Daily news - 13th September 2017

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UK news


Stoptober encourages smokers across England to make a quit attempt during October. Further information on this year’s campaign will be shared shortly. Existing resources here | PHE, UK

Prescribing of potentially addictive prescription drugs on the rise

The number of people who are prescribed potentially addictive drugs has been increasing steadily since 2000, with one in 11 people in primary care in England taking these drugs | NIHR, UK

70% of UK drinkers reject drinking guidelines

Some seven out of 10 drinkers have said they ignore the Government’s alcohol drinking guidelines, according to a new survey | Morning Advertiser, UK

One in four EU workers exposed to second-hand smoke at work

More than one in four people who work indoors are being exposed to second-hand smoke at work, according to new research | Imperial College London, UK

NPS at CREW Anuual Report (PDF)

This document provides an update of the NPS scene and an overview of drug trends in Scotland, from 01 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 | Crew, UK

Russell Brand to address Momentum’s festival at Labour Party conference on addiction and mental health

The comedian will join Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Health Secretary, to discuss mental health and addiction | Independent, UK

The Story of 'Skunk', the Drug Your Mum Warned You About

How all high-grade weed came to be known as "skunk", and the history of slave-labour that led to its popularity in the UK | VICE, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what support is provided to prisoners who have an addiction to new psychoactive substances | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much funding he has allowed for the delivery of the Tobacco Control Plan for England | They work for you, UK

Smoking: Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much of the funding committed by his Department to smoking cessation projects overseas has been spent to date | They work for you, UK

Drinker's Voice

Drinkers’ Voice aims to give the public a voice in the debate on moderate drinking. For too long, the anti-alcohol lobby has dominated the conversation on alcohol and your health, resulting in misleading statistics and scaremongering news headlines | Drinker's Voice, UK

Welcome to the Alcohol and Mental Health survey

You are invited to take part in the Alcohol and Mental Health survey run by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) in conjunction with the Centre for Mental Health | IAS and CMH, UK

Rehab centre plan submitted for Weymouth guest house

A controversial planning application has been submitted to turn a Weymouth guest house into a drug and alcohol recovery hub | BBC, UK

Bestival 'murder': Man quizzed over supply of drugs as Holby City actor John Michie says daughter's death was 'tragic mistake'

A man arrested on suspicion of murdering the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie is also being questioned on suspicion of supplying a Class A drug, police have revealed | Telegraph, UK

Merseyside drugs gang jailed for total of more than 135 years

A drugs gang who recruited child dealers to flood the streets of Merseyside and beyond with heroin and cocaine are tonight starting hefty jail sentences Police say the group operated under a veil of fear forcing vulnerable young people into a life of crime | ITV, UK

Nurse accused of using heroin with Oxfordshire patient struck off

A mental health nurse has been struck off for using drugs with a patient, a panel has found | BBC, UK


International news

E-cigarettes linked to heart attacks and stroke 

But they're becoming increasingly popular as people try to quit smoking | Independent, UK

Re-Framing the War on Drugs – a conversation with German Lopez

It is estimated by STAT that in the next decade up to 650,000 American’s will have died due to an opiate overdose. This loss of life is equivalent to that of the entire city of Baltimore | Volte Face, UK

Welfare drug testing punishes those 'least able to change', former AFP commissioner says

Mick Palmer says Coalition’s plan would damage people who were hanging on to life ‘by the skin of their teeth’ already | Guardian, UK

Philippines MPs vote to slash budget of agency investigating drug war to £15

The Commission of Human Rights has condemned thousands of police killings and has been criticised strongly by President Rodrigo Duterte | Guardian, UK

No 'magic drug circle' but gardaí will use 'discretion' outside city injection centres

The location of the centre in Dublin will not be known until the end of next month | Journal, Ireland

EMCDDA signs accord with Swiss Federal Office of Public Health

Europe’s regional monitoring system on drugs is enriched today, thanks to a new working arrangement signed in Lisbon between the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the Federal Office of Public Health of Switzerland (FOPH). The signatories were Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA Director and Pascal Strupler, Director of the FOPH | EMCDDA, Portugal

'Epigenetic' changes from cigarette smoke may be first step in lung cancer development

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have preliminary evidence in laboratory-grown, human airway cells that a condensed form of cigarette smoke triggers so-called "epigenetic" changes in the cells consistent with the earliest steps toward lung cancer development | Medical Xpress, USA

Scientists reveal new insights and possible solutions for opioid epidemics using machine

Findings could lead to improved, non-addictive opioid drugs | EurekAlert, USA

Top 20 Abused Prescription Drugs

As Overdose Deaths Continue to Soar, Contributors Go Beyond Opioids | GEN, USA

Seven Days of Heroin: This is what an epidemic looks like 

The Enquirer sent 60 journalists to cover an ordinary week in this extraordinary time. This is what an epidemic looks like | Cincinnati.com, USA

They were opioid addicts on their way to recovery. Then the hurricane hit

What it’s like when you miss a methadone dose due to natural disaster | VOX, USA

High school parents irate over quiz on abortions, drug use

A Utah high school teacher has been placed on administrative leave for assigning students a questionnaire that asked about their sex lives, whether they’d used drugs or alcohol or had abortions and scored their answers to rate them as a “nerd,” ″indecent” or “hopeless and condemned,” district officials said Monday | New York Post, USA

Bill to create 'safe injection sites' for drug users fails in California Senate

A controversial proposal to allow certain California counties and cities to establish sites where people could inject drugs without legal consequences stumbled in the state Senate on Tuesday night | Los Angeles Times, USA

Nevada Plans to Use Fentanyl in Upcoming Execution

Medical professionals say the state’s new lethal injection protocol “doesn’t make much sense.” | The Marshall Project, USA

Reversing the negative effects of adolescent marijuana use

Researchers have identified a specific mechanism in the prefrontal cortex for some of the negative mental health risks associated with adolescent marijuana use. By demonstrating that adolescent THC exposure modulates the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, they were also able to identify a mechanism to reverse those risks | Science Daily, Canada

I'm a sleep psychologist — here's what we know about marijuana and sleep

If you speak to someone who has suffered from insomnia at all as an adult, chances are good that person has either tried using marijuana, or cannabis, for sleep or has thought about it | Business Insider, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Expert reaction to three conference papers on e-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are certain to have some health effects, and it is very important that non-smokers do not start using them erroneously thinking that they are harmless | Science Media Centre, UK

Evidence for potential harms of light drinking in pregnancy ‘surprisingly’ limited

But review confirms alcohol best avoided ‘just in case’, say researchers | BMJ Blog, UK

Health risks of light drinking in pregnancy confirms that abstention is the safest approach

While heavy drinking is clearly harmful to the unborn baby, often leading to miscarriage, premature birth and foetal alcohol syndrome, the possible effects of light drinking have been less clear | Conversation, UK

The Hepatitis C Trust responds to Simon Stevens speech highlighting NHS investment in hepatitis C treatment

In a speech at the Expo conference in Manchester today, NHS England head Simon Stevens emphasised a Health Service commitment to invest in revolutionary new treatments for hepatitis C | Hepatitis C Trust, UK

Scythians review – wine, weed and war as the Siberian nomads charge into battle

From horse armour to the tattooed skin of a warrior and a tent for smoking hemp, this beguiling exhibition unearths the intimate relics of an entire nomadic culture | Guardian, UK

Medical Marijuana for Vets 

The group Marijuana Majority writes that V.A. doctors should be allowed to recommend the drug to veterans who need it | NYTimes opinion