Daily news - 14th March 2017

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UK news

March issue of DDN magazine

We had to make drug-related deaths the focus of this year’s conference. The room was packed with people that were directly affected, as demonstrated by the question, ‘who in this room has lost someone?’ | DDN, UK

Government funds school resource for drug and alcohol prevention

Public Health England announces new funding to expand Mentor UK’s ADEPIS resource into more schools and community settings | PHE, UK

‘Hard-hitting’ approach to tackling addiction set to be dropped

Public Health England (PHE) says a new scheme to educate children about the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction will move away from traditional “hard-hitting” approaches and instead focus on building young people's knowledge and resilience to make better choices | On Medica, UK

Alcohol and the gay community

If you’ve perused any gay media over the last couple of years, you might have come to the conclusion that the greatest singular challenge gay men face today is chemsex and its impact on sexual health | The Fact Site, UK

Online ‘virtual counselling’ service launches for gay men struggling with drugs and chemsex

Two leading charities have launched an online counselling service for gay and bisexual men to get support around drugs, sex and alcohol | PinkNews, UK

SURE: Substance Use Recovery Evaluator

SURE is a psychometrically valid, quick and easy-to-complete outcome measure, developed with unprecedented input from people in recovery. It can be used alongside, or instead of, existing outcome tools | NAC, UK

Isle of Man prisoners could be allowed to smoke e-cigarettes in six-month pilot

Prisoners in the Isle of Man could be allowed to smoke e-cigarettes, the Manx government has announced | BBC, UK

Cheltenham Festival 2017 punters urged to drink responsibly after anti-social behaviour last year

A crackdown on the sale of alcohol means a limit of four drinks per round per person has been introduced | Telegraph, UK

Birmingham cannabis factory smoking from roof

A suburban house was revealed as a drugs factory by massive white cannabis clouds billowing from its roof | BBC, UK

Two in court over £215,000 of cocaine discovered in Aberdeen

Police Scotland said the drugs were found in a vehicle in the Oscar Road area of Torry on Thursday | BBC, UK


International news

Why politicians should back new drink-driving law

Noel Clancy, whose wife and daughter died in crash, advocates zero-tolerance approach | Irish Times, Ireland

Bushmills® Irish Whiskey calls on fans to honour St Patrick with new toast

The oldest licensed distillery in Ireland is calling on whiskey fans to toast to St Patrick in a bid to honour the world's most popular saint | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Spike in the importation of illegal anabolic steroids causes health fears

The seizure of such drugs almost tripled last year | Journal, Ireland

60th Commission on Narcotic Drugs, 13-17 March 2017, Vienna

he United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the central UN policy-making body in drug-related matters, opens its 60th session in Vienna (13–17 March 2017). The CND meets every year to discuss the global state of drug control and to adopt resolutions to guide the way forward | EMCDDA, Portugal

Report regarding the mandatory labelling of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration of alcoholic beverages (PDF)

This report responds to the obligation set for the Commission by Article 16(4) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/20111 on the provision of food information to consumers (the Regulation). This provision exempts alcoholic beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol from the mandatory list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration and states that the Commission shall produce a report addressing whether alcoholic beverages should in future be covered, in particular, by the requirement to provide the information on the energy value, and the reasons justifying possible exemptions, taking into account the need to ensure coherence with other relevant Union policies and considering in this context the need to propose a definition of 'alcopops' | European Commission, Belgium

Presentations to an urban emergency department in Bern, Switzerland associated with acute recreational drug toxicity

Although the recreational use of psychoactive substances is common there is only limited systematic collection of data on acute drug toxicity or hospital presentations. Currently, data from Switzerland are only available from the University Hospital of Basel. The present study aimed to describe the presentations due to recreational drug use at an emergency department in Bern, Switzerland during a 4 year period | Springer Link, Switzerland

Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?

