Daily news - 1st August 2018

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UK news

The public health burden of alcohol: evidence review

[Updated] This review looks at the impact of alcohol on the public health and the effectiveness of alcohol control policies | PHE, UK

Crackdown on online pharmacies that sell opioid painkillers welcomed by medical experts

Plans to ban online pharmacies that sell opioid painkillers by prescribing drugs to people who have completed internet questionnaires have been welcomed by experts | Evening Standard, UK

UK gangs 'using vulnerable people's homes to stash drugs'

Practice known as cuckooing leaves victims facing violence and abuse, police warn | Guardian, UK

Could Margate be the next Rochdale?

Sending children in care to live in deprived parts of Kent is exposing them to gang violence and sexual exploitation | Guardian, UK

Blaming Middle Class Coke Users for Street Murders Is PR Nonsense

The line has been parroted by politicians and law enforcement officials, but it is wrong for so many reasons | VICE, UK

Middle-class cocaine users are hypocrites, says Met chief

Cressida Dick criticises those with progressive politics whose drug use is fuelling violence and ‘misery’ | Guardian, UK

Every university 'needs' Alcoholics Anonymous meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings should take place in universities across the UK, student leaders have said | BBC, UK

Parents plea for approval of medicinal cannabis right now after two-year-old girl’s severe epilepsy worsens

'The announcement by the Home Secretary is great news. But we can’t wait until the autumn' | i news, UK

Understanding employment laws around e-cigarettes

In practice, businesses can actually decide whether or not they allow e-cigarettesand vaping in the office. There are reasons for allowing it – such as the way it can help people replace smoking and keep them in the office for longer, rather than go out for a smoke every hour or two | Business Matters Magazine, UK

Ayahuasca - what's the crack? Podcast

Elle is joined with Reverend Danny Nemu, a hypnotherapist, YouTuber, and author of Neuro-Apocalypse. Together they talk about Danny's new book and find out What's the Crack with ayahuasca, psychedelics and their link to cognition, and the friction between science and psychedelics | UCL, UK

Safety and Crime at UK Music Festivals 2018 Survey

The main aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of the perceptions and experiences of safety and crime at music festivals in the UK | Durham University, UK

Talking Drugs Survey & Competition

Please help Talking Drugs improve our content to suit you by completing this 5-minute survey. By doing so, you'll be entered into a prize draw to win a Nice People Take Drugs t-shirt of your choice from Release, the UK's centre of expertise on drugs and drug law | Talking Drugs, UK

NHS to treat child gaming addicts as young as 12 isolated from friends

Psychiatric staff from Central and North West London NHS trust have identified about half the potential patients, aged 12 to 20, whose addiction is so severe it has kept them off school, damaged their family relationships or isolated them from friends | Telegraph, UK

Booze, bankruptcy, brain haemorrhage: the comics turning tragedy into laughs

A former alcoholic, a cancer survivor and a man who lost all his money in a Bitcoin crash are among the comics coming back from the brink at the Edinburgh fringe | Guardian, UK

Heroin arrest over Durham rugby player Sri Lanka deaths

A man has been arrested in Sri Lanka on suspicion of selling drugs to two County Durham amateur rugby players who died while on a club tour | BBC, UK

Ancoats death: 'I loved her to bits' says man who killed girlfriend

A man who stabbed his girlfriend to death on a St Valentine's Day break told police he "loved her to bits", a court heard | BBC, UK

Cornwall surfer James McNaught arrested over cocaine seizure

A man arrested on a yacht carrying nearly two tonnes of cocaine was a well-known Cornish surfer | BBC, UK


International news

The talking road to recovery

Consolidates the lessons of the last five instalments of the course on drug treatment research, all on psychosocial therapies for drug dependence. Research teaches us to see these as the enactment of the client-worker relationship within the helpful or hindering contexts of management systems, organisational climates, and local treatment systems | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Jacob Rees-Mogg firm advising top Canada marijuana market investor

