Daily news - 17th January 2017

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UK news

DDN December 2016

This year has held more political turbulence than most of us can stomach. Alongside that, the ongoing onslaught on budgets and growing demands on the sector have ramped up the pressure with no easy way forward | DDN, UK

Estimation of national, regional, and global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Alcohol use during pregnancy is the direct cause of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). We aimed to estimate the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and FAS in the general population and, by linking these two indicators, estimate the number of pregnant women that consumed alcohol during pregnancy per one case of FAS | Lancet, UK

Pregnant women in Britain among worst in the world for drinking

Britain is among the top five countries worldwide for mothers drinking during pregnancy, according to new research | Scotsman, UK

Mum calls for awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol in pregnancy

The adoptive mum of a toddler with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is calling on mums-to-be to give up alcohol altogether during pregnancy | Balance North East, UK

NHS prescription drugs being sold illegally by patients

An eBay spokesperson confirmed it had removed a number of listings for sale from the site | BBC, UK

Cannabis Treatment and Child Exploitation

A new report by the Children’s Society on behalf of Public Health England highlights the relationship between sexual exploitation and drug use | Volte Face, UK

Alcohol campaigners call for total ban on cut-price booze in Scotland

Multi-buy discounts on alcohol have already been banned but campaigners want a further crackdown on low prices | Daily Record, UK

Drink driving: Number of arrests falls over Christmas

The number of arrests for drink-driving over Christmas in Northern Ireland fell, despite police more than doubling the amount of tests | BBC, UK

Chemsex care plan

A new online, interactive resource to assist healthcare practitioners to guide ChemSex patients through a behaviour-change Care Plan, is now live. Designed for people who use chems who might be unable or unwilling to access support services, or for drugs workers/sexual health staff in areas where there are no ChemSex support services | David Stuart, UK

Reducing harm from alcohol consumption: developing a long-term strategy

Free event. All-Party Parliamentary Health Group. Tuesday, 31 January 2017 from 09:00 to 10:30 (GMT). London, United Kingdom | APPG, UK

Financing Needs of Recovery Enterprises

Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt) and Social Investment Business (SIB) are interested in supporting recovery enterprises in England to start up, scale up and increase their impact | RAPt, UK

George Michael 'died of accidental drugs overdose' says his cousin

Andros Georgiou said the singer had resumed taking "hard drugs" toward the end of his life, but denied his death was suicide | Telegraph, UK

International news

The Trials of Drug Checking Down Under

For emergency doctors with an interest in illicit toxicology, the arrival of the summer months in Australia signals, like some sort of grotesque seasonal cuckoo, the beginning of the music festival season. With it, the entirely predictable and unnecessary deaths of young Australians from illicit substance ingestion | Volte Face, UK

Turnbull says One Nation’s medicinal cannabis amnesty 'irresponsible'

PM says government doesn’t have power for an amnesty and also says it’s unlikely classified information leaked when ministers’ Yahoo accounts hacked | Guardian, UK

PCP to psychedelic fish: uncover the stories behind the world's strangest drugs

Hamilton Morris is on a mind-altering mission to reveal the truth about psychoactive stimulants – from secret government drug experiments in South Africa to the joys of salvia divinorum. So why do people assume he’s a waster? | Guardian, UK

Hockey, weed and taxes? 11 Canadian stereotypes debunked

Canada is often pictured as a uniformly cold, multicultural, socialist paradise full of beer-swilling ice hockey fans. But a close look at the evidence reveals some very different truths – good and bad – about the Great White North | Guardian, UK

Philippines' Duterte threatens martial law

Martial law could be imposed in the Philippines if the drugs problem worsens, President Rodrigo Duterte has said | BBC, UK

Vaper has 7 teeth blown out as e-cigarette explodes

Andrew Hall was left pulling chunks of plastic, teeth and foreign objects from his mouth, throat and lips | IBTimes, UK

