Daily news - 6th February 2018

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UK news

DDN February 2018 issue

Disinvestment and the fragmentation of services continue to dominate dialogue and debate. Yet according to Collective Voice, (page 7), we have the best opportunity in a decade to address complex problems faced by service users and their communities. The newly formed Faculty of Commissioning is on a similar wavelength (page 10) in identifying the challenges to be tackled, and they reiterate the call for better integration with mental health and housing services | DDN, UK

PHE publishes independent expert e-cigarettes evidence review

A new Public Health England (PHE) e-cigarette evidence review, undertaken by leading independent tobacco experts, provides an update on PHE’s 2015 review | PHE, UK

E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review

Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts | PHE, UK

E-cigarettes 'should be on prescription'

E-cigarettes should be available on prescription, according to Public Health England (PHE) | BBC, UK

NHS hospitals should sell e-cigarettes, says Government agency

Smoking shelters should become "vaping lounges" for less risky e-cigarette use, NHS bosses said | Independent, UK

Fentanyl: The synthetic opioid being bought on darknet

The painkiller fentanyl is being used to get a high, and has killed 112 people in the UK since 2016 as a result. Most of the supply in the UK is produced in China and then secretly shipped to the UK where users buy it through the darknet | BBC, UK

Xanax misuse: doctors warn of 'emerging crisis' as UK sales rise

UK makes up 22% of global sales of the highly addictive anti-anxiety drug on the dark web | Guardian, UK

'My personality changed': Johnny, 16, on Xanax addiction

The London teenager says 20 to 30 of his friends have developed a problem with the drug | Guardian, UK

Has the UK's anti-smoking efforts reached its peak?

There are still 9.1 million smokers in the UK. Banning, taxation and health education have their limits. Should we take another approach? | Independent, UK

Could ketamine help treat alcohol dependence?

Current treatments for alcohol dependence often fail. So researchers are investigating more unusual interventions | Guardian, UK

Teenage antidepressants 'doing more harm than good'

A leading expert in psychiatric medication has said the growing prescription of antidepressants to teenagers is doing more harm than good | BBC, UK

Love and Drugs on the Street: Girls Sleeping Rough - BBC iPlayer

Kelly is 18 and has been homeless since leaving care a year and a half ago. She’s living in a tent in a park in Brighton and dreams of being a singer | BBC, UK

Child slavery victim to plead to stay in UK with support of thousands

Almost 120,000 sign petition to reverse ‘grotesque’ decision to deport Stephen, trafficked to the UK to farm cannabis aged 10 | Guardian, UK

“My priority is your satisfaction … we’ll find the perfect, custom concentration for you”

A 25-year old man from Gwent, who boasted he could arrange for a highly toxic synthetic opioid to be shipped anywhere in the world the same day as receiving an order, has been jailed for eight years | NCA, UK

Damning report lifts lid on drug and organised crime problem in South Yorkshire prison

A damning report has exposed a chronic drug problem in a South Yorkshire Prison - with two thirds of inmates admitting it is easy to get a hit behind bars and one quarter having developed an addiction while serving their sentences | The Star, UK


International news

Morbidity and mortality in homeless individuals, prisoners, sex workers, and individuals with substance use disorders in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Inclusion health focuses on people in extremely poor health due to poverty, marginalisation, and multimorbidity. We aimed to review morbidity and mortality data on four overlapping populations who experience considerable social exclusion: homeless populations, individuals with substance use disorders, sex workers, and imprisoned individuals | Lancet, UK

German police group calls for complete cannabis decriminalisation

'In the history of mankind there has never been a society without the use of drugs. This is something that has to be accepted' | Independent, UK

Doctors warn that Australians who consume more than one drink a night may be at risk of chronic alcoholism

Doctors have warned that people who indulge in more than one glass of wine per night may be suffering from 'chronic alcoholism' - which is 27 per cent of the population in some age brackets | Mail Online, UK

Varadkar opposed to further changes to alcohol Bill

The Dáil is set to debate the controversial proposed legislation on Tuesday | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Fentanyl Adds Deadly Kick to Opioid Abuse Sweeping Britain

Britain has one of the highest rates of drug-related deaths in Europe, and among the places hit hardest is the former fishing port of Hull | NYTimes, USA

Cannabis Quality and Contamination Testing

Why is analytical testing important in the cannabis industry? | News Medical, USA

California To Drug Users: We’ll Pay For You To Test Your Dope

Michael Marquesen first noticed about a year ago that fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid, had hit the streets of Los Angeles. People suddenly started overdosing after they shot up a new white powder that dealers promised would give them a powerful high | KHN, USA

Women Are Leading the Fight Against the War on Drugs

Two of the most prominent groups devoted to reforming America's drug laws are now run by women of color. Here's what they're accomplishing, and how they're doing it | VICE, USA

Doubts rise over effectiveness of bombing Afghan drug labs

The Defense Department’s drug lab bombing campaign against the Taliban financial network this winter has come under scrutiny from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction | Airforce Times, USA

New York Today: A Cultural History of Marijuana

Monday: The city’s up-and-down relationship with weed, a once-banned film, and readers debate legalization | NYTimes, USA

Opioid high: Painkiller abuse sparks fears for Gabon's young

Misuse of a powerful painkiller has spread like wildfire among schools in the west African state of Gabon, where teachers blame it for violent changes in mood among normally placid and motivated teenagers | Medical Xpress, USA

B.C. to limit legal pot sales to stand-alone stores, set personal possession at 30 grams

The provincial government has unveiled a regulatory framework for the legal sale of recreational cannabis that restricts the retail sale to stand-alone stores that don’t sell liquor or tobacco, limits personal possession at 30 grams and sets the legal age for consumption at 19 | Vancouver Sun, Canada

Welfare overhaul edges closer

The Turnbull government is edging closer to legislating a raft of changes to the welfare system | SBS News, Australia

Application flagged for legal pill-testing at Groovin the Moo

The consortium behind an aborted pill-testing trial at last year's Spilt Milk music festival has given formal notification to the ACT government of a new trial planned for Groovin the Moo | Canberra Times, Australia

‘Wild West’ drinkers fill our hospital EDs

WA’s isolation, warm weather and “Wild West” attitude could be linked to high rates of drunken attendances at hospital emergency departments, according to a Perth doctor | Perth Now, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

It’s high time archaic cannabis prohibition went up in smoke

Five years ago, Colorado and Washington became the first two states in the US to legalise cannabis | City A.M., UK

UK Drugs Minister Misled Parliament Say Canadian Lawyers & Scientists

Canadian lawyers, scientists and drug policy experts have declared that the UK Drugs Minister, Victoria Atkins, misled Parliament about the status of the Vancouver drug consumption room (DCR) known as ‘Insite’ | Transform blog, UK

Portugal MP Calls for Cannabis to be Legalised, Sold at Street Value, to "End Traffickers' Business"

Two Portuguese health experts, including a prominent MP, have called for the introduction of a strictly regulated cannabis trade in a bid to counter illegal trafficking, including a recommendation for pharmacies to sell the drug at street value | Talking Drugs, UK

The Reality of the Village Inn

English village pubs are mythologised, romanticised and eulogised, but what are they actually like in the 21st century? | Boak and Baily blog, UK

We must stand up to bad politics, not hide in an ivory tower

Science journalism is about more than pure science. When powerful people of any political leaning go against the evidence, New Scientist cannot turn a blind eye | New Scientist, UK

How Trump Can Keep His Vows on Opioids and Infrastructure

Perhaps he will finally take them seriously to impress midterm voters. If so, there are many good ideas to consider | NYTimes opinion, USA