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UK news

Drug Misuse: Findings from the 2015/16 Crime Survey for England and Wales

Examines the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a sample of 16 to 59 year old residents in households in England and Wales | Home Office, UK

Statistics on Drugs Misuse: England, 2016 [NS]

This annual statistical report presents information on drug misuse among both adults and children. The topics covered include: Prevalence of drug misuse, including the types of drugs used; Trends in drug misuse over recent years; Patterns of drug misuse among different groups of the population; Health outcomes related to drug misuse including hospital admissions, drug treatment and number of deaths | HSCIC, UK

Hospital admissions for drug-related problems reach decade high

Figures show number of cases resulting in primary or secondary diagnoses of mental health and behavioural disorders has more than doubled | Guardian, UK

Better quality cocaine fuelling middle class drug use

Better quality cocaine and stronger ecstasy tablets are fuelling a rise in drug use amongst the wealthy middle classes, new figures have suggested | Telegraph, UK

Drug use among women drops to 20-year low

Drug use among women in England and Wales has dropped to its lowest level in at least 20 years, figures suggest | BBC, UK

Hepatitis C in the UK 2016

The most recent national estimates suggest that around 214,000 individuals are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the UK | PHE, UK

MSPs unite in fight to tackle hepatitis

he Hepatitis C Trust has announced the re-establishment of the Hepatitis C Parliamentary Champions group. Co-ordinated by The Hepatitis C Trust, the group is made up of a cross-party selection of MSPs and has the aim of ensuring that hepatitis C stays firmly on the political agenda in Scotland | Hep C Trust, UK

NHS England tried to sabotage hepatitis C drugs release because it couldn't afford them, doctors claim

Doctors from the clinical advisory group have claimed NHS England tried to sabotage attempts to introduce the expensive drugs, to delay them until the following financial year because they didn't have enough funding | Independent, UK

Minister wants to tackle excessive alcohol consumption at UK airports

Tariq Ahmad is to review how bars, restaurants and duty free stores in airports sell alcohol, following concerns about alcohol-related incidents | Guardian, UK

'Injustice' of shorter, unhealthy lives in poorer areas

More needs to be done to tackle the inequality that leads to people living shorter and less healthy lives in poorer parts of Wales, a report says | BBC, UK

The right approach: Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation

Last month on June 9, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reported that whilst progress has been made, the UK and devolved nations need to do more to prioritise children's rights. The committee concluded with recommendations that need to be taken forward by the Scottish and UK government as a matter of priority | Children's Commissioner, UK

In The Loop: Harm Reduction and Drug Testing Take Centre Stage on the Airwaves

This biggest news story this week in UK drug policy has been announcement that Secret Garden Party has been the first UK event to trial ‘front of house‘ drug testing – a service where festival-goers could anonymously get their drugs tested and receive advice on the risks of their drug use and how to reduce them | Volte Face, UK

Cumbria police issue drug warning after two men collapse

Men taken to hospital in Carlisle with respiratory problems after taking drug called blue valium | Guardian, UK

Teenager dead after taking drugs on Leeds city centre night out

Police suspect the teenager, who was from Leeds and who they have yet to name, took ecstasy before being taken ill in Pryzm nightclub on Woodhouse Lane in the early hours of Tuesday | Yorkshire Evening Post, UK

Dismay as advice service for drug addicts is axed

The founder of Drugsline said this week that he was "extremely disappointed" that the specialist service for addicts and their families had been closed down | The JC, UK

Man with £1.70 of cannabis held in police cells for two days

A man has been held in a police cell since Tuesday after he was found to be in possession of £1.70 worth of cannabis | Plymouth Herald, UK

International news

Doctors make easy money from medical marijuana. What happens when it's legal?

With full legalization slated for the California ballot this fall, cannabis-friendly physicians could be out of business as weed becomes easily available | Guardian, UK

Indonesia going ahead with plans to execute 14 people for drug crimes

Despite appeals from relatives, rights advocates and foreign governments, Indonesia is going ahead with its plans to execute 14 people for drug crimes. A convoy of ambulances, most of them carrying coffins, arrived at the nearest port to the Nusa Kambangan prison island, where the convicts will be executed by firing squads. Family members were also seen visiting the island | IBTimes, UK

Jared Leto on quitting drugs: 'There are just those few that tend to kick you in the ass'

Actor says he made a choice to pursue his dreams after dabbling as a teenager | Independent, UK

Public bins for getting rid of drugs are being rolled out up North, but could they be introduced here?

