Daily news - 20th April 2018

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UK news

Alcohol Outlet Availability

Alcohol Focus Scotland has worked with the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, to provide further evidence of the links between alcohol availability and harm in Scotland | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Holyrood calls on Westminster to allow safe drug room in Glasgow

Setting up a safe room for addicts to take drugs could "save lives", Scotland's Public Health Minister has said. Aileen Campbell made a fresh plea for the UK Government to back having such a centre in Glasgow | Daily Record, UK

Scottish Parliament backs creation of UK’s first drug consumption room in Glasgow

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said there were drug injecting rooms in more than 70 cities worldwide, but none in the UK. “I would argue this position is no longer tenable,” she told MSPs | i news, UK

Monitoring of NSP Provision

The number of individuals engaged in structured drug treatment programmes in England has declined over recent years, but this has been a trend which has occurred alongside another development, that of an increasing number of drug related deaths (DRDs), culminating last year with ONS reporting the highest number of DRDs on record | NNEF, UK

Schoolgirl, 15, died of overdose after taking three 'Netflix' ecstasy pills at end-of-term party with friends who left her on a park bench to 'sleep it off'

Leah Kerry had been to visit her grandmother before going to the party with her old school friends when she collapsed | Mail Online, UK

Tackling the scourge of fake valium

Dundee is seen as a city on the up but it has a drug problem so acute that charity workers are handing out emergency medical syringes to try to keep users alive until the paramedics arrive | BBC, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what role Public Health England will play in monitoring the effect of the implementation of a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland to inform any decision on that policy in England | They work for you, UK

Organised Crime: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre to be fully operational | They work for you, UK

Barrow's 'Russian roulette' drugs problem

Police in Cumbria say they've seen a disproportionate number of deaths related to drug abuse in Barrow over recent months | BBC, UK

Police charge 15 with drug offences after morning raids

Police have charged 15 people with drug offences after more than 100 officers raided properties | BBC, UK

Juror jailed for taking bribe during £7m cocaine dealing trial

Ajuror has been jailed for six years after accepting a bribe during a £7 million cocaine dealing trial, which saw the defendants walk free | Telegraph, UK

Drugs worth more than £200,000 found in Aberdeen after fire

A man has appeared in court after drugs with an estimated street value of more than £200,000 were recovered in Aberdeen following a fire | BBC, UK


International news

Prince death: No criminal charges to be filed

No criminal charges will be brought over the death of US musician Prince in April 2016, prosecutors say | BBC, UK

420: Classic cannabis songs from the Jazz Age as stoners mark unofficial Weed Day

Odes to marijuana date back at least as far as Prohibition | Independent, UK

Inside the Mexican psychedelic drug rehabs where scores of Americans (and Matthew Mellon) flock in a desperate bid to get off opioids - as even top doctors admit 'we have few other options' to fight the addiction crisis

Adrienne Porter tried to get clean several times, but the methadone that was supposed to help her quit taking prescription opioids just led her to heroin | Mail Online, UK

Basel in the spotlight: the city that learned to love LSD

'Bicycle Day’ on 19 April is the 75th anniversary of the day Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered LSD, changing his perceptions – and the city’s future | Guardian, UK

Claus Lundekvam on his road to recovery: 'I've tried to kill myself twice. Cocaine and alcohol controlled every second but now I'm giving hope to others'

The cafeteria of a remote psychiatric unit in Norway might seem as far removed as you could get from the glamour of the English Premier League but it is not long before a direct connection is very starkly made | Telegraph, UK

There's a new vape pen taking over America — and it has Wall Street worried about tobacco stocks

In a recent research note, Citigroup analysts warned investors that the Juul, an e-cigarette that's particularly appealing to former smokers because of its powerful nicotine punch, was beginning to disrupt tobacco stocks | Business Insider, UK

Canada's 'free the beer' case loses in Supreme Court

A Canadian man who took his fight for cheaper beer all the way the Supreme Court has lost the battle | BBC, UK

US reflects on the pros, cons of legal cannabis ahead of 420

America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420 holiday: Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to a national advocacy group. Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year | Medical Xpress, USA

As Opioid Prescriptions Fall, Prescriptions for Drugs to Treat Addiction Rise

New data suggests progress in efforts to curb the epidemic but raises questions about whether tightened prescribing may be leading some people to heroin and fentanyl | NYTimes, USA

San Francisco's Newest Tool to Prevent Opioid Overdoses Tests Drugs, Starts Conversations

The only way you’d know you’re passing by a needle exchange at Sixth and Mission streets in San Francisco is a black poster with white lettering that reads, "Syringe Access Services." The words are topped with a rebellious-looking image of a skull with hypodermic needles as the crossbones | KQED, USA

