Daily news -27th June 2017

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UK news

One dead and four critically ill after taking potent form of MDMA

Greater Manchester police say 11 people were taken to hospital after apparently taking a drug known as ‘pink champagne’ | Guardian, UK

This is what happens if you take too much MDMA

One man has died and four others are seriously ill in Manchester after taking what police say is a "particularly potent" form of MDMA | BBC, UK

South Shields woman dies in suspected drugs incident

A 35-year-old woman has died after taking suspected illegal drugs | BBC UK

Financial Incentives for Alcohol Brief Interventions in Primary Care in Scotland (PDF)

This study aimed to provide an overview of the evidence for using remuneration systems for Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABIs) in primary care, to examine the availability of relevant data in Scotland and to explore the views of local and national stakeholders | SHAAP, UK

How Scotland was the brave on smoking law

Scotland’s pioneering contribution to anti-smoking legislation must not be ignored when marking the 10th anniversary of the smoking ban in public spaces in England, writes Keith Hayton | Guardian, UK

Hepatitis C ‘giant’ still growing

Half of all surveyed UK injectors infected, a quarter within three years of starting to inject - for a time it seemed impossible to reverse the epidemic of hepatitis C infection. Now we know that aided by new treatments which clear the infection, it can be done ... but will we? A major new analysis for World Hepatitis Day | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Not so pure and simple: Drug checking isn't the silver bullet solution 

The recent interest in drug checking at facilities in the UK comes on the back of a rise in purity of many drugs including MDMA and cocaine – with associated increases in acute risks of harm associated with these drugs | MixMag, UK

Drug-Taking is Inevitable at Festivals, So We Must Focus On Keeping People Safe

Last year I shadowed The Loop as they offered their pioneering front-of-house drug testing programme in Manchester at one of The Warehouse Project’s club nights | Volte Face, UK

HED Visual Material

Birmingham City University (BCU), the Public Health Institute (PHI) at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), in partnership with Aalborg Anti-Doping (Aalborg Municipality, DK) and the Human Enhancement Drugs Network conducted the “Steroid Use and Public Health: The Power of Visual Communication” project in 2016-2017 | HED network, UK

Identity crisis? Vapers who continue to smoke are in denial about their addiction and could struggle to kick the habit

People who vape as well as smoke traditional cigarettes may find it harder to quit as they don’t see themselves as smokers, according to research | Science Daily, UK

E-cigarettes do NOT cause damage to blood vessels that lead to heart disease as debate over their safety rages on

E-cigarettes do not cause damage to blood vessels which can lead to deadly heart disease, new research suggests | Mail Online, UK

HMP Leeds drug use 'unacceptably high'

The use of drugs and mobile phones in HMP Leeds is "unacceptably high" and violent incidents are on the rise, according to a new report | BBC, UK

Reverse cuts on smoking health - plea

City of York Council figures show the number of people who used the service and were still smokefree four weeks later fell from 366 to 2015/16 to just 33 in 2016/17 - a drop of more than 90%  | York Press, UK

Drug gang jailed for total of 66 years

A gang who flooded the streets of Blackpool with Class A drugs and preyed on vulnerable individuals was jailed for a total of almost 66 years | ITV, UK

Newcastle man Aran Saied had 40,000 illicit cigarettes in car

A man who had almost 40,000 illicit cigarettes in his car has been given a suspended prison sentence | BBC, UK

Young people and antidepressants: share your experiences

Tens of thousands of under 18s are being prescribed antidepressants by their doctors. We want to hear from parents and those aged over 16 about this | Guardian, UK

Man with terminal cancer discharges himself from nursing home to smoke a final spliff

70-year-old Patrick Ford, known as Dave, is terminally ill with bowel cancer | Independent, UK

E-cigarettes poison 100 pets, as vets reveal list of danger items

Vets reported almost 11,000 UK pet poisonings in 2016, mostly involving dogs, cats and rabbits | BBC, UK


International news

Activists out in force for fifth Support Don’t Punish day of action

Thousands of people once again took to the streets to call for an end to the war on drugs as part of the Support Don’t Punish campaign’s ‘global day of action’. Events in more than 200 cities worldwide included debates, workshops, concerts, parades, sporting tournaments and displays of street art | DDN, UK

