Daily news 13th November 2017

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Alcohol Awareness Week

13-19 November 2017. Join the call for better support for families and individuals suffering as a result of alcohol. Over 800 local authorities, charities and services are taking part in Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 | Alcohol ,Concern, UK


UK news

Drug-seizures fall in Wales blamed on police cuts

Welsh police forces carried out 7,759 drug seizures in 2016-17, which is 16% less than the year before, Home Office figures show | BBC, UK

Reduction in drug seizures 'down to resources'

A fall in the amount of drugs taken off the streets in Wales has been blamed on police cuts by a former senior officer | BBC, UK

Lord advocate fails to back 'fix room' plan

Scotland's top prosecutor has refused to back a controversial plan to set up the UK's first so-called "fix room" | BBC, UK

Lord Advocate blocks plan for safer drug consumption facility that would have helped contain Glasgow’s HIV outbreak

It has been reported in the media that Scotland’s Lord Advocate has blocked plans for a safer drug consumption facility in Glasgow, which was approved by Glasgow’s Integrated Joint Board in October 2016 | SDF, UK

The killer on Britain’s streets – super-strength alcohol

Budget needs to help tackle death toll of country’s rough sleepers, say experts | Guardian, UK

Legal challenge to minimum alcohol pricing has cost lives, say campaigners

Campaigners fighting against Scotland’s alcohol problem last night accused the drinks industry of putting profit before health and claiming that hundreds of lives had been lost during the legal battle over minimum pricing | Scotsman, UK

Adults who buy children tobacco targeted in new campaign

A new national campaign will target adults who buy young people tobacco - in a push to reduce the harm of smoking | BBC, UK

Statistics for alcohol treatment in England: falling numbers

Public Health England (PHE) have released alcohol treatment figures in England for 2016-2017 within a combined report of drug and alcohol treatment data | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

‘I took my daughter everywhere – even to Narcotics Anonymous’

Ana and Rita Nevoa, who appear in a new BBC series about Bristol’s drug problem, are an inspirational story that shows addiction does not have to end badly | Guardian, UK

Which is Delivered Faster: A Pizza or a Gram of Cocaine?

As technology develops, it’s becoming increasingly expected that purchases made online or on the phone are delivered quickly – even if this involves customers paying an additional fee for the convenience. Has this expectation permeated the illegal drug trade? A team of drug experts are trying to find out | Talking Drugs, UK

You can now sup a pint while shopping at this Yorkshire supermarket

A Morrisons supermarket near Leeds is selling local ales on draught at its new in-store bar | Yorkshire Post, UK

First fake plain packs discovered, rogue retailers making "small fortune"

The first counterfeit plain packs of tobacco in the UK have been uncovered by Retail Express and trading standards departments | Better Retailing, UK

Veteran's anger after being sacked for using e-cigarette on duty

Stephen Williams, a former UN peacekeeper, claimed the Optim Group ended his contract for what he says was a minor infraction | Chronicle, UK

How grief turned a successful businessman into a drug addict who blew £80,000 on cocaine in a year

Following the death of his mother from cancer Alex Drummond fell into drug abuse, spending £1,500 a week | Wales Online, UK

Drug smugglers who made more than £7m each are ordered to pay back just £1

Two members of a Salford drugs gang who made more than £7m each trying to smuggle £13.5m of cocaine into the country from the Caribbean will have to pay back just £1 | ITV, UK

Cannabis plants found in seven bin bags by side of road

Seven bin bags full of cannabis plants have been found at the side of a road in North Yorkshire | BBC, UK


International news

Vaping solutions: an easy Brxit win (PDF)

IEA releases report on why we need to allow the e-cigarette market to grow | IEA, UK

Morbidity and mortality in homeless individuals, prisoners, sex workers, and individuals with substance use disorders in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Inclusion health focuses on people in extremely poor health due to poverty, marginalisation, and multimorbidity. We aimed to review morbidity and mortality data on four overlapping populations who experience considerable social exclusion: homeless populations, individuals with substance use disorders, sex workers, and imprisoned individuals | Science Direct, UK

When does Gone to Pot American Road Trip start on ITV and who’s in the marijuana documentary with Christopher Biggins and Linda Robson?

