Daily news -13th October 2017

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UK news

Are UK drug consumption rooms likely?

What does the Home Office really think about drug consumption rooms - safe and supervised places where addicts can inject or inhale illicit substances without fear of prosecution? | BBC, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to (a) include harm reduction within the remit of the Recovery Champion and (b) appoint a bespoke harm reduction champion as part of the Government's new drugs strategy | They work for you, UK


To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the report of the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group’s Charter for Change, published in September | They work for you, UK

Exploring the intersections between novel psychoactive substances (NPS) and other substance use in a police custody suite setting in the north east of England

We explore the intersections between NPS and other substances with police staff and users in custody; specifically the similarities and differences in treatment, management and policing of these substances | DEPP, UK

Criminals could be banned from drinking after they are released from prison

'At a time when prisons are full to bursting, expanding the channels back into custody even further seems frankly barmy,' says reform campaigner | Independent, UK

Alcohol is one of the five most addictive substances on the planet

Ranking drugs based on how addictive they are is tough work, since we all react differently to distinct substances. Nevertheless, a group of addiction experts including specialists from the Royal College of Psychiatrists as well as chemists, forensic scientists, and pharmacologists recently took a stab, and published their ranking in the journal The Lancet | Independent, UK

Drink drive figures: cause for concern in 2017?

Further attention on the national drink driving limit in England and Wales has been prompted by a rise in the number of people seriously injured in drink drive accidents, whilst a recent RAC survey reports most people support a lowering of legal limit | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

A winning training event and thoughts on workforce issues

Musings on workforce after a recent London training event on Opioid Substitution Treatment and choices | SMMGP, UK

I Ran London's Secret Cocaine Speakeasy

We spoke to the woman behind the private members' bar that sold weed, MDMA and cocaine | VICE, UK

Junior doctor took her own life after injecting herself with drugs illicitly taken from hospital, inquest hears

A junior doctor took her own life after injecting herself with drugs illicitly taken from her hospital, an inquest heard | Telegraph, UK

Gordon Ramsay wants to tackle cocaine addiction in the food industry 

The celebrity chef claims a customer asked him to sprinkle the class A drug on a soufflé | Independent, UK

Whisky sales dip blamed on 'spirit tax'

Sales of Scotch whisky in the UK have fallen by one million bottles after the UK government increased duty on spirits in the spring budget | BBC, UK

First cannabis 'shatter' factory busted in North East

A 'cannabis shatter' factory in Gateshead, thought to be one of the first of its kind in the North East, was raided by Northumbria Police | ITV, UK

Ten men arrested in dawn drugs raids in Gloucestershire

Ten men have been arrested after drugs with an estimated street value of £750,000 were seized in a series of dawn raids in Gloucestershire | BBC, UK

Police launch major operation against inner-city drugs gangs targeting Devon

Operation Cleft has led to a number of raids and arrests | Devon Live, UK

Laughing gas stolen from Lincoln Hospital

Police are appealing for information over the theft of laughing gas from Lincoln Hospital. The canisters of nitrous oxide were stolen during a break-in the early hours of yesterday | ITV, UK

Animal charity investigate footage showing men “giving drugs” to hedgehog

An animal charity is investigating a sickening video which shows laughing yobs apparently give drugs to a hedgehog | Deadline News, UK

Families Living with Problem Gambling - Survey

We are excited to conduct the first nationwide survey designed to document the lives of family members of people who are or have been problem gamblers | Sheffield Hallam University, UK

International news

More than 25 million people dying in agony without morphine every year

Concern over illicit use and addiction is putting morphine out of reach for millions of patients globally who need it for pain relief | Guardian, UK [see item below]

Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage: the Lancet Commission report

The lack of global access to pain relief and palliative care throughout the life cycle constitutes a global crisis, and action to close this divide between rich and poor is a moral, health, and ethical imperative. The need for palliative care and pain relief has been largely ignored. Yet, palliative care and pain relief are essential elements of universal health coverage (UHC) | Lancet, UK

A new alternative to e-cigarettes is growing in popularity

There's a new device that looks similar to the e-cigarette but is beginning to grow in popularity | Joe, UK

Australia's first pill-testing trial cancelled – and ACT Liberals take credit

The Australian Capital Territory Liberal party has taken credit for blocking a pioneering pill-testing trial at an Australian music festival after organisers announced it will no longer go ahead | Guardian, UK

Duterte pulls police off controversial drugs crackdown

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has demoted the country's police from leading his drugs war, amid growing criticism of the bloody crackdown | BBC, UK

'I was a lone parent and drink became my friend' - Women open up about their relationship with alcohol

The healthcare stakes for women can be high when it comes to over-indulging in alcohol | Independent, Ireland

Treacherous correlation in the brain from smoking

Out with the cigarette pack, put a cigarette in the mouth and light up. That is a well-known action for a smoker and, at the same time, behavior which has a stronger connection to actual drug dependency than was previously believed, research has now revealed | Science Daily, Sweden

The Bronx’s Quiet, Brutal War With Opioids

In the Bronx, which lost more residents to drug overdoses last year than any other New York City borough, the heroin epidemic has latched on to a vulnerable population | NYTimes, USA

Los Angeles County Issues First Cannabis License To Latina Woman

Yvonne DeLaRosa Green was awarded the first cannabis business license for Los Angeles County for her dispensary 99 High Tide Collective in Malibu. The city  and county of Los Angeles are expected to become the capital of cannabis once the state of California’s regulated adult-use market is up and running | Forbes, USA

11% Of Government Employees In D.C. Area Have Bought Legal Marijuana, Survey Suggests

Washington, D.C., isn’t a large market for the cannabis industry, but it could be very influential with regards to legalization. It turns out that quite a few cannabis buyers are government employees, according to new research | Forbes, USA

Move over e-cigarettes, meet heat-not-burn tobacco

If you haven't heard of heat-not-burn tobacco, you're not alone, but a new study published today in PLOS ONEfrom San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health Associate Research Professor John W. Ayers suggests this new method for consuming tobacco is poised for explosive growth | Medical Xpress, USA

Don't dispense of cannabis dispensaries, caution UBC researchers

Recent publication states 'store-front' system has elements that work well | EurekAlert, USA

Marijuana sales in Colorado up 21 percent as pot shops crack $1 billion threshold earlier than ever

Colorado’s legal marijuana dispensaries generated over $1 billion in sales during the first eight months of 2017 — a 21 percent year-over increase putting the Centennial State on path to having its best year yet in terms of retail pot sales | Washington Times, USA

'They need more time': First Australian pill testing trial shelved for Spilt Milk

A planned pill testing trial at Canberra's Spilt Milk musical festival has been shelved after an apparent dispute over required authorisations | Age, Australia

Tourist town of Exmouth promotes plan to be Australia's first meth-free zone

Known for its natural beauty, the town of Exmouth tries out a novel way to stay on the map | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Women’s deaths as a result of drug use are up 85% in ten years. Why?

Women’s deaths as a result of drug use have risen by a staggering 85% over the last decade according to data released by the Office for National Statistics. Paradoxically fewer women are using drugs yet record numbers are dying as a result of using them | i news opinion, UK

How to tackle problem gambling

At the Labour Party conference, the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson said that if they formed the next government they would introduce legislation to force gambling operators to pay a levy to fund research and NHS treatment to help problem gamblers deal with their addiction | Conversation, UK

Stigmatising coverage distorts perception of WA murder case

Recent court reporting on the case of a WA man murdered over a $15,000 debt has focussed on the fact that those responsible (and the victim) all reported using methamphetamine | AOD Media Watch, Australia