DS Daily - 27th August 2013

London Drug and Alcohol Network - Routes to Employment

DrugScope / LDAN Routes to Employment survey – last few days. The survey is still open, but to be included in the draw for one of four £25 Amazon vouchers, please complete by Saturday 31st of August. The survey is open to anybody with experience of drug and / or alcohol treatment, whether currently in work or not | DrugScope, UK

The legal and public health response to novel psychoactive drugs [Addiction Journal]

The papers in this virtual issue highlight the need for a very different regulatory regime to address the challenge presented by a plethora of new psychoactive substances appearing on the market. Read the relating Editorial. All articles in the virtual issue are available FREE to download until 30th September 2013 | Addiction, UK

Drinkers lose share of housing benefit help

People who drink and smoke too much are being denied emergency hardship payments to help with the impact of the bedroom tax on their benefits | Telegraph, UK

Editor's Letter: But what if cigarettes and alcohol are all they've got...?

If a row breaks out in i’s morning news conference, it tends to indicate we’re on to a decent story – or a talking point, at least. So it is with today’s cover report, about Edinburgh becoming the first council in the UK to stop housing hardship payments to tenants who they deem to be spending too much on smoking, drinking, pay-TV | Independent, UK

Cocaine 'rapidly changes the brain'

Taking cocaine can change the structure of the brain within hours in what could be the first steps of drug addiction, according to US researchers | BBC, UK

Ecstasy pills worth €1.3bn found in Europe's biggest drugs raid

Police in three countries have pulled off one of the biggest synthetic drug hauls Europe has seen, seizing 60 million ecstasy pills with a street value of €1.3 billion, Belgian prosecutors announced on Friday | Telegraph, UK

Latest additions to the Effectiveness Bank

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank address key issues. In their focus on illegal drugs, are treatment services forgetting perhaps the biggest killer of all, tobacco? Can it do more than harm than good to extend the treatment net across the criminal justice system? Is asking education to double as prevention unrealistic? Would we do better to focus one-to-one on those really in need? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Pros and cons of Scotland’s offender treatment initiatives

In one expert package, the recent history, results, achievements and possible drawbacks of Scotland’s concerted attempt to engage drug-driven offenders in treatment at nearly every stage of the criminal justice system. Widening treatment access may the main plus, also widening entanglement in the criminal justice system the main minus | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Legal Highs: Ban At Reading Leeds Festival

The family of Christopher Scott, a father of four who died from a legal high, is pleased by the ban but says more must be done | SkyNews, UK

America's Stoned Kids: guinea pigs of cannabis legalisation

Denver, the setting of this spliffy documentary, is The Mile High City in more ways than one | BBC, UK

How foreign can a foreign country feel? Just ask the Peru drug mule suspects

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum are now at the mercy of Peruvian law – not even William Hague can magic them back | Guardian, UK

Recruiting drug mules on the railway, and the war graves that bear no name

How could anyone be so naive, so foolish, as to smuggle drugs? This is, I am sure, how many view Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid after their arrest for drugs smuggling in Peru. The women say they were forced to do it, under duress, and that they feared what would happen if they said no. I have sympathy for their plight, because, 20 years ago this week, I came close to being in the same situation | Independent, UK

Let Peru judge our 'drug mules', not Britain's press

The two young women accused of drug smuggling are being punished by the tabloids for enjoying a night out | Guardian, UK

'No fear of dying' in young drug users

A drugs awareness group has warned young people of the reality of taking illegal substances, as police investigate a possible drugs-link to the sudden death of another young person in Belfast | UTV, UK

The Economist explains: How can you buy illegal drugs online?

“I’m waiting for my man / Twenty-six dollars in my hand / Up to Lexington, 125 / Feeling sick and dirty, more dead than alive.” So sang Lou Reed in 1967, about visiting Harlem to buy heroin | Economist, UK

I was a late 90's cigarette girl

We hope our readers enjoy this piece which offers an insiders view of what it was like to be a promo girl for big tobacco in the 1990′s. Granted this type of promotion is now largely banned in countries with advanced tobacco control measures, but it remains standard practice in nations soft on the tobacco industry | BMJ Blog, UK

A novel approach to estimating the prevalence of untaxed cigarettes in the USA: findings from the 2009 and 2010 international tobacco control surveys [Open Access]

One in five packs were untaxed with rates higher in states with higher-excise taxes. It is unclear whether these estimates differ from the actual prevalence of cigarettes that are untaxed by a smoker's state of residence. Harmonisation of excise tax rates across all 50 US states might be one method of reducing or eliminating the incentive to avoid or evade these taxes | BMJ, UK

When Police Commissioners rule the world…

Cheaper Justice.I’ve never really understood why right-wing think tanks have been such strong advocates of Police and Crime Commissioners expanding their powers at such an early stage in their existence | RussellWebster.com, UK

Stockbroker with bone disease claims smoking 130,000 government-issued joints over 30 years has saved his life

