Daily news -7th April 2017

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UK news

United Kingdom Drug Situation 2016 EDITION UK Focal Point on Drugs

Annual Report on new developments and trends in policy, prevalence, treatment and criminal justice issues to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) | UK Focal Point, PHE, Home Office, Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Department of Health Northern Ireland

Scottish Drug Misuse Database (PDF)

This report from Information Services Division on the Scottish Drug Misuse Database presents the available information on individuals presenting for initial assessment at specialist drug treatment services in 2015/16 | ISD, UK

Public Health Minister 'pleased' with downward trend in heroin use among under-25s

The statistics in the Scottish Drugs Misuse Database published yesterday say of all those who used specialist drugs services last year, 47 per cent were looking for treatment for heroin, compared to 64 per cent in 2006/07 | National, UK

Funding to tackle Scotland’s alcohol and drug crisis slashed

Crucial funding to tackle Scotland’s drugs and drink crisis has been cut across Scotland, new figures have revealed today. In half of all Scotland’s 14 Health Board areas, support for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships has fallen this year, the statistics show | Scottish Conservatives, UK

Drugs Education Programme and Key4Life

Avon and Somerset Police has set up a course as an alternative to prosecution for drugs users and a charity helping young people at risk of going to prison is celebrating success | BBC, UK

Drugs class - video

People caught with drugs are being offered an awareness course in place of prosecution | BBC, UK

Alcohol labelling: Do you know what you're drinking?

Approximately one in ten cases of ill-health or death in England can be attributed to alcohol. However, unlike for food, sugary drinks and tobacco, there is limited information available about what is in alcoholic drinks or their potential harm | University of Bristol, UK

Vaping shops selling to non-smokers

Almost nine in 10 e-cigarette shops in the UK are selling vaping products to non-smokers against the industry's code of conduct, an investigation reveals | BBC, UK

The illegal drugs with legal medical uses

A study of more than 100 people suggests ketamine could be used to help treat people suffering with depression | BBC, UK

MSPs to hear case for medical use of cannabis

MSPs from across the political spectrum will hear demands to legalise cannabis for medical use when they attend a summit on the issue in Holyrood this month | The National, UK

Alcohol taxation and the pub trade

This note looks at the way alcoholic drinks are taxed, the Labour Government's introduction of a 'duty escalator' in 2008, and the concerns in the pub trade at the impact of this policy. It goes on to discuss the Coalition Government decision to remove the duty escalator in two stages in 2013 and 2014, and the current Government's approach to the taxation of alcohol | Parliament.uk, UK

Pub industry calls for ‘firm proposals’ over suggested reprieve for EU workers to 2022

The Government needs to provide more “concrete plans” for EU migrants, say industry groups, following the announcement that EU nationals could be allowed to continue working in the UK for five years after the country leaves the bloc | Morning Advertiser, UK

Child trafficking in UK hits record high, figures show

More than a third of all potential victims of trafficking were children aged 18 and under, with a majority of children drawn into exploitative labour, including forced criminality, such as cannabis cultivation | Independent, UK

RAPt awarded new contract to deliver community drug and alcohol services in East Kent

RAPt is thrilled to announce it has won a new contract to deliver community substance misuse services in East Kent, in partnership with charities Nacro and ReThink | RAPt, UK

SSA funded PhD student Sarah Fox wins the Ray Hodgson Award

Congratulations to SSA funded PhD student Sarah Fox for winning the Ray Hodgson Award for best paper at the Alclohol Research UK 2017 Conference | SSA, UK

Survey: Use of Ketamine and Novel Psychoactive Substances (legal highs)

Welcome to the 'Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances/Legal Highs and Ketamine' Survey. This survey aims to evaluate the level of knowledge and awareness of the use of Novel Psychoactive Substances/Legal Highs and Ketamine. The survey is completed anonymously, can be saved part way through and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete | University of Hertfordshire, UK

Catastrophe: how Rob Delaney's struggle with alcoholism inspired the heartbreaking finale

