Daily news - 2nd March 2017

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UK news

What’s happening in the UK, DrugWise?

There’s no such thing as a current overview of drug trends: “By the time they’re published, most official reports are way out of date,” says freelance journalist and celebrated Narcomania author and columnist Max Daly, explaining the impetus for “Highways and Buyways.” | Volte Face, UK

Major effort needed to make cannabis use less harmful, say scientists

As more countries relax their laws and with drug potency rising, it is crucial to take steps to reduce harm from cannabis use, researchers say | Guardian, UK [See also 2nd item in Blogs below]

The Lancet Psychiatry: Experts ask: Can cannabis be made safer?

As cannabis laws become liberalised in many countries, experts writing in The Lancet Psychiatry argue that there is an urgent need to explore how cannabis use can be made safer | EurekAlert, UK

Estimating lives saved by addiction treatment in England

A robust analysis indicates that between 2008 and 2011 around 880
opioid-related ‘overdose’ deaths were prevented each year by treatment,
reducing total deaths by over 40% | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Criminal Justice Project: Drug Interventions Programme

The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) is an initiative with an overarching aim to identify and engage with drug using offenders in the criminal justice system in order to channel them into appropriate treatment services, and as a result reduce acquisitive crime in England and Wales | PHI, UK

Tragedy of 16-year-old who died after drinking 'Britain's cheapest booze' raised in parliament as MP calls for ban

Megan Craig-Wilkinson was just 16 when she tried super-strength 7.5 per alcohol 'Frosty Jack's' cider at a party with friends | Mirror, UK

What is Spice? video

The toxic mix of rough sleeping and 'Spice' is creating a worrying paradox. In this video, journalist Hardeep Matharu explains what 'Spice' is and how the Psychoactive Substances Act has impacted upon its use among the homeless | Volte Face, UK

Nose swab detects tobacco damage linked to lung cancer in smokers

A sample of cells taken from the inside of the nose could be used to indicate the damage caused to cells in the lung by smoking, a new US study has found | Cancer Reaserch UK, UK

Smoking in pregnancy; Lifestyle targets; Thyroid cancer; Flossing - BBC iPlayer

New moves to test pregnant women for smoking by measuring carbon monoxide on their breath | BBC Radio 4, UK

Cigarette smoking increases coffee consumption: findings from a Mendelian randomisation analysis

Marcus Munafò and his colleagues at the University of Bristol, have looked into the smoking and drinking habits of about 250,000 people. They found that smoking makes you drink more caffeinated drinks, possibly by changing your metabolism so that you break down caffeine quicker, pushing you to drink more to get the same hit | UKTAS, UK

Beer Duty

What recent representations he has received on the level of beer duty | They work for you, UK

Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood calls for the use of medicinal cannabis to be decriminalised

The call was made with support of people who have Multiple Sclerosis | Wales Online, UK

Adfam Policy Briefing February 2017

Monthly update with the latest comment, reports, resources, policy and parliamentary news on families, drugs and alcohol | Adfam, UK

University Drug Survey by drugsand.me

This survey investigates whether drug consumption and behaviour of university students are in accordance with universities' actions, services and information provided. It is an anonymous survey and it will not be possible to identify who takes part. The results of this survey are very valuable to make a change in the way UK universities approach drug related issues amongst students | Drugs and me, UK

Meet the mums legalising drugs

Free event. Tue, March 21, 2017. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM GMT | Everyone's Child, UK


International news

Guidance: Five nations health and justice collaboration: psychoactive substances

This statement outlines how the European drug marketplace has become increasingly complex with an increasing number of new substances available alongside more established drugs and diverted medications. The Five Nations Health and Justice Collaboration has been sharing increasing reports of NPS use in prisons across the five nations and their impact, not only on the health of the individual but also the prison regime, which has led to it to make this collective statement | PHE, UK

IDHDP - February 2017 Newsletter

Latest international drug policy news, resources and campaigns | IDHDP, UK

Line outs: Cocaine 'very popular' in French rugby, according to Toulon president

Boudjellal thinks players have turned to cocaine because alcohol "is no longer enough" | IBTimes, UK

US airports given green light to serve takeaway booze – what could possibly go wrong?

While Europe tries to clamp down on sozzled air passengers, lawmakers in the US state of Missouri have approved a bill that would allow the state’s airports to sell takeaway booze to holidaymakers. What could possibly go wrong? | Telegraph, UK

New Zealand Rugby and Kieran Read express disappointment after All Blacks tarnished by Ali Williams arrest

Williams' arrest for allegedly purchasing cocaine comes two weeks after Dan Carter failed a drink-driving test | Independent, UK

Jeff Sessions claims legal marijuana causes violent crime despite lack of evidence

Studies have found no correlation between the legalisation of marijuana and violent crime rates | Independent, UK

Minimum pricing key to tackling drink crisis

Tackling the pricing on alcohol is a priority to ease ‘urgent crisis’ here, says top medic | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Mid-West Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum: Small Grants 2017

The Mid West Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum invites applications for once-off Small Grant funding from Community, Cultural, and Voluntary groups that are not eligible for funding from another source. Projects must be based in the Mid-West area (Clare, Limerick City & County and North Tipperary). Applications for grants (min. €500 & max. €2,000) should be directly relevant to the MWRDAF Strategic Plan and to the National Drugs Strategy | Active Link, Ireland

