Daily news -18th October 2017

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UK news

Drugs-related deaths rapid evidence review: Keeping people safe (PDF)

In July 2017 the Scottish Government and the Partnership for Action on Drugs in Scotland (PADS) convened a conference entitled Drug Policy through a Health Lens, to respond to rising drug-related deaths in Scotland. NHS Health Scotland undertook a rapid evidence review to inform the discussions taking place at the conference. The initial findings of the review were presented at the conference. This report presents the evidence base which underpinned that conference presentation | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Street Lottery: Cannabis Potency and Mental Health

This report provides a concise and compelling new account of the deleterious consequences of leaving cannabis in the hands of the black market. Drawing on insights from world class academics and original research, it was commissioned to stimulate a better informed and more nuanced public debate | Volte Face, UK

Criminal Justice Project: Drug Interventions Programme – Re-offending of clients testing positive for class A drugs across Merseyside

The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) is a multi-agency initiative with an overarching aim to break the cycle of drug use and crime, and as a result reduce acquisitive crime in communities within England and Wales | PHI, UK

Even moderate drinking by parents can upset children – study

Children who see parent tipsy or drunk are less likely to see them as a positive role model, report says | Guardian, UK

Change in non-alcoholic beverage sales following a 10-pence levy on sugar-sweetened beverages within a national chain of restaurants in the UK: interrupted time series analysis of a natural experiment

This study evaluates changes in sales of non-alcoholic beverages in Jamie’s Italian, a national chain of commercial restaurants in the UK, following the introduction of a £0.10 per-beverage levy on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and supporting activity including beverage menu redesign, new products and establishment of a children’s health fund from levy proceeds | BMJ, UK

10,000 drug drivers are banned from Britain's roads in less than three years including teenagers as young as 15

More than 10,000 drivers have been banned from the road for taking drugs since March 2015 – including seven teenagers too young to hold a full licence | Mail Online, UK

Calls to stub out cigarettes at home over fears for kids exposed to passive smoking

Campaigners are questioning why staff in bars and restaurants are protected from second-hand smoke while children at home are not | Daily Record, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many offenders have taken part in programmes on drug recovery wings in prisons in each year since they were introduced | They work for you, UK

Topical Questions

Zombies are running wild in our communities. Sometimes those zombies are naked, their minds addled by a psychoactive street substance called Mamba. When will this House have a vote on making the possession of Mamba illegal? | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Prices

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol sales to reduce the effects of cheap alcohol on public health and crime levels | They work for you, UK

Alert over smoking link to bladder cancer

Experts on bladder cancer believe more needs to be done to highlight the strong link between the disease and smoking.... | Scotsman, UK

'How I got my children back'

When John Buskell's son was placed into care at birth he was distraught - his drug abuse had been the cause. But with the help of a family court focused on reuniting children with their parents, his life began to change | BBC, UK

Calum Gill death: Student died after taking MDMA

A student who fell ill on the way to a music festival and later died had consumed a fatal level of MDMA, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Sean Hughes, Never Mind The Buzzcocks star and renowned comedian, dies at 51 'during treatment for cirrhosis'

Irish comedian Sean Hughes has died today, aged 51, his management company has confirmed | Telegaph, UK

The new micro wave: the rise of the micropub

Low overheads, shortened opening hours, a stripped-down offer and DIY approach has encouraged many enthusiasts to open their own micropub – no where more so than in the Isle of Thanet, which has the densest concentration of small freehouses in the country | Morning Advertiser, UK

Grants: Postgraduate Research Studentships

Alcohol Research UK is dedicated to supporting new research in the alcohol field. Over the years we have awarded over £12 million in funding to 500 projects, many of which have made a significant contribution to the evidence base in this area. Deadline for receipt of applications – 18th October 2017 | Alcohol Research UK, UK

Hepatitis C Inquiry 2017

APPG on Liver Health inquiry into hepatitis C elimination: Call for evidence. The deadline for written evidence submissions is 27th October | APPG, UK

National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (PDF)

Includes statistics on alcohol and other drug use | Manchester University, UK

Wheel of Misfortune: The case for lowering the stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (PDF)

This is a key moment in the debate over the regulation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Britain today. We remain the only country in the developed world that allows up to £100 to be staked every 20 seconds on casinostyle gaming machines on our high streets. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is currently looking at the regulation of FOBTs as part of a wider review into gaming machines, with the findings of this review due to be announced in the Autumn | Respublica, UK

Police warn cannabis farms can prove a 'death trap'

Merseyside Police warn cannabis farms can be a 'death trap' and urge residents to report them | ITV, UK

