Daily news - 18th January 2017

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UK news

Industry-led 'Community Alcohol Partnerships': what's the evidence?

Two different accounts of the effectiveness of industry supported Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) have been released in recent months | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Short-term female prisoners denied methadone, finds report

Heroin addicts in Scotland’s only women’s prison are being denied access to methadone unless they are jailed for more than six months, it has emerged | Scotsman, UK

Alcohol-related Crime

Private Members' Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 6:30 pm on 16th January 2017 | They work for you, UK

Visible Vaping: E-Cigarettes and the Further De-Normalization of Smoking

With the growth in the use of electronic cigarettes in many areas concerns have increased that these devices enabling users to inhale nicotine and flavored liquids in aerosolized form might result in the renormalization of smoking and ultimately to an increase in smoking prevalence | Clin Med International Library, UK

Radical Plans Revealed To Combat The Harm Caused By Chemsex

Britain’s oldest LGBT charity is spearheading a cutting-edge initiative to tackle the devastating effects of chemsex amid mounting fears about the toll the scene – where men have sex with each other while taking GHB, mephedrone, and crystal methamphetamine – is taking on those involved | Buzzfeed, UK

What’s The Crack? [Podcast]

A brand new podcast brings an entertaining and informative take on the evidence behind drugs and addiction news. Lindsey Hines, one of the three show-runners, tells us why we need this | Volte Face, UK

George Michael ‘liked crack cocaine’, says friend

George Michael's childhood friend Andros Georgiou has linked the singer's death to drugs | BBC, UK

Fred Yates prize

The prize will be awarded at the annual SSA Symposium to a researcher who is in the early or mid part of her or his career who has made a significant and specific contribution to the addictions field in recent years | SSA, UK

The Story of Mephedrone, the Party Drug That Boomed and Went Bust

In 2010 it was the UK's fourth favourite substance; nowadays it's used almost exclusively on the chemsex scene | VICE, UK

Peaceful Solutions to the War on Drugs: Collective Voices from the Frontlin...

2nd Feb. Glasgow. Free. Three grassroots organisations representing the frontline of the drug war; people who have used drugs , families, criminal justice professionals and the two leading drug policy reform organisations have created a coalition. We invite you to an evening of discussion and debate with the aim of growing this movement for peace. The Scottish Recovery consortium will be chairing this event | Recovering Justice, UK

Herbal cannabis worth £100,000 recovered from postal system

Herbal cannabis, valued at £100,000 and destined for Northern Ireland, has been recovered from the postal system, police have said | BBC, UK

Oxford 'legal highs' shop owner sentenced

A company director who admitted selling "dangerous" so-called legal highs has been given a suspended jail sentence | BBC, UK

P&O ferry workers guilty of drug smuggling operation

Two former P&O workers have been convicted of running a drug smuggling operation onboard a North Sea ferry | BBC, UK

Almost £1 million worth of drugs seized in Aberdeen in six months

Police in Aberdeen have recovered almost £1million of drugs between April and September last year | Press and Journal, UK



International news

Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening

In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries won’t follow suit | Independent, UK

British American Tobacco takes control of Reynolds for $49bn

British American Tobacco has agreed a $49.4bn (£40bn) deal to take control of US rival Reynolds, creating the world's largest listed tobacco firm | BBC, UK

Harm Reduction Vending Machines Set to Be Canada's Next Public Health Measure

Authorities in the city of Ottawa plan to install machines that dispense equipment for safer drug use, as harm reduction strategies become growingly popular across Canada | Talking Drugs, UK

Montana anti-meth campaign casts Frozen's Elsa as jailbird addict

The Montana Meth Project has taken a creative approach to intellectual property in a billboard campaign urging the princess – raddled and handcuffed – to let it go | Guardian, UK

Irish general practitioner attitudes toward decriminalisation and medical use of cannabis: results from a national survey

Governmental debate in Ireland on the de facto decriminalisation of cannabis and legalisation for medical use is ongoing. A cannabis-based medicinal product (Sativex®) has recently been granted market authorisation in Ireland. This unique study aimed to investigate Irish general practitioner (GP) attitudes toward decriminalisation of cannabis and assess levels of support for use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes (CTP) | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Deadly drug may be circulating in Cork

