Daily news - 29th August 2017

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31st August - International Overdose Day


UK news

Drug and alcohol treatment funding slashed across England by 16% in four years

Exclusive: Local councils forced to reduce financial support by £105m since Government removed ring-fenced budgets for services in 2012/13, figures show | Independent, UK

Drug driving crackdown means more dangerous motorists off roads

Better technology means courts are punishing drug drive offenders in record numbers | Department for Transport, Ministry of Justice, Paul Maynard MP, and Dominic Raab MP, UK

Drug driving

Explains changes to drug driving law and the guidance available for healthcare professionals and users of prescription medicine | Department for Transport, UK

'Drug drivers' now as likely to be convicted as drunk motorists

Almost 1,500 "drug drivers" are being convicted every year following the introduction of new laws intended to take more dangerous drivers off Britain's roads | Telegraph, UK

Acceptability of introducing lower-risk injecting equipment

Interviews with people who inject drugs and with needle exchange staff
suggest it would be feasible to introduce lower-risk ‘low dead space’
needle and syringe combinations. But, given that a sudden change in
equipment may be difficult to adjust to, what is the least disruptive
way to make the change? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Funding cuts result in fewer people accessing smoking cessation services, says charity

Smokers most heavily addicted and in need of cessation services were disproportionately from disadvantaged groups. Therefore, lack of funding to smoking cessation groups may lead to a wider gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor, a public health charity suggests | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Do electronic cigarettes increase cigarette smoking in UK adolescents? Evidence from a 12-month prospective study

In cross-sectional surveys, increasing numbers of adolescents report using both electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and cigarettes. This study assessed whether adolescent e-cigarette use was associated prospectively with initiation or escalation of cigarette use | BMJ, UK

Researcher reveals how south Sefton's gangs are bringing in fresh recruits

Providing stop smoking services to people with substance misuse disorders increases the numbers of people who stop smoking by about 10% without reducing the rates of abstinence from drugs or alcohol. Combined drug treatment and counselling showed the best result though pharmacotherapy alone was also successful | NIHR, UK

British mothers among the world’s worst for drinking during pregnancy

British mums-to-be are among the most likely in the world to drink during pregnancy and harm their unborn baby as a result, new research finds | Independent, UK

Is sugar really as addictive as cocaine? Scientists row over effect on body and brain

Heated debate has greeted an article in a medical journal suggesting sugar should be considered an addictive drug, as experts deride the claims as ‘absurd’ | Guardian, UK

Parents Of Amy Vigus Release Heart-Breaking Video Warning About Drugs After Daughter Dies

‘She will never know the pain she has caused.’ | Huffington Post, UK

Family Voices competition 2017 open for entries

The competition, part of our annual Carol Concert, allows friends and family members who have lived through someone else’s substance use to express their thoughts and feelings in a creative and constructive way. While it is often difficult to talk about this subject, it can be helpful to write about it, and entries are of a consistently high standard | Adfam, UK

Using Impact Studies to Determine Substance Prevention Strategies

Free event. Tuesday, 12 September 2017 from 12:30 to 16:30 (BST) Manchester | Mentor-ADEPIS, UK

Ruthless drug gangs 'grooming kids in the same ways as abusers'

Researcher reveals how south Sefton's gangs are bringing in fresh recruits | Liverpool Echo, UK

Poor people ‘must be nearly dying’ to get addiction treatment as funding cuts put strain on NHS

A charity helping people recover from addiction is having to treat more private patients to cover its costs, as the drying-up of Government funding means some poorer people have to be ‘nearly dying’ before they get treatment | Weston Mercury, UK

Recovering Dundee drug addicts to be given cameras to capture their lives for new project

They say that the camera never lies — and now the power of photographs is to be used to tell the story of recovering addicts in Dundee | Evening Telegraph, UK

Food given to Wrexham homeless 'may be sold to buy drugs'

Some homeless people who are camped at a former school could be selling food given to them by the public to buy drugs, according to Wrexham council | BBC, UK

Fugitive Scarborough drugs gang leader jailed

The head of a drugs gang who spent months on the run after skipping bail has been jailed for nine years and eight months | BBC, UK

