Daily news - 23rd April 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Cocaine hospitalizations up 90% in the UK

[Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] The risks associated with using cocaine are ramping up in the UK, since studies now show that the number of in-patients diagnosed primarily with “mental and behavioural disorders due to use of cocaine” has risen mo re than 90% since 2014, and the number of mentions of cocaine in hospital attendance records has more than doubled in the same timeframe | ATAC, UK

Children of alcoholic parents to get help in £6m scheme

Estimated 200,000 ‘silent victims’ to be given support and advice | Guardian, UK

Safe Injection Facilities

The next item of business is a debate on motion S5M-11695, in the name of Aileen Campbell, on safe injection facilities | They work for you, UK

Buprenorphine may be safer than methadone if treatment duration is longer, study suggests

The less commonly prescribed opioid substitute buprenorphine may be safer than methadone for problem opioid users, especially if used during the first month of treatment, according to a study which includes University of Manchester researchers | Medical Xpress, UK

Effectiveness Bank hot topics April to June 2018

A basic standard for effective substance use treatment is that, to the
client, it looks like ‘treatment’. Two hot topics explore treatments
currently at the fringes of awareness or acceptance, scrutinising what
(if anything) works about digital interventions and acupuncture, and a third hot topic looks at how 12-step mutual aid may offer a way to
reconcile diminished resources with the desire to get more patients out
of treatment without triggering a relapse | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Online ads help pregnant smokers quit

Online ads encouraging pregnant smokers to take up stop-smoking support could be more effective at reaching women than advice delivered in a clinical setting - according to new research involving the University of East Anglia | Medical Xpress, UK

Minister accuses tobacco firm of illegally targeting British customers with vaping adverts

One of the world's leading tobacco firms has been slammed by ministers and accused of breaching a long-standing ban on tobacco advertising | Mail Online, UK

‘Successful’ hepatitis C pharmacy pilot tests half of users positive

A London pharmacy pilot will enter its second three-month phase following a “successful” rollout which saw half of injecting drug users testing positive for hepatitis C | Chemist and Druggist, UK

Isle Of Man Could Be The First Place In The British Isles To Decriminalise Cannabis Possession

Campaigners say it contrasts with Britain's 'medieval' approach | Huffington Post, UK

Stop and search: the fear of experts part 2 - podcast

Part 2 of Professor Nutt, comedian Chris Coltrane, and Elle Wadsworth from What's the Crack podcast... we're picking up where we left off to discuss if we're fearful and cynical over 'experts' in policy making | What's the crack, UK

Bestival death: Louella Fletcher-Michie 'first to die from drug 2C-P'h

A 25-year-old woman who was found dead at a music festival was the first person to die from taking the drug 2C-P, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Leeds celebrities support recovery graduation

Rugby league legend Jamie Peacock, Jojo Kelly, from Capital Yorkshire Radio and current Leeds Rhinos player Mitch Garbutt, handed out certificates at the first Forward Leeds Recovery Graduation on Thursday 19 April | Forward Leeds, UK

Welcome to the Life in Recovery survey

The Life in Recovery (LiR) survey is designed to document the lives of people who have reduced or stopped problematic use of illicit drugs (not including Alcohol or Prescription Drugs), and how overcoming their problematic use has changed their lives and the lives of those around them | Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Barrow-in-Furness: one of the UK’s coastal towns where drug related deaths are now the norm

In the courtyard of a Victorian tenement block in Barrow-in-Furness, two men are chatting in the midday sun | I news, UK

City gangs behind burgeoning crop of countryside crime

Julia Mulligan, the head of the National Rural Crime Network and police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, said that so-called “county lines” drug-dealing and a sharp rise in thefts and burglaries targeting farms and villages showed that organised crime was growing | Guardian, UK

Barrister not to blame for repeat offender’s heroin conviction, Court of Appeal rules

A criminal silk was not to blame for a man being convicted of importing and supplying large quantities of heroin, the Court of Appeal has decided | Legal Futures, UK

Police poster tells people giving money to the homeless helps them buy drugs

A poster telling people not to give change to rough sleepers has sparked a debate on how people treat them | BBC, UK

Drugs raids across the county - BBC radio Norfolk iPlayer

Police have spent the week raiding properties in fight against Class A drug dealers | BBC, UK

