Daily news - 18th July 2017

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UK news

Effectiveness Bank hot topics July to September 2017

Latest selection looks beyond the alcohol and opiate staples of the UK’s treatment caseload to possibly an underestimated drug and then one overestimated - cannabis and crack. Getting drug users into employment has been a major national ambition - realistic, an end in itself, or a means to an end? In 1993 Britain was warned not to ignore the “sleeping giant” of hepatitis C infection; recently the giant seems to have grown bigger | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The Spice Response

Friday 14th July was a big day for UK’s drug policy strategists. Many of our best and brightest, including treatment service providers, mental health practitioners, police and probation officers, gathered at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) for a conference called “Responding to ‘Spice’: Developing an Integrated Response | Volte Face, UK

Understanding Drug Addiction - BBC radio iplayer

Hanna Pickard says we need to understand the reasons why desperate people become addicted to drugs, seeing them neither as "victims of a neurobiological disease", nor as "selfish, lazy hedonists" | BBC Radio 4, UK

Alcohol and substance addictions - BBC radio iplayer

When it comes to overcoming alcohol and substance addictions, is it harder for Asian women to get help than Asian men? | BBC Radio London, UK

PHI Survey

We are undertaking a new research study examining how best to communicate potential harms around use of ecstasy/MDMA. The study comprises an online questionnaire | PHI, UK

Mentor-ADEPIS Drug and Alcohol Education Survey

This survey is designed to further inform the development of the Alcohol and Drugs Education and Prevention Information service. For more information on ADEPIS please click here | Mentor-ADEPIS, UK

Man charged after Newton Abbot 'legal high' death

A man has been charged following the death of 15-year-old girl from a suspected "legal high" | BBC, UK

Southwark police officer sacked for using cannabis

The former copper was given a test in 2015, and was dismissed on July 5 | Southwark News, UK


International news

The Myth Of The Place Where The War On Drugs Worked

Over the past three years, I have been publicly making the case for moving beyond the war on drugs in places as disparate as Baltimore, Medillin, Sydney, Paris and Buenos Aires – and everywhere, I ask the defenders of continuing the drug war one question. Can you name one place, anywhere in the world, where the drug war has succeeded? | Volte Face, UK

The drugs situation in Ireland: an overview of trends from 2005 to 2015 (PDF)

This report presents an overview of trends in the drugs situation in Ireland over a 10 year period. The report analyses the most recent data available with respect to the five European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) key indicators (prevalence of drug use, high risk drug use, treatment demand, drug-related deaths and mortality and drug-related infectious diseases) as well as drug-related crime and supply | PHI, UK

Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017 – 2025

Ireland’s “Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery” strategy sets out the Government’s response to addressing the harm caused by substance misuse in our society over the next eight years.  It identifies a set of key actions to be delivered between 2017 and 2020, and provides an opportunity for the development of further actions from 2021 to 2024 to address needs that may emerge later on in the lifetime of the strategy | Department of Health, Ireland

Ireland Thinks poll on attitudes to alcohol consumption Commissioned by Alcohol Action Ireland Conducted June 12th to June 16th 2017 (PDF)

A new opinion poll commissioned by Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland shows strong support for Government action to curb alcohol marketing that appeals to young people | Alcohol Action Ireland, Ireland

Drug-related intimidation. The Irish situation and international responses: an evidence review (PDF)

Drug-related intimidation is a pervasive and pressing issue negatively impacting the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and the functioning of local agencies that serve them. The aim of this evidence review is to critically appraise the national and international evidence to identify best practice, community-based responses to DRI to inform: a) DRI action points within the upcoming National Drugs Strategy, 2017–2026, and b) Drugs Task Force action plans for implementing responses to DRI in their local communities | Health Research Board, Ireland

HRB drug and alcohol evidence reviews (PDF)

This review examines the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions in the areas of harm reduction, prevention, treatment and long-term recovery related to illicit drug misuse and dependence | Health Research Board, Ireland

Possession of small quantities of drugs could be decriminalised

National Drugs Strategy will govern approach to substance abuse through 2020 | Irish Times, Ireland

'These people matter': The government's new 'compassionate' plan to tackle drug addiction

The new drug strategy aims to develop a health-led approach to drug and alcohol addiction | Journal, Ireland

Budget 2017

The EMCDDA receives stable funding under Commission budget line B3-441 of the general budget of the European Union. Each year, a preliminary draft budget is presented by the Centre's Director to the Management Board, which may modify the draft before adopting it and submitting it to the European Commission. The Commission, in turn, makes its recommendations (which may again alter the draft) and presents the result to the European Council and Parliament | EMCDDA, Portugal

