Daily news -14th November 2017

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UK news

Pregabalin and gabapentin: proposal to schedule under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

This consultation seeks views on options whether, and how, to schedule pregabalin and gabapentin under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 following the recommendation by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) that these 2 drugs should be controlled as Class C drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (‘the 1971 Act’) and placed in Schedule 3 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 | Home Office, UK

Pregabalin/Lyrica: Consultation over 'bud' drug is 'significant step'

The Home Office has launched a formal consultation to potentially reclassify a prescription drug abused by teenagers in Northern Ireland | BBC, UK

Alcohol licensing: a guide for public health teams

Public health teams make sure that licensing policy and applications consider the health and wellbeing of local communities | PHE, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 kicks off in week of MUP decision

Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) 2017 has now kicked off, aiming to prompt conversations about the impact of alcohol and this year 'to help break the cycle of silence and stigma that is all too often experienced by families' | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week: How To Talk To Your Kids About Alcohol

When you think about the important life lessons you need to teach your kids as they grow up, a conversation about alcohol probably isn’t the top of that list | Huffington Post, UK

New Effectiveness Bank collection

Constructed for Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 on the theme of ‘Alcohol and Families’, this collection embraces two major roles for the families of problem drinkers – as recipients of support and therapy to promote their own welfare, and as therapeutic agents engaged in promoting the drinker’s welfare through family therapy or less formal involvement in treatment | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

£600,000 funding of 12 projects by PHE to help prevent HIV

Through the HIV Prevention Innovation Fund, PHE is funding 12 projects to help develop new and innovative ways of preventing HIV | PHE, UK

Fewer smokers are managing to quit, Public Health England figures show

Lower numbers of people are relinquishing cigarettes as smoking cessation services dwindle because of government austerity cuts | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

New documentary Drugsland to delve deep into world of illegal drugs in Bristol

Drugsland will be available to watch on Tuesday, November 14 | Bristol Post, UK

London Chemsex Network - free meeting

Dec 8th. This meeting is for healthcare professionals supporting gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men involved in chemsex. We invite drug services, sexual health services and other relevant healthcare professionals to join us to share experiences and develop our practice together. This meeting will feature an update on chemsex, consent, and sexual assault | London Friend, UK

Working Effectively with people who use drugs - free workshop

A workshop to explore how to work effectively with people who use drugs problematically - upholding the principles of treatment. Free of charge. London on Thursday, 1st February 2018 at 1 pm, London | SMMGP, UK


International news

Gone To Pot: American Road Trip - ITV player

Five famous faces embark on a road trip like no other when they board a magical mystery bus in the US, to explore the legalisation of marijuana | ITV, UK

Ayahuasca: Psychedelic drug brewed by indigenous Amazonian tribes 'could be used to treat depression and alcoholism'

Hallucinogenic drink traditionally taken during shamanic ceremonies has attracted backpackers to South America in search of spiritual awakening | Independent, UK

Former heroin addicts captured overdosing in viral video reveal how it changed their lives

The couple featured in a viral video showing a heroin overdose have revealed how they came to be slumped on a Memphis, Tennessee sidewalk on that infamous day | Indepependent, UK

How This Guy Plans to Be Europe's Biggest Weed Seller

Jonas Duclos has developed medicinal weed he claims is fun to smoke but also legal | VICE, UK

Campaign to legalise magic mushrooms gains momentum in California 

A campaign to legalise magic mushrooms is gaining momentum in California | MixMag, UK

Medicinal cannabis made legal in Poland

Under the new regulations Polish pharmacies will be allowed to manufacture medicines taken from imported cannabis plants | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

International coalition calls for 'decisive actions' against drug war killings in the Philippines

More than 200 non-governmental organizations also urge ASEAN to end its silence on human rights violations under President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs | IDPC, UK

Hotel Scarface: How ambitious people morphed into cocaine dealers in Miami

Roben Farzad's book is based on exclusive interviews and never-before-seen documents to reveal the history of the cocaine boom in 1980s Miami as it was played out at the Mutiny in Coconut Grove | Independent, UK

Plan to drug test welfare recipients in doubt after NXT vow to oppose it

Crossbenchers’ decision makes the bill’s passage through Senate difficult and puts the Coalition’s broader overhaul of the welfare system under a cloud | Guardian, UK

€200 million spent a year: How Ireland's recreational drug users are keeping the cartels in business

It is estimated that there are at least 20 million drug deals annually | Journal, Ireland

