Daily news - 3rd August 2018

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UK news

Cocaine: The drug that is more than a middle-class problem

"Middle-class" cocaine users have been accused by police and politicians of fuelling crime. But who actually uses the drug? | BBC, UK

Alcohol and dementia - is moderate drinking safe?

There is no doubt that alcohol abuse is bad for the brain - but could there be health benefits for moderate drinkers? | BBC, UK

No proof that moderate drinking prevents dementia

The study found that people who do not drink alcohol in middle age are 45% more likely to develop dementia than those who drink within UK recommended limits (no more than 14 units a week). But the same study found that dementia risk also increased for people who drank over the recommended limits | NHS Choices, UK

Ecstasy drug alert for Sussex

'Chupa Chups' pills are believed to be some form of Ecstasy/MDMA/PMMA psycho active substance and are believed to be in circulation in the Brighton and Sussex Area. PMMA is extremely toxic | CGL, UK

NHS surveys attitudes to alcohol and drugs

The authority's public health department launched the online questionnaire on Wednesday with the aim of understanding the perspective of the public on alcohol and drug use and the associated harm and the accessibility of the appropriate support services | Shetland news, UK

Bristol men's rehab centre closure 'could destroy lives'

A drug and alcohol rehab centre which helps men with addiction is facing closure due to a funding crisis | BBC, UK

Chandos In Need Fundraiser

Free event. 2-5pm, Tuesday 7th August at Chandos House: 36 Chandos Road, Redland,  Bristol, BS6 6PF | Chandos House, UK

The Prosecutors: Prisons, Drones and Drugs - BBC iPlayer

Filmed over a year with behind-the-scenes access to the CPS and West Mercia Police, this film follows senior crown prosecutor Eran Cutliffe as she works to build an extraordinarily complex case against a network of people both inside and outside prisons who use drone technology to exploit a captive market | BBC, UK

Criminal solicitor struck off for submitting false invoices to law firms to help fund cocaine habit

He issued 40 fake invoices of £100 each | Legal Cheek, UK

Probe into drug dealing claims in Worcester retirement complex

An investigation has been launched by police into allegations a man is dealing drugs from a retirement complex | BBC, UK

Ancoats death: 'Drugs spree' attacker guilty of partner's murder

A man who stabbed his partner to death and then jumped out of a second-floor window has been found guilty of murder | BBC, UK


International news

Get involved in International Overdose Awareness Day 2018

International Overdose Awareness Day takes place on 31st August. The day aims to raise awareness of overdosing and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death, as well as share information and advice: teaching people how to help reduce the harm caused by overdoses | NHS, UK

IDHDP July newsletter

Latest news and analysis on drug policy issues around the world | IDHDP, UK

Juul reveals plans for smart Bluetooth e-cigs than use biometric data to prove a smoker's age and won't work near schools

The company is planning to launch a Bluetooth-enabled vaping device internationally, which could prevent younger users from smoking | Mail Online, UK

Drug-accused Briton appears masked on TV in Bali

A British man accused of smuggling cannabis into Bali has appeared wearing a mask at a TV press conference | BBC, UK

Canada plans a crazy quilt of cannabis retailing rules

Recreational pot will be legal everywhere | Economist, UK

Colombia's battle with cocaine traffickers

Colombia’s anti-narcotics police are fighting a war on cocaine trafficking - which is being fuelled by demand in Europe and the US | BBC, UK

Ohio police chief James Hughes ‘overdoses on drugs taken from evidence room’

Chief reportedly had fentanyl, heroin, and LSD in his home at time of death | Independent, UK

Drug users ‘more blind now’ to risks

Drug users are “more blind now than ever before” to the dangers of what they are putting into their bodies, An Garda Síochána’s top expert on drugs has warned | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Gardaí target nightlife figure they believe is directing rickshaw drug dealing scene

Gardai are also exploring Kinahan link in the supply chain of cocaine | Journal, Ireland

E-cigarettes don't seem to aid smoking cessation efforts

Linnea Hedman, Ph.D., from Umeå University in Sweden, and colleagues used pooled data from the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden (6,519 participants) study and the West Sweden Asthma Study (23,753 participants) to estimate the prevalence of e-cigarette use | Medical Xpress, USA

The Government’s Solution To The Opioid Crisis Feels Like A War To Pain Patients

As the feds crack down on opioid prescriptions, patients are taking their own lives, doctors are losing their jobs and overdose rates continue unabated | Huffington Post, USA

America’s Long Love Affair With Beer Is on the Rocks

U.S. drinkers, for the first time, are more likely to choose a glass of wine or a cocktail; ‘a wake-up call’ for big brewers | Wall Street Journal, USA

Inside Marijuana Anonymous, the group for people addicted to weed

David knocked on the table three times. “My name is David, and I’m a marijuana addict,” he said | VICE, USA

National alcohol strategy: Analysis of alcohol industry submissions (PDF)

After being without a national alcohol strategy since 2011, there is a unified desire amongst medical and public health bodies to see the adoption of an effective strategy that will guide Australia in its efforts to stop alcohol harm | FARE, Australia

The most common causes of death in Australia revealed

New data reveals the main reasons for death across Australia | Age, Australia

Untreated Remission from Alcohol Problems

This PhD project will examine the untreated remission of alcohol problems. This will involve understating the way in which those with alcohol problems engage in ‘spontaneous remission’ or ‘natural recovery’ outside the treatment setting. A mixed methods approach will be adopted, as this will enable a broad understating of a relatively under-studied phenomenon | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 65: . For fake’s sake, stop lying about vaping

I wonder if there is now a new ‘moral panic’ about fake news. UK MP’s among others seem to think that fake news is undermining democracy. I’m not sure I’dgo that far (yet) | NSP blog, UK

Expert interview: How health economists count the cost of unhealthy lifestyles

The human costs of smoking, drinking too much alcohol and an unhealthy diet are widely known, with consequences ranging from heart disease and type 2 diabetes through to many types of cancer | PHE blog, UK

The burden of mortality and morbidity carried by marginalised populations

In her vision for a shared society, UK Prime Minister Theresa May talked about “ordinary working class families”, and a society of “families and communities”(May T., 2017). By definition, socially excluded and marginalised groups are often not included in our efforts to create a healthier society | Mental Elf, UK

Cressida Dick is right: the middle class need to realise drugs cause misery

There is a grim irony in the way so many British drug users commit to ethical pet causes while ignoring the blood-soaked trade that fuels their habit | Guardian, UK

Drug users in outer Sydney need another medically supervised consumption room

Sydney's supervised injection room in Kings Cross has helped reduce harmful drug use. But many drug users who live in the outer suburbs find it difficult to get to the inner-city facility | Conversation, Australia