Daily news - 2nd January 2018

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UK news

Hard-hitting new advert urges smokers to quit

Graphic advertisement from Public Health England shows toxic chemicals spreading through the body | Guardian, UK

Jeremy Hunt announces new hotline for kids with alcoholic parents

A new helpline for children with alcoholic parents will be launched amid a rare moment of cross-party unity between the Conservatives and Labour | Politics Home, UK

Youth workers warn of rise in drugs purchases through social media

Dealers use sites such as Instagram and Snapchat to reach young people, prompting calls for education on risks | Guardian, UK

Local councils cut millions of pounds from stop-smoking services while investments in tobacco companies soar

Dramatic reduction in funding is having a ‘severe impact on the most vulnerable people’ | Independent, UK

The evidence keeps piling up: e-cigarettes are definitely safer than smoking

Although not harmless, the evidence is unequivocal that vaping is much safer than smoking. But misinformation and scaremongering could still be putting people off switching | Guardian, UK

Drunk tanks may become norm, NHS boss warns 'selfish' revellers

Drunk tanks may have to become the norm in towns and cities to keep "selfish" revellers out of A&E, the head of the NHS in England says | BBC, UK

We're not the National Hangover Service, NHS boss warns revellers

More street drunk tanks could be set up to keep ‘frankly selfish’ New Year’s Eve and weekend partygoers away from hospital | Guardian, UK

Prison staff struggling to cope as spice epidemic grows in UK's jails

Prisoners finding increasingly ingenious ways to smuggle the synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive drugs into cells | Guardian, UK

‘This will happen again’: Warning over state of prisons from family of brutal spice killing victim

 Inquest finds catalogue of failings leading up to Terry Ojuederie’s violent death | Independent, UK

A Sky News investigation found there were more than 800 arrests and around 270 people were charged or cautioned in the first 16 months of the Psychoactive Substances Act | Sky News, UK

Drunk people are more racist and homophobic, study finds

The study suggests that alcohol can act as an "ignitor" for some - who are more likely to express their prejudices in the form of hate crime, Cardiff University said | Independent, UK

Dry January

Sign up and find out more here | Alcohol Concern ,UK

Alcohol Alert: Year in review

A look back over the top alcohol stories of 2017 | IAS, UK

Tory and DUP MPs criticised for ‘wining and dining’ tobacco firms

House of Commons data reveals MPs hosted hundreds of events in parliament on behalf of private companies in 2016-17 | Guardian, UK

How ex-heroin addict became top fashion boss - and is now helping homeless

Jay Read, of Jilted Royalty, hands out money, clothes and essential supplies to needy in Birmingham | Birmingam Mail, UK

Drug slang: what police must learn A to B

Police officers are being issued with a list of almost 3,000 slang words and phrases associated with illegal drugs, in order to stay one step ahead of criminals. Here are letters A to B | Telegraph, UK

Drug dealers posting huge consignments of cannabis around the UK to evade checks, police warn

Police Service of Northern Ireland warns method is being used to avoid security at air and sea ports | Independent, UK

From teddy bear ecstasy pills to parcels of heroin - the shocking scale of the drugs trade on our streets

Figures obtained from Greater Manchester Police shine a light on worrying new drug trends | Manchester Evening News, UK

Derby bishop warns of 'pop-up brothels' in Peak District

Human traffickers using holiday homes in tourist hotspots as temporary brothels, says Rt Rev Alastair Redfern | Guardian, UK

Bishop's Stortford police live-tweet drugs raid

A senior police officer who live-tweeted a drugs raid by his officers said he hoped the feed showed the "raw reality" of a police operation | BBC, UK

British tourist jailed for three years in Egypt after mistakenly confessing to smuggling drugs

A British woman has been sentenced to three years in prison in Egypt after mistakenly confessing to smuggling drugs | Telegraph, UK

Grandmother sprinkles cannabis on cheese on toast to battle Multiple Sclerosis

A Welsh grandmother has hailed the effect cannabis has had on her battle with constant pain brought about by Multiple Sclerosis (MS), saying she even sprinkles the drug on her cheese and toast as a treat | IBTimes, UK

Why 2018 will be a rum year (possibly)

UK sales look to top £1bn in a year, following the boutique path to riches cut by gin. Unlike ‘mother’s ruin’, however, rum is fiddly and expensive to make | Guardian, UK

