Daily news -23rd October 2017

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UK news

Role of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment services

This resource describes the many potential roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England to help commissioners and providers of specialist adult alcohol and drug treatment services to recruit the right workforce to meet local needs | PHE, UK

Welsh government plans minimum pricing for alcohol sales

Rebecca Evans to introduce bill to Welsh assembly that will ‘make it an offence for retailers to sell strong alcohol at low prices’ | Guardian, UK

Minimum alcohol price - working it out in 30 seconds - video

Here is a 30-second guide to how the formula could be applied - and the lowest prices for what typical cans and bottles of alcohol may cost | BBC, UK

Minimum price for alcohol 'will not put off dependent people' - video

A recovering alcoholic says a minimum price will not put off dependent people from getting drink | BBC UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics October to December 2017

As enthusiasm for *universal* screening and brief interventions
for risky drinking wanes, three major UK studies give clues as to why. While the UK government promotes ‘full recovery’ and reintegration, there are concerns that extending beyond core addiction treatment to ‘wrap-around’ care has become less feasible in ‘austerity’ Britain. Prochaska and DiClemente’s Cycle of Change model is ubiquitous, but is its utility compromised by describing only one sort (and not necessarily the most important sort) of change process? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

A drug 10,000 times deadlier than heroin that has killed 15 in one city in Britain and 64,000 in the US: IAN BIRRELL on why we should take notice of the new fenanyl epidemic

Shortly after lunchtime, as drizzle fell outside at the start of a week without work, Paddy Colby told his father that he was going to watch television in his bedroom. He trudged upstairs, closed the door and killed himself | Mail Online UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the advertising ban on the use of e-cigarettes | They work for you, UK

Tobacco Control Plan

I beg to move, That this House has considered the Government’s publication of the new Tobacco control plan | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effects of budgetary changes to the funding of drug treatment programmes on mortality rates among heroin and crack cocaine users in England between 2013 and 2017 | They work for you, UK

Students cut back on alcohol and spend four times more on fitness than they once did

They spend an average of £68 per month on alcohol, but £120 on keeping fit | Independent, UK

Are alcoholics born or made?

When one parent is staunchly teetotal and the other a full-blown alcoholic, it is difficult, says Ronnie Joice with delicate understatement, “to work out how to drink safely.” The 30-year-old says he “very rarely drink[s] now, but I used to drink to excess with no cut-off point | Telegraph, UK

Winner: Addaction UK

Mind and Body is an early intervention programme that supports young people involved in or deemed vulnerable to self-harming behaviours | RSPH, UK

Ex-Cameron aide in tobacco firm lobbying row

Call for stricter ‘revolving door’ rules after former No 10 special adviser Kate Marley plugs cigarette firm at Tory conference | Guardian, UK

The Secret Gardeners - video

The Secret Gardeners, created by Ruth Beni of Animage Films and Oscar-nominated animator Erica Russell, aims to inform professionals about the plight of children who are forced by organised crime gangs to grow drugs in houses across the UK but who often face criminalisation and prison | ECPAT, UK

Call for police to allow north Wales medicinal cannabis cafe

A cannabis campaigner has said he wants to reopen a cafe for the plant's medicinal use in north Wales | BBC, UK

Prison officers armed with incapacitant spray to defend themselves against inmates

The Government is also funding the roll-out of 5,600 body-worn cameras across the country to act both as a deterrent against violent behaviour and to record evidence to aid prosecutions | Telegraph, UK

'Wild' New Forest cannabis factory discovered

Hampshire Police said 21 fully-grown plants had been found growing on private land in Blashford at about 11:00 BST on Thursday. They were discovered by an ecologist during a survey of the land | BBC, UK

Craigslist sales of cocaine and stolen passports exposed

Secret filming shows how an undercover BBC reporter was able to buy Class A drugs listed on the website Craigslist | BBC, UK

Drug dealer caught with stolen £1m Sir Stanley Spencer painting jailed

Harry Fisher sentenced to almost nine years for offending including handling stolen goods and conspiracy to supply class A drugs | Guardian, UK



International news

New Zealand to hold cannabis referendum within three years

New Zealand will hold a referendum on legalising the recreational use of cannabis in the next three years, its prime minister-elect has pledged | BBC, UK

Peru approves medical cannabis

Peru has approved measures to legalise cannabis for medicinal use with overwhelming support of congress | BBC, UK

America’s first opioid court is working well

The goal is to keep everyone alive, rather than to fill jails with addicts and morgues with corpses | The Economist, UK

Drug court – giving families a chance to break the cycle of opioid use

Photographer Fred R Conrad visited a Virginia drug court last year and saw how individuals and families had been given a second chance – so when he went back this summer he had a question: did they take it? | Guardian, UK

Cassie Sainsbury in Colombia plea deal on drug charges

South Australian woman would be sentenced to six years, and possibly released within two, over cocaine smuggling, reports say | Guardian, UK

WHO cancels Robert Mugabe goodwill ambassador role

The World Health Organization has revoked the appointment of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador following a widespread outcry | BBC, UK

