Daily news - 17th May 2017

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UK news

Labour Manifesto Launches But Drug Policy Remains Missing

The Labour Party launched their manifesto for the upcoming general election this morning at Bradford University | Volte Face, UK

Could psychedelics become an accepted treatment for mental health problems?

A few years ago, if you were to tell most people suffering from a serious mental health problem that their ills could be cured with a spot of Class A drugs, they might think you’ve, well, taken something | Telegraph, UK

Police unit backs new approach to cut alcohol-related crime

A respected police unit has given its backing to alcohol minimum pricing and called for tougher licensing laws to help tackle violent crime on Scotland’s streets | Scotsman, UK

High Stakes Review #001

Collaboration through honest, open discussion was the order of the day at Volteface’s latest event, High Stakes: Prison Drug Policy Symposium, held at London’s Barbican Centre on Friday May 5 | Volte Face, UK

Ten Questions You Always Wanted to Ask a Drug Dealer

"I hate when people come in for coke, do a bump and chill for a bit, and then go drop massive shits in my bathroom." | VICE, UK

British prison is first to use 'disruptor' to create drone-proof 'shield' around jail

ABritish prison has become the world's first to use a new system designed to stop drones flying over perimeter walls to drop contraband into jails | Telegraph, UK

Koco Bongo licence revoked in Wakefield cannabis raid

A nightclub has lost its licence after police found cannabis plants with a street value of £40,000 during a raid | BBC, UK

Heroin found at London Heathrow on plane from Pakistan

Police in the UK say a "quantity of heroin" has been found on board a plane that flew to London from Pakistan | BBC, UK

Pair jailed for smuggling tonne of drugs in lawnmower shipments

Two men who used shipments of lawnmowers to smuggle more than a tonne of ecstasy, cannabis and ketamine into the UK have been jailed for 14 years | BBC, UK



International news

Injecting ATS/NPS use and drug abjection in Romania

[Now open access] The purpose of this paper is to investigate a group of Romanian injecting substance users “migrating” from heroin to novel psychoactive substances (NPS) as a counterpublic seeking to escape the stigma of drug abjection | Emerald Insight, UK

Rodrigo Duterte accepts he could face International Criminal Court over drug killings: ‘This is a democracy’

Controversial President does not object to politician Gary Alejano's impeachment complaint against him over extrajudicial war on narcotics traffickers saying: 'He's free to do it' | Independent, UK

Billionaire Bloomberg to fund $5m public health projects in 40 cities worldwide

Melbourne, Accra and Ulaanbaatar among cities to benefit from funding pledged by former New York mayor to tackle issues from air pollution to obesity | Guardian, UK

Forensic scientists detect 27 new recreational drugs

Laboratory-made substances evading detection by gardaí and customs officials | Irish Times, Ireland

Legal approaches to drugs and driving

Drug use can reduce the ability to drive a motor vehicle safely on the public road. European countries have developed various legal mechanisms to address this issue, using laws on road traffic or on drug control. This topic overview briefly describes the national laws in EU Member States and Norway, along with EU legislation, on drugs and driving | EMCDDA, Portugal

Increases in Illicit Drugs, Including Cocaine, Drive Workforce Drug Positivity to Highest Rate in 12 Years

Cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine use up broadly among United States workforce across multiple specimen types and testing populations. Marijuana positivity increases significantly in three years | Quest diagnostics, USA

An Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl

In the day room at St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, which runs a needle exchange program in the Bronx, a group of guys are playing dominoes and listening to salsa music while they wait for lunch | NPR, USA

How to accurately assess use of new psychoactive drugs such as 'bath salts'

Hundreds of new psychoactive substances have emerged in recent years, and determining their prevalence is essential to cultivating effective prevention efforts. One example of new street drugs is synthetic cathinones, a.k.a.: "bath salts." | Medical Xpress, USA

Swedish snus can be as damaging to the fetus as smoking

While it is well known that smoking while pregnant can damage the fetus, the effects of using Swedish snus (oral moist snuff) have been more mooted | Medical Xpress, USA

Popular weight-loss surgery puts patients at high risk for alcohol problems

One in five patients who undergo one of the most popular weight-loss surgical procedures is likely to develop problems with alcohol, with symptoms sometimes not appearing until years after their surgery, according to one of the largest, longest-running studies of adults who got weight-loss surgery | Science Daily, USA

US teen dies of caffeine overdose

A coffee, a caffeinated drink and an energy soda proved a deadly combination for a South Carolina teenager who died within two hours of consuming them, triggering warnings about the risks of caffeine overdose | Medical Xpress, USA

'Narco-deforestation' study links loss of Central American tropical forests to cocaine

Central American tropical forests are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening the livelihood of indigenous peoples there and endangering some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America | EureKAlert, USA

I Smoked Weed Three Times and Ended Up in Rehab Hell

"It was such shell shock that... it was just like my bowels froze, my brain froze." | VICE, USA

Police Officer Overdoses Just From Brushing Fentanyl Off His Uniform

An Ohio police officer almost died from a drug overdose after simply brushing what was believed to be powdered fentanyl off his shirt. It took four doses of opioid antidote Narcan to revive him. The incident shows that the opioid epidemic is dangerous even for people who aren't using the drugs | VICE, USA

After a long wait, two supervised injection sites will open in Montreal in a matter of weeks, Quebec's public health minister announced Friday | Globe and Mail, Canada

Cannabis may help wean people off crack, study finds

Cannabis has been identified as a potential substitute for users of legal or illicit opioids, but a new Vancouver-based study shows the drug may also help reduce people’s cravings for another highly addictive substance: crack cocaine | Globe and Mail, Canada

Women-only overdose prevention site opens in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

SisterSpace at 135 Dunlevy Street can accommodate up to 15 women at a time in a monitored and safe space | CBC News, Canada

US workers testing positive for illegal drugs hits 12yr high – report

More than one in 25 American workers tested positive for illicit drugs during employer tests last year, with cocaine and amphetamine positivity increasing rapidly, according to analysis by a top workplace drug-testing lab [See Quest Diagnostics report above] | RT, Russia

Methamphetamine traffickers to get life in prison under new Labor bill

The McGowan government is planning to crackdown on methamphetamine traffickers threatening to jail drug runners for life | Age, Australia

Push to ban 24-hour sale of alcohol rejected by SA Opposition

A push by the State Government to force pubs and clubs to stop selling liquor for at least three hours a day will face opposition from the Liberal Party | Adelaide Now, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Consumers have the right to know what they drink

Listing nutritional information on alcohol labels will help consumers make healthier choices, writes Vytenis Andriukaitis | Parliament Magazine opinion, Belgium

Australia should stop beefing up its steroid laws – that won’t help users

The use of image and performance enhancing drugs – in particular steroids – is a growing area of concern globally | Conversation, Australia

Finding an evidence based intervention for methamphetamine-using women

Methamphetamine use disorder is a serious health concern in the Middle East region, especially in Iran. This is because of the domestic production of methamphetamine with accessible ingredients and the inexpensive price | Drug and alcohol research connections opinion, Australia



And finally...

Pet Rat In Vancouver Overdoses On Heroin, Saved By Narcan

She said the pet was brought in on Sunday night by a woman who said it had eaten heroin off a table, the CBC reports | NPR, USA