The use of smartphones and tablets has exploded over the same period that drug use has declined among American teens. Researchers say the correlation is worth exploring | NYTimes, USA

Mayor’s Plan to Fight Drug Addiction Focuses on Healing

Called HealingNYC, Bill de Blasio’s initiative against opioids stresses treatment, increased access to anti-overdose medication over law enforcement | NYTimes, USA

2 of a Farmer’s 3 Children Overdosed. What of the Third — and the Land?

Opioid addiction is ravaging America’s farmland, tearing at communities and posing a new threat to families that have worked the same soil for generations | NYTimes, USA

E-cigarettes a gateway to smoking? Not likely

Major national studies provide little evidence that e-cigarette users move to smoking cigarettes as a result, researchers write | Science Daily, USA

Beer Industry Could Lose $2 Billion From Legal Marijuana

Beer sales could take a huge hit if more states legalize recreational marijuana. A new report from Cannabiz Consumer Group or C2G predicted that the beer industry could lose more than $2 billion in retail sales from legal marijuana | Forbes, USA

Cultivation of Coca, the Leaf Used to Make Cocaine, Soars Anew in Colombia

Acreage under coca cultivation set to surpass levels before a U.S.-sponsored eradication program began | Wall Street Journal, USA

Synthetic Marijuana May Make You More Violent, Study Says

Teens using synthetic marijuana were more likely to use other illicit drugs and alcohol and have higher risks of displaying violent behavior, according to a new study released in the journal Pediatrics | IBTimes, USA

Prescription heroin for addicts among the options in proposed Toronto overdose plan

Overdose deaths reported in Toronto have gone up by 73 per cent over the past decade | CBC News, Canada

Majority of bystanders who administer opioid antidote don’t call 911: study

Up to two-thirds of Canadian bystanders who have recently administered the antidote for an opioid overdose to someone did not call 911 after that crucial moment, with the No. 1 reason being a fear getting arrested for drug offences, a new report says | Globe and Mail, Canada

Two in three young Aussies pre-drink

Almost two in three young Australians pre-drink before a night on the town, a new study has shown | News.com.au, Australia

Price of alcohol is enough to drive us to pre-drink: study

A new study has found the cost of alcohol played a large role in pre-drinking culture | Age, Australia

Surge in Victorian drownings - 40 since July 2016

A  surge in drownings in Victoria, 39 so far in 2016-17, has prompted fresh reminders about the dangers of combining alcohol and swimming | Age, Australia

Lifting the lid on Aucklanders' drug habits

More than half a kilogram of methamphetamine has been found on average each day in Auckland's sewers, new research says | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

CND Blog

Live reporting from the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. March 13th updates | IDPC, UK

Stigma and drug regulation

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about stigma and words relating to substance use.  Carl Hart recently wrote a piece arguing that understanding ‘addiction’ as a ‘brain disease’ contributes to social injustice, and when NACOA recently launched a manifesto for ‘children of alcoholics’the write-up by Alcohol Policy UK got me wondering about that much debated word ‘alcoholic’ | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Grasping the nettle of alcohol and other drugs workforce development

As SMMGP went about its business over the past few years, we were aware of the growing need to broaden our scope in the complex and ever-changing world of drug and alcohol treatment and to grasp the nettle of workforce development in a more structured way | SMMGP blog, UK

You’ll Never Believe why Clickbait Stories about Drugs aren’t Helpful

On Monday 6th March, Dan Proudman reported in The Sydney Morning Herald that two men from the Hunter region had died from drugs, although could not confirm which drugs were involved | AOD Media Watch blog, Australia

Australia’s war on drugs is failing. We must change course

Medical experts are calling the recent spate of drug overdoses a "public health emergency", and demonising drug users will only fuel the problem, writes Jill Stark | SBS comment, Australia

What the wastewater tells us about drugs

It would be wrong to say the results of New Zealand’s first pilot study analysing wastewater to estimate public drug use tell us what we already knew. It’s a characteristic of studying illicit drug use that there’s always a lot you don’t know. But the data do tell a story. A story that could be very useful if we pay attention | Public address blog, New Zealand