Daily news - 3rd January 2017

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UK news

Children warn of smoking risks in hard-hitting campaign

New PHE film shows children creating personal images and warnings about the damage smoking causes to convince smokers to stop | PHE, UK

Psychoactive substances ban 6 months on: almost 500 arrests and first convictions

Nearly 500 people have been arrested since the government’s landmark Psychoactive Substances Act came into force 6 months ago | Home Office, UK

'Ban driven new psychoactive substances underground'

The new law to crack down on designer drugs has seen no prosecutions or cautions issued in three of the four Welsh police force areas | BBC, UK

Drink-driving: Thousands caught over the limit twice

More than 8,000 motorists have been caught driving over the limit twice in the past five years, according to the DVLA | BBC, UK

Young alcoholics cases on rise, survey shows

A growing number of young people are seeking help for alcohol addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous says | BBC, UK

NHS turning into 'national hangover service', health chief warns

The NHS is being transformed into the "national hangover service" as binge drinking diverts vital resources, the head of the health service in England said | Independent, UK

Fatal heroin overdoses to rise again, charity warns

Fatal heroin overdoses will rise in 2017 because of the strength of the drug and the number of users unknown to the services, a charity has warned | BBC, UK

Health chief's alcohol advice 'could have been better'

England's chief medical officer has admitted she could have chosen her words better when she told women to "do as I do" and consider the risks of breast cancer when drinking wine | BBC, UK

I’ll say it again: E-cigarettes are still far safer than smoking

Despite evidence suggesting e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, more people than ever believe them to be just as harmful. Professor Linda Bauld discusses the evidence | Guardian, UK

Are you having a Dry January? How to get through the month without drinking

It's a truth universally acknowledged that January is by far the worst four weeks of the year. A joyless, misery of a month that lurks in the shadows of our Twixmas hangover, poised to stifle our Yuletide glow and drag us kicking and screaming back to the humdrum of the 9-5 | Telegraph, UK

Women's binge drinking given more coverage than men's, says study

Women who binge drink are portrayed more negatively by the media than men who do the same thing, according to new research | BBC, UK

Organisational factors in the medical treatment of problem drinking

This cell of the Alcohol Treatment Matrix focuses on the treatment organisation, drawing on seminal and key research to ask whether evidence-based improvement is always a good thing, or whether the ‘churn’ can produce a demoralised, non-therapeutic workforce | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Psychedelic Drugs Research And Therapy Have Reached A ‘Turning Point’, Campaigners Say

Long-time campaigner Amanda Feilding believes a ‘tipping point’ has been reached | Huffington Post, UK

'Help us consign youth homelessness to the past' - Centrepoint's New Year's message for 2017

As the charity and The Independent campaign for funds for a Young and Homeless Helpline, one of Centrepoint’s leading front line workers delivers this New Year’s message | Independent, UK

Precursor chemical import and export authorisation wallchart

This chart outlines the authorisation requirements for importing chemicals into the UK and the requirements for exporting them to different countries across the world | Home Office, UK

Alcohol Alert 2016 : The Year in Review

The Institute of Alcohol Studies has produced a round-up of the year's highlights in UK alcohol policy | IAS, UK

Dionysos: the literature and intoxication triquarterly

This site makes accessible all issues of Dionysos: The Literature and Intoxication Triquarterly. Individual issues are downloadable as searchable pdfs. File sizes are 1-2MB | Dionysus, UK

'Dad was an alcoholic': MP Jonathan Ashworth urges action on drinking

Shadow health secretary tells how childhood memories have inspired him to fight for more help for families of alcoholics | Guardian, UK

Challenge to Londoners to do a Mindful Pub Crawl

Club Soda and Blenheim have teamed up to launch the first ever pub guide for mindful drinkers and to accompany the launch, they are challenging Londoners to do a Mindful Pub Crawl in January

The untold story of Branwell Bronte - Charlotte, Emily and Anne's troubled alcoholic brother

