Daily news - 13th February 2017

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UK news

Increase in reports of drug and alcohol use around children

The NSPCC’s helpline has seen a rise in the number of people reporting drug and alcohol use around children over the last three years. 1,176 people from the North West contacted the charity last year to describe potential substance misuse amongst adults when children and young people were in their care or nearby | ITV, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of deaths from illegal drug use | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to produce a new alcohol strategy | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of availability of naloxone to treat drug-related disorders in (a) England, (b) the North West and (c) Lancashire | They work for you, UK


To ask the First Minister what legislation is in place to deal with drug-driving | They work for you, UK

The 'rich tapestry' of alcohol consumption: insights into heavy drinking

Understanding alcohol consumption trends, especially among heavy drinking groups, is undoubtedly central to alcohol policy debates across the UK, but unveiling the complexity and nature of alcohol use across society is no mean feat | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what response he plans to make to the Public Health England report which found minimum unit pricing to be a targeted intervention having the greatest effect on heavy drinkers while having a minimal effect on moderate drinkers | They work for you, UK

'Concern' of e-cigarette use among children in Wales

Children are nearly twice as likely to try e-cigarettes rather than tobacco, Cardiff University research has said | BBC, UK

Cross-sectional study examining the prevalence, correlates and sequencing of electronic cigarette and tobacco use among 11–16-year olds in schools in Wales

To examine the prevalence and frequency of electronic (e)-cigarette use among young people in Wales, associations with socio-demographic characteristics, smoking and other substances and the sequencing of e-cigarette and tobacco use | BMJ, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders on the early years development of children, their behaviours and their life chances | They work for you, UK

This is what happens to your body when you stop smoking

We all know what havoc smoking wreaks on the body. Move along please, nothing new to see there. But did you also know what quitting smoking does to your body? | Indy 100, UK

Llamas among farm animals being used in the long term recovery of drug addicts and alcoholics

Pigs, ducks, horses and dogs in the small rescue sanctuary are also all being used therapeutically after owners contacted a recovery service to see if they could help | Mirror, UK

LSD Brainwave and Sound Art Hackathon

Since the 60s the prohibition of drugs has stifled scientists ability to research the potential benefits of mind altering drugs such as LSD. The stigma attached to researching the drugs makes it challenging to get grants and expensive to conduct the research as the drugs need to be made bespoke for the trials | Volte Face, UK

UK set for cannabis boom as GW Pharma storms ahead

The UK could become the world’s biggest grower and processor of cannabis plants destined for use in prescription medications after one of the country’s most promising biotechs announced plans to ramp up its production of the plant | Telegraph, UK

Banned Khat drug 'pushed underground' in Wales, users say

A plant outlawed in 2014 is still easy to obtain but the price has gone up and the quality down, users have said | BBC, UK

Intelligent Fingerprinting secures £3 million funding for portable drug screening

Intelligent Fingerprinting has received a funding boost to market its fingerprint-based drug screening system further. It is the world’s first portable drug screening system that relies only upon a testee’s fingerprint to determine what drug substances have passed through their system | Pharmafile, UK

£50m of cocaine washes up on two Norfolk beaches

Around £50 million worth of cocaine has washed up on two beaches in Norfolk, the National Crime Agency has revealed | ITV, UK

Man's arrest bid to smuggle drugs into jail

A man who deliberately got arrested in an attempt to smuggle up to £20,000 worth of heroin into prison has been jailed for three years | BBC, UK

College denies condoning drugs after publishing guide on snorting coke

A College has denied condoning drug use after it gave students detailed advice on how to snort cocaine and take other drugs | Deadline, UK

The terrifying truth about the Spice epidemic ripping through Manchester's streets

Special Investigation: How the drug is leading to gang rape, prostitution and death on the streets of Manchester | Manchester Evening News, UK

'I got into legal highs and it has ruined my life' - who are Newcastle's hidden homeless?

In a controversial campaign launched last year Newcastle City Council told how 96% of beggars were not homeless | Chronicle, UK

Four held over 50,000-canister 'laughing gas' haul

Four people have been arrested after police discovered 50,000 canisters of nitrous oxide at a Manchester property | BBC, UK

Fire breaks out at Walsall Wood 'cannabis factory'

Firefighters have been tackling a blaze at the scene of a suspected cannabis factory | BBC, UK

[Free event] Engaging with Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

To celebrate National Apprenticeships Week the University of Kent's Centre for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships will be hosting a half-day event examining the opportunities and advantages of higher and degree apprenticeships and strategies for effective engagement [including Degree apprenticeship for drug treatment workers] | University of Kent, UK

‘To combat homelessness, we need to count the hidden homeless too'

Many of the ‘hidden homeless’ are not appearing in Government statistics says Centrepoint’s Gaia Marcus | Independent, UK

The Great War And The Cocaine Panic in Britain

Although the French accused the Germans of smuggling cocaine in order to deliberately weaken the French race, it was in Britain that the truly nationwide drug panic broke out | Volte Face, UK


International news

Demographic trends among older cannabis users in the United States, 2006–13

The ageing US population is providing an unprecedented population of older adults who use recreational drugs. We aimed to estimate the trends in the prevalence of past-year use of cannabis, describe the patterns and attitudes and determine correlates of cannabis use by adults age 50 years and older | Addiction, UK

Who Smokes More? Compared With Men, Women Marijuana Users' Cannabis Consumption Makes Gains

Marijuana consumption has been increasing among women, according to a new study conducted by Eaze, a service that allows medical marijuana users to purchase home-delivered products from their favorite dispensaries. One out of every three marijuana consumers were women, according to the company's annual “State of Cannabis” report released Wednesday | IBTimes, UK

