Daily news -22nd June 2017

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UK news

Enough alcohol sold in England for every drinker to consume 50% more than guideline levels

New figures published today reveal that enough alcohol is being sold in England and Wales for every drinker to consume 21 units of alcohol a week – far more than the low-risk level of 14 units per week for both men and women recommended by the UK’s chief medical officers | AHUK, UK

More pensioners caught drink-driving because they 'think they can still drive safely', AA warns

More elderly people are getting caught for drink-driving because they believe they can still drive safely when drunk | Telegraph, UK

Smoking is finally dying out among young people in the UK and US

Smoking is rapidly dying out in the UK and US among young people – the first generation to come of age surrounded by laws that discourage smoking | New Scientist, UK

Young boy drank methadone after finding it in bin shed

Perth Sheriff Court was told the boy became sick and disorientated and that consuming just 20ml of the fluid could have killed him | STV, UK

'Lack of support' for gambling addicts in Wales

Gambling addiction is "not taken seriously" in Wales with a lack of support for addicts, it had been claimed | BBC, UK

Gambling addict warns of 'a constant spiral' at conference - video

A woman has spoken of her gambling addiction as a Cardiff conference takes place looking at this issue | BBC, UK

The Met: Policing London - BBC iPlayer

In Newham, east London a group of drug dealers are operating in an area believed to control much of the drug supply for east London. Local residents describe it as a no-go area and it's up to Detective Colin Stow and his team to solve the problem. Working undercover to take down as many of them as possible, they reveal the inner workings of the drug trade and their attempts to stop it thriving on the streets of London | BBC, UK

Lorry driver guilty of delivering £10m of heroin to UK dealers

A Polish lorry driver responsible for smuggling almost 100 kilos of heroin into the UK has been jailed for 18 years, following a multi-agency operation led by the National Crime Agency | NCA, UK

Rory McIlroy welcomes move to toughen up drug testing

As Rory McIlroy delivered an unforgettable drugs rant at the Open last year, declaring that “blood testing needs to happen if golf wants to be seen as a mainstream sport”, it was no surprise to find him applauding the game’s adoption of a more rigorous anti-doping system | Telegraph, UK


International news

Mexico legalises medical marijuana

The bill passed with overwhelming support in the Senate and Lower House of Congress | Independent, UK

Florida Introduces Draconian Sentencing Laws in Attempt to Curb Fentanyl Crisis

New legislation in the US state of Florida will impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for people found possessing fentanyl, while people who sell it to those who later overdose can now be charged with murder, and thus face the death penalty | Talking Drugs, UK

The Former Army Captain Who Built An Online Marijuana Marketplace

“Cannabis provides me with a sense of wellbeing and balance that I can’t find anywhere else,” Socrates Rosenfeld, CEO of Jane Technologies Inc., said in a press release for the cannabis-first startup’s just-launched online marketplace, Jane | Volte Face, UK

Cannabis, Period.

New York state lawmakers are set to approve cannabis treatment for menstrual cramps. Medical cannabis is already legal in 29 American states, and is used to treat or ease symptoms of a variety of conditions | Volte Face, UK

Bill to legalise cannabis for medical use being stalled, claims TD

Gino Kenny says legal advice needed to push Bill to help patients with certain symptoms | Irish Times, Ireland

EMCDDA conference to take stock of achievements as IPA5 project draws to a close

The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) is organising a conference in Sarajevo today marking the end of a two-year technical cooperation project with beneficiary countries of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) | EMCDDA, Portugal

Turin bans late night alcohol sales after stampede that injured 1,500

Turin mayor Chiara Appendino on Thursday introduced a measure clamping down on the sale of takeaway alcoholic drinks in the evening, after a stampede in one of the city's main squares on Saturday night left over 1,500 people injured | Local, Italy

Study answers why ketamine helps depression, offers target for safer therapy

Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a key protein that helps trigger ketamine's rapid antidepressant effects in the brain, a crucial step to developing alternative treatments to the controversial drug being dispensed in a growing number of clinics across the country | EurekAlert, USA

Marijuana legalization raises the need for more research

At a Paul McCartney concert at San Francisco's AT&T Park in 2010, Matthew Springer, PhD, wasn't shocked to be surrounded by a haze of marijuana smoke. He was, however, amazed that the audience tolerated it without complaint | Medical Xpress, USA

How legalising cannabis can help society

Leading drug researcher Associate Professor Chris Wilkins from Massey University's SHORE and Whāriki Research Centre is calling for the adoption of a not-for-profit public health model for recreational cannabis | Medical Xpress, USA

G.O.P. Rift Over Medicaid and Opioids Imperils Senate Health Bill

Deep divisions have developed among Senate Republicans over the rate of future spending on Medicaid and how to help opioid addicts who lose drug treatment funds | NYTimes, USA

Haven for Recovering Addicts Now Profits From Their Relapses

It was the kind of afternoon that cold-weary tourists revel in as they sip mojitos near the beach — a dazzling sun, a sky so blue it verged on Photoshopped and weather fit for flip-flops. But the young visitor from Arkansas, curled up into a ball near the sidewalk, had a better reason to be grateful. He was alive | NYTimes, USA

NYPD says calling 911 during drug overdose won't lead to arrest

You won’t get into trouble for calling 911 if you or someone you are with is overdosing, the NYPD said Wednesday as it unveiled a public service ad campaign to combat opioid abuse | NY Daily News, USA

Harsh Reception For Supervised Drug Injection In Boston

If the first public hearing is any indication, Boston supporters of rooms where drug users would inject under medical supervision have a long road ahead of them | WBUR, USA

Don Winslow: President Trump's War on Drugs Is Catastrophic

Donald Trump wants to drag us back into one of the most catastrophic social policies in this nation’s history: the war on drugs | TIME, USA

These are the stories of 29 rave-goers who died of drug-related causes

There have been at least 29 confirmed drug-related deaths nationwide since 2006 among people who went to raves organized by Los Angeles-area companies. Fifteen have died in Southern California — seven in San Bernardino County and eight in Los Angeles County — and six in the Las Vegas area | LATimes, USA

The dirt and dope that's on your cash

The list of things found on our dollars includes DNA from our pets, traces of drugs, and bacteria and viruses that cause disease | Medical Xpress, USA

The WAGER, Vol. 22(7) – Mental health and sexual orientation among people with Gambling Disorder

Although people who identify as LGBTQ+ have higher rates of mental health and substance use problems, which are risk factors for Gambling Disorder, few studies have examined how mental health, gambling, and sexual/gender identity intersect | BASIS, USA

Welfare groups object to move to strip disability benefits from substance abusers

Medical and welfare groups are strongly opposing a federal government move to strip disability benefits from people whose health problems were caused solely by their own substance abuse | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Sue Paton: Why addiction practitioners must be registered

Earlier this month Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced the introduction of mandatory registration for social workers. This is a good move because, as she says, social workers play a crucial role in supporting the most vulnerable New Zealanders, and mandatory registration will help ensure they are adequately qualified and equipped | Dominion Post opinion, New Zealand


And finally...

Could this be the most bizarre cure for a dodgy tummy? Smoke cannabis while eating a curry to alleviate symptoms, research suggests

For those poor souls who often get dodgy stomachs, this could be the most bizarre cure yet | Mail Online

Drinking gin and tonics could sooth hayfever symptoms, study finds

Like we really needed an excuse to break out the Bombay Sapphire | Independent, UK