Daily news - 21st September 2017

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UK news

Facebook trial lets users hide alcohol adverts

It is the first time a social network has let people proactively block adverts on a specific topic. The move has been welcomed by Alcohol Research UK, which says social media is "saturated" with alcohol promotions | BBC, UK

NHS Health Scotland: E-cigs 'definitely' less harmful than smoking

E-cigarettes are "definitely" less harmful than smoking tobacco, health bodies in Scotland have stated for the first time | BBC, UK

Success rates for people quitting smoking hit record high

Nearly 20% of those who quit in first half of 2017 have been successful, with e-cigarettes becoming most popular method of quitting, say UCL researchers | Guardian, UK

Quit smoking campaign Stoptober backs e-cigs for first time

The annual Stoptober campaign in England is embracing e-cigarettes for the first time - in a sign vaping is being seen as the key to getting people to quit | BBC, UK

Fentanyl mixed with heroin in drugs seized by police

A deadly new drug has been found for sale in Northern Ireland | BBC, UK

Can the environment play a role in recovery?’

Place matters for health. We know that features of the natural, built, and social environment can be either health promoting or health damaging.  From previous research we know that the environment is likely to be significant in shaping health-related behaviours, including alcohol consumption and smoking patterns | CRESH, UK

Video: 'Cuckooing' victim: Drug dealers took over my home

Drug dealers are moving into the homes of vulnerable people, including the disabled and addicts, to sell drugs outside major cities, according to police | BBC, UK

GFN Dialogues - Autumn 2017

Free events in October/November in Dublin, London and Durnham. These are short, focussed events designed to enable interactive discussion and debate. They involve public health professionals, academics and scientists, policy makers, consumers, owners and managers of premises and members of the public, tackling a range of issues surrounding the increasing use of safer nicotine products (including e-cigarettes) as an alternative to smoking | GFN, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week 2017, 13-19 November: ‘Alcohol and Families’

Alcohol Concern have announced this year's Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) will take place from 13-19 of November on the theme of 'Alcohol and Families'. The charity, which has recently merged with Alcohol Research UK, has partnered with Adfam, a charity that supports families affected by drugs and alcohol | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Drug decriminalisation to be considered in event held by MP

The panel discussion, titled ‘Should the UK be taking a health based approach to drugs policy?’, will take place at the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock | Common Space, UK

Have your say - better health for all Londoners

The Mayor has launched his Draft Health Inequalities strategy to help create a healthier and fairer society, and to help make the healthier choice easier for everyone, including the most disadvantaged | Mayor of London, UK

Holiday fall gran accused of being 'too tipsy' for payout wins £30,000 compensation

A grandmother accused of being "staggering drunk" and wearing "silly shoes" when she fell over while holidaying on a Greek island has won over £30,000 compensation | Telegraph, UK


International news

The drugs people want to quit - and the ones they want to keep taking

Almost everyone who takes crack cocaine wants to quit - but less than 30% of cannabis users do | Metro, UK

Pills prescribed for alcoholism might not work, study finds

Review of five drugs – including one linked to deaths – says there is no body of reliable evidence behind any of them | Guardian, UK

There’s no stigma in a stein of alcohol-free beer, research shows

With Oktoberfest underway, Mintel have released the results of a survey that may give brewers something to think about | New Food Magazine, UK

Australia should start providing heroin assisted treatment

Heroin Assisted Treatment involves supervising prescribed pharmaceutical heroin self-administration with intensive psycho-social help to a minority of people with severe heroin dependence who have not benefitted from multiple other treatments | IDPC, UK

Big tobacco sends out smoke-free signal

Can big tobacco quit smoking? After years of cigarette makers trumpeting their progress in building “reduced risk” alternatives, the US Food and Drug Administration’s July announcement that it aims to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes has injected urgency to the quest | FT, UK

Police seize enough fentanyl to kill 32 million people in Walmart drugs bust

Cops tailed the dealers back from the supermarket to a home in Queens, where a huge heroin and fentanyl stash lay hidden | IBTimes, UK

Ban on roadside alcohol sales in India spoils the party for spirits maker Diageo

A ban on the sale of alcohol near highways in India is likely to hit sales at the spirits giant behind Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka, its chief executive has warned | Telegraph, UK

Philosopher Michel Foucault's Death Valley LSD Trip

In France, Foucault was a major figure in structuralist thinking of the 1960s and in the years that followed. However in the United States, especially in popular culture, Foucault is often thought of as an inciter of the “French theory” movement that swept through American universities in the 1970s and 1980s | Talking Drugs, UK

Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte says son will be killed if involved in drugs

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he will have his son killed if drug trafficking allegations against the younger politician are true, and that the police who carry out the hit will be protected from prosecution | Telegraph, UK

Training. Pathological gambling: forcing an answer out of the symbolic game

Are pleased to offer a workshop on Addiction & Compulsive Gambling for those in the addiction field or related areas looking to expand and build upon their knowledge and skill set with this type of presentation | Merchant's Quay, Ireland

Call for users of e-cigarettes to be told ’little evidence of benefits or harms’

GPs should warn smokers there is currently little evidence on the long-term benefits or harms of e-cigarettes, British health officials have said | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EMCDDA expert meeting on the epidemiological indicator: Drug-related deaths (DRD)

On 18–20 September 2017, the EMCDDA will bring together more than forty European and international experts for a meeting on the key indicator Drug-related deaths. The meeting provides a space for sharing and discussing new data, studies and experiences at regional, national and European level | EMCDDA, Portugal

Cell phone data coupled with sewage testing show drug use patterns

The drugs people inhale, inject or ingest ultimately end up in some form down the toilet. So scientists have started monitoring drug use through sewage-based epidemiology | EurekAlert, USA

Are weight loss drugs the next tool to combat cocaine addiction?