'Legalise cocaine to beat drug gangs' says Brazilian Supreme Court judge

Justice Roberto Barroso, speaking in an interview with Reuters, said it was necessary to 'legalise marijuana now,' rather than spending billions of dollars fighting its use | IBTimes, UK

Ireland to legalise cannabis for specific medical conditions

Patients with multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy, or undergoing chemotherapy could be given drug despite safety fears | Guardian, UK

Cannabis for Medical Use - A Scientific Review (PDF)

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) convened an expert working group to assist with its review of the potential medical use of cannabis, as requested by the Minister for Health | Health Products Regulatory Authority, Ireland

Facebook page threatens vigilante strikes on drug dealers in Cork

A senior Garda spokesman confirmed last night that they are aware of page which was set up in recent days, and which has posted several threats of direct action against dealers and users in the Mahon suburb | Breaking News, Ireland

Smoke-free public housing cuts secondhand fumes

Secondhand smoke exposure has dropped dramatically among public housing residents in Philadelphia since the introduction of a smoke-free policy, a new study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

System change interventions for smoking cessation

System change interventions for smoking cessation are policies and practices designed by organizations to integrate the identification of smokers and the subsequent offering of evidence-based nicotine dependence treatments into usual care. Such strategies have the potential to improve the provision of smoking cessation support in healthcare settings, and cessation outcomes among those who use them | Cochrane Library, USA

Of Course Trump's Health Secretary Is a Friend of Big Tobacco

Tom Price has taken tobacco money and voted against rules on cigarettes | Mother Jones, USA

The Opioid Epidemic Is Killing People Who Use Cocaine, Too

While cocaine use has been declining in recent years, overdoses are up — largely due to dangerous opioids like fentanyl | Buzzfeed, USA

Commercial weight-loss drug could help treat opioid addiction

Scientists are working to come up with new therapies to curb America's opioid epidemic and aid hospitals, doctors and public health officials in this fight. Now one team reports that the commercial weight-loss drug lorcaserin, when given to rats who had been self-administering oxycodone, appeared to reduce their use of and craving for the opioid | Science Daily, USA

Breaking research could help to combat rise in drivers impaired by edible marijuana consumption

Though marijuana edibles are becoming increasingly common, scant information exists on how to test drivers for impairment following their consumption. For the first time, research evaluates the performance of roadside saliva tests for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) following consumption of edibles, showing that lower THC cutoff points are needed for these tests to effectively detect marijuana ingestion | Science Daily, USA

Why Every Generation Freaks Out About a New Drug

The cycle of outrage Americans have over whatever drug is fashionable hasn't gotten us any closer to figuring out why people abuse narcotics | VICE, USA

Beyond harm reduction

Sixteen years after Vancouver formally adopted a ‘four pillars’ approach to drug strategy, the city – and the province – finds itself in the grip of an overdose crisis | Globe and Mail, Canada

Melbourne could open drug injecting room like Kings Cross

The centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross at 5.30am each morning, because there is usually a lot of people waiting for a fix | News.com.au, Australia

Ice addicts may lose rehab spots due to lack of promised government funding

There are concerns that $300 million in Federal Government funding for the treatment of ice addiction is not reaching the frontline | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

As a newcomer to the world of tobacco harm reduction, I am continually impressed by the expert forensic scrutiny of the published research much of which is aimed at undermining the positive impact of heat not burn technologies when compared to smoking cigarettes | NSP Blog, 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 | Conversation, UK

Assessing Addiction Problems

The most important reason for assessing and measuring addiction, as with any other problem, is to answer the question “Is it getting better?” People with addiction problems, their families and friends, the people who offer professional help and the people who pay for the services all want to know. Here are some key events in the development of a new website RESULT4ADDICTION | SSA Commentary, UK

Message in a bottle opening older minds to alcohol related harm

The intentional reference to a song from the late 1970s will strike a chord with those who have passed their half century. Yet for some, this may mean a time of increasing stress, solitude and seeking solace in the comfort of our nation’s favourite drug | DrinkWise AgeWell Blog, UK

We so rarely hear from women in the grip of addiction

Cat Marnell’s self-lacerating drug memoir is a terrifying account of a trainwrecked woman – this time narrated from the driver’s seat | Guardian, UK

We are the 90%, who said, “Yes” to drugs

Growing up in a country with a liberal drug policy (the Czech Republic) does not necessarily mean that you will appreciate it. It takes time, until you see how the rest of the world is dealing with this “problem”. I put problem in quotations because I don’t believe that drugs themselves are the problem of our society, I think the problem is how we deal with drugs | Anyones Child Blog, UK

Supervised Injection Facilities: Saving lives, making communities safer

UK drug related death rates are among the highest in Europe, and are increasing dramatically - reaching record levels for three years in a row | Transform Blog, UK

Why Australia needs more supervised injecting centres

I showed a group of people through my service in Kings Cross, Sydney earlier this week – the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre or Uniting MSIC | SMH Opinion, Australia

Alcohol leads to more violence than other drugs, but you’d never know from the headlines

Mainstream media tend to report more stories about illicit drugs than alcohol | Conversation, Australia

Rainbow Festival was Marred by Drugs and Violence – Really?!?

Research shows that the media report more stories about illicit drugs than alcohol, and that the stories about drugs are more negative than those about alcohol | AOD Media Watch, Australia

The ABC's 'Ice Wars' Is Exploiting Vulnerable Addicts

Surely the best interests of your patient must always be paramount | Huffington Post Blog, Australia


And finally...

This man found cocaine inside a Nesquik tub

A man found way more than he bargained for in a tub of Nesquik | Indy 100, UK