Daily news - 9th April 2018

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UK news

How to spot child drug couriers campaign

Bus drivers and train staff are being given tips on how to spot children being used as drug couriers | BBC, UK

Blackpool struggles to kick heroin amid seaside deprivation

Locals blame poverty and budget cuts for its position as a national hotspot for deaths from the drug | Guardian, UK

Self-Representation Guide for Drug Possession Offences

This guide will help you after arrest for personal possession of drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (‘MDA’). This guide will take you through the process step-by-step and explain all possible outcomes as clearly as possible | Release, UK

New App Will Help if You’re Arrested for Drug Possession

A new app has been launched to help the thousands of people prosecuted for drug possession every year in England and Wales | Talking Drugs, UK

Type 2 diabetes drug may help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms

This follows a study, carried out in mice, that explored whether the diabetes drug metformin could ease nicotine withdrawal symptoms | NHS Direct, UK

Campaign for legal drug-taking rooms in London as figures reveal worst areas for heroin and morphine deaths

Campaigners have called for radical new policies to tackle drug abuse in London as new figures revealed the worst boroughs for heroin and morphine overdoses | Evening Standard, UK

Scotland gathers evidence from Australia on safe drug rooms

The Scottish Government has turned to Australia for help as it builds its case to create the UK's first safe drug injecting space – an innovation that could save hundreds of lives | Herald, UK

Updated e-learning course on New Psychoactive Substances available for free to people in Scotland

Scottish Drugs Forum is pleased to announce an update to a free e-learning resource dedicated to raising knowledge and awareness of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) – otherwise known as ‘legal highs’ | SDF, UK

News & updates March 2018: MUP Scotland and Wales, cuts, older people, beer affordability & more

Selected media stories since the February roundup | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Students create virtual cocktail device that mimics tastes and flavours

'Vocktail' digitally overlays taste, smell and colour, allowing users to change their cocktail from a simple gin and tonic to whatever they fancy | ITV, UK

Sausage rolls found laced with drugs in Prestatyn

The pastries were discovered at about 17:00 BST in the car park of a leisure centre in Prestatyn | BBC, UK

Heroin addict stole from parents for 'African drug cure'

A man who stole £7,000 from his parents to "cure" his heroin addiction has been jailed for nine months | BBC, UK

Michael Morris jailed over A20 laughing gas death crash

A man has been jailed for more than eight years after he used laughing gas just before his car hit a van, killing a musician and his friend | BBC, UK

Seven arrested over laughing gas hospital thefts

Seven people have been arrested in connection with a spate of thefts of nitrous oxide cylinders at a Staffordshire hospital | BBC, UK

Cruise ship passenger Kevin Enright jailed for smuggling cocaine

A cruise ship passenger who used a Caribbean holiday as cover to bring cocaine worth more than £200,000 into the UK has been jailed | BBC, UK

Bristol drugs gang kept cannabis above Costa coffee shop

A drugs ringleader who masterminded his network from a flat above a Costa coffee shop has been jailed for nine years | BBC, UK


International news

The USA’s Drug Crisis - BBC Radio iPlayer

Claire Bolderson is in Ohio, where Opioid drug addiction has become the most serious public health crisis to hit the US in a generation. Claire speaks to recovering addicts about how this has affected their lives, their communities and their job prospects | BBC, UK

Legalised cannabis could help solve America's opioid crisis, studies suggest

Research into medical marijuana and liberal cannabis laws may offer insights into possible solutions to a crisis that saw 17,087 people die from prescription opioid overdoes in the US in 2016 | Independent, UK

Pharmaceutical giants are sidestepping US marijuana restrictions to research cannabis-based drugs

Getting marijuana-based drugs approved in America is no easy task | Business Insider, UK

Director of Netflix Philippine drug war drama Amo denies it glorifies narcotics crackdown

The first ever Philippine production on the global streaming giant Netflix will debut on 9 April, in a gritty portrayal of the controversial and bloody war on drugs being waged by President Rodrigo Duterte | Telegraph, UK

Three arrested after Migos tour bus found with 420 grams of marijuana

Three people were reportedly arrested in Boone, North Carolina last night after Atlanta rap group Migos' tour bus was pulled over by police as they left the Holmes Convocation Center following a performance at the campus of Appalachian State University | Independent, UK

HSE will reimburse cost of Ava Twomey’s medicinal cannabis

Young girl travelled to Netherlands with family last year to treat Dravet syndrome | Irish Times, Ireland

