Daily news - 25th January 2017

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UK news

Radical ketamine therapy could treat alcohol addiction

A one-off dose of the drug could help alcohol addicts reduce their intake by ‘erasing’ drink-related memories, say psychologists testing treatment | Telegraph, UK

Should dependent drinkers always try for abstinence?

In 1973 researchers showed that even physically dependent drinkers could learn to drink in moderation. But controversy was fierce, with abstinence returning to prominence as an essential component of contemporary visions of ‘recovery’ | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Addaction appoints Mike Dixon as new Chief Executive

Addaction is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Dixon as our new Chief Executive with effect from 1 May 2017. Mike Dixon is currently the Assistant Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, a post he has held for the past six years | Addaction, UK

Fabric Nightclub, London - podcast

Rob, Elle and Lindsey find out What's the Crack with the London nightclub, Fabric. Why did it close? On what grounds did it reopen? How does this link to current drug use? And is everyone in clubs taking drugs? | acast, UK

Tackling child smoking - BBC Radio iPlayer

It's thought that every day, eight children will begin smoking in Norfolk | BBC, UK

Smoke free parks - BBC Radio iPlayer

As a park in Yorkshire becomes smoke free, Steve asks if it's a good idea or un-workable | BBC, UK

Beer: Excise Duties

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the higher rate of duty on high-strength beer introduced in 2011 on reducing consumption of that beer; and what assessment he has made of the potential effectiveness of similar measures in reducing the consumption of high-strength cider | They work for you, UK

Alcohol duties: application for a licence as a wine or made-wine producer or commercial grower (WMW1)

Use the online form service if you intend to produce wine or made-wine for sale. If you're a commercial grower you will also need to apply under certain circumstances | HMRC, UK

Data standards for recording alcohol consumption in electronic patient records

This survey has been designed to get the views of patients, carers, healthcare professionals, and clinical information system suppliers about proposed data standards for recording alcohol consumption in electronic patient records | RCP, University of Birmingham, UK

Playing By The Rules

From cartel massacres in Juarez to London turf war stabbings, the buying and selling of illegal drugs is accompanied by violence. This, or course, has nothing to do with the drugs themselves, and everything to do with their illegality | Volte Face, UK

Black Sheep Launch

Tue 7 February 2017, 18:30 – 20:00 GMT. London. Free. Drawing on contributions from leading practitioners, experts in public health, and people who have experienced problematic cannabis use, VolteFace’s groundbreaking report investigates how the harms posed by cannabis use can be better managed | Volte Face, UK

Bizarre watermelon smuggling attempt stuns customs officers

Fake carrots, coconuts and a narco sub are just some of the more bizarre drug smuggling attempts prevented by customs officials - and now you can add marijuana-filled watermelons to the list | Telegraph, UK

Hornchurch explosion: Flat may have been drugs factory

An explosion in a block of flats may have been caused by the preparation of drugs, the Met Police has said | BBC, UK

Ecclefechan motorway drug haul discovered after tip-off

A court has heard how a tip-off to police led to the seizure of cocaine with a street value of up to £68,000 in a car on the A74(M) near Ecclefechan | BBC, UK


International news

Two new hepatitis C therapies fast-tracked in Europe

Two drug combinations from Gilead and AbbVie that could improve treatment of chronic hepatitis C have been granted accelerated review in the EU | PMLive, UK

Legal Cannabis on the cards as French Election heats up

The first round of France’s Socialist party primary has yielded a surprise victory for the country’s cannabis enthusiasts | Volte Face, UK

Grapes of wrath: French wine industry angry at plans for bigger pregnancy health warnings on bottles

The creators of some of France’s finest wines are up in arms over a government plan to double the size of a warning on bottle labels advising pregnant women to avoid alcohol | Telegraph, UK

War between Brazil's rival drug gangs sparks bloody prison massacres

So far this year, 140 prisoners have been killed in violent clashes between gangs – many of them brutally beheaded and butchered | IBTimes, UK

E-cigarettes are expanding tobacco product use among youth

First national analysis shows e-cigarettes attract low-risk adolescents who were unlikely to start smoking | Science Daily, USA

Changes mulled as synthetic drug sentences cause confusion

The men who sold it called it Mr. Miyagi, a mind-altering chemical compound mixed with vegetable material and resembling marijuana | Medical Xpress, USA