‘Legal high' led to death of homeless woman in Belfast, inquest told

Catherine Kenny (32), originally from Downpatrick, was found outside a vacant store in Donegall Place on April 19 last | Irish Times, Ireland

Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force: Strategic Plan for 2017 - 2019, Consultation

The Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force (WRDATF) is developing its Strategic Plan for 2017 - 2019. A public consultation process is underway and the Task Force is working in partnership with PPNs in the Region (Galway, Mayo & Roscommon) to ensure meaningful engagement at local level | Active Link, Ireland

Drug trafficking penalties across the European Union: a survey of expert opinion

The results of a study on national drug trafficking laws and their application in the Member States of the European Union are presented in this report. It is based on an analysis of the national laws and on the opinions of legal practitioners — judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers — from 26 countries. The penalties set out in national laws for trafficking cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine and heroin are compared with the sentencing outcomes expected by the legal practitioners, including penalties imposed and the estimated time likely to be spent in prison | EMCDDA, Portugal

No-Alcohol Policy Means No Shelter For The Homeless

"The local authorities in Bucharest, Romania, don’t have any official statistics on the city’s homeless population", which is about 5,000 people. Read the story of Florian, by Vlad Odobescu, who cannot go to shelters because of his alcoholism | Drug Reporter, Hungary

What happens if kratom becomes illegal?

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has received thousands of comments on whether it should make a psychoactive painkiller called kratom illegal because some say it could be key to battling the country’s opioid epidemic | PBS, USA

Kids born to opioid-addicted moms seem to fare poorly in school

In the study, these exposed kids lagged behind their peers on grade-level tests of reading, writing, math, spelling and grammar. By seventh grade, about 38 percent failed to meet test standards in at least one of these areas | Medical Xpress, USA

Report: Heroin Took Place Of OxyContin In Kentucky After Reformulation

Maurice Ludwick says OxyContin used to be the drug of choice in Louisville. But that changed around 2010, when the drug was formulated to make it impossible to crush and snort | WFPL, USA

Marijuana compounds show promise in treatment of cardiac disease

A Nevada company is hoping to develop new medicines for heart failure using compounds in marijuana and a novel therapy identified by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher | Medical Xpress, USA

People are now maiming their pets to score drugs

Of all the consequences of the nation’s opioid epidemic — which last year killed 33,091 people, or one overdose death every 15 minutes — the strangest may be how it has increased the abuse of dogs | NYPost, USA

Brazil issues first license for sale of a cannabis-based drug

Brazilian healthcare regulator Anvisa on Monday said it had issued the country's first license for sale of a cannabis-based drug in the country after years of legal wrangling with patients | Reuters, USA

Malcolm Turnbull Says He Can't And Won't Issue A Medicinal Cannabis Amnesty

One Nation is lobbying for one to 'save lives' | Huffington Post, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

Welcome to my new column brought to you by Nicotine Science and Policy. The idea is that I provide a summary and commentary of the weeks' news and events for those who have not had the time to check out the NSP News Digest on a daily basis or missed an important news item from elsewhere | NSP Blog by Harry Shapiro, UK

Unitary transparency – monitoring drinking habits by the glass

Dr Richard De Visser explains the results of his latest study looking into the effects of unit-marked drinking glasses on people's alcohol consumption, and what this means for the UK's alcohol guidelines | IAS Blog, UK

Troubled Families: Is Lily The Pink Dead?

Whatever happened to the Troubled Families Programme (TFP)? | Inlogov Blog, UK

Why I support injecting centres

As Ireland commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, the bodies of two men were found a few dozen metres away from each other in Dublin’s city centre | Dublin People, Ireland

A Complicated Future: West African Drug Policy Reform

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) from April 19th to 21st, 2016, was meant to be a monumental event | Medium, USA



And finally..

A meth addict version of Elsa from Frozen has been used in an anti-drugs poster

The image of Disney character Elsa from 2013 film Frozen as a meth addict has been used on an anti-drugs poster, carrying the tagline ‘Meth: just let it go. | Metro, UK