Daily news 9th November 2017

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UK news

Statistics announcement: Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, financial year ending 2017

These statistics will be released today at 9:30am | Home Office, UK

November 2017 – Current Issue

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published | Addiction, UK

Do creative arts therapies reduce substance misuse? A systematic review

The complexities of substance misuse treatment indicate a need to consider the efficacy of creative arts therapies for those who find it difficult to verbalise their emotions and feelings. The focus of this systematic review is to identify and critically evaluate studies on the effectiveness of creative arts therapy interventions for reducing substance misuse, aiming at reaching some conclusions on the subject | The Arts in Psychotherapy, UK

Does cannabis oil help people with cancer?

A cancer sufferer who says her tumour has shrunk since taking cannabis oil believes a clinical trial is needed - to see if it can really help tackle the disease | ITV, UK

A new service to deliver alcohol and drug behaviour change services across Norfolk

Norfolk County Council Public Health has awarded a contract for a new integrated alcohol and drug behaviour change service. The new provider Change, Grow, Live (CGL) will provide treatment, recovery and building community resilience for Norfolk adults aged 18+ who are affected by substance misuse | Norfolk County Council, UK

Holiday drinking: when exactly will your travel insurer refuse claims due to alcohol use?

If you're in the airport departure hall at the crack of dawn, awaiting a holiday flight, don't be surprised to see fellow travellers enjoying a pint of lager or glass or two of champagne | Telegraph, UK

See Newcastle's biggest ever tobacco seizure - 20,000 cigarettes hidden in boxes of cornflakes

Newcastle Trading Standards Team seized £50,000 of illicit tobacco after swooping on three shops and two houses | Chronicle, UK

Telford £2.5m cannabis factory found inside MOT centre

A cannabis factory with an estimated street value of £2.5m has been discovered inside an MOT test centre | BBC, UK

Man who claimed drugs money of £40,000 was for snakes jailed

A man caught with almost £40,000 of drugs money in shoebox - who told police he was a snake breeder and it was for pythons - has been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

2017 Global Day of Action - Support. Don't Punish - video

On 26th June, thousands of people across 205 cities in 93 countries took part in the fifth global day of action for the Support Don't Punish campaign to call for better drug policies anchored in public health and human rights. This video celebrates their enthusiasm and commitment, and invites you to join in to demand and end to the senseless war on drugs | Support. Don't Punish, UK

Mexican troops waging war on drug gangs not punished for rights abuses – report

Research shows most abuses go unsolved and unpunished despite reforms letting civilian authorities investigate and prosecute such crimes | Guardian, UK

Colombia seizes largest stash of cocaine ever

The Colombian government says it has located 12 tons of cocaine in the largest drug seizure in the country's history | BBC, UK

Here's how much marijuana it would take to kill you

Nearly half of Americans say they have tried marijuana at least once in their life | Independent, UK

Utah town on track to keep booze prohibition - one of the last dry towns in the US

One of Utah’s last "dry" communities appeared on Wednesday on track to maintain its eight-decade prohibition on alcohol sales after voters rejected a measure to allow sales that proponents said would boost tourism and opponents said would threaten the small city’s way of life | Telegraph, UK

Simon Harris plans to press ahead with changes to alcohol sales

The Government will reintroduce controversial plans to reduce alcohol advertisements and ban low-cost drink sales, with fresh concessions for small retailers around the storage of alcohol in shops | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Live in Ireland but don’t drink alcohol? You’ll be treated with extreme suspicion

Laura Kennedy: We put forth, and comfortably accept, a narrative which allows us to excuse inexcusable behaviour committed when drunk | Irish Times, Ireland

People warned that small weed or cocaine habits are fuelling violent crime

“Often people who engage with recreational drug use do not see the link with organised crime and intimidation.” | Journal, Ireland

Plan for national gambling control office to tackle sector

New laws to create a national gambling control office to clamp down on addiction, restrict advertising, and tackle alleged money-laundering in the sector could be introduced before Christmas under plans being pushed by Fianna Fáil | Irish Examiner, Ireland