Gaming addiction set to be recognised as a mental health disorder

Those who play video games compulsively for long periods of time may be diagnosed with a mental health disorder | Telegraph, UK


International news

Dutch councils vie to produce cannabis in bid to cut out criminals

Netherlands trial is designed to stop gangs from supplying cannabis-selling coffee shops | Guardian, UK

'Urk has a problem': Dutch fishing town caught up in cocaine-smuggling trial

Five people, including three fishermen from Urk, are suspected of attempting to smuggle 261 kilos of cocaine in their boat | Guardian, UK

Recreational cannabis use becomes legal in California

California has become the largest state in the US to legalise recreational cannabis use | BBC, UK

High time: introducing the Guardian's new cannabis column for grownups

Today, California becomes the world’s largest legal marijuana market. It’s not the first American state to go fully legal, but with its outsized cultural influence and economy larger than France, it’s about to do for cannabis what Hollywood did for celluloid and Silicon Valley did for the semi-conductor | Guardian, UK

Number of pregnant women using marijuana rises as California relaxes laws

Increase especially sharp among young women, rising from 12.5 percent to nearly 22 percent for mothers to be under the age of 24 | Independent, UK

Hippy dream now a billion-dollar industry with California set to legalise cannabis

The state that is the world’s sixth biggest economy will legalise cannabis on New Year’s Day – and expects a boom time for jobs and investment | Guardian, UK

Here's where you can legally smoke weed in 2018

Starting January 1, it will be legal to smoke marijuana for medical use in 29 states, and Americans will be able to toke up without a doctor's letter in nine states | Independent, UK

America's opioid epidemic began more than a century ago – with the civil war

An estimated two million people abused opiates during the war, after using drugs disseminated by healthcare providers, doctors and nurses to stem pain | Guardian, UK

Judge orders R.J. Reynolds to keep paying Florida millions

A judge in Florida ordered R.J. Reynolds to continue paying the state millions of dollars in tobacco settlement money despite selling off major brands | Mail Online, UK

Ice dealers who supply addicts who go on to kill or commit terrorist attacks will be punished with heavier jail sentences in fresh drugs crackdown

[Australia] Dealers who supply ice to addicts who go on to kill or commit terrorist attacks will be punished with heavier jail sentences in a fresh drugs crackdown | Mail Online, UK

Australian navy ship seizes drugs worth $415m from smugglers on Arabian Sea

HMAS Warramunga found almost eight tonnes of hashish and 69kg of heroin during operations in Middle East | Guardian, UK

Australia rugby star Karmichael Hunt faces drugs charge

Australian rugby union star Karmichael Hunt has been charged with possessing drugs after police arrested him in Brisbane, reports say | BBC, UK

How much alcohol people drink around the world, mapped

Belarusians are the stiffest drinkers in the world | Independent, UK

‘High’ heroin use by young in regional cities

Cities outside Dublin are experiencing “high” usage rates of heroin and other opiates, according to an official prevalence study | Irish Examiner, Ireland

'Heroin ripped through Dublin... And this place we loved was at the heart of the city’s epidemic'

Dubs footballer star Philly McMahon recalls growing up in Ballymun in the 1980s and ’90s | Journal, Ireland

Estimating the Prevalence of Problematic Opiate Use in Ireland Using Indirect Statistical Methods (PDF)

This report presents the results of a study that used the four-sample capture-recapture method, along with the multiple indicator method, to estimate the number of opiate users in Ireland in 2014, along with trend information for 2011 to 2014 | NACDA, Ireland

Steroid abuse rises sharply amongst middle-aged men

A growing number of middle-aged men - holding down professional careers - are turning to muscle-building anabolic steroids to make them look and feel more youthful | Independent, Ireland

Every Try Counts Campaign

FDA’s newest public education campaign, “Every Try Counts” is aimed at encouraging cigarette smokers to quit through messages of support that underscore the health benefits of quitting | FDA, USA

Epidemic of opioid abuse is top health story of 2017

The millions of Americans caught in the grip of an addiction to opioids—prescription painkillers or heroin—remained the leading health news story of the past year | Medical Xpress, USA

Five addiction experts weigh in on future of opioid crisis. Their forecast: grim

Donald S. Burke has little trouble finding a parallel with the opioid epidemic's surging death rates and elusive solutions: the early years of AIDS | Medical Xpress, USA

