Daily news - 20th September 2017

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UK news

Welsh Government launch new plan to stub out smoking

A new plan to reduce the number of smokers in Wales to 16% by 2020 for a healthier, smoke-free Wales has been launched by the Welsh Government today | Welsh Government, UK

Guidance: Stop smoking services: models of delivery

This document is intended to support directors of public health and local healthcare commissioners with the provision of local stop smoking support | PHE, UK

Tobacco: Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much his Department spent on tobacco prevention education in the UK in 2016 | They work for you, UK

Addiction services; Schizophrenia; Hearts and cancer BBC radio iPlayer

Inside Health reveals the poor state of addiction services in England with heroin and morphine related deaths the highest on record. Professor Colin Drummond raises concerns about a split in care between the NHS and Local Authorities since the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. And personal testimony is heard from Alison Bedford Russell whose son George died of a heroin overdose last year | BBC Radio 4, UK

Drug Treatment Matrix cell B1: The practitioner in harm reduction

Second cell of the Drug Treatment Matrix explores key studies on the impact of the practitioner on reducing harms associated with illegal drug use, in which trust emerges as a fundamental ingredient. Reconceptualise needle exchanges as safe havens in a largely rejecting world and explore why a Philadelphia methadone counsellor stood out - for all the wrong reasons | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drinkers' Voice Vs 'anti-alcohol'? Guidelines, pregnancy & cancer risk messages

A new group that aims to 'give the public a voice in the debate on moderate drinking' has launched as new research on the revised guidelines, drinking in pregnancy and cancer warnings hit the headlines | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

New national alcohol guidelines in the UK: public awareness, understanding and behavioural intentions

Alcohol consumption places a significant burden on the NHS and is an important risk factor for cancer, associated with 12 800 UK cases/year. New alcohol guidelines were published in 2016, taking into account the increasing evidence of the health harms of alcohol | JPH, UK

Charity warns that 'legal high' ban has led to switch to other illegal drugs

The report found that the percentage decline in ‘legal high’ use had been replaced with an increase in the percentage of clients reporting use of cannabis, cocaine and MDMA. It also highlights an increase in cocaine use across many Scottish drug and health services | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Prince William asks if drugs should be legalised

The Duke of Cambridge’s unexpected intervention in the drugs debate came during a visit to the east London-based Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), which provides services for alcohol and drug addicts and supports them in trying to get clean | Independent, UK

Criminals deliberately get arrested so they can sell drugs to prison inmates, warns police expert

Police officers urged to ‘be on the lookout for offenders who are desperate to get locked up’ | Independent, UK

Portland prisoners 'developing drug problem in jail'

Prisoners have developed drug problems behind bars prompting a rise in violence at a jail, a report says | BBC, UK

‘Legal highs’ linked to violence - video

Spice, black mamba, chronic were outlawed last year under the government’s latest drugs legislation, their dangers revealed by images of zombie-like users collapsed in the street.  Channel 4 News has now been given exclusive access to an acute mental health ward, where staff say the effects of legal highs are worse than crack cocaine | Channel 4, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week

Alcohol and Families – 13-19 November 2017. For this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week, Alcohol Concern will be partnering with Adfam to look at the effects of harmful alcohol use on the family | Alcohol Concern and Adfam, UK

Public health and alcohol licensing study – update from first stakeholder workshop, September 2017 update

On 13th September, we held the first stakeholder workshop for the Public Health and Alcohol Licensing (PHAL) tool study, at LSHTM, Keppel St, London | NIHR, UK

Street Lottery: Cannabis & Mental Health Report Launch - October

There is a huge amount of conjecture regarding the issue of cannabis use and mental health. The relationship between the drug and how it can impact both positively and negatively on someone’s mental health is a complex one | Volte Face, UK

Calling Techno Tories

We are delighted to be partnering again with the Adam Smith Institute, and for the first time with the Night Time Industries Association, to present a fringe event at this year’s Conservative Party Conference on club drugs, harm reduction, and the night time economy | Volte Face, UK

Victor Bede: New Year drug-death ambulance delay 'regrettable'

A man who died after London Ambulance Service's computer system crashed on New Year's Day should have had a quicker response, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Wetherspoons is cutting all food and alcohol prices tomorrow in protest over tax

Wetherspoons will cut the price of food and drink in all 900 of its pubs tomorrow in a protest over Value Added Tax (VAT) | Telegraph, UK


International news

Honouring colleagues who have passed away

As you may remember DPA produced a brief, well-received “in memoriam” presentation during 2015 REFORM conference, to honour colleagues who had passed away in the preceding two years. This emotional tribute honoured drug policy reformers from all walks of life – activists, harm reduction workers, board members, scholars, elected and other government officials, prominent personalities, etc. – who had advanced any aspect of drug policy reform | Volte Face, UK