Crime bosses jailed after £66m drugs haul found in Hull

A gang of drug smugglers has been jailed after a haul worth £66.5m was found concealed in farm equipment | BBC, UK

Laughing gas found in Annan play park

Small canisters of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, have been found in a play park | BBC, UK

The hidden 'Manchester slums' - a story of squalor, danger and death

 Hundreds of homeless people are being housed in horrendous conditions rarely seen by the public and uncounted by the government. Jen Williams investigates a crisis hidden away in Manchester's grim private guesthouses | MEN, UK

Mother's Day weekend trip crash trial hears drug evidence

Morphine found in the blood of a driver after a crash that left a grandmother on a Mother's Day weekend trip dead could have been heroin, a trial has heard | BBC, UK

How does cocaine affect your vagina?

You all know that cocaine is a class A drug that’s illegal to have, produce, sell, or give away, and that it can cause a lot of damage, right | Metro, UK

Real ale fans won't represent all drinkers

Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) members have narrowly rejected plans to widen the organisation's remit to be the voice of all beer, cider and perry drinkers | BBC, UK

You can now enjoy a cannabis-infused afternoon tea

There’s a London-based cannabis-infused afternoon tea menu bringing a whole new meaning to the concept of high tea | Metro, UK

Mary Berry: I was arrested at the airport and put in a cell

Mary Berry was arrested at an airport on suspicion of drug trafficking, she has claimed | Telegraph, UK


International news

Treating pain without addiction: inside the lab fighting the opioid crisis

N-001 was designed by a startup to counter pain but avoid the detrimental side effects of opioid use, addiction among them | Guardian, UK

US senate minority leader Chuck Schumer introducing bill to decriminalise marijuana across country

'There’s no better time than the present to get this done,' Mr Schumer says | Independent, UK

Growing pains: how Oregon wound up with way more pot than it can smoke

The state’s glut of marijuana – over 1m lb of unsold pot – is in many ways the result of an industry still finding its feet | Guardian, UK

Legalising cannabis adds $3.6bn to Australian economy, budget office says

Parliamentary Budget Office rates fiscal benefits of Greens’ push to legalise, licence and tax marijuana | Guardian, UK

75 Years After First LSD Trip, Psychedelic Science is Making a Comeback

At 4:20 pm on April 19, 1943, Albert Hofmann (37), a Swiss chemist working at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Basel (now Novartis), was the first person to intentionally ingest 250 micrograms of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 | Talking Drugs, UK

Mother arrested after son, 7, arrives at school high on cocaine - video

Teachers called paramedics after the youngster became drowsy and unresponsive at North Elementary School in Urbana, Ohio | Independent, UK

Video shows British tourist 'snorting cocaine' off drug lord Pablo Escobar’s grave

A British tourist appears to have been filmed snorting cocaine off the gravestone of notorious South American drug lord Pablo Escobar | Independent, UK

Our life, our voice, our say: applying a public sector equality and human rights duty approach to the human rights and equality issues identified by service users of opioid treatment services (PDF)

Service Users' Rights in Action is a coalition of opioid treatment service users, service user representatives and community activists, facilitated by Community Action Network (CAN). For some years now we have been concerned about human rights violations in relation to the treatment of people in Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) | Community Action Network, Ireland

Presentations and Preceding factors of Drug Overdose amongst adolescents admitted to a Large Regional Hospital

Suicide is the third most common cause of death among adolescents globally, and poisoning is the leading method of attempted suicide. Survival after self-poisoning or drug overdose (OD) is common, providing an opportunity for secondary prevention. The aim of this study was to highlight pattern of presentations and preceding factors of OD in an adolescent population | IMJ, Ireland

Nursing homes routinely refuse people on addiction treatment — which some experts say is illegal

Nursing facilities routinely turn away patients seeking post-hospital care if they are taking medicine to treat opioid addiction, a practice that legal experts say violates the Americans with Disabilities Act | STAT News, USA

Cannabis Flowers Are Legal in Italy. You Just Can’t Eat or Smoke Them

The new cannabis product has created a booming but unregulated economy in Italy. Is it a bubble waiting to be burst | NYTimes, USA

Marijuana Can Improve Emotional Well-Being If Used Properly

Scientists from Washington State University (WSU) tracked medical cannabis users to understand how smoking different strains and quantities at home impacted their emotional well-being | Medical Daily, USA