A host of famous faces are jumping in a "magical mystery bus" in the US to explore the legalisation of marijuana. Gone To Pot American Road Trip will start on Monday, November 13 at 9pm on ITV | Sun, UK

British woman will face trial in Egypt for alleged smuggling of painkiller drugs

A British woman will face trial for smuggling powerful painkillers into Egypt, after prosecutors on Saturday referred her case to the criminal court | Telegraph, UK

This is the largest single drug seizure in Colombia's history - video

Colombian police have discovered 12 tonnes of cocaine in the largest single drug seizure in the country's history | BBC, UK

'Dose as small as a grain of sand can kill you': alarm after Canada carfentanil bust

Discovery of 42kg of opioid, described as 100 times more toxic than fentanyl, in Toronto home throws spotlight on dangerous and poorly understood drug | Guardian, UK

Mark Zuckerberg says extent of opioid crisis was biggest surprise of US tour

Speaking about his 30-state tour that sparked rumors of a presidential run, the Facebook CEO added: ‘We have a responsibility to remain optimistic’ | Guardian, UK

Epileptic girl, 12, who wants to legalize medical marijuana across US sues Jeff Sessions after being forced to move from Texas to Colorado to access the drug

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been sued by an epileptic 12-year-old who wants to legalize medical marijuana across America after she was forced to move from Texas to Colorado to access the drug | Mail Online, UK

Notorious mafia boss serving life for murder and drug trafficking sues Italian TV - for damaging his image

As a convicted mafia boss who is serving a life term in jail for murder, extortion and drug trafficking, it might seem that Michele Zagaria's reputation could hardly sink any lower | Telegraph, UK

Florida man accused of riding lawn mower while drunk

Investigators say Kenneth Burton Alleshouse was carrying a case of beer and driving a red snapper lawn mower erratically | Independent, UK

Medicinal cannabis bill makes progress in the Dáil despite expected opposition

Campaigner Vera Twomey had earlier collapsed outside the gates of Leinster House | Journal, Ireland

City centre injection room to require planning permission

The plan for a drug injection room in Dublin city centre has suffered a setback after the City Council ruled that two proposed sites would require planning permission | RTe, Ireland

Drug-related infectious diseases in Europe: update from the EMCDDA expert network

This report provides an update on infectious diseases related to injecting drug use in Europe. It covers both the EMCDDA Drug-related infectious diseases indicator, which collects data on the situation, and the responses in the area. The report is based on the indicator’s annual expert meeting, held in Lisbon in June 2017, which brought together national experts from the 28 EU Member States, Norway, Turkey, European neighbourhood countries and partner organisations | EMCDDA, Portugal

First Big Ayahuasca Study Shows Promising Early Results

Ayahuasca is a potent psychedelic that’s recently come into vogue among hipsters backpacking around South America. Indigenous Amazonian communities have been using this drug as a spiritual, psychological, and physical aid for centuries, but it’s recently gained a cult following whose advocates believe it holds the power to treating anxiety, PTSD, addiction, and depression | IFLSCience, USA

Acting out in people, places and things

Duncan Macmillan’s play is a brilliant evocation of addiction and what happens to performers when they can’t not perform | New Yorker, USA

Police 'follow the money' in laundering case and 'bust cocaine supply ring'

NSW Police say officers 'following the money' as part of a money-laundering investigation have helped dismantle a cocaine supply ring operating in Sydney | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

More young people using drugs than smoking

Last week (2 November 2017) the NHS published the report of its annual survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11 (mostly aged 11 to 15). 12,051 pupils in 177 schools completed questionnaires in the autumn term of 2016 | Russell Webster, UK

Kevan Christie: Minimum pricing is all about public health v big business

The ongoing row over a minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland has been ramped up this week with a two-day hearing at the UK Supreme Court focusing minds on the impact of a ruling due out by the end of the year | Scotsman opinion, UK

‘These conversations wouldn’t happen without conferences like this’ – My thoughts from HIT Hot Topics 2017

I’m just travelling home on the train from a fantastic few days in Liverpool. Since 2012 I’ve been going every year for the HIT Hot Topics conference and it’s something I really look forward to for many reasons which I’ll attempt to highlight here | Cuppa with Kirsten blog, UK

E = mc^2 … and make mine a pint while you’re there

Some university professors have always made it their mission to keep their students out of the pub. Professor Eugene Terentjev, head of science at Queens’ College, Cambridge, last week provided a spectacular example of this impulse, in a note sent to his new intake of undergraduates who, he had observed, like a drink | Guardian, UK

Minister bottles drink measure long overdue

One of the critical reasons why the currency of politics is so devalued in the public mind is that what is right is too often being sacrificed for what is convenient | Independent, Ireland

Moving Away from the War on Drugs: An Interview with Dr Alex Wodak

The war on drugs in not over yet. But there seems to be some glimmering light at the end of the tunnel, with the major drug law reforms that have been taking place globally over recent years | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia


And finally...

The world's finest catnip! Hilarious video shows pets looking VERY relaxed after devouring their owner's MARIJUANA plants

These two cats may have bitten off more than they can chew after they munched their way through cannabis plants | Mail Online, UK