Daily news - 25th July 2017

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UK news

Home Office Science non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs): triennial review

In April 2011, Cabinet Office announced that all NDPBs still in existence following the reforms brought about by the Public Bodies Act 2011 would have to undergo a substantive review at least once every 3 years | Home Office, UK

'Life-saving drug' reverses 98 opioid overdoses

A medication that reverses an overdose from opioids, including heroin, has helped prevent deaths in 98 potentially fatal overdoses in the past five years | BBC, UK

Scotch whisky industry attacks minimum price plans as 'blunt instrument'

Drinks industry body takes on Scottish government in supreme court over proposals to bring in 50 per unit minimum price | Guardian, UK

Alcohol minimum pricing appeal under way at Supreme Court - Video

An appeal against plans to bring in minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland has begun at the UK's highest court. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is challenging the Scottish government's minimum unit pricing proposals at the Supreme Court in London | BBC, UK

Supreme Court MUP ruling underway amid liver disease warnings

An anticipated end to the long drawn out legal battle over Scotland's Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) bid is being played out in the UK's Supreme Court this week - live stream here. The final ruling is expected nearly five years after Scotland legislated for MUP, but has been subject to a long drawn out legal challenge from sections of the alcohol industry | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Hepatitis B: guidance, data and analysis

The characteristics, diagnosis, management and epidemiology of hepatitis B | PHE, UK

Tobacco Control Plan could be hindered by public health cuts

Department of Health calls for the first smoke-free generation and for a decrease in the smoking rate among adults under the Tobacco Control Plan but repeated cuts to local authority public health budgets have seen provision of stop smoking services slashed | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Alcohol and Nutrition (Homeless People)

New research finds nutrient deficiencies in heavy drinking homeless people, but evidence is limited. Health complications caused by nutritional deficiencies in homeless problem-drinkers can be avoided if they are addressed early, writes Dr Sharea Ijaz and Zoe Trinder-Widdess, NIHR CLAHRC West, Bristol | SMMGP, UK

Feasibility of a UK community-based, eTherapy mental health service in Greater Manchester: repeated-measures and between-groups study of ‘Living Life to the Full Interactive’, ‘Sleepio’ and ‘Breaking Free Online’ at ‘Self Help Services’

[Open access] There is increasing evidence to support the effectiveness of eTherapies for mental health, although limited data have been reported from community-based services. Therefore, this service evaluation reports on feasibility and outcomes from an eTherapy mental health service | BMJ, UK

Poor medication adherence and risk of relapse associated with continued cannabis use in patients with first-episode psychosis: a prospective analysis

[Open access] Cannabis use following the onset of first-episode psychosis has been linked to both increased risk of relapse and non-adherence with antipsychotic medication. Whether poor outcome associated with cannabis use is mediated through an adverse effect of cannabis on medication adherence | Lancet, UK

Elevated alcohol consumption following alcohol cue exposure is partially mediated by reduced inhibitory control and increased craving

[Open access] Exposure to alcohol-related cues leads to increased alcohol consumption, and this may be partially attributable to momentarily impaired impulse control | Psychopharmacology, UK

Alcohol improves memory, scientists say as study finds drinking helps people recall information

Drinking alcohol can actually improve memory, academics have found as a study showed that those who drink after studying are better at recalling what they learnt | Telegraph, UK

Wales' oldest MP is launching a new bid to legalise cannabis

82-year-old MP Paul Flynn believes 'prohibition is killing people' | Wales Online, UK

Devon drugs death girl 'paid ultimate price'

A girl who is thought to have died because of an adverse reaction to what used be called a legal high "paid the ultimate price", her family has said | BBC, UK

Violence at Bristol prison due to 'deluge of drugs'

A "deluge of illicit drugs" has fuelled violence, debt and self-harm at a men's prison, a report has said | BBC, UK

17/53 - Changing drinking behaviours

The Public Health Research Programme are accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream for this topic | NIHR, UK

