Daily news - 16th August 2017

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UK news

Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2016

Statistics of drug-related deaths in 2016 and earlier years, broken down by age, sex, selected drugs reported, underlying cause of death and NHS Board and Council areas | HRB, UK

Drug deaths in Scotland rose by 23% in 2016

The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland last year totalled 867, a rise of 23% on 2015 | BBC, UK

Scottish drug-related deaths figure totals 867 – a rise of 23% since 2015

There was a record high number of 867 fatal drug overdoses in 2016, a 23% rise on the previous record high figure reported last year | SDF, UK

Drug related deaths are at their highest levels in 25 years: here's why

Last year saw the highest number of drug-related deaths since records began in 1993, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). More than half of these deaths involved an opiate, such as heroin. Those aged 40 to 49 years old made up the largest group dying as a result of drug poisoning. Compared with the general population, this group are dying decades before they should | Independent, UK

Director of RPS in Scotland calls for e-cigarette evidence review

The director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland, Alex MacKinnon, has called for a review of the evidence on e-cigarettes and for improved quality control of e-cigarettes | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

New strategy sets out ‘ambitions for full recovery’

Though no overt hostility to opioid maintenance treatment as in previous
publications, this and other harm reduction strategies seem to be side-lined in the 2017 Drug Strategy. Committed to being “evidence-based”, but from the value-based perspective that people should live drug-free lives, the UK government renews its aspiration for “full recovery” from illicit drug use and dependence | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Realising the potential of the 2003 UK Licensing Act

Seen as excluding health concerns and requiring an individualistic and ‘premises by premises’ approach, a revisiting of the 2003 Licensing Act for England and Wales suggest it could nevertheless be used to address public health and to implement licensing decisions based on likely overall local impact | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

'Payment by results' for drug misuse treatment gets mixed reception

A team of University of Manchester academics has published an evaluation of the impact of the Government's pilot Payment By Results scheme for drug misuse treatment – giving it a mixed reception | Medical Xpress, UK

The occasional cigarette risks your health just as much as smoking a pack a day

I believe that this study on social smoking is one of the most important findings on tobacco health in years | IBTimes, UK

Teenagers heading to festivals are being warned to be careful of a new type of super-strong ecstasy that could kill

Festival-goers should beware of strong ecstasy pills that have been responsible for a surge in deaths this year, a drug researcher has warned | Mail Online, UK

Channel 4 - 60 Minutes Segment on The Loop

Looking at drug testing at festivals and deabting the issues with Steve Rolles and Peter Hitchens | Channel 4, UK

Only 40.5% of the pills sold in the UK contain MDMA

Pills in the Netherlands have the highest purity levels | MixMag, UK

Revealed: The growing problem of drunk and abusive fliers – and the worst routes for bad behaviour

The number of passengers arrested for drunken behaviour on British flights or at UK airports has soared by half in just a year, prompting calls for tough new penalties to curb a rise in “air rage” | Telegraph, UK

Violent drug addict pleads guilty to the robbery of a 92-year-old woman 

A violent drug addict has pleaded guilty to the robbery of a 92-year-old woman, which left her with horrendous injuries | Telegraph, UK


International news

Laughing gas sales are up by 400 per cent in the Netherlands

Even stores are selling canisters over the counter | MixMag, UK

Philippine drug war sees 'bloodiest night' of deaths

Philippine police have killed 32 people in drug raids, thought to be the highest death toll in a single day in the country's war on drugs | BBC, UK

Drugs tests in school in Philippines 'could put students at risk' amid bloody war

The safety of Philippine high school and college students could be endangered by government plans to introduce random mandatory drugs tests on campus, Human Rights Watch has warned | Telegraph, UK

Drug-testing welfare recipients won't stop addiction, psychiatrists warn

Australia’s peak body for psychiatrists says Coalition’s plan ‘very simplistic’ and at odds with 50 years of evidence | Guardian, UK

The recipe for 'magic mushrooms': Scientists unravel the process that gives rise to their main psychedelic ingredient

In a major breakthrough toward medical ‘magic mushrooms,’ scientists have unraveled the enzymes behind the ingredient responsible for their psychedelic effect | Mail Online, UK

Travellers unaware they could face prison for vaping in Thailand

A travel agent is urging others to tell their customers not to vape in Thailand as they could face up to 10 years in prison | Independent, UK

Baby girl spends six days on life support after eating eggs covered in ketamine

Her brother and grandmother were also found unresponsive at the family home | Independent, UK

Tiger Woods had 'five different drugs in his system' at time of DUI arrest

Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods had five different drugs in his system when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in May, according to an ESPN report on Monday | Telegraph, UK

Short Answers to Hard Questions About the Opioid Crisis

On Thursday, President Trump said he intended to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, as previously recommended by his opioid commission | NYTimes, USA

South Carolina sues drug manufacturer over opioid crisis

South Carolina has become the latest state to accuse a drug manufacturer of exacerbating its opioid drug crisis by using deceptive marketing, with the state's top prosecutor suing the maker of OxyContin | Medical Xpress, USA

Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

While marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York | Medical Xpress, USA

Will ketamine treat your depression? Check your activity monitor

Findings from a new study in Biological Psychiatry | EurekAlert, USA

Trump’s FDA Commissioner Transforms the Government’s Policy on E-Cigarettes

Scott Gottlieb has shown that he understands the problems with the Obama administration’s treatment of the issue. Next, he must correct them | National Review, USA

If You Took The Nicotine Out Of Cigarettes, Would Fewer People Want To Smoke?

Remember Quest cigarettes? | Forbes, USA

Why Some States Are Raising the Age to Buy Tobacco

Oregon became the fifth state to raise the age for buying tobacco products to 21 | TIME, USA

'The stigma around ice addicts silences their family members' - video

Mikayla's cousin committed suicide as a result of his ice addiction. But when she tried to talk to people about it she faced a stigma and hostility she never expected | abc.net.australia, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

The Washington Post has published a letter from the vice chair of the American Thoracic Society’s Tobacco Action Committee attacking the FDA for its more neutral position on new nicotine technologies, accusing the agency of promoting a switch from one addiction to another, underlining an ideological trope that lies at the heart of much of the response from many national and international so-called ‘health’ agencies | NSP Blog, UK

Herald View: We must find new ways to reduce shameful drugs death toll

It is  a table that no caring, civilised nation would wish to find itself top of. But the sad truth is that Scotland has the highest rate of drugs deaths in the European Union | Herald opinion, UK

Huge Rise in Scottish Drug Deaths Was Avoidable

The latest drug related deaths statistics were published today by National Records for Scotland - and they make for shocking reading. 867  people died from illegal drug overdoses in Scotland in 2016, 23% higher than in 2015 - a record level for the third year in a row | Transform Blog, UK

Harnessing the body’s own cannabis in the fight against cancer

The drugs used to treat cancer after surgery can help to slow disease progression, but they don’t always stop cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body, nor do they help with pain associated with some cancers such as sarcomas (rare bone cancers). There is a drug, however, that potentially does both of these things: cannabis | Conversation, UK

Prisoners Need Opioid-Addiction Treatment

Using jail time to wean people from heroin would reduce recidivism and save lives | Bloomberg editorial, USA