Daily news - 10th August 2018

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UK news

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2016

Final estimates on personal injury drink drive accidents in Great Britain for 2016 | DoT, UK

Drink-drive casualties in UK at four-year high

Calls for cut in legal alcohol limit after more than 9,000 injuries or deaths in 2016 | Guardian, UK

Vulnerable offenders steered towards treatment

Offenders increasingly ordered to use health services to address mental health, alcohol and drug issues in 5 pilot areas | MoJ, UK

New drive to divert vulnerable criminals away from jail

Ministers have launched a new drive to divert criminals with drug, alcohol and mental health problems away from prison. The Government wants to see more vulnerable offenders given community orders requiring them to undertake treatment instead of being handed “ineffective” short-term custodial sentences | ITV, UK

Government outlines vision to empower and invest in society

The first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years will build stronger communities by bringing together businesses, charities and the public sector, the Government has vowed today | Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Office for Civil Society, and Tracey Crouch MP, UK

Panorama: Online doctors uncovered

Panorama goes undercover to reveal online doctor sites putting profit before patient care. In 2017 the Care Quality Commission issued a warning about the risks of buying drugs prescribed by doctors online. The programme discovers opiate-based painkillers and slimming tablets being sold to potentially vulnerable people and antibiotics being delivered across Europe in the face of warnings about resistance | BBC, UK

Police chief calls for more cannabis clubs where drug can be used and traded safely

North Wales police and crime commissioner says ‘war on drugs’ will continue to fail without radical change | Guardian, UK

Boardmasters 2018 will see festivalgoers offered chance to have drugs tested

Organisers have launched on-site drug testing | Cornwall Live, UK

Ant McPartlin pulls out of I'm A Celebrity to focus on drugs rehab

Host will not present next I’m A Celebrity and cancels Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway | Guardian, UK

Lucy Moon: I made a YouTube video about my alcohol problem

YouTube stars and fans are gathering in London for Summer in the City, the UK's largest and longest-running online video festival. We meet the people who get to call YouTube their job | BBC, UK


International news

Are BOTS fueling your vaping addiction? Study finds most online resources about e-cigarettes are nonsense generated by devices

Bots love vaping, according to new research | Mail Online, UK

My Infuriating, Elaborate Quest to Get Rich by Investing in Juul

Can a regular person get in on the ground floor of a privately-owned vape company with a roughly £11 billion valuation? I tried really hard | VICE, UK

The tumultuous history of opium

For millennia, the drug and its cousins have eased pain and caused it | The Economist, UK

My Golden Voice Saved Me from Addiction - video

Ted Williams was homeless in the US when a recording of his "golden voice" went viral. He had been struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. But after the viral fame ended, he was able to recover and he now he has his own radio show. Outlook's Colm Flynn went to meet him | BBC, UK

Annual alcohol market review and price survey

Alcohol Action Ireland today (9th August) published its annual alcohol market review and price survey. It again demonstrates the remarkable affordability of alcohol to every day shoppers and the urgent necessity to implement the Public Health Alcohol Bill including Minimum Unit Pricing that will ensure the low cost of the strongest, cheapest alcohol will be tackled | Alcohol Action Ireland, Ireland

‘Fatal’ amount of alcohol can be bought for €10, says survey

Campaigners call for move on minimum pricing to tackle ‘remarkable affordability’ | Irish Times, Ireland

Call for opioid antidote to be available without prescription

A GP specialising in substance abuse has called on the Government to provide naloxone to drug-users and their families without prescription | Medical Independent, Ireland

Fianna Fail criticised over ‘cruel, mocking’ post on drugs policy

The party has been forced to delete an official Facebook post criticising the Government’s drug reduction campaign | Belfast Telegraph, Ireland

Position statement: Occasional smoking and its associated health risks (PDF)

Occasional smoking and its associated health risks, a report published today by the RCPI Policy Group on Tobacco says that those who smoke occasionally are at a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, fertility problems and many other health problems compared with non-smokers. 1 in 5 adult smokers in Ireland are occasional smokers, over 80% of those smoke once a week. There is a decreased intention to quit among this group who perceive the risks of their light smoking to be minimal | Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Ireland