Boston Medical Center's (BMC) psychiatry team is studying a drug called lorcaserin, which targets the brain's serotonin receptors and could help reduce cocaine cravings as well as dampen the rewards associated with taking cocaine | Medical Xpress, USA

America’s opioid epidemic is so bad it’s causing average life expectancy to drop

A new study looks at the numbers — and they’re fairly grim | Vox, USA

Epidemic at work?: Businesses forced to deal with drug abuse

After a troubled youth himself, Phillip Cohen made it a practice to hire people at his woodworking business who have also struggled with addiction and mental health issues. But when an employee died from a drug overdose, he adopted a zero-tolerance policy | Medical Xpress, USA

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

Electronic cigarettes have been touted as both a safer alternative for smokers and as an effective way for people to gradually quit smoking altogether. But a new study shows that nicotine inhaled from e-cigarettes can greatly increase a person's heart rate and aggravate the sympathetic nervous system | Science Daily, USA

Smokers who quit have metabolite levels that resemble those of nonsmokers

Even after years of smoking, the body has a remarkable ability to repair itself. Now in a study shows that certain metabolic changes occur soon after quitting, and these changes could help explain how some ill-effects of smoking might be reversible | Science Daily, USA

Are alcohol-related disparities between LGB and heterosexual youth decreasing?

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to engage in risky alcohol behavior, including drinking at a younger age, drinking more often, and drinking more heavily | BASIS, USA

Pot by province

In April, Canada’s government unveiled legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational use with the new plan set to take effect in the summer of 2018 | VICE, Canada

Vaping ban: Senate committee rejects changing e-cigarette laws

Have you noticed people using e-cigarettes on the street? E-cigarettes are banned in Australia and an inquiry by the Federal Senate's Community Affairs Legislation Committee has just voted to uphold that ban until further scientific evaluation is conducted into the safety of vaping | ABC.net.au, Australia

AMC moves to automated methadone dosing

Iris recognition is now being used to help give inmates the right dose of methadone in Canberra's jail | Age, Australia

Explainer: What is a floor price on alcohol and what would it achieve?

WA Health Minister Roger Cook has flagged the idea of a minimum floor price for alcohol to stop retailers selling bargain-basement grog to binge and hardened drinkers | ABC.net.au, Australia

Drug rehab providers in Victoria want regulation to protect patients

Private drug rehabilitation providers are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of government action to regulate the trouble-plagued sector amid claims of exploitative billing practices and poorly trained staff | ABC.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A smoke-free generation?

Unlikely, thanks to complacency, naivety, and impotence in the face of big tobacco | BMJ editorial, UK

Should drugs be legalised? Some answers to Prince William’s ‘massive question’

On a visit to a rehab centre this week, the Duke of Cambridge posed the question to former addicts. Here, we ask five people – a mix of experts, academic, writers and policy-makers – for their opinion | Guardian opinion, UK

Smoking bans are sparking a rise in violence and disorder in UK prisons

There have been numerous reports of riots and violent clashes in UK prisons this year. It’s always difficult to pinpoint the causes of such flash-points, but an outbreak of violence at the privately run HMP Birmingham in September suggests that the prison smoking ban could be partially to blame after prisoners were reportedly heard chanting “we want burn” – which is slang for tobacco | Conversation, UK

Trump’s return to ‘drug war’ rhetoric is unlikely to succeed in a region that has largely rejected its effectiveness

In global drug policy, doctrinal change can have major tangible consequences. How a state interprets its policy goals and seeks to implement them can have wide reaching effects. Under the Obama administration, US national drug laws remained more or less stable | LSE blog, UK

What the New Surgeon General Should Do About E-Cigarettes

In early September, Dr. Jerome Adams, former Indiana State Health Commissioner, was sworn in as the nation’s 20th Surgeon General | Forbes opinion, USA

Telling war stories is not good drug education

A former crystal methamphetamine (or ‘ice’) user in Queensland announced in August 2016 that her business was talking to primary and secondary school students about her experience with the drug | adf insights, Australia

I've had a problem with drinking since 15, now I'm finally ready to talk

I loved to drink. Immediately. It was the medicine that got me through life – until it wasn't, writes Yumi Stynes | Age, Australia



And finally...

Anti-drug film from the 1960's warns of the perils of taking LSD - by describing a teenage girl's first acid trip with a hot dog

A public information video from 1969 warning of the perils of taking LSD has been unearthed. The unintentionally amusing film, entitled 'Case Study: LSD', documents a young woman's first acid trip where a hot dog comes to life and claims he has a wife and kids to support | Mail Online, UK