Daily news -19th October 2017

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UK news

Government pledge £16 million to tackle drug dependency and support children in care

Projects that combat drug and alcohol dependency and support children in care will receive more than £16 million, Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch announced today | Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Tracey Crouch MP, UK

Calls for widespread survey into British cannabis after findings in Manchester research

A new report into cannabis in the UK has raised concerns about the potency of the drug | BBC, UK

Review of evidence about interventions to keep people safe from drug-related deaths published

A new report looking at the evidence about interventions identified to support older people with a drug problem in Scotland has been published | SDF, UK

Like sugar for adults” report highlights anxiety about parents’ drinking

The report shows that parents do not have to regularly drink large amounts of alcohol for their children to notice changes in their behaviour and experience negative impacts. Having seen a parent tipsy or drunk was associated with children feeling worried as well as experiencing at least one of a range of negative impacts, including feeling less comforted than usual, facing more arguments, unpredictable parental behaviour and disrupted bedtime routines | IAS, UK

Children 'embarrassed by tipsy parents'

Moderate drinking by parents can have a negative impact on children, causing anxiety and disrupting bedtime routines, a study says | BBC, UK

Drunkorexia: Why so many young women are skipping meals to save calories for alcohol

Young women are skipping meals and dramatically reducing their calorie intake from food in order to save calories for alcohol | Independent, UK

Going with the grain; organisation, ethos and harm reduction

On-line course moves up to the level of the organisation and its influence on drug-related harm. A possible rule of thumb emerges: harm reduction is best served by going with the grain of substance use, not ‘for its own sake’ trying to work the grain in another and, for the time being, unreachable direction. Preserving life, or abandoning hope? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Dutch courage: Alcohol improves foreign language skills

A new study shows that bilingual speakers' ability to speak a second language is improved after they have consumed a low dose of alcohol | Science Daily, UK

Britain's Drug Dealers Are Getting Younger and Younger

New data revealed exclusively to VICE shows there's been a 50 percent jump in people aged under-21 being convicted for selling class As | VICE, UK

Ineffective drug dogs could cost hundreds of thousands a year, Greens say

Cost of three dogs at a music festival would be $6,000 an hour – yet just 1.7% of people searched are charged with dealing | Guardian, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reasons fentanyl has been classified as a low priority for fund | They work for you, UK

NHS provokes fury with indefinite surgery ban for smokers and obese 

The NHS will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking, under controversial plans drawn up in Hertfordshire | Telegraph, UK

Synthetic drug Spice use increases in Bristol

There has been an increase in the number of people using the synthetic drug Spice in Bristol | BBC, UK

British beer crowned ‘best lager in the world’

British beer brand Hofmeister Helles has been crowned the best lager in the world at the 2017 Beer Awards | Independent, UK

Congratulations to the 2017 SSA Griffith Edwards Academic Fellow, Dr Steve Sharman

We are very pleased to announce the award of 2017's SSA Academic Fellowship to Dr Steve Sharman, who will be conducting pioneering research into gambling, at the University of East London | SSA, UK

Survey: What Contributes to compassion Fatigue in Health Professionals Working in Drug and Alcohol Services

This study seeks to measure levels of compassion in staff working directly with people using drugs and/or alcohol. This study will also investigate what contributes to compassion fatigue | Ellysia-Grace Thompson at Lancaster University, UK

Top 10 imaginary drugs in fiction

From the mind-bending potion in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Don DeLillo’s cure for the fear of death, these are some of the most potent hits in literature | Guardian, UK


International news

World Medical Association says laws on cannabis research should be reviewed

The World Medical Association (WMA) has called for laws governing research-grade cannabis to be reviewed to allow more research on using cannabis for medicinal purposes | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

One drug dealer, two corrupt cops and a risky FBI sting

Davon Mayer was a smalltime dealer in west Baltimore who made an illicit deal with local police. When they turned on him, he decided to get out – but escaping that life would not prove as easy as falling into it | Guardian, UK

Young Irish topped EU binge-drinking table

Figures show more than 25% of men, over 15 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 engaged in binge drinking at least once a week in 2014 | Irish Times, Ireland

Industry and health advocate views on alcohol bill ‘not on par’

The interests of business and public health advocates should not be given equal weight in discussions around the final form of landmark legislation on alcohol, according to a charity working in the area | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Factsheet: Alcohol - the Irish situation

This factsheet contains information on treatment, prevalence, mortality and crime in Ireland | HRB, Ireland

Drug treatment expenditure: a methodological overview

An estimated 1.2 million people receive treatment for drug-related problems in the European Union each year. With shrinking public budgets, increasing pressure on health systems, changes in the drugs used and the need to provide on-going care to chronic cases, what is the real cost of drug treatment in Europe? | EMCDDA, Portugal

How to estimate the cost of drug treatment in Europe?