At the dark end of the street Ana Liffey Drug Project A report on street based injecting in Dublin City Centre (PDF)

There is a substantial amount of street based injecting taking place on an ongoing basis in Dublin city centre. This carries with it risks, both specifically to those injecting and more generally to all using the public domain. Ireland’s National Drug Strategy1 emphasises a health-led response to drug use in Ireland, and consistent with this focus, a pilot supervised injecting facility (SIF) will open shortly in Dublin City Centre | Anna Liffey, Ireland

Judge won’t reject drink-drive cases

A judge has refused to strike out approximately 45 cases of alleged drink-driving because of an ongoing delay in hearing them | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Factsheet: Cannabis - the Irish situation

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

HK methadone clinics seen as exemplary

The success of Hong Kong's methadone treatment program has been held up as a bright spot in Asia, where aggressive drug policies continue to prevail in places such as the Philippines and Indonesia | Standard, Hong Kong

Illicit Drug Use, Illicit Drug Use Disorders, and Drug Overdose Deaths in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas — United States

Drug overdoses are a leading cause of injury death in the United States, resulting in approximately 52,000 deaths in 2015. Understanding differences in illicit drug use, illicit drug use disorders, and overall drug overdose deaths in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas is important for informing public health programs, interventions, and policies | CDC, USA

Exposure to substance use prevention messages amongst adolescents

Underage substance use is preventable, and adolescents are subjected to influences that may increase their risk for substance use or protect them from it | SAMHSA, USA

Blindsided Trump officials scrambling to develop opioid plan

It's unclear to officials when Trump's promised emergency declaration will be formally announced or how it will be carried out | Politico, USA

'Healthier alternative' status of e-cigarettes challenged in new study

A new study that looked at immune changes in the airways of the lungs has challenged the idea that e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than conventional tobacco cigarettes | MNT, USA

To vape or not to vape? Probably: Not to vape

Researchers lead new study showing that e-cigarettes trigger unique and potentially damaging immune responses in human airways | Science Daily, USA

Why cocaine cut with fentanyl ‘changes the game’

For the first time, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation scientists have detected fentanyl, a potentially deadly narcotic, mixed in with samples of cocaine | USA Today, UK

Link between Adolescent Pot Smoking and Psychosis Strengthens

Research presented at a Berlin psychiatric conference shows teenage cannabis use hastens onset of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals | Scientific American, USA

Review study finds limited data on medical cannabis use in children

A systematic review of published studies on the use of medical cannabis in children and adolescents finds a notable lack of studies and a minimal number of the randomized, controlled trials needed to confirm the effectiveness of a treatment | EurekAlert, USA

Treating depression—an expert discusses risks, benefits of ketamine

Up to a third of patients with depression don't respond to traditional forms of treatment. For those patients, the dark fog that hovers over their lives feels like it will never lift | Medical Xpress, USA

Migraine pain could be eased with ketamine, study finds

Migraine is one of the most common and debilitating conditions in the United States. While there are therapies that can help to manage migraine, not all patients respond. A new study finds that ketamine, which is a drug primarily used as an anesthetic, could offer an alternative treatment | MNT, USA

MDMA Advances Another Step As Tool to Treat PTSD

After 16 years of preliminary clinical trials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late August gave expedited approval for multiple phase 3 trials of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as a potential “breakthrough therapy” for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | AMA, USA

'Baking Soda Bombs' Emerge As Latest Drug Test Trend In South Dakota

The unproven, dangerous concoction is being used in South Dakota, where one officer says "meth is king." | The Fix, USA

How 'supper club' gave a space to parents who lost their children to drugs

A Carnegie club is providing a lifeline to people who have lost someone to addiction | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Should I avoid drinking in front of my children?

A new report suggests that young people are aware of their parents’ drinking – and it may well have an impact on their relationship with alcohol. So should you keep booze out of the family home? | Guardian, UK

Let's get drugs off our streets and introduce shooting galleries

Caroline Lucas has called for a new discussion about introducing heroin shooting galleries in Brighton and Hove | Argus, UK

Reefer Madness 3.0 Is Here And It’s Being Promoted By Cannabis Law Reformers

Cannabis doesn't need to be regulated because it is dangerous, it isn't, cannabis needs to regulated because prohibition is dangerous | Clear blog, UK

Jimmy Barnes confronts his demons: 'For 40 years, I was drinking myself to death'

When Jimmy Barnes shakes your hand, he’s scoping your knuckles. Are they split from fighting? Just how big is your hand, anyway? | Guardian, UK

'Abstinence-only approach to nicotine has created undue fears about alternatives'

We need truthful information on the relative risks of cigarettes compared to the various smoke-free alternative products, writes David T Sweanor | Journal opinion, Ireland

Opioid crisis: why aren't we moved to action?

​Zoe Dodd is an authority on the opioid crisis. Not by academic decree, but by virtue of her presence on the front lines | CBC, Canada

The opioid crisis is a population health issue

Canada has had 2,458 opioid-related deaths in the past year | The Record, Canada