Daily news - 28th August 2018

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UK news

UK study finds buprenorphine’s lifesaving lead over methadone has been undermined by poorer retention

Rather than being ‘parked’ for years, study reveals that in the UK
patchy retention has undermined both methadone and Buprenorphine’s
ability to save lives. Affecting buprenorphine in particular, the result
has been to dilute its greater lifesaving potential | Drug and Alcohol
Findings, UK

Government preparations for a March 2019 'No deal scenario' (PDF)

[Letter from the Health and Social Care Minister, Matt Hancock concerning preparations to ensure that the NHS and other service providers continue to get the supplies they need, in a timely way] | DHSC, UK [See also How to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal | Department for Exiting the European Union]

Major study re-ignites 'no safe level' drinking debate

The question of moderate drinking and health returned to the headlineswith a vengeance following the publications of a major study in the Lancet using data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2016 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

The problem with saying there's no safe level of alcohol consumption

Ian Hamilton, a drugs researcher and lecturer at the University or York, told Yahoo News: ‘Just saying that there’s no safe level of alcohol without any context or understanding is really misleading | Yahoo News, UK

Why the effects of a boozy binge could last longer than you think

The effects of a heavy drinking session on our thoughts and performance may last longer we think, according to a new study | Science Daily, UK

Hangovers have 'serious consequences' for driving and working, study finds

'Impaired performance in these abilities reflects poorer concentration and focus, decreased memory and reduced reaction times the day after an evening of heavy drinking,' researchers suggest | Independent, UK

Drinkers Like Me - Adrian Chiles - BBC iPlayer

In this revealingly intimate documentary for BBC2, Adrian Chiles takes a long hard look at his own love of boozing. He wants to find out why he and many others don't think they are addicted to alcohol, despite finding it almost impossible to enjoy life without it | BBC, UK

The killer in our midst: Why are growing numbers of people dying from heroin?

From just a handful a year in Wales, the number of heroin deaths has risen significantly | Wales Online, UK

Public health emergency call amid fears drug related deaths in Scotland will top 1,000 in 2018

Scotland should declare a “public health emergency” to deal with the rising number of drug related deaths, according to experts tasked with shaping the Scottish Government’s response to the growing crisis | Herald, UK

The city under siege from a new drug called monkey dust that turns users into violent, super-strong maniacs: DAVID JONES joins the 999 crews reeling from an epidemic that police are at a loss to explain

Few places are more ironically named than Hope Street, in Stoke-on-Trent | Mail Online, UK

Criminology Professor Explains What's Behind UK Cocaine Use Problem

Radio Sputnik has discussed the high level of cocaine use in the UK with Fiona Measham, professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology at Durham University | Sputnik, UK

Should vaping and e-cigarette rules in pubs be relaxed?

After MPs called for debate on the 'liberalisation' of restrictions on vaping and e-cigarettes, The Morning Advertiser asked whether this would be a welcome move for the pub industry| Morning Advertiser, UK

The financial benefits of legalising Cannabis for recreational use are incalculable

But calculate the income the state might derive from such a move is exactly what Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs has done | Volte Face, UK

‘Cut methadone waiting times to save lives’

Scotland's rising death toll should be declared a 'public health emergency', say the Scottish Drugs Forum | i news, UK

NHS Highland joins campaign to stop adults buying tobacco for under-18s

The health board’s improvement team and Highland Council’s trading standards team have been working with ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Scotland to support the charity’s #notafavour initiative | Press and Journal, UK

Recovery Games celebrates success

Event organiser for Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service Neil Firbank said: “This year’s games were the biggest and best yet with the recovery community being stronger and more vibrant than ever. The event is about letting people know that recovery is alive and being nurtured in many towns across the region and UK. Thank you to everyone who took part and supported this amazing event.” | Aspire, UK

£150k drug and alcohol 'Recovery Community' planned for North East Lincolnshire

North East lincolnshire council's cabinet is expected to approve funding for the three-year scheme which hopes to help address the underlying causes of addiction | Grimsby Live, UK

Bacardi eyes premium brands as young Britons ease up on drinks

Drinks giant Bacardi is banking on high-end spirits to bolster sales as the industry grapples with a drop in drinking rates among younger Britons | ITV, UK

An update on the CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform campaign

Peter Reynolds provides an update on the CLEAR campaign and reviews what happens next concerning both medical and adult access | CLEAR, UK

Don't release prisoners on Fridays, says Nacro charity

Prisoners should stop being released on Fridays because it can prove hard for them to access benefits, medication and assistance, campaigners have said | BBC, UK

