Daily news - 30th April 2018

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UK news

Guidance on the Implementation of Minimum Pricing for Alcohol: For sellers of alcohol and enforcement authorities in Scotland (PDF)

Minimum pricing is a key measure in the Scottish Government’s alcohol strategy, and will set a price below which alcohol cannot be sold. Alcoholic drinks which are priced at less than the minimum price per unit at the date of implementation (1st May 2018) will need to increase | Scottish Government, UK

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland

New website with guidance and information on MUP | MyScotGov, UK

Scotland awaits minimum alcohol pricing with mixed emotions

Effect will be noticeable at the till on 1 May, but some question if policy will help prime target | Guardian, UK

Minimum pricing could see own-brand spirits rise by £3 a bottle

Scotland's supermarkets will have to increase the prices of some own-brand spirits by as much as £3 when minimum pricing becomes law this week | BBC, UK

Death by the sea: how drug abuse is scarring Britain’s coastal towns

Seaside communities have the highest rates of heroin deaths in England – and Barrow-in-Furness is one of the hardest hit ‘brown towns’. What are the causes – and is there a solution? | Guardian, UK

Increase in drug-related deaths linked to health cuts

Whitehall should reverse its cuts to local authority public health grants in order to tackle the increase in drug-related deaths, doctors say | Local Gov, UK

Buckingham University aims to be UK's 'first drug-free campus'

A university is to ask students to sign contracts promising not to take drugs on its property in a bid to become Britain's first drug-free campus | BBC, UK

Illicit drug use should not be a crime, says Royal College of Physicians

Dr Adrian James, Royal College of Psychiatrists' Registrar, said: “We are not calling for decriminalisation in these circumstances. The mental health side effects of illegal drugs can be very harmful. We need to look at the wider drugs policy to weigh up the risks and benefits of other options. We support a broad review, and would be delighted to contribute to that within our area of expertise.” | BMJ, UK

Children (Parental Substance Misuse)

To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government is doing to support children from families with a parent who has an alcohol or drug addiction | They work for you, UK

Steve Brine open-minded on using cigarette packets to promote vaping

Steve Brine said he would consider the use of cigarette packets to promote e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Vapers receive same life insurance rates as cigarette smokers as insurers believe it's just as dangerous as the tobacco product

No major insurance firm in Britain is prepared to downgrade the risk for vapers, an industry conference heard | Mail Online, UK

Safety kit sees rise in drug needles returned in Cardiff

Drug addicts are being given equipment which makes needles harmless in a bid to stop children getting hurt if they find them discarded in the street | BBC, UK

Lives ‘will be saved’ as Dundee charity to give out drug overdose-reversing kits

A Dundee drugs charity says addicts’ lives will be saved after NHS Tayside gave it special dispensation to distribute Naloxone kits to users.... | Evening Telegraph, UK

Everything You Need to Know About Ketamine

A doctor explains what ketamine is, why people use it to party, and how to be safe while taking it | VICE, UK

Mother-of-three Karen Gray delivers petition calling on NHS to stock medical cannabis

Karen Gray, from Edinburgh, wants cannabidiol oil to be prescribed to her five-year-old son Murray, who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy | Herald, UK

Microdosing Survey Study

Are you planning to microdose a psychedelic substance (e.g. LSD/ 1P-LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca/DMT, etc.) in the near future? Your experience is very valuable to us, so please sign up & take part in our study! | Imperial College London, UK

Young footballer opens up about drug addiction and depression

A young footballer from West Yorkshire has opened up about his battles with addiction and depression in the hope of helping others experiencing similar problems | ITV, UK

Dan Evans: Briton wins on return from drugs ban in Glasgow

Britain's Dan Evans made a winning return from a drugs ban with victory in round one of qualifying for next week's ATP Challenger Tour event in Glasgow | BBC, UK

Robert Brown jailed: Hit-and-run driver who killed two children was 'high on cocaine and double speed limit'

'Our family should have had so many years ahead of us to create a lifetime of memories, but these have all been snatched away' | Independent, UK

Couple sentenced for operating fake online pharmacy

A couple from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court yesterday for possession with intent to supply unlicensed medicinal products and Class C controlled drugs in the UK | MHRA, UK


International news

Two 'deadly' samples found in pill-testing trial at Canberra music festival

Drug reform advocates hail success of Australia’s first trial after half the samples tested at Groovin the Moo were found to contain other substances | Guardian, UK

Nigeria’s deadly codeine cough syrup epidemic

Video.In Nigeria, thousands of young people are addicted to codeine cough syrup – a medicine that’s become a street drug | BBC, UK

Zimbabwe legalises marijuana for medicinal use

Decision is a step away from the country's traditionally tough stance on drugs | Independent, UK

Seattle wipes criminal marijuana convictions for hundreds of people

More than 500 people could be impacted by the vacated sentences | Independent, UK

'She was frantic, her boyfriend had assaulted her and was going to make her do sex work'

Tony Duffin the CEO of Ana Liffey Drug Project reflects on 25 years of helping people who use drugs | Journal, Ireland

Merchants Quay Ireland welcomes move to widen use of suboxone in drug addiction treatment

Merchants Quay Ireland is welcoming reports that negotiations are at an advanced stage to make suboxone more widely available to drug users | Breaking News, Ireland

Strength of local drug units collapses 40% despite recruitment

There has been a 40% drop in the number of gardaí in local drug units in the last eight years — a fall that has continued despite the restarting of recruitment | Irish Examiner, Ireland

'Disgraceful and self-serving' - Road safety chief hits out at TDs over drink-driving bill

The RSA estimates that “seven to eight” fatalities could be avoided by changing the law | Journal, Ireland

Nobody cares about us': Locals upset as building work starts on Scientology-backed drug rehab centre

TheJournal.ie team was confronted by a security guard who was filming outside Narconon site in Meath | Journal, Ireland

Issue 104: April 2018

Latest developments from the EMCDDA | EMCDDA, Portugal

Injecting Drugs Can Ruin a Heart. How Many Second Chances Should a User Get?

