Daily news 1st November 2017

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UK news

Mental Health Act 1983: implementing changes to police powers

[Notes that the new maximum period of detention of 24 hours can be extended up to a further 12 hours if it is not practicable to complete a Mental Health Act assessment within the 24 hour period. This might arise, for example, if the person is too mentally distressed, or is particularly intoxicated with alcohol or drugs and cannot co-operate with the assessment process] | Department of Health and Home Office, UK

Deaths and serious incidents in police custody: government response

[Includes mention of drugs - Drugs and/or alcohol also featured as causes in around half of deaths (49%), and an even higher proportion of those who died had an association with drugs or alcohol (82%) ] | Home Office, UK

Plans for Glasgow heroin 'fix rooms' delayed as site search continues

Plans for the UK's first heroin injecting centre in Glasgow could take years to come to fruition, it has emerged | Glasgow Times, UK

Inmate's appeal to ban smoking in jails reaches Supreme Court

A prisoner with health problems has taken his fight to make smoking in jails a crime to the UK's highest court | BBC, UK

Halloween rave drug victim named as Morgan Phillip Miller-Smith

A boy who died after taking a drugs overdose at a Halloween rave in Conwy county has been named as Morgan Phillip Miller-Smith | BBC, UK

Licensing figures 2017: premises called to review - why the decline?

The Home Office recently released 2017 statistics on alcohol and late night refreshment licensing in England and Wales, showing a further small but steady rise in the total number of licensed premises | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Alcohol Alert: October 2017

This months alcohol policy updates | IAS, UK

Childhood trauma survivors get specialist addictions support

Addaction Scotland’s South Lanarkshire service is leading the way in a tailored form of addiction support for people with a history of childhood trauma | Addaction, UK

Mother slams Tesco for refusing to sell her wine while shopping with 17-year-old daughter

A mum has been left furious after Tesco refused to sell her wine because she was shopping with her 17-year-old daughter | Independent, UK

Evaluating the impact of environmental tobacco smoke on biological age markers: a canine model

This thesis aimed to examine the impact of environmental tobacco smoke on biological markers of ageing in pet dogs. In order to achieve this, community-based dogs and owners were recruited, approximately half of whom lived in smoking homes and half non-smoking homes. Owners were asked to attend 2 appointments, 12 months apart | University of Glasgow, UK

Government to take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Gambling Minister Tracey Crouch launches 12-week consultation on stake reduction to better protect consumers and communities | Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Tracey Crouch MP, UK

Gambling charity warns betting firms are failing to fund addiction treatment

Bookmakers and betting companies are failing to honour pledge to donate to care, says leading charity GambleAware | Guardian, UK

Gambling machines as dangerous as any drug, Swansea East MP says - video

Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris says the amount that can be gambled on fixed odds betting machines should be capped at £2 as the UK government opens consultation on restrictions | BBC, UK

AAS Support Survey Final (BU PhD)

My name is Orlanda Harvey and I am seeking your help in relation to a research study on why people choose to use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) | Bournemouth University, UK

How can we demonstrate the public value of evidence-based policy making when government ministers declare that the people ‘have had enough of experts’?

Recent political campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic have led some to argue that we live in the age of ‘post-factual’ or ‘post-truth’ politics, suggesting evidence has a limited role in debate and public policy | Nature, UK


International news

Japanese firm gives non-smokers extra six days holiday to compensate for cigarette breaks

Company based on 29th floor of Tokyo office block says every break lasts at least 15 minutes | Independent, UK

Irish Government accused of having its ‘head in the sand’ when it comes to treating Ireland’s ‘massive’ alcohol addiction problem – as it’s revealed €1.2bn spent on booze here a year

Figures from the Irish Revenue Commissioners show Irish punters splashed €430million on beer last year, €380million on wine, €338million on spirits and €59million on cider | Irish Sun, Ireland

‘Growing evidence’ backs injecting rooms; Facilities reach marginalised users and improve practices

There is “growing” evidence that drug consumption rooms are able to reach marginalised users, improve injecting practices, and reduce the visibility of public drug use, according to the EU drugs agency | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment: Amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances (PDF)

Unlike the manufacture of heroin and cocaine, the manufacture of synthetic drugs is not geographically constrained, as the process does not involve the extraction of active constituents from plants that have to be cultivated in certain conditions for them to grow. Yet any analysis of the synthetic drugs market is complicated by the fact that information on synthetic drug manufacture is limited, which prevents the estimation of the volume of such drugs being manufactured worldwide. Nevertheless, data on seizures and use suggest that the supply of synthetic drugs is expanding | UNODC, Austria

User-led interventions: an expanding resource?

