Daily news - 11th May 2017

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UK news

Poorest at greater risk from heavy drinking, says study

The poorest in society are more likely to suffer the health repercussions of excessive drinking, according to a new study [item below] | BBC, UK

Socioeconomic status as an effect modifier of alcohol consumption and harm: analysis of linked cohort data

Alcohol-related mortality and morbidity are high in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations compared with individuals from advantaged areas | Lancet, UK

Protecting children from passive smoking in their home

Statement from Professor John Middleton, President of the Faculty of Public Health | FPH, UK

Naloxone is a heath intervention that can’t be effectively provided without the knowledge and social connections of people who inject drugs

Programmes to provide naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdose, are successful because they harness the social contexts of drug use and train drug users to be ‘indigenous public health workers’ capable of intervening in an overdose, according to a qualitative study published in the May issue of Social Science & Medicine | NAMAidsmap, UK

Universities must do more to tackle use of smart drugs, say experts

Academics call on institutions to consider measures such as drug testing to stem UK rise of drugs used to cope with exam stress | Guardian, UK

First-Ever LSD Microdosing Study Will Pit the Human Brain Against AI

Amanda Fielding used to take lysergic acid diethylamide every day to boost creativity and productivity at work before LSD, known as acid, was made illegal in 1968 | Motherboard, UK

How I Accidentally Invested in Big Tobacco

Or: conclusive proof that betting against the world really does make you richer | VICE, UK

Should smoking in council houses be banned? - BBC radio

Would a ban prevent passive smoking or is it the nanny state going too far? | BBC Radio Ulster, UK

Substance Prevention in Schools: Effective Approaches for the Classroom

Mentor-ADEPIS.Wednesday, 14 June 2017 from 12:30 to 16:30 (BST). Bristol, United Kingdom | Mentor - ADEPIS, UK

HIV life expectancy 'near normal' thanks to new drugs

Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments, a study in The Lancet suggests | BBC, UK


International news

'My fear of dying was gone': Former cancer patient says psychedelic drugs helped him cope with end of life anxiety

When Rodrigo Nino was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, he turned to psychedelics to ease his anxiety around death. Now, he's helping top scientists to research how hallucinogens helped him, and could help others | Independent, UK

Scientists are about to find out how Silicon Valley's LSD habit really affects productivity

No existing study has looked into the science behind microdosing — a gap a team of scientists and passionate fundraisers are hoping to fill | Independent, UK

Student who drank orange juice laced with magic mushrooms dies after jumping from hotel balcony

Tourist's friend unable to stop him leaping from fifth floor | Independent, UK

Vermont could be about to legalise marijuana – and become first US state to do so without public vote

Recreational marijuana will be legal there if the governor signs the bill | Independent, UK

E-cigarette companies fined over false claims about toxic chemicals

In world-first case, Australia’s consumer watchdog finds three retailers claimed products did not contain harmful carcinogens, when this was not the case | Guardian, UK

Ireland’s first Supervised Injecting Facility a step closer as legislation passes all stages in the Oireachtas

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne today welcomed the passing of the Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017 through all stages in the Oireachtas | DoH, Ireland

Blanket ban on drink driving would not save lives: Publicans

The organisation that represents publicans outside Dublin has denounced plans by Transport Minister Shane Ross to strengthen drink-driving laws, saying there is no evidence to support his assertion that the move would save lives | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Drug-related deaths and deaths among drug users in Ireland: 2004–2014 (PDF)

The latest figures from the National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) show that a total of 697 deaths in Ireland during 2014 were linked to drug use | EMCDDA, Portugal

Jeff Sessions might bring back the war on drugs with harsher sentences for low-level offenders

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made no secret of his desire to revitalize the U.S. war on drugs, and new reports indicate he intends to begin by reinstituting harsher sentences for low-level offenders | VICE, USA

It's Nearly Impossible to Test for Weed in DUI Cases

The latest episode of 'Weediquette' looks at the issues facing law enforcement and impaired driving | VICE, USA

Marijuana use tied to poorer school performance

When high school students started smoking marijuana regularly they were less likely to get good grades and want to pursue university, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo | EurekAlert, USA

Quit-smoking drug safe for lung disease patients

Medication that helps smokers to quit is safe for use by people with chronic lung conditions, research suggests | Medical Xpress, USA

'Big Tobacco's Next Big Opportunity: Smoking Experiences

Having started my career working in the tobacco industry, I read with interest the recent Wall Street Journal article “Against All Odds, the U.S. Tobacco Industry Is Rolling in Money | Forbes, USA

Solo or duo? Spousal concordance in alternative tobacco product use

Spouses can have both positive and negative effects on people’s efforts to quit smoking. For example, people who encourage and complement their spouse on their attempt to quit tend to increase their spouse’s likelihood of quitting, while people who try to police their spouse or nag about smoking tend to decrease their spouse’s likelihood of quitting | BASIS, USA