Merchants Quay Ireland asked by HSE to reduce cost of drug injection centre by 32%

The Health Service Executive asked Merchants Quay Ireland to reduce the cost of a new drug injection centre by 32%, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act | Rte, Ireland

NIH launches HEAL Initiative, doubles funding to accelerate scientific solutions to stem national opioid epidemic

Today, at the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the launch of the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis | NIH, USA

Cause and effect: the US opioid crisis explained

The opioid epidemic ravaging the United States, and New Hampshire in particular, is born from subscription painkillers. How did it start? What do opioids do to the body? Is the crisis already past its worst? | Medical Xpress, USA

More U.S. teens seeing e-cigarette ads

A large and growing proportion of U.S. teens are seeing e-cigarette ads in stores, online, on television and in newspapers and magazines, a recent study suggests | Reuters, USA

Nicotine-imbibing teenage rats show an increased risk for drinking alcohol as adults

Results have implications for better understanding use of nicotine vaping in children | Science Daily, USA

Tainted Synthetic Marijuana Sickens More Than 90 in Midwest, Killing 2

An outbreak around Chicago has caused mysterious symptoms, including severe bleeding. Officials are searching for the source of rat poison in the drug | NYTimes, USA

National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics annual data (NOPSAD) 2017

On a snapshot day in 2017, almost 50,000 clients received pharmacotherapy treatment for their opioid dependence at 2,732 dosing points around Australia | AIHW, Australia

Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice

The Needle and Syringe Programs in Australia: Peer-led Best Practice report outlines recommendations for peer-led best practice for needle and syringe program (NSP) service delivery in Australia | AIVL, Australia

$4 for eight drinks: the rise of heavy cider among young drinkers

For a cider, there isn't much flavour of apples or pears | Age, Australia

Medical cannabis is legal. That does not mean it works

Tens of thousands have applied for legal access to medical cannabis, mostly to treat chronic pain, estimates Dr Alex Wodak, president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. So far, only 525 patients have been approved | Age, Australia

Australia missing psychedelic drug 'renaissance' for mental health

Australia is missing out on a global "renaissance" of research into use of psychedelic drugs to treat mental health problems, two psychologists say | SMH, Australia

Fuelling the methamphetamine “epidemic” with law enforcement: What about prevention and treatment?

On the 5th of April, the front page of the West Australian Newspaper read “Ice Epidemic”. In an ongoing battle by the mainstream media to report on which city is ranked as having the biggest methamphetamine problem, Sarah Martin from the West Australian reported on figures released by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission... | AOD Media Watch, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol Concern/Alcohol Research UK blog

A set of blogs on alcohol brought togther in one place | Alcohol Concern/Alcohol Research UK, UK

Stop and search alone is not the answer to London's violent crime problem

Without action now, the violence will spread out from London with the 'county lines' strategy used by metropolitan gangs to win new, rural markets for their drug and other illegal trades | Independent voices, UK

Analysis: provide a safe consumption room for Glasgow's drug users

This past week, Glasgow City Council has again raised the issue of providing a safe consumption room for the city’s drug users | Herald, UK

Facing fentanyl: should the USA consider trialling prescription heroin?

[Free but requires registration] In 2016 in the USA, 19,547 fatal overdoses (about a third of all fatal overdoses) were attributed to synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyls. Fentanyl, almost always sold as or mixed with illicitly sourced opioids, sharply increases risk of overdose | Lancet, UK

Running Amok on Marijuana: Re-hashing the grain of truth in one of the world’s most persistent myths about Cannabis

There’s no denying that the growing nationwide acceptance of cannabis in the twenty-first century has illuminated the many benefits of this plant, long-sequestered in American society | Points blog, USA

Opioid Crisis The Living Legacy Of Public Health Agency's Neglect

The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed that 2,923 Canadians died of opioid-related overdose between January and September of 2017 | Huffington Post blog, Canada

Serious Concern that Netflix series “AMO” promotes and endorses murder and violence in the Philippines (PDF)

Letter. We, the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), are writing to urgently bring your attention to our concerns with relation to the Philippines drug war series “AMO”, which is set to be aired by Netflix | ANPUD, INPUD, India

Wastewater data provides wealth of knowledge on drug use

News that Canberrans are among the heaviest opioid users in the country made for sober reading last week | Age editorial, Australia