Daily news -10th April 2017

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UK news

How tobacco firms flout UK law on plain packaging

Brands use competitive price labels to avoid restrictions on marketing | Guardian, UK

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal product for smoking on the market | PHE, UK

Revised guidance issued under section 182 of Licensing Act 2003

This revised guidance issued under s 182 comes into force from 6 April 2017 | Home Office and The Rt Hon Norman Baker, UK

Black Mamba death prompts lethal batch warning

The death of a homeless man after smoking Black Mamba has sparked fears of a potentially lethal batch of the former "legal high" | BBC, UK

Manchester police deal with 31 Spice-related calls in 24 hours

Concerns over an increase in anti-social behaviour fuelled by former legal high spice - said to leave users in a "zombie-like" state - has prompted a police crackdown in Manchester | BBC, UK

The pale, wasted figures caught in a Spice nightmare that's turning Piccadilly Gardens into hell on earth

It’s like being in a nightmare, says our photographer, sadly | Manchester Evening News, UK

Undercover investigation finds 9 in 10 vape shops prepared to sell to non-smokers

RSPH is calling for UK vape retailers to adhere to a code of conduct, as it reveals results of an undercover investigation showing that almost nine in 10 stores (87%) are either knowingly or unwittingly prepared to sell e-cigarettes to people who have never smoked or vaped | RSPH, UK

Fire death risk cut by vaping rather than smoking, study finds

Analysis of London Fire Brigade figures found that in the last three years, only 14 fires were attributable to e-cigarettes. In comparison, smoking-related fires topped 3,500. These were fires cause by tobacco smoking, and not extinguishing cigarettes properly | ITV, UK

Cash to tackle drug and drink abuse cut, Tories warn

Funding to tackle drug and alcohol misuse has been cut across Scotland, according to figures gathered by the Scottish Conservatives | Herald, UK

Microdosing: The people taking LSD with their breakfast

There is a small community of people in the UK who "microdose" - or take small amounts of psychedelic drugs as part of their daily lives. They say it boosts creativity and can have medicinal benefits, despite a lack of scientific research | BBC, UK

Special K: How clubbers’ drug can help treat depression

It is most widely used medically as a sedative or anaesthetic (and most notoriously as a “horse tranquiliser” – although it is used in veterinary medicine on various animals, as well as in equine surgery as an anaesthetic) and is known to produce out-of-body experiences for those who use it on the clubbing scene | Herald, UK

Michael Caine on Graham Norton: ‘I was asked once if my name is actually My Cocaine’

The actor recalled the time he was asked if he was a drug dealer | Evening Standard, UK

Photographer Graham MacIndoe captures his life on drugs

As Graham MacIndoe sat in his cell in New York's notorious Rikers Island jail in 2010, he had hit rock bottom | BBC, UK

Mini-Me actor Verne Troyer being treated for alcoholism

Austin Powers actor Verne Troyer has revealed he is being treated for alcoholism | BBC, UK

Cardiff death crash trial: Cocaine in driver's blood

A driver who survived a head-on crash in which his five-year-old passenger was killed had taken cocaine before driving, a trial has been told | BBC, UK

Drug dealers used modified Bentley to smuggle cocaine into Britain, court hears

Drug dealers used a modified Bentley with a secret compartment to smuggle £3.6million of cocaine into Britain, a court heard | Telegraph, UK


International news

Bellion: could this vodka be liver friendly?

Its makers claim that a mixture called NTX can reduce the risk of liver damage when drinking - but some experts aren't convinced | Independent, UK

Drinking wine engages more o your brain than maths problems

Drinking wine is the ideal workout for your brain, engaging more parts of our grey matter than any other human behaviour, according to a leading neuroscientist | Independent, UK

Duterte's Drug War - BBC iPlayer

The Philippines is a devoutly religious country, with more than 86% of the population Roman Catholic – and it has huge drug problem. President Rodrigo Duterte, himself a Catholic, has been waging a controversial war on his country’s drugs problem since he took office in 2016 | BBC, UK

Uruguay government legalises sale of recreational cannabis in pharmacies

Government hopes formalisation process will 'guarantee the quality and the purity of the product' citizens consume, head of the National Drug Board says | Independent, UK

The Boy in 7 Billion

Against all the odds, brave mother Callie Blackwell and her husband Simon saved their terminally ill son Deryn – of that there is no doubt | Volte Face, UK

Good Friday alcohol sales ban to be abolished

The Government is moving to lift the 90-year-old ban on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday | Irish Times, Ireland

Legalising cannabis could boost Irish tax revenues by millions

US entrepreneur claims pharmaceutical industry against legalisation | Irish Times, Ireland

Germany reports 232% surge in drug smuggling via dark web

Germany’s customs office reported on Wednesday a 232 percent surge in the trafficking of drugs via the post last year thanks to the rise of the so-called darknet, one of the dark corners of the internet where illicit goods are often traded | ENCA, Germany