Gene May Help Guide Black Patients' Opioid Addiction Treatment 

Researchers say they've found a genetic variant associated with opioid addiction, and it might lead to personalized treatment for the condition. Specifically, the variant was found in black Americans affecting the gene OPRM1, which is responsible for the way opioids affect the brain. Researchers at Yale University said this may identify which blacks might require higher doses of methadone | Health Day, USA

Clinical trial for opioid therapy moves closer to market

A multi-site clinical trial led by researchers at the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) has demonstrated the effectiveness of CAM2038, a potentially transformative buprenorphine therapy for moderate-to-severe opioid use disorders | Medical Xpress, USA

How LSD Could Change The World

Behind the tie-dyed wave of rebellion that swirled across the US in the 1960s were a test tube, a Bunsen burner, and a periodic table. In the hands of two talented and idealistic chemists, the tools of the scientific establishment were repurposed to manufacture the fuel of cultural change: lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD | IFL Science, USA

Colorful compound in fruits, vegetables could lower smokers' lung cancer risk

A compound found in oranges, sweet red peppers, and other fruits and vegetables has the potential to reduce the risk of smoking-related lung cancer, according to a new study | MNT, USA

Happy Birthday to The Beer Can

We honor the illustrious drinking milestone with some of the coolest examples on store shelves today | Daily Beast, USA

Judge scraps B.C.'s bid to toss lawsuit against welfare deductions for methadone

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has rejected an attempt by the provincial government to stop a proposed class-action lawsuit aimed at compensating recovering drug addicts who had to pay out of their welfare cheques for treatment at private methadone clinics | CBC News, Canada

Project Duterte — Documentary Film on Philippines’ war on drugs by RT

The Philippines’s controversial President Rodrigo Duterte came to power on his promise to crack down on crime. Dubbed “The Punisher”, he addressed his subjects, encouraging them to kill drug addicts. However, his inauguration was followed by a wave of extrajudicial killings of alleged drug dealers and now he denies any involvement with the vigilante violence | Sri Lanka Guardian, Sri Lanka

Ecstasy easy to find, ice use lowest in country for ACT

Ecstasy is the substance of choice for Canberra's drug users, who told a national survey it was easy to find in the city | Age, Australia

Liquor laws: What you can expect from mandatory ID scanners in pubs

Prepare to have your driver's licence scanned and your personal data stored for a month if you want to party in Fortitude Valley or the Brisbane CBD later this year | Age, Australia

Illegal opiates are readily available in grocery stores across Australia as Indian 'Kamini' tablets

An investigation by SBS Punjabi radio has revealed that South Asian grocery stores in Australia are selling dangerous drugs which are prohibited | SBS, Australia

Alleged head of $60m cocaine importing syndicate applies for bail

The man who police allege is the head of a Victorian syndicate that planned to import $60 million worth of cocaine has applied for bail | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Buying and selling drugs in cryptomarkets

People buying and selling drugs are careful to minimise the risks of getting caught. Drug dealers typically separate out the handling of payment and delivery of drugs; those buying drugs try only to do business with those who are known to them | Russell Webster, UK

THCV - an abject cop-out from the ACMD, another research opportunity for the UK lost

The cannabis plant produces over 100 compounds with therapeutic potential. Most of these have never been properly studied because of the complications of researching any cannabis plant extract that might contain d9THC, the “stoning” element of the “herb” | Drug Science Blog, UK

Reggie Yates: Hidden Australia is  good, honest, film-making: review

Reggie Yates, at 33, has long been known as an actor, radio and TV presenter. Now, increasingly, he’s a reporter – an admirably fearless one at that. Within an hour of arriving in Melbourne to make Reggie Yates: Hidden Australia (BBC Three), he was rushing out to film about a drugs- murder that had occurred just minutes earlier, a few yards from his hotel | Telegraph, UK

Pot for Pain: The Good, The Bad, and the Down-Right Scary

Remember the good old days, when we giggled about doobies, pot-brownies, and the munchies and laughed out loud at the antics of Cheech and Chong in “Up in Smoke?”  Talk of marijuana was a bit taboo, and while we all “knew people” who did a little weed now and then, it really wasn’t a big deal | Evidence in Motion Blog, USA

You don’t need to hit the turps to be a real Aussie

As Australia Day approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on our attitudes to alcohol and the role it plays in our lives | DrinkTank Blog, Australia