Daily news - 15th September 2017

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UK news

New liver disease atlas shows major variation across England

The rate of people dying early from liver disease in some parts of England is almost 8 times higher than others | PHE, UK

UK alcohol damage mapped: The areas of Britain where drink is taking heaviest toll

Hospital admissions linked to liver damage have doubled in a decade, according to new figures which show the parts of the country where alcohol is taking the heaviest toll | Telegraph, UK

GP-delivered brief interventions an ‘important piece of the alcohol
policy jigsaw’

Doctors working in Scotland share their thoughts on what helps and
hinders the delivery of brief alcohol interventions in general practice.
Stifled by short consultation times and faced by a lack of awareness
among patients of what constitutes harmful/hazardous drinking, doctors face numerous challenges to embedding these interventions in routine practice despite or regardless of their enthusiasm | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

The Sandwell multi-agency management group for high impact problem drinkers - interim evaluation

In 2015, the Metropolitan Borough Council of Sandwell, working with Alcohol Concern, adopted the Blue Light approach to develop a local response to high impact, change-resistant problem drinkers | Alcohol Research UK, UK

The future of the international drug control system and national drug prohibitions

A major impediment to any nation abandoning the policy of drug prohibition has been the fact that international drug treaties to which the majority of United Nations (UN) member states are signatory prohibit the non-medical use of amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin | Addiction, UK

Drugs: Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much her Department has spent on drug education and awareness in schools in each of the last five years | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has to tackle trends in the incidence of the drugknown as Spice | They work for you, UK

Prisoners in Britain are twice as likely to be addicted to spice when they leave jail as epidemic creates an explosion of violence

Spice is so rife in Britain’s jails that prisoners are now twice as likely to be addicted to the drug when they leave than before they enter, a leading expert has warned | Mail Online, UK

New cigarette rules have led to slump in sales, says Londis owner

Cash-and-carry group Booker says tobacco sales fell nearly 10% in second quarter after plain packaging rules came in | Guardian, UK

Lung cancer cases in NI 'increase by a third', says report

A report into lung cancer in Northern Ireland has revealed that the number of cases has increased by a third over an eight-year period | BBC, UK

Drugs workers warn of dangers around former legal high 'spice'

Drugs workers in the South West are warning of the dangers around taking former legal high 'spice' | ITV, UK

Have you been affected by the misuse of Pregabalin in the UK?

The misuse of Pregabalin, a drug used to treat anxiety and epilepsy has been linked to a rise in the number of deaths. Share your experiences | Guardian, UK

Release’s 50th Anniversary: the Museum of Drug Policy

To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we will be hosting the Museum of Drug Policy in London from November 3rd – 5th | Release, UK

Future of ‘great British pub’ put to Theresa May during PMQs

A Labour Party MP has asked how the Prime Minister plans on dealing with a “chronic and acute sudden lack of labour” that has been a “blow to the great British pub” | Morning Advertiser, UK

This Time What’s On The Side Of The Bus Is True

And can be backed up with solid facts and evidence | Clear, UK

Lords debates effect of gambling adverts on children

Members of the Lords, including a former chairman of Action on Addiction and a former president of the UK Committee of Unicef, will debate the effect of gambling advertisements on children in the House of Lords on Thursday 14 September | Parliament.uk, UK

Pupils at Bradford school 'under influence of drugs'

Students at a West Yorkshire school for those excluded from other schools were found by inspectors to be "arriving under the influence of drugs" and rolling cigarettes during lessons | BBC, UK

Heroin found hidden in Kinder egg in Dereham

Norfolk Police discovered the drug in the chocolate egg, which includes an inner plastic holder for a toy, at a flat in The Maltings, Dereham, on 7 September | BBC, UK

Cannabis cultivation started fire in council house

A man accidentally set fire to his council house trying to grow more than £10,000 worth of cannabis in his bedroom, a court heard | BBC, UK

Nearly £200K to be recovered from drug dealer

More than £173,000 to be recovered from man who used money from selling drugs to buy a Tapas bar in Eccles | ITV, UK

Pentonville inmate killed in prison 'war' over cell where drones delivered mobiles and drugs, court hears

A21-year-old inmate was killed at Pentonville prison in a bloody battle to control the wing's "lucrative" contraband route, a court heard | Telegraph, UK


International news

Third-hand smoke in furniture and clothes damages mouse organs

Exposure to “third-hand smoke” – residue left behind on carpets, clothing and furniture – appears to increase the risk of liver damage and diabetes in mice | New Scientist, UK

Ontario & the Dispensary Hydra

The clock is ticking. Canadian provinces have less than a year in which to decide how, where and by whom cannabis will be sold. Canada’s most populace state, Ontario, has kicked things off with a plan which proposes to limit retail to online sales and 150 liquor control board operated stores | Volte Face, UK

New Zealand police enlist school in cannabis crackdown

Local police on New Zealand's South Island are calling on a primary school to be on the lookout for illegal cannabis plantations | BBC, UK

Philippine drug war: Profiting from death?