Suspected drugs baron faces extradition to the US

A man suspected of leading an international drug syndicate is facing extradition to the United States | BBC, UK

Dashcam footage shows 'appalling' driving of drunk woman

Dashcam footage captured a 71-year-old drink-driver's "appalling driving" and subsequent crashes. Carole Rose, of Harbury Avenue, Ainsdale, Merseyside admitted dangerous driving and driving a motor vehicle while above the alcohol limit | BBC, UK

Alcohol content of Carling is weaker than advertised, owners tell tax tribunal

The alcohol content of Carling is lower than advertised, its owners have admitted in a court case | Independent, UK

Gordon Ramsay Delves Into Cocaine Trade In New Documentary

Gordon Ramsay on cocaine is something that we'd all like to see | Lad Bible, UK


International news

Tobacco control measures overseas

The government is investing in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2030 project, through Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding, from 2016 to 2021 | DoH, UK

Reducing nicotine in cigarettes could curb smoking addiction

The US is set to impose changes and the UK could soon follow suit | Independent, UK

Smoke and mirrors? Experts divide over Australia's e-cigarettes ban

Feelings are running high over the value of vaping, which is being examined by a parliamentary inquiry. Does it really have health benefits or is it just another way for big tobacco to keep its profits up? | Guardian, UK

Mandurah revealed as third drug-testing site for welfare recipients

Coalition says Western Australian city has a high incidence of drug use, and will join western Sydney and Logan as sites for controversial two-year trial | Guardian, UK

WA criticises 'incredibly naive' plan to drug test welfare recipients in Mandurah

Second state Labor government to oppose Coalition’s drug-testing trial warns move could increase homelessness and crime | Guardian, UK

Drugslab does cocaine ketamine an ecstasy on camera to providedrug education news

A group of three Dutchies have come together as what's now known on YouTube as Drugslab with one goal in mind: to provide effective drug education | MixMag, UK

French ex-drugs squad chief faces cannabis smuggling charges

François Thierry charged with complicity in possession, transport and acquisition of drugs | Guardian, UK

Zebrafish willingly dose themselves with opioid drugs, discover scientists

'Fish can experience some of the same signs of addiction and withdrawal as people' | Independent, UK

West Virginians struggle for answers in America's worst hit opioid epidemic state

Lack of opportunity and despair are widely regarded as a driving force behind the opioid epidemic in a state where most agree politicians aren’t doing enough | Guardian, UK

I toke thee to be my wife: inside a cannabis wedding in California

From a pot sommelier to cannabis buds in the bouquets, Zak Walton and Dani Geen’s ceremony was not Carmel’s typical nuptials | Guardian, UK

Netflix develops marijuana strains based on its original shows

Streaming giant creates ‘The Netflix Collection’, a selection of cannabis varieties based on shows including Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development | Guardian, UK

'Electronic heroin': China's boot camps get tough on internet addicts

In the first country to label online addiction a disorder, parents are taking screen-obsessed teens to treatment centres for sometimes dubious cures | Guardian, UK

Philippine mourners vent anger at Duterte's anti-drugs campaign

The funeral has taken place in the Philippines of a teenager whose death sparked anger at President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs campaign, which has led to thousands being killed | BBC, UK

Philippines' Duterte orders police to kill 'idiots' who resist arrest

President continues controversial declarations telling officers they are free to kill anyone who is violent while being detained | Guardian, UK

HSE issues tender for first supervised injecting centre for drug addicts

The HSE has issued a tender to find an organisation to run the country’s first supervised injecting centre for drug addicts in Dublin city centre | Independent, Ireland

Search for suitable ‘injecting room’ site in Dublin

The HSE has launched the search for a facility in Dublin where drug users can inject themselves in a safe environment | Irish Examiner, Ireland

High alert: how to stay safe at festivals

Help Not Harm is taking a smart approach to help those who over-indulge or take drugs at Electric Picnic | Irish Times, Ireland

More Than 1,000 CHILDREN Hospitalised For Alcohol And Drug Use Last Year

More than 1,100 children and teenagers were hospitalised due to alcohol and drugs in 2016 — the highest recorded figure since 2008 | Extra, Ireland

