Daily news - 10th February 2017

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UK news

2017 NDTMS reporting consultation

Public Health England (PHE) is keen to gather information on how NDTMS (National Drug Monitoring Treatment System) management reports, which are hosted on report viewer, are being used in the current operating environment and whether they are still fit for purpose. The consultation will be open from Wednesday 8th February 2017 until Friday 31st March 2017 | PHE, UK

Measuring and evidencing the social value of the Mersey Care People Participation Programme

There are cultural changes occurring in the use of volunteering, with the literature highlighting that volunteers are integral (rather than an add-on) to health and social care organisations. Since the 1990s, policy has been reflecting this growing change in the roles and responsibilities of volunteers in the provision of health and social care services and volunteers having an active role in communities | PHI, UK

An evaluation of the Mersey Care Professional Advice Area

In April 2015, Mersey Care obtained funding for one year to set up an Enterprise and Employment (EE) Hub. This hub aimed to help service users on their path to employment and to help link up Mersey Care services with local employment support services and recruiting businesses | PHI, UK

Music gives you the same high as sex and drugs, says study

Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll are even more closely linked than we realised | NME, UK

It’s Time To Take Back Control

It is impossible to imagine the grieving any parent must endure when they lose a child in tragic circumstances. To lose two is just too unbearable to contemplate | Volte Face, UK

Take-Home Naloxone 2017: Revolution, Convolutions & Necessary Evolutions

Free event. Fri 10 March 2017. 10:00 – 16:30 GMT. Wolfson Lecture Theatre, IoPPN. King's College London | KCL, UK

Llanelli heroin abuse 'epidemic', judge warns

Heroin abuse in parts of south Wales has reached "epidemic" proportions, a judge has warned | ITV, UK

Gangland criminals are sending teenagers to Swansea from London to sell heroin, court hears

A 15-YEAR-OLD teenager has admitted possessing and intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin on Swansea's Kingsway - in what a court has heard was related to London drug gangs targeting the city | South Wales Evening Post, UK

Legal high addict dies due to drugs two years after warning others of the risks

A former legal high addict who campaigned to warn of the risks has died after taking a cocktail of drugs | Metro, UK

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s triumphs and failures in long battle to beat addiction to cocaine and cigarettes

Socialite battled with cocaine addiction and even tried to quit smoking | Mirror, UK

Car salesman caught with £330,000 of cocaine and heroin

A car salesman with debt and gambling problems was caught with cocaine and heroin with an estimated street value of £330,000, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Man who swallowed 100 cocaine packages jailed

A man from Birmingham who swallowed 100 packages of cocaine and tried to smuggle them into the UK through Stansted Airport has been jailed | ITV, UK


International news

Material for billion ecstasy pills seized in Netherlands

Police in the Netherlands say they have seized a haul of raw drugs material that would have been enough to make a billion ecstasy pills | BBC, UK

The cannabis-growing colonel of Italy - video

In most countries, the authorities arrest anyone growing large quantities of cannabis. But in Italy, the army does something different: it grows the plant itself – for medical use | BBC, UK

Peru's government proposes to legalise medical marijuana

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski says plan stems from Lima police raid on house where group of parents were found growing marijuana to make oil to treat children's epilepsy | Independent, UK

Canadian Police Reject Proposals for Homegrown Cannabis

“Hold off on home grows” is the main point that the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) are advocating, as the Canadian government makes preparations for cannabis legalisation in the coming months | Volte Face, UK

Women in Weed: Breaking the ‘Grass Ceiling’

On December 1st 2015 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which means that I have a degenerative autoimmune disease affecting the nerve endings in my brain and spinal cord | Volte Face, UK

Cannabis should be used to treat some conditions, report says

Cannabis should be made available to treat a limited number of medical conditions, despite the lack of evidence for its effectiveness and safety, a Government-commissioned review has recommended | Irish Times, Ireland

Opioids are driving increase in cocaine overdose deaths

An examination of national trend data shows that heroin and synthetic opioids are driving a recent increase in cocaine-related overdose deaths | NIDA, USA

Recreational amphetamine use may hasten biological aging of the heart

The use of recreational amphetamine, popularly known as 'speed,' 'ice,' and 'ecstasy,' may hasten the biological ageing of the heart, suggests research, published in the online journal Heart Asia | Medical Xpress, USA

Can Marijuana Cure Cancer? Pharmaceutical Company Developing Cannabis Medicine To Treat Brain Cancer

