Daily news - 13th January 2017

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UK news

Young people’s statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS): financial year ending March 2016

Results from the NDTMS on the number of young problem drug and alcohol users in contact with specialist treatment agencies and general practitioners between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016 | PHE, UK

Specialist substance misuse services for young people

Public Health England (PHE) commissioned The Children’s Society to undertake scoping research in early 2016, to understand some of the opportunities and challenges currently facing those now responsible for commissioning and delivering young people’s specialist substance misuse services and to outline some critical good practice principles | PHE, UK

New advice on reducing health inequalities in the criminal justice system

Local bodies can use new advice to close the shocking health gap between people in the criminal justice system and the wider population | PHE, UK

Upcoming business: Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Transference of responsibility for drugs policy and rehabilitation of drug users from the Home Office to the Department of Health – Lord Hylton Oral questions | They work for you, UK

Smoking: Mental Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to reduce the disparity in smoking rates between people with and without mental health issues | They work for you, UK

Delivery dilemmas: How drug cryptomarket users identify and seek to reduce their risk of detection by law enforcement

Cryptomarkets represent an important drug market innovation by bringing buyers and sellers of illegal drugs together in a ‘hidden’ yet public online marketplace. We ask: How do cryptomarket drug sellers and buyers perceive the risks of detection and arrest, and attempt to limit them? | IJDP, UK

K Cider

Complaint Summary: ‘This product is incredibly high strength, served in a non-resealable can and is not designed to be shared. I would argue that it is impossible to drink it responsibly as each one contains more than a mans recommended daily allowance and twice as much as a woman's in each 500ml serving | Portman Group, UK

Sick of Spice in Soho

On the last Friday of September, Pastor Andrew Murray chaired an emergency community meeting in St Anne’s Church in Soho. The evening’s topic: drugs | Volte Face, UK

What's Happening to Your Body at Each Stage of a 24-Hour Sesh

We asked an expert to take us through every marker point, from the first beer, through the second pill, until the last spliff | VICE, UK

Heroin addict jailed for 21 years for killing elderly neighbour

Sandra Weir bludgeoned Mary Logie, 82, to death with a rolling pin in her home in Fife last year | Guardian, UK


International news

Most marijuana medicinal benefits are inconclusive, wide-ranging study finds

Study of 10,000 reports into cannabis finds only enough evidence to support therapeutic use for chemotherapy patients, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis | Guardian, UK

The map of the world by the cost of drugs, booze and cigarettes

The cheapest place to buy drugs alcohol and cigarettes is Laos, where a weekly habit will cost you £41.40 (£33.70), according to research in the Bloomberg Vice Index | Indy 100, UK

Gift of freedom: how Obama's clemency drive tackled aftermath of 'war on drugs'

Ramona Brant is one of 1,324 people serving long terms for relatively minor drug crimes to be freed by the president but his successor is unlikely to follow suit | Guardian, UK

Jenny Mikakos denies losing control of youth justice in Victoria

Director of secure services backs the minister, saying the drug ice is contributing to an increase in juvenile violence | Guardian, UK

Should S Africa raise drinking age to 21?

South Africa has the highest levels of alcohol consumption in Africa, according to the World Health Organization | BBC, UK

High rate of tranquiliser use among over-65s

Report reveals high usage as guidelines warn elderly should not even be prescribed such drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Harris to ‘act immediately’ if medicinal cannabis approved by review

Minister for Health faced questions from mother of child with epilepsy | Irish Times, Ireland

Mapping Cannabis Use 

Every year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health asks Americans about their use of cannabis and other drugs. The results of the 2015 survey, released recently, show that 8.3 percent of Americans aged 12 and up said they had used cannabis at least once in the past month | Source Weekly, USA

Health effects of marijuana and cannabis-derived products presented in new report

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of scientific research published since 1999 about what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products | EurekAlert, USA

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research

In one of the most comprehensive studies of recent research on the health effects of recreational and therapeutic cannabis use, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of relevant scientific research published since 1999. This report summarizes the current state of evidence regarding what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including effects related to therapeutic uses of cannabis and potential health risks related to certain cancers, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries | National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, USA

Alcohol And Memory: Drinking To Forget May Strengthen Bad Memories, Hurt Sufferers Of PTSD

Many people try to deal with unpleasant memories by drinking alcohol, but a new study has suggested that this coping mechanism doesn't work, and may actually worsen certain mental health conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | Medical Daily, USA

Decreasing cocaine use leads to regression of coronary artery disease

People who use cocaine regularly are at high risk of coronary artery disease. A study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), reports that stopping or reducing cocaine use can potentially reverse the process of coronary atherosclerosis | EurekAlert, USA

Smoking costs the world economy $1 trillion per year, World Health Organization says

Smoking and its side effects cost the world's economies more than $1 trillion and kill about 6 million people each year — with deaths expected to rise by more than a third by 2030, according to a new report from the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute | Washington Post, USA

Harvesting amphetamine-like leaves from BOP backyards

Users of a drug obtained from chewing khat tree leaves are approaching Whakatane householders for permission to harvest trees on their sections | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

What we know about young people in alcohol and drug treatment

This week PHE has published two important documents about young people’s substance misuse | PHE Blog, UK

What’s really causing the prescription drug crisis?

There are two quite different stories about why there is a prescription drug crisis in the United States, and why opioid-related deaths have quadrupled since 1999 | LATimes, USA

Chris Selley: Suddenly, safe-injection sites are mainstream politics

One of the problems with being politically conservative in the most basic sense of the word — genetically suspicious of change — is that you can wind up looking lost and silly and backward when mainstream opinion on any given topic slingshots past you, as it often does in Canada | National, Canada