Daily news - 17th August 2018

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UK news

Investigating the potential impact of changing health messages on alcohol products (PDF)

This study investigated what consumers pay attention to on alcohol labels when purchasing alcohol products and the potential impact of changes to current labels, for example through the inclusion of a prominent health message | Alcohol Concern, UK

E-cigarettes can be key weapon against smoking, say MPs

Rules around e-cigarettes should be relaxed so they can be more widely used and accepted in society, says a report by a committee of MPs | BBC, UK

Relaxing e-cigarette laws would cut smoking deaths, say MPs

Government urged to rethink ban on vaping in public places and reduce taxes | Guardian, UK

Drunk air passenger arrests up 50%

Arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year, a BBC Panorama investigation suggests | BBC, UK

The Truth About 'Monkey Dust', UK Media's Latest Drug Obsession

Don't believe everything you read about the cheap stimulant said to be turning users into super-strong zombies who like jumping off buildings | VICE, UK

Prisoners face fresh crackdown on drugs, violence and phones

Drive to turn around 10 worst-performing jails in England will see £10m spent on security and training | Guardian, UK

Body scanners and sniffer dogs to target prison drugs

New body scanners and sniffer dogs are to be introduced in 10 of England's most "challenging" prisons as part of a clampdown on drugs and mobile phones | BBC, UK

Naltrexone treatment of offenders: ethics and evidence

Opinion is sharply divided on the ethics and effectiveness of pressuring opioid-dependent offenders to take the opiate-blocker naltrexone, especially long-acting products not approved for medical use in the UK. Is coercing offenders to accept naltrexone an unacceptable infringement of autonomy, or as caring as holding back someone about (by choice or not) to step off a cliff? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Web chat now available for older adults with alcohol problems   

People over 50 who are worried about their drinking can now get support from professionals trained to help older adults with alcohol problems by using web chat on the Drink Wise, Age Well website | Drink Wise Age Well, UK

The Chemsex Problem Is Now So Bad That Families Of Those Involved Can Get Help

A new scheme to support families, friends, and partners of people involved in the chemsex scene is to launch in London next month, following a rise in calls to an LGBT health charity from people dealing with their loved ones’ drug abuse, BuzzFeed News can reveal | BuzzFeed, UK

NEW! Chemsex families support

London Friend’s drug and alcohol support service Antidote is working in partnership with Adfam, the national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs or alcohol, to pilot new support for families, friends and partners of LGBT people using alcohol, drugs or engaged in chemsex | London Friend and Adfam, UK

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Updated the 'List of tobacco and related products notified under SI 2016/507' | PHE, UK

The state of drug treatment in the United Kingdom

Volteface is a think tank looking at alternatives to current drug policies. Volteface encourages fresh thinking and new ideas via and online and print magazine and through an ongoing programme of private and public events | Volte Face, UK

UK’s leading private addiction treatment firm receives investment by America’s Eli Global

UK Addiction Treatment Group, more commonly known as “UKAT”, and the largest private addiction treatment firm in the UK by patient volume, has received an investment from US-based multinational corporation Eli Global | UKAT, UK

Man explains UK stop and search law in 60 seconds to help people to know their rights

Lawyer Christian Weaver, 24, has started a new video series to simplifying legal jargon for everyone | i news, UK

Drugs and safety fears at Morton Hall removal centre

Drug abuse and the length of time some detainees are being held at a Lincolnshire immigration centre have been highlighted as a "concern" | BBC, UK

Tearful homeless man steals chocolate bars 'so he can go to prison and get help'

Hundreds of ex-offenders may be doing same things as austerity cuts reduce support available, experts warn | Independent, UK


International news

US drug overdose deaths rose to record 72,000 last year, data reveals

CDC figures show drug epidemic – fueled by rise in fentanyl – has become more deadly than gun violence and car accidents | Guardian, UK

At least 46 people overdose on synthetic cannabis at Connecticut park

Medics on alert after bad batch of K2 blamed for vomiting and breathing problems | Guardian, UK

The toughest battle in the fight against Aids? There is still one region where infection rates are on the rise

Huge global progress has been made in tackling an epidemic which has claimed over 35 million lives since the 1980s. But there’s one region in the world where infection rates from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – the pathogen that causes Aids – have been quietly rising in recent years | Telegraph, UK

Special policing need for injection centre, says charity organiser Tony Geoghegan

A “dedicated” policing service must be part of a compensation package to communities and businesses affected by the State’s first injecting centre for heroin users, according to the head of the charity awarded the contract to run the service | Irish Examiner, Ireland

From nuns with needles to crash mats for clients

As he approaches his retirement, Merchants Quay boss Tony Geoghegan talks to Security Correspondent Cormac O’Keeffe about a tumultuous three decades | Irish Examiner, Ireland

New technologies to tackle digital marketing of alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy foods aimed at children and adolescents

A group of experts and stakeholders from all over the WHO European Region recently highlighted the role of new technologies in responding to the harmful impact of digital marketing of alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy foods targeted at children and adolescents | WHO, Denmark

US drug overdose deaths surge amid fentanyl scourge

US drug overdose deaths surged to nearly 72,000 last year, as addicts increasingly turn to extremely powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl as the supply of prescription painkillers has tightened | Medical Xpress, USA

The influence of opium and cocaine panic in Canadian drug policy

urrent discussions on the history of prohibition and drug laws in Canada have explored the narrative that Canada’s drug laws were fuelled by racism | Raw Story, USA

Heavy Episodic Drinking Among Post-secondary Students: Influencing Factors and Implications (PDF)

Post-secondary students make up one sub-population of young adults at particularly high risk of HED. Studies have shown that post-secondary students drink more frequently and consume greater quantities of alcohol than their non-student peers | CCSA, Canada

Australians are self-medicating with cannabis 

A survey of 1,744 conducted by the University of Sydney looked at the the use of cannabis for therapeutic reasons within the past 12 months | Business Insider, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

EastEnders makes us see Rainie as a person first and an addict second – and that’s hugely important

So EastEnders’ Rainie is falling hard for bad boy Max and their ruthless business arrangement is starting to mean so much more to Mrs ‘on paper only’ Branning | Metro, UK

New CDC Numbers Show the Drug War Continues to Make Opioids Deadlier

Deaths involving pain pills and heroin are falling, while deaths involving fentanyl and its analogs continue to rise | Reason blog, USA

It doesn’t matter if you think addiction is not a disease

Calling addiction a disease does not eliminate responsibility for the actions of those who are struggling. It allows them to admit their shortcomings and seek treatment without fear of being stigmatized and bullied | Press Herald, USA

Hidden Figures of Drug History: Joan Ganz Cooney

There are few subjects I like writing about more than the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse’s 1972 report, “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.” Also known as the Shafer Commission, the group’s report enlivened my book Grass Roots, and I’ve continued to mine it for material on how we can understand the Trump administration’s response to the opioid overdose epidemic today | Points blog, USA

Crown has a long way to go on responsible gambling

At the beginning of August, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) released its sixth review into Crown Casino’s operations. The review made 20 recommendations, 11 of which referred to the provision of “responsible gambling”. In this area, the review indicated that Crown had lagged behind community expectations | Conversation, Australia