DS Daily - 25th July2013

Police renew warning over 'green Rolex' pills

Police have issued a renewed warning about fake ecstasy pills in Northern Ireland known as 'green Rolexes' | BBC, UK

When class A drugs become cheaper than the average pint, criminalisation has failed

It's easier for a teenager to buy dangerous drugs than alcohol. Our policymakers need to wake up and fix this | Telegraph, UK

Ecstasy: Pointless deaths

As part of my work, I get a daily email from a charity, DrugScope, which collates a series of the most interesting stories in the international, national and local press about drugs and alcohol abuse. For a while now, I've noticed a trend: every few days, there is a story about somebody dying, or being close to death, after taking something that appears to be an ecstasy tablet | Economist, UK

Benzo Fury-linked drug death woman was 'wonderful'

The family of a woman whose death has been linked by police to a banned "legal high" have described her as a "wonderful person loved by everyone" | BBC, UK

Drug binges on gay scene fuelling HIV rise, says Lancet article

Figures show rise of 21% in HIV infections among men who have sex with men in London between 2011 and 2012 | Guardian, UK

Minimum alcohol pricing: Five countries oppose Scottish drink plan

Five European wine-producing nations are trying to block Scotland's plans for minimum alcohol pricing | BBC, UK

Plain cigarette packaging: Labour urges Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood to intervene over Lynton Crosby 'lobbying'

Labour have attempted to ratchet up the pressure on Britain’s most senior civil servant to intervene in the row over allegations that the Conservatives’ election guru used his position to lobby ministers on behalf of private clients | Independent, UK

Integrating parenting support with treatment helps mums help the children

First systematic review of whether integrating parenting support with treatment improves the parenting of problem substance using mothers found remarkably few quality studies, but enough to suggest that such programmes can improve the prospects of often highly at-risk children | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Could more than three million older people in England be at risk of alcohol-related harm?

Research published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, shows that the number of older drinkers classified as hazardous alcohol consumers would be in excess of three million | British Geriatric Society, UK

Study: Cannabis has no effect in slowing course of progressive multiple sclerosis

The first large non-commercial clinical study to investigate whether the main active constituent of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) is effective in slowing the course of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), shows that there is no evidence to suggest this; although benefits were noted for those at the lower end of the disability scale | Medical News Today, UK

The 10 Commandments of Payment by Results

Payment by results is a controversial new approach to commissioning which tends to polarise opinions. This, to a large degree, is because it doesn’t yet have an established evidence base and many of the current pilot schemes described as PbR seem to have relatively little in common in terms of their design principles | Russell Webster.com, UK

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: My teenage son is using ketamine and cocaine

A friend has suggested we kick him out onto the streets, but we can't bear it | Independent, UK

Council apology over misleading drugs message

Warrington Borough Council has apologised for the misleading drugs awareness campaign "It's Not Just a Joint" which suggested cannabis was stronger than heroin | Warrington-Worldwide.net, UK

Mexico clashes between police and armed drug gang leave 22 dead

Heavily armed men clashed with federal police in six towns in Mexico's Michoacan state, leaving 22 people dead in the bloodletting, the Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday | Telegraph, UK

Pope in Brazil warns against legalising drugs

Pontiff says liberal policies being considered in Latin America will not end suffering as he continues first overseas visit | Guardian, UK

Drug smuggler Goldie Coats loses appeal

A woman who claims she was coerced into smuggling cocaine because she suffered from battered woman syndrome has lost an appeal against her conviction | BBC, UK

The problem with addiction and benzodiazepines

According to the Government, benzodiazepine prescribing levels in Ireland are unacceptably high. So what are politicians doing to address this and are there enough supports available for the growing number of patients with benzodiazepine dependence? | Irish Medical News, Ireland

Providing education on harm reduction through the media

HCLU's European Drug Policy Initiative invited a group of journalists to cover the world's largest assembly on harm reduction. Find out how they covered the Harm Reduction International Conference in Vilnius | Drug Reporter, Hungary

When Relapse Turns Deadly: What You Need to Know About Drug Overdose

Friends and fans are reeling in the wake of Glee actor Cory Monteith's overdose on a mixture of heroin and alcohol. Suffering a similar fate as Kriss Kross rapper Chris Kelly and others who have passed this year, his lengthy battle with drugs ended tragically on July 13 in his hotel room | Huffington Post, USA

Smoking in pregnancy tied to kids' conduct problems

 Children of women who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy are more likely to have behavioral problems than those whose mothers didn't light up, says a new analysis | Yahoo News, USA

Why Aren’t Women at Home in the World of Weed?

I was driving down the 110 last weekend when I saw a billboard: KUSH EXPO. Then, in slightly smaller type, HOT KUSH GIRL CONTEST | NYMag, USA

Evans: Insite saves addicts lives and often transforms them

I am the executive director of the PHS Community Services Society that runs (in partnership with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority) Vancouver’s “Insite”, the supervised injection site mentioned in Licia Corbella’s piece last week | Calgary Herald, Canada

High levels of THC in Australian cannabis: new study

The first systematic analysis of the potency of Australian cannabis has found high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main psychoactive component of the drug – in samples confiscated by police from recreational users in New South Wales | NDARC, Australia