Six arrested and 'millions of pounds' worth of drugs seized

Police have seized 'millions of pounds' worth of pharmaceutical drugs in Greater Manchester | BBC, UK

Frankie Hedgecock death: Methadone concerns missed

Social workers did not do enough to challenge a mother whose two-year-old daughter swallowed a fatal dose of methadone, a report has found | BBC, UK

Orkney Islanders launch crowdfunder to pay for own drug sniffer dog

People living in one of Scotland's furthest-flung outposts are raising money for their own drugs detection dog amid growing concerns around the level of illegal substance abuse | Herald, New Zealand


International news

Tom Marino: Controversial Trump drug czar pick withdraws

US President Donald Trump says his drug czar nominee has withdrawn, after he reportedly helped weaken government efforts to tackle the opioid crisis | BBC, UK

Growing Support for a Supervised Injection Facility in Melbourne

The number of heroin-related deaths in Australia has risen to levels not witnessed since the 1990s, prompting calls for a supervised injection facility (SIF) to be introduced in the city of Melbourne | Talking Drugs, UK

Drug-testing welfare recipients will stigmatise poor, UN official says

Special rapporteur questions why wealthy people ‘who spend far more on drugs’ aren’t subjected to same measure | Guardian, UK

Dark truth behind UK cannabis cultivation revealed as short film exposes exploitation of Vietnamese minors

Film exposes 'dirty' supply chains of marijuana involving child exploitation in Britain as number of Vietnamese minors reported as victims of trafficking soars to the highest on record | Independent, UK

The Terrifying New Trend in Heroin Addiction

Just like they did in the 80s, Americans are increasingly going straight to heroin, skipping prescription opioids. Too bad US policy doesn't reflect that | VICE, USA

Fighting opioid addiction in primary care: new study shows it's possible

Review of medication assisted therapy evidence suggests existing teams can provide care | Eurekalert, USA

Integration of smoking cessation within CT lung cancer screenings shows life-saving results

A study that integrated robust smoking cessation programs into an organized low-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening program found that the inclusion of both interventions has the potential to decrease mortality rates while being relatively cost-effective | EurekAlert, USA

North American first: University of Guelph researchers publish scientific study on cannabis production

University of Guelph researchers have published what is believed to be the first scientific paper in North America on improving medicinal cannabis plant production, helping move the industry into the realm of high-tech laboratories | EurekAlert, USA

Psychedelics linked to decreased likelihood of criminal behavior

Classic psychedelics such as psilocybin (often called magic mushrooms), LSD and mescaline (found in peyote) are associated with a decreased likelihood of antisocial criminal behavior, according to new research from investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham | News Medical, USA

Ketamine not linked to PTSD in military trauma setting

Georges Mion, M.D., from Cochin Hospital in France, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study using data from the French Military Health Service for 274 soldiers who survived a war injury in Afghanistan (2010-2012) to examine the correlation between ketamine and PTSD | Medical Xpress, USA

DOJ Admits It Isn’t Legal To Keep Prosecuting Washington State Medical Marijuana Users

The Department of Justice has agreed with defense lawyers that five Washington state residents ― including members of the same family ― who said they grew and used marijuana for medical reasons had complied with state law and that the U.S. government shouldn’t have pursued federal charges against them | Huffington Post, USA

How one woman’s drug addiction cost her everything

Beth Stephens was full of plans and promise, but two days before Christmas, the well-travelled researcher was found dead | News.com.au, Australia

A Spilt Milk Pill Tester Explains How Things Went So Wrong

Spilt Milk was to be the first music festival in Australia to offer professional pill testing. Then everything went to shit | VICE, Australia

Greens leader Richard Di Natale takes on Spilt Milk pill testing trial failure

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has sought answers over the collapse of a planned pill-testing trial at Canberra's Spilt Milk music festival | Canberra Times, Australia

Drug tests at festivals find dangerous new varieties posing as well-known pills

Kiwis are taking dangerous new varieties of drugs, with many being unaware they are doing so | Stuff, New Zealand

Blogs, comment and opinion

Phillip Blond: It’s time to crack down on the crack cocaine of gambling

There is one kind of problem gambling that has managed to unify almost everyone against it, whatever their political stripes. This is the Fixed Odds Betting Terminal – or FOBT for short – a machine that is so addictive it has been likened to crack cocaine. Our new ResPublica report ‘Wheel of Misfortune outlines the case against these machines and calls for the elimination of their high stakes, high speed casino-like games | Conservative Home, UK

Nitrous oxide is no laughing matter, but a scare campaign on nangs is a gasbag

They’re the cheap, easy and legal drugs that induce a rush of euphoria for 20 seconds. You can even get ‘nangs’ delivered to your door | The New Daily, Australia