They Talk, We Die: Silent Protest at the International Harm Reduction Conference

On May 14th 2017, during the opening ceremony of the 25th Harm Reduction International conference in Montreal, as Canadian federal Health Minister Dr. Jane Philpott delivered a keynote speech, activists and members of the audience participated in a silent protest organized by the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD) | Volte Face, UK

WHO Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours statement on behalf of IDPC, HRI and INPUD

The World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse organized, for the first time, the global Forum on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviours (FADAB) | IDPC, UK

Teen vaping rates fall in the United States

The number of school children in the United States who smoke e-cigarettes fell from 3 million in 2015 to just under 2.2 million last year, according to a joint analysis of the National Youth Tobacco Surveys published between 2011 and 2016 | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand burn $1billion of narcotics as police struggle against growing industry

Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia torched nearly $1 billion (£786 million) worth of seized narcotics on Monday, a defiant show of force as police struggle to stem the rising flow of drugs in the region | Telegraph, UK

"We Are On The Right Side Of History" - An Interview With Jamie Bridge

Tell us about the background of this campaign! How and why did you decide to launch it, what is its goal?  | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Sixth European drugs summer school kicks-off in Lisbon with record number of students

The sixth European drugs summer school (EDSS) — ‘Illicit drugs in Europe: demand, supply and public policies’ — opens today in Lisbon on International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drinking makes you older at the cellular level

The more alcohol that people drink, the more their cells appear to age. Researchers found that alcoholic patients had shortened telomere lengths, placing them at greater risk for age-related illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia | Science Daily, USA

Injectable therapy blocks opioid euphoria, withdrawal symptoms in trial

A study led by investigators in the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) has demonstrated a weekly injectable formulation of buprenorphine, CAM2038, suppresses symptoms of withdrawal in patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) | Medical Xpress, USA

When is an opioid safe to take?

Many people in pain are apprehensive about taking an opioid painkiller to ease their suffering, and rightfully so | Medical Xpress, USA

Naloxone for opioid overdoses still faces hurdles in schools

States are increasingly turning to schools as they work to stave off the devastating opioid epidemic, which is claiming a growing number of lives and ravaging the lifespans of middle-aged white people | Washington Examiner, USA

X-Ray Shows Dozens Of Broken Needles In Neck Of User Who Reportedly Fell Asleep While Shooting Up

A series of images posted to Reddit four years ago, but which recently resurfaced, show the horrific reality of drug abuse: the images show X-rays that reveal numerous needles that have broken off in a patient’s neck after the person dozed off while shooting up | Medical Daily, USA

A nationwide study of the extent and factors associated with fentanyl use in Australia

The availability of controlled-released formulations of fentanyl and advanced delivery methods has seen substantial increases in the use of fentanyl worldwide since the 1990s | NDARC, Australia

New Zealand MP believes the key to ending the country’s ice epidemic is by executing Chinese meth dealers

Figures presented to Parliament show that between 2012 and 2016 there were 4,474 people who tested positive for THC — the active drug in the cannabis plant — while driving on South Australian roads | Adelaid Now, Australia

VAADA news (PDF)

Latest newsletter including an update on the AOD sector | VAADA, Australia

Former NZ MP’s shock idea to end ice scourge: ‘Execute meth dealers’

A former New Zealand MP believes the key to ending the country’s ice epidemic is by executing Chinese meth dealers | news.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Nicotine in the news

For those of you fortunate enough to be there, I hope you enjoyed the Warsaw GFN conference as much as I did. There was a very rich and diverse mix of science, technology, law, public policy, health and advocacy. Something for everyone in an excellent venue where all the logistics ran with quiet efficiency | NSP Blog, UK

Most smokers want to stop – that’s not changing

A common theme of this blog is that smoking is largely a matter of inequality. Now it is time to turn this around and say that action on smoking is a matter of social justice | ASH Scotland blog, UK

Alcohol and a society in denial

Research emerged recently that strongly points to the harmful effect that alcohol has on our brains (“Just a few drinks will damage the brain, research shows”, June 6th) | Irish Times, Ireland

Jail Isn’t the Place to Treat Drug Addiction

Sam Quinones argues for in-jail treatment as a solution to rising opioid use | NYTimes opinion, USA

My dad died like Darren Simpson. Now it's time to talk about alcohol addiction

"How did he die?" The four-word question, first on everyone's lips when someone goes before their time, as celebrity chef Darren Simpson, 48, did late last week. It's curious | Age comment, Australia