Hebrew University launches cannabis research centre with high aspirations

The university in Jerusalem will expand its marijuana research, in a bid to take a leading role in the burgeoning field | Jewish Times, Israel

Trump Signs Bill To Expand Drug Testing Of Unemployment Benefit Applicants

Opponents of the new law suspect that it may violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution | The Fix, USA

Recovery bulletin: technology edition

Analyses of a variety of web-based and mobile interventions for alcohol , drug and tobacco use reduction | Reaserch Recovery Review, USA

When Heroin Almost Took My Life, My Phone Saved It

At the end, there were only two things I cared about: the bag of heroin on my glass-topped coffee table, and the cell phone next to it. They were my two life lines | Huffington Post, USA

Addicts Who Can't Get Opioids Are Overdosing on a Diarrhea Drug

“We’ve had patients tell us they take 400 to 500 tablets day … They put it in a blender and make a smoothie and drink it over one or two hours.” | Atlantic, USA

Free naloxone distributed in hope opioid overdoses can be averted

The woman approached Savannah Brenneke before she began her program on the opioid antidote naloxone, which included free doses of the drug for anyone who needed them | Chicago Tribune, USA

Syringe access and naloxone are needed to prevent drug-related fatalities and disease transmission

Sirens echo throughout Civic Center Plaza around 11 a.m. Friday. A young man has collapsed on the pavement after stepping out of a Jeep Cherokee parked in front of the Main Public Library, his face a gruesome shade of blue. Seeing his immobile body, onlookers presume he has died of a drug overdose | San Francisco News, USA

The war on tobacco is far from over, with control policies needing renewal, warn experts

The latest estimates on smoking prevalence from the Global Burden of Disease collaboration show that although tobacco control programmes have been effective, the ever increasing population has meant worldwide smoking prevalence is still on the increase | News Medical, USA

The Costa Rica Model: Why Decriminalization of Drug Use Sometimes Isn’t Enough

For a country reeling from drug trade violence, decriminalizing the use of drugs has done little to help | VICE, USA

How Jeff Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs

When the Obama administration launched a sweeping policy to reduce harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, rave reviews came from across the political spectrum. Civil rights groups and the Koch brothers praised Obama for his efforts, saying he was making the criminal justice system more humane | Washington Post, USA

Slim and stylish: how tobacco companies hooked women by “feminizing” cigarettes

In the 1920s, Lucky Strike unveiled a new advertising campaign that was credited with increasing the brand’s cigarettes sales more than 300 percent in the first year. The slogan: “Reach for a lucky instead of a sweet.” | Truth Initiative, USA

Overdose deaths on pace to hit 400 in Vancouver

Despite all efforts to provide support and assistance to intravenous drug users, people are dying of overdoses at twice the tragic rate of last year in Vancouver | Vancouver Sun, Canada

New Directions

Latest research news from Members of the Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) building an evidence base that underpins the treatment, prevention, and epidemiology of comorbid mental health and substance use disorders | CREM, Australia

Seventeen callers a day turning to WA's fledgling Meth Helpline

Functioning “ice” users maintaining a job and family life are among the 17 callers a day turning to the State’s fledgling Meth Helpline for support | Perth Now, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The next drug strategy

It is still not clear to any of us what has happened to the expected Drug Strategy which we originally thought would land before Christmas – but we hope that it will arrive soon | CGL, UK

Where is the drugs strategy?

Trying to get a response from Government about when the drug strategy will be published seems increasingly like expecting a sensible response from an Alice in Wonderland character | Blenheim Blog, UK

The Importance of Talking

The risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use | Blenheim Blog, UK

Fidelma Cook: The demonisation of e-cigarettes is self-defeating

It is two years to the month that I had my last cigarette. Two years since I conceded, when faced with the evidence, that my precious friend was the enemy after all and was killing me | Herald opinion, UK

Ronnie's story

“Life without alcohol is brilliant, it’s like a big fluffy world I have not seen before. I’m noticing things for the first time, smells, fresh air and I don’t feel isolated anymore. I used to drink to get more confidence but I don’t need it, all my confidence has come back without it. With alcohol you put on a mask. Addaction helps you take off the mask and become a real person, someone you can start liking and loving." | Addaction, UK

Fighting the harm from opioids

Syringe access and naloxone are needed to prevent drug-related fatalities and disease transmission | Pittsburgh Post Gazette opinion, USA

4 Things Reporters Get Terribly Wrong About "New" Drugs

In recent years, there has been increasing media attention on drugs known as “K2”, “bath salts”, fentanyl, “molly”, and others. Unfortunately, much of the coverage – even by some of the most well-meaning journalists – contains misinformation and inaccurate or misleading terminology. This all serves to perpetuate unfounded myths and unhelpful hysteria about these substances | DPA Blog, USA

Heroin made life bearable – at the same time as it nearly killed me

I have just read Carolyn Cage's lament for the loss her North Richmond community | Age comment, Australia

Make drugs boring

Wiser heads in cleverer countries have adopted the approach of making drugs boring | Age letter, Australia