Twenty mobile phones seized each day in prisons

More than 20 mobiles phones are confiscated from prisoners every day in jails in England and Wales, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal | Telegraph, UK

Increase use of stop and search to beat rising gang violence, says Iain Duncan Smith

Police chiefs should dramatically increase the use of controversial stop and search power to tackle rising gang violence, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith demanded last night | Telegraph, UK

Young Farmers clubs forced to dip into reserve funds after cancelling 'alcohol-fuelled' annual party

Ayoung farming organisation has revealed it will be forced to dip into reserve funds amid backlash over cancelling an annual party which raises £144,000 each year | Telegraph, UK

Leeds cocaine supply gang members jailed

A drugs gang which supplied large amounts of cocaine across West Yorkshire has been jailed | BBC, UK

Men to stand trial after Cornwall yacht cocaine seizure

Two Dutch men accused of attempting to smuggle 1.6 tonnes of cocaine into the UK are to face trial next year | BBC, UK

More than 370 arrests made at Notting Hill Carnival 

Officers detained 156 people on drugs offences, 69 on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and nine on suspicion of sexual offences | Telegraph, UK

It's the real life Paw Patrol! Elite team of detector dogs tasked with sniffing out drugs and weapons at UK borders celebrate their 40th anniversary

Meet the real Paw Patrol – the elite team of detector dogs celebrating their 40th anniversary of sniffing out drugs, cash and weapons at UK borders | Mail Online, UK


International news

Fentanyl for sale to UK users through Chinese websites

Drug users can easily buy potentially lethal substances through Chinese eBay-style websites, the Guardian can reveal | Guardian, UK

A New Perspective on Psychedelics - BBC radio iPlayer

LSD, magic mushrooms, mescaline, peyote - just some of the most well known psychedelic drugs. Most of them are illegal around the world. Research into psychedelic medicine was virtually shut down in the Westbecause psychedelics were considered mind-altering substances open to abuse | BBC, UK

Paris Deputy Mayor Proposes Bus for Crack Use

The Deputy Mayor of Paris for Health has proposed the opening of four new safer drug consumption rooms in the city, as well as a bus in which people can smoke crack cocaine | Talking Drugs, UK

Cannabis cleanse? Why big tech is giving pot businesses the boot

YouTube and others are erasing the accounts of marijuana brands, limiting their ability to advertise themselves | Guardian, UK

One in seven U.S. adults used marijuana in 2017

With more and more states legalizing marijuana, whether for medical use, recreational use, or both, increasing numbers of Americans are using cannabis | Reuters, UK

Almost one in 20 U.S. adults now use e-cigarettes

Roughly 10.8 million American adults are currently using e-cigarettes, and more than half of them are under 35 years old, a U.S. study suggests | Reuters, UK

Boozing women in their 50s in Ireland are drinking more than youngsters

Irish women in their 50s are now the country's biggest female problem drinkers | Independent, Ireland

International Overdose Day - 31st August

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose| Penington Institute, USA

About Recovery Month - September

Get general information about National Recovery Month, held every September to increase awareness and celebrate successes of those in recovery | SAMSHA, USA

Pregnant and Addicted to Heroin

In Fresno County, drug use is about two-times the state average. Pregnancy can be a crucial time for women to seek help for addiction—but it can also cost them their children | The Atlantic, USA

Marijuana found in breast milk up to six days after use

With the legalization of marijuana in several states, increased use for both medicinal and recreational purposes has been documented in pregnant and breastfeeding women | News Medical, USA

The youngest smoke more

An increasing number of children under 15 years old have started to smoke during the last 40 years in Europe | Science Daily, USA

Do e-cigarettes aid in smoking cessation or cause threat to public health?

Are e-cigarettes an important smoking cessation tool or an emerging public health concern? | News Medical, USA

Researchers develop potential drugs to help curb smoking

Washington State University researchers have created more than a dozen candidate drugs with the potential to curb smokers' desire for nicotine by slowing how it is broken down in the body | News Medical, USA

Companies stop sales of kid-friendly e-cigarette liquids after FDA, FTC crackdown

A crackdown by the Trump administration led to 17 companies halting the sale of nicotine-containing e-liquids used in e-cigarettes that had kid-friendly flavors resembling candy and cookies, the administration announced Thursday | Washington Examiner, USA

Big Tobacco’s Global Reach on Social Media

The tobacco industry says it no longer tries to hook new generations of smokers. So what’s behind the legions of beautiful young people in smoking, vaping and partying posts with the same hashtags? | NYTimes, USA