Addiction experts have new tools, tough challenges

After years of surging overdoses, some of the officials and medical practitioners most deeply involved in the fight against opioids have hope that they finally have the tools, the funding and the public support needed to get the epidemic under control | Pittsburgh Post Gazette, USA

Health Groups, Lawmakers Sound Alarm on JUUL E-Cigarettes

In less than 3 years on the U.S. market, the electronic cigarette JUUL has become so popular among teens and young adults that its name is now a verb | Medpage Today, USA

In a unanimous vote, FDA advisory committee waves through GW Pharma's cannabinoid Epidiolex

GW Pharma's cannabis-based epilepsy treatment inched one step closer to FDA approval. In a 13-0 vote, an expert panel decided that the risk-benefit profile of Epidiolex is favorable for the treatment of seizures stemming from two rare forms of epilepsy. It is on track to become the first cannabis-based prescription med in the U.S. | Fierce Biotech, USA

US experts back marijuana-based drug for childhood seizures

A medicine made from the marijuana plant moved one step closer to U.S. approval Thursday after federal health advisers endorsed it for the treatment of severe seizures in children with epilepsy | Medical Xpress, USA

Scientific guidelines for using cannabis to treat stress, anxiety and depression

In a first-of-a-kind study, Washington State University scientists examined how peoples' self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by smoking different strains and quantities of cannabis at home | EurekAlert, USA

New drugs using the body's endocannabinoids to treat pain, cancer

A new technology developed by Stony Brook University researchers affiliated with the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (ICB & DD) that has identified Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABPs) as drug targets of the body's endocannabinoid system is licensed to Artelo Biosciences, Inc | Medical Xpress, USA

Is It Too Late to Stop the Rise of Marijuana, Inc.?

America is on the path to legalization, but as pot becomes a big business, lawmakers aren't yet wrestling with how to regulate it effectively | The Atlantic, USA

Inside The Push To End Marijuana Testing for Parolees in Philadelphia

Removing pot penalties for parolees could free up space in the city's drug treatment centers for those with opioid addiction | The Fix, USA

Decision making predicts future drug addiction in recreational users

Activity in decision-making brain regions of people who use recreational stimulants predicts who will discontinue use and who will develop a drug use disorder, according to a new study led by Martin Paulus, Ph.D., of Laureate Institute of Brain Research, Tulsa, Oklahoma | Medical Xpress, USA

Did ancient Mesopotamians get high? Near Eastern rituals may have included opium, cannabis

For as long as there has been civilization, there have been mind-altering drugs. Alcohol was distilled at least 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, about the same time that agriculture took hold there | Science Magazine, USA

Indonesia’s new anti-drug czar opts for counseling instead of crocodiles

Indonesia’s new anti-narcotics chief Heru Winarko called for an expansion of rehabilitation centers across the country on Wednesday, flagging a new approach in contrast to the blood-soaked war on drugs underway in its neighbor, the Philippines | NYPost, USA

Improving Quality of Life: Substance Use and Aging (PDF)

This report is written by experts in the field of substance use among older adults, and provides a summary of the best available evidence on effective ways to prevent, identify, assess and treat problematic substance use in the older adult population | CCSA, Canada

Liberals Reject Party Backbencher's Call To Decriminalize All Drugs

The health minister says a model like Portugal's wouldn't work in Canada | Huffngton Post, Canada

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2016–17: key findings

In 2016–17, 836 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 200,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 127,000 clients | AIHW, Australia

Medical doctors remain trapped in their substance-use disorders

Fear of dismissal or of losing their authorisation keeps medical doctors trapped in their substance use disorders, and instead of seeking help they attempt self-treatment. This is shown by a new study from Aarhus University | EurekAlert, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Falsehoods and facts about drugs and the people who use them

A new survey of Americans shows that many regard addiction as a behavioral failing, and most would not welcome those suffering from addiction into their neighborhoods, workplaces, or families | STAT news opinion, USA

Carrying Naloxone While Black: When Saving a Life Could Cost Me My Own

The surgeon general’s recommendation that Americans start carrying doses of the overdose-reversing drug ignores the racial stigma that makes it dangerous | Philly Mag opinion, USA

Australia should tax and regulate cannabis, not prohibit it

The decision to ban cannabis was an accident of history | abc.net.au opinion, Australia


And finally...

Flies enjoy having sex and will resort to alcohol if they can’t get it, scientists find

Unusual experiment could provide insights into addiction to rewarding substances | Independent, UK