UK