Daily news - 28th September 2017

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UK news

Appointment of a Recovery Champion

The Recovery Champion is a new post created as part of the Government’s new Drug Strategy and is an essential part of the Government’s wider programme of work to build a safer, healthier society that protects the most vulnerable in society. The Strategy aims to reduce the number of people taking illicit drugs, and increase the number of people recovering from drug dependence | Cabinet Office, UK

Guidance: Alcohol, drugs and tobacco: commissioning support pack

Annually updated alcohol, drugs and tobacco commissioning support pack for local authorities | PHE, UK

Advisory Council Misuse of Drugs: Performance & Image Enhancing Drugs

Tweets from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) evidence-gathering day on the use of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) | Various, UK

Estimates of the Prevalence of Opiate Use and/or Crack Cocaine Use, 2014/15: Sweep 11 report (PDF)

This report presents the findings of Sweep 11 of the estimates of the prevalence of opiate and/or crack cocaine use (OCU) in England, covering 2014/15. These continue the long time series of OCU prevalence estimates, starting in 2004/05 and most recently reported for 2011/12 | CPH, UK

Campaigners want to end 'normalisation' of groping in clubs, pubs and bars

Campaigners want people to step in and help if they see their friends being sexually harassed in a club or bar | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Sexual harassment:How can you help?

If you see someone being sexually harassed on a night out, it can make a big difference if you ask them if they’re ok – whether they’re a friend or a stranger! | DrinkAware, UK

Needle Exchange Programme (Glasgow Central Station)

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with Network Rail regarding its decision to withdraw support for the needle exchange programme at Glasgow Central station. (S5T-00686) | They work for you, UK

Recovery Walk Scotland - 30th September

The Recovery Walk is taking place in Dundee – Saturday 30th September. The day will begin with Roses in the Tay memorial, the walk through the city centre and end at the Recovery Village and Festival where there will be plenty of speakers, music and activities to take part in | SFAD, UK

Gen Z Tell Us What They Think of Millennials' Party Habits

"That night out you just described to me is my IDEAL night out, however my funding for that is not always there." | VICE, UK

Kyle Lafferty opens up on gambling addiction and rebuilding his life

On Saturday, 20 February last year, Kyle Lafferty stopped off at a bookmaker's office in East Kilbride. A Norwich City player at the time, earning big money but in the wilderness in terms of first-team football - his last game had been a 3-0 loss at home to Manchester City in early January - Lafferty was in the bookies for just 35 minutes betting, and losing, on horses and dogs | BBC, UK

Graham Gibbons: Jockey faces cocaine charge & accused of switching samples

Jockey Graham Gibbons will face a hearing on Thursday accused of testing positive for cocaine and attempting to switch his urine sample | BBC, UK


International news

Australians want more spent on drug education and treatment – survey

National Drug Strategy Household Survey finds that, unlike the government, participants would budget more for health approaches than law enforcement [see survey below] | Guardian, UK

'A pretty crappy bet': the pokies that rely on deception and addiction

A landmark legal case shines a rare spotlight on the workings of the poker machine industry that takes $11bn from Australians every year | Guardian, UK

The father who went undercover to find his son’s killers

After police failed to solve his son’s murder, Francisco Holgado infiltrated the local criminal underworld in pursuit of those responsible. He became a national hero – but at what cost? | Guardian, UK

Canada challenge to six-month sobriety rule for liver transplants

A Canadian man is challenging a long-standing rule that alcoholics must be sober six months before being put on the liver transplant list. But as his court date approaches, is Cary Gallant running out of time? | BBC, UK

Drink-driving: tougher rules are welcome

Legislation will further improve road safety and for that reason deserves support | Irish Times, Ireland

Health chiefs to ban free alcoholic drinks at hairdressers

The growing trend sees gin and tonics or glasses of prosecco offered in place of the traditional tea or coffee | Breaking News, Ireland

Safer is better

New website promoting safe consumption spaces | YestoSCS, USA

Is Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana Use on the Rise?