Legal marijuana to take less than 1 per cent out of booze sales: study

The recreational marijuana industry is expected to take a sip of less than one per cent initially out of annual Canadian alcohol sales once it becomes legal, a new analysis says | Globe and Mail, Canada

Illicit tobacco in Australia 2016

This report provides an overview of the nature and dynamics of the legal and illicit tobacco markets and an independent assessment of the size of the illicit tobacco market in Australia | KPMG, Australia

Budget 2017: Government to profile drug users for welfare trial 

A government trial to drug-test welfare recipients will use a profiling tool to work out who is more likely to be a substance abuser | Age, Australia

Here's How The Welfare Drug Tests Will Work

It was one of the smaller programs announced in Tuesday's budget, but the one that has caused the biggest firestorm of controversy. A trial program to drug test 5000 recipients of Youth Allowance and Newstart in three as-yet-undisclosed locations from January 2018 | Huffington Post, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Interesting things about alcohol and other drugs, May 2017

Andrew Brown (@andrewbrown365) provides an overview of the latest drug and alcohol statistics, including on the extent of and attitudes towards alcohol use in the UK | MEAM, UK

Spice and police custody: there must be a better way

A string of shocking videos showing users of the drug “spice” in frozen and catatonic states on Britain’s streets and in prisons have sparked a national debate about how to deal with the substance and its users. But these disturbing images are just a snapshot | Conversation, UK

Doctors partly to blame for opioid addiction

Dr Hugh van’t Hoff and Martin Hoban on the use and overuse of painkillers | Guardian letters, UK

A regulated online cannabis market in the UK?

Could an online only, legal cannabis market in the UK be the way to disrupt the illicit black market? In the music industry, Spotify is making its mark on music piracy. Their platform is malware free, easy to use and has an ever expanding range of content | Russell Webster, UK

Sheila Duffy: No smoke without fire in the battle to live better without crutch of cigarettes

This year’s Mental Health Awareness week runs from 8 to 14 May, with a theme of “Thriving or Surviving?” The organisers should be congratulated for seeking to look beyond poor mental health and to stimulate a discussion on what can make us well and help keep us well | Scotsman, UK

Smoking in prisons

More prisons are due to ban smoking over the summer. It is difficult to argue that anyone should continue smoking as we all know that it kills, and kills painfully and prematurely | Howard League for Penal Reform blog, UK

A Manifesto for Drug Policy Reform - Protecting Families, Reducing Crime

Globally, drug policy reform is happening. More and more countries have stopped criminalising people who use drugs, and are looking to bring drug production and supply under legal government control.  From Portugal decriminalising drug possession in 2001, to Canada aiming to become the first G7 country to legalise and regulate the production and supply of cannabis in 2018 | Transform Blog, UK

National Summit on Tackling Multiple Disadvantage – a space for action

I’ve just returned from the second national summit on tackling multiple disadvantage. A two-day gathering organised by nine charities and funders working together, it brought together 300 people with both lived and professional experience of multiple needs | Homeless Link Blog, UK

Drug testing welfare recipients is not about love, Malcolm Turnbull, it's about punishment

Instead of demonising welfare recipients, the government should put its resources into programs that would really help those struggling with addiction | Guardian opinion, UK

When I heard about welfare drug testing, I thought of a young mother I once treated

Many other countries understand that addiction is a health issue, not a criminal one. This government wants to take us down an Orwellian road | Guardian, UK

Fierce debates dominate D.C.’s first E-Cigarette Summit

If you imagined an e-cigarette conference full of policymakers at a Marriott in Washington would be a tame event, you would be wrong. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that e-cigarettes could a polarizing topic, but I will not soon forget the cheers and boos in the crowd as people stood up to state their opinions and present their research at the first E-Cigarette Summit here in Washington | R Street, USA

First Large-Scale Population Analysis Reinforces Ketamine’s Reputation as Antidepressant

Better known as an anesthetic or as an illicit hallucinogenic drug, ketamine has also long been noted for alleviating depression | Science Blog, USA

Archive Report: The Psychoactive Substances Research Collection at Purdue University

It was a cloudy, rainy, late-March week in West Lafayette, Indiana when I first encountered Purdue University’s Psychoactive Substances Research Collection (PSRC). Maintained by the university library’s Archives and Special Collections, the PSRC offers the papers of important figures in American psychedelic research, from American LSD studies during the 1960s to the resurgence of international medical and scientific research about psychedelic substances during the 1990s | Points Blog, USA

The NRL has a drug problem, but there is a bigger one: alcohol 

Of course alcohol is legal, while cocaine isn't, but so what? | Age comment, Australia