A stockbroker with a crippling bone disease who has smoked more than 130,000 joints in his lifetime credits the relaxing drug for his long life | MailOnline, UK

Heineken steps up efforts to woo older drinkers

Heineken is beginning to test crowdsourced ideas for products designed for older drinkers, such as bottle shapes and beer recipes as it looks to innovation to offset ongoing declines in Western Europe | Marketing Week, UK

Northern Territory to shift problem drinkers from hospital to prison unit

Anyone taken into police custody three times in two months for public drunkenness could be forced to undergo treatment | Guardian, UK

Mike Tyson 'close to death from drugs and alcohol'

Former undisputed heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson claims he is "on the verge of dying" from ongoing drug and alcohol problems | BBC, UK

Drug dealing gang who used carrier pigeons to distribute cannabis across Argentina are arrested

Drug dealers who used carrier pigeons to distribute marijuana across Argentina have been arrested. Prosecutors say the dealers made up to 20 deliveries a day to a distributor in Lomas de Zamora, who would collect the drug from pouches on the birds’ legs | MailOnline, UK

Mexico Heaven Bar disappearance: More bodies identified

Forensic experts have identified the bodies of five more youths who had gone missing after visiting a bar in a popular entertainment district in Mexico City | BBC, UK

Big Tobacco looks to the future of e-cigarettes

Ireland still has lack of product regulation | Irish Times, Ireland

Why is psychotherapy going out of favor?

In a special issue of Clinical Psychology Review edited by two Brown University professors of psychiatry and human behavior, psychologists analyze why the use of psychotherapy has declined despite a strong evidence base for the efficacy of some psychosocial treatments. The problems, they find, lie within the profession as well as outside | Medical News Today, USA

Parents and siblings influence future drug risk in different ways

NIH-funded research using twin and adoption studies shows that siblings exert a greater environmental influence on a person’s risk for future substance use and other related disorders than was previously believed, whereas parents’ influence over this risk is more genetic than environmental | NIDA, USA

Make the Next Drug Czar a Doctor

With the current czar making an exit, President Obama has a chance to change the nature of our failed war on drugs | TIME, USA

Rep. Dave Joyce On Unfilled Jobs: Businesses Can't Find Enough 'Sober,' 'Drug-Free' Workers

The economy and jobs continue to dominate discussions lawmakers have with their constituents during the August recess, as many Americans are still out of work and worried about their next paycheck | Huffington Post, USA

Russell Brand: InSite Vancouver's Crown Jewel

British comedian Russell Brand knows a thing or two about drug addiction, so when he praised InSite, Vancouver's supervised safe injection site on Twitter, it was no joke | Huffington Post, USA

Iran drug addiction rate highest in world

UN statistics estimate that roughly 2.2 percent of Iranian adults are hooked on drugs, the highest rate in the world. Here's how Iran is fighting back | MSN, USA

Drug users in Australia being trained to inject life-saving medication Naloxone under new scheme

Drug users in Australia are being trained how to inject a potentially life-saving medication in a bid to prevent people from dying from overdoses | ABC News, Australia

Warning on spike in synthetic drug overdose

A Canberra emergency medicine specialist has urged medical professionals and paramedics to be on alert for a potential spike in overdoses from a cheap synthetic drug linked to the death of a Sydney teenager | Canberra times, Australia

Most teen binge drinkers still bingeing in their twenties

The majority of adolescents who binge drink continue to drink heavily in their 20s, a landmark Australian study has found | NDARC, Australia

Binge drinking a hard habit to break

Australians who binge drink as teenagers continue to drink at dangerous levels in adulthood, a study has found | Age, Australia

Our culture of drug denial is a matter of life and death

So, my friend and I are in towelling sheaths sitting beside a plugged-in waterfall. The taped trance tinkle of chimes is broken by a young woman, who could double as a Disney princess, handing us holistic health evaluation forms to fill | Age, Australia

The Boy Who Was Too Hard To Treat

How a young life was lost in the messy gaps that stretch between drug abuse, mental health and treatment | Global Mail, Australia

More than 150 drink drivers have been caught cheating the alcohol ignition interlock program

More than 150 of the state's worst drink drivers have been caught cheating while on the alcohol ignition interlock program, which requires them to drive with zero alcohol | Daily Telegraph, Australia

Aussie couple in Bangkok bag-tamper marijuana scam scare

A Melbourne couple say they were fortunate not to have fallen victim to tough Thai drug laws after marijuana was planted in their luggage | Age, Australia

NBOMe — a very different kettle of fish

We are concerned that recent media reports about a 17-year-old Sydney boy who died after allegedly consuming 25B- or 25I-NBOMe might lead to an increase in the incidence of NBOMe toxicity among patients presenting to emergency departments | MJA, Australia

Getting arrested to smuggle drugs into jail a common ploy

Windsor police say the man who allegedly stuffed an array of drugs into a body cavity, then purposely got arrested to smuggle them into Windsor Jail, is the latest example of an ongoing problem at the facility | Windsor Star, Australia