Daily news - 21st August 2017

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UK news

Accidental addiction to painkillers 'a public health crisis', says charity

As the number of dependent Britons is said to be soaring, experts criticise the lack of support for those struggling [Harry Shapiro from DrugWise quoted] | Sky News, UK

'Dangerous' drug found at V Festival in Staffordshire

Police said the drug tested at Weston Park, Staffordshire, contained "really serious chemicals that would have a severe adverse effect" | BBC, UK

Inside The Loop: The festival drug testing service trying to keep British revellers safe

Analysts found plaster of paris, monosodium glutamate, creatine, lactose, sugar and anti-malarial pills sold as drugs | Independent, UK

Spice: Police 'helpless' against psychoactive drug

Police across the UK feel "helpless" in the fight against the former legal high Spice, a senior officer has said | BBC, UK

Expert reaction to study of adolescents, e-cigarettes and smoking

In new research published in Tobacco Control scientists assess whether adolescent e-cigarette use was associated prospectively with initiation or escalation of cigarette use | Science Media Centre, UK

E-cigs lead teenagers to smoking, survey suggests

Researchers from the University of Leeds surveyed almost 3,000 school pupils in England | BBC Newsbeat, UK

British prisons struggle to keep up with changes in drug use

Inspection findings were supplemented by fieldwork in eight prisons in 2014 to generate an overall picture of drug use and responses to it in prisons and England and Wales. In the face of rapidly changing and varied drug use patterns, responses were seen as insufficiently flexible and dynamic, though treatment had “dramatically” improved | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Work hard, work hard - a quarter of modern medical students are teetotal

The ‘work hard, play hard’ medical student who burns the candle at both ends, consuming prodigious quantities of alcohol before an early morning anatomy class, has long been a staple of university life | Telegraph, UK

The (Absolute) State Of Drug Education In The UK

With drug-related deaths at an all-time high and new drugs entering the black market all the time, drug education for young people is more important than ever | Volte Face, UK

UK’s first ever Naloxone Peer Training and Supply group celebrates launch

Scottish Drugs Forum’s National Naloxone Programme has held an awards ceremony to mark the launch of the UK’s first Naloxone Peer Training and Supply Programme and to celebrate the achievements of the volunteers | SDF, UK

Cannabis: Time For a Change?

Broadcast live tomorrow. As countries across the world look to decriminalise cannabis, Newsbeat reporter Jim Connolly asks whether it's time to change the law on the UK's most popular illegal drug | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Legalising Cannabis

Broadcast live tomorrow. Tina Daheley and Newsbeat reporter Jim Connolly take a look at the arguments for and against the legalisation of cannabis with a panel of expert guests and Radio 1 listeners | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Welcome to the survey on the Use of Synthetic Cathinones

This survey is part of a wider research project looking at the use of synthetic cathinones.  This survey aims to understand reasons for using these molecules, what effects were expected and what was actually experienced, including unwanted and adverse effects.  This survey will take about ten minutes to complete | Drug Misuse & Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Proof: whisky tastes better with water

It is a question that has divided whisky lovers for centuries: does the true aficionado add a dash or water, or drink the spirit neat? | Telegraph, UK

Lidl unveils £3.33 deal on bottles of prosecco

A £3.33 bottle of prosecco has been unveiled in a deal that fans of the Italian sparkling wine have dubbed the "bargain of the century" | Independent, UK

Driving ban for man found to be 79 times over drug-drive limit

Hampshire police say reading one of the highest force has seen after Lee Ainsworth, 34, pleads guilty over motorway crash | Guardian, UK

Acid attack: Man asked victim if he wanted to buy cannabis then threw corrosive liquid in his face in London

The incident took place in east London and the victim suffered severe burns | Independent, UK

Prison officer arrested over drugs find at Maghaberry

A 23-year-old prison officer has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs into Maghaberry Prison | BBC, UK

£1.4m cannabis farm found in Liverpool terraced property

A cannabis farm with the capacity to annually produce about £1.4m of drugs has been found by police in Liverpool | BBC, UK

£530,000 cash and 12kg drugs found in Merseyside raids

About 12kg of heroin and £530,000 cash have been found by police during raids at three properties in Merseyside | BBC, UK


International news

Silk Road: Google search unmasked Dread Pirate Roberts - video

You could buy any drug imaginable, wherever you were in the world, on the Silk Road website | BBC, UK

Social smoking can be just as bad for you as smoking daily

According to a new study, social smoking does as much damage to your heart as regular smoking | Independent, UK

£400m drugs haul seized by Royal Navy task force pursuing smugglers in the Gulf and Indian Ocean

Eight raids were carried out over a five-month period, with sailors seizing more than 1.75 tonnes of narcotics, along with 265kg of heroin and 455kg of hashish--a drug made from cannabis-- with a street value of around £65m | Telegraph, UK

Synthetic opioid crisis in US serves as warning for the world, says UN

Fentanyl, which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, was recently tied to the deaths of 60 people in the UK – and a growing number of deaths in Australia | Guardian, UK

How Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump have restarted the war on drugs

