Daily news -20th June 2017

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UK news

Methiopropamine: a review of the evidence of use and harm

A review of the evidence of use and harm of Methiopropamine (MPA) by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) | ACMD, UK

Fentanyl alert in West London

Public Health England have issued a formal alert about an increase in the possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with synthetic opioid – fentanyl in West London. This is stronger than heroin and therefore there is a higher risk of overdose and death | Blenheim, UK

Drinkaware in 2017: impact and engagement ten years on?

It's been a while since we last reported on activities undertaken by Drinkaware, the industry-funded alcohol awareness charity which aims to 'help people make better choices about their drinking' | Alcohol Policy, UK

Drinkaware addresses dangers of home drinking with ‘have a little less, feel a lot better’ campaign run by PrettyGreen

Drinkaware, an independent charity aimed at educating people on safe alcohol consumption, has appointed entertainment, sports and wellbeing agency PrettyGreen to promote its ‘Have a little less, feel a lot better’ campaign | The Drum, UK

Racked by spice

Spice use around Manchester city centre has become notorious enough to make national headlines. Did making it illegal fuel the problem? | Big Issue North, UK

For your kids sake take it right outside

New multimedia campaign | Smoke free families, UK

Research finds nutrient deficiencies in heavy drinking homeless people, but evidence is limited

An NIHR CLAHRC West review has found that heavy drinking homeless people may experience a range of nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B1, but the amount and quality of research on this issue is low | NHS, UK

Number of people smoking in North-East hits record low

Smoking rates among adults in the North East fell from 18.7 per cent in 2015 to 17.2 per cent last year, NHS Digital said | Northern Echo, UK

Breaking free shown to reduce subtsance misuse in prisons

A new study has demonstrated that offenders using Breaking Free Online show very significant reductions in substance use and underlying substance dependence, and significant improvements in many areas of recovery progression | Breaking Free Online, UK

Fake E-Cigarettes Could Hack Computers, Warn Experts

E-cigarettes could become the latest weapon for hackers after a security researcher has show just how dangerous they can be | Huffington Post, UK


Internationl news

Support. Don't Punish

Resources for 2017 day of action on June 26th | Support. Don't Punish, UK

Attune Research Project

The project aims to increase our understanding of why some illicit stimulant users initiate or increase consumption, while others reduce or stop use entirely over their life course. In particular, we are interested in exploring the impact of individual differences, social influences, environment and culture on drug use pathways | De Regenboog Groep/Correlation network, UK, Netherlands and others

Worldwide, more than 10 percent of young teens are smokers

Roughly 11 percent of youth aged 13 to 15 around the world use tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars, a global survey of students suggests | Reuters, UK

Occasional smokers who vape smoke more cigarettes

Tobacco companies have been selling electronic cigarettes as a way to wean smokers off paper cigarettes, but a new study suggests the strategy could backfire | Reuters, UK

She was the town’s leading heroin dealer. She was 19 years old

In West Virginia, a young woman and a privileged physician lived very different lives. But they shared a crushing addiction | Guardian, UK

Could weed be used to treat period pain?

According to reports this week, marijuana is about to be approved to treat period pains by legislators in New York. Cannabis is already allowed for medicinal use in 29 American states for a variety of conditions such as cancer, HIV or Aids, severe nausea, seizures and persistent muscle spasms (for example with people who have multiple sclerosis) | Guardian, UK

Imperial Brands: UK tobacco giant seeks medical marijuana expertise to help diversify

As smokers quit the habit, British tobacco giant Imperial Brands is seemingly looking towards another plant to bring in the billions: cannabis | Independent, UK

Montreal opens first mobile supervised injection clinic in North America

First site will operate beside a two-booth mobile unit will offer a medically supervised space and sterile equipment for people who use drugs intravenously | Guardian, UK

Carrie Fisher had cocaine and heroin in system when she died, coroner finds

Carrie Fisher’s autopsy report shows the actor had cocaine, heroin and MDMA in her system when she fell ill on a plane last year, but investigators could not determine what impact the drugs had on her death | Guardian, UK

Tiger Woods 'gets professional help' to tackle addiction to prescription drugs

Tiger Woods says he has sought "professional help" to deal with his medications after he was found asleep behind the wheel of his running car | Telegraph, UK