A life-threatening heart infection afflicts a growing number of people who inject opioids or meth. Costly surgery can fix it, but the addiction often goes unaddressed | NYTimes, USA

What Happened When a Portland Hospital Started Treating Addiction Like Any Other Illness

Over the past few years, a hospital in Portland, Oregon has dramatically shifted its approach to treating patients with substance use disorders, including opioid addiction | Gizmodo, USA

To Save Lives, Make Naloxone an Over-the-Counter Drug

The FDA should facilitate access to the the opioid-overdose antidote | Reason, USA

Researchers call for more resources to combat opioid epidemic

More funding is needed to address the opioid epidemic that is projected to cost the U.S. economy $200 billion by 2020, says a University of Michigan researcher | Medical Xpress, USA

Team leads study on peer recovery coaches for opioid use disorder

Boston Medical Center (BMC)'s Grayken Center for Addiction is leading a study on the impact of peer recovery coaches on patients with substance use disorder (SUD), including focusing on providing support to patients and helping them achieve sustained recovery | Medical Xpress, USA

As states consider taxing opioids, drugmakers push back

Facing a rising death toll from drug overdoses, state lawmakers across the country are testing a strategy to boost treatment for opioid addicts: Force drug manufacturers and their distributors to pay for it | Medical Xpress, USA

FDA-approved drugs to treat diabetes and obesity may reduce cocaine relapse and help addicted people break the habit

Cocaine and other drugs of abuse hijack the natural reward circuits in the brain. In part, that's why it's so hard to quit using these substances. Moreover, relapse rates hover between 40 and 60 percent, similar to rates for other chronic conditions like hypertension and Type 1 diabetes | Medical Xpress, USA

Medical marijuana's 'catch-22': Fed limits on research hinder patients' relief

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated | Medical Xpress, USA

A potential new weapon in the addiction battle: FDA-approved diabetes and obesity drugs

Cocaine and other drugs of abuse hijack the natural reward circuits in the brain. In part, that's why it's so hard to quit using these substances. Moreover, relapse rates hover between 40 and 60 percent, similar to rates for other chronic conditions like hypertension and Type 1 diabetes | EurekAlert, USA

Afghan farmers stick to growing opium in the face of less lucrative options

Afghan farmers are busy in their poppy fields as the annual opium harvest begins, underscoring the government’s failure to stamp out a crop that yields much of the world’s supply of heroin | Reuters, USA

Saudi Arabia: Executions for Drug Crimes

Crown Prince Signals Possible Limit on Non-Murder Executions | HRW, USA

I Followed Vape-Smuggling Teens to Find Out Why They’re So Obsessed with JUUL

The bougie cross-border trip made me question everything I know about teenage rebellion | VICE, USA

Cops Seized a Bag of Human Remains Because They Thought It Was Heroin

These days, you don't have to settle for a boring-ass urn if you're looking for a spot to store the remains of some recently deceased loved one | VICE, USA

Groovin the Moo pill-testing trial embraced by festivalgoers

Australia's first pill-testing trial at Groovin the Moo (GTM) Canberra has begun, with some festivalgoers saying they are glad the service is available and they plan to visit the stall | abc news, Australia

Insight: Imprisoned by meth

Inside New Zealand's prisons, methamphetamine permeates everything: the reason people are there, increasing violence behind bars, mental health problems - and now the need for meth-specific drug treatment programmes | RNZ, New Zealand

MPs given lessons in using medical cannabis

MPs at Parliament have been given a class in how to use medical cannabis by an elderly woman who uses it for her arthritis | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 58: Big Bang Theory

I recall hearing Martin Dockrell from Public Health England remark that he put ‘popcorn’ into Google and ‘popcorn lung’ came up before err…popcorn in the search bar. ‘Popcorn lung’ is so nice and catchy, like ‘hippy crack’ (nitrous oxide, honestly) and ‘zombie spice addicts’ | NSP blog, UK

Understanding Stability and Change in British Drinking

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have awarded £650,000 to Prof Petra Meier, Dr John Holmes, Dr Monica Hernandez and Prof Alan Brennan from ScHARR and Prof Alan Warde from the University of Manchester to investigate how and why British drinking culture is changing | Public Health Topics blog, UK

The Recovering by Leslie Jamison review – on giving up booze

This much-touted literary love letter to Alcoholics Anonymous is too moral in its argument for the superiority of the sober | Guardian, UK

We Could Learn Something from Italy about Dealing with Opioid Abuse

Every resident and legal immigrant in Italy has full access to a benefits package that includes addiction treatment, regardless of age, income, gender or state | Scientific American blog, USA

Insurers are making it harder for me to treat my opioid-addicted patients

I’m an addiction specialist, and my voice-mail inbox is always nearly full. Some messages are from desperate individuals looking for outpatient treatment or help finding a detoxification program | Washington Post opinion, USA

Shame won't help opioid addicts

My sister was not a “drunk, drugged-up loser.” Yet language like this, used to describe addicts, has consequences in the opioid crisis | Chicago Tribune opinion, USA