Daily news 6th November 2017

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UK news

People who inject drugs: non-fatal overdose monitoring

Report on non-fatal overdose monitoring data collected from the unlinked anonymous monitoring (UAM) survey of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C in people who inject drugs (PWID) | PHE, UK

BBC World at One

Impact of cuts to drug and alcohol treatment discussed. includes interviews with Paul Hayes and Annette Dale-Perera, as well as a live interview with Lord Victor Adebowale of Turning Point. [starts at 34:51 | BBC, UK

CLeaR local tobacco control assessment

Guidance for local authorities, public health bodies and the NHS on using ‘deep dive’ self-assessment tools to improve their tobacco control work | PHE, UK

Minimum Alcohol Pricing - BBC radio iPlayer

Kayley Thomas and guests take an in-depth look at the Welsh Government's plans to introduce a minimum-unit price for alcohol in a bid to reduce the toll drink takes on society | BBC, UK

Drinking amongst young people: NHS Digital 2016 school pupils survey

The latest figures on drinking amongst pupils aged up to 15 has been released in Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England - 2016 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Drug Strategy Implementation Events – Collective Voice & NHS SMPA

The Drug Strategy Implementation Events hosted by Collective Voice and NHS SMPA on behalf of the Home Office are almost fully booked. However, there are still a few spaces left, particularly in Birmingham on 17 November. Register via Eventbrite | Collective Voice, UK

How the UK's Coke Got So Strong

Independent drugs testers say cocaine purity is as high as 80 percent at street level in major cities | VICE, UK

Teenagers caught with cannabis can join the police after strict vetting rules are relaxed by the Home Office

The controversial new guidance means recruits will no longer be automatically rejected if they have criminal convictions or cautions. Even an applicant who had served time in jail could be allowed to become a PC under exceptional circumstances | Mail Online, UK

Cuckooing victim: Drug dealers took over my flat

Drug gangs are moving in and taking over the homes of vulnerable people across the west to sell drugs, according to police | BBC, UK

Plans to convert a Weymouth hotel into a recovery hub for drug and alcohol addicts have been withdrawn

The idea prompted a petition against the plan from residents and last month Weymouth and Portland Borough Council unanimously opposed the county council plan | BBC, UK

Vaping — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair]

I beg to move, That this House has considered the matter of vaping | They work for you, UK

NHS Trusts: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the NHS Employerspaper, Alcohol and Drugs, whether NHS trusts in England are required to have policies on alcohol at work; which NHS trusts have introduced such policies; and when such policies were last reviewed | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to tackle (a) violence, (b) drug use, (c) use of drones and (d) use of mobile phones in prison | They work for you, UK

Prisons: Smoking

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prisons in England and Wales have implemented a smoking ban | They work for you, UK

Navy: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will review guidelines on the recruitment and training of naval officers in light of positive drug tests aboard HMS Vigilant | They work for you, UK

Tobacco: Packaging

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the introduction of plain cigarette packaging on smoking rates | They work for you, UK

Crime gang admits drugs supply in south Wales

Fourteen people have admitted to conspiring to sell heroin and crack cocaine following a major police operation tackling organised crime in south Wales | BBC, UK

Driver jailed for eight years for killing cyclist while high on drugs

Vicky Myres, 24, suffered 66 injuries when Ajay Singh hit her while driving at around 60mph on a 30mph limit road | Guardian, UK


International news

British woman locked up in Egypt for nearly a month over husband's painkillers 'could face death penalty'

A British woman has been detained in Egypt after flying into the country with painkillers for her husband's sore back | Telegraph, UK

The medicines that could get you jailed on foreign holidays- and the countries where tourists should take extra care

Many treatments available over the counter in Britain are strictly controlled abroad | Independent, UK

German therapist faces trial for handing out banned hallucinogens 

A therapist went on trial in Germany this week over an incident in which delegates at a “natural medicine” seminar suffered severe hallucinations | Telegraph, UK

Poland legalises medical cannabis

Epilepsy, nausea caused by chemotherapy, chronic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis are among ailments that can be treated | Independent, UK

Canada woman jailed for smuggling $16m of cocaine into Australia

A Canadian woman who pleaded guilty to smuggling cocaine into Australia has been jailed for seven and a half years | BBC, UK

Colombia signs $300m UN deal to fight cocaine production

Colombia has signed a $300m (£230m) agreement with the United Nations aimed at reducing the production of cocaine | BBC, UK

Drinks promotions to be restricted under new legislation

Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will be debated in the Seanad next week | Irish Times, Ireland

Alcohol Bill is watered down

Small shops will be able to display a "substantial amount of alcohol" to customers after a Government climbdown | Irish Times, Ireland

Betting firms ‘should be taken out of sports sponsorship’

Fact gambling ads allowed in afternoon a scandal, says former chairman of Paddy Power | Irish Times, Ireland

E-health and m-health: using new technologies to respond to drug problems

This paper presents a definition of e-health and m-heath tools to address substance use problems, and a taxonomy to describe such tools systematically | EMCDDA, Portugal

Policy and practice briefings: Local communities

Local communities are important to drug responses in providing a way of promoting bottom-up civic engagement and action. In Europe, municipalities and local governments are often the main drivers of strategy development and delivery | EMCDDA, Portugal

