Daily news - 26th July 2017

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UK news

Rise in drug deaths due to 1980s inequality, study finds

Rising inequality during the 1980s increased the risk of drug-related deaths among members of "Generation X" in Scotland, a new study has found | BBC, UK

New analysis explains increase and inequality in drugs deaths

Today sees the release of new analysis which shows that the risk of drug-related deaths increased in Scotland from the 1990s for those born between 1960 and 1980, especially within deprived areas. [Media release (PDF)] | NHS Scotland, UK

Supreme Court judges retire to consider minimum pricing appeal

Supreme Court judges have retired to consider the latest appeal against minimum pricing of alcohol in Scotland | BBC, UK

Could redesigning supermarkets, bars and restaurants ‘nudge’ us away from harmful consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco?

Behavioural and cognitive scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have just been awarded a prestigious Wellcome Collaborative Award in Science to investigate ways to ‘nudge’ people towards healthier behaviour – to reduce their food and alcohol consumption and to stop smoking – in order to improve health across the population | BHRU, Univeristy of Cambridge, UK

Journeys: living with a partner using drugs or alcohol

The journey towards life without drugs or alcohol is your journey too. Unless you take the difficult decision to leave your partner you will be with them on their journey, but you will also be on your own. You will have your own symptoms and setbacks, feelings and fears. Like your partner you will have successes and moments of despair. And like your partner’s journey, yours will have key moments and stages | Adfam, UK

Teenagers who increase their marijuana use with age have a greater risk of depression and education failures

Teenagers who increase their marijuana use with age have a greater risk of depression, an inability to experience pleasure and poor educational achievements in later life, new research reveals | Mail Online, UK

Smokers who undergo a CT scan of their lungs are more likely to quit, study finds

Research disputes notion that a negative screening result offers a ‘licence to smoke’ | Independent, UK

Inside the One UK Lab Testing What's Really in Your Drugs

WEDINOS, in Cardiff, is the only place you can send your drugs to be tested. We went to see what they've found in the country's MDMA, LSD and cocaine | VICE, UK

Family - BBC iPlayer

In a large house in Sheffield, 12 families live together. But Phoenix Futures' Specialist Family Service is no ordinary house. And these are no ordinary families. This is the only family rehab in the UK - a place where parents addicted to drugs or alcohol come with their children to change their lives and determine their futures | BBC, UK

Sport and sunshine fuel surge in UK supermarket alcohol sales

UK heatwave feeds extra £158m in sales of drink with huge leap in suncare and ice-cream purchases but signs emerge of consumers starting to tighten belts | Guardian, UK

Prison officers off sick from inhaling smoke after 5.6kg spice haul

Sixteen officers from Holme House, County Durham, are off work having inadvertently breathed in smoke from cells | Guardian, UK

Professor Green: Is It Time to Legalise Weed?

As his name suggests, rapper and documentary maker Professor Green has a past relationship with cannabis. Before finding success as a musician he sold weed, and between the ages of 16 and 24 he smoked cannabis every day - but things have changed since then | BBC, UK

Revolutionary fingerprint drug test now available to support drug rehabilitation services

UK-based Intelligent Fingerprinting has announced the availability of its new fingerprint-based drug screening system to drug rehabilitation service providers | Intelligent Fingerprinting, UK

A history of the journey to recovery

Blenheim and Eastside have received support from National Lottery players to record the life histories of people currently engaged in addiction recovery support at Blenheim’s R3 ETE (Education, Training & Employment) service in Redbridge. The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will help participants examine changing societal attitudes towards addiction and mental health | Blenheim, UK

Gateshead Recovery Walk - 21 July 2017

The seventh annual Gateshead Recovery Walk is the longest of its kind to take place in the UK, with a distance of over 16 miles. More than 110 people were confirmed to have completed the walk, the largest number of participants in any year to-date. Participants  included staff, service users and local council commissioners | CGL, UK

Recovery Street Film Festival

Deadline for submissions - 4th August 2017 | Recovery Street Film Festival, UK

Teresa Albor in the Department of Addictions

Teresa Albor is an artist-in-residence at King’s. Working in collaboration with Dr Sally Marlow, Public Engagement Fellow and Sir John Strang, Professor of Addictions, Teresa will be resident in the Department of Addictions on a project exploring the administration of Naloxone, an antidote to heroin overdose, by family members of those who use heroin | KCL, UK

Former heroin addict Jacqui sets up Dundee cafe to help support drug users

She hopes the new service — which runs on Saturdays between midday and 3pm — will see other people in a similar situation seek support for addiction and mental health problems | Evening Telegraph, UK

Police in Pill, Newport, get anti-social behaviour powers

Drinking alcohol in the street and gathering in groups has been banned in an area of Newport following a large-scale disorder | BBC, UK


International news

Synthetic cannabis linked to eighth New Zealand death

A string of recent deaths in New Zealand is being attributed to the rise of so-called synthetic cannabis | BBC, UK

Can a GP-led brief intervention reduce young patients’ substance use?

