Daily news - 18th May 2017

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UK news

Reality Check: Could legalising cannabis raise £1bn?

The claim: The Liberal Democrat manifesto says that legalising cannabis would raise £1bn for the Exchequer | BBC, UK

Liberal Democrats: we would raise £1bn in tax by legalising cannabis

Manifesto pledge figures based on Treasury report and evidence of recent legalisation in Colorado, Washington state and Uruguay | Guardian, UK

Manifesto Challenge 1. Reducing Drug Related Deaths

Latest national figures from 2015 have seen the highest levels of drug related deaths ever reported in the UK, numbering 3674 in England and Wales, and translating as the highest ever mortality rate from drug misuse, at 43.8 deaths per million | Volte Face, UK

Project - Tackling alcohol misuse in NHS hospitals

An informative resource pack which takes a look at the impact of alcohol misuse in NHS hospitals | HIN, UK

Warning pregnant women over dangers of alcohol goes too far, experts say

Women are being unfairly alarmed by official guidelines that warn them to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy, experts claim | Guardian, UK

Are you drinking wisely?

New online drinking tool | DrinkWise Age Well, UK

Tackling the Spice epidemic is the top election issue for voters in Manchester

More than 40 per cent of voters said ridding the streets of Spice should be a general election priority for candidates | Manchester Evening News, UK

Welsh authorities warn of deadly drug '100 times stronger' than standard heroin

The coroner for Swansea has passed on warnings of the dangers of Fentanyl and carfentanyl | Wales Online, UK

ASH Wales Welcomes New Laws Protecting Children from Smoking

New laws to protect children and young people from the harms of tobacco have been hailed as a major public health achievement by tobacco control campaign group ASH Wales | ASH Wales, UK

Can too much caffeine kill you? video

After 16-year-old Davis Cripe died in the US after drinking caffeine too quickly. We looked at the effects caffeine has on your body | BBC, UK

A top psychiatrist says magic mushrooms could cure depression 

Scientists are researching how psychoactive drugs could be used to treat mental illness in what is being hailed the psychedelic renaissance | Independent, UK

What Two Nights of Heavy Drinking a Week in Your Twenties Does to You

Will two to three nights on the sesh really make much of an impact in the long-term? I must know | VICE, UK

New integrated service in Bexley

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the contract to provide a new integrated drug and alcohol system for adults in Bexley starting on 1st July. South London and Maudsley will be the lead provider in a partnership with Blenheim and St Giles Trust | Blenheim, UK

Boris Johnson reprimanded for talking about alcohol in a Sikh temple

The Foreign Secretary caused shock when he started speaking about ending tariffs on whisky between the UK and India | Telegraph, UK

International news

Switching daily beer for water cuts risk of obesity, study finds

Researchers from Spain also find that swapping one sugary soft drink for water each day cuts risk of obesity by 15% | Guardian, UK

‘It’s just horrific’: caseworkers break their silence to reveal toll of addiction on children

In southern Ohio, the number of drug-exposed babies in child protection custody has jumped over 200%. The problem is so dire that workers agreed to break protocol to invite a reporter to hear their stories | Guardian, UK

'The pill mill of America': where drugs mean there are no good choices, only less awful ones

For six days in Portsmouth, Ohio, I keep trying to fool myself. Eventually, I am unable to just watch and listen | Guardian, UK

CA senator: There's an obvious double-standard in how America talks about drugs

There's an obvious racist double standard in how America talks about drugs, and according to California Senator Kamala Harris, one need look no further than the crack epidemic of the 1980s and '90s and the opioid crisis of today | Business Insider, UK

Some young people in Ballymun spend 150% of income on cannabis

Youth workers notice increase in training nonattendance or low motivation levels | Irish Times, Ireland

Safety boss says publicans are reducing people killed on the roads to 'an insignificant statistic'

RSA boss Moyagh Murdock is before an Oireachtas joint committee today | Journal, Ireland

Best practice portal

Relaunch of the Best practice portal which is designed to help you find practical and reliable information on what works (and what doesn’t) in the areas of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration | EMCDDA, Portugal

Cannabis Use among People Entering Drug Treatment in Europe: A Growing Phenomenon

This paper explores European and national trends in specialised drug treatment entry for cannabis-related problems. The analysis is based on data for the years 2003-2014 from 22 European countries | European Addiction Research, Portugal

