Daily news - 11th August 2017

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UK news

Fentanyls: UK and Ireland DrugWatch Information Sheet

Updated. When sharing please use this HTML link rather than the PDF to ensure you are always accessing the latest version of the document | DrugWatch, UK

Just say 'know' to drugs: can testing facilities make festivals safer?

Drug testing is increasingly becoming part of UK festivals and clubs. Could it be an effective way to change behaviour and reduce the harmful effects of drugs? | BBC, UK

Leeds festival has been forced to scrap plans for on-site drug testing

An agreement with Leeds City Council could not be made | MixMag, UK

Back to nudge? Behaviour change and the drinking environment

The University of Cambridge has announced it will be leading a new large scale research programme to investigate ways to ‘nudge’ people towards healthier behaviours including alcohol use | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Lack of evidence over ketamine’s long-term safety

Acute side effects are common in studies of patients who have received ketamine for depression and more research is needed into long-term outcomes, researchers find | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Police search for Rotherham bathroom 'crystal meth lab' trio

Three men convicted of running a 'crystal meth' laboratory from a bathroom failed to attend court for sentencing | BBC, UK

Men filmed inhaling from balloons while driving long motorway

They were captured late at night by a passenger of another car who spotted the car swerving along the road | Metro, UK

International news

Trump declares US opioid pain drugs national emergency

The crisis over the US addiction to painkillers - opioids - is a national emergency, says President Donald Trump | BBC, UK

Oregon becomes fifth state to raise smoking age to 21

Tobacco control advocates claim another victory | Independent, UK

Border Force officer arrested over alleged drug and tobacco syndicate

An Australian Border Force officer has been nabbed over an alleged international drug and tobacco ring operating between Sydney and Dubai | Guardian, UK

Saudi singer arrested for dabbing

A popular singer has been arrested for "dabbing" during a concert in south-west Saudi Arabia | BBC, UK

Cassie Sainsbury hopeful she will be cleared on drug mule charges, her lawyer says

After plea deal was rejected by judge, lawyer Orlando Herrán says the Australian woman’s claim she acted under threat frees her from any guilt | Guardian, UK

Julión Álvarez and Rafael Marquez deny drug cartel link

Two Mexican celebrities have denied having ties to a drug-trafficking cartel, after the US treasury department imposed sanctions on them | BBC, UK

Minister axes plan to give tax breaks to publicans

Fine Gael proposals to introduce tax breaks for publicans who agree to bring customers home at night have been shot down by Transport Minister Shane Ross | Independent, Ireland

Hepatitis C screening. National clinical guideline no. 15. Summary

This Summary National Clinical Guideline is relevant to all healthcare professionals, healthcare managers and policy makers working with those at increased risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The guideline will also be of value to both statutory and voluntary bodies providing services to those groups at increased risk of HCV infection. It may also be used by those with HCV or in a risk group for HCV and by members of the public | DoH, Ireland

32 churches and no methadone clinic: struggling with addiction in an opioid ‘treatment desert’

Heather Menzel squirmed in her seat, unable to sleep on the Greyhound bus as it rolled through the early morning darkness toward Bakersfield, in California’s Central Valley. She’d been trapped in transit for three miserable days, stewing in a horrific sickness only a heroin addict can understand. Again and again, she stumbled down the aisle to the bathroom to vomit | STAT, USA

Opioid users 50 percent more likely to get treatment under Obamacare

Once the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented in 2014, people who struggled with misusing opioids were 50 percent more likely to get treatment and twice as likely to have that treatment paid for by insurance than before, according to a new Drexel University study | Medical Xpress, USA

Doctors at heart of US opioid crisis

When 55-year-old Sheila Bartels left her doctor's office in Oklahoma, she had a prescription for 510 painkillers. She died the same day of an overdose | Medical Xpress, USA

Newly discovered pathway for pain processing could lead to new treatments

The discovery of a new biological pathway involved in pain processing offers hope of using existing cancer drugs to replace the use of opioids in chronic pain treatment, according to scientists | Science Daily, USA

A note of caution amidst a 'revolution' in hepatitis C treatment

As new treatments for hepatitis C reshape the landscape, new data from UNSW underscore the need to address issues including discrimination, stigma and engaging marginalised communities | Medical Xpress, USA

Oklahoma Supreme Court rules fee on cigarettes unconstitutional

Oklahoma's Supreme Court declared a fee on cigarettes unconstitutional on Thursday, citing faulty lawmaking practices, prompting the state's governor to suggest calling back the legislature to find a solution to replace the lost revenue | Reuters, USA

Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis: Forever Feared, Not Yet Found

Fentanyl is the synthetic opioid that delivers a high 100 times more powerful than morphine. “A few hundred micrograms–the weight of a single grain of salt–are enough to trigger heroin-like bliss,” writes the Globe and Mail. “But the line between euphoria and fatal overdose is frighteningly thin: An amount the size of two grains of salt can kill a healthy adult.” | Leafly, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Points Interview: Chris Finan

Chris discusses his book - Drunks:an American history | Points Blog, UK