In French-speaking Switzerland researchers investigated whether training
doctors to deliver a brief motivational intervention could reduce binge
drinking and excessive cannabis use among 15–24-year olds. Though a year later fewer young people were excessively using these substances, the brief intervention was no more effective than usual care. So why did it
seemingly fail to deliver? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How a father's tragedy moved the Teamsters to fight an opioid distributor

Teamsters union general secretary-treasurer Ken Hall has called drug firm’s role in the opioid epidemic ‘one of the most tragic failures of corporate integrity’ | Guardian, UK

Britain can resist America’s opioid scourge

This requires ensuring that the proceeds of growth are more widely shared | FT, UK

Ketamine has 'truly remarkable' effect on depression and is effective in elderly patients, scientists say

Ketamine can have a “truly remarkable” effect on people with depression, researchers have said after a new study showed promising results among elderly patients | Independent, UK

The Media Needs More Than a New Style Guide to Get Them to Stop Stigmatising People Who Use Drugs

On May 31st, the AP announced over 200 changes to their Stylebook – including some guidance on how to write about addiction. Words like ‘addict’ and ‘abuser’ were to be avoided and replaced with more person-first and less pejorative language | Talking Drugs, UK

Former drug dealer opens gym staffed by ex-cons

Coss Marte was once making millions of dollars running a drug dealing ring in New York City | BBC, UK

28.5% rise in drink-driving arrests this summer

Nearly 30% more suspected drink-drivers have been arrested in Cork city and county in the past three months compared to the same period last year | Irish Examiner, Ireland

'Strong for surgery' shows promise in reducing smoking rates for patients facing surgery

New study suggests big drop in smoking rates over five-year period when surgeons get involved in helping patients quit smoking before their operations | EurekAlert, USA

Scientists identify gene mutations in smoking-related cancers

African-Americans typically have worse outcomes from smoking-related cancers than Caucasians, but the reasons for this remain elusive. However, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have taken a big step toward solving this puzzle | Medical Xpress, USA

Nearly a thousand tons of drugs were seized last year by US Customs and Border Protection, but how do drugs manage to make it across the border?

As the United States increases the number of agents, drones, sensors and cameras on the border, smugglers resort to more inventive modes | NYTimes, USA

Could pharmacists dispense heroin in injecting rooms

It’s time to put harm minimisation measures like prescription heroin back on the agenda, says one industry stakeholder | AJP, Australia

Painkillers now killing more Australians than heroin

Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Senate committee that opioid abuse, which began with a major increase in painkiller prescriptions in the late 1990s, was tied to the country’s declining workforce participation rate | News.com.au, Australia

‘We haven’t seen deaths like this in ten years of synthetics’

Another death overnight has been attributed to the ‘synthetic cannabis crisis’ tearing through Auckland and New Zealand at large. But the situation isn’t as clear as it seems, the Drug Foundation’s Ross Bell tells Don Rowe, and hard facts are few and far between | Spinoff, New Zealand

Don't call fatal psychoactive drugs 'synthetic cannabis' - expert

A leading drug researcher is warning against using the words 'synthetic cannabis' to describe the psychoactive substance that has killed seven people - and he says a regulated natural cannabis market could be worth investigating | Newshub, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

England leading the world: New Tobacco Control Plan sets the bar high

We are at a pivotal point in our fight against tobacco where an end is now in sight, and as the plan aspires, a smokefree generation a reality | PHE Blog, UK

Writing a drug strategy is just like choosing a suit

My abiding impression is of a lot of sensible words, but without power or resources to back them up, I can’t see how anything will change.  This is a strategy that, in an environment of at least 20% cuts – and almost certainly more once the ringfence for public health comes off in the next couple of years – promises that quality and outcomes will improve, and a wider range of people will receive more tailored treatment.  I just can’t believe that | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

The First WHO Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours

The first World Health Organization Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours was held at WHO Headquarters in Geneva from 26-28 June 2017. The Forum focused on enhancing public health actions on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviours to achieve health targets for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development | IAS Blog, UK

The Two Choices You Face After A Relapse

Relapse receives much criticism and judgment due to a lack of understanding about what relapse is and isn’t. What relapse is doesn’t matter to anyone but the individual who has relapsed | Castle Craig Blog, UK

Booze is a joy – so stop criticising women for drinking

I love a whisky or a bottle of wine with dinner. Why the drip-feed of negativity and judgment towards women who like a drink? | Guardian opinion, UK

When will we call time on pregnant women drinking in Ireland?

Last week Health Minister Simon Harris launched a new strategy: Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery - a health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025 | Independent opinion, Ireland

Opinion: How killing the ACA could lead to more opioid deaths in Trump states

President Trump spoke at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on July 24, joining a long list of presidents who have spoken to the huge meeting of Boy Scouts, troop leaders and volunteers. The visit was not surprising, as West Virginia, in the center of Appalachia, is overwhelmingly Trump Country | Medical Xpress, USA