Communities That Care (CTC): a comprehensive prevention approach for communities

Community coalitions are a strategy to coordinate activities and resources to prevent adolescent substance use and delinquent behaviour. They can help mobilise communities in prevention and health promotion initiatives | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drugnet Europe 97

In this issue: Lisbon Addictions 2017 | Revamped Healthy Nightlife Toolbox | EMCDDA chairs JHA agencies’ network | Germany enacts new law to control new psychoactive substances | European drugs summer school 2017 | EMCDDA products and services | Scientific Committee begins new mandate | EMCDDA, Portugal

Alcohol-free February sees profits dip in hospitality industry

The drinks and hospitality industry saw a loss in profits as more than 120,000 people take part in Tournée Minérale | Flanders Today, Belgium

German parliament legalizes cannabis for medical consumption

The German parliament has voted to allow consumption of the drug for medical purposes. The issue had been a point of heated discussion in the country for a long time | DW, Germany

NASEM Report Recommends Removing Barriers to Cannabis Research

Last month, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a major new report on the health effects of cannabis and its constituent compounds, based on a comprehensive assessment of research conducted since 1999 | NIDA, USA

Ketamine eases severe depression, but questions of dosage, duration remain

Recent studies have confirmed observations made by Yale clinicians decades ago — the anesthetic ketamine provides rapid and robust relief to those suffering from the most severe forms of depression | Yale News, USA

Study shows role of depression in the ongoing tobacco epidemic

The prevalence of smoking has remained fairly stable over the past decade after declining sharply for many years | Medical Xpress, USA

A Better Way to Treat Addiction in Jail

Medications are effective, but jails are still slow to provide them | Marshall Project, USA

Business groups, once tobacco-friendly, switch sides in fight

The local chamber of commerce is usually a reliable ally in battles against regulation. But when it comes to smoking rules, many business groups have decided they would rather switch than fight | Reuters, USA

North Chicago officials debate raising e-cigarette usage age to 21

North Chicago Ald. Kathy January, 7th, said she believes if someone is old enough to join the Navy, they should be old enough to smoke an e-cigarette | Chicago Tribune, USA

Ex-users try to help Afghanistan’s 3 million drug addicts

Raheem Rejaey was a drug addict for 17 years. He lived under bridges in Kabul or in the ruins of buildings. His clothes reeked. In his misery, he tried suicide several times, he said, once intentionally overdosing and lying unconscious in a street for two days, undiscovered | CBS News, USA

There Is A Solution To Canada's Fentanyl Overdose Crisis: End Drug Prohibition

Imagine you lived in a world where the alcohol content of your drink varied dramatically, and might be laced with poison. You could die and, in fact, you might have if you were around during the Prohibition Era when there was no regulation to keep alcohol safe | Huffington Post, Canada

Podcast Extra - Reporting Drugs and Alcohol with Dr Stephen Bright

In this special podcast extra we spoke to Dr Stephen Bright, Senior Lecturer of Addiction at Edith Cowan University, about the website he founded to monitor news reporting of issues relating to drugs and alcohol. The website, aodmediawatch.com.au, aims to improve the reporting of AOD issues through putting the spotlight on stories that contain misinformation, perpetuate unnecessary moral panic and stigma | Fourth Estate, Australia

Decision could cost millions of Australians $6000 a year

A federal government decision that was quietly slipped through last month could potentially cost millions of people more than $6,000 a year — and it’s the poor who will be the hardest hit | News.com.au, Australia

Lockout laws: Most Queenslanders believe closing nightclubs earlier makes sense

Most Queenslanders believe closing nightclubs earlier to reduce alcohol-related violence makes sense | Age, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Health Matters: Heroin availability and drug misuse deaths

The latest edition of Health Matters highlights the record level of drug-related deaths in England. This unquestionably warrants serious concern and efforts to improve the situation should be based on the best possible understanding of the problem including the trend itself | PHE Blog, UK

How we could make cannabis safer for users

Most cannabis users find that the effects of occasional use of the drug are pleasurable, but some regular users experience harm. Daily cannabis use can lead to cannabis dependence, and heavy use, over months and years, can lead some users to experience memory impairment and psychotic symptoms – hearing and seeing things that are not there | Conversation, UK

Interesting things about alcohol and other drugs, March 2017

Andrew Brown (@andrewbrown365) summarises the latest new data on alcohol and other drugs, including statistics on substance misuse in secure settings | MEAM Blog, UK

An excellent graphical history of drug treatment

Lifeline recently (February 2017) published an excellent infographic crammed with information on the way drug and alcohol treatment services have been funded over the last 30 years | Russell Webster, UK

France: breaking new ground in tobacco control

The start of 2017 has seen tobacco control in France boosted with a series of ground-breaking tobacco control measures, as detailed in a recent article by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada | BMJ Blogs, UK

Vaping Laws Keep Less Harmful Option Out Of Canadians' Reach

On Feb. 23, 2017, the Canadian Constitution Foundation released a report titled "Vaping and the Law," in which we surveyed and compared vaping legislation from across Canada | Huffington Post Blog, Canada

Attorney General Sessions wants to know the science on marijuana and opioids. Here it is

Speaking this morning before the National Association of Attorneys General, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed doubt that marijuana could help mitigate the opioid abuse epidemic | washington Post Blog, USA

Beyond ice: rethinking Australia's approach to illicit drugs

Redefining drug use as a health and social issue within a harm reduction framework will require progressive policy | MJA Perspectives, Australia