Daily news - 16th April 2018

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UK news

Expert reaction to study looking at drinking alcohol, life expectancy and alcohol limits

A new analysis of data, published in The Lancet, reports that recommended alcohol limits in many countries should be lowered to around 100g/week for men and women | Science Media Centre, UK

UK's alcohol drinking limits are at 'right level' - video

The UK's drinking limits are at the "right level", the boss of an alcohol awareness charity has said. Richard Piper, chief executive officer of Alcohol Research UK, said people who chose to drink above 14 units a week - the equivalent of about six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine - were putting themselves at risk of ill health | BBC, UK

Reducing opioid related deaths in the UK - Further response regarding Drug Consumption Rooms (PDF)

Letter to ACMD from Victoria Atkins MP | Home Office, UK

Drug Interventions Programme

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the funding previously assigned to the Drug Interventions Programme to tackle drug-related offending by helping drug-using offenders to access treatment will be retained; and whether that funding will continue to be focused on the specific needs of that group of people | They work for you, UK

Love Island and other shows 'encourage teenagers to smoke'

Contestants’ cigarette habits in the reality TV show Love Island and Winston Churchill’s cigars in the Oscar-winning film inspire children to take up smoking, anti-tobacco campaigners have warned MPs | Guardian, UK

Former south London drug dealer reveals how he turned his life of crime around

Quince Garcia reveals in a candid interview with the Evening Standard how he "gave up the game" and left life on a London estate behind | Evening Standard, UK

'Ecstasy pills for sale' in WhatsApp message to customers

A dealer advertising "drugs for sale" on social media was arrested in a pioneering operation which took police 120 miles from Bridgend to Redditch, Worcestershire | BBC, UK

County Lines: Two jailed for trafficking woman to sell drugs

Two London gang members who trafficked a woman to Swansea before forcing her to deal heroin have been jailed | BBC, UK

Thousands of children potentially lured through social media into 'county lines' drugs dealing

Thousands of children could be being lured through social media sites such as Instagram into selling drugs in seaside towns, the police have warned as they secured their first modern slavery conviction against those responsible | Telegraph, UK

Newcastle drugs-probe bars spared closure

The temporary closure of three Tyneside bars that allowed drugs to be sold on the premises has been overturned | BBC, UK

Russell Stirton drugs trial witness jailed for contempt

A "significant" witness in the trial of a businessman cleared of drug smuggling has been jailed for contempt of court | BBC, UK


International news

Donald Trump says individual states can decide whether to legalise marijuana

Eight states have already legalised it and are working to pass legislation to stop federal interference | Independent, UK

Injectable microchip able to track levels of alcohol and drugs in body invented by scientists

Experts hope it could change the way substance abuse disorders are treated | Independent, UK

Follow guidelines to get the most from methadone

Two sets of US methadone clinics selected for high versus low adherence to clinical guidelines provided evidence that in everyday practice, the recommended high doses and intensive psychosocial services really do reduce substance use and may have wider benefits. This key study from 2008 was ‘backfilled’ to make the analysis available for cell D3 of the Drug Treatment Matrix | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Ketamine has 'fast-acting benefits' for depression

Ketamine has "shown promise" in the rapid treatment of major depression and suicidal thoughts, a US study says | BBC, UK

Why Science Needs Psychedelics – Amanda’s Message at the European Parliament

As part of her call for a paradigm shift in psychiatry, Amanda outlines concrete action which must be taken by policy-makers to facilitate psychedelic research and therapy | Beckley Foundation, UK

Bangladesh Plans Death Penalty for Selling Meth

Bangladeshi authorities have proposed an overhaul of the country’s drug laws, which includes provisions for people to be executed for selling methamphetamine | Talking Drugs, UK

Officer treated for overdose after inhaling unknown powder - video

A drug-related arrest turned into a medical emergency when a Columbus, Ohio police officer inhaled an unknown powder while collecting evidence. He was treated with the overdose reversal drug Narcan after police suspected the powder to be fentanyl | BBC, UK

Non-profit’s $300 hepatitis C cure as effective as $84,000 alternative

An affordable hepatitis C treatment has been shown to be safe and effective, with very high cure rates for patients including hard-to-treat cases, in interim clinical trial results that offer hope to the 71 million people living with the disease worldwide | Guardian, UK

Ireland's first supervised injection facility

The ugly reality of drug use, but will supervised injection centres make things better or worse? Conor Wilson examines the arguments for and against, the bleak reality of street addiction, as well as the drug-dealing and violent anti-social behaviour that comes with it | RTe, Ireland

Labelling alcohol products: It’s time to put the facts where they belong – on the bottle

Government must step up in absence of EU regulation on providing product information | Irish Times, Ireland

Conclusions of the WHO international meeting on prisons and health, Lisbon 2017

Drugs and drug-related harms continue to challenge prison systems in Europe and interventions in this setting must be driven by evidence gathered through monitoring, data-collection and research | EMCDDA, Portugal

Trump Promises To Leave Marijuana To The States

President Trump promised a Colorado senator he'd support congressional efforts to protect states with legalized marijuana | Newsy, USA

Here are the people most likely to use marijuana based on their professions, study says

People can now buy marijuana for medical use in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Should employers be worried about safety hazards of marijuana use both on and off the job? | abc news, USA

