Daily news -27th April 2017

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UK news

Two Hull deaths 'caused by contaminated heroin'

Two people in Hull were killed by contaminated heroin that had made it more potent, police have confirmed | BBC, UK

Mortality risk during and after opioid substitution treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies

To compare the risk for all cause and overdose mortality in people with opioid dependence during and after substitution treatment with methadone or buprenorphine and to characterise trends in risk of mortality after initiation and cessation of treatment | BMJ, UK

New alcohol marketing report suspects foul play

The Arsenal Emirates Stadium saw the launch of a new report, Foul Play? Alcohol marketing during UEFA Euro 2016 (PDF), which highlighted how alcohol producers worked to circumvent legislation designed to protect children during the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament | IAS, UK

Plain tobacco packaging 'may cut smokers by 300,000 in UK'

Plain cigarette packaging could lead to 300,000 fewer smokers in the UK over the next year, a major review suggests | BBC, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the number of people who (a) have been smokers in each of the last five years and (b) quit smoking in the last 12 months | They work for you, UK

Novel Psychoactive Substances

If she will review the effectiveness of legislation relating to novel psychoactive substances | They work for you, UK

Wealthy students turning houses into clubs in new drug-fuelled 'super party' craze, police warn

Police are warning of a new craze of student "super-parties"where wealthy undergraduates are turning houses into mini-nightclubs for youngsters to take powerful drugs | Telegraph, UK

Drugs Wheel update

The Drugs Wheel has been updated to version 2.0.4 to include three SCRAs not covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act | Mark Adley, UK

Watch: Mike Power Talks About the Green Screen Report

Finally, there is a 21st century proposal for a legal digital cannabis market in the UK, put forward by our latest report, Green Screen by Mike Power | Volte Face, UK

Ketamine Could Help Fight Treatment-Resistant Depression

Each year, more people are seeking professional help for their mental health issues. With the NHS struggling to meet the increasing demand for mental health services and with waiting lists for psychological help as long as 1-2 years, GPs are prescribing ever more antidepressant medication. As a result, the number of people taking these pills has doubled in a decade | Volte Face, UK

Inside the UK's Secret Cannabis Coffee Shops

I went on a tour of the clandestine smoke spots operating up and down the country | VICE, UK

The mind-altering trip of acid countess Amanda Feilding

Amanda Feilding drilled a hole in her head and fell in love with a pigeon. Now, after five decades of pioneering research into drugs, scientists are finally catching up to her ideas | Huck Magazine, UK

Hull council could soon BAN smoking in children's play areas

The move has been agreed by senior councillors as part of a new strategy covering the management and operation of open spaces in the city | Hull Daily Mail, UK

Home Bargains car park victim killed in 'gang revenge'

A man killed a rival drugs gang member in a knife attack at a Home Bargains car park and said "we got him good", a murder trial has heard | BBC, UK

Stevenage pair sentenced for drug offences

A man and woman have been sentenced for drug offences after being arrested in connection with a murder inquiry | BBC, UK


International news

'Mass murder' complaint filed against Philippines' President Duterte at ICC

Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio launches action over ‘terrifying, gruesome and disastrous’ drug war that has left more than 7,000 people dead | Guardian, UK

Meet the Harm Reduction Worker Who Called Out Trudeau on the Opioid Crisis

“It’s a national disaster, you are not doing enough. The bodies keep mounting.” | VICE, UK

Failure to publish tobacco and alcohol submissions to drugs policy review 'alarming', say experts

Public Health Research & Practice journal says not disclosing content of companies’ submissions may breach World Health Organisation convention | Guardian, UK

Australians worry about alcohol abuse, survey says

The vast majority of Australians worry that national drinking habits are excessive, according to new research. [See also Australian items below] | BBC, UK

Get the message: why it all 'ads' up in critical drive for safer roads

We are often asked if road safety advertising works? The answer is, yes, absolutely | Independent, Ireland

Headshop drug treatments fell 50% after ban in 2010

The number of people treated for abusing former headshop drugs dropped dramatically following the introduction of laws effectively banning the trade, research indicates | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Moonshine: A Global History review: Drink up before your head explodes

Call it poitín, hooch, white lightning: Illicit booze has always driven us to madness | Irish Times, Ireland

US Adult Illicit Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder, and Medical Marijuana Laws

