Daily news - 5th September 2017

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UK news

DDN September 2017 issue out now

As we enter ‘recovery month’ there’s no better time to reinforce harm reduction – the route to recovery, and the reason it’s sustainable. What works for one person won’t work for another and we need to open every door to better health | DDN, UK

Research published into gang and drug related violence

Academics at the University of Suffolk have been looking into a rise in gang and drug related violence in the county | University of Suffolk, UK

Drug gangs create 'perfect storm' in Ipswich

Drug-related gang violence in a Suffolk town has created a "perfect storm" involving children as young as 12, says a report | BBC, UK

Drug misuse prevention

Consultation closes 7 September 2017 | NICE, UK

News & updates August 2017: drink-related flight incidents rising, Carling ABV questions, pubs, mindfulness & more

Arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year, according to a BBC Panorama investigation. Stories from readers were covered in a BBC report: "One passenger was so drunk by the end of the flight, he was unable to leave the aircraft unaided by the time we arrived. The departure time was before 8am." | Alcohol policy UK, UK

Therapeutic communities (PDF)

Transforming lives of women and breaking the cycle of frequent offending | Phoenix Futures, UK

Staying in The Loop: the organisation testing drugs, one festival at a time

Drug testing is hopefully the first step towards a more fact-based approach to government policy | New Statesman, UK

Inside the Secret World of Britain's Top Drugs Cop

Now retired, Tony Saggers spent two decades chasing Britain's top drug gangs | VICE, UK

Nitrous oxide causes UK drug law confusion

Successful defences based on laughing gas’ medical uses follow prominent convictions that have resulted in a legal lottery | Chemistry World, UK

Council's 'alarming' £1.6million slash from drug and alcohol treatment budget is costing lives, claims campaigners

A council spokesman said cuts were justified due to 'huge budget pressure' | Get Surrey, UK

Dundee university wants to hear from folk planning to swap tobacco for e-cigarettes

Smokers considering making the switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes are being asked to participate in a health study being run by the University of Dundee | Dundee Evening Telegraph, UK

Take a look behind the scenes at Forward Leeds

Forward Leeds is opening its doors for people to come and see for themselves what goes on at an alcohol and drug service with an Open House event on the 21st of September | Forward Leeds, UK

My law student daughter was forced into being a drug mule, claims grieving mother

The mother of a law student found dead in Ibiza hotel room has suggested her daughter may have been forced into being drug mule | Telegraph, UK

Kirsty Gallacher was three times over drink-driving limit, court hears

Sky Sports News presenter, 41, pleads guilty to charge at Slough Magistrates' Court | Independent, UK


International news

'Cocaine king of Milan' arrested in Uruguay after 23 years on the run

Rocco Morabito, of the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta, was one of Italy’s most-wanted mafia bosses | Guardian, UK

Brazilian police target gangs shipping cocaine to Europe

Brazilian authorities were serving 127 arrest warrants in six states on Monday as part of a year-long investigation into international drug traffickers who have shipped at least six tonnes of cocaine to European cities, federal police said | Reuters, UK

Doctors condemn Coalition for likening welfare drug tests to vaccinations

Conflict between physicians and Christian Porter escalates after social services minister compares drug-testing debate to no jab no pay | Guardian, UK

Consultation launched on regulations to restrict sale of e-cigarettes to over 18s

At present, there are no legal restrictions on the age of sale for e-cigarettes in the north. But the Department of Health yesterday launched a public consultation on draft regulations that would make it an offence to sell e-cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 | Irish Times, Ireland

'Don't dilute drink laws,' urges Black

Senator Frances Black has warned that new legislation on alcohol must not be diluted by the drinks industry | Independent, Ireland

Fr McVerry: State failures mean people can't get clean from drugs

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry has spoken of his anger at the State's failure to give a fighting chance to people who have worked hard to get clean from drugs | Independent, Ireland

HSE drug expert: We need to consider testing and amnesty bins for clubs and festivals

Amnesty bins aren’t possible right now, legally – but the option will be considered | Journal, Ireland

Heavy alcohol use alters brain functioning differently in young men and women

Scientists have found that brain functions in young men and women are changed by long-term alcohol use, but that these changes are significantly different in men and women. This indicates not only that young people might be at increased risk of long-term harm from alcohol use, but also that the risks are probably different in men and in women, with men possibly more at risk | Science Daily, USA

