Daily news - 19th January 2017

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UK news

Tackling tuberculosis in under-served populations

Guidance for TB Control Boards and partners outlines ways to design and deliver programmes to reduce TB in under-served populations (USPs) [Press release] | PHE, UK

This Is What Happened to the 'Trainspotting' Generation of Heroin Users

Why the drug disappeared, and how it appears to be making something of a comeback | VICE, UK

Unravelling The Cannabis-Schizophrenia Connection

An association exists between cannabis use and schizophrenia | Volte Face, UK

Drug Misuse: South Belfast

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the Northern Ireland Assembly | They work for you, UK

Drug Addicts: Custody Suites

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the Northern Ireland Assembly | They work for you, UK

‘Cannabis Refugees’ Seek Law Change in Northern Ireland

On December 1st 2016, a landmark bill passed through Dáil Éireann, the Republic of Ireland’s principal elected chamber | Volte Face, UK

NPS Use Surveys

esearchers from the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University invite you to participate in surveys about your experiences of use of new psychoactive substances (NPS or ‘legal high’). We are running two surveys, one on the use of mephedrone (MCat, Meow Meow, Drone, Bubble) and one on the use of synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. herbal smoking mixtures such as ‘Spice’, ‘Mamba’, or compounds such as 5F-AKB-48, AKB-48) | PHI, UK

Russell brand launches new service for addicts and ex-offenders

Russell Brand, comedian, and patron of leading addiction and prison charity RAPt, today (18th January 2017) launched our new employment services at an event at the Trew Era Café and RAPt’s London Recovery Hub next door | RAPt, UK

Age of noise - British drinking

British drinking and the night time carnival. William Haydock, Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the University of Bournemouth, argues that our alcohol consumption is peculiarly 'carnivalesque', combining ritual with risk taking and spectacle | BBC radio iPlayer, UK

Worst 'alcohol harm' areas in Scottish Borders identified

A report has highlighted the parts of the Scottish Borders which are worst hit by "alcohol-related harm" | BBC, UK

Coffee shops on the march as pubs decline, town centre data shows

The great British pub continues to make way for coffee shops and eateries on our High Streets, but it remains the most popular leisure venue in the UK | BBC, UK

Laughing gas sold in Leeds through Facebook

Party drug nitrous oxide is being sold illegally across Leeds via Facebook, a BBC investigation has found | BBC, UK

Pink cocaine seizure leads to jail for member of Caribbean crime group

A man who smuggled bright pink liquid cocaine into the UK hidden inside pressurised cylinders has been jailed for 16 years after an investigation by the National Crime Agency | NCA, UK

West Yorkshire policeman Keith Boots' home 'warehouse of drugs'

A police inspector responsible for disposing of seized drugs was found with thousands of pounds worth in his home, a trial heard | BBC, UK

P&O ferry workers jailed for drug smuggling operation

Two P&O ferry workers who conspired to smuggle cocaine into the UK have been jailed for 16 years each | BBC, UK


International news

Assessing the impact of laws controlling the online availability of 25I-NBOMe, AH-7921, MDPV and MXE – outcomes of a semi-automated e-shop monitoring

The indicator of availability has been used in the risk assessment (RA) of new psychoactive substances (NPS). This paper aims to examine the pre- and post-control availability of 25I-NBOMe, AH-7921, MDPV and MXE, which were assessed by the EMCDDA | Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, UK

Psychedelics could be the cutting-edge treatment we’ve been ignoring for half a century

Estalyn Walcoff arrived at the nondescript beige building in Manhattan's Grammercy Park neighborhood on a balmy August morning, hours before the city would begin to swell with the frenetic energy of summer tourists. She was about to face a similar type of chaos — but only in her mind | Business Insider, UK

Duterte asks Catholic priests to try crystal meth before criticising war on drugs

'Priests should use shabu so they would understand,' the fiery president of the Philippines said | IBTimes, UK

Headshops may have gone away but deadly ‘designer’ drugs are still easily available

It’s time to be afraid of super-strong, easily available drugs that are suspected to have claimed another teenage life this year | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Teen quizzed over death of boy linked to potent drug

Gardaí are preparing a file for the DPP after a teenage boy, arrested in connection with the suspected drug-death of another teen in Cork, was released without charge | Irih Examiner, Ireland

Public consultation on excise duties applied to manufactured tobacco

This consultation is intended to gather the views of EU citizens and stakeholders on a set of possible options for the revision of Directive 2011/64/EU| European Commission, Belgium

EMCDDA scientific award

The scientific award celebrates scientific writing and distinguishes high-quality research in the field of illicit drugs. Scientific papers judged to enhance understanding of the European drug problem are acknowledged yearly in an award ceremony | EMCDDA, Portugal

Heroin use rampant among Sweden child refugees: addiction centre

Heroin use is rampant amongst the unaccompanied child refugees who have come to Sweden over the past two years, the head doctor at Stockholm's leading youth addiction centre has said | Local, Sweden

Vape companies try to galvanize Trump administration to ease FDA rules

As tobacco and vaping companies focus on new smoking products that are potentially less harmful, the industry sees an opening for rolling back rules on these products under the Trump administration | Reuters, USA

The war on drugs causes massive human rights violations

The war on drugs has had devastating effects on human rights and public health worldwide, argue experts in The BMJ | Medical Xpress, USA

UVA slashes opioid use while improving pain scores, study finds

A study of more than 100,000 surgical cases at University of Virginia Health System found patients' pain scores improved even as doctors gave fewer opioids | Medical Xpress, USA

Halting the spread of blood borne viruses: Why do doctors want needle and syringe programs in jails?

The Australian Medical Association has entered the national debate on syringe programs in prisons, releasing its Position Statement on Blood Borne Viruses 2017 | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Fewer young people in drug & alcohol treatment

Last week (12 January 2017) Public Health England published information from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System 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 | Russell Webster, UK

Navigating the crystal maze: review of The Ice Age by Luke Williams

Members of the Bundeskriminalamt German law enforcement agency (BKA), the Federal Criminal Office, display portions of 2.9 tonnes of recently-confiscated chlorephedrin, one of the main ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine | Herald, UK

As Duterte's drug war worsens, Thailand provides a glimmer of hope

Since Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency began in July 2016, nearly 6,000 people have been killed in the Philippines’ brutal war on drugs. More than 700,000 have surrendered themselves to the authorities. Prisons and treatment centres have subsequently been flooded way over capacity | Transform Blog, UK

Technical Oddity: Dutch Testing Service (DIMS) Defines Pure MDMA Crystal as 84% Pure

Executive Summary: Different labs use different standards for reporting percentage purity assessments and also for mass when doing quantitative measurements for psychoactive drugs like MDMA. One lab’s 84% might be another lab’s 100%. This also means one lab’s 84 mg might be another lab’s 100 mg | Erowid Crew Blog, USA

What does Donald Trump think about drugs?

In recent years, many countries – with the conspicuous exception of Indonesia and the Philippines – have been rethinking the international war on drugs. The world, it seems, has grown tired of mass incarceration, militarised law enforcement and endless interdiction of drug shipments that nonetheless keep arriving at borders | Conversation, Australia