Daily news - 26th September 2017

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UK news

Psychoactive substances in secure mental health settings

This document reviews the impact of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in secure mental health settings, and makes recommendations for the management of NPS use in these settings | PHE, UK

Dealing with Synthetics: Time to Reframe the Narrative (PDF)

Beginning with an overview of the synthetics market, this Policy Report examines the possible sources of such inertia and critically explores the issues underlying what in many respects represents a key yet largely under discussed feature of the extant international drug control system. It is argued here that, considering its policy history and contemporary dynamics, it is now time to reframe the narrative surrounding the way the international community deals with synthetic drugs | GDPO, UK

'Sober socialites': Rise of health conscious millennials who drink just five units of alcohol a week

A new report has been published which claims that millennials are all “sober socialites,” shunning boozy nights out and pub trips for green smoothies (packed with protein and veg rather than sugary fruit, natch) and wellness festivals | Independent, UK

Network Rail closes Glasgow drug addict needle exchange

Scotland's busiest needle exchange service for drug addicts in Glasgow's Central Station has closed | BBC, UK

Haringey celebrates recovery month

Over 200 people attended Recovery Pride in Haringey and heard inspiring recovery stories from current and former service users. There were also live performances, food, information stalls and awards presented | Blenheim, UK

Shocking number of patients caught SMOKING in Scottish hospitals

Patients  desperate for a nicotine hit have been caught smoking in Scottish hospitals more than 1,700 times in the last three years | Express, UK

Councillor calls for urgent support after 37 Belfast drug deaths in just nine months

"The pain caused by drugs isn't isolated to those trapped in the cycle of addiction" | Belfast Telegraph, UK

Labour conference 2017: Russell Brand calls for drugs to be decriminalised and regulated to combat addiction

'We need regulation of drugs. As long as drugs are criminalised, you can’t regulate them. As they continue to be criminalised they will - de facto - be stigmatised,' the comedian said | Independent, UK

Dark web drug supermarket duo from Huddersfield jailed

Two university friends who bought and sold the deadly drug fentanyl via the dark web have been jailed | BBC, UK

Gang jailed for trafficking drugs into Gloucester

Three members of a drugs gang have been jailed for trafficking about £600,000 worth of heroin and cocaine into Gloucestershire from the Midlands | BBC, UK

Lavinia Woodward: Oxford student 'too bright' for prison is spared jail for stabbing boyfriend

An Oxford medical student “too bright” to be given a prison sentence has been allowed to walk free from court - despite the judge acknowledging that she broke her bail conditions | Telegraph, UK


International news

Quarter of Seattle cancer patients turn to marijuana to help cope with pain, stress and nausea

Doctor warns taking cannabis while being treated for cancer could be dangerous | Independent, UK

Pablo Escobar's Brother Is Demanding $1 Billion From Netflix For 'Narcos'

The family of late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar are threatening to shut down Narcos if Netflix doesn't cough up $1 billion | Esquire, UK

Decriminalising drugs: could it work in Ireland?

Campaigners hope we might be about to turn a corner. The reality is more nuanced | Irish Times, Ireland

Feud gangs using drug addicts to get false passports

The gangs target drug users indebted to them to assist in obtaining the passports | Journal, Ireland

Overcoming addiction with sailing: 'It's a way of life I never knew existed and better than any drug'

Coolmine clients who are currently recovering from addictions have sailed this week as part of a Voyage of Recovery programme | Journal, Ireland

Upcoming European guide on health and social responses to drug problems

Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide is designed to provide an overview of actions or interventions undertaken to address the negative consequences associated with the illicit drug phenomenon. It also acts as a gateway to a wide range of online resources, including links to evidence and tools. It will be launched on 24 October during a week of events organised around Lisbon Addictions 2017. l [see also our news release]| EMCDDA, Portugal

One-fourth of cancer patients use cannabis, study reveals

New research conducted in a cancer center in a state that had legalized the use of recreational and medicinal cannabis shown that about one-fourth of surveyed cancer patients used cannabis in the previous year, mostly for psychological and physical symptoms. The study also indicated that legalization increased the likelihood of a rise of cannabis use among cancer patients | News Medical, USA

Travellers warned about soft drink in Mexico after meth-related death

In the midst of panic over deadly tampered alcohol, tourists in Mexico have a new worry — about what’s lurking in their soft drink | News.com.au, Australia

Talking to the media about alcohol & other drugs: Guidelines for consumers (PDF)

Having a personal story to tell is often a requirement for an article to be published by mainstream media outlets. Personal stories make it easier for audiences to relate to the content of an article and increase the likelihood that it will be read: it’s why they usually appear at the start of a story | AOD Media Watch, Australia

This Is What’s Stopping Pill Testing From Happening At All Australian Festivals

Last Friday, the ACT Government made history by giving the green light for pill testing to take place at Canberra festival Spilt Milk | Junkee, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

It doesn’t make sense to leave alcohol out of the drugs debate

Blaine Stothard is puzzled as to why recent articles have not mentioned alcohol, and Owen Wells says the criminalisation of drugs in 1971 has a lot to answer for | Guardian letters, UK

Campaigns can cut drunken advances

Research by the University of Brighton has shown than publicity campaigns can help combat alcohol-fueled sexual contact | University of Brighton blog, UK

Prohibition is Harm Maximisation

Years ago, the cannabis law reform campaign described cannabis as “The harmless herb” and the big reason put forward for legalisation was that cannabis was harmless and didn’t present any form of risk whatsoever | UKCIA Blog, UK