Daily news - 10th April 2018

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UK news

United Kingdom drug situation: Focal Point annual report

Annual report and data tables from the UK Focal Point on Drugs on the national prevalence, impact, prevention and treatment of drug use | PHE, UK

April issue of DDN magazine - out now

How far do you have to go to show that something’s a good idea, it’s cost effective, and that it works? We know that safe spaces, such as DCRs, save lives and that supporting instead of punishing is the only humane approach to drug policy | DDN, UK

Home Secretary launches Serious Violence Strategy

Home Secretary Amber Rudd today sets out a multi-million pound commitment to steering young people away from crime and tackling violent drug-dealing gangs through the government’s first Serious Violence Strategy (PDF) | Home Office and The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, UK

Amber Rudd: Drugs the 'biggest driver' of violence spate

The home secretary has announced a crackdown on drugs networks in England and Wales, citing a "strong link" between drugs and rising violent crime | BBC, UK

Why London's Teenagers Are Killing Each Other

Today, the Home Office launches a new strategy to deal with youth violence – but is it focusing on the right driving causes? | VICE, UK

Coke dealers are handing out ‘buy five, get one free’ loyalty cards to users

Harry Shapiro, of DrugWise, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘The level of competition on the street means they have to offer an incentive to get their customers to stay with the one dealer | Metro, UK

New drug test to detect spice or mamba

A blood test has been developed to detect a potentially lethal chemical used in former legal highs | BBC, UK

The role of stopping smoking in money advice – putting health and economic benefits together (PDF)

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and ASH Scotland worked together on a pilot to evaluate the potential role that money advice services can play in raising the issue of smoking | NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Smokefree Services and ASH Scotland, UK

Loophole allows cigarettes to be sold on Facebook

Tobacco companies and vendors are making use of Facebook to market and sell their products, including to children under 18, a study has found | Telegraph, UK

Obese people and smokers face delays for routine operations in Bath and North East Somerset

They must wait up to three months so they can try to lose weight or quit smoking first | Somerset Live, UK

Community rallies to help drug rehab charity after break-ins

A drug rehabilitation service in Halifax that suffered two burglaries in a week has had new carpets fitted for free | Halifax Courier, UK

Principality Stadium trials alcohol-free zone for Wales games

An alcohol ban will be trialled in a section of the Principality Stadium for Wales' autumn internationals | BBC, UK

Men in Pubs – a workshop

Free event. Bristol. 12th April. We’re a group of researchers at the University of Bristol and we want to explore how local pubs provide an important social space for older men and can help reduce loneliness in later life | University of Bristol, UK

‘Coronation Street’ Heroin Scene Cleared By Ofcom

‘Coronation Street’ did not breach Ofcom guidelines with a scene that showed character Billy Mayhew taking heroin in a church, the broadcasting watchdog has ruled | Huffington Post, UK

Gambling physically alters the brain, making people more prone to anxiety and depression, study finds

Gambling physically alters the structure of the brain and makes people more prone to depression and anxiety, new research has shown | Telegraph, UK

Death at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham 'likely' due to drug Spice

The death of a prisoner at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham was likely to have been caused by the use of the drug Spice, an inquest has heard | BBC, UK

One-legged Essex drug dealer jailed while on the run

A one-legged drug smuggler is wanted after he was convicted and jailed in his absence over the attempted importation of amphetamines worth £8m | BBC, UK


International news

Meet Juul – the Marlboro of e-cigarettes that comes in creme brulee flavour

Juul vape pens can be customised, made into fidget spinners – and one pod contains as much nicotine as an entire packet of cigarettes. No wonder kids love them | Guardian, UK

Colombian FARC leader arrested on drug trafficking charge

One of the top leaders of Colombia's former rebel group, the Farc, has been arrested in Bogota following a request from the United States | BBC, UK

Florida woman tells police wind blew cocaine into her handbag

A Florida woman arrested on suspicion of drug possession said the cocaine must have been blown into her handbag by the wind, police say | BBC, UK

'Pay via Bitcoin and bring your receipt' - Drug dealers using popular buy and sell site to advertise pills and cocaine

Drug dealers are using sales websites to advertise drugs and are demanding payment be made via Bitcoin or Western Union to avoid sting operations by gardaí | Independent, Ireland

Naloxone Stops Opioid Overdoses. How Do You Use It?