Nearly all reports of fentanyl-laced marijuana use are based on faulty reporting, and no evidence suggests that its occurrence is in any way rooted in reality | Snopes, USA

Epigenetics of addiction: Epigenetic study untangles addiction and relapse in the brain

Why do some drug users continue to seek out drugs despite the prospect of losing family, friends, health or livelihood? | Medical Xpress, USA

Opioid epidemic possibly linked to hepatitis changes in prisons

Researchers from the Emory Rollins School of Public Health and Emory School of Medicine have published a paper in AIDS Reviews that examines HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening in U.S. correctional facilities and the prevalence of HCV in prisons | Medical Xpress, USA

Opioid crisis in Staten Island affects all races and socioeconomic backgrounds

Contrary to media reports, the opioid epidemic on Staten Island is not confined to affluent young white residents, and affects all neighborhoods, races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds | EurekAlert, USA

14 people shot dead at Mexican drug rehab centre

Fourteen people were shot dead on Tuesday night at a drug rehabilitation centre in northern Mexico as part of a territory fight between two criminal gangs, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office said | Reuters, USA

National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016: detailed findings

This 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report shows that: the decline in daily smoking slowed in 2016 but improvements were seen among people living in the lowest socioeconomic area; certain groups disproportionately experience drug-related risks and recent use of illicit drugs was particularly high for people who identified as homosexual or bisexual; just under 4 in 10 Australians either smoked daily, drank alcohol in ways that put them at risk of harm or used an illicit drug in the previous 12 months | AIHW, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry`s Blog 33: Evidence and the long grass

As you can see, this is blog number 33 and so I hope I am not repeating this little anecdote, even though it does bear repeating | NSP Blog, UK

Drugs, Alcohol & Justice: A charter for change

The Drugs, Alcohol & Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group provides an interface for professional providers of drug and alcohol treatment with parliamentarians of all parties who share an interest in these issues | Russell Webster, UK

Martyn McLaughlin: Network Rail shouldn’t meddle with public health policy

The move to wind down Scotland’s busiest needle change at Glasgow Central station is misguided, says Martyn McLaughlin | Scotsman opinion, UK

Why We Should Experiment With Drug Policy

Last week, on a visit to an east London addiction charity, Prince William asked a group of recovering addicts whether drugs should be legalised. He received a mixed response, thanked them for their honesty and said his goodbyes | Huffington Post Blog, UK

Breaking bad: how to give up drinking, smoking, nail-biting and other unwanted habits

With Stoptober and Sober October starting soon, we asked readers to tell us how they broke bad habits - and how this changed their life. Here’s what you said | Guardian, UK

Debate Room: Are proposed restrictions on alcohol advertising going too far?

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill restricts ads so they are less likely to glamorise our relationship with alcohol | Journal opinion, Ireland

Reflection on the 8th EUSPR Conference

It’s so easy for all the great talks you hear at a multi-day conference like EUSPR’s annual get together to start to blur into each other, and that isn’t fair on the people who have presented.  All of them have carefully thought through the things they want to say and have practiced their presentations numerous times before the moment comes. But as a participant it’s two full days (three if you’ve been to the pre-conference workshops) of concentration, conversation and (convivial) catching up | EUSPR blog, Poland

Anti-overdose medication could help treat the opioid crisis

It was as if a lifetime’s worth of experience had led 52-year-old Stephen Weltsek to one moment last winter: In an East New York homeless shelter bathroom a young man passed out with a needle in his arm and Weltsek, coming upon him, knew just what to do | AM New York opinion, USA

Pill testing: life-saving evidence prevails in A.C.T., now rest of Australia needs to act

Australia21 congratulates the ACT Government on its groundbreaking decision to allow free pill testing at the Spilt Milk music festival in Canberra in November 2017 | Australia 21, Australia