Daily news -16th October 2017

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UK news

Drug fatalities highest where treatment cutbacks deepest

More heroin and crack users are dying of overdoses in the areas of England where cuts to drug treatment budgets have been among the greatest, analysis by the Observer shows | Guardian, UK

UK raids uncover suspected suppliers of deadly diet drug

Exclusive: US bodybuilding star and an ex-conman are linked to UK sales of the toxic diet drug DNP following searches on premises in Cumbria | Guardian, UK

'Dr Huge': the champion of dangerous weight-loss drug DNP

Former US champion bodybuilder, Charles ‘Dr Huge’ Hughes and convicted fraudster, Scott Cavell, market the deadly pills online through their company Enhanced Athlete | Guardian, UK

'I felt like I was burning up from the inside out': what are the effects of DNP?

Eight people have died in Britain in the last two years taking the drug. Other users have said it left them sweating, faint and unable to function | Guardian, UK

Prescription Drugs: Addictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will consider introducing a national 24-hour helpline to support people affected by prescribed drug dependence | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department takes to ensure that the children of problem drinkers (a) have access to and (b) receive the support they need | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with Ministers of the Welsh Government on the fiscal implications of that Government's plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol products | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department takes to ensure that the children of problem drinkers (a) have access to and (b) receive the support they need | They work for you, UK


To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of any positive impact in the overall health of under 35 year old smokers arising from tax and packaging measures that they have imposed | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Smoking: Television

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with television companies on reducing the prevalence of smoking and alcohol consumption in programming | They work for you, UK

Magic mushrooms can 'reset' depressed brain

A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can "reset" the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest | BBC, UK

Killer drivers face life behind bars under Government plans to tackle dangerous driving

Government will also create new offence called 'causing injury by careless driving' | Independent, UK

The latest on smoking cessation in community pharmacy

Over seven million adults in England are still smoking, and the toll it takes is severe. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate there were 79,000 smoking-related deaths in 2015 | Chemist and Druggist, UK

Sales of vape starter kits soar by 37 per cent as NHS Stoptober campaign embraces E-cigarettes

Early signs indicate that Public Health England’s new harm reduction approach to decreasing smoking rates across the UK has not only been widely accepted, but capitalised upon. For the first time, vaping has featured prominently within the NHS Stoptober campaign, with the official website included in the Stoptober TV advertisement | London Loves Business, UK

Raves and the Rolling Stones: The History of Drugs Charity Release

Release has been advising people on drugs and drugs law for the last half century | Release, UK

The Thinking Drinker - BBC iPlayer radio

Sue's guests aim to prove that alcohol has influenced everything in history | BBC Radio Wiltshire, UK

Half-smoked Winston Churchill cigar sold for $12,000

A cigar once smoked by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has sold for $12,000 (£9,000), according to the Boston-based RR Auction house | BBC, UK

Cannabis crop found at London 2012 Olympic Games site

A cannabis plantation has been discovered close to one of the venues which hosted the London 2012 Olympic Games | BBC, UK

Grime lyrics 'very real' in Ipswich drugs fight - video

Grime song lyrics can become "very real entities" in a fight against drug-related crime, an academic said | BBC, UK


International news

Tobacco companies should advertise lethality of smoking, say health experts

US court order forcing tobacco giants to air ads detailing dangers of smoking from November, should be mirrored in Australia say anti-smoking advocates | Guardian, UK

The Philippines' 'Mega Rehab' Centre for drug addicts - video

With the spotlight on President Duterte's war on drugs, what happens to those who escape the police shootouts? | BBC, UK

The Lancet’s take on PMI-funded “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World”

The Lancet has published three articles on the PMI-funded "Foundation for a Smoke-Free World": a Viewpoint, by Derek Yach, Founder and President-elect of the Foundation; a Comment by Mike Daube, Rob Moodie, and Martin McKee; and an Editorial, entitled "Tobacco control: a Foundation too far?" | Lancet, UK

Canada's rocky road journey to legalising cannabis

As the first major economy in the world is on the brink of legalising cannabis, is Canada ready for the drug to be commodified and sold as a named brand? | Independent, UK

Watching the Canadian Cannabis Industry Evolve

Lamps, fertilisers, harvesting tools and security devices, inventory software, storage containers and testing equipment – such products are already used by the black market in every country where cannabis is classified as an illegal drug | Volte Face, UK

War on Drugs: Portugal may be winning the battle against drug abuse through decriminalisation

In Portugal, drug addiction is treated as a disease – not a crime. Could that make all the difference? | Independent, UK

Self-Harm, Methadone Use and Drug-Related Deaths amongst Those Registered As Being of No Fixed Abode or Homeless in Ireland

This work aims to contribute to the evidence base regarding the health of those who experience homelessness in Ireland by collating data on methadone use, drug-related deaths and emergency department presentations due to self-harm. Data from the Central Methadone Treatment List (CTL), National Self-Harm Registry Ireland and the National Drug-Related Deaths Index were analysed | IMJ, Ireland

Beer 'as much of a dietary staple as bread' in 16th century Ireland

Beer was ranked alongside bread as the most important dietary staple in early modern Ireland, and some workers were granted a daily allowance of 14 pints of ale, a study has found |Independent, Ireland

We need to change the way we think about the opioid crisis

The way Americans are started to get addicted to opioids has changed in the last 10 years, according to a new study published in Addictive Behaviors | Vox, USA

West Virginians say Opioid epidemic most important health issue in the state

Strong support for increased funding for research to address Opioid crisis | EurekAlert, USA

Marijuana Crop Is Burning in the California Wildfires

Months before recreational marijuana becomes available to consumers, blazes are destroying cannabis farms and exposing plants to smoke, soot and ash | NYTimes, USA

'The poor man's cocaine': Doctors warn of dangerous rise in use of 'nangs'

A girl in her 20s struggles to walk. She has nerve damage to her spinal cord and may never recover | abc.net.au, Australia

For millennials, it's the Wild West of alcohol advertising

Regulating advertising of alcohol to young people is easier said than done | Age, Australia

British e-cigarette advocate urges Australian government to lift ban and save lives

The debate over the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes, which are illegal in Australia, will step up a gear this week with the arrival of an outspoken, Britis | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Do digital alcohol interventions work?

Does personalised advice via computer or mobile devices reduce heavy drinking? | Russell Webster, UK

Are drug services increasing harms?

How might drug treatment services be impeding the process of reducing drug-related deaths? | Cuppa with Kirsten blog, UK

Why we took cannabis in front of parliament

On Tuesday, a group of around 30 patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's, Parkinson's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, chronic and neuropathic pain, anxiety and other conditions gathered outside parliament and broke the law | Poltics.co.uk, UK

Congratulations to United Patients Alliance, now what about the rest of us?

An amazingly successful event happened this week – The United Patient’s Alliance (UPA), a group campaigning for the right to use cannabis medicinally, held a high-profile “Cannabis Tea Party” demonstration at Parliament | CIA Blog, UK