Daily news -21st June 2017

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UK news

Glasgow site found for UK's first legal drug addict 'fix room'

A site for the UK's first legal drug consumption room has been identified by council and NHS officials | BBC, UK

Scotland's alcohol problem persists

NHS Health Scotland has today published the latest data on Scotland’s relationship with alcohol. The report, Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy: Monitoring Report 2017, brings together data on alcohol retail sales, price and affordability, self-reported alcohol consumption and alcohol-related deaths, hospital admissions and social harms | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Alcohol-linked deaths '54% higher in Scotland'

An average of 22 people a week died from alcohol-related causes in Scotland in 2015, figures show | BBC, UK

Guidance -Alcohol licensing: pilot of analytical support package

Findings from pilot of analytical support package for alcohol licensing, to support the role of public health teams in alcohol licensing | PHE, UK

Accident and Emergency departments need to do more to identify young people with alcohol problems

Nine of out of ten Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments are failing to identify young people with alcohol problems, preventing them from getting the vital help they need, a new study in the Emergency Medicine Journal has found | University of Surrey, UK

'Extra strong, Ikea branded' ecstasy pills linked to Kyle Pringle's death

An 18-year-old man has died from what is believed to be a "particularly strong" batch of ecstasy tablets | BBC, UK

New research centre to focus on psychoactive substances

A new Centre for Excellence in New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Research has been created at the University of Dundee to help tackle the emerging epidemic of highly addictive new drugs | University of Dundee, UK

Why Don’t More Smokers Switch to Using E-Cigarettes: The Views of
Confirrmed Smokers (PDF)

Whilst e-cigarettes have been characterised by Public Health England as being around 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco products, only a minority of current smokers are using these devices. In this paper we report the results of an online survey of 650 smokers in contact with a smokers’ rights group in the UK | International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, UK

Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study

[Open access] To investigate whether moderate alcohol consumption has a favourable or adverse association or no association with brain structure and function | BMJ, UK

How to support your partner through addiction

As Ant McPartlin goes into rehab to treat drug and alcohol addiction and depression, the experts explain how partners can help | BT, UK

A breath of fresh air: how the smoking ban has changed the pub trade

The smoking ban became a fact in England on 1 July 2007 with an unprecedented impact for pubs. But how has the trade changed in the past 10 years since it came into force? | Morning Advertiser, UK

Pints at dawn: is this last call for London's market pubs?

Only a few pubs are still open to workers first thing in the morning – a throwback to when markets were vital to inner city life. Now these traditional early houses are being kept alive by a different type of drinker | Guardian, UK

'High levels' of drug-fuelled violence at Lincoln Prison

High levels of violence mainly related to drug use have been found by inspectors at HMP Lincoln | BBC, UK

PGA Tour: New doping programme to blood test and name recreational drug users

The PGA Tour is to introduce blood testing next season and will align its list of prohibited substances with that of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) | BBC, UK

Support. Don't Punish - Day of Action on Stratford Broadway

Monday, June 26 at 10 AM - 5 PM | Support. Don't Punish, UK

Support. Don't Punish Global Day of Action - Hosted by Leicester Prison Resistance

Sunday at 12 PM - 5:30 PM. Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, LE1 1WB Leicester | Support. Don't Punish, UK


International news

2017 Global Day of Action

26th June 2017 will be the 5th Day of Action organised so far | Support. Don't Punish, UK

Opioid-related hospital visits up 99% in less than a decade, US data shows

States see vast differences in rate of inpatient stays, with Georgia seeing biggest increase, while stays are more common among women in most states [See more below] | Guardian, UK

Not so green: how the weed industry is a glutton for fossil fuels

Producing a few pounds of weed can have the same environmental toll as driving across America seven times – harming cities’ and states’ plans to curb emissions | Guardian, UK

Trump Administration Pushing Colombia to Reintroduce Aerial Coca Eradication

US authorities are calling for the reintroduction of a controversial programme of aerially fumigating coca crops in Colombia, although it is uncertain if the Colombian government will agree to the measure | Talking Drugs, UK

Media coverage of alcohol issues: a critical political economy framework- a case study from Ireland

There is a growing literature on news media representations of alcohol-related issues. However, current scholarship has neglected critical political economic frameworks to interpret media coverage of alcohol. This paper presents such a framework that conceives of news organisations as corporations that share the values and interests of political and economic elites | HRB, Ireland

Kenny among TDs who helped alcohol industry lobby Health Department

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny was among the many politicians who made representations to the Department of Health after being lobbied by the drinks industry objecting to proposed legislation to curb alcohol consumption | Independent, Ireland

Patient Characteristics of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Nationally and by State, 2014 (PDF)

Between 2005 and 2014 there was a dramatic increase nationally in hospitalizations involving opioids: the rate of opioid-related inpatient stays increased 64 percent, and the rate of opioidrelated emergency department (ED) visits nearly doubled | HCUP, USA

In just one year, nearly 1.3 million Americans needed hospital care for opioid-related issues

The coast-to-coast opioid epidemic is swamping hospitals, with government data published Tuesday showing 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays for opioid-related issues in a single year | Chicago Tribune, USA

With a Little Help from My Friends: The Effects of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Laws on Opioid-Related Deaths

Since the early 2000s, the rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States has more than doubled. Overdose deaths are currently at record levels, with more than 60 percent of these deaths due to opioid use, primarily prescription pain relievers and heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the United States is facing the worst drug overdose epidemic in its history | CATO Institute, USA