Norway to give free heroin to 400 addicts: report

Norway's government is to start providing free heroin to up to 400 hardened addicts as it pushes forward with its drug policy reforms | Local, Norway

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 new research | Science Daily, USA

America’s other drug epidemic

America’s opioid epidemic is a story UnHerd has returned to several times – and with good reason. In 2016 alone, opioid overdoses in the US killed more that 42,000 people | UnHerd, USA

US sees spike in pregnant women addicted to painkillers

Over the past 15 years, the United States has seen a fourfold increase in pregnant women addicted to painkillers, the latest troubling statistic in an ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse, officials said Thursday | Medical Xpress, USA

Doctors reduced opioid prescriptions after learning a patient overdosed

USC study shows when clinicians are given information about a patient's overdose, they prescribe fewer powerful painkillers | EurekAlert, USA

Are pet owners abusing animals to get opioids?

Veterinarians in Colorado are concerned that some of their clients may have intentionally hurt their pets in the hopes of receiving prescription painkillers, according to a recent survey conducted by the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz and a local veterinary association | Medical Xpress, USA

Touching Fentanyl Is Not Dangerous. Will This Video Finally Prove That?

The rumors swirling that you can overdose just by touching the powder are untrue, and prevent people from getting the critical help they need | Slate, USA

Heroin Antidote Narcan Saves Police Dog Who Accidentally Overdosed On Confiscated Drugs

It was just another ordinary day at the office for Abbie. The Oregonian K9 was conducting a routine search for contraband Tuesday evening with her handler Deputy Eliseo Ramos when she suddenly alerted to something out of the ordinary | IFLScience, USA

Psychologists explore potential benefits of hallucinogens for mental health disorders

Many people think of psychedelics as relics from the hippie generation or something taken by ravers and music festival-goers, but they may one day be used to treat disorders ranging from social anxiety to depression, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association | Medical Xpress, USA

National Cannabis Survey, second quarter 2018

About 1.4 million Canadians reported that they had been a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who had consumed cannabis in the previous two hours. In addition, according to combined data for the first and second quarters, one in seven cannabis users with a driver's licence reported that they got behind the wheel at least once within two hours of using the drug in the past three months | Statistics Canada, Canada

Binge drinking in young people: protocol for a systematic review of neuropsychological, neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies

[Open access] The purpose of this systematic review will be to assess and integrate evidence of the impact of binge drinking on cognition, brain structure and function in youth aged 10–24 years | BMJ, Australia

At Least 40 New Zealanders Are Dead But Synthetics Review Weeks Overdue

A critic says the official response has been one of "callous indifference" | VICE, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Anne-Marie Cockburn tells her powerful story

Video. Bereaved mother and member of the Anyone's Child campaign, Anne-Marie Cockburn spoke at an event at the UK Parliament about the loss of her daughter to an accidental ecstasy overdose, and why she now wants to legalise and regulate drugs | Anyone's Child, UK

High and Dry: The UN risks being left behind by the turning tide of global drug policy

When the UK’s Conservative government decided in late July to relax restrictions on doctors prescribing cannabis-based medicines, it joined a rapidly growing list of countries turning away from the heavy-handed supply-reduction approach that has long dominated global drug control efforts | United Nations University, USA

Points Interview: Stephanie Schmitz, Purdue University Archives & Special Collections

Stephanie Schmitz is the Betsy Gordon Archivist for Psychoactive Substances Research at the Purdue University Archives & Special Collections, where she is responsible for building collections pertaining to psychedelic research, and ensuring that these materials are discoverable and accessible in perpetuity | Points blog, USA

Vaping: why the status quo is not an option

If you work in the city, or in one of our regional town centres, you’ve probably crossed paths with someone using an e-cigarette at one point or another, and have smelt the warm puff of cinnamon, caramel, or some other exotic flavour | Spectator, Australia