Medical marijuana has proven to be a great benefit for people suffering from debilitating conditions and chronic illnesses. However, GW Pharmaceuticals has been cooking up what may be the first cannabis-based therapy. It could also be an effective way to treat a severely destructive form of brain cancer, according to Tuesday reports | IBTimes, USA

A PTSD Drug? Ketamine May Prevent Heightened Fear Response Associated With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The study shows that ketamine may be a useful alternative therapy for soldiers and others with PTSD who frequently experience harrowing psychological trauma as part of their disorder | Medical Daily, USA

Pain during alcohol withdrawal: Electroacupuncture may help

Hyperalgesia refers to an increased sensitivity to pain. It can occur during alcohol withdrawal, and may contribute to a relapse to drinking. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and electroacupuncture (EA; which combines acupuncture with electrical stimulation) are effective in reducing pain and, possibly, alcohol-withdrawal symptoms | Science Daily, USA

Trump's Criminal Justice Executive Orders Build on a Week of Dangerous Rhetoric and Counterproductive Policies

Instead of Building Walls and Threatening Crackdown, Advocates Call for Health-Based Approach to Reduce Overdose and Incarceration | DPA, USA

Safe-injection sites necessary for Montreal, mayor says

'What would you prefer: To have syringes all over the place?' Coderre tells critics | CBC news, Canada

Stereotypes shackle recovering drug users

A study led by University of Queensland School of Psychology researcher Dr Courtney von Hippel found that recovering drug addicts who believe they are the target of stereotypes find it harder to function within society | University of Queensland, Australia

'Meth will come into your dreams': Ex-ice user shares harrowing past 

Meth is haunting, it knocks on the door, it taps on the mind," ex-ice user Jonathan Clark says | Age, Australia

Vic prisons rife with drugs

Victorian prisons are rife with drugs, with one in 10 inmates failing substance tests | news.com.au, Australia

“Hey kid…want a beer with your schnitty?” Crazy law lets Victorian pubs serve alcohol to children

A review of Victoria’s liquor laws has highlighted a number of outlandish deficiencies and serious health concerns, including an archaic provision that allows underage children to legally drink alcohol in pubs and clubs | fare, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Ambulance services on board to promote public health

The millions of interactions that paramedics and ambulance staff have with patients and the public provide a valuable opportunity to improve health and wellbeing among the most vulnerable people in society | PHE Blog, UK

Bridging gaps in hepatitis c awareness and diagnosis

If ever there was an area of healthcare where place-based care could have a major impact on local public health gains it is the identification and treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients | NLGN Blog, UK

Would legalisation improve support for problematic cannabis users?

Are problem cannabis users invisible to services? | Russell Webster, UK

Stop the junk science on vaping. E-cigarettes don’t turn kids into smokers

Ever since e-cigarettes became mainstream consumer products circa 2012, there has been a steady flow of anti-vaping scare stories | Spectator Blog, UK

Your thoughts on transforming rehabilitation

Since Transforming Rehabilitation changed the face of probation services, Clinks has been tracking the voluntary sector’s role alongside Community Rehabilitation Companies and the National Probation Service. The new trackTR survey is open, and I’d urge you to respond. We’re going to keep it open until 31st March to allow you time to respond. It really does make a difference | Clinks blog, UK

As U.S. States Decriminalize Marijuana, Mexico’s Drug War Rages On

In August of 2016, Aarón Valencia and his family fled to the United States amid the violence of Mexico’s drug war. Gangs had threatened to force two of his children into organized crime in his home state of Michoacán, and seeking refuge in the United States seemed his only option | Open Society Foundations, USA

New Jersey's Historic Bail Reform Law is Now in Effect and It's Already Keeping Thousands Out of Jail

In these challenging times, it is important to celebrate our victories in the fields of criminal justice, civil rights and racial justice.  So I want to share the great news about the first full month of New Jersey’s historic bail reform law implementation | BPA Blog, USA

Huge cocaine busts don't affect drug supply. We need another way

It's reasonable to assume that huge drug busts, such as Monday's seizure of 1.4 tonnes of cocaine, will deal a heavy blow to the drug's availability here | Brisbane Times, Australia


And finally...

If the individual is depressed...

Amphetamine was successfully marketed as the first antidepressant in the late 1930s and 1940s, together with a particular understanding of depression as anhedonia | Old Pics Archive, USA