Daily news - 7th August 2018


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UK news

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2017 registrations

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales from 1993 onwards, by cause of death, sex, age and substances involved in the death | ONS, UK

Drug-related deaths "deep dive" into coroners’ records

An experimental "deep dive" study investigating deaths related to drug misuse in 2014 and 2015 using available coroners' records | ONS, UK

Fentanyl and cocaine drug deaths rise

[DrugWise Director, Harry Shapiro, quoted] The number of deaths in England and Wales due to the synthetic opioid fentanyl rose by 29% in 2017, Office for National Statistics data shows | BBC, UK

Single white men more likely to die of drug misuse, ONS finds

Report says living alone and history of mental ill-health also common characteristics | Guardian, UK

Fentanyl drug deaths rise by nearly a third in England and Wales

Fatalities linked to synthetic opioid increased by 29% in a year, according to ONS figures | Guardian, UK

Durham Constabulary plans to use naloxone in custody suites, as drug deaths rise again

Heroin users will be able to be given injections of the life-saving antidote, naloxone, in police custody suites in County Durham and Darlington from later this year, under plans announced today | Durham PCC, UK

Cocaine Deaths in the UK Keep On Rising

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of recorded cocaine-related deaths increased for the sixth year running, from 371 to 432. Of these cocaine deaths, a significant number are thought to be related to the use of crack cocaine. A drug often used alongside heroin, 200 of the death certificates recording cocaine also mentioned heroin | VICE, UK

Evidence for the effectiveness of minimum pricing of alcohol: a systematic review and assessment using the Bradford Hill criteria for causality

Unable to draw on evidence from ‘gold standard’ randomised controlled trials, this review used nine criteria to assess the effect of minimum unit pricing – finding on balance that setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol was likely to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Scottish National Naloxone Programme’s work showcased in new EU toolkit on overdose prevention upon release from prison

A hands-on toolkit has been designed for policymakers and practitioners which explains how to set up and run naloxone programmes for overdose prevention upon release from prison and other custodial settings | SDF, UK

Prescription-only drugs being sold by online doctor sites

Video. Some online doctor sites are selling prescription-only medications to potentially vulnerable patients, a BBC Panorama investigation has found | BBC, UK

Summer 2018 and people are still slumped in Piccadilly Gardens frozen by Spice. This is not okay

With a new stronger strain of Spice on the streets the drug has only become a bigger and grimmer fact of life in the city centre | Manchester Evening News, UK

Adfam is seeking a Chair of Trustees

We are seeking an experienced individual with a commitment to our principles, to become our new Chair | Adfam, UK

Middlesbrough cannabis club 'has support of police'

A cannabis club in Middlesbrough says it is helping to "remove the stigma" of using the drug | BBC, UK

Drink-driver who killed taxi driver in crash jailed for seven years

A man who killed a 76-year-old taxi driver after drinking vodka and driving on the wrong side of the road has been jailed for seven years | BBC, UK

Detective arrived at work so drunk she thought she completed shift in one hour, court hears

Afemale detective turned up at work so drunk she thought she had finished her entire four-hour shift after an hour, a court heard | Telegraph, UK

Why antidepressants are threatening the love songs of starlings 

The sound of starlings singing for a mate could vanish from the British countryside because of high levels of antidepressants in the environment, a study suggests | Telegraph, UK

International news

Army of internet ‘bots’ are spreading positive messages about e-cigs, study finds

The online debate over the health benefits of e-cigarettes is being driven largely by automated social media accounts, according to a new scientific study | Metro, UK

Young boy dies 'after mistaking father's meth for cereal'

Eight-year-old had 180 times lethal limit of drug in blood stream, toxicology report says | Independent, UK

Smoking prevalence tracker - half year - 2018 infographic

Smoking prevalence: 18.8% / E cigarette use: 6.2% / Roll your own (RYO): 30.3% (% of Smokers using RYO) | HSE, Ireland

MEPs ask Commission to reject industry’s alcohol labelling proposal

A group of MEPs has called on the European Commission to turn down an industry proposal on alcohol labelling, claiming that alcoholic beverages should no longer enjoy a preferential regime compared to other foodstuffs | Euractiv, Belgium

FDA will broaden how it evaluates new addiction treatment drugs

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced a shift in the way it evaluates drugs to treat opioid addiction that the agency says will give it more flexibility to approve new treatments | STAT, USA

Patients with chronic pain feel caught in an opioid-prescribing debate

It started with a rolled ankle during a routine Army training exercise. Shannon Hubbard never imagined it was the prologue to one of the most debilitating pain conditions known to exist, called complex regional pain syndrome | Medical Xpress, USA

Tobacco 'power wall' linked to adolescents' views about e-cigarettes

Viewing tobacco ads in convenience stories linked to willingness to try vaping products | EurekAlert, USA

Should America legalize all drugs? This story should give supporters pause

Even in the middle of the opioid epidemic, the government can’t seem to get a handle on opioid overprescribing | Vox, USA

Revised data reveals March 2018 was the single worst month of B.C.'s five-year fentanyl crisis

It means the peak of B.C.'s overdose epidemic is not two years in the past, as previously thought, but in fact occurred just a few months ago | Georgia Straight, Canada

Nursing student's app aimed at saving opioid overdose victims

University of Windsor nursing student Abrahim Abduelmula came face-to-face with Canada’s growing opioid crisis on his lunch break one day | Windsor Star, Canada

First WA women's 'drug rehab prison' opens in Perth's south

The repurposed Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison has opened in Perth to help female inmates fight their addiction to methamphetamine and other drugs | Age, Australia

Blogs, comment and opinion

Record level of drug deaths in England and Wales – latest official figures

For the fifth year in a row, the number of drug-related deaths reported in England and Wales has risen to record levels, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics | Conversation, UK

Chief Exec Blog - A litmus test for how we are caring for the most vulnerable in our society

A litmus test for how we are caring for the most vulnerable in our society | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

Drug related deaths are a preventable tragedy, says Addaction

Addaction, a leading drug and alcohol charity, has described today’s drug related death statistics as a preventable tragedy | Addaction blog, UK

Collective Voice responds to the 2017 drug misuse deaths figures

Today’s figures show a massive and growing regional discrepancy in drug misuse deaths. Rates of deaths were highest in the North East of England, at 82.7 per 1 million of the population | Collective Voice blog, UK

Drug-related deaths in England & Wales reach highest figure on record, Government policy directly contributing to public health crisis

– Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today shows that there were 3,756 drug-related deaths registered in England and Wales in 2017. It is the sixth year in a row that the ONS has registered an increase. 2017 is now the year with the highest number of registered drug-related deaths since records began | Release blog, UK

It’s rarely been so affordable to have a pint of beer in the pub

Result of CAMRA poll should be taken with caution, warns Aveek Bhattacharya | IAS blog, UK

Clearing the air

Want to improve Australia’s policies on medical cannabis? Give doctors the freedom to treat it like any other unregistered medicine, Rhys Cohen writes | APPS, Australia