Fewer pints, more Pilates: Ireland gives up the booze

New figures show alcohol consumption is declining, as young people swig coffee and take up running | Independent, Ireland

General Report of Activities 2016 – Key achievements and governance: a year in review

The General Report of Activities is an annual publication providing a detailed progress report of the EMCDDA’s activities over a 12-month period. It catalogues the Centre’s achievements in each area of its annual work programme. The report is a useful information source for all those seeking comprehensive information on the Centre and its work | EMCDDA, Portugal

Rotterdam mayor wants to sell cannabis cafe licences to highest bidder

Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Abouteleb is considering selling new licences to run cannabis cafes to the highest bidder, the NRC said at the weekend | Dutch News, Netherlands

China announces scheduling controls of new psychoactive substances/fentanyl-class substances

China’s National Narcotics Control Commission today announced scheduling controls against four new psychoactive substances/fentanyl-class substances – U-47700, MT-45, PMMA, and 4,4’ DMAR. The scheduling controls will take effect on July 1, 2017 | DEA, USA

America's Latest Drug Epidemic Is Weirdly Non-Violent

The 70s heroin wave and 80s crack crisis each saw major gun violence, including huge numbers of murders. Not so much with the current opioid epidemic | VICE, USA

Medications underutilized when treating young people with opioid use disorder

Only one in four young adults and teens with opioid use disorder (OUD) are receiving potentially life-saving medications for addiction treatment, according to a new American research | Science Daily, USA

The US weed rush and white-collar cannabis CEOs

They are bankers, accountants and computer engineers—mainstream in every way but for one respect: their love of cannabis and the desire to make megabucks in a growing US industry | Medical Xpress, USA

New data shows low risk nicotine product snus is 95 percent safer than smoking

With the potential to stop 320,000 premature deaths across Europe each year | EurekAlert, USA

June 20: The UK Drug Situation - A Case for Enhanced Harm Reduction

Webinar. Island Health and the Centre for Addictions Research of BC present Rob Barker on drug use policies and harm reduction in the UK | island Health, Canada

B.C. woman says drug users hold solution to growing overdose crisis

Drug users are the solution to addressing overdose deaths and providing services to people before they die alone, says a woman who attended a meeting of health professionals in Vancouver trying to develop new strategies to deal with a growing crisis in B.C. | Vancouver Sun, Canada

Craiglist ads: drug dealers openly peddle ice, cannabis and cocaine

Online sellers are disguising drugs as everyday household items on popular classifieds site Craigslist | Herald Sun, Australia

Keep TGA control of e-cigarettes or risk repeating the smoking health disaster

Following intense lobbying from the tobacco and electronic cigarette industries and their supporters, the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, has established a parliamentary committee to report on the regulation of nicotine vapourisers or e-cigarettes as they are widely known | WA Todday, Australia

Associations between Conformity to Traditional Gender Norms, Alcohol Use, and Aggression in Australians

[Survey for Australian citizens]. You are invited to participate in this research study, which aims to understand how Australians’ conformity to traditional gender norms and alcohol use may be related to their experiences of aggression in various social contexts | Deakin University, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drugs in Europe 2017: new threats

Rising overdose deaths, the continued availability of new psychoactive substances and the growing health threat of highly potent synthetic opioids are among the key issues highlighted by the report | Russell Webster, UK

Social media is nothing like drugs, despite all the horror stories

Letting your child use social media is like giving them cocainealcohol and cigarettes – all at once, or so we’re told. If you have been following recent press reports about the effects of social media on young people, you may well believe this. But there is no scientific evidence to support such extreme claims | Conversation, UK

Battle to introduce minimum alcohol prices almost over finishing line

This summer, the UK Supreme Court will hear the Scotch Whisky Association’s final appeal against minimum unit pricing for alcohol. This is the final stage in a long-running legal process which has seen minimum pricing tested in Europe and twice declared legal by Scottish courts. We hope that minimum pricing can at last be introduced early next year; six years after it was passed by the Scottish Parliament | IAS Blog, UK

Older Adults Deserve Healthcare That Considers Substance Use

Addiction is a growing issue for folks over 65; prescription meds pose additional risks | IRETA Blog, USA