Daily news -6th February 2017

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UK news

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2015 (second provisional)

Personal injury drink drive accident statistics in Great Britain for 2015 | Department for Transport, UK

Scottish Government urged to introduce new drug-driving measures as shocking new research reveals one in five driver fatalities

The new analysis, based on toxicology reports from driver and motorcyclists killed in road accidents across Scotland over three years, found one in five cases tested positive for alcohol consumption. The same number tested positive for cannabis - with one in five fatalities linked to the drug | Herald, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect to publish their new drugs strategy | They work for you, UK

Help Shape the Future: Multiple Needs Summit 8-9 May 2017 in Milton Keynes

Every Drug Strategy since John Major’s government has acknowledged that tackling drug dependence in isolation – without engaging with mental ill health, homelessness, offending, and lack of employment – is at best a job half done and has the potential to completely undermine the effectiveness of treatment | Collective Voice, UK

Alcohol Harm — [Robert Flello in the Chair]

I beg to move, That this House  has considered tackling alcohol harm | They work for you, UK

British smokers are switching to e-cigarettes faster than anyone else in Europe

Since 2013, one person has switched from traditional smoking to so-called vaping every four minutes in the UK, according to new research from EY | City AM, UK

Five ill in Lincoln after taking illegal drugs

Lincolnshire Police said that some of those affected were treated in hospital before being discharged | BBC, UK

Hull drug warning after 'unusually high' number of deaths

A warning has been issued after an "unusually high" number of deaths connected to drug use in Hull | BBC, UK

How can families help relatives with an addiction? - video

We hear from former heroin addict Paul Husband and his father Tony | BBC, UK [see also Cartoonist Tony Husband draws heroin addict son's recovery | BBC, UK]

Rescue horses help ex-soldiers recover

Rescue horses from a sanctuary in Liverpool are helping veterans overcome drug and alcohol addiction | BBC, UK

Welcome to FDAP members [Letter to FDAP members from SMMGP] (PDF)

SMMGP will take over the membership and accreditation function of FDAP from the 1st February. Our aim is for there to be as little disruption as possible for FDAP members during this period of transition. [MS Word version of letter] | SMMGP, UK

Action on Smoking and Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many (a) complaints, (b) Freedom on Information requests and (c) Parliamentary Questions concerning the group Action on Smoking and Health his Department has dealt with in each year since 2010 | They work for you, UK

Wirral joins scheme to tackle alcohol-related crime

Wirral Council has pledged its commitment to tackle issues of alcohol-related crime and health harm by signing up to a government programme | Wirral Globe, UK

Doncaster Recovery Games looking for sponsors

Doncaster’s drug and alcohol service is looking for sponsors to help stage its fourth annual Recovery Games | ASPIRE, UK

Blenheim wins contract in Enfield

Blenheim, in partnership with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH) have won a bid, commissioned by Enfield Council, for a new integrated drug and alcohol service in Enfield | Blenheim, UK

Blood Borne Virus Training: Enhancing the role of services across Greater Glasgow and Clyde

This one day training course, provided at no cost, raises awareness of key issues relating to blood borne viruses (BBV). Its main focus will be on hepatitis C, although relevant issues relating to hepatitis B and HIV will also be explored. It will enable workers to engage more competently and confidently with service users and professionals on a range of issues related to BBV with particular emphasis on risks associated with drug use | Hepatitis Scotland, UK

Stop and search: police 'unacceptably slow' to comply with new rules

Emergency inspection found four forces were still breaking rules aimed at ending discrimination against black people | Guardian, UK

How Gangs are Exploiting Children to do their Dirty Work

Children as young as 12 have been reported to be doing drug runs in London. Targeting the most vulnerable young people in society – usually looked-after children or those already known to social services – organised crime gangs are using grooming tactics to coerce, manipulate and force young children into criminality to pay off unwanted debts | Volte Face, UK

Fumbling Around in the Dark

In preparation for the release of Volteface’s investigation into existing support for problematic cannabis use, we contacted a leading substance practitioner for a candid interview on the opportunities and challenges in the field. Here is what they had to say | Volte Face, UK

Dark side of hedonism: a rock journalist’s battle with drug addiction

As a young journalist, Barney Hoskyns mingled with rock ’n’ roll’s brightest stars. Then heroin got the better of him. But it was finally confronting his all-consuming addiction that gave him the biggest high of all | Guardian, UK

Grieving aristocrat calls for legal cannabis and a 'war on skunk' after losing second son

A grieving aristocrat has called for the decriminalisation of cannabis following the loss of his second son, who committed suicide after becoming addicted to a potent form of the drug | Telegraph, UK

'As a homeless teen, I had relationships with older men just to get off the streets'

Melissa* first self-harmed at the age of eight – after her dad dragged her up the stairs by her hair. At 16 her mum told her: “You are not coming back to this house. We have changed the locks.” Now homeless, she thought she had no option but to live with abusive, drink and drug-taking men | Independent, UK

Pilot arrested on toilet jailed for cocaine smuggle plot

A Dutch pilot arrested in a hotel toilet with his trousers down has been jailed along with his accomplice for smuggling £2.4m of cocaine into the UK | BBC, UK

'Major dealer' jailed over drugs plot in Southampton

A man who was described in court as a "significant, major dealer" has been jailed for eight years for leading a "sophisticated" drugs plot | BBC, UK

M6 driver's cannabis wafted into Cumbria Police car

A man was caught driving on the M6 under the influence of drugs when cannabis smoke from his car wafted into the vents of a following police car | BBC, UK

Arrests after drugs police raid Renfrewshire homes

Six people have been arrested after a series of drugs raids at homes across Renfrewshire | BBC, UK

Drink driving death policewoman MacSherry jailed

An off-duty policewoman from County Tyrone has been sentenced to nine years in jail for causing a fatal crash while twice over the legal alcohol limit | BBC, UK