Ireland has big problem with alcohol, Varadkar tells FG summit

Indisputable that other states spend less and have better health services, says Taoiseach | Irish Times, Ireland

Controversial alcohol legislation set to be watered down even further

Controversial legislation aimed at curbing problem drinking looks set to be watered down further as plans to limit the display of alcohol in smaller shops are put on hold | Independent, Ireland

EMCDDA–Europol Joint Report on a new psychoactive substance: methyl 1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-[phenyl(propanoyl)amino]piperidine-4-carboxylate (carfentanil)

In May 2017, the EMCDDA and Europol examined the available information on the new psychoactive substance methyl 1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-[phenyl(propanoyl)amino]piperidine-4-carboxylate (carfentanil), through a joint assessment. The two organisations launched a data collection on this substance for the preparation of a Joint Report as stipulated by Article 5.1 of the Council Decision. The Joint Report was submitted to the Council, the Commission and the European Medicines Agency on 27 July 2017 | EMCDDA, Portugal

The future of drug supply monitoring in Europe (poster)

Drug markets can be seen from the perspective of supply and demand. Market-related indicators, therefore, particularly administrative data, such as seizures, price, purity and drug-related offences, are used in most countries for assessment of the drug situation and policy evaluation. However, the illicit nature of drug markets limits data availability and interpretation | EMCDDA, Portugal

E-cigarettes may slow down your heart rate

The results of some new research, to be presented at the 2017 American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, reveal how electronic cigarettes affect heart rhythm and function in mice | MNT, USA

More adults use marijuana in states where it is legal

Daily use of marijuana as well as past month rates rose for both men and women aged 26 and older in states with medical marijuana laws in effect, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Novel gene therapy approach to treating methamphetamine abuse

While there are no FDA-approved medicines to treat methamphetamine (meth) use disorders, researchers are reporting early findings of a second-generation gene therapy in animal models for meth abuse | EurekAlert, USA

Impact of a genetic risk factor for substance use differs by sex in adolescents

In a study of adolescent boys and girls, neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center and Penn State University have found a sex difference in a gene linked to substance use disorders | EurekAlert, USA

Illegal steroids more likely to be used by young men at your gym than pro athletes

Twenty-three-year-old "Bjorn" from Brisbane started taking performance-enhancing steroids two years ago | ABC news, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Mechanics of localism: thinking anew

In difficult times, I felt a tinge of hope to see this refreshingly definitive statement make it as the opening line of a Government document. But there is always a competing perspective | Collective Voice blog, UK

Crack is back – so how dangerous is it and why is its use on the up?

There have long been scare stories about drugs so we need to be careful when interpreting new drug use data. But recent reports suggest that crack cocaine use is on the rise again | Conversation, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week: How To Help A Loved One You Think Is Drinking Too Much

'Alcohol seems to play a much more central role in our lives than many of us feel comfortable with.' | Huffington Post, UK

My big sister: Amy-Beth's story

My sister was a 21-year-old university graduate when she first became ill. Seven years later, aged 28, Carys passed away as a result of the irreparable damage alcohol had caused to her body | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Our lifebelt: alcohol services for friends and family in Cambridge

The South Staffordshire & Shropshire Foundation Trust (SSSFT) inclusion substance misuse service provides support to anyone over the age of 18 affected by someone’s drug and or alcohol use across Cambridgeshire | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 Blog

“My first experience of alcohol was on my 18th birthday – the traditional first legal drink. I didn’t enjoy it. For the next couple of years, I wasn’t really that bothered by alcohol – I’d have a couple of beers every now and then but to be honest, I preferred other drugs | Forward Trust blog, UK

Why Donald Trump’s wall won’t keep heroin out of America

The evidence suggests a wall would do little to stem the flow of drugs across the border | Economist blog, USA

‘Where’s the weed?’ Branding is essential for cannabis companies

Recreational cannabis is a burning topic around the world, especially in Canada as Parliament puts the finishing touches on legalization legislation. The province of Ontario has introduced a bill to govern cannabis sales there. Other provinces are announcing their own retail plans and minimum age limits | Conversation, Canada

Why 'Just Say No' To Drugs Will Never Work

The world is going through an '80s revival as of late, from the smash-hit nostalgia of 'Stranger Things' to sequels of classics like 'Blade Runner'. Sadly, a less welcome relic of the '80s has also made a comeback: Just Say No | Huffington Post blog, Australia