Are US state medical marijuana laws one of the underlying factors for increases in risk for adult cannabis use and cannabis use disorders seen since the early 1990s? | JAMA, USA

Study links cannabis use in adolescence to schizophrenia

Scientists believe that schizophrenia, a disorder caused by an imbalance in the brain's chemical reactions, is triggered by a genetic interaction with environmental factors. A new Tel Aviv University study published in Human Molecular Genetics now points to cannabis as a trigger for schizophrenia | Medical Xpress, USA

Study: Drivers killed in crashes more likely to be on drugs than alcohol

Drivers who are killed in car crashes are now more likely to be on drugs than alcohol, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) | The Hill, USA

ER health promotion advocates help teens struggling with substance use get treatment

Health promotion advocates in the pediatric emergency room serve as a vital resource for young people experimenting with substances and linking them with necessary resources and treatment, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) | Medical Xpress, USA

Why Some Young People Combine Smoking And Drinking

A new study’s findings could have implications for helping people quit smoking | Huffington Post, USA

More Botulism Cases Tied to Heroin 'Skin Popping'

Fifteen cases over 10-year period in El Paso, Texas | MedPage Today, USA

Will Online Sales Kill the Cannabis Dispensary?

Will legal cannabis soon be as easy as point, click, and wait by the door for the delivery guy? | Leafly, USA

Annual alcohol poll 2017: Attitudes and behaviours

Aussies are growing increasingly worried about the negative impacts of alcohol, with the majority believing Australia has a problem with alcohol abuse | FARE, Australia

Australia's drinking culture exposed in national report

About a million Australian children are harmed as a result of their carer’s drinking, a report on the nation’s relationship with alcohol shows | News.com.au, Australia

IDRS Drug Trends Bulletin April 2017: Forms of methamphetamine used in SA and recent use over time 2007-2016

Nine hundred and nighty-nine IDRS participants were interviewed in SA from 2007-2016. Demographics across the years have remained relatively stable. Over the last decade, recent use of ‘any’ form of methamphetamine has remained high and fairly consistent | NDARC, Australia

Call for "vaping" to be age restricted to over 21's

Tighter controls on electronic cigarettes - including a minimum purchasing age of 21 and fears "vaping" could encourage people to start smoking - are among submissions to Parliament's health select committee | NZHerald, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

Clive Bates received an invitation from China to buy 99% strength USP nicotine. This is what was bound to happen when as Clive points out “the super-caution of regulators over hypothetical and negligible risks can turn out to be reckless abandon in real life” | NSP Blog, UK

Interesting new drug facts (April 2017)

Drug-related hospital admissions | Rusell Webster, UK

What does the alcohol industry mean by ‘responsible drinking’?

If we're clear about anything, it's that the term ‘responsible drinking’ is consistently vague, writes Nason Maani-Hessari | IAS Blog, UK

When a Client Dies

I am part of a team that supports vulnerable people in the community. Some have chaotic lives, mental health problems, or drug and alcohol problems. One client, James was typical in many ways—a former drug user who, though clean for many years, suffered from mental health problems and the effects of poverty | Medium, UK

The Failed ‘War on Drugs’

A remarkable event went almost unnoticed over the Easter weekend – Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, introduced a Bill to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. Only one other country – tiny Uruguay in South America – has completely legalised cannabis as a consumer product, although eight US states have done so to various extents. Portugal decriminalised all drugs in 2001. There, drug use among the 15-24 year-old population has declined steeply, as have drug-related deaths | Transform Blog, UK

British American Tobacco: A “Killer” in Africa

While tobacco consumption globally is decreasing, in the coming decades the number of smokers in Africa is anticipated to rise by nearly 40% from 2010 levels. This is the largest expected increase in the world | Medium, UK

Music Is The Drug: The Sober Festival Experience

First, let me put this out there: this piece isn’t intended to be pro-sobriety or pro-drugs. I am proudly pro-choice in this matter. I believe each of us is entitled to make our own decisions and learn along the way—it’s your life and your journey! | DanceSafe Blog, USA



And finally...

Silicon Valley security robot attacked by drunk man - police

The 300lb (136kg) robot raised the alarm after it was allegedly knocked over by 41-year-old Jason Sylvain. Mr Sylvain has been charged with public intoxication in the 19 April incident. The robot suffered a few scratches, but has "recuperated" and is back on patrol, said Knightscope | BBC, UK