This short paper outlines the growth of user-led interventions across Europe in the problem (as opposed to recreational) drug sector over recent years. It starts by attempting to define and categorise user-led interventions before describing a number of examples and sharing what is known about their effectiveness | EMCDDA, Portugal

Policy and practice briefings: Vulnerable young people

Many young people experiment with drugs but only a minority become dependent on drugs in young adulthood. Those who are most vulnerable to drug dependence are socially disadvantaged young people and those having family members and peers who use drugs | EMCDDA, Portugal

Responding to the needs of ageing drug users

Older people with drug problems (OPDP) are considered those aged 40 or over whose recurrent drug use is causing them harm or is placing them at a high risk of such harm OPDP are likely to encounter negative life outcomes due to their drug use and they have characteristics and trajectories distinct from those of their younger counterparts | EMCDDA, Portugal

Record high: Afghanistan’s record poppy harvest could lead to more heroin on street corner near you

Afghanistan is on track for a record-breaking year of heroin production, according to the U.S. and Afghan officials, and addictions workers expect a flood of cheap drugs to end up on a street corner near you | VICE, USA

Medical marijuana legal in Poland but still rare

The little boy shakes his hands violently to and fro, but the involuntary motion eases within minutes after his mother puts the syrupy, honey-brown oil into his mouth: medicinal marijuana | Medical Xpress, USA

Nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend who’s been addicted to drugs

It’s common for Americans to know someone with a current or past drug addiction – and it’s an experience that mostly cuts across demographic and partisan lines | Pew Research, USA

In a city ravaged by heroin, a needle exchange stalls

As she pressed down on the plunger of an empty syringe, a drop of blood oozed from the crooked tip of its needle—a test, Denise Brown said, that she uses on unpackaged syringes she now buys on the street | Medical Xpress, USA

Research finds substance abuse varies widely in association with child abuse, neglect

Alcohol and other drug use are regularly linked to child abuse or neglect in families, but simply assuming the former causes the latter is not taking a deep enough look | Medical Xpress, USA

Early age of drinking leads to neurocognitive and neuropsychological damage

Although drinking by U.S. adolescents has decreased during the last decade, more than 20 percent of U.S. high-school students continue to drink alcohol before the age of 14 years. This can have adverse effects on their neurodevelopment | Science Daily, USA

Helping smokers quit: Payments, personalized support can work

Money can be more powerful than nicotine, as a new study found that smokers who received financial incentives, in addition to personalized support, to help them quit were more successful than smokers who did not receive these interventions. Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the study demonstrates that these approaches could play an important role in helping people quit smoking | Medical Xpress, USA

Winnipeg police seize Halloween-themed opioid blotters

Police say that while officers were executing a search warrant at a home as part of a drug investigation late last week, they found six blotters which are believed to contain fentanyl or possibly carfentanil | Globe and Mail, Canada

Stories from the frontline of Toronto's opioid crisis

Everyone who works on Queen West Community Health Centre's harm reduction outreach team comes, in one form or another, from the street-involved communities they serve | Now Toronto, Canada

Media Release: Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Now Banned Across Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government’s crackdown on dangerous drugs continues with a new blanket ban on synthetic drugs coming into effect today | VAADA, Australia

Ice won't be allowed in Melbourne safe injecting room

The Victorian government says it can keep the drug ice out of its medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond | Age, Australia

Sam O'Donnell died of a heroin overdose. His mother says it was not in vain

Sam O'Donnell was 27 when he died of a heroin overdose. His mother now hopes it was not in vain | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The role of families in the lives of people with severe and multiple disadvantage

“Families, who’d have them?” – an often flippant utterance we’ve all said at one time or another, without genuine consideration as to what that means | Revolving Doors blog, UK

Donald Trump’s Opioid Commission did not mention drug courts. Here’s why that’s a positive step

Last week, President Trump declared America’s opioid crisis to be a “public health emergency”, announcing measures to tackle the problem including expanding access to treatment. John Collins writes that, in a positive and perhaps surprising move, Trump’s Commission did not mention drug courts, a politically popular approach to tackling substance-abuse | LSE blog, UK

There's no place for fixed-odd betting terminals on Britain's high streets

Given their capacity to make their addicted users, and in turn the users’ families, even poorer, more distressed and ill, there must have been some cynical motivations behind their continued presence for so long | Independent voices, UK

Safe injecting rooms: Timely trial deserves widespread support

Congratulations to the Victorian government on its decision to establish a safe injecting facility for a two-year trial. As part of a "harm minimisation" approach focused on prevention, education, treatment and rehabilitation, it will reduce the risk of death for young people as well as limit the spread of hepatitis, AIDS and other blood-borne diseases | Age comment, Australia