Albania, National Drug Report 2017

This report is prepared in the framework of the EMCDDA-IPA5 project ‘Further preparation of the IPA beneficiaries for their participation with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’ funded by the European Commission. It provides a top-level overview of the drug phenomenon in Albania, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as well as drug policy and responses. It has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union | EMCDDA, Portugal

Serbia, National Drug Report 2017

This report is prepared in the framework of the EMCDDA-IPA5 project ‘Further preparation of the IPA beneficiaries for their participation with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’ funded by the European Commission. It provides a top-level overview of the drug phenomenon in Serbia, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as well as drug policy and responses. It has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union | EMCDDA, Portugal

SAMHSA report shows the usage of non-medical pain relievers across the nation

A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that 4.31 percent of people aged 12 or older in the U.S. used prescription pain relievers non-medically in the past year. When taken without a physician's direction, prescription opioid pain relievers can lead to a higher risk of serious adverse consequences such as substance use disorder, overdose, or death | SAMSHA, USA

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

Seattle-focused study suggests earlier intervention with depressed youths could reduce rate of cannabis-use disorder | Science Daily, USA

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which is published online ahead of print in JAMA Internal Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Smoking Marijuana While Black

Black and Latino New Yorkers still are far more likely to be arrested for lighting up in public | NYTimes, USA

Democrat Attorney General Encourages FDA to Reconsider E-Cigarette Regs

Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller is no friend of big tobacco. The 9-term Democrat was one of the Attorneys General that led the charge suing big tobacco companies that ultimately culminated in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) where cigarette manufacturers were forced to pay the states billions of dollars | Huffington Post Blog, USA

Catholic Church Gives Out Heroin Antidote Narcan at Family Festival

An Ohio church hosting a family festival added a new element to the festivities this year: handing out Narcan, the nasal spray used as an antidote for people overdosing on heroin and other opioids | People, USA

Canada should continue with separate medical stream after cannabis is legalized for recreational use

After cannabis is legalized, Canada should continue with a separate medical cannabis stream to keep patients safe, argues a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) | Medical Xpress, USA

Why is Australia's most progressive Premier blocking an injection room trial?

The paramedics who treat overdosed heroin addicts want a safe injecting room trial | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, commet and opinion

Nicotine in the news

This week some further reflections on the links between drug and tobacco harm reduction | NSP Blog, UK

New Home Office drug strategy, same old rhetoric

The Home Office has just published a new drug strategy. The last one was published by Theresa May (then home secretary) seven years ago. The world has changed a lot in that time – not least for May – and so have drugs and the health problems that governments must deal with. So has the strategy changed with the times? | Conversation, UK

The Government’s Drug Strategy Does Not Go Far Enough

We welcome the Government’s long awaited Drug Strategy but, without significant resources being allocated to deliver the government’s commitment, the objectives of the strategy will not be realised | Huffington Post Blog, UK

Should we screen for cirrhosis?

Recent guidelines are right to recommend screening high risk patients for liver cirrhosis, say Mark Hudson and Nick Sheron. But Ian Rowe and Gideon Hirschfield worry about the lack of a suitable screening test | BMJ head to head, UK

Alcohol IBA e-learning programme developed by Public Health England and Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare

We often think of alcohol misuse in terms of dependence and the conditions associated with heavy drinking like liver disease and pancreatitis. But, as last year’s Chief Medical Officers’ new guidance indicated, lower levels of alcohol misuse can contribute to a wide range of conditions not so readily associated with alcohol | Elfh Blog, UK

Severe mental illness in offspring may not be linked to smoking during pregnancy

Approximately 8% of woman in the United States smoke when pregnant. Nicotine and carbon monoxide are able to cross the placenta and we know that they can directly (and indirectly) affect foetal neurodevelopment. Because of this, maternal smoking during pregnancy (SDP) is associated with behavioural and neurodevelopmental problems in offspring, and thus may represent a modifiable risk factor for severe mental illness (SMI) | Mental Elf Blog, UK

The scandal of big tobacco’s behaviour in the developing world

Readers respond to the Guardian’s investigative series on cigarette companies’ efforts to squash anti-smoking measures in the poorest countries | Guardian letters, UK

Portuguese drugs strategy - Cheaper to treat addicts than jail them

The launch yesterday of the latest National Drugs Strategy represents the first serious attempt by an Irish government to take illegal drug use away from the criminal justice system and treat it as a health issue. It is also the first time that alcohol has been included as part of the strategy | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Meet the editors: Publishing Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed

May 2017 saw the publication of ‘Publishing Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed’, the third edition handbook aiming to guide addiction scientists facing the complex process of contributing to scholarly journals | Ubiquity Blog, USA