It is estimated that over 1 million people receive treatment for drug-related problems in the European Union every year. With shrinking public budgets, increasing pressure on health systems, changes in the substances used and the need to provide ongoing care to chronic cases, how can we estimate the cost of drug treatment in Europe? | EMCDDA, Portugal

Once-a-month shot for opioid addiction works as well as daily medication, study finds

A once-a-month shot to treat opioid addiction was as effective in maintaining short-term abstinence from heroin and similar drugs as a more commonly prescribed daily treatment, according to a Norwegian study released Wednesday | STAT News, USA

Cocaine use during adolescence is even more harmful than during adulthood

Brazilian researchers found that addicts who began using cocaine before and after the age of 18 showed differences in sustained attention and working memory, among other brain functions | EurekAlert, USA

Heating Up Marijuana Could Increase Cancer Risk

Researchers say the practice of "dabbing" marijuana may produce cancer-causing chemicals | ITV, UK

Study suggests psychedelic drugs could reduce criminal behavior

Classic psychedelics such as psilocybin (often called magic mushrooms), LSD and mescaline (found in peyote) are associated with a decreased likelihood of antisocial criminal behavior, according to new research from investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham | Medical Xpress, USA

The DRAM, Vol. 13(11) – Improved access: Opioid & Alcohol Use Disorders and primary care

Effective strategies exist to treat opioid and alcohol use disorders, yet access to treatment is often limited by service availability as well as the stigma associated with seeking help. One approach to overcome these challenges is to make these services available through collaborative care | BASIS, USA

Where the Opioids Go

While the United States faces an epidemic of narcotic addiction, most of the world dies in pain | The Atlantic, USA

Leading medical organizations issue recommendations regarding hepatitis C in pregnancy

High-risk pregnancy experts published eight specific recommendations for screening, treatment and management of hepatitis C in pregnancy | EurekAlert, USA

It's Not Just Wine Country: California Wildfires Have Hit Cannabis Growers Hard

So far, at least 34 cannabis farms in the region have seen substantial losses from the fire, California Growers Association Executive Director Hezekiah Allen told HuffPost on Wednesday | Huffington Post, Australia

Gov to oppose bill improving medicinal cannabis access for terminally ill

The Turnbull Government says it won't back a bill to improve access to imported medicinal cannabis for the terminally ill, despite overwhelming support from Labor, the Greens and the crossbench in the Senate | Radio Australia, Australia

This Is How Aboriginal Women Have Been Tackling The Effects Of Drinking During Pregnancy

Two decades ago a group of Aboriginal women from Rockhampton in Central Queensland realised the harm that drinking during pregnancy was having on the next generation | Buzzfeed, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Dual diagnosis guidance: money talks when it comes to drugs, alcohol and mental illness

Back in 1992, during the American recession, Bill Clinton secured the presidency by tuning into the concerns of voters, famously saying it was the economy stupid. Ten years after the 2007 financial crash, mental health and drug treatment services continue to feel the impact of austerity | Mental Elf Blog, UK

Health Matters: Public perceptions of a smokefree NHS

The hospital environment is one where the most extreme of human experiences are played out. They bring in new life, treat people in pain, heal—and sadly many lives will come to an end there | PHE Blog, UK

Workforce development: is there a paradigm shift?

The alcohol and drugs field has changed considerably over the decades. In line with the emergence and decline of different theories, perspectives and definitions of the nature of the problem, various professional groups have entered the field, resulting in the in the rise and decline of different prevention and treatment responses | DEPP editorial, UK

Don’t guilt-trip parents about their moderate drinking

The Institute for Alcohol Studies’ warnings are disproportionate and risk undermining broader health advice. Children are made of sterner stuff | Guardian, UK

What is your attitude toward alcohol consumption in front of children?

We would like to understand a little more about alcohol consumption and your attitude towards it if you are a parent or a child over the age of 16 | Guardian, UK

Modern Slavery - a bi-product of the war on drugs

Today (18th October) marks Anti-Slavery Day, and provides an opportunity to raise awareness on human trafficking and modern-day slavery to encourage key players to address the problem. To mark this day ECPAT UK (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking) have released a short film exposing how Vietnamese children are transported across the world and forced to grow illegal drugs in British houses | Transform Blog, UK

Suing Big Pharma for the Opioid Epidemic Is Too Little, Too Late

Big Pharma and Big Tobacco may sound like the same kind of villain, but there are key differences | Medium, USA

Meth and the rise of an industry

Here's a wee task for you. While you're sipping that first morning coffee or flicking through the news, google 'meth testing in New Zealand' | Stuff editorial, New Zealand