A Drug to End Addiction? Scientists Are Working on It

Researchers are studying a promising drug that could block the delivery of opioids from blood to brain, giving addicts a path to recovery | NYTimes, USA

Position statement: Avoid using medical marijuana to treat sleep apnea

Sleep apnea should be excluded from state medical cannabis programs | EurekAlert, USA

Study shows fast-acting benefits of ketamine for depression and suicidality

A nasal spray formulation of ketamine shows promise in the rapid treatment of symptoms of major depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a new study published online today in The American Journal of Psychiatry | EurekAlert, USA

For racial minority adolescents, cigarette and alcohol use linked to suicidality

Examining more than 20 years of national data for U.S. adolescents, a research team led by Andrew Subica at the University of California, Riverside reports that adolescents have high prevalence of alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use, and concerning rates of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors | Medical Xpress, USA

Opioid addiction treatment drug helps suppress HIV in former prisoners

When individuals with HIV are released from prison, they have difficulty obtaining care and are often unable to adhere to their HIV medications and maintain viral suppression | Medical Xpress, USA

Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer?

The science on the link is clear, but the alcohol industry has worked hard to downplay it | Mother Jones, USA

Tobacco Use Data Supports Efforts to Reduce Burden of Smoking-Associated Cancers

The burden of tobacco-based cancers could be lessened using tobacco use data collected from cancer registries, a study published in Cancer has shown | Oncology Nurse Advisor, USA

Seven Years Behind Bars for Two Joints — And Now He’s Free

Bernard Noble, whose case became a symbol of harsh drug laws, walks out of a Louisiana prison | Marshall Project, USA

Canada To Measure Marijuana Use By Testing Sewage

As a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana works its way through the Canadian Parliament, the government is gearing up to track cannabis consumption more closely than it has before | npr, USA

Two Montreal Religious Groups Can Now Legally Import Ayahuasca

With little fanfare, Health Canada granted exemptions last summer to two Montreal religious groups to allow them to import and serve ayahuasca to their members | VICE, Canada

Experts urge review of alcohol consumption guidelines

Thresholds for safer alcohol use might need lowering, University of Queensland drug and alcohol experts have cautioned | Medical Xpress, Australia

Toolkit aims to reduce domestic violence among drug and alcohol users

An Australian-first toolkit for workers in the drug and alcohol sector is being launched on Monday in Canberra to address the high rates of domestic violence among those abusing substances | Canberra Times, Australia

Proposal to lift the smoking age to be considered by health experts

State and territory health ministers have agreed to investigate a proposal to lift the age of buying tobacco to 21 years. The idea was put forward in an attempt to cut smoking rates | abc.net.au, Australia

'I will arrest you': Duterte threatens ICC lawyer over 'war on drugs'

The Philippines leader has hit out at what he calls an international effort to paint him as a "ruthless and heartless violator of human rights" | SBS News, Australia

Australian police officers travelling to Mexico to stem flow of meth

Reporting from deep in Cartel country, Tom Steinfort reveals the nation has become a meth-producing powerhouse, and a “priority” source for methamphetamines imported into Australia | 9 news, Australia

Survey: A study about addiction treatment providers' views about drug use and addiction

Online survey exploring addiction treatment providers’ views about drug and alcohol addiction. After completing this survey, you will be invited to enter a prize draw to win an Apple iPad OR Amazon Voucher valued at over AUD$400 | Monash University, Australia

Are we killing ourselves to look beautiful?

Underground criminal networks and untested chemicals are fuelling Australia's quest for a beautiful body | abc.net.au, Australia

Parents see son jailed for operating dark net criminal enterprise from their home

A young man was jailed yesterday for operating a dark net drug importing scheme out his parents' North Shore home. He was one of many teenagers arrested by police in the past 18 months for using Bitcoin to buy illicit drugs from around the world | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drinking a pint of beer may lower your life expectancy by the same amount as smoking a cigarette – new research

Earlier research has suggested that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may lower a person’s risk of heart disease. However, our latest study challenges these findings | Conversation, UK

Wake up tipplers, your nice plonk is not actually doing you any good

As the safe limits for alcohol are lowered, it’s time middle-class drinkers realised a comfortable lifestyle won’t save you from health consequences | Guardian opinion, UK

How Puma put its foot in it with a campaign to sell trainers

Linking running shoes and drug dealing makes the company look cheap and crass | Guardian, UK

Increasing levels of cocaine use

Wastewater analysis of drug-taking in 50 European cities | Russell Webster, UK

A US-style drug war brings a terrible cost: Thai prisons packed full of women

But the drug policy liberalizers are convinced that in coming years, Thailand’s US-backed drug war will recede and a more merciful approach will take its place | Medium, USA

Busting the myth that doctors are to blame for the opiate overdose crisis

In 2016, everyone from the chief medical health officer to the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons linked the growing epidemic of drug overdoses to doctors having over-prescribed opioids | Vancouver Sun opinion, Canada

Ice inclusion in trial makes sense

Substance abuse and addiction is one of the biggest preventable causes of premature death. Most of the fatalities are caused by licit drugs – alcohol, tobacco and prescription opioids. But many deaths also result from illicit drugs, particularly heroin | Age opinion, Australia