Daily news - 12th September 2017

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UK news

'Weak evidence' light alcohol use in pregnancy harms

There is "surprisingly limited" evidence that light drinking during pregnancy poses any risk to the baby, say UK researchers | BBC, UK

IAS report says pubs support minimum pricing

As the imminent verdict on Scotland's long running minimum unit pricing (MUP) battle edges closer, a new report on the pub trade suggests considerable support amongst the trade for policy approaches called for by public health groups | IAS, UK

One of Gower's most popular beaches looks set to go 'smoke-free'

The move has been backed by an anti-smoking group | Wales Online, UK

Charity helps drug addicts set up their own businesses

Former drug addicts in Gwynedd and Anglesey are being encouraged to become entrepreneurs to help them beat their habits | BBC, UK

Family to move to Netherlands so son, 5, can get cannabis treatment for epilepsy

A boy who can have hundreds of seizures a day because of his rare form of epilepsy is moving to the Netherlands for cannabis treatment | Metro, UK

Cheers! The vicar who’s holding regular pub services

31-year-old pub vicar Graeme Dutton is a Methodist minister in Bradford. He’s fused his love of God and craft ale, by holding regular services in pubs | BBC radio 5, UK

OBITUARY: Robert B. Millman

The fields of Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry lost a pioneer, innovator, and luminary with the death of Robert B Millman MD on August 14, 2017 | SSA, UK

Staffordshire Bull Terrier was on crack cocaine when it mauled owner to death

A Staffie which mauled its owner to death shortly after he’d been filmed by the BBC had eaten crack cocaine, an inquest heard. The dog, called Major, was ‘eight times the drug drive limit’ to give a human equivalent, the hearing was told | Metro, UK

Blue wine is a thing – and people are confused

Remember when you became an adult and felt relieved that you could finally stop pretending to enjoy the sugar-laden and inexplicably fizzy alcopops that dominated your youth? | Independent, UK


International news

E-cigarettes containing nicotine linked to raised heart attack risk

Increased stroke risk also seen in Swedish study of devices containing the stimulant | Guardian, UK

Statement: Exposure to e-cigarettes during pregnancy increases the risk of asthma in offspring

Vaping during pregnancy increases the risk of allergic asthma in offspring, according to research presented today at the European Respiratory Society International Congress | Asthma UK, UK

Patients to get easier access to medicinal cannabis under Greens bill

Greens leader confident bill will pass as he says Coalition ‘ignoring will of parliament’ on medicinal cannabis | Guardian, UK

Rise in number of pregnant women smoking heavily

Number of babies born premature or with difficulties has not fallen | Independent, Ireland

Dangerous drug use trend among high school seniors, study reveals

Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs), commonly marketed as "Spice" and "K2", are potent new psychoactive compounds being used among high school students, with a high risk of adverse health outcomes | Medical Xpress, USA

U.S. Heroin Deaths Have Increased 533% Since 2002 [Infographic]

According to the most recent government data, U.S. deaths related to heroin have skyrocketed 533 percent since 2002 | Forbes, USA

Cocaine users' brains unable to extinguish drug associations

Cocaine-addicted individuals say they find the drug much less enjoyable after years of use, but they have great difficulty quitting. A new brain imaging study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai reveals why this might be so, as well as why a common psychological therapy may not work in addicted cocaine users | EurekAlert, USA

Cannabis not to be delivered by drone or self-driving car, California rules

The state regulator for cannabis in California has released guidelines which explicitly forbid the delivery of medical or recreational cannabis using anything other than commercial vehicles or trailers | E & T, USA

Decades After Alcohol Ban, Iran Admits It Has a Problem

Drinking remains a crime, but Alcoholics Anonymous is flourishing and dozens of private and government clinics have opened alcohol rehabilitation centers | NYTimes, USA

Sharing Findings from the Life in Recovery Survey: communications toolkit

This communications toolkit was designed for partners and stakeholders to increase awareness and facilitate public discussions about recovery. The images and infographics in this toolkit highlight findings from the first Canadian survey of 855 people in recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs, showing that recovery is positive, achievable and sustainable | CCSA, Canada

Welfare drug test trial passes lower house

Draft laws allowing welfare recipients in three locations to be drug trusted in a two-year trial cleared parliament's lower house on Monday | News.com.au, Australia

"Compelling" evidence for injecting centre rejected

The Victorian government has ruled out a safe injecting room, despite “crisis level” drug use and widespread support A bill proposed by MP Fiona Patten | AJP, Australia

NZ must learn from overseas harm reduction approaches

Evidence shows social approaches that are compassionate and seek to reduce harm lower rates of crime, substance use and homelessness – and have enormous benefits for society, the Cutting Edge addiction conference was told today in Wellington | Scoop, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Interesting new drug facts – August 2017

This is the latest post in a monthly series reproducing Andrew Brown’s monthly slideshare of interesting new facts about alcohol and other drugs which he has unearthed from a wide range of reports | Russell Webster, UK

Trafficked to grow cannabis: Vietnamese migrants are being exploited in Britain

It was “like a dog’s life”, one Vietnamese women told me about her experience of living in the UK. She had been trafficked into the country and said she had “no fixed job and no fixed accommodation”. The woman, who I interviewed as part of my research exploring human trafficking and Vietnam, has now returned to Vietnam | Conversation, UK

A Not-so-Hot Take on the Great British Beer Festival

Over the last month we’ve been thinking about the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) and why it doesn’t quite seem to click in these days. What, if anything, might be done to give it back its mojo? | Boak and Bailey Blog, UK

New York’s Mayor Gives Smokers Another Reason Not to Quit

Bill de Blasio’s new rules on e-cigarettes show once again that ‘public health’ activists put politics first | Wall Street Journal Opinion, USA

Using history as a guide to end tobacco addiction

The public’s opinion of tobacco use has dramatically changed over time. Gone are the days when cigarette companies advertise using slogans like “fresh as mountain air” or “more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” | Stanford Medicine Blog, USA

Will we ever get the truth behind the FDA's devastating vaping rule?

Getting information out of government agencies is like pulling teeth at the best of times, but more often than not it can feel like an unending struggle against willful obstructionism marinated with incompetence | Washington Post Blog, USA

Here's one marijuana trend you should actually be worried about

The latest federal survey data shows that while teen marijuana use continues to decline in the era of legal pot, adult use is rising. The percent of people over the age of 18 who smoke it in a given year has risen from 10.4 percent in 2002 to 14.1 percent in 2016. In other words, 46 million people got high last year | Washington Post Blog, USA

Violent ice addict or neglected mental health patient?

On 16 August 2016, The Sunday Times reported that police had arrested a 23-year-old male “over separate incidents including the alleged stabbing of an elderly man in Perth’s northern suburbs”. Having being sentenced to eight years jail on 7 September 2017, initial reports in The West Australian highlighted that the man had schizophrenia | AOD Media Watch, Australia