International news

'Extinction therapy' could help smokers kick habit, study suggests

Technique aims to help smokers ‘unlearn’ associations that drive addiction by exposing them to triggers, such as footage of people smoking | Guardian, UK

Johnson Matthey's sales dented at America goes 'cold turkey' from painkillers

Middle America's attempt to go “cold turkey” in order to quit its addiction to painkillers has proved a headache for Johnson Matthey | Telegraph, UK

Six men arrested after 1.4 tonnes of cocaine seized from yacht off Sydney

Men face prospect of life imprisonment if convicted over what police say is the biggest cocaine seizure in Australia | Guardian, UK

Police tell Namibians: 'Don't drink and walk'

Pedestrians in Namibia's capital are being warned that they'll be breathalysed if they are unlucky enough to be hit by a car, it's reported | BBC, UK

Cyprus Set to Provide Cannabis Oil to Cancer Patients

Cyprus’ health minister has announced that cannabis oil will be provided to people suffering from advanced stages of cancer | Talking Drugs, UK

What a Filipino Can Learn from Thailand’s Drug Policy

The year is off to an interesting start for the future of Thailand’s drug policy. On January 5, officials gathered for a two-day conference entitled Drug Education: Social Skills for Harm Reduction, to discuss lessons learned from their drug policies and how to move forward | Talking Drugs, UK

Hemp: how one little plant could boost America's economy

The plant is almost magical, advocates say, with a range of applications from paper to medicine. So why is it illegal to grow? | Guardian, UK

Irish laboratories can't keep up with rising number of deaths from synthetic drugs, expert warns

Assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said deaths by synthetic drugs are becoming increasingly common | Irish Mirror, Ireland

Drug deaths: ‘They aren’t just addicts. They’re people’s kids’

Almost all the families at a commemoration in Dublin have lost loved ones to drugs | Irish Times, Ireland

'He went to jail at 17 for driving without tax and picked up heroin'

Drug deaths: Almost all the families at a commemoration in Dublin have lost loved ones to drugs | Irish Times, Ireland

The behind-the-scenes machinations shaping the government’s new alcohol laws

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill aims to impose restrictions on alcohol advertising in Ireland | Journal, Ireland

Massive Price Hike for Lifesaving Opioid Overdose Antidote

Suddenly in demand, naloxone injector goes from $690 to $4,500 | Scientific American, USA

WA Labor, Libs match meth dealer penalties

Tough penalties for methamphetamine dealers are proving a central theme in the WA election campaign, with the major parties backing and matching each other's plans | News.com.au, Australia

DORA makes a difference in saving Tassie lives

An average of 40 patient red-flag “interventions” are being made in Tasmania every day by doctors, pharmacists and health regulators to stop the potential fatal misuse of prescription drugs | Mercury, Australia

Fentanyl: drug that killed Prince has hit the streets of WA

A lethal synthetic drug up to 1000 times stronger than heroin has hit WA streets and been implicated in a spate of deaths | Perth Now, Australia

Florida Dope Haul: Seized Heroin Packets Bear Trump’s Image

Drug enforcement agents in Florida had a weird hail-to-the-chief moment when they seized 5,500 packets of heroin and discovered that some of them were stamped with Donald Trump’s image and name | Huffington Post, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Interesting things about alcohol and other drugs: February 2017

Andrew Brown (@andrewbrown365) rounds up new data related to alcohol and other drugs, including statistics from Public Health England on young people receiving specialist support for drug and alcohol problems | MEAM, UK

Are UK opioid substitution treatment agencies fit for purpose?

Specific treatments account for the smallest element of the addiction treatment outcome variance, and effective delivery of these treatments requires the prerequisites of organizational support and therapist competence. Psychosocial interventions have different parts to play in opioid substitution treatment depending on the particular goals and duration of substitution | Addiction commentary, UK

Spousal support can prevent alcohol abuse

A lack of spousal support can lead people to develop alcohol problems following their divorce, a new study suggests | Marilyn Stowe Blog, UK

I discovered I was a 'dry drunk'. Could you be one too?

Last week marked the end of Dry January as many call it. For me, it’s more of the same, which is to say, none of the same. I am what they call a "dry drunk" - someone who has given up. For now | Telegraph, UK

Vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Ireland - consultation response in five quotes

On 5th January, Ireland’s Health Information and Quality Authority published a draft Health Technology Assessment on smoking cessation interventions with a press release. The assessment was positive about e-cigarettes | Counterfactual Blog, UK

Papers published on controlling behaviours linked to UK Policy

The UK government has now included controlling behaviour and coercive control as offences in its Violence against Women and Girls Strategy. [The second paper] argues that further research is needed to consider the extent to which substance use intoxication and related behaviours (craving, purchasing and sharing substances) may make controlling behaviours more likely amongst substance users and that controlling behaviours and TFA should be included in interventions to address IPV perpetration in this population | KCL Blog, UK

Why cities should stop arresting crack users and help them instead

In Brazil, a drug programme in the northeastern state of Pernambuco has provided some 7,000 marginalised, often homeless crack-cocaine users with housing, health care, psychological support, and job training since 2011 — without requiring that they stop using drugs | Conversation, Brazil

Why Reporters Shouldn’t Speculate on the Cause of Drug-Related Incidents and how Pill Testing can Help

On the 15th of January, Steve Lillebuen reported in The Age  that more than 20 people partying in the Chapel Street district were taken to hospital over the weekend due to a “bad batch of Ecstasy” that may have led to at least one death | AOD Media Watch, Australia

Twelve myths about e-cigarettes that failed to impress the TGA

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) last week rejected an application to liberalise the scheduling of nicotine (see from page 71) | Conversation, Australia