Daily news -11th October 2017

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UK news

Drug Treatment Services

[Parliamentary debate] Question from Jeff Smith MP (Manchester, Withington) (Lab): What assessment has been made of the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the level of funding for drug treatment services? | Hansard, UK

Early day motion 327

[New signatories added] That this House is alarmed at the 3,744 drug-related deaths registered in England and Wales and the 867 registered in Scotland in 2016; notes with dismay that these rates are far higher than those across Europe; further notes that the majority of these deaths involved an opiate... | Parliament.uk, UK

Why is heroin killing so many people?

In the past five years deaths involving heroin in the UK have rocketed. Is it time for a radical solution? | BBC, UK

Fentanyl Report (PDF)

In September 2017 CGL and Volteface convened a ‘round table’ to discuss responses to the growing threat posed by fentanyl and its analogues (often referred to as ‘fentalogues’ or ‘fentanyls’)... The round table followed reports of at least 60 deaths linked to fentanyls in England and Wales in the previous eight months and CGL’s direct experience of managing outbreaks of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in two areas in England | CGL, UK

Labour MP promises to eat cannabis cake if campaigners calling for drug to be legalised are arrested

A Labour MP has vowed to eat a cannabis cake if campaigners calling for the drug to be legalised are arrested at a "tea party" outside Parliament | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis: Tide of world opinion is moving to legalisation, Flynn says - video

Newport West MP Paul Flynn has urged MPs to back the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use as he introduced a bill in the House of Commons | BBC, UK

The Parents’ Handbook

The Parents’ Handbook has been produced by Mentor and Adfam as a free resource for parents and carers. The revised guide includes details on the range of new substances their effects, risk factors and the law. It also contains helpful advice on how to have effective conversations about drugs in order to keep your child safe from their harms | Mentor and Adfam, UK

The Adolescent Brain – Wired for Taking Risks

Adolescence is a time of increased risk-taking; this paper looks at the role the brain plays in risk-taking, including adolescent substance use. It also considers some possible ways the harm of risk-taking in young people can be mitigated... | Mentor - ADEPIS, UK

Ipswich sex worker murders: Talitha Koum drug rehab centre opens

A £425,000 drug rehabilitation centre set up as a legacy to five sex workers murdered in Ipswich will accept its first referrals this week | BBC, UK

Former drug user Tony Gillham says there is life after a hepatitis C diagnosis and urges others to get tested

He said new drugs mean treatment does not have the horrific side effects of previous ones | Cornwall Live, UK

'Don't mess about with drugs' - McDermott

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott says he hopes Zak Hardaker can 'pull through' after testing positive for cocaine | BBC, UK

GFN UK Dialogues Autumn 2017 Registration

Less than a month now to start GFN Dialogues, autumn edition. See locations and confirmed panelists for Dublin (Tuesday 24th October), London (Tuesday 31st October) and Durham (Thursday 2nd November). Attendance is free, but registration is needed | NSP, UK

London couriers dealt in “top of the chain” cocaine

Two men have been sentenced to a total of almost 13 years in prison for supplying high purity cocaine to Londoners | NCA, UK

Wasim Ali not guilty in £5m drug gang conspiracy retrial

A man jailed for eight years for his alleged part in a gang that brought £5m worth of drugs into Wales has been cleared at a retrial | BBC, UK

Woman fined £450 for growing cannabis at home in bid to help her cancer torment

A woman suffering from a rare cancer has been fined £450 after she was prosecuted for growing cannabis plants for medicinal purposes | Herald, UK

Can prosecco ever be hangover-free?

The promise of a hangover-free tipple will have many of us reaching for the bubbles to celebrate. But wouldn't that be too good to be true? | BBC, UK

Drink-test father shaved off own hair, court hears

A father who agreed to undergo hair-strand testing after concerns were raised about his drinking shaved it all off before samples could be taken | BBC, UK


International news

Philippines tobacco giant pays $586 mn to settle tax case

The Philippines said Friday it has dropped a tax evasion case against the country's number-two cigarette manufacturer after it was sold to Japan Tobacco to raise funds for a record 30 billion-peso ($586 million) settlement | Mail Online, UK

Teenagers now using illegal steroids in bid to 'bulk up'

Steroids, previously just a problem among elite athletes, have now trickled down into the mainstream fitness world with even teenagers now taking them in an attempt to 'bulk up', warns fitness guru Karl Henry | Independent, Ireland

Budget 2018: Alcohol and fuel spared but cigarettes hiked by 50 cents

Third price hike in two years will take price of 20 cigarettes to €12 | Irish Times, Ireland

It could be a year before branded cigs disappear

It could be September before branded cigarettes disappear entirely from shop shelves after tobacco was stockpiled in order to beat new plain-packaging laws | Independent, Ireland

80% of Cork homeless saw abuse or substance misuse as children

A survey of homeless people accessing services at Cork Simon has found almost 80% had experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences, such as physicial or sexual abuse or substance misuse in the family | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Dog-walker discovers €100,000 worth of ecstasy and MDMA

A man discovered €100,000 worth of ecstasy and MDMA in Co Sligo while out walking his dog, gardaí have confirmed | Irish Times, Ireland

What is drug policy evaluation and why is it important?

Evaluation is essential for effective policymaking, helping ensure that policies and programmes have the desired effect, provide value for money and do not have negative unintended consequences. The importance of evaluation has been recognised in all EU drug strategies and in the strategies of many Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

Evaluating drug policy: a seven-step guide to support the commissioning and managing of evaluations

This document summarises the main issues concerning evaluation in the field of drug policy. Aimed at those managing rather than undertaking drug policy evaluations, the guide acts as an introduction, providing links to the wider literature. Recognising that there is no single correct way to undertake an evaluation, this publication is designed to assist people in choosing the best approach to suit their circumstances and to maximise the value of any evaluation | EMCCDA, Portugal

This Is What it's Like to Overdose on Heroin Nine Times

I couldn't see anything, but I could hear my mom chattering on the phone. Quick, Cuban Spanish broken by an occasional burst of laughter. Her television blared in the background. A reality show, I think. I couldn't feel my body, either | VICE, USA

Gene that influences nicotine dependence identified

A DNA variant -- located in the DNMT3B gene and commonly found in people of European and African descent -- increases the likelihood of developing nicotine dependence, smoking heavily, and developing lung cancer, according to a new study | Science Daily, USA

Home-brewed poppy seed tea can be lethal, study finds

A home-brewing technique used to extract morphine from unwashed poppy seeds can produce lethal doses of the drug, according to research at Sam Houston State University | Medical Xpress, USA

Smoking likely to lead to more Indigenous deaths, ANU research shows

A new study has shown smoking deaths are likely to rise in the next decade | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

NSW boat skippers to be tested for drugs

Police expect about one-in-13 boat skippers tested for drugs this season will return a positive result as they unveil a new enforcement regime in NSW | News.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Points Interview: Dan Malleck

Dan Malleck is an Associate Professor of Health Sciences at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario. He is the author of Try to Control Yourself: The Regulation of Public Drinking in Post-Prohibition Ontario, 1927-1944 | Points Blog, UK

Pill testing at music festivals will may save lives and protect young people

Given the pill testing trial issue has been on the boil in Canberra for well over a year nobody can accuse the Barr Government of acting in haste | Canberra Times editorial, Australia

Why so few Australians are using medicinal cannabis on prescription

So often in Australia, we are astounded to discover that good policy has been subverted by political mismanagement | Age comment, Australia