Each day 115 Americans die of an opioid overdose. In the first surgeon general advisory in 13 years, Americans were urged to carry a medication to save lives | NYTimes, USA

Health Officials: Prison Program Helps Lower Overdose Deaths

Health officials: Expanded program to treat prisoners for opioid addiction helps lower the number of accidental drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island in 2017 after years of steady increases | US News, USA

Study links rising heroin deaths to 2010 OxyContin reformulation

Efforts by Purdue Pharma in 2010 to make its blockbuster prescription opioid painkiller OxyContin less prone to abuse did nothing to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths across the nation | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis legalization will increase injuries

Albertans can expect to see increases in injury rates—including traffic fatalities, child poisonings and burns—when Canada legalizes recreational cannabis use this year, according to a report prepared by University of Alberta's Injury Prevention Centre | Medical Xpress, USA

COPD is an adult killer, but its origins may lie in childhood

COPD may seem like an adult disease, often tied to smoking. But two new studies suggest it could have roots in life's earliest years | Medical Xpress, USA

LSD causes congenitally blind man to experience synesthesia-like hallucinations

The psychedelic drug LSD induced synesthesia-like experiences in an individual who was born without vision, a condition known as congenital blindness, according to a new case study | PsyPost, USA

Cannabis: the fabric of Japan

An increasing number of states in the U.S. are easing policies on cannabis prohibition but little discussion has taken place in Japan on the potential benefits of adopting a similar approach. As various locations around the world celebrate annual April 20 marijuana festivals, we examine the country’s historical and cultural links to the much-maligned weed | Japan Times, Japan

ACT to introduce prescription monitoring scheme

The Barr government will introduce legislation to create a prescription drug monitoring scheme | Age, Australia

Review by researcher calls for pill testing to be part of Australia's Drug Strategy

On-site testing of 'party drug' pills could reduce the harms caused by drug use and potentially save lives, according to an independent review of Australia's National Drug Strategy, published in the open access Harm Reduction Journal | Medical Xpress, Australia

How a regional community is working together to solve its own drug problem

Drug issues are rife throughout regional Victoria, which is why the residents of Shepparton got together to formulate their own solution, with a rehabilitation centre funded by local philanthropy | abc.net.au, Australia

Matters of substance March issue

Mix of articles, personal stories and interviews on key drug topics | NZDF, New Zealand

Festival-goers warned of drug testing kit effectiveness

Festival-goers to Wellington's Homegrown music festival today are being cautioned that over-the-counter drug testing kits can give people a false sense of security | RNZ, New Zealand

Stop smoking services called upon to support vaping

Government funded stop smoking services will keep losing customers if they refuse to help people who want to try vaping, new research has found | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 56: A marathon not a sprint

Brisbane’s Gold Coast is not the only venue for fun and games in a land down under. In March, the Australian Parliament published its enquiry into e-cigarettes. Clearly the ‘status quo’ outcome was a major disappointment, but there were some positive takeaways and hopefully Australian tobacco harm reduction activists might feel that the argument has moved on | NSP blog, UK

New analysis of alcohol and cannabis – what’s the harm?

We’re all used to weighing up the benefits and pitfalls in our decision making. Is it worth the cost? Is it safe? Will I be able to get up in the morning? | Virgin blog, UK

The Formaldehyde in Your E-Cigs

Recently, there has been a shift away from calling e-cigarettes “e-cigs.” In public health circles, people now tend to call them by what they do: deliver nicotine to the inhaler. Thus, the term Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, ENDS for short, has come into vogue | NYTimes opinion, USA

International drug policy: is the UN becoming irrelevant?

When the wave of adult marijuana legalization in some states started in 2013, the position of the federal authorities regarding the government’s international obligations to prohibit drugs was based on a flexible interpretation of the United Nations drug conventions, commonly known as the Brownfield doctrine | The Hill opinion, UK