Daily news - 25th May 2017

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UK news

GDS highlights 2017 - video

Here are some of the highlights from Global Drug Survey 2017 introduced by GDS founder and CEO Dr Adam Winstock | GDS, UK

Cocaine is getting stronger, drug experts warn

There's a warning cocaine in the UK is getting stronger - and more users are ending up in hospital | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Global Drug Survey: The simple way smoking cannabis could be made less dangerous

In the UK, 77 per cent of cannabis users put tobacco in their joints, compared to a mere 8 per cent of survey respondents from the USA | Independent, UK

Cuts to addiction services in England are 'a false economy' warns expert

Professor Colin Drummond, Chair of the Addictions Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says typically addiction services in England have seen cuts of 30% but some areas are planning cuts of up to 50% | Medical Xpress, UK

Lib Dems Promise Legal Cannabis, but Reception Proves to be a Mixed Bag

In an interview with Buzzfeed News last week, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Julian Huppert revealed that the party intends to fully legalise and regulate the production, sale, and use of cannabis, should they secure a shock victory in the upcoming General Election | Volte Face, UK

North East councils run £1.3m alcohol and tobacco 'de-normalisation' campaign

PR is at the heart of a new push to reduce levels of smoking and drinking in North East England, with some £1.3m being spent this year on tobacco control and alcohol "de-normalisation" | PR Week, UK

Lords’ Licensing Act Review: what are the odds for change?

It’s more than a month since The House of Lords select committee published proposals for a “major overhaul” of the 2003 Licensing Act. But how many of the Lords’ recommendations are likely to be implemented by the next Government? | Morning Advertiser, UK

Alcohol Research UK Annual Conference 2017: Working Together - video

This year, Alcohol Research UK’s annual conference looked at how researchers, practitioners and people with lived experience can work together to tackle alcohol related harm. The result was inspirational | GDS, UK

The silk roadcraetor's life sentence actually boosted dark web drug sales

Two years ago this week, Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without parole for running the Silk Road, an unprecedented dark web bazaar for drugs and other contraband | WIRED, UK

How Drug Control Policy and Practice Undermine Access to Controlled Medicines

Drug conventions serve as the cornerstone for domestic drug laws and impose a dual obligation upon states to prevent the misuse of controlled substances while ensuring their adequate availability for medical and scientific purposes | HHR Journal, UK

What 100 Percent Pure Cocaine Actually Does to You

A warning was issued last week that high purity coke is available in the UK, so we asked an expert to take us through its effects, step by step | VICE, UK

Pain patients treated with ketamine less likely to experience depression

Large-scale data from the US Food and Drug Administration suggest that ketamine should be studied for use in patients suffering from depression | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Drug dealers 'could hold clues' in Chris May murder probe

A man who went missing nearly two years ago was trying to expand his drug dealing operation at the time, police said | BBC, UK

Man jailed for prison drug smuggling bid

A man who attempted to smuggle £15,000 worth of drugs and a mobile phone into prison has been jailed for 30 months | BBC, UK


International news

Cannabis drug cuts seizures in children with severe epilepsy in trial

Cannabis could hold the key to treating epilepsy in children, according to new research | Guardian, UK

Most Ecstasy-Related Harm Caused by Preventable Behaviors, Study Finds

This year’s Global Drug Survey found an increase in the number of people seeking medical treatment for ecstasy-related causes | Thump, UK

Use of psychedelic drugs may reduce the risk of suicide in female sex workers

Women sex workers who used psychedelic drugs such as LSD were less likely to think about or attempt suicide, while some other drugs increased the risk, according to study results presented at the 25th International Harm Reduction Conference (HR17) this week in Montréal | NAM Aidsmap, UK

Golf star Billy Horschel's wife reveals her alcoholism

When US golfer Billy Horschel won the FedEx cup in 2014, it looked as if a golden career was about to take off | BBC, UK

Noted experts critically evaluate benefits of medical marijuana for treatment of epilepsy

Special Issue of Epilepsy & Behavior highlights the issues involved with medical marijuana | EurekAlert, USA

Recreational cannabis, used often, increases risk of gum disease

Columbia University dental researchers have found that frequent recreational use of cannabis--including marijuana, hashish, and hash oil--increases the risk of gum disease | EurekAlert, USA

Cost-effective ways to combat HIV risk among intravenous drug users identified

With the abuse of opioids on the rise in the United States, Stanford University researchers are concerned that increased HIV transmission from shared needles won't be far behind | Science Daily, USA

Answers to frequently asked questions about the EDRS

Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre would like to invite people who use ecstasy to participate in a one-hour CONFIDENTIAL and ANONYMOUS interview for the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS). Participants are reimbursed $40 for their time and expenses | NDARC, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Cannabis isn’t the health problem - it’s the tobacco you mix with it

Europe may seem like an increasingly divided continent, but there is one thing that unites its people: an obsession with using tobacco to smoke cannabis. Up to 90% of Europeans combine tobacco with cannabis, according to the latest Global Drug Survey. By comparison, only 8% of Americans smoke cannabis this way | Conversation, UK

Fact Check: do the police spend over a million hours a year fighting cannabis?

Nick Clegg, former Liberal Democrat leader, commenting on Twitter on May 15 on the party’s election pledge to legalise cannabis | Conversation, UK

Interesting new drug facts (May 2017)

Attitudes to alcohol | Russell Webster, UK

Is research really something special?

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I've been pretty busy over the past few months, as we've been re-procuring almost all of the substance misuse treatment services across Bournemouth, Poole and the rest of Dorset | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Multiple Needs Summit 2017: Remembering To Celebrate Successes

Earlier this month, Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead travelled down to Milton Keynes for the annual Multiple Needs Summit, organised by the MEAM Coalition | Fulfilling Lives Blog, UK

French Polynesia yacht wreck leads to drug problem

Authorities in French Polynesia say that drug use has spiked on one of its atolls after a yacht ran aground there last month | BBC, UK




And finally...

Homing Pigeon Caught Carrying Nearly 200 Ecstasy Pills On Its Back

It appears that drug smugglers are coming up with every trick in the book to try and get their products to their customers. You might have seen Banged Up Abroad, where tourists get arrested with bags of cocaine or heroin strapped to their bodies and locked up for years | Lad Bible, USA