Daily news - 24th July 2017

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UK news

Heavy drinking will kill 63,000 people over next five years, doctors warn

Doctors urge government to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol as research reveals extent of liver disease | Guardian, UK

Financial case for action on liver disease (PDF)

Escalating costs of alcohol misuse, obesity and viral hepatitis | Foundation for Liver Research, UK

Alcohol minimum pricing appeal to be heard

The UK's highest court is to begin hearing the latest appeal against minimum pricing for alcohol | BBC, UK

Drugs Policy

[Transcript of the drugs debate] I am pleased to have the opportunity to open this debate on drugs policy because, as many Members will know, the Government have just published an ambitious new drug strategy, which sets out a range of new actions to prevent the harms caused by drug misuse | Parliament.uk, UK

Drug strategy will fail without new money, say critics

Rapid responses | BMJ, UK

Fewer drug and alcohol addicts are going into state-funded rehab - and some people are blaming cuts

Inpatient detox admissions fell a quarter from 20,046 to 15,813 over five years, figures suggest. And there's a split over why it's happening | Mirror, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding her Department has provided to (a) support the implementation of the Drug Strategy 2017 and (b) evaluate the effect of that strategy | They work for you, UK

‘Five friends go out and take ecstasy, one doesn’t come home’: the rise of super-strength pills

Why are ecstasy deaths at their highest level in a decade? | Guardian, UK

Vigil held for Newton Abbot 'drugs' death victim

A vigil has been held for a 15-year-old girl who is believed to have suffered an adverse reaction to a psychoactive substance | BBC, UK

Glasgow’s dark legacy returns as gangland feuds erupt in public killings

After decades spent reinventing its image, the city is plagued by the return of a brutal family struggle to control its drugs trade | Guardian, UK

Alcohol usage in the UK armed forces: 1 June 2016 to 31 May 2017

This statistical bulletin has been developed to meet the public interest in alcohol consumption behaviour in the UK armed forces | MoD, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Addiction

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people have been treated for alcohol addiction in each of the last three years | They work for you, UK

Addction: latest Key findings

A quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published in August 2017 | Addiction, UK

Love Island: stars’ on-screen smoking angers health charity

Campaigners urge Ofcom to investigate possible breach of broadcasting code by ITV bosses | Guardian, UK

Psychedelic drugs could tackle depression in a way that antidepressants can't

When Clark Martin tripped on magic mushrooms for the first time, he was flanked by two researchers in a small room at New York University | Business Insider, UK

Have your say on the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use

Legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use is an issue which regularly features in the mainstream UK media and any change in law and policy will have implications for pharmacists | Royal Pharmaceutical Society, UK

Paul Flynn MP: We Must Legalise Medicinal Cannabis

The Labour MP on why it's time for the UK to catch up with the rest of the world | VICE, UK

HPV virus + drug laws - BBC radio iPlayer

She takes a closer look at how we could change our outlook on drugs, following the death of Oxford girl Martha Fernback | BBC Radio Oxford, UK

Alcohol units: How many in a small glass of wine? Pint of beer? Here's the drinking maths you need to know

Everything you need to know about alcoholic units | Independent, UK

Mindful drinking festival

The UK's first Alcohol-Free Drinks Festival - 13th August | London. Everything in moderation. Except flavour. Sunday 13th August 12 noon – 6pm. The boutique Bermondsey Square Hotel, London, SE1 | Club Soda, UK

Police admit they've been sending flawed drug figures to Home Office after Herald investigation

Devon and Cornwall Police have admitted it has given flawed drug seizure  figures to the Home Office after a Herald investigation | Herald, UK

'NOT FAIR' - Fury as more than 700 residents oppose drug and alcohol recovery hub

More than 700 people have signed a petition opposing plans to convert a Weymouth bed and breakfast into a drug and alcohol recovery hub | Dorset Echo, UK

Bid to find Shipley drug smuggler's missing millions

Attempts are being made to retrieve more than £6m from a man jailed for his part in a £49m heroin smuggling plot | BBC, UK


International news

British American Tobacco to acquire Reynolds as activists decry merger

Shareholders approved buyout to make BAT the world’s largest listed tobacco company amid concerns over industry pushing back on government regulations | Guardian, UK

Jailed student Ahmad Zeidan to appeal to UAE ruler for pardon

The family of a British student jailed in the United Arab Emirates are hoping for a "miracle" when he pleads for a pardon | BBC, UK

As an open-air heroin camp is closed, options narrow

In a corner of Philadelphia known locally as the Badlands, where some of the purest heroin in the country can be bought for just $5 a bag, a half-mile stretch of rail track has become a refuge for hundreds of heroin addicts. Next week the city will begin to clear out the tracks, but where will the users go? | BBC, UK

Synthetic cannabis: New Zealand police issue warning after spate of deaths

Despite being banned in 2014 the drug is still widely available on the black market and has been linked to seven deaths and many hospitalisations | Guardian, UK