The lives of the Brontë sisters are widely known to have been as unremittingly bleak and chequered with disappointment as those of their heroines | Telegraph, UK

'Black people give cannabis to babies', Margaret Thatcher aide claimed

A senior aide to Margaret Thatcher claimed black people gave cannabis to babies, newly released documents have revealed | Evening Standard, UK

Margaret Thatcher's letters reveal plan to spray cocaine plants with deadly pests

Secret plans to sabotage cocaine production abroad by introducing plant-destroying pests were discussed as the Government waged war on drugs, newly released official files reveal | Independent, UK

Primary school children make anti-smoking packaging

Primary school children in Coventry are at the centre of a nationwide anti-smoking campaign | BBC, UK

Everything we know about hangovers — and what you can do to make the pain go away

But what is it about throwing back a few too many that leaves you feeling only halfway human: your head throbbing, your mouth dry, your stomach on edge? Could that feeling really be explained by dehydration, as so many seem to think? Even more important, is there a cure to hangovers? | Independent, UK

Glasgow drug dealer 'earned £42,000 a month'

A drug dealer who earned up to £42,000-a-month supplying addicts in Glasgow has been jailed for eight years | BBC, UK

Campaigners set up illicit cannabis ‘speakeasy’ on Teesside and attract the attention of rapper Professor Gr

Activists battling to legalise the Class B drug staged sold-out Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations at the top secret Teesside venue, The Northern Echo can reveal | Northern Echo, UK


International news

Interactive Map: International Drug Policy Developments of 2016

2016 has been a momentous year for international drug policy | Talking Drugs, UK

Guns, wages and pot: the new laws taking effect across the US this year

Tennessee will allow some 18-year-olds to receive handgun carry permits while many states are to raise their minimum wages | Guardian, UK

Police seize 500kg of cocaine in Sydney Fish Market over Christmas in Australia's biggest such drug bust 

A major cocaine ring has been dismantled in joint operations with Tahiti, Australian police said on Thursday, with a record 1.1 tons of cocaine worth hundreds of millions of dollars seized | Telegraph, UK

Philippines police say drug raids netted £120m worth of meth

Authorities in the Philippines say a series of drugs raids have netted nearly a tonne of methamphetamine, with a street value of £120m ($147m) | BBC, UK

Finland jails police chief Aarnio for drug-smuggling

A Finnish court has sentenced the former head of Helsinki's anti-drugs police to 10 years in prison for drug-smuggling and other offences | BBC, UK

Pot blocks: obstacles keep small business owners from a multibillion-dollar market

Marijuana retail sales could reach $4.3bn this year and create new jobs, but some aspiring entrepreneurs warn that weed is not an easy business | Guardian, UK

Minister expects backlash to 'booze curtains' plan - but says it 'must happen'

New alcohol laws including the introduction of so-called 'booze curtains' will cause "consternation" but must happen, the Public Health Minister has said | Journal, Ireland

Prescription drugs used in three out of every four overdoses

Benzodiazephines were implicated in 228 deaths in 2014 compared to 77 in 2004 | Journal, Ireland

Quitting smokers 'should not vape'

Anti-tobacco group says to use 'safe' nicotine gum and patches | Independent, Ireland

‘I was either going to get the boat to die in England or go to an NA meeting’

Ireland’s Homeless World Cup star John Farrell talks to The42 about turning around his life | The 42, Ireland

Psychiatric conditions linked to increased risk of long-term opioid use

A wide range of pre-existing psychiatric and behavioral conditions and the use of psychoactive drugs could be important risk factors leading to long-term use of opioid pain medications | EurekAlert, USA

Researchers warn about taking psilocybin-containing ‘magic mushrooms’

In a survey of almost 2,000 people who said they had had a past negative experience when taking psilocybin-containing "magic mushrooms," Johns Hopkins researchers say that more than 10 percent believed their worst "bad trip" had put themselves or others in harm's way, and a substantial majority called their most distressing episode one of the top 10 biggest challenges of their lives | News Medical, USA

Did teen perception, use of marijuana change after recreational use legalized?