The new 4/20: Beyond legalizing it

April 20 is a day of celebration for marijuana enthusiasts. The origin of 420 dates back to the early 1970s, when 4:20 p.m. marked the time that high school students in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, would regularly meet to consume marijuana | CNN, USA

Liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes still a danger to children despite recent decline in exposures

Study recommends further regulation of liquid nicotine to keep children safer | EurekAlert, USA

Men younger than 50: The more you smoke, the more you stroke

The more cigarettes men younger than 50 smoked, the more likely they were to have a stroke. Researchers say, while smoking cessation is the goal, just reducing the number of cigarettes younger men smoke could help reduce their stroke risk | Science Daily, USA

A Review of Workplace Substance Use Policies in Canada (PDF)

Substance use policies and practices in the workplace are at a relatively early stage, and research and information in this area is limited. There are many areas where improved knowledge and understanding could be beneficial for various stakeholders, particularly employers and employees | CCSA, Canada

Climate schools plus: An online, combined student and parent, universal drug prevention program

[open access] Climate Schools Plus is the first combined student-parent substance use prevention program using an online delivery method | Science Direct, Australia

Are there vested interests in fuelling the ‘ice epidemic’?

On the 15/4/18, Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes aired a piece on methamphetamine (Ice) that used language that grossly exaggerated and misrepresented the scale of problems associated with methamphetamine in Australia | AOD Media Watch, Australia

Expert: where NZ's legal high clamp-down went wrong

Legislation introduced by the previous Government to clamp down on legal highs was "rushed" and without thorough consultation, argues a researcher who has examined the process | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Not all drug dealers are the same – it’s time to ditch outdated stereotype

Society reserves a special kind of condemnation for the person who profits from selling drugs that might cause psychosis, overdose or death– among other outcomes | Conversation, UK

Is alcohol good for your heart?

Is alcohol good for your heart? It’s a question that keeps coming up, and one that is especially interesting for anyone hoping to find a good excuse for a glass of wine | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Carl Fogarty: 'Ant McPartlin doesn't need rehab – he needs to man up'

Ant McPartlin needs to "man up, grow up and be told straight", former World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty has said, in an interview criticising the troubled ITV presenter | Telegraph, UK

‘In vino veritas was one of the most appealing promises of drinking’

In this extract from Leslie Jamison’s memoir The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath, she explores whether addiction makes for the best fiction | Guardian, UK

Opening statement by Steve Rolles, to the Canadian Senate Foreign Affairs Committe - on cannabis regulation and the UN drug treaties

Opening statement by Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst for Transform Drug Policy Foundation – at the Canadian Senate Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee, on the ‘subject matter of Bill C-45 | Transform blog, UK

Most banks won’t touch America’s legal pot industry

It isoften said that markets hate uncertainty. America’s marijuana industry is no exception. Earlier this year Jeff Sessions, the country’s attorney-general, rescinded a set of federal guidelines for marijuana-related businesses operating in states where the drug is legal | Economist blog, UK

Austria: government chooses tobacco industry interests over citizens’ health

Austria achieved a dismal milestone in March 2018, when its government overturned modest (and long overdue) legislation for smoke free hospitality venues. The new laws had been due to come into force in May 2018 | BMJ, UK

Lowering nicotine in cigarettes

When I was about 10 years old, my mother had me take a puff on an unfiltered Camel cigarette in an effort to discourage me from smoking in the future. Well, needless to say, it worked. After coughing and sputtering for what seemed like hours, I have never touched another cigarette | Harvard Medical School blog, USA

Why marijuana fans should not see approval for epilepsy drug as a win for weed

A Food and Drug Administration panel recommended approval of a drug made of cannabidiol on April 19 to treat two types of epilepsy | Conversation, USA

As marijuana goes mainstream, what’s happening to the way we talk about weed?

For decades, the marijuana industry operated underground, outside the confines of the law | Conversation, USA

An Opioid Crisis Foretold

History supplies precedents and lessons for the opioid epidemic raging in America today — but we seem to have largely forgotten both | NYTimes opinion, USA

As Opioid Prescriptions Fall, Opioid Deaths Rise

The latest data underline the folly of tackling the "opioid crisis" by restricting access to pain pills | Reason: hit and run blog, USA