Daily news - 9th August 2018

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UK news

Hepatitis C in England and the UK

Latest PHE hepatitis C virus (HCV) reports, slide sets and infographics for England and the UK | PHE, UK

'Trump' drugs found at Bestival contained double MDMA dose

Orange-coloured drugs shaped like Donald Trump's head were tested at Bestival and found to contain more than two doses of MDMA | BBC, UK

Cannabis oil given a cautious welcome for some children with epilepsy – but not adults

Cannabis oil could be an effective remedy for children with drug-resistant epilepsy, a new report has found | i news, UK

How much do you drink? Whatever you say, your GP will double it 

However much you say you drink, your doctors will double the figure, new research suggests | Telegraph, UK

Britain has more drug deaths per head than any other country in Europe, research claims

More Brits die from drugs misuse each year than any other major country in Europe — on average four times more than Germany, France, Italy and Spain | The Sun, UK

Nicotine preloading for smoking cessation: the Preloading RCT

Nicotine preloading means using a nicotine patch before stopping smoking, while smoking normally. This may reduce a person’s drive to smoke and weaken the addiction, thereby reducing cravings after stopping smoking and increasing the chance of stopping smoking successfully| NIHR, UK

HIV tests for sale on High Street for first time

HIV self-testing kits are now available to buy on the High Street for the first time, a retailer has announced | BBC, UK

Homeless people wearing barcodes to accept cashless payments

Homeless people are wearing barcodes around their necks in an attempt to increase donations in a cashless society, under an Oxford University backed initiative | Telegraph, UK

How counterfeit cigarettes containing pesticides and arsenic make it to our streets

Almost 45 billion fake cigarettes, which can contain arsenic, pesticides and rat poison, are smoked in the UK each year. Oliver Bennett speaks to the man smoking out the smugglers | Independent, UK

High times: The City gears up for a medicinal cannabis boom

What do rapper Snoop Dogg, investment bank Canaccord Genuity, the boss of City law firm Memery Crystal and serial entrepreneur Gerry Thomas have in common? | City AM, UK

14 arrested as police target ‘prolific drug dealers’ in violent crime crackdown

Some 185 officers raided 15 properties on Wednesday morning, with senior police figures believing the intelligence-led operation could lead to a drop in violent crime in parts of the capital | ITV, UK

Drugs courier caught on M74 is jailed for six years

A drugs courier who was caught with cannabis and cocaine worth more than £600,000 on the streets has been jailed for six years | BBC, UK

Former paratrooper from Dundee jailed for drugs offences

A former soldier from Dundee has been jailed for five years after he was caught with heroin while on bail for organising a shipment of cocaine | BBC, UK

Farnborough Airport cocaine trial: Accused 'hired as charity PA'

One of five men accused of smuggling half a tonne of cocaine into the UK on a private jet has told a court he thought he was working for a charity | BBC, UK


International news

Mexico's failing war on drugs: after 200,000 dead, Amlo pledges to end the violence

As bodies appear with grim frequency in Tecomán and elsewhere, incoming president to focus on the social roots of crime | Guardian, UK

EMCDDA–Europol 2017 Annual Report on the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA

This report presents the key activities performed by the EMCDDA and Europol in 2017 and the results of the implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA on the information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances, including new psychoactive substances notified in 2017, Joint Reports produced, risk assessments conducted and public health-related alerts and advisories issued to the EU Early Warning System Network | EMCDDA, Portugal

Support increases when opioid 'safe consumption sites' called 'overdose prevention sites'

"Safe consumption sites," where people can use pre-obtained drugs with medically trained personnel on hand to treat overdoses, garner higher public support when they are called "overdose prevention sites," according to a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Exercise can help beat cocaine addiction, study finds

Exercise can help prevent relapses into cocaine addiction, according to new research led by the University at Buffalo's Panayotis (Peter) Thanos, PhD | EurekAlert, USA

Higher alcohol taxes are cost-effective in reducing alcohol harms

 Increasing taxes on alcohol is one of the most cost-effective methods of reducing the harms caused by alcohol consumption, according to research in the new issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs | EurekAlert, USA

Pennsylvania's youth more accepting of marijuana, but not using it more, report shows

With Pennsylvania now among the majority of states in legalizing medical marijuana, a new report shows that young people's attitudes toward pot have become more positive in recent years | EurekAlert, USA

U.S. joins lawsuits against Indivior, Reckitt over drug Suboxone

The U.S. Justice Department has joined several whistleblower lawsuits against Indivior Plc and Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, alleging that the drugmakers improperly marketed the opioid addiction treatment Suboxone | Reuters, USA

Dr. Robert Newman, Apostle of Methadone Treatment, Dies at 80

Dr. Robert G. Newman, who pioneered methadone maintenance as a safe substitute for heroin and struggled to redefine addiction as a chronic medical condition that cannot be cured, died on Aug. 1 in Manhattan. He was 80 | NYTimes, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug misuse deaths fall but still remain too high

The ONS has published the latest figures for drug-related deaths in England and Wales, covering all deaths registered in 2017 | PHE blog, UK

Volatile substance abuse – a problem that never went away

Drug related deaths are now at their highest levels since records began in England and Wales. In 2017, there were 56 ecstasy deaths, each new tragedy generating headlines and leading to calls for action, such as the introduction of drug checking in nightclubs and festivals | Conversation, UK

Vaping: how safe is it?

A survey of adolescents carried out by researchers at Coventry University has shown that than less than half of e-cigarette users knew that vape products contain nicotine or that they are addictive, raising the possibility that they could be a gateway to smoking normal cigarettes | Conversation, UK

Inhaling evidence about tobacco and psychosis

We elves can have a distorted view about why people with mental health problems use drugs including tobacco. In the main, we think that people with mental health problems smoke tobacco because they’re bored or as a way of self-medicating | Mental Elf blog, UK

Lessons from a Dry Month: Insights into Diabetes and Cancer Risk

In this guest post Dr Gautam Mehta, a Honorary Consultant and Senior Lecturer in Hepatology at UCL, writes about a recent study exploring the effect of an abstinence period on certain risk factors. He has research interests in alcohol-related liver disease, digital health and liver cirrhosis | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

The Wrong Way to Fight a Drug War

The Philippines has undertaken a brutal battle against “shabu,” or crystal methamphetamine. But the government needs to go after another target entirely | NYTimes opinion, USA