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, the star and creators of  Channel 4 sitcom Catastrophe, has always maintained that plenty of real-life experience is poured into the show's dark humour | Telegraph, UK

Audacious bid to run cannabis farm next to Buckingham Palace goes up in smoke

Trio caught with 600 marijuana plants in £15m mansion will likely be deported, judge says | IBTimes, UK

Devon stun gun drug dealer jailed

A drug dealer found with an illegal stun gun that looked like a torch, next to his stash of drugs, has been jailed | BBc, UK

Cocaine smugglers caught off Cornwall jailed over £80m haul

The skipper of a drug-filled fishing boat has been jailed for 16 years for attempting to smuggle almost a tonne of cocaine into the UK | BBC, UK


International news

French election: Four out of five presidential candidates support relaxation of cannabis laws

Police say Emmanuel Macron's proposals to give warnings and fines to cannabis users, who face a prison sentence under current laws, will save time and resources | Independent, UK

Pot on a plane? TSA reverses course after briefly saying it's OK to fly with cannabis

The official website said flying with medical marijuana was no problem – before changing its mind after 24 hours. Legally and practically, the picture is confused | Guardian, UK

Uruguay to sell cannabis in pharmacies from July

Uruguay will begin selling cannabis in pharmacies from July, the final stage in the country's pioneering regularisation of the drug | BBC, UK

Inside a Drug Tourism Economy

We talked to a Costa Rican drug dealer about selling to North American scum | VICE, UK

A puke bucket and an ancient drug: is ayahuasca the future of PTSD treatment?

I visited Peru to find out more about an intriguing ayahuasca study – and to have my own experience with the psychedelic brew | Guardian, UK

9 things you need to know about supervised drug injecting facilities

We asked Ana Liffey Drug Project Director, Tony Duffin about how these new facilities will affect the capital | Dublin Live, Ireland

Call for outreach programmes for people with hepatitis C

The Health Service Executive has provided €30m to fund treatment for hepatitis C, however there is a call for additional funding for more community outreach programmes to raise awareness among vulnerable people who could be unknowingly infected | RTe, Ireland

EMCDDA scientific award

The scientific award celebrates scientific writing and distinguishes high-quality research in the field of illicit drugs. Scientific papers judged to enhance understanding of the European drug problem are acknowledged yearly in an award ceremony | EMCDDA, Portugal

Addictive nut's derivatives could help smokers break the nicotine habit

As many as 600 million people in Asia chew areca nuts with betel leaves, sometimes adding tobacco leaves. Many users are addicted to this harmful preparation, which can create a sense of euphoria. Yet researchers have now discovered that compounds derived from the nut could help cigarette smokers -- as well as betel quid chewers -- kick their habits | Science Daily, USA

Addressing addictions

Study reveals some women with prenatal opioid dependence are not being treated | EurekAlert, USA

How One Syringe Exchange Is Turning Drug Users Into Scientists

At St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, a needle exchange in the Bronx, the people who come for "safe use kits" also get a crash course in data collection | WYNC, USA

New Mexico Is 1st State to Boost Access to Overdose Antidote

New Mexico has become the first state to require all local and state law enforcement agencies to provide officers with antidote kits as the state works to curb deaths from opioid and heroin overdoses | USNews, USA

Pay up

The U.S. wants $500 million in drug money from a Mexican drug lord betrayed by El Chapo | VICE, USA

B.C. mulls framework for expanded heroin-assisted treatment

Prescription heroin, a last-resort treatment for severe addiction currently restricted to only one clinic in all of North America, could one day be dispensed at pharmacies much as methadone is | Globe and Mail, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

So obviously the big news of the week comes from New Zealand where  a government proposal will be put to parliament  next year which would legalise the sale and supply of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids as consumer products | NSP Blog, UK

Personality disorders and alcohol treatment: is there any hope?

Alcohol and mental health is a messy business so be wary of anyone who makes definitive assertions about the relationship between the two | Mental Elf Blog, UK