Daily news - 19th May 2017

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UK news

This is why cocaine is so insanely strong in Britain right now – by an expert

Police issued a warning this week that some street cocaine in Britain was now up to 100% pure – and potentially deadly [Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted]| Metro, UK

Drug and alcohol charity Lifeline Project collapses

Shock failure of charity serving 80,000 people a year and employing 1,300 comes after allegations over financial controls | Guardian, UK

The Conservatives Launch General Election Manifesto with Focus on Mental Health

With the UK general election looming in June, the Conservative party have today launched their official manifesto in Halifax | Volte Face, UK

New cigarettes packaging rules due to come into force

Cigarettes must be sold in standardised green packaging with graphic warnings of the dangers of smoking from this weekend as part of new rules designed to prevent young people from taking up the habit | ITV, UK

Alcohol CLeaR self-assessment tool

The alcohol CLeaR self-assessment tool brings together all those working to reduce alcohol-related harm in a locality to think through what is working well and to identify the opportunities for further improvement | PHE, UK

Speak up for elimination: General Election 2017 (PDF)

This manifesto outlines what we would like the next UK Government to do in order to ensure that we eliminate hepatitis C as a major public health threat by 2030, in line with our global commitment to do so | Hepatitis C Trust, UK

18/05/2017 - BBC radio 5 iPlayer

Sarah Brett gets exclusive access inside one of the UK's only drug rehab centres for women | BBC Radio, UK

The expanding universe of synthetic drugs

From “legal highs” to fentanyl, there are more drugs on offer than ever before | Economist, UK

Prisons drone-delivery drugs plot: Eleven charged

Eleven people have been charged over the smuggling of drugs and weapons into prisons - in some cases using drones to transport items | BBC, UK


International news

Fentanyl is the next wave of America’s opioid crisis

Criminalisation is not the right way to approach it or other drugs | Economist, UK

Soundgarden's Chris Cornell killed himself, coroner says

Singer who was one of founders of Seattle grunge scene was found dead in a hotel room in Detroit | Guardian, UK

Times Square crash: 18-year-old tourist identified as woman killed by car

The driver was quickly apprehended by police and taken into custody where he was given a breathalyser test and blew a 0.0. Drug tests were pending, and law enforcement officials said that the driver, Richard Rojas, was likely under the influence of a drug ingested via smoking | Independent, UK

Philippines president bans smoking in public, with offenders facing jail

Rodrigo Duterte, a former smoker himself, defies country’s powerful tobacco lobby to sign order that also outlaws ‘vaping’ | Guardian, UK

Forensic Science Ireland annual report 2016 (PDF)

FSI is an associated office of the Department of Justice and Equality. The people working at FSI are scientists and analysts trained in forensic testing and reporting techniques supported by administration staff and number close to one hundred. We work together to deliver to best international standards, independent expert opinion, advice, training and research to support the Irish criminal justice system | Forensic Science Ireland, Ireland

Alcohol or drugs were key factor in 80% of Cork suicide cases in study

Alcohol or drugs have been detected in eight out of 10 suicides examined in a study of 121 cases in Cork over a six-year period | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Drink drivers to be locked out from starting their vehicles under tough road safety plan

Motorists caught repeatedly drink driving face having 'alco locks' fitted to their vehicles | Independent, Ireland

Successful police operations in 24 detained and 5.5 tonnes of cocaine seized

Spanish National Police, Spanish Customs and Ecuadorian Police have conducted an operation resulting in the seizure of 5.5 tonnes of cocaine onboard a cargo vessel in Ecuador. Supported by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Europol, the investigation saw one of the largest seizures of cocaine to date | Europol, Belgium

Smoking out sources of in-home air pollution

An ambitious study led by San Diego State University researchers has investigated various factors that contribute to air pollution inside the house | Medical Xpress, USA

Customized, frequent emails show promise in tobacco cessation

Smokers who received frequent, tailored emails with quitting tips, motivational messages, and social support had cessation rates rivaling that of the most effective medication available for cessation | Science Daily, USA

Is ketamine a panacea for depression?

Researchers have long been intrigued by the antidepressant qualities of the club drug ketamine. Known on the street as "Special K," the drug is taken by partiers for its brief dissociative hallucinogenic effect, but it is also used medically as an anesthetic | Medical Xpress, USA

Bronx Harm Reduction Center Gives Out Fentanyl Test Strips To Heroin Users

A staff member began handing out the test strips out of desperation, to try to curb the overdose rates among the center's clientele | The Fix, USA

Seven Countries That Beat an Overdose Crisis

While other countries are succeeding in reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths, U.S. rates are rising | the Fix, USA

‘My whole life was focused on drugs.’ Miami chef talks addiction in the industry

“I can’t tell you the first time I cooked something or the best thing I’ve ever eaten, but I can tell you when I did my first drug, whatever it was,” | Miami Herald, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Countdown to standard packaging — how the tobacco industry uses packaging to target women and girls

The tobacco industry uses cigarette packaging as a marketing opportunity. In order to entice the next generation of smokers, brands like Silk Cut produced a line of Superslims which were developed to target to women and teenage girls | ASH blog, UK

24 hours in a British jail

It’s June 24th. My husband has just been sentenced to 9 years in jail. I watch him walk out of the dock and into a life where he is no longer mine…he’s a convict now, owned by the state until his release | Anyone's Child blog, UK

Why are the British so scared of cannabis?

200 million US citizens now have access to medical marijuana and 100 million can legally buy recreational cannabis.  Seventeen other countries including Holland, Belgium and Germany have made cannabis a medicine | TLS, UK

It's time for a mature and apolitical welfare debate

Discussions of our welfare system are riddled with inaccuracies and "fake news", ranging from stereotypes to claims about certain initiatives and commitments being "fully funded" | Age comment, Australia