Daily news - 26th May 2017

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UK news

Proportion of UK drug users using dark net to buy drugs 'doubles in three years'

'We're talking about 15-year-olds getting hold of LSD. It's a complete disaster' | Independent, UK

Novel Psychoactive Substances synthetic cannabinoids in prison and community including best practice treatment approaches

The use of new psychoactive substances [NPS] in prisons has been recognised as an increasing problem for several years. Successive Chief Inspectors of Prisons and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman have drawn attention to the impact on prisons, prison staff and prisoners themselves from the use of NPS | SMMGP, UK

Alcohol availability in England: trends, patterns and policy implications

A recent study from the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group highlights how widely available alcohol is in England, and how this has changed in the last decade | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Global Drug Policy 2017: Key findings for Scotland

The 2017 report spoke to 120,000 people in over 50 global nations and spoke to 708 people in Scotland | SDF, UK

An Antidote For Spice Overdoses

Use of synthetic cannabinoids (aka ‘Spice’), as reported extensively in the mainstream media, has recently become a major problem among the homeless community and in prisons. Spice is cheap, hard to detect, has hugely variable levels of potency and comes with some severe adverse effects | Volte Face, UK

'Legal High' incidents fall dramatically following ban

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of emergency calls to treat people in the North East taking so-called 'legal highs', since the drugs were banned a year ago today | ITV, UK

A&E departments under pressure from drug users

People addicted to cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol are having to attend accident and emergency departments because most drugs services are focused on heroin, according to an expert | Herald, UK [See also blogs section below]

Children of alcoholics, Leanne Wood

On at 10am | BBC Radio 4, UK

Fears for drug addicts and alcoholics in Stoke-on-Trent after charity's collapse

A 'vital' service for drug addicts and alcoholics in North Staffordshire faces an uncertain | Stoke Sentinel, UK

Vaporiser dubbed the 'iPhone of e-cigs' arrives in the UK - with a suitably premium price tag

Created by an ex-Apple design manager, the Firefly 2 portable vaporiser has been likened to the famous smartphone | Mirror, UK

Three jailed for Jersey drugs operation

Three men have been jailed after admitting a number of drugs offences and money laundering in Jersey | BBC, UK


International news

How the World Gets Stoned: Cannabis Findings from the Global Drugs Survey

The newly-published results of an international survey has given a glimpse into how people around the world consume cannabis | Talking Drugs, UK

Cocaine more addictive than first thought, study finds

People who use cocaine “recreationally” may be closer to becoming addicted than they think, a study has warned | Guardian, UK

Is heroin being smuggled on Pakistani planes into Heathrow?

Pakistan's national carrier says it is taking measures to ensure its planes are not used to carry drugs after heroin was found on two of its London-bound aircraft | BBC, UK

Addiction counsellors OD at Pennsylvania drug centre

Two drug counsellors at a US addiction centre have died after overdosing | BBC, UK

Schapelle Corby: The drugs, the circus and a long-awaited return

Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby, almost 40, is heading home from Indonesia for the first time in more than 12 years | BBC, UK

Implementing a health-led approach to drug use – what does it mean?

In the Programme for Government published in May 2016, a commitment was made to ‘support a health-led rather than criminal justice approach to drug use’ | Drugnet, Ireland

Cannabis medicine offers hope on epilepsy

A drug derived from cannabis offers new hope to people with untreatable forms of epilepsy, according to the results of a new study | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Safe space for illegal drug consumption in Baltimore would save $6 million a year

A new cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and others suggests that $6 million in costs related to the opioid epidemic could be saved each year if a single "safe consumption" space for illicit drug users were opened in Baltimore | Medical Xpress, USA

Children injured through drink or drugs at increased risk of suicide

Teenagers injured through drinking, drug abuse or self-harming have a five-fold increased risk of dying from suicide in the next decade | Medical Xpress, USA

Resetting balance in reward centers may help treat alcohol addiction

The human brain functions on a delicate balance of reinforcing positive behaviors and suppressing negative ones, which takes place in the dorsal striatum, a brain region critical for goal-directed behavior and implicated in drug and alcohol addiction | Medical Xpress, USA

An Accidental Confession Led Police to a $500 Million Opium Poppy Field in North Carolina

Police in North Carolina discovered a field of opium poppies worth an estimated $500 million after the man growing them assumed that officers had already uncovered the operation and offered a premature confession | TIME, USA

Judge Orders UPS to Pay $247 Million for Illegally Shipping Cigarettes

A federal judge in Manhattan said UPS needed to pay a “very significant award” to curb future conduct and to send a message to company executives | NYTimes, USA

Life in Recovery from Addiction in Canada (PDF)

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), together with the National Recovery Advisory Committee, conducted the first Canadian survey of people in recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs. This survey provides a wealth of information about recovery in Canada that can inform healthcare providers, decision makers and the public as they work towards building a system of care and a society that supports the principles of recovery and celebrates recovery | CCSA, Canada

These are the faces of addiction and recovery in Canada, report says

If addiction makes you think of a lone person in a dark alley injecting drugs into their arm, you're not alone. But a first-ever report on recovery in Canada aims to tell you how wrong that image is | CNC News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Colin Drummond: Cuts to addiction services in England are a false economy

“Savings” in specialist services are increasing pressure elsewhere in the NHS, says Colin Drummond | BMJ Blog, UK

We need to respond to changing drugs challenge

It is in nobody’s interest for drug or alcohol users to be ending up by default at hospital accident and emergency departments | Herald opinion, UK

Standardised packaging for cigarettes

Tobacco industry products are responsible for six million deaths every year,1 equating to 100 million deaths in the 20th century and a projected 21 billion deaths in the 21st century.2 All of these deaths—from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and other causes3—are completely preventable. This global epidemic has gone on for far too long | BMJ Blog, UK

York University hosts gathering of addictions experts to ‘end the silence’ on women and addictions

Leading experts in mental health and substance abuse are meeting at the University of York in June to discuss Women and Addictions. The latest figures show that one in 20 women in England and Wales has used drugs in the last year and additionally only one in 10 women who need treatment actually access drug services | Kings College London Blog, UK