All Smokers Likely to Benefit from Reducing Nicotine in Cigarettes

All smokers, including fast nicotine metabolizers, are likely to benefit if the FDA follows through on a proposal to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to minimally addictive or non-addictive levels, new research suggests | MedPage Today, UK

FDA Approves Psychedelic Magic Mushrooms Ingredient Psilocybin for Depression Trial

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms for a drug trial for treatment-resistant depression | Newsweek, USA

California Passes Bill To Expunge Old Marijuana Convictions

It's estimated that more than 218,000 cases could be eligible if Gov. Jerry Brown signs it into law | Huffington Post, USA

Ontario's new retail pot plan 'puts profit over public health' says former Obama drug adviser

When most people talk about Canada's impending legalization of marijuana, they talk about the future. When Kevin Sabet talks about it, he worries about history repeating | CBC News, Canada

Drug deaths in Australia hit record high at 142 fatalities a month

Australians are underestimating the danger of popular sleeping pills and sedatives "at their peril", as a record 142 people die every month in accidental drug overdoses, a major new report warns | SMH, Australia

Australia's annual overdose report 2018

Penington Institute Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2018 reveals that accidental overdose continues to be a significant cause of death in Australia. The continued growth in overdose deaths is linked to highly potent drugs, many of which are available through prescription, such as pharmaceutical opioids and benzodiazepines. Illegal drugs such as heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’) | Penington Institute, Australia

Women’s role in the rise in drinking in Australia 1950–80:an age–period–cohort analysis of data from theMelbourne Collaborative Cohort Study

In Australia, as in many countries, alcohol consumption increased dramatically during thesecond half of the 20th century, with increased availability of alcohol, relaxation of attitudes towards drinking and shiftingroles and opportunities for women as facilitating factors | Addiction, Australia

NZ licence granted for cultivating medicinal cannabis

An East Coast company has become the second organisation in New Zealand to be granted a licence to cultivate cannabis for research purposes for medicinal cannabis | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry's Blog #67: The Bullshit Asymmetry Principle

What? Patience dear reader and bear with me. This week the MPs on the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology released their favourable report on e-cigarettes. UK Channel 4 News brought together Deborah Arnott, Director of Action on Smoking and Health and Professor Martin McKee from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | NSP blog, UK

Confusing research: is moderate drinking safe?

In the last two weeks [as of 24 August 2018], a number of reports have been published which seem to send contradictory messages on alcohol consumption and health | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

The risks of alcohol (again)

A recent paper published by the Lancet demonstrating the global impact of alcohol consumption was a huge exercise from the Gates Foundation-funded Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle | Medium blog, UK

Women and alcohol

Sophistication and glamour, celebration and commiseration, sharing and caring… A few years ago these all sounded like good reasons to open a bottle and enjoy a glass or two on a Saturday, or a Friday evening or Sunday lunch or gloomy Thursday and maybe a Tuesday if the day has been long | Drink Wise Age Well blog, UK

The Guardian view on alcohol: drinking less is good for you

A massive study shows that consuming any amount of alcohol has health risks. But giving it up is not the only answer | Guardian opinion, UK

Like Jennifer Garner, I’ve had to help loved ones through alcohol addiction – but for most of us giving up booze altogether isn’t the answer

If you have the addictive gene, then alcohol gradually wrecks your life, your relationships and will eventually kill you. Please ignore the latest study telling us to stop altogether, because that’s irrelevant | Independent voices, UK

Why is it one rule for men and another for women over drink?

Equal rights to get sloshed may not be a noble cause but this judgmentalism grates | Guardian opinion, UK

I’m surprised how happy I am after giving up alcohol

It wasn’t only the health risk that made me go teetotal. But now that I am, my family and friends like me a lot more | Guardian opinion, UK

Monkey Dust, Krokodil, Nyaope: why new drug concoctions keep appearing

The globalisation brought about by the internet means that recreational drug use is now a worldwide issue. And for legislators, drug taking is a rapidly moving target. Over past decades, we have seen changes in how drugs are being used, with new combinations of drugs being used together. But why does this happen? | Conversation, UK

Fight Drug Abuse, Don’t Subsidize It

Americans struggling with addiction need treatment and reduced access to deadly drugs. They do not need a taxpayer-sponsored haven to shoot up | NYTimes opinion, USA

Ontario uproots its plans for selling weed

Ontario has announced big changes to its recreational cannabis retail plan. Government-owned Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC) will still sell online, but will no longer open physical stores. Instead, businesses will handle all storefront sales | Conversation, Canada

How privatized cannabis sales threaten your privacy

An overlooked aspect of recreational cannabis legalization in Canada is the privacy implications of the distribution systems, especially in the online environment | Conversation, Canada