Daily news - 23rd February 2017

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UK news

Local authorities need to work together with nightclubs and gyms to prevent drug misuse

Gyms, nightclubs and festivals should display posters and mount social media campaigns to highlight the risks of drug misuse, a new guideline from NICE says | NICE, UK

Prisons shakeup to give governors more control over rehabilitation

Legislation to tackle jails crisis will hand staff greater powers over education, employment and health budgets | Guardian, UK

Design of optimal corrective taxes in the alcohol market (PDF)

Alcohol consumption is associated with costs to society due to its impact on crime and health. Tax can lead consumers to internalise these externalities. We study optimal corrective taxation in the alcohol market. We allow for the fact that the externality generating commodity (ethanol) is available in many differentiated products, over which consumers might have heterogeneous preferences, and that there may also be heterogeneity in marginal externalities across consumers | IFS, UK

Can therapists really make things worse?

One of the questions you are invited to consider in the latest ‘bite-size’ introduction to the Alcohol Treatment Matrix. Topic is the effectiveness and general principles of psychosocial therapies for alcohol dependence | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Experts call for action on High strength cider to protect homeless and vulnerable (PDF)

The Alcohol Health Alliance and Thames Reach, the homelessness organisation, are today calling for duty increases on high-strength cider, which is a leading cause of death and ill-health among the homeless | AHA, Thamesreach, UK

Cancer cases in Wales rise by 10% in 10 years

The organisation's Dr Dyfed Wyn Huws said there was "good news" by way of significant reductions in smoking rates in recent decades | BBC, UK

Clever teenagers twice as likely to smoke cannabis due to their curious minds, study finds

Clever children are twice as likely to smoke cannabis as teenagers due to their curious minds, a landmark study has found | telegraph, UK

Say why to drugs podcast - Benzodiazepines

The internet is full of misinformation about recreational drugs - both legal and illegal. Dr Suzi Gage, a psychologist interested in understanding associations between substance use and mental health, tackles one substance per episode - providing information about what we know - the harms, but also potential benefits of these substances | Suzi Cage, UK

In a Traumatised World, is Psychedelic Therapy our Best Hope for Change?

Could there be one factor that links together conflict, climate change, racism, anxiety and eating disorders? | Volte Face, UK

Radio 4 Broadcasting Addaction Fundraising Appeal

This weekend, BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting a fundraising appeal on behalf of Addaction to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the charity. Addaction supports people to make positive behavioural changes, especially those regarding mental health and the misuse of alcohol and drugs. They provide services to over 75,000 people nationwide, helping anyone from children to older adults | Volte Face, UK

SSA Bursaries

The aim of the Bursary scheme is to facilitate training in the addictions field for individuals experiencing difficulty in funding a course of study | SSA, UK

What Happens If Your Number Is Found On a Drug Dealer's Phone?

Picture the scene: you've been calling your guy once or twice a month for a year. The conversations rarely stretch much further than: "I'd like the usual – one please!" | VICE, UK

First case dropped since forensic science blunders as CPS says it cannot proceed against drug driver following intervention from 'Mr Loophole'

The first case linked to allegations of a forensic science blunderhas been dropped after the CPS said it cannot proceed against a drug driver | Telegraph, UK


International news

Bodies Every Night: Documenting the Brutal Philippine Drug War

With more than 6000 people already dead, we spoke to a local photojournalist about the realities of bearing witness to the carnage | VICE, UK

50p alcohol unit price 'would save 63 lives in Northern Ireland'

More needs to be done to tackle the problems caused by cheap alcohol in Northern Ireland, a charity has warned | Belfast Telegraph, UK

It’s About to Get Way Easier to Buy Medicinal Cannabis in Australia

With locally grown weed now staying in the country, and imports legalised, we should have a surplus within eight weeks | VICE, UK

EMCDDA–Europol Joint Report on a new psychoactive substance: N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacrylamide (acryloylfentanyl)

In September 2016, the EMCDDA and Europol examined the available information on a new psychoactive substance N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacrylamide, commonly known as acryloylfentanyl, through a joint assessment. The two organisations concluded that sufficient information had been accumulated to merit the production of a Joint Report on acryloylfentanyl as stipulated by Article 5.1 of the Council Decision | EMCDDA, Portugal

Combating illicit trade a key pillar of Belgium’s anti-radicalisation strategy says deputy prime minister Jan Jambon

European governments yet to grasp scale and nature of so called underground economy, conference warned | Parliament Magazine, Belgium

Majority of parents with children at home don't lock up prescribed opioids, study finds

Despite rise in opioid dependency in the U.S., a majority of parents who have prescription opioids at home do not report storing them safely, according to a new study published today in the journal Pediatrics | abc news, USA

Many Smokers With Chronic Conditions Take Up E-Cigarettes

Cigarette smokers with chronic diseases -- especially conditions associated with tobacco use -- are more likely to try electronic cigarettes than healthy smokers, according to an analysis of recent survey data | MedPage, USA

Brain scans could help doctors predict adolescents' problem drug use before it starts

There's an idea out there of what a drug-addled teen is supposed to look like: impulsive, unconscientious, smart, perhaps – but not the most engaged. While personality traits like that could signal danger, not every adolescent who fits that description becomes a problem drug user. So how do you tell who's who? | News Medical, USA

Good Samaritan Law protects Marylanders when reporting drug overdoses

The Somerset County Health Department is urging people to not hesitate to call 911 when they witness someone suffering from a drug overdose | WMDT, USA

'I'm tired of watching people die': Organizer of march to end overdose deaths demands action

About 150 people marched in downtown Toronto on Tuesday to demand all levels of government take action to prevent more drug overdose deaths | CBC News, Canada

Door left open for a safe injecting room for Richmond

A safe injecting room could still be opened in Richmond after the Andrews government backed the parliament to investigate how it could work | Age, Australia

Cops Will Still Prosecute Drivers Who Take Medicinal Cannabis

On Wednesday the minister for health Greg Hunt approved the importation of medicinal cannabis into Australia | BuzzFeed, Australia

New law could force more drug and alcohol addicts into compulsory rehabilitation

More drug and alcohol addicts could be forced into treatment programmes as the result of a recent law change, which has raised questions about whether rehabilitation centres will be able to cope | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Murder in a can

Mike Nicholas of Thames Reach writes of the destructive effect of high-strength alcohol on the lives of homeless rough sleepers | IAS Blog, UK

Who’s drinking or drunk at age 11? The harm of alcohol for the UK’s children

Alcohol is now the leading risk factor for ill-health, early mortality and disability among those aged 15 to 49 in England. It is the fifth leading risk factor for ill health across all age groups. That’s according to Public Health England, one of the speakers at a recent event discussing the latest evidence on the physical, social and economic costs of heavy drinking | Closer Opinion, UK

The Points Interview: Murray Carpenter

Editor’s Note: Today we welcome Murray Carpenter to our author interview series. His book,Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us, was published by Penguin in 2014 | Points Blog, UK

Fact Check: Is it not practical to conduct on-the-spot drug tests “safely and quickly”?

The Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton’s recent claim that it’s not practical to conduct on-the-spot drug tests “safely and quickly” is, at best, misinformed. These tests have been taking place successfully in Europe for more than a decade | AOD Media Watch, Australia

More than an addict, Part 1

Seven years ago, I was what some people would call a heroin addict. Today I have a first class honours degree and work abroad. I want to tell my story to help shatter the stigma that surrounds people addicted to illicit drugs and show the potential that each of those people has inside | Unharm Blog, Australia