Treating patients with opioid disorders is not just about treating addiction. Here’s why

Patients with opioid use disorder are much more likely than the general population to have a host of other health conditions, including hepatitis C, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety | STAT News, USA

Depressed patients more likely to be prescribed opioids

A new study shows that patients with low back pain who were depressed were more likely to be prescribed opioids and receive higher doses. Understanding these prescribing patterns sheds new light on the current opioid epidemic and may help determine whether efforts to control prescription opioid abuse are effective | Medical Xpress, USA

Losing train of thought or it's hard to multi-task? You may be having one drink too many

Impairments in processing and using information that help with decision-making and planning simple tasks such as grocery shopping are linked with one's frequency of alcohol or drug use according to a new study | Medical Xpress, USA

Study shows embarrassment, shame are better deterrents to college problem drinking than fear of formal punishment

The prospect of feeling embarrassment and shame in front of one's peers—especially among women—rather than the threat of facing potential formal punishment appears to be the most effective deterrent to problem drinking at universities, according to a study led by a University of Kansas researcher | Medical Xpress, USA

Locking People Up For Drugs Has No Effect On Public Safety Or Substance Use, Study Finds

A new report urges the Trump administration not to return to failed drug policies of the past | Huffington Post, USA

Meth, Synthetic Drug Escalation a New Threat for Asia Communities

The United Nations says it sees an escalation in the production and use of amphetamines and synthetic drugs as a new threat for communities in Asia | VOA, USA

Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

A decree issued by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today confirmed that Mexico has legalized cannabis for medicinal use after overwhelming support from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress | Leafly, USA

New Sniff Tech Could Protect Cops From Synthetic Opioids

Last month, an Ohio cop accidentally overdosed when he brushed a small amount of the synthetic derivative powder carfentanil off his shirt; he had just searched a vehicle where dealers had dumped drugs on the carpet | WIRED, USA

8 Times America’s War on Drugs Was Stranger Than Fiction

When the United States first launched the “War on Drugs” nearly five decades ago, not even the cleverest conspiracy theorists could have imagined the far-reaching consequences the campaign would have around the world | History.com, USA

New CCSA-Led Study Estimates Cost of Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis in Canada to be $1 Billion (PDF)

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is pleased to announce today the release of “Estimating the Harms and Costs of Cannabis-Attributable Collisions in the Canadian Provinces,” the first study of its kind to estimate the social and economic costs associated with driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) in Canadian provinces | CCSA, Canada

Opioid overdoses could be factor in increase of donor organs in B.C., experts say

B.C. Transplant says one-quarter of the organs transplanted in the first six weeks of this year were donated by a patient who died of a fentanyl overdose | Star, Canada

Corruption watchdog finds 'extraordinary' level of drug thefts in Perth hospitals

WA's Corruption and Crime Commission warns it's uncovered what it calls an "extraordinary amount" of narcotics being stolen from from two major hospitals in Perth | Age, Australia

Perth a hub for medical cannabis trade

About half the country’s major Australian Securities Exchange-listed companies in the field are based in WA | West Australian, Australia

NZ's biggest cocaine bust: Pair found guilty of possessing and supplying cocaine in horse's head

When a gaudy and glittering horse head statue arrived from Mexico last year, one Customs officer's suspicions proved well placed | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

UK Festivals & Sniffer Dogs: Their Regulations, Your Rights

Festival season is fast approaching and across the UK sniffer dogs will be on the scent for festival-goers’ drugs. But just how effective are these dogs - and what does this mean for your rights? | Release Blog, UK

Ant McPartlin has no reason to apologise. His addiction is not his fault

The TV star says he feels he’s let people down. But after spending time in rehab I know how important it is that addiction is seen as an illness, not as self-inflicted | Guardian, UK

Regulating the smoke ban 10 years on

As we approach the tenth anniversary of smokefree legislation in England, we are looking at various aspects of the legislation and its impact. This article by Tony Lewis, Head of Policy at CIEH, looks at how the legislation is enforced | ASH blog, UK

Little Boy Blue and the deadly gangs of Merseyside – then and now

When 11-year-old Rhys Jones was shot and killed by a stray bullet after walking home from football practice in Liverpool, the crime shocked the nation | Conversation, UK

Clubs: Shadow Pubs

Clubs, or working men’s clubs as they have historically been known, are all but invisible to many pub-goers but once you tune into them it can be like discovering a whole new town | Boak and Bailey Blog, UK

India’s Trysts with Prohibition

As part of M.K. Gandhi’s call for non-cooperation with Indian colonial authority in 1921, abhorrence of drink and drugs were included on the agenda of the constructive programme of the movement | Points Blog, USA

Treatment or injection centre: must we choose?

Earlier this month I joined a number of representatives from various organisations at a public hearing of the Legal and Social Issues Committee of the Victorian Parliament. We were invited to address the committee, which is inquiring into a Bill to trial a medically supervised injection centre (MSIC) in North Richmond – the epicentre of street heroin use in Melbourne | ADF Insights, Australia

Prevention at the grassroots

Community groups in regional and rural areas have, for a long time, been the glue that holds the greater region together. Their ability to lead change is often underestimated and underutilised, especially when it comes to alcohol and other drugs | Rural Health, 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 | Age Opinion, Australia