Daily news - 22nd September 2017

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Public Health England has launched an expression of interest process for local authorities to take part in a high profile randomised control trial to test the effectiveness of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment support approach for individuals with drug and alcohol dependency problems accessing community treatment services. The expression of interest closing date is Tuesday 31st October.

Two expression of interest events are being held for areas that wish to learn more about participation in the trial, and to share ideas and ask any questions of the project team: London: 26th September (10.00–13.00) /  Leeds: 28th September (13.00–16.00)

For any further queries, or if local authorities commissioners wish to receive the expression of interest materials, or to book a place at the events, please get in touch with PHE at IPSdependencytrials@phe.gov.uk


UK news

Pregabalin, known as 'new valium', to be made class C drug after deaths

Prescription drug is handed out too readily and used recreationally, say doctors, with 111 deaths linked to it last year | Guardian, UK

Smoking cessation interventions and services: Draft guidance consultation

You can now review and comment on this draft guideline. The consultation closes on Wednesday 1 November 2017 at 5pm | NICE, UK

Universities are turning a blind eye to freshers’ week 'excesses', vice-Chancellor warns

Universities are turning a blind eye to freshers’ week “excesses”, a vice-Chancellor has warned as he urges institutions to end their “permissive” culture | Telegraph, UK

Alcohol champions to reduce drinking in Greater Manchester

A pioneering programme ‘Communities in Charge of Alcohol’ has been launched today (Thursday, 21 September) to combat the growing number of people who are drinking excessive amounts of alcohol across the city region | GMCA, UK

Cannabis: Prescription Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the devolved administrations on making cannabis available through pharmaceuticals where use of that drug can be helpful | They work for you, UK

Oral Tobacco

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish (1) the assessments, and (2) the correspondence, held by Public Health England regarding the toxicology of the smoking substitute snus, including any communication with government scientists | They work for you, UK

Probably The Biggest Breakthrough Yet For Medicinal Cannabis In The UK

Since the beginning of 2017, Peter Reynolds and Professor Mike Barnes of CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform have been working on a project that is about to come to fruition.  The Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) meets tomorrow, 22nd September 2017, to consider our proposal to issue guidelines to doctors on the use of medicinal cannabis | Clear, UK

ASA rejects complaints against Bud Light

Bud Light, owned by beer giant AB InBev, has not breached guidelines on its marketing, the advertising watchdog has ruled | Morning Advertiser, UK

Abudget airline passenger was left "shocked" after spotting a can of Stella Artois in the cockpit of the plane that’d just flown hundreds of people back from Spain | Telegraph, UK

Dundee addicts demand ‘human rights’ in NHS Tayside protest

Drug addicts in Dundee have claimed a lack of support from NHS Tayside is killing users | Courier, UK

Glasgow car stop leads to £500,000 drug find

Two men have been arrested after drugs with a street value of almost £500,000 were seized in Glasgow and Paisley | BBC, UK

Doped Up Dogs: Why Greyhounds Are Being Given Cocaine

Doping in the dog racing world has decreased in recent years, but it's still happening throughout the UK and Ireland | VICE, UK

Woman choked on drugs she hid in her false teeth to smuggle into prison

A woman was caught out as she attempted to smuggle heroin and cannabis into prison in her false teeth | Metro, UK


International news

Pharmacologically controlled drinking in the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorders: a systematic review with direct and network meta-analyses on nalmefene, naltrexone, acamprosate, baclofen and topiramate

[Open access] Pharmacologically controlled drinking in the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorders (AUDs) is an emerging concept. Our objective was to explore the comparative effectiveness of drugs used in this indication | Addiction, UK

Testing of illicit drugs to be done at Australian event for first time

ACT agrees to allow pill testing at music festival and harm-minimisation groups hope the rest of the country will follow suit | Guardian, UK

Cannabis Legalisation Bill Proposed in Icelandic Parliament

An Icelandic MP has proposed legislation to legally regulate cannabis, in a bid to reduce the potential harms of the drug, as well as the harms of prohibition | Talking Drugs, UK

Battling heroin and fentanyl deaths one shot at a time

Claire* was making a cup of tea and chatting to her friend through her kitchen serving hatch when he suddenly slipped into a heroin overdose. She ran into the sitting room, hauled him off the sofa and frantically tried to resuscitate him by forcing air into his lungs | IBTimes, UK

Alcohol Bill "vital" say Emergency Department doctors

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM) has joined the growing number of organisations seeking the "full enactment" of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill | Medical Independent, Ireland

EMCDDA Treatment demand indicator (TDI)/treatment expert meeting

The purpose of the 2017 EMCDDA TDI/treatment expert meeting is to facilitate the exchange among European experts on the latest developments of drug treatment monitoring in Europe | EMCDDA, Portugal

Grants & Programs

ONDCP administers several grant programs to support and efficiently implement the Trump Administration’s drug policy efforts | The White House, USA

NAM releases new special publication guide to help health clinicians counter the opioid epidemic

Halting the opioid epidemic requires aggressive action across multiple dimensions, including informed, active, and determined front-line leadership from health clinicians working in every setting throughout the nation, says a new National Academy of Medicine (NAM) special publication | Medical Xpress, USA

Are e-cigarettes bad for the heart? Study sheds light

The safety of electronic cigarettes is a widely debated issue. The latest research demonstrates that in people who do not smoke, they can alter heart rate variability, which is an indicator of increased adrenaline levels | MNT, USA

Many YouTube videos glorify alcohol

YouTube videos featuring alcohol are heavily viewed and nearly always promote the "fun" side of drinking | Science Daily, USA

Binge drinking in college may lower chances of landing a job after college

Drinking habits, not drinking itself, may impact future careers, say researchers | Science Daily, USA

Cannabinoids induce seizures by acting through the cannabinoid CB1 receptor

Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the world, and the advent of synthetic cannabinoids creates additional challenges to society because of their higher potency and ability to escape drug detection screenings. Scientists from Japan have a warning about a danger of cannabinoid abuse | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis, 'spice' – better think twice

Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the world, and the advent of synthetic cannabinoids creates additional challenges to the society because of their higher potency and ability to escape drug detection screenings.  Scientists have a warning about a new danger coming from cannabinoid abuse | Science Daily, Japan

Life after addiction: survey examines recovery in Canada

Recovery from substance abuse can be a lifelong battle for many, and that's why Rand Teed wants to help others see there is life after addiction | CBC News, Canada

Pill testing gets green light for Canberra festival Spilt Milk

Canberra's Spilt Milk music festival will be the first in Australia to offer pill testing, after the ACT government earlier this year rejected a drug-checking trial at Groovin The Moo | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Disney branded 'champagne' marketed to children in Europe despite company pledge to ban them

A range of Disney branded non-alcoholic drinks that resemble champagne are being marketed in the UK and Europe despite the company pledging to ban such products from sale more than one year ago | News.com.au, Australia

Higher prices 'won't end alcohol harm'

Alcohol retailers have warned that attempts to impose minimum prices on cheap booze would result in all drinkers paying more for their favourite tipple, while doing little to reduce problem drinking | Perth Now, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Back to school and looking ahead

Mentor CEO Michael O'Toole reflects on Mentor's recent achievements and looks ahead to an exciting year to come | Mentor Blog, UK