The Effects of Cannabis Among Adults With Chronic Pain and an Overview of General Harms: A Systematic Review

To review the benefits of plant-based cannabis preparations for treating chronic pain in adults and the harms of cannabis use in chronic pain and general adult populations | Annals of Internal Medicine, USA

Benefits and Harms of Plant-Based Cannabis for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review 

To identify ongoing studies and review existing evidence regarding the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparations in treating PTSD in adults | Annals of Internal Medicine, USA

Heroin centres ‘favoured’ but Victorian MPs neutral

A parliamentary inquiry into a King’s Cross-style supervised injecting room for hardcore Victorian heroin users is set to find the centre can reduce overdoses and provide a path to recovery, and that an overwhelming number of submissions favoured the move | The Australian, Australia

Fentanyl: The silent killer creeping into Australia

It has caused thousands of deaths in the United States and Canada, and authorities must act now to stop the zombie drug claiming Australian lives | ABC.com.au, Australia

NT Government may move to decriminalise drugs in bid to tackle health issue, assistant minister says

Prohibiting the use of drugs in the Northern Territory has failed, Assistant Minister Jeff Collins says, and he will push the Government to look at decriminalising personal use quantities of drugs | ABC News, Australia

Policy series: where do the parties stand on cannabis and drug reform?

More political parties are lining up firmly or cautiously behind cannabis decriminalisation - with even stronger backing for making the drug available for pain relief in certain medical cases | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Interesting things about alcohol and other drugs, August 2017

New statistics on alcohol and other drugs from @andrewbrown365, with analysis of central and local government spending on substance misuse and drug-related activity | MEAM, UK

By tackling cheap off-trade alcohol, we can support pubs AND reduce harmful consumption

New report shows that there is a common ground between the pub trade and public health advocates | IAS Blog, UK

Problem gambling is a public health concern

Archaeological finds from China, Egypt, and Persia show that gambling has been a pastime for 5 millennia. Most readers will have gambled at some time, and 63% of people older than 16 years of age in Great Britain did so in the past year. But at what financial, social, and health cost is poorly understood. Gambling Behaviour in Great Britain in 2015, a report by NatCen for the Gambling Commission, published on Aug 24, provides a glimpse of who gambles, where, and how in England, Scotland, and Wales | Lancet editorial, UK

The drugs which kill the most have been legalised for centuries, so how will legalising cannabis make much difference?

It was good to hear Vince recently confirm his whole-hearted support for our policy of legalising cannabis. I also fully support the policy, which is actually quite a “baby step” when you consider the plethora of drugs readily available today – with more becoming available (including via the internet to one’s postbox) by the day | Lib Dem Voice, UK

UK’s bad drug law flounders, which is no real surprise at all

The Psychoactive Substances Act is a failure. The only surprise is that the UK government has promised to keep pursuing people under it, says Frank Swain | New Scientist comment, UK

Editor's Viewpoint: 'Anti-drug' gangsters a scourge in society

The photograph carried in this newspaper today of members of an unnamed paramilitary group which has issued threats against alleged drug dealers in the Omagh area would be laughable if history did not teach us that such warnings can have a chilling outcome | Belfast Telegraph, UK

‘On the Road’ at 60: How Jack Kerouac’s drug-infused prose became a classic of 20th-century literature

I first read On the Road as a 21-year-old, on a long and uncomfortable journey by rattling, toilet-less coach from London to the north of Spain | Independent, UK

The ‘War on Drugs’ has failed, we must end this drain on resources

When the gruesome Francisco Pizarro encountered the extraordinary empire of the Incas in 1532 one of the many things that fascinated him was the Inca’s postal service. The Incas had an elaborate system of runners who ran for up to eights hours from zone to zone bringing messages from the rulers to their subjects | David McWilliams blog, Ireland

No, Fido Is Not High On The LSD You Took

Long before “fake news” was a coined term, people started believing that if they were tripping (on LSD) or rolling (on MDMA) and they pet their dog or cat, their animal would begin feeling the effects of the drug | Dance Safe, USA



And finally...

"I ordered a phone gadget online and got heroin in the post"

The terrified parents kept the package hidden from their children in a kitchen cupboard for days after discovering the mystery substance | Plymouth Herald, UK