Slow-release oral morphine could expand options for treating opioid abuse

Slow-release oral Morphine (SROM) has emerged as a promising candidate for oral opioid agonist therapy. However, more research is needed before it can be incorporated into U.S. treatment guidelines. A commentary from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use is published in Annals of Internal Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Medications alone don't help smokers quit

Pharmaceutical interventions are routinely prescribed to help people quit smoking. However, a new study suggests that, despite promising results in clinical trials, smoking cessation drugs alone may not be improving the chances of successful quitting among smokers in general | Science Daily, USA

Study shows e-cigarette use may increase quit attempts and reduce smoking

As e-cigarettes become more popular, fewer people are taking up smoking traditional cigarettes. But can e-cigarettes, an electronic nicotine delivery system, help people quit smoking altogether? That was the focus of a recent study led by a Hollings Cancer Center researcher | News Medical, USA

What We Don't Know About Drugs Is Killing Us

The lack of information out there on fentanyls alone is shocking | VICE, USA

Survey depicts a day in a drug user's life, and it's pretty normal

They get about nine hours of sleep per night and prefer eggs for breakfast, and the majority hold jobs | CNBC, USA

Anxiety, evasion and addiction: how Mexicans deal with endless violence

Between anxiety, addiction and evasion, Mexicans have found coping mechanisms to deal with the violence plaguing their country and which peaked in 2017 to the highest level in two decades | Medical Xpress, USA

Teenager critical after possible overdose at music festival

A Victorian music festival reveller is in a critical condition after a suspected drug overdose at a music festival in Gippsland | Age, Australia

BDR given tick of approval by poll respondents

The contentious Banned Drinker Register has been given a tick of approval with a majority of online poll respondents supporting the system | Herald Sun, Australia

This Was Actually a Huge Year For Drug Law Reform in Australia

We might not have pill testing, yet, but change is happening | VICE, Australia

Search for an angle distorts discussion of drug issues (again)

The usual coverage of festive season road deaths has taken an unexpected, but for those of us in the AOD sector, all too familiar turn | AOD Media Watch, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Use, Misuse and Abuse – does language matter?

The issue of language in the drugs arena can often split opinion and is something that I’ve raised in a few different forums | Cuppa with Kirtsen blog, UK

Britain’s need for ‘drunk tanks’ shows how broken our society is

If we can have booze buses, then why not care clubs for the isolated, vulnerable and unwell? The need is sadly all too great | Guardian opinion, UK

My brother’s punch in the face shocked me out of alcoholism

When I got sober, the realisation of the heartache I had caused my siblings became a source of both inspiration and shame | Guardian CIF, UK

Letter to … my dad, whose heavy drinking is out of control

I can’t remember a time before you drank. As children, we quickly learned to spot the signs. You would become progressively louder and more argumentative before taking offence at some perceived slight and losing your temper | Guardian letters, UK

Giving up alcohol for a year salvaged my mental health

My self-worth and confidence were shot to pieces, and something had to change. Quitting drink gave me some control over my life | Guardian, UK

A new study has unexpectedly shown an ingredient in cannabis could be useful for treating psychosis

A key problem in caring for patients with psychosis is that they are often reluctant to take antipsychotic drugs because of concerns about side effects – but cannabis-based treatments could change this | Independent voices, UK

Peter Reynolds, The Clive Bull Show, LBC

Clive Bull interviews Peter Reynolds of CLEAR on the day that California legalises the recreational use of cannabis | CLEAR, UK

Drugs are a health and social issue. Why do we make it a law enforcement battle?

We know that drug prohibition doesn’t work. And yet Australia has continued its drug policy - because bad policy has been good politics | Guardian opinion, UK

The failed war on drugs

Attacking rampant drug abuse by trying to shut off the supply has not worked. We need to try a new approach | NYTimes opinion, USA

Is mixing drinks actually bad?

As we enjoy the festive season, many strongly-held beliefs about avoiding hangovers are thrown around. One is that mixing different types of drinks is likely to make you feel unwell during your drinking session and contribute to a worse hangover | Conversation, Australia




And finally...

Drug dealer arrested after mistaking police car for taxi

An alleged drug dealer in Copenhagen received an unwanted surprise for Christmas when he jumped into the back of a taxi with about 1,000 joints on him, only to find it was a police car | BBC, UK

New Zealanders build island in bid to avoid alcohol ban

A group of New Zealanders has constructed a sand island in coastal waters in a creative attempt to avoid a ban on drinking in public places | BBC, UK