Annual Review 2016

Action on Addiction's year in review | Action on Addiction, UK

Share your experiences of accessing help for alcohol misuse

Amid warnings that heavy drinking will kill 63,000 people over the next five years, we want to hear from readers who have sought help to stop drinking | Guardian, UK

Welcome to the Synthetic Cannabinoid MDMB-CHMICA User Survey

This survey is part of a research project looking at the Use/Misuse of the synthetic cannabinoid MDMB-CHMICA. This can be completed within 10 minutes. We would be really grateful if you could take part in this survey | University of Hertfordshire, UK

Trio jailed after £100,000 Dundee drugs raid

Three men caught during a police raid that recovered £100,000 of heroin and cocaine in Dundee have been jailed | BBC, UK

Manchester drugs courier hid heroin in underpants

Zak Brown said his "fingers would have been cut off" if he had not carried the drugs | BBC, UK


International news

British tourists warned they are risking their lives with 'dirty' Benidorm cocktails

Unscrupulous hawkers are trawling the beaches selling defective alcohol and unsanitary fruit | Independent, UK

Philippines President Duterte Calls for the Death Penalty for Drug Possession

President Rodrigo Duterte of has called for the reintroduction of the death penalty in the Philippines for a range of offences – including drug possession - as his country’s brutal slaughter of people who use drugs continues | Talking Drugs, UK

Trump administration preparing for strict crackdown on marijuana

Some local law enforcement leaders argue there’s no need for it | Independent, UK

Drug and alcohol addiction swamps our overstretched rehab services

The Coolmine chief executive says there is a desperate need for more residential places to house recovering addicts, writes Liam Collins | Independent, Ireland

Calls for a heroin 'overdose antidote' to be made more available to addicts' families

Calls are being made for a heroin ‘overdose antidote’ to be made more freely available here after a scheme in Northern Ireland may have saved almost 100 lives over the past five years | Journal, Ireland

Alcohol labelling A discussion document on policy options (PDF)

This discussion document presents an analysis of the policy options available for introducing warning and product labelling on alcoholic beverage containers. It outlines the existing legal and policy frameworks and the current level of implementation in the WHO European Region. Some components that could be considered when developing effective health warning labels are described | WHO, Denmark

World-first ketamine trial shows promise for geriatric depression

Australian researchers have completed the world's first randomised control trial (RCT) assessing the efficacy and safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression in elderly patients | Medical Xpress, USA

Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll 

Employers say they are having trouble filling jobs because too many applicants can’t pass screening, a factor depressing the labor participation rate | NYTimes, USA

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects | Medical Xpress, Australia

'Monumentally stupid': Richmond locals furious at planned memorial to overdose victims

Council plans to install a memorial for people who have died from heroin overdoses in Richmond | Age, Australia

Matter of substance July 2017

News, features and more in this latest issue of the monthly magazine | New Zeland Drug Foundation, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

Since attending the 2016 GFN Conference in Warsaw, I have heard all sorts of dark tales about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) and the Conference of the Parties (COP). The FCTC adopted by the 56th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland on 21 May 2003 came into force in 2005 and seeks "to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke” | NSP Blog, UK

The ‘Spice’ problem and what to do about it - Because you won’t find the answer in the new UK Drug Strategy

You don’t need a PhD in the history of alcohol Prohibition to realise that banning drugs doesn’t have a great record | Transform Blog, UK

Wayne Hall interview 

Wayne Hall is a Professor at the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR) at the University of Queensland. In 2010 Wayne was the Wellcome Lecturer at The Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford, and received the Lee Greenaway Award from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Queensland | SSA, UK

Booze in space: how the universe is absolutely drowning in the hard stuff

A cold beer on a hot day or a whisky nightcap beside a coal fire. A well earned glass can loosen your thinking until you feel able to pierce the mysteries of life, death, love and identity. In moments like these, alcohol and the cosmic can seem intimately entwined | Conversation, UK

Plonk: a language lover’s guide to Australian drinking

The hard-drinking Aussie is the stuff of legend and lore. But there’s little proof Australians drank more than other colonials and by some accounts they drank less (points made in Sidney Baker’s The Australian Language) | Conversation, Australia