Ireland is due a new National Drugs Strategy next year | Journal, Ireland

Hepatitis C among drug users in Europe: epidemiology, treatment and prevention

Hepatitis C among drug users in Europe: epidemiology, treatment and prevention provides a timely contribution to raising awareness of the hepatitis C epidemic in Europe and the opportunities now opening up to tackle this problem decisively. A state of the art review of the epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Europe and an overview of the way preventive measures are currently implemented in European countries set the scene | EMCDDA, Portugal

Elephant sedative emerges as new threat in overdose battle

A drug used to sedate elephants and other large animals, 100 times as potent as the fentanyl already escalating the country's heroin troubles, is suspected in spates of overdoses in several states, where authorities say they've found it mixed with or passed off as heroin | Medical Xpress, USA

A Hotter Vape Emits Higher Levels of Carcinogens, Study Shows

Any serious vaper can tell you the many merits of their custom vape, from how it feels in their hand to how much power it’s got. But those more elaborate rigs may also keep vapers from inhaling higher levels of harmful carcinogens, according to a new study | Motherboard, USA

Sharing drug 'Snorting straws' spreads hepatitis C

The sharing of snorting straws could also lead to the transmission of other blood-borne diseases such as HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, the University of Tennessee Medical Center researchers warned | Medical Xpress, USA

Recovery of dopamine function emerges with recovery from smoking

A new study reports that smoking-related deficits in brain dopamine, a chemical implicated in reward and addiction, return to normal three months after quitting. The normalization of dopamine systems suggests smoking-related deficits are a consequence of chronic smoking, rather than a risk factor. These findings raise the possibility that treatments might be developed that normalize the dopamine system in smokers | Science Daily, USA

Statement from the Minister of Health on the Opioid Crisis

Canada is facing a growing crisis related to opioid overdoses and deaths across the country, and our government is committed to addressing this issue | Government of Canada, Canada

Drug-user support groups set up illegal, makeshift supervised injection site in Surrey

A little tent pitched in Surrey on Wednesday symbolized the desperate measures being taken to end the ongoing overdose crisis killing drug users across B.C | Vancouver Sun, Canada

WA's forced meth rehab plans underway

Plans to force methylamphetamine users to undergo rehabilitation are progressing but won't be rushed, the WA government says | Skynews, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Tobacco is a child protection issue

Starting smoking is something that is mostly done by children. Two thirds of smokers started before they were 18. Almost nobody starts to smoke after the age of 25 | ASH Scotland Blog, UK

How one patch of grass became the UK's first ever decriminalised drugs space

Last weekend, inside a previously unremarkable circle of grass about 10 metres in diameter, a bold new precedent for drugs policy was set in the UK. Pitched on the grass at the Secret Garden Party festival in Cambridgeshire, was a tent run by The Loop, a not for profit drug and alcohol service. For those few days it was the first ever de facto decriminalised space for possession of drugs in the UK |, UK

Study Demonstrates Low Health Risks Associated with "Secondhand Vapor" from E-Cigarettes

study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Researchdemonstrates that "secondhand vapor" from e-cigarettes poses very little risk to bystanders | Tobacco analysis blog, UK

The Risky Business of Reform

In my view drug reform isn’t, as some seem to think, about improving or tweaking existing government drug policy, it is about ending an iniquitous and destructive system of prohibition that damages lives, communities & countries | Volte Face, UK

Why novelty dining experiences are just another way of getting high

In today’s ever expanding world of gastro-tourism, the discussion of meals, restaurant venues and menu items has become something of a hobby for many people – with Trip Advisor, Yelp and Zomato filled with dining tales from both near and afar | Conversation, UK

Buprenorphine: The Pharmacist's View

A pharmacist in recovery gives us the inside story on buprenorphine and provides suggestions on how to improve compliance and deter abuse and diversion | The Fix, USA




And finally...

US police mistake icing from Krispy Kreme doughnuts for crystal meth

Daniel Rushing had been eating the snack in his car when pulled over by Orlando officers who believed icing from the doughnuts were drugs | Guardian, UK