Daily news - 31st August 2017

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31st August - International Overdose Day


UK news

Improving clinical responses to drug-related deaths: a summary of best practice and innovations from drug treatment providers

Collective Voice and the NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance have published a set of recommendations for drug treatment providers to help improve clinical responses to drug-related deaths. Practice points covered include: the identification of risk of drug-related death; the delivery of safe, recovery-orientated drug treatment; preventing overdose in people who use drugs; meeting physical and mental health needs; and reducing the risk of drug-related death for people outside drug treatment | Collective Voice / NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance, UK

UK health advisers’ recommendations on psychosocial therapies for drug users

After comprehensively examining the evidence for psychosocial therapies for problem drug use, the UK’s official health advisers made in some respects surprising and controversial recommendations. Drafted in 2007, the recommendations remained unchanged after a review in 2016 | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Laughing gas is actually still legal after landmark court decision

A court has just ruled that nitrous oxide isn’t actually covered by the Psychoactive Substances Act, the law brought in last year to tackle so-called ‘legal highs’ | Metro, UK

'Legal high' review after laughing gas cases collapse

A law banning so-called legal highs in the UK is to be reviewed after the collapse of the first ever contested cases under the new legislation | BBC, UK

International Overdose Awareness Day: How to recognise an overdose

The dangers of long-term drug use are well known, however it is the short-term danger of overdosing that many people are unsure of how to deal with effectively | Metro, UK

Drugs 'death rate' concern for NI coroner

A coroner has called for a greater commitment to deal with the rising number of drug deaths in Northern Ireland | BBC, UK

Scottish anti-smoking strategy shows 'positive impact'

The Scottish government's efforts to reduce smoking in Scotland are working, according to a new report | BBC, UK

Recovery Street Film Festival dates

A diary of dates | Recovert Street Film Festival, UK

Wrexham robber threatened staff with blood-filled syringe

A drug addict who threatened shop staff with a blood-filled syringe has been jailed for four years and three months | BBC, UK

Doting mum who 'wrapped her son in cotton wool' killed herself after finding out he had smoked cannabis

Susan Underwood, 38, was so angry at finding the drug in her garden shed she grounded son Brandon, 21, before having a violent confrontation with the people who supplied it | Mirror, UK

Drugs seizures more than double in just five years in Nottinghamshire's prisons

All three prisons in the county have seen a rise over the last five years | Nottingham Post, UK


International news

Rehab waiting lists not checked in welfare drug test sites, Australian Senate inquiry told

Inquiry into trial drug-testing regime in three cities hears government has no specific data on their treatment capacity | Guardian, UK

Fatal fentanyl overdoses rise as Australians turn to more potent painkillers

Eightfold increase in fentanyl-related deaths prompts calls for drug addiction to be treated as a health issue rather than a supply problem | Guardian, UK

Duterte’s war on drugs leaves tragic legacy for Filipino families – in pictures

Since Rodrigo Duterte became president last year, his brutal campaign against drugs has claimed thousands of lives. Human rights groups say he is guilty of crimes against humanity, yet that is scant comfort to those mourning loved ones | Guardian, UK

Man racks up 42100 hotel bill after breaking in while high on mushrooms

He stayed for three days after a drug binge | Independent, UK

Local residents lodge appeal against recovery centre for homeless drug addicts in Dublin city

The recovery centre was given planning permission earlier this month | Journal, Ireland

EU health chief says all alcoholic beverages should be labelled

The European Commission wants the industry’s expected alcohol labelling self-regulatory proposal to cover all alcoholic beverages in order to avoid confusion among consumers | Euractiv, Belgium

International Overdose Awareness Day: Events, Facts, & Resources

120 people die each day from drug overdoses | WFMY news, USA

Hepatitis C Cases Surge in Wake of Opioid Crisis

States with the highest overdose rates are experiencing a surge of the blood-born virus | Fix, USA

Millennials prefer healthy habits, less likely to choose opioids to manage pain

Often spending their days hunched over phones, tablets or computers and their free time at spin class or playing sports, millennials are the next generation poised to experience chronic pain. Even at their young age, millennials say acute and chronic pain are already interfering with their quality of life | Medical Xpress, USA

The​ ​Cole​ ​Memo:​ ​4​ ​Years​ ​Later: Status Report onState Compliance of Federal Marijuana Enforcement Policy (PDF)

On ​August ​29, ​2013, ​the ​U.S. ​Department ​of ​Justice ​(DOJ) ​issued ​guidelines ​to ​Federal prosecutors ​and ​law ​enforcement ​officials ​regarding ​where ​to ​focus ​their ​drug ​enforcement efforts ​in ​states ​that ​have ​passed ​laws ​legalizing ​the ​retail ​sales ​of ​marijuana | SAM, USA

The DRAM, Vol. 13(9) – Bottoms up: Changes in alcohol use and misuse across a decade

Many substance use studies focus either on specific subpopulations or specific programs for reducing harms. To examine trends in the greater population, including trends that indicate increasing or decreasing prevalence of substance use disorders, researchers conduct large, population-wide studies | BASIS, USA

Will California Become The First State To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms?

A recently submitted ballot initiative seeks to put the issue before the state’s voters in 2018 | Huffington Post, USA

Researchers use biochemical validation to verify claims of smoking cessation

According to a recent study led by The University of Kansas Cancer Center researchers, a high proportion of smokers enrolled in bedside tobacco cessation programs who said they had quit were misreporting their smoking status | News Medical, USA

Cosmetic surgery may help patients quit smoking

If you're a smoker considering cosmetic surgery, your plastic surgeon will likely require you to stop smoking for at least two weeks before your procedure. A long-term follow-up study finds that many patients receiving these instructions will quit smoking, or at least smoke less, in the years after cosmetic surgery | Science Daily, USA

China’s tobacco consumption accounts for 44% of world’s total

China’s tobacco consumption accounts for 44% of the world’s total, said a recent report jointly issued by 37 organizations, including the Chinese Preventative Medicine Association and the Chinese Association of Tobacco Control | The People's Daily, China

Call for extra funding for ACT quit smoking program as cost of a packet hits $30

Demand for a key Canberra quit smoking program has reached more than four times the number of available places | Age, Australia

This issue – a focus on overdose

In the lead up to Overdose Awareness Day we tackle the issue of drug overdose from a number of angles. You’ll possibly be surprised as to who’s at greatest risk of overdose death | ADF, Australia

Medicinal cannabis about to get green light in Tasmania, but concerns linger

Tasmanians will be able to apply to access medicinal cannabis from Friday, but doctors and advocates have concerns about how the scheme will work | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

International Overdose Awareness Day Reminds Us That Silence Still Equals Death

‘They talk. We die.’ This was the stark message written across dozens of protest signs held aloft by drug users and their allies at the opening ceremony of Harm Reduction International’s 25th Conference in Montreal in May | Huffington Post Blog, UK

Doping among amateur athletes like CrossFitters is probably more common than you’d think

Earlier this month the 11th annual CrossFit Games took place in the US. While the event has come a long way from humble beginnings, the prizemoney and fame now attached to it have led to concerns that competitors may be doping to gain an unfair advantage | Conversation, UK

Understanding overdose

Overdose. It’s a powerful word which many people immediately link to dark alleyways, syringes or self-inflicted destruction. And, sadly, many of us look at overdose victims with disgust, or at least judgementally, unable to see past the drug (or drugs) to the circumstances that have so tragically affected their lives | ADF insights, Australia

Drug death toll shows a different response is needed

What better measure of how successful our approach to drugs is there than counting the number of people who die accidentally as a result of a drug overdose? | Herald Sun opinion, Australia