Under Obama, America’s addiction to mass incarceration seemed to fade. But then came Trump and a hardline attorney general | Guardian, UK

'He's trying to save lives': the ex-addict judge on the frontline of the opiate crisis

Everyone in Judge Craig Hannah’s opiate-specific court is offered a deal: complete addiction treatment and the charges against them may be reduced | Guardian, UK

Revealed: how British American Tobacco exploited war zones to sell cigarettes

Documents show how the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company pursued growth and profit amid instability in African and Middle East countries | Guardian, UK

India threatens Philip Morris after they allegedly push cigarettes to young people

Advertisements at kiosks, the free distribution of Marlboro smokes at nightclubs and bars, and the use promotions on TV screens are breaches of the law, Indian authorities say | Independent, UK

Death of student at Mexico holiday resort linked to bootleg alcohol trade

Student, 20, had been drinking at bar found to be selling potentially dangerous alcohol | Independent, UK

Former Sao Paulo 'crackland' addict turns trash recycling into livelihood

Fabiana Silva called the streets of São Paulo home for 16 years as one of hundreds of people trapped in ''cracolandia'', the open-air drugs market in South America’s biggest city | Independent, UK

Duterte drug war: Manila's brutal nightshift

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs saw its bloodiest 24 hours on 15 August, with 32 people killed in raids. In December 2016 BBC Stories spent a night on the streets with Raffy Lerma, a photo-journalist documenting the nightly killings in the Philippines' government's war on drugs | BBC, UK

Man charged with using drone to smuggle drugs into the US 

A man has been charged with using a drone to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine into the US from Mexico | Telegraph, UK

'The reaction has been phenomenal, there are people who cry' - How sister of teen who died from synthetic drug is sharing his story

'It keeps my brother's memory alive, he wasn't just a guy who took a drug at a party, he was a lot more and something good can come from it' | Independent, Ireland

Prescription drug monitoring programs evaluated by researchers

Deaths resulting from prescription drug overdoses have increased more than seven-fold over the last several decades, and public health officials are calling the epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history | Medical Xpress, USA

Some People Still Need Opioids

The crackdown on pain medication prescribing is intended to help the addiction crisis—but it’s leaving chronic pain patients in untenable situations | Slate, USA

Cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum, study shows

obacco companies have known for decades that, without counseling, NRT hardly ever works, and that consumers often use it to complement smoking. This insight from the formerly secret industry documents, outlines a new report | Science Daily, USA

Why social smoking can be just as bad for you as daily smoking

"Everything in moderation." It's a common justification made for behaviors that may fall outside the realm of healthy. Whether it's a drink or two or indulging in a favorite dessert, consuming small quantities, rather than abject abstinence, is a more palatable and acceptable option for most people | Medical Xpress, USA

Smoking linked to frailty in older adults

A recent article finds that current smoking in older people increases the risk of developing frailty, though former smokers did not appear to be at higher risk | Science Daily, USA

Lowering nicotine levels, use of e-cigarettes and raising cigarette prices associated with smoking cessation

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have waged a war against smoking and now new steps are in place to help quitters go ahead and stop smoking | News Medical, USA

Smoking Versus Edibles

What is the lowest-risk route of cannabis administration? (Please don’t come at me with a vape pen.) | Atlantic, USA

Bank boycott snuffs Uruguay's legal marijuana sales

Uruguay's unique new marijuana industry has run into a hurdle as international anti-money laundering rules are forcing banks to close the accounts of pharmacies legally selling the drug | Medical Xpress, USA

British Columbia health authority issues new plan to tackle opioid crisis

The BC Centre for Disease Control issued a bold set of recommendations to address the province’s unparalleled overdose crisis that includes providing drug users with clean opioids to take home and inject or allowing them to grow their own opium | Globe and Mail, Canada

Addiction Experts Beg Government To Scrap Welfare Drug Tests

Some of Australia's foremost experts on addiction have pleaded for the federal government to scrap its controversial plan to drug test welfare recipients, saying the program's negative impacts far outweigh its benefits and that it will further swamp an already struggling treatment sector | Huffington Post, Australia

How to help people do drugs safely: let them know what they’re really taking

For nearly 25 years Dr Fiona Measham has documented how and why humans do drugs. She spoke to Simon Day about how helping people know what exactly they’re taking is making doing drugs safer in the UK | The Spinoff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

The real opioid emergency

The current crisis fits a historical pattern of racial disparity in how society treats drug users | NYTimes opinion, USA

It is legal to import but illegal to use – the drug flooding our streets

Tonight hundreds of people in Melbourne's nightclubs will each spend about $15 to buy a little soy sauce fish satchel containing a clear liquid with the intention of getting high. Some of them will wake (if they are lucky) in hospital casualty wards with no idea how they got there | SMH comment, Australia


And finally...

Amateur Golden Retriever Detective Uncovers $100,000 Worth Of Heroin

Move over Scooby-Doo, a mischievous 18-month-old golden retriever has been made an honorary narcotics police dog after discovering more than $100,000 of heroin buried in his backyard | Huffington Post, Australia