Women who inject drugs may be at greater risk of HCV than men

There is a clear body of research assessing sex and gender differences in risk behaviors among people who inject drugs, however little or no research has investigated sex differences in hepatitis C (HCV) susceptibility | NIDA, USA

Collaborative care shows promise for opioid and alcohol use disorders

A NIDA-funded randomized clinical trial found that primary care patients with opioid and alcohol use disorders (OAUD) who were offered a collaborative care intervention were more likely to receive evidence-based treatment and refrain from using opioids and alcohol six months later, compared to patients receiving usual care | NIDA, UK

Smokers in clinical studies who say they've quit often haven't

A new US study published by the scientific journal Addiction has found that a high proportion of smokers enrolled in stop-smoking programs during a hospital stay report having quit when in fact they have not. The findings mean that in these kinds of study it is vital to check claims of having quit using an objective measure | MNT, USA

How Safe Is America's Hottest Heroin Addiction Treatment?

Vivitrol is all the rage amid a brutal opioid epidemic. But it may also make it almost impossible to feel pleasure—and raise the risk of fatal overdose after relapse | VICE, USA

Magic enzymes in 'magic' mushrooms analyzed

Enzymatic synthesis of psilocybin, the ingredient of magic mushrooms | Science Daily, USA

All clear for the decisive trial of ecstasy in PTSD patients

One of the main targets in the war on drugs could well become a drug to treat the scars of war. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) | Science Mag, USA

US senators call on FDA to ban sale of menthol cigarettes

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is calling for a ban on menthol cigarettes, arguing that tobacco companies disproportionately target African-Americans when they market and promote the cigarettes | Globe and Mail, Canada

St Vincent's Hospital intervenes to cut opioid prescriptions given to patients on discharge

When the pharmacy at St Vincent's Hospital alerted pain specialist Dr Jennifer Stevens to the "steep" year-on-year increases in the amount of opioid-based painkillers being prescribed to patients on discharge, she knew something had to change | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Could new trade rules mean a lack of health warnings on alcohol? 

As talks begin around the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - the University of Melbourne looks at how new trade rules could restrict health warnings on alcohol | University of Melbourne, Australia

Hospitals in the southwest have seen ice-related admissions skyrocket

Hospitals in the southwest have copped a 2,153 per cent increase in admissions for ice in the past seven years | Daily Telegraph, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

Two contrasting items this week about the idea that celebrities who are either seen to be endorsing drug use or actively campaigning against it, have any influence on decision-making among young people | NSP Blog, UK

Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 25 August 2017

In 1962 the Smoking and Health study by the Royal College of Physicians laid out to the public and politicians the true harms of smoking for the first time. It stated that about 70% of men and 40% of women in the UK smoked and the health consequences were devastating | PHE Blog, UK

Substance misuse in older people

Developed countries have seen substantial increases in longevity over the past 20 years, contributing to a global demographic shift. The number of older people (aged over 50) experiencing problems from substance misuse is also growing rapidly, with the numbers receiving treatment expected to treble in the United States and double in Europe by 2020 | BMJ editorial, UK

When the Drugs Don’t Work

As someone who has enjoyed summer music festivals for almost ten years, being around people using something other than alcohol to keep them partying is par for the course | Forster, UK

My brother, the alcoholic, who lived and died in hope

I was visiting friends when I got the call to go to the hospital. I’d been expecting it for the last few years. I ran to find the ward on which my brother was lying in a bed on a ventilator | Guardian, UK

America’s lucrative new weed industry should compensate the black victims of the country’s war on drugs

It was state-sponsored racial terrorism, so reparations should be paid from the profits of the newly legal – and mostly white-owned – cannabis economy | Guardian, UK

Can Legalising Drugs Fix All Problems?

The legal regulation of drugs is more effective and just than prohibition. But does it really fix most problems? Not without social justice | Drug Reporter, Hungary

A closer look at the evidence

Someone sent this document today and highlighted this statement, “The evidence of the effectiveness of MAT is overwhelmingly positive | Addiction and Recovery News, USA

If Heroin Assisted Treatment Works, Why Isn't Australia Providing It To Those In Need?

We have a solution that will help severely dependent people and it should no longer be ignored | Huffington Post Blog, Australia