Budget cigarettes linked to higher infant mortality rates in EU countries

A study of 23 EU countries found that larger price differences between high and low priced cigarettes are associated with higher infant mortality | Imperial College London, UK

HIV sufferers who smoke are more likely to die from lung cancer than from HIV itself

People with HIV who smoke cigarettes are 10 times more likely to die from lung cancer than from HIV, a study has found | Mail on Sunday, UK

American footballer jailed for flying in cocaine

An American footballer who flew cocaine with a street level value of £716,000 into the UK in a light aircraft has been jailed for 10 years | NCA, UK

Drug debt campaign needs funding

A highly commended campaign to raise awareness of drug debt intimidation that was started in Dublin 15 is calling for funding so it can be rolled out nationwide | Dublin People, Ireland

Exclusive: Google is cracking down on sketchy rehab ads

Following a Verge report about rehabs gaming Google, the company has begun pulling AdWords | The Verge, USA

Drug Makers Working With The White House To Fast-Track Non-Addictive Pain Pills

More than a dozen pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. will work together with the White House to fast track the development of non-opioid pain medication to curb addiction | Daily Caller, USA

States expand investigation of opioid makers, distributors

Attorneys general from most states are broadening their investigation into the opioid industry as a nationwide overdose crisis continues to claim thousands of lives | Medical Xpress, USA

Contribution of opioid-related deaths to the change in life expectancy in the US

Between 2000 and 2015 in the U.S., life expectancy increased overall but drug-poisoning deaths, mostly related to opioids, contributed to reducing life expectancy, according to a study published by JAMA | Medical Xpress, USA

Future of legalized cannabis focus of expert panel discussion in cannabis journal

In the roundtable entitled "Expert Panel on Understanding Cannabis: Medicine, Society, Government," the panelists shared their views on topics ranging from what actions U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions might take, the business of growing and selling cannabis, risk of addiction, and whether patients should use cannabis to alleviate cancer pain | EurekAlert, USA

Not drinking or driving, teens increasingly put off traditional markers of adulthood

When 17-year-old Quattro Musser hangs out with friends, they don’t drink beer or cruise around in cars with their dates. Rather, they stick to G-rated activities such as rock-climbing or talking about books | Washington Post, USA

Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

Drug companies and doctors have been accused of fueling the opioid crisis, but some question whether insurers have played a role, too | NYTimes, USA

Spiking a drink could now get you five years jail in ACT

Spiking someone's drink or food could land you in jail for up to five years, under new laws that passed the ACT Legislative Assembly on Tuesday | Age, Australia

WA Government mulls minimum price on takeaway alcohol

Health Minister Roger Cook has revealed the WA Government is investigating ways to impose a minimum floor price on takeaway alcohol in a bid to curb alcohol-related harm | abc.net.au, Australia

Global strategy to cut off meth supply to Australia

Australia will work closely with other countries under a new international strategy to intercept drug syndicates and stop methamphetamine reaching our shores | Perth Now, Australia

Cannabis drought as meth use rises

Methamphetamine use is back on the rise as the price of the illegal substance comes down | NewsHub, New Zealand

Police Association calls on police to form a nationwide taskforce on synthetic drugs

In the wake of Stuff's Killer Chemicals investigation into synthetic drugs, we asked police, the Ministry of Health and political parties what they are doing, or would do, to address the crisis which has claimed at least 20 lives | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Tobacco-smoke residue that lingers in furniture, curtains and house dust can still be harmful

Mice exposed to household fabrics contaminated with third-hand tobacco smoke showed changes in biological markers of health after only one month, a recent study found. After six months, the mice showed evidence of liver damage and insulin resistance, symptoms which usually precede the development of type 2 diabetes | Conversation, UK

Vicky's Blog: Increasing the rate of development isn’t enough to solve the housing crisis – we need the right type of housing

On Friday, Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, announced the start of a consultation around policy aimed at substantially increasing supply of new homes | Phoenix Futures Blog, UK

Victorian Parliament can save lives by trialling safe injecting room

This is all about minimising harm. Substance use is dangerous, and addiction a terrible burden for individuals and society | Age editorial, Australia

‘We mustn't continue to fear the addict’

I have been asked why, as a pharmacist, I feel so strongly about the issues that affect people who inject drugs. The question surprises me because I’d hope we were all concerned with the drug use pandemic gripping so many as we approach 2020, not just pharmacists | AJP, Australia