More than 3,800 drug suspects have been killed by police and other enforcement agencies in what rights groups call extra-judicial killings | BBC, UK

Irish champion greyhound tests positive for cocaine

The winner of one of Ireland's top greyhound races has tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine | BBC, UK

A doctor tries to lower barriers to methadone treatment

For John, a heroin user for seven years, there were a few snags that, for a while, held him back from getting stable on methadone treatment | Dublin Inquirer, Ireland

Alcohol & Pregnancy: Key Issues Before, During and After Pregnancy

Free event. Galway, Ireland. 26th September. According to recent research, Ireland has the world's highest rate of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The aim of this seminar is to highlight and address both the risks and harms arising from alcohol consumption during pregancy as well as alcohol-related issues pre and post pregnancy | Western Region Drug & Alcohol Task Force & Galway Healthy Cities Forum, Ireland

The social roots of the new drug scare in Budapest

What if your life is so bad that low quality new synthetic drugs are the best part of it? | Political Critique, Poland

Safe cocaine sniffing 'kit' under fire in Spain

Plastic cards the size of credit cards—a tool of choice for cocaine users—were handed out by the health department in the northern city of Bilbao | Medical Xpress, USA

Heat Not Burn: FDA Should Fight Lung Cancer, Not Smokers

New Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director Dr. Scott Gottlieb has been a breath of fresh air at the agency. Both Gottlieb and Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) Director Mitch Zeller have demonstrated in their words, that they understand that it’s not nicotine or even tobacco that causes nearly half a million Americans to die prematurely every year, but the byproducts of burning tobacco from a lit cigarette | Huffington Post, USA

Increasing number of children arrive at emergency departments addicted to opioids

Research to be presented at American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2017 National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago found the number of pediatric patients testing positive for opioid addiction or dependency in US emergency departments jumped | EurekAlert, USA

Surviving a Heroin Overdose May Soon Depend on Where You Live

As opioids sweep across the nation, one Ohio county wants to make a lifesaving drug widely available. Another has a much harsher approach | Bloomberg, USA

App to help treat substance abuse approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its first mobile app to help treat substance abuse, the agency said Thursday in a news release | Medical Xpress, USA

How Beekeeping Helped One Woman Overcome Addiction, Loss

It gives me that thrill that I enjoy. Instead of heroin, I open a beehive." | The Fix, USA

Opioid overdoses killed 8 Canadians a day in 2016: minister

An average of nearly eight Canadians per day died last year from opioid overdoses, mostly involving the potent drug fentanyl, and the crisis has since deepened, the government said Thursday | Medical Xpress, USA

How a party drug could become the next blockbuster antidepression treatment

As a social worker with 30 years' experience working in hospice care, Christina Ingenito expected to face death gracefully when her time came. But when a breast cancer diagnosis at 59 left this once ebullient woman "severely clinically depressed" — her words — she turned to an unusual research project for help | CNBC, USA

Could The Dark Net Pave The Way Towards A Less Harmful Illicit Drug Trade?

Australian criminologist James Martin thinks so | Huffington Post, Australia

Clearing the pathway forward

Our thinking is based on evidence and research from New Zealand and around the world about the best way to reduce the harms caused by both drugs and our current drug law | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

The impact of commissioning on drug treatment

ACMD warns about consequences of funding cuts | Russell Webster, UK

How to chair a scientific conference session (and not look like a fool!)

Chairing a conference session at a scientific conference can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time! As we are approaching the 8th EUSPR Conference and Members’ Meeting, taking place in Vienna, Austria from 20th to 22nd September 2017, we thought it might be useful to highlight seven “top tips” for chairing scientific sessions based on our own experiences | EUSPR Blog, UK

Legal weed: What your kids really need to know

Weed, pot, grass, marijuana — or cannabis to use the proper terminology — will be legal in Canada from July 1, 2018. Anyone over the age of 18 will be able to walk into a store and buy up to 30 grams of regulated product | Conversation, Canada

Let The People Grow (They Do Anyway)

There is strong public support for significant reform of Medical Cannabis (MC) regulation. The system currently in place, which focuses wholly on pharmaceutically trialed cannabis-based medicines, removes patient and prescriber choice, and costs are prohibitive | Scoop Opinion, New Zealand