Daily news - 4th April 2017

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UK news

Estimates of alcohol dependence in England, including estimates of children living in a household with an adult with alcohol dependence

This is the first time estimates of the number of alcohol dependent adults at upper tier local authority level have been available. These will be followed later this year with local treatment access rates. The full report, including a detailed technical description of the methodology used, is available here | PHE, University of Sheffield, UK

Estimates of the Prevalence of Opiate Use and/or Crack Cocaine Use, 2011/12

The full report, including methodology and findings, is available here | PHE, UK

Improving lives: Helping Workless Families - evidence base

Part 1 describes the evidence behind some of the issues associated with worklessness, how these disadvantages are often interrelated, and how they impact on children’s outcomes. Part 2 sets out the 9 national indicators (7 non-statutory and 2 statutory) which we are using to track progress in tackling the disadvantages that affect families and children’s outcomes, as shown in our evidence and analysis. These will replace the indicators reported on in the former social justice outcomes framework | DWP, UK

Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families Analysis and Research Pack


Policy paper: Improving lives: Helping Workless Families


Licensing Act fundamentally flawed says Committee

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 publishes its report 'The Licensing Act 2003: post-legislative scrutiny'. In the eleven years since the Act has been in force hardly a year has gone by without major piecemeal amendments to the Act. The Lords Committee, set up to scrutinise the Act, has concluded that it is fundamentally flawed and needs a radical overhaul, including the abolition of local authority licensing committees | Parliament.UK, UK

UK should follow minimum alcohol price, say Lords

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol should be rolled out across the UK if Scotland's scheme is successful, a Lords committee says | BBC, UK

Twenty-four hour drinking has led to a surge in violent crime in city centres, police warn

T wenty-four hour drinking has led to a surge in violent crime in towns and cities, police have said as a new report branded measures to tackle the problem a failure | Telegraph, UK

Vacancies for positions on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)

The role is unremunerated, but travel expenses incurred on committee business in the UK will be reimbursed | Cabinet Office, UK

Where are the new drug and alcohol strategies?

Last week (30th March) Liz McInnes MP, a member of the Drug, Alcohol and Justice Cross-party Parliamentary Group raised the issuLiz Mcinnese of the Government’s promised drug and alcohol strategies in Parliament | Blenheim, UK

Appeal to stop north Wales Mamba drug supply

A charity has launched an appeal to help stop the supply of "dangerous drugs" in north Wales | BBC, UK

Boys behaved 'like zombies' after heroin fumes exposure

A father has been jailed after his two little boys behaved "like zombies" when they were exposed to heroin fumes | BBC, UK

Thousands of pubs’ business rates appeals ‘sitting in limbo’
Business rates appeals submitted by thousands of pubs from 2010 are still waiting for a hearing, despite a new tax regime having started on Saturday, it has been revealed | Morning Advertiser, UK

Cut back on the booze to reduce your risk of bowel cancer

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Foundations Drug and Alcohol Service is encouraging people to seek advice and support to help them reduce their intake – or give up all together – to avoid developing the UK’s third most common cancer | NHS Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber, UK

Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs (BEAD) - Information Sessions

Saturday 29 April, 12.30pm -  4.00pm(Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS). Saturday 13 May, 12.30pm - 4.00pm (Birmingham, venue TBC) | Adfam, UK

Hundreds of bikers take to the roads for charity

The roar of hundreds of motorbikes could be heard as fundraisers headed along the coast in the sunshine | Dorset Echo, UK

Building Trust

Widespread distrust among British-born Black, Asian and Minority ethnic (BAME) people towards the British justice system is having a negative impact on the legitimacy of our criminal courts | Centre for Justice Innovation, UK

"Rob you of your beer": The British fight against prohibition

In 1920 the United States of America introduced Prohibition, a national ban on the production, transportation and sale of alcoholic drinks which remained in place until 1933. In response, the British brewing industry stepped up its campaign against the temperance movement and argued against the introduction of restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the UK, including through 'local option' - votes on prohibition to be held by local councils | Warwick University, UK


International news

Tax Attacks

Ask most people what the current single greatest threat to the blossoming US marijuana market is, and you’re likely to hear one of two names in reply: Donald Trump or Jeff Sessions | Volte Face, UK