Policy and practice briefings: Schools and colleges

Adolescence and young adulthood are periods of risk-taking and experimentation that often includes substance use. Schools and colleges are important settings in which to reach young people, although some vulnerable groups may not be well-represented within them | EMCDDA, Portugal

Policy and practice briefings: Responding to problems related to stimulant use

Overall cocaine is the most commonly used stimulant in Europe, though in some countries MDMA, amphetamine or methamphetamine may be the dominant stimulant | EMCDDA, Portugal

NIDA launches two adolescent substance use screening tools

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has launched two evidenced-based online screening tools that providers can use to assess substance use disorder risk among adolescents 12-17 years old. These tools can be self-administered or completed by clinicians in less than two minutes.  They are being offered through the NIDAMED Web Portal | NIDA, USA

C.D.C. Reports a Record Jump in Drug Overdose Deaths Last Year

The higher mortality rate was further evidence that the opioid crisis has accelerated in recent years | NYTimes, USA

The deadlier drug crises that we don’t consider public health emergencies

Alcohol and tobacco kill far more people than opioids. Should they be considered an “epidemic”? | Vox, USA

Chemists develop method to quickly screen, accurately identify fentanyl

Researchers have developed a new drug screening technique that could lead to the rapid and accurate identification of fentanyl, as well as a vast number of other drugs of abuse, which up until now have been difficult to detect by traditional urine tests | Science Daily, USA

Booze and pot use in teens lessens life success

Teens who drank or smoked marijuana heavily are less likely to marry, go to college, or work full time | EurekAlert, USA

What effect has substance abuse on outcome of schizophrenia treated with antipsychotics?

Review in the journal Current Drug Abuse Reviews: Long-term administration of antipsychotics and the influence of drug abuse on the disease outcome | EurekAlert, USA

Veterans Groups Push for Medical Marijuana to Treat PTSD

Soldiers are seeking the drug as a low-impact alternative to opioids and antidepressants, but a federal ban means V.A. health providers can’t prescribe it | NYTimes, USA

“Microdoses” of Psychedelic Drugs Could Cure Depression

For too long, 53-year old Ayelet Waldman had been drowning in depression. She had tried anti-depressants, but nothing was working, and it was making her lose her sex drive and put on weight | Global Post, USA

Ready or Not, Recreational Marijuana Use Is Coming to Canada 

Only months before legalization, many questions on how marijuana markets will operate and be regulated remain unanswered. Some are calling for a delay | NYTimes, USA

Anabolic androgenic steroids may be associated with early coronary artery disease

Anabolic androgenic steroids may be associated with early coronary artery disease, according to research presented at the Brazilian Congress of Cardiology (SBC 2017) | Medical Xpress, Brazil

Indigenous young people who use drugs in BC 13 times more likely to die

Indigenous young people in British Columbia who use drugs are 13 times more likely to die than other young people of the same age, and young women and people who use drugs are even more likely to die | EurekAlert, USA

Ecstasy pill tests 'will save lives', says Perth researcher

Secret unauthorised pill testing by a Perth researcher at a music festival last summer found 99 per cent of users chose to bin their drugs when told they contained unknown substances | Perth Now, Australia

Applications open for NDARC PhD scholarships commencing semester 1, 2018

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) is offering PhD scholarships to carry out innovative research on drug or alcohol related issues | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Expert reaction to NHS Digital’s Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People, England: 2016 report

It is clear that there is much less drinking among schoolchildren now than there was 15 years ago.  This may lead to big improvements in young people’s health today and adult health in the future ... | Science Media Centre, UK

Drug treatment proven to reduce crime (again)

There was a period in the late 1990s when the Home Office, researchers (including me) and the popular press were seeking to out-do each other with predictions about how much crime was drug-related. I remember that if you scaled up some of the less reliable calculations, it appeared that at least 120% of all crime was down to drug using offenders | Russell Webster, UK

Here’s how to solve the NHS’s chronic underfunding: legalise cannabis

Criminalising weed hits patients twice. It deprives them of a tax revenue that could fund their care, and also robs them of a potential medical aid | Guardian, UK

I am in opioid recovery. People like me shouldn't be so alone

People in recovery need ongoing support because addiction is a chronic illness. You don’t go to ‘five days of detox’ and sail off into the sunset | Guardian opinion, UK

Smoking rooms are disappearing from hotels

That is particularly the case in upmarket establishments | Economist Blog, UK

‘After each puff, a thin ring of glowing ash crept down the cigarette…’

The tawny sky over parts of England in October was the colour of a pub ceiling before the ban on smoking in some public places | Justice Gap, UK

Vaping after Brexit

Britain’s approach to regulating e-cigarettes was one of the best in the world, until the EU’s nonsensical Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) severely hampered the growth of this life-saving market. Thankfully, “Brexit offers an opportunity to return to a more liberal regulatory regime to the benefit of consumers and British businesses” | Adam Smith Institute blog, UK

To stop the opioid epidemic, the White House should embrace prevention

There’s an old adage that states “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” | Conversation, USA

Debate over drug consumption sites might be coming to end

An increase in sites has not been matched by an increase in complaints | CBC News, Canada

The needle and the trial to come: what to expect from Melbourne's injecting room

Kate* remembers going over. Part of it, anyway: she was injecting heroin, and then woke up to find paramedics giving her naloxone | Age, Australia