The HSE has warned that a potentially deadly new designer drug may be in circulation in Cork City | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Minister Corcoran Kennedy highlights the importance of price measures in changing behaviour in relation to cigarettes, alcohol and unhealthy diets

Minister for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD, today highlighted the importance of price measures when it comes to encouraging behavioural change in relation to tobacco use, alcohol and unhealthy diets | DoH, Ireland

Ireland tops list for pregnant women drinking

Ireland has the world’s highest rate of women drinking alcohol while pregnant, even though public health campaigns warn repeatedly of the risk to the baby | Iris Examiner, Ireland

Researchers identify source of opioids' side effects

A commercially available drug may help drastically reduce two side effects of opioid painkillers—a growing tolerance and a paradoxical increased sensitivity to pain—without affecting the drugs' ability to reduce pain, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

More with mental illness and substance use disorders have health insurance

Significantly more people with mental illness and substance use disorders had insurance coverage in 2014 due to the expansion of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but many barriers to treatment remain, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests | Medical Xpress, USA

Obama to commute hundreds of federal drug sentences in final grants of clemency

President Obama is set to commute hundreds of federal drug sentences in final grants of clemency | Washington Post, USA

Baltimore Will Steer Some Drug Offenders to Treatment—Not Jail

Move comes as communities seek solutions to worsening opioid-abuse crisis | Wall Street Journal, USA

Why Heroin Users Aren't As Afraid of Deadly Fentanyl As They Should Be

Decades of misinformation from the war on drugs have left hardcore users cynical about a very real danger | VICE, USA

North Americans Spent $53.3 Billion On Marijuana Last Year, Most Of It Illegally

The industry “just needs to move demand for an already widely-popular product into legal channels,” a new report says | Huffington Post, USA

Patients recovering from depression show improvements in memory from the drug modafinil

Modafinil, a drug used to treat narcolepsy—excessive daytime sleepiness—can improve memory in patients recovering from depression, according to new research from the University of Cambridge | Medical Xpress, USA

'Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer?' Spotlights the Perspective of a Doctor Accused of Overprescribing Meds

The new documentary spotlights Dr. William Hurwitz, a man who is revered as a healer by some patients and a pill pusher by others | The Fix, USA

'They were frightened and felt they might die': Deadly drug batch's fallout

Some were frightened and thought they would die. One was violent. Another was unconscious | Age, Australia

Rainbow Serpent organisers call for pill testing after drug deaths in Melbourne

Rainbow Serpent Music and Arts Festival organisers are calling for a fresh approach to recreational drugs laws after a horror weekend in Melbourne resulted in three deaths | Courier, Australia

Police have seized 186kg of cocaine worth $60 million from a ship off the coast of Tasmania

Authorities have seized 186kg of cocaine, worth $60 million, from a former Japanese whaling ship off the coast of Tasmania | Business Insider, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Reasons for drug policy reform: people who use drugs are denied evidence based treatment

Prohibition can prevent access to harm reduction treatment, including methadone, for people who inject drugs, writes Michel Kazatchkine | BMJ Observations, UK

Reasons for drug policy reform: prohibition enables systemic human rights abuses and undermines public health

Harsh enforcement of prohibition undermines the right to health and fundamental dignity, write Dainius Pūras and Julie Hannah | BMJ Observations, UK

The Future Of Psychedelic Medicine

This is an exciting time to be involved in psychedelic research. Medical researchers are rediscovering the possible benefits of responsible use of psychedelics in therapeutic settings | Huffington Post, UK

‘Dopey’, ‘out of it’: patients share their painkiller side-effects

Dr Muiris Houston on his own experiences of taking a prescribed drug, and the mail he got from you | Irish Times, Ireland

Children of the Opioid Epidemic

As opioid abuse rises, so does the number of children in foster care | NYTimes Opinion, USA

Scientists to Government: Make It Easier to Study Marijuana

The federal government continues to obstruct scientists from studying whether the drug is good or bad for health | NYTimes Opinion, USA