John Oliver on marijuana legalization: 'This is genuinely worth worrying about'

The late-night comic dissected the issue of federal obstacles to marijuana use, despite state legalizations, and criticized the war on drugs as ‘futile’ | Guardian, UK

Big Pharma's anti-marijuana stance aims to squash the competition, activists say

Pharmaceutical company Insys spent $500,000 to block legalization in Arizona. Five months later it won approval for a cannabis-derived medical drug | Guardian, UK

Sex, drugs, and turbulence: the crazy world of celebrity private jets - in pictures

Photo gallery | Telegraph, UK

Medical cannabis: 'My dad was able to relax, sleep, laugh, and breathe a bit easier'

It’s awful to see the Minister for Health dragging his feet when people are suffering | Journal, Ireland

Gardai to be randomly tested for illegal drugs and alcohol

Gardaí face random drugs and alcohol testing as part of a new programme, it has emerged | Independent, Ireland

EMCDDA Strategy 2025

This strategy sets out an ambitious course of travel for the agency to 2025. It presents a vision to contribute to a healthier and more secure Europe, through better informed drug policy and action. Adopted unanimously by the agency’s key stakeholders in 2016, the strategy is the result of a year-long, in-depth analysis of the environment in which the EMCDDA operates. This analysis focused, in particular, on customer needs and a critical review of our internal capacity to meet them | EMCDDA, Portugal

European Facility Survey Questionnaire (EFSQ) package

The European Facility Survey Questionnaire (EFSQ) is a data collection instrument applicable in any European country or in any country worldwide interested in surveying facilities that provide interventions to drug users | EMCDDA, Portugal

Helping communities tackle the opioid epidemic

Students, faculty and clinicians at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers recently launched the Opioid Abuse Toolkit: Resources for New Jersey Communities. This free  includes a step-by-step guide to plan and execute various community initiatives and provides resources for those struggling with opioid addiction, directly or indirectly | Medical Xpress, USA

Why Deadly Fentanyl Is So Hard to Wipe Out

It's easy to replace banned ingredients with alternatives, and the heroin substitute is so cheap to make that dealers don't seem to care that it kills their customers | VICE, USA

Heroin became ‘epidemic’ as race of victims changed

Last week, Gov. Chris Christie met with President Donald Trump and took the helm of a new federal opioid addiction commission | Raw Story, USA

Questions remain about the benefits and harms of cannabis

Despite dramatic changes in the legal landscape and usage rates of cannabis, evidence is still lacking regarding its potential health and therapeutic effects. Recently, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released its third comprehensive review of the literature surrounding cannabis and made recommendations for future research | Medical Xpress, USA

Few welfare recipients tested for drugs in Maine under law 

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has long contended that drug-testing welfare recipients will help protect taxpayer dollars, but only a handful have submitted to tests under the current law. His administration blames Democrats for the scant results | Associated Press, USA

CARBC Bulletin 15 - Every Washroom: De facto consumption sites in the epicenter of an overdose public health emergency

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, CARBC has released a Bulletin that contains new data on the overdose emergency in British Columbia and calls for the government to take immediate action to implement a comprehensive harm reduction plan, including supervised consumption services | CARBC, Canada

Police issue warning following a dozen overdose calls on Saturday morning

Vancouver Police are ringing the alarm over a surge in overdoses in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Saturday morning | Global News, Canada

The Preventable Epidemic: Criminality of Drugs Directly Contributes to Overdoses

Concerns that safe injection sites not accessible for users outside the downtown, many of whom are racialized | Torontoist, Canada

Vancouver, where even the dogs are overdosing on fentanyl

Sarah Gill was working at Insite the evening of March 25 when a couple came in with a friend they suspected had overdosed | Georgia Straight, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

If ketamine helps treat depression, why can’t doctors prescribe it?

The benefits of illegal drugs such as ketamine are widely known, yet the focus is still on antidepressants of doubtful value | Guardian opinion, UK

Editorial: the best hope for smokers is in the cloud

The Government has become almost notorious for its setting of long-time goals but the ambition to have a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025 predates predator-free and swimmable river targets. When the smoke-free goal was adopted in 2011, it was dubbed "aspirational" rather than realistic, which seems to be even more true now, with only eight years to go | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand