Daily news -27th October 2017

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UK news

Data mining Wales: The annual profile for substance misuse 2016-17 (PDF)

This statistical report provides a summary of routinely-reported substance misuse related evidence currently available in Wales | Wales NHS, UK

Spice blamed for huge rise in drug-related hospital admissions in Wales

The drug has turned users into 'zombies' in high streets across Wales | Wales Online, UK

The impact of community-based drug and alcohol treatment on re-offending (PDF)

This experimental statistical report contains initial findings from a project that has linked data from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) held by Public Health England (PHE) with data on offenders held by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The aim of this report is to improve the evidence base of the links between community-based treatment for substance misuse and changes in re-offending | MoJ, PHE, NDTMS, UK

Has the risk of sharing ‘spoons’ and filters been overstated?

Building on previous research about the ‘strong correlations’ between sharing injecting equipment and contracting hepatitis C, this new laboratory study provides a compelling explanation of where and how the virus is transmitted – challenging presumptions that sharing ‘spoons’ and filters is in itself a high-risk practice | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Scotland is slipping away from target of being smoking-free nation by 2034

New figures have shown the number of quit attempts are down from previous years as health leaders blast government for falling stats | Scottish Sun, UK

Safer drug consumption facility and heroin assisted treatment (PDF)

To update the Integration Joint Board on progress towards establishment of a safer drug consumption facility and heroin assisted treatment service in Glasgow | Glasgow City Joint Interaction Control Board, UK

Free drug and alcohol awareness courses for people who work in Glasgow

Scottish Drugs Forum are pleased to announce that four new training courses have been developed specifically for people who work within Glasgow city | SDF, UK

Stop and search eight times more likely to target black people

Labour MP says ‘we are going backwards’ as racial disparity grows despite drop in overall use of stop and search by police | Guardian, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Heart Diseases

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with clinical bodies on the potential connection between e-cigarette use and heart disease | They work for you, UK

Footballer Jamie Insall banned for cocaine use by UK Anti-Doping

Former Hibernian and East Fife striker Jamie Insall has been suspended from all sport for two years, UK Anti-Doping has confirmed | BBC, UK

Mother-of-four, 31, who wrote a rehab diary about her battle with heroin died from an overdose after bumping into addict friends after leaving the Priory 

Ex-hairdresser Kim Shirley, 31, regularly posted moving and witty messages on Facebook detailing how her life, health and looks had dramatically improved after she was admitted to the Priory in Darlington to get herself sober | Mail Online, UK

Drug dealer's 'boy's toys' to be auctioned

A life-sized Willy Wonka, a Terminator, and a gremlin - all previously owned by a drug dealer in England - are among the movie memorabilia being auctioned off in County Antrim on Thursday | BBC, UK

International news

Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine - ITV player

In part two, Gordon takes part in a helicopter mission in Colombia with an SAS-trained anti-drugs squad and joins a Met Police dawn raid on the home of a suspected dealer | ITV, UK

Trump declares opioid crisis a public health emergency

US President Donald Trump has declared the nation's painkiller-addiction crisis a public health emergency | BBC, UK

Opioid crisis: Trump shares brother's fatal addiction story

Declaring a US opioid emergency, President Donald Trump warned about the perils of addiction by sharing a story about the "very, very tough, tough life" of his brother, Fred, who died an alcoholic at the age of 43 in 1981 | BBC, UK

Why opioids are such an American problem

When it comes to taking opioids, the United States has the dubious honour of leading the world | BBC, UK

This is what the opioid epidemic feels like: 'My son didn't have to die'

Avi Israel’s son died after becoming addicted to pills a doctor prescribed him. Now he’s formed a non-profit to help raise awareness and try to slow the crisis | Guardian, UK

Scientists have found a way to tackle one of the worst forms of drug addiction

There’s an epidemic in the US of people getting hooked on painkillers. It’s not showing any signs of improving. But a new study may offer a solution. Researchers have found that certain drugs can offer pain relief, without being addictive | Canary, UK

Alcohol helps you speak foreign languages better, researchers find

A little Dutch courage could be the key to helping travellers speak the local lingo, according to new research | Telegraph, UK

British American Tobacco eyes double sales from e-cigarettes and 'next generation products

The maker of Rothmans, Dunhill and Lucky Strike is aiming to double sales from e-cigarettes and tobacco that heats without burning to over £1 billion next year | Daily Express, UK

