Daily news - 26th February 2018

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UK news

Lean (Purple Drank/Syrup): UK and Ireland DrugWatch Information Sheet

Lean, also known as Purple Drank, Barre, Sizzurp or Syrup, refers to a drink that is made from over the counter (OTC) medications and used for psychoactive effect. Here are two information sheets - one for professional and one for young people | DrugWatch, UK

Family Life in Recovery: Understanding recovery from a family perspective: A survey of life in recovery for families

New research published today (26 February) – the first of its kind – shows how the recovery journey of a dependent drinker can markedly improve the lives of their families, for as long as recovery is sustained | Sheffield Hallam University, Alcohol Reserach UK, Adfam, UK

Drug Deaths

This week, Channel 4 News led with a heart-breaking report. Our city suffered 12 drug deaths in January alone, compared to 38 in the whole of 2016. Dundee has the highest rate of drug deaths in Scotland, Scotland’s rate is far above the United Kingdom average, and the UK’s drug death rate far exceeds the European average | They work for you, UK

County lines crime targeted in new Government £13 million scheme

County lines crime is to be targeted in a new multi-million pound scheme designed to steer young people and children away from exploitative gangs. The Home Office launched a £13 million fund on Sunday to help youth workers, police, nurses and other professionals form protective relationships with vulnerable young people | ITV, UK

Drug alert as six 13-year-olds fall ill

Six 13-year-olds from Ayrshire have been treated in hospital overnight after a suspected drug incident | BBC, UK

Mental Health Services: Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce drink and drug abuse among mental health service users | They work for you, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 26 February 2018

Treatment in England is the focus. Latest statistics, the drop-off in support on leaving prison, and whether we need to insist that substitute prescribing patients take their medication under supervision | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Labour MPs blame own party for robbing Parliament of medicinal cannabis vote

Todat veteren MP Paul Flynn's private members bill was filibustered | London Economic, UK

The legalisation of cannabis in the UK could lead to big business

For more than 60 years, the debate surrounding the ­legalisation of cannabis has been driven by activists – mostly hippies, new-age healers and liberal newspaper editors | i news, UK

Wales MUP Vs taxation report as Scotland's MUP approaches

The Sheffield Alcohol Research Group have published its final report comparing the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing to taxation policies in Wales | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Parenting: Misuse of Xanax - BBC iPlayer

What can parents do if they are worried about their child coming into contact with these drugs? Jenni is joined by Lauren Moss a reporter from BBC South East who carried out an investigation into how you can access drugs online and Karen Tyrell, executive director of the drugs support charity Addaction which says that children as young as 13 had bought Xanax online |BC Radio 4, UK

Pontypridd man with osteoporosis 'addicted to painkillers' - video

A man who became addicted to painkillers after suffering from osteoporosis says taking the drugs makes the world "a better place" | BBC, UK

Digital Innovation Raising Alcohol Awareness in East Lancs

Inspire East Lancashire is using a simple, ten-minute, self-assessment tool to raise awareness in the wider community of the potential harms of alcohol. Running on an iPad, Drinks Meter is a quick and entertaining way for people to assess whether they might be drinking at harmful levels and to find out how they can reduce their risk | CGL, UK

Community Overdose Responses – ‘Lessons from Canada’

Free event. Date: Friday 9th March, 1.30-4.30pm. Location: Scottish Youth Theatre, 105 Brunswick Street, Glasgow, G1 1TF. The purpose of the event will be to look to expand on innovative methods preventing fatal overdose and other drug-related harms currently being employed in Scotland, and also learn from the work of colleagues in Canada | SDF, UK

Welcome to The Life in Recovery (LiR) survey

The Life in Recovery (LiR) survey is designed to document the lives of people who have reduced or stopped problematic use of illicit drugs (not including Alcohol or Prescription Drugs), and how overcoming their problematic use has changed their lives and the lives of those around them | Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Fingerprint Technology To Test For Drug Use

The construction industry will now benefit from a simple, end-to-end drug testing solution based on fingerprint sweat analysis. Intelligent Fingerprint is bringing new levels of convenience, hygiene, and speed to employee drug testing | BDC Magazine, UK

Thousands in Kent hospitalised after taking banned 'legal highs'

Figures show 4,146 people were hospitalised for mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance misuse between September 2015 and August 2016 | KentOnline, UK

Man charged after £440k cannabis seized on Isle of Man ferry

A man has been charged with drugs offences after cannabis with a street value of £440,000 was discovered in a vehicle on an Isle of Man ferry | BBC, UK

Sussex drugs gang jailed for dealers murder plot

The leaders of a gang who faced drug debts of more than £1m so hired a hitman to try to kill their criminal bosses have been jailed for life | BBC, UK

Drug suspect on toilet strike for 37 days 'could die'

A suspected drug dealer who has refused to use the toilet for 37 days is at "risk of death", a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Opioid addiction and death mail-ordered to your door