Prominent Brexiter refuses to back decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis in UK | Guardian, UK

How legal cannabis actually made things worse for sick people in Oregon

The medical marijuana market is in a downward spiral as businesses, lured by big money, shift to recreational | Guardian, UK

Herbal Medical Cannabis Now Available in Malta, as Debate Over Recreational Legalisation Continues

Patients in Malta can now access herbal medical cannabis from one pharmacy, but proposals to legalise non-medical “recreational” cannabis are facing considerable opposition | Talking Drugs, UK

Manhattan decriminalises smoking marijuana

The district attorney says there is no public safety rationale to continue prosecuting people for marijuana possession or use | Independent, UK

Guidelines for the care and treatment of persons diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C virus infection (PDF)

These guidelines aim to provide evidence-based recommendations on the care and treatment of persons diagnosed with chronic HCV infection. They update the care and treatment section of the WHO Guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of persons with hepatitis C infection issued in April 2016. The 2017 Guidelines on hepatitis B and C testing update the screening section | WHO, Switzerland

A New Study Shows Just How Much Doctors Prescribe Opioids

After years of rising use, federal data suggests that opioid prescriptions are beginning to drop off in the U.S., perhaps in an effort to curtail a substance abuse epidemic that continues to get worse | TIME, USA

Just scratching the surface: Potential psychiatric morbidities underlying tobacco dependence

According to the CDC, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in the US alone. In the same vein, smokers in the US are more likely than the general population to suffer from a psychiatric or substance use disorder | BASIS, USA

Methadone maintenance treatment and mortality in people with criminal convictions: A population-based retrospective cohort study from Canada

Individuals with criminal histories have high rates of opioid dependence and mortality. Excess mortality is largely attributable to overdose deaths. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is one of the best evidence-based opioid substitution treatments (OSTs)... | PLOS Medicine, Canada

Nearly all street drugs in Vancouver contain fentanyl, study finds

More than 80 per cent of drugs sold as heroin on the streets of Vancouver don’t contain any heroin at all, while nearly all of the city’s street drugs contain the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to the findings of a pilot project led by the B.C. Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) | Globe and Mail, Canada

Canberrans more regular drinkers than the average Australian: report

The chief health officer's biennial report has revealed concerning figures around a rise in self harm for young Canberrans and drinking rates for middle-aged residents | Age, Australia

Matters of substance: Jul 2018

Latest issue with writing on topical drug policy and practice based issues, including the release of the Chief Science Advisor’s meth-contaminated houses report | NZDF, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Official drug trends 2018

The latest National Statistics on illicit drug use in England and Wales were released last Thursday (26 July 2018) by the Home Office and Office for National Statistics, based on self reported responses from the 2017/18 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) | Russell Webster, UK

Addiction and the common cold

As you could probably tell if you read my last blog post, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the ‘problem’ (or rather what problems) in relation to alcohol it is that policy and treatment are trying to solve, and whose responsibility these might be | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Nightlife is a vital space to shed inhibitions – why doesn’t Britain value it more?

The curfew in Hackney, east London, will force pubs and clubs to close at midnight, snuffing out an under-appreciated strand of youth culture | Guardian, UK

The urgent case for nonaddictive cigarettes

For too long, tobacco addiction has destroyed the health of its users and laid waste to the public healthcare systems the world over. It is time for something different | Washington Examiner opinion, USA

Grassroots Activism in Argentina: The Story of Mamá Cultiva, CAMEDA, and Medical Marijuana

This paper discusses the rise of therapeutic cannabis use in Argentina. Through documentary work and personal interviews, our sociological approach focuses on how users (patients, growers) and experts (scientists, doctors, lawyers) produce and exchange different types of knowledge related to this medicine | Points blog, USA

Reducing the opioid overdose death toll in North America

Over the past two decades, the United States population has experienced an extraordinary increase in the rates of death from opioid overdose | PLOS Medicine perspective, USA