Marijuana use increased and the drug's perceived harmfulness decreased among eighth- and 10th-graders in Washington after marijuana was legalized for recreational use by adults but there was no change among 12th-graders or among students in the three grades in Colorado after legalization for adults there, according to a new study published online by JAMA Pediatrics | EurekAlert, USA

Pot may restrict blood flow to brain: study

Marijuana appears to hamper blood flow to the brain, which theoretically could affect your memory and ability to reason, a new study suggests | Medical Xpress, USA

Survey shows lower rate of impaired driving in U.S. for 2014

Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality in Rockville, Md., and colleagues used data from the 2002 to 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health to examine the prevalence of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs among individuals aged 16 years or older | Medical Xpress, USA

Many misuse OTC sleep aids: survey

People struggling with insomnia often turn to non-prescription sleep remedies that may be habit-forming and are only intended for short-term use, according to a new Consumer Reports survey | Medical Xpress, USA

Naloxone App Contest Winner Aims To Equip Ride-Sharing Services With Overdose Antidote

OD Help is able to connect opioid users with a crowd-sourced network of naloxone carriers | The Fix, USA

The Most Shocking Drug Culture Icon Deaths of 2016

From Prince's fentanyl overdose to recovery icon Carrie Fisher's heart attack, 2016 has been a rough year | The Fix, USA

DTES activists' supervised-injection tent finally receives government funding and moves indoors

Authorities have brought an unsanctioned supervised-injection site that’s operated in the Downtown Eastside under the umbrella of Vancouver’s formal health-care system | Georgia Straight, Canada

We must cool it on ice stigmas, parliamentary inquiry told

Australia must destigmatise illicit drug use, say submissions to a parliamentary inquiry into crystal methamphetamine | Australian, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A new year that changed me: realising I wanted to live, and giving up heroin

The New Year’s Eve I spent with my family when I was a junkie was horrific. But their contempt for the state I was in helped me to finally change | Guardian CIF, UK

What is vaping?

Sometimes we find ourselves talking at cross-purposes about vaping. Why? Consider three perspectives | NSP Blog, UK

Always forget to keep your New Year’s resolutions? Smoking and drinking could be why

Given that the New Year is just around the corner, now might be a good time to come up with a resolution to reduce your drinking, or stop smoking (or both). That is if you remember, of course | Conversation, UK

A new year that changed me: I gave up weed – and became a book addict instead

As my mother was a Jehovah’s Witness, my childhood was devoid of all the usual opportunities for merrymaking. Celebrations were considered pagan | Guardian, UK

Binge drinking happens. The problem is binge moralising on women

The new year shaming of young working-class women is a staple of tabloid culture. This voyeuristic morality policing also hides the true story | Guardian, UK

The Year In E-Cigarettes: The Good, The Bad, And Some Reasons For Optimism

As the year draws to a close, electronic cigarettes remain as controversial and as poorly understood among the general public as they were a year ago. Are e-cigarettes re-normalizing smoking? Are kids using them as a stepping stone to combustible cigarettes? Are e-cigarettes as harmful as the real thing? | Forbes Opinion, USA



And finally...

Police found this Christmas tree was actually just decorated cannabis

Police in Cheltenham have discovered a Christmas tree a fair bit more merry than most | Indy 100, UK

'Hollywood' sign changed to 'Hollyweed' in new year prank

Residents of Los Angeles' most famous neighbourhood woke up on New Year's Day to find the world-famous Hollywood sign had been changed to read "Hollyweed" | BBC, UK

'Stoned' sheep go on 'psychotic rampage' after eating cannabis plants dumped in village

Sheep are feared to have gone on a "psychotic rampage" after eating cannabis plants dumped in a village | Independent, Ireland