Children as young as 15 allowed to smoke on lunch break at Australian school

Many of the school’s pupils are reportedly from broken homes, with parents either in jail or struggling with drug addiction | Independent, UK

Dubai to Open Drug Treatment Facility for Women

Plans to open a drug rehabilitation centre for women in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), may lead to better health outcomes in a country notorious for its tough drug laws | Talking Drugs, UK

China holds Canadians 'for smoking marijuana'

Chinese authorities have arrested two Canadians in the capital Beijing for allegedly smoking marijuana | BBC, UK

Indonesia police ordered to shoot drug dealers to tackle 'narcotics emergency'

President Joko Widodo’s comments echo those of Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte, whose drug war has killed thousands | Guardian, UK

'Beer for women' launched by Czech brewery sparking sexist outrage

It's what feminists everywhere have been waiting for | Independent, UK

Tranquilliser trap: The pain of pill addiction

In 2015, almost 900,000 prescriptions were written for just two benzodiazepine drugs, with users becoming heavily dependent on them — often with painful results | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Alcohol labelling. A discussion document on policy options (PDF)

This discussion document presents an analysis of the policy options available for introducing warning and product labelling on alcoholic beverage containers. It outlines the existing legal and policy frameworks and the current level of implementation in the WHO European Region. Some components that could be considered when developing effective health warning labels are described | WHO, Denmark

EMCDDA–Europol 2016 Annual Report on the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA

This report presents the key activities performed by the EMCDDA and Europol in 2016 and the results of the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA on the information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances, including new psychoactive substances notified in 2016, Joint Reports produced, risk assessments conducted and public health-related alerts and advisories issued to the EU Early Warning System Network | EMCDDA, Portugal

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects | Medical Xpress, USA

The Female Warlord Who Had C.I.A. Connections and Opium Routes

Born to royalty in Burma, Olive Yang, who died last week at 90, rejected her birthright to become a cross-dressing warlord and opium trafficker | NYTimes, USA

In U.S., 45% Say They Have Tried Marijuana

Percentage of those who have tried marijuana highest since 1969 | Gallup, USA

Psychiatrists want e-cigarettes ban lifted, saying patients are dying early

Australia's psychiatrists are urging the government to lift the ban on nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes, saying their mentally ill patients, many of whom are heavy smokers, could "significantly benefit" from the devices | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

More Australians dying of accidental overdose of pharmaceutical opioids

The rate of accidental deaths due to opioids is increasing and has more than doubled among Australians aged 35 to 44 since 2007 with more than two thirds of the deaths due to pharmaceutical opioids rather than heroin, a report from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has found | NDARC, Australia

Prescription opioids are killing more Australians than heroin: Australian Bureau of Statistics

More Australians are dying from accidental opioid overdoses each year, with prescription painkillers rather than heroin now accounting for two-thirds of the fatalities, latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

'We probably weren't brave enough on injecting rooms,' says Victoria's former police chief Ken Lay

Victoria's former police chief has spoken out in support of supervised injecting rooms for Melbourne, saying drug use is not an issue to "arrest your way out of" | Age, Australia

Senior Victoria Police officer inspects injecting rooms on overseas drug study tour

Drug decriminalisation and heroin-injecting rooms around the world are being studied first-hand by one of Victoria's top police officers, despite the Victorian government's continued opposition to a supervised injecting centre | Age, Australia

'Drug pushers in suits': Why the ACT's bid to 'legalise heroin' failed

It was the bold idea that began in the ACT Legislative Assembly, rattled the prime minister of the day, and raised the hackles of one of the world's most powerful media moguls | Canberra Times, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Time For A Dose Of Reality: Drug And Alcohol Services Need More Funding To Survive

What causes addiction? Ask most people this question and I imagine most will say ‘drugs cause addiction’. This is the story we have been told for many years fuelled by numerous experiments undertaken in the first half of the 20th Century | Huffington Post Blog, UK

Engaging in social action: views from the APPG on complex needs and dual diagnosis

How can people experiencing multiple needs and the organisations that support them take part in social action? David McCormack, Engagement and Co-production Worker at Fulfilling Lives Newcastle and Gateshead and Nicola Drinkwater, Senior Policy Officer at Clinks reflect on a recent opportunity to explore these issues as part of an oral evidence session held by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis | MEAM blog, UK

LGBTI: 'We are pleased to see chemsex included in the National Drugs Strategy'

The government now needs to properly resource the commitments they have made on paper, writes Adam Shanley | Journal opinion, Ireland

Of course millennials take drugs but we’re not stupid

Plan to decriminalise small amounts aligns with reality of generation’s use of drugs | Irish Times opinion, Ireland

Should California Drop Criminal Penalties for Drug Possession?

For better or worse, California likes to decide drug policy at the ballot box. Voters have already approved marijuana legalization, but criminal sanctions against users of heroin, cocaine and other drugs are very much intact, though they've been moving in a more lenient direction | RAND blog, USA

Feminism in a glass': why strong female TV characters drink

There is a lot to envy in the on-screen female | Age comment, Australia