This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

'Headblowing incense' hospitalises nine, under-tens with eating disorders and the baby boomers being treated for heavy drinking

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 12 October

Today the Guardian reports that a “legal high” sold as a “head-blowing herbal incense” is set to be banned after leaving nine people in hospital in the past three months.

The drug “Annihilation” is among hundreds of new synthetic “designer” compound drugs, many of which imitate the effects of controlled drugs such as cannabis or ecstasy, that the government’s drugs advisers are to recommend be banned next week.

Professor Les Iversen, the chairman of the government’s advisory committee on the misuse of drugs (ACMD), said that annihilation was a particularly potent compound that had left young people hospitalised in Glasgow and Blackburn. He said youngsters had become severely agitated and over-stimulated after taking it.

Meanwhile a BBC article tells us that more NHS money is spent treating alcohol-related illness in baby boomers than young people.

It reports on the findings of an Alcohol Concern study which found the cost of hospital admissions linked to heavy drinking 55 to 74-year-olds in 2010-11 was more than £825m, more than 10 times the figure for 16 to 24-year-olds.

The sum spent on treating the baby boomer generation went on 454,317 patients, compared with the 54,682 under-24s who were treated at a cost of £64m.

Elsewhere the Telegraph says more than 50 under ten-year-olds were admitted to hospital with eating disorders in the past year.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that the biggest increases in hospital admissions for eating disorders last year was among girls aged 10 to 15, up from 362 in 20/11 to 522 in 2011/12.

Young girls aged 10 to 19 accounted for more than half of all admissions, a greater proportion than last year, the data revealed.

Overall there was a 16 per cent rise to reach 2,288 admissions for an eating disorder and three quarters of them were for anorexia. Of the admissions, 203 were men or boys.

Have your say