Alcohol Bill to be reintroduced after Halloween break

Leo Varadkar confirms his ‘absolute commitment’ to the controversial legislation | Irish Times, Ireland

Drug checking as a harm reduction tool for recreational drug users: opportunities and challenges

A number of European countries have implemented drug checking with the aim of providing targeted preventive messages to recreational drug users | EMCDDA, Portugal

EMCDDA Futures Exercise

Are you interested in what is over the horizon for drug policy? Concerned about developing trends? If so, the EU drugs agency would like your input and support to help us understand the key issues that will have an impact on the addictions field in the next decade | EMCDDA, Portugal

President Donald J. Trump is Taking Action on Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

“The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place.  If they don’t start, they won't have a problem.” – President Donald J. Trump | The White House, USA

SAMHSA Reaffirms Efforts to Address the Public Health Emergency on the Opioid Crisis

President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency reaffirms the role of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as leaders in solving one of America’s most pressing public health issues | SAMSHA, USA

U.S. opioid crisis could spread to Europe, experts say

Europe should heed the threat from opioids responsible for America’s deadliest drug epidemic in decades as both regions have seen rises in prescription rates of such medicines, which can be a gateway to dangerous derivatives, experts said | Reuters, USA

U.S. to promote use of opioid alternatives to treat addiction

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to encourage widespread use among opioid addicts of less harmful opioid drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine, a radical shift in policy that could draw opposition from those in the addiction field who believe abstinence is the only effective treatment | Reuters, USA

FDA’s Gottlieb calls for greater use of medication-assisted treatment to fight opioid epidemic

Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, called Wednesday for the expanded use of medication-assisted treatments for opioid addiction, saying they could reduce overdoses and deaths | Washington Post, USA

Drug company founder indicted in US-wide opioid conspiracy

U.S. prosecutors brought a fraud and racketeering case Thursday against the founder of an opioid medication maker that has faced increasing scrutiny from authorities across the country over allegations of pushing prescriptions of powerful painkillers amid a drug epidemic that is claiming thousands of lives each year | Medical Xpress, USA

Narcan Opioid Overdose Spray Is Now Stocked By All Walgreens Pharmacies

It has the power to save lives by targeting opioid overdoses — something that kills more than 140 Americans every day. And now Narcan, the nasal spray that can pull a drug user back from an overdose, is being carried by all of Walgreens' more than 8,000 pharmacies | npr, USA

M.T.A. Will Ban Alcohol Advertising on Buses and Subways

The transportation authority said the social benefits of deterring underage drinking outweighed the loss of revenue | NYTimes, USA

Studies support the reduced-risk potential of glo

Scientists at British American Tobacco have conducted a series of tests, the results of which help establish glo™ as having the potential to be substantially reduced risk compared to traditional cigarettes | EurekAlert, USA

Feds Should Research Medical Marijuana For Veterans, Lawmakers Say

A group of ten U.S. House members is pushing the Trump administration to begin researching medical marijuana’s potential benefits for military veterans struggling to cope with war wounds | Forbes, USA

Halifax Councillor Shawn Cleary Says He Won't Use The Word 'Marijuana' Because It's Racist

A Halifax councillor says he will no longer use the term "marijuana" because it is racist, sparking a social media debate over the well-used synonym for cannabis | Huffinton Post, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Forward's Response to MoJ's Drug and Reoffending Statistics

Mike Trace, CEO of Forward, said: “We applaud the Ministry of Justice’s efforts to invest in understanding the link between drug and alcohol treatment and reoffending... | Forward Trust, UK

Uncooperative federal government has led to innovation on marijuana policy in more liberal, less religious states

In the past two decades, 29 states and Washington DC have liberalized their laws on the use of medical marijuana – in defiance of federal regulations | LSE Blog, UK

The shifting toll of America’s drug epidemic

The typical overdose victim is becoming younger and more urban | Economist blog, UK

Drug Makers and Opioids

Nicholas Kristof does a disservice to those who have dedicated their lives to developing new treatments for the most devastating diseases. To equate their work to drug pushers is demeaning, out of bounds and out of touch | NY Times opinion, USA

Andrew Laming's opposition to pill-testing at music festivals based on inaccuracies and nonsense

Federal parliamentarian Andrew Laming's article "Spilt Milk idea for illicit drugs makes you cry", published last week, was so disappointing and contained so many inaccuracies it demands a response | Canberra Times opinion, Australia