New developments in national drug strategies in Europe

This paper gives an overview of some recent developments in the tools most commonly used to manage national drug policies: strategies, coordination mechanisms and evaluations. It is based on an analysis of reports on national drug policies compiled by the EMCDDA’s Reitox focal points in the EMCDDA reporting countries (28 EU Member States, plus Turkey and Norway), consultation with experts and scientific literature | EMCDDA, Portugal

Policy and practice briefings: Responding to polydrug use

The term ‘polydrug use’ is used to describe the use of more than one drug or type of drug by an individual either at the same time or sequentially. It encompasses use of both illicit drugs and legal substances, such as alcohol and medicines | EMCDDA, Portugal

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research | Medical Xpress, USA

Mind or matter: Is gambling craving biologically based?

Cue reactivity refers to the craving a person with a substance use disorder feels when exposed to drug paraphernalia. Cue reactivity studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have led to the incentive sensitization theory of addiction | BASIS, USA

CBD products are a rip off for medical marijuana users, study finds

Cannabidiol, a major component of marijuana, is in high demand these days for its purported health benefits. But a study published on Tuesday discovered that people trying to treat themselves with cannabidiol products likely aren’t getting the care they’re paying for | VICE, USA

Toronto's first permanent supervised injection site opens downtown

First of three permanent safe-injection sites is located at The Works at 277 Victoria St | CBC News, Canada

How useful is marijuana as medicine? New research centre aims to find out

As the use of medicinal cannabis grows, a new Ontario research centre says it plans to look into whether pot is actually an effective treatment for various ailments | CBC News, Canada

WA prisons lashed over drug, alcohol testing as report says problem worse than thought

A report has found West Australian prisons are "flying blind" when it comes to the supply and use of drugs and alcohol in their facilities, with unreliable testing leading to underreporting of the problem | abc.net.au, Australia

This drug could block harmful impact of teen binge drinking

Researchers studying the importance of the brain's immune system in our desire to drink alcohol have made a discovery that may eventually help to switch off binge-drinking behavior in adults who used to binge during their adolescent years | Science Daily, Australia

Cytisine versus varEnicline for Smoking cesSATion – The CESSATE study

The majority of smokers want to stop smoking but stopping is hard. The CESSATE study is comparing two medicines, Desmoxan and Champix, to understand how good they are at helping people to stop smoking | NDARC, Australia

At least five people admitted to Wellington Hospital in a day after taking synthetic drugs

At least five people have been admitted to Wellington Hospital since Wednesday after taking potent and dangerous synthetic drugs in Porirua | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry's blog 38: Another brick in the wall

My friend Ethan Nadelmann once told of a conversation he had with an officer from the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Ethan asked him if there was anything they could agree upon, any common ground across which a bridge could be built. The officer replied that the wall between their views was just too high for him to want to climb over and engage in meaningful dialogue | NSP Blog, UK

What is tramadol, how dangerous is it – and where is it illegal?

An Englishwoman named Laura Plummer is in jail in Egypt on suspicion of drug trafficking 290 tramadol tablets. The tablets (available on prescription in the UK) were found in her suitcase when it was examined at Hurghada international airport on Egypt’s Red Sea coast on October 9 | Conversation, UK

The dangerous mirage of the whisky Laffer curve

affer curve arguments should not be taken seriously when it comes to alcohol duty, writes Aveek Bhattacharya | IAS Blog, UK

Let’s Open Up About Addiction and Recovery

There is a lot to be said for speaking out about your recovery from alcohol and drug abuse | NYTimes opinion, USA

It’s not just mums who need to avoid alcohol when trying for a baby

Abstaining from alcohol during preconception and pregnancy is usually considered to be the woman’s responsibility. The main concern surrounding alcohol exposure during pregnancy often relates to well-established evidence of newborns developing a range of behavioural, physical and cognitive disabilities later in life | Conversation, Australia