Studies show harmful links between use of e-cigarettes and bladder cancer risk

2 Studies Link E-Cigarettes to Potential Increased Bladder Cancer Risk; 3rd Study Associates Smoking Intensity with a Higher Risk of Mortality among Patients | News Medical, USA

A third of high school students ride with drivers who have been drinking

One in three high school students reports riding with a driver who has been drinking, while nearly one in five was in a car where the driver had consumed marijuana, according to a new study | Science Daily, USA

It's often family to the rescue during opioid ODs

he tragic scenario has become far too familiar: A mother, a father or a sibling discovers the lifeless body of a loved one who has overdosed on opioids | Medical Xpress, USA

Pain linked to non-medical prescription opioid use in young adults

Physical pain—often "self-medicated" without help from healthcare professionals—is an important contributor to non-medical prescription opioid (NMPO) use by young adults, suggests a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) | Medical Xpress, USA

Even small quantities of opioids prescribed for minor injuries increase risk of long-term use

Overprescribing of opioid medications for pain has contributed to a record-high number of drug-related deaths in the United States in recent years. A significant part of the issue, experts say, is the vast amount of variation in opioid prescribing habits for minor injuries such as ankle sprains - which don't require treatment with such risky drugs in the first place | Medical Xpress, USA

Senators from both parties try to ease banking for marijuana businesses

Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed their drive to make banking easier for marijuana-based businesses in those U.S. states where the drug is legal, undeterred by signals from the Trump administration about maintaining tough marijuana restrictions nationally | Reuters, USA

Recovering addicts reveal what it’s really like to be hooked on ice

“You go above and beyond, you do a few things you probably wouldn’t do. Yeah, I’m probably not too proud of some of the nights I’ve spent with a couple of sheilas,” he admits | News.com.au, Australia

Cannabis now being used to treat severe drug addiction; Medical marijuana company AusCann ready to expand

Cannabis can be used as part of harm reduction techniques for treating severe addiction to other drugs. Thus, a coke or a heroin addict can be healed over time using marijuana | IBTimes, Australia

Drug addict receives amputations after dealer put plastic pebbles in batch

An Adelaide woman's frightening years of drug addiction are quickly evident to others when they see the impact to her right hand | ABC news, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Policy blog: The Psychoactive Substances Act one year on

Effective Measures on Supply – Time to Invest in Prevention | Mentor Blog, UK

Karen's Blog: Game Changer or Life Changer – if we don’t take the lead who will?

System failure is an all too common refrain when we talk about what prevents us meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and excluded in our communities | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

What do prisoners think of drug treatment?

By way of a change today, I am actually summarising a piece of research undertaken by myself. Over the last two months I’ve been researching the experiences of opiate using offenders seeking substitute prescribing (methadone or buprenorphine – usually known as Subutex or “Subbies”) in prison and on release | Russell Webster, UK

Standardised tobacco packaging - removing the power of brands

The tobacco industry was one of the first to adopt the tools of modern marketing nearly a hundred years ago, by associating its products with positive attributes | ASH, UK

Do we need to be start being creative in the pursuit of drug law reform

In a post-truth era, can we rely on evidence to persuade the public to support drug law reforms? | LEAP blog, UK

Gambling’s ‘crack cocaine’ is devastating lives and not doing much for the economy either

Since 2008, UK gamblers have squandered £11.4 billion playing games such as poker and roulette on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) | Conversation, UK

Welfare and dependency: why tough love won't help

Punishing drug dependency won’t cure it, it’ll make things worse says Nicole Lee. She explains why the government’s new proposal is unlikely to succeed in its goals | Ethics Centre Blog, Australia

Coalition's bid to catch welfare cheats at odds with real story

Perhaps it was the presence of cardiologists. Or maybe it had something to do with the snuggly​ Heart Foundation mascot waiting in the wings | Age comment, Australia

Operation Safenight is going to do more harm than good

From now until August, sniffer dogs, uniformed police officers and undercovers will patrol the partying scene in Melbourne as a part of Operation Safenight, a harm reduction approach to recreational drug use | Age comment, Australia




And finally...

'Herb Grinder' Gets Bad Reviews on Amazon from People Who Don't Realise It's for Weed

Pro tip: Do not use weed grinders for herbs and spices | VICE, UK