Every day more than a million packages enter the US from abroad through the postal service. As state and federal governments crack down on legally prescribed opioid medication, addicts and dealers are looking to the dark web and the US mail as a new way to acquire increasingly potent - and deadly - drugs | BBC, UK

US Pharma Industry Hit With Opioid Lawsuits - BBC iPlayer radio

The city of Brunswick, Ohio has joined hundreds of other jurisdictions across the United States to file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies that make opioids. The epidemic of addiction has caused anextraordinary number of fatalities | BBC, UK

Assessment of cost-effective changes to the current and potential provision of smoking cessation services: an analysis based on the EQUIPTMOD

Increasing the reach of smoking cessation services and/or including new but effective medications to the current provision may provide significant health and economic benefits; the scale of such benefits is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness from a health-care perspective of viable national level changes in smoking cessation provision in the Netherlands and England | Addiction, UK

Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the United States: A systematic review and meta-analysis

To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in order to estimate the effect of US medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on past-month marijuana use prevalence among adolescents | Addiction, UK

Washington Prado Álava: Colombia extradites top drug suspect to US

A man accused of smuggling more than 250 tonnes of cocaine over the past decade has been extradited to the US from Colombia | BBC, UK

Exposure to toxicants reduces when smokers switch from cigarettes to glo, study reveals

A clinical study conducted by scientists at British American Tobacco have revealed that when smokers switch completely from cigarettes to glo, their exposure to certain cigarette smoke toxicants is significantly reduced, in some cases to levels comparable to those seen in smokers who quit smoking completely | News Medical, USA

Child Protection Department orders 1500 drug and alcohol tests of parents putting children at risk

Child protection authorities are ordering almost 1500 drug and alcohol tests each year for parents suspected of putting children at risk through substance abuse | News.com.au, Australia

Free webinar: Tackling stigma in a 2018 environment

This webinar will explore Jack Nagle's personal story and experiences of the drug ice. He will talk about his story, explore what it's like being a young person and how to reach young people effectively in 2018 | Cracks in the ice, Australia

E-cigarettes could have a positive impact in hospital environments, research finds

Electronic cigarettes could help recovering alcoholics and other patients, new research has found | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

I shouldn’t be criminalised for using cannabis to ease my constant pain

A new UK bill could give hope to millions of people suffering unnecessarily, allowing them to choose their medical path | Guardian, UK

We should all be ashamed of the national tragedy of drug abuse

Last week, Channel 4 News carried a 15-minute report from Dundee which deserved to be splashed across the front page of every newspaper in Scotland. Instead, it was covered by the local Evening Telegraph – and pretty much ignored by everyone else | Herald opinion, UK

Future shock: Mushrooms, cannabis and the birth of human consciousness

Mushrooms. Most of us never give them a second thought, unless it’s to pick them out of our microwaved M&S risottos. But perhaps they deserve a wee bit more respect. There exists a theory – you may now strap yourselves in – which suggests they are very special organisms indeed | Herald opinion, UK

Welcome to the blog

In the UK, alcohol is everywhere. We use it to celebrate, to commiserate, as something to do when we’re bored… And it can be enjoyable. But – and there’s a big but – alcohol is not a commodity like any other | Alcohol Concern / Alcohol Research UK blog, UK

New research: Family life in recovery

Recovery from alcohol or drug dependency is not a journey taken alone. In very many cases, people struggling to turn their lives around do so as part of a family: as parents, children, siblings or other loved ones. It is often the family who provide the core support that enables people to sustain their recovery. But family members suffer alongside their alcohol-dependent loved one too. In this way, recovery is a shared experience | Alcohol Concern / Alcohol Research UK blog, UK

Alcohol actually – How broadcasters use the UK to avoid Swedish alcohol legislation

The European Commission recently decided that UK-based broadcasters are allowed to continue circumventing the Swedish alcohol marketing ban on TV | IAS blog, UK

Opioids and methamphetamine: a tale of two crises

The unchecked acceleration of opioid-related deaths in the USA is, by many measures, the worst of times. Prescriptions peaked in 2012 at more than 255 million (81·3 per 100 persons), then subsequently declined by about 15%. Yet the rate of opioid-related deaths has continued to rise | Lancet editorial, UK

Let Cities Open Safe Injection Sites

State and local governments should pass laws to protect facilities that help curb overdose deaths, in the face of the Trump administration’s threats | NY Times editorial, USA

Fewer alcohol-related visits to inner Sydney emergency room since 'lockout laws' introduced

A  new study exploring the number of alcohol-related injuries treated at Sydney emergency department has found the lockout seem to be having an impact | Conversation, Australia

Prof David Nutt: 'It's irrational to deny people access to LSD'

Outspoken UK drug expert David Nutt argues for regulated access to any drug less harmful than alcohol, including cannabis and Ecstasy | RNZ, New Zealand