Daily news - 10th January 2018

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UK news

Not in the script

The huge rise in opioid painkiller prescriptions over the last decade is creating problems of dependency and overdose. With comment from our Director - Harry Shapiro | Big Issue North, UK

Changing drug laws too much hassle for Tories, says Nick Clegg

Former deputy prime minister says many Conservatives privately agree reform is needed, with the exception of Theresa May [See International section below for Global Commission on Drug Policy report] | Guardian, UK

Hopsitals gear up for brief intervention CQUIN delivery

Hospitals across England are preparing for the introduction of the ‘preventing ill health by risky behaviours – alcohol and tobacco CQUIN’, which require alcohol and smoking brief interventions to be delivered to hospital inpatients from 1st April 2018 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Prisons: Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made on the implementation of a smoking ban on the prison estate in England and Wales | They work for you, UK

Organised Crime: Drugs

What steps she is taking to tackle county lines exploitation | They work for you, UK

Prescription Drugs: Death

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for how many deaths was consumption of an excess of prescription drugs the primary cause between 2014 and 2017 | They work for you, UK

The 'Russian roulette' drug tearing apart homeless lives

A highly potent strain of the illegal drug Spice is said to have returned to Manchester, and to be causing devastation and even deaths among the city's homeless community | BBC, UK

If addicts can’t afford alcohol they’ll turn to cheaper, more potent alternatives

When minimum pricing was announced my fellow students and I were, needless to say, upset that our Tesco value wine would no longer be so cheap | Spectator, UK

Health Secretary Shona Robison warned of ‘drugs disaster’ by Labour MSP

Scotland is facing a “drugs disaster”, the Health Secretary has been warned | Evening Telegraph, UK

Petition to relocate Llanelli rehab charity Chooselife

A community group is calling for an already established drugs and alcohol rehabilitation charity to be relocated away from a new school | BBC, UK

Top solicitor says closure of alcohol and drugs unit would be 'regrettable'

He made the statement as he represented a client who admitted possession of crack cocaine | Nottingham Post, UK

Lady Lucan killed herself with cocktail of drugs and alcohol after self-diagnosing Parkinson's disease

Inquest hears that the estranged wife of Lord Lucan had come to believe she had Parkinson's disease - despite not having been diagnosed by a doctor | Independent, UK

Man 'swallowed ball of heroin' during arrest and died

A man died after swallowing a "big white ball" of heroin while being arrested an inquest heard | BBC, UK

Betty Guy murder trial: 'Drugs and alcohol used to kill'

A woman was killed by her daughter and grandson who gave her a cocktail of drugs and alcohol before suffocating her, a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Most people who try one cigarette become daily smokers, study says

At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests | BBC, UK

Vaping chiefs hope Brexit will puff new life into industry

Brexit may provide a boost for the electronic cigarette industry as it could allow ministers to slash red tape which dictates the size and strength of nicotine refill containers | Telegraph, UK

Avoid saying 'drug user' to combat stigma, report urges

Policymakers and the media should avoid using terms such as "drug user", "addict" and "junkie", a report by a group of former world leaders has said | BBC, UK

The World Drug Perception Problem: Countering Prejudices About People Who Use Drugs

Drug policy reforms have been difficult to design, legislate or implement because current policies and responses are often based on perceptions and passionate beliefs, and what should be factual discussions leading to effective policies are frequently treated as moral debates | Global Commission on Drug Policy, Switzerland

Trump administration just ended a registry of mental illness, drug abuse prevention programs

In a sudden move that took many industry stakeholders by surprise, the Trump administration last month ended the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a database of more than 400 resources and programs geared toward the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illnesses | Think Prpgress, USA

NKY, Cincinnati see sharp rise in HIV cases linked to injected drug use; CDC to assist NKY

The people at the forefront of the heroin epidemic in Northern Kentucky predicted that a surge in HIV would follow. They were right | Cinncinnati.com, USA

Gratitude helps drug abusers better cope with stress and challenges

People who feel a sense of gratitude tend to be happier, healthier and better in dealing with stress. Two psychologists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) conducted a study on male drug abusers and they discovered that having a grateful disposition was associated with lesser drug use | Medical Xpress, USA

Drugs, gums or patches won't increase your chances of quitting

Using prescription drugs or over-the-counter products like gums, mints or patches won't increase your chances of quitting smoking a year later, according to a new study | Medical Xpress, USA

An opioid remedy that works: Treat pain and addiction at the same time

Seven years ago, Robert Kerley, who makes his living as a truck driver, was loading drywall when a gust of wind knocked him off the trailer. Kerley fell 14 feet and hurt his back | Medical Xpress, USA

3 Native American tribes sue opioid industry groups

Three Native American tribes in the Dakotas are suing opioid manufacturers and distributors, alleging they concealed and minimized the addiction risk of prescription drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill | Medical Xpress, USA

Results of the Survey on Opioid Awareness, November 2017

Data from the 2017 Survey on Opioid Awareness are now available. The survey collection was conducted in November and December 2017 and results are being released today, five weeks after the completion of data collection. The information collected by the survey will provide a better understanding of Canadians' knowledge of the opioid issue and risks, and their willingness to act | Statistics Canada, Canada

Online program reaching out to young Australians drinking to cope with anxiety

As the silly season draws to an end, and for some the hangover sets in, Australian researchers are embarking on what is believed to be a world first | abc.net.au, Australia

Synthetic drugs being produced in liquid form for e-cigarettes, decreasing chance of detection

Synthetic drugs are being produced in liquid form and smoked through e-cigarettes and vaporisers, a new report shows | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

A fond farewell to an exceptional volunteer

After working as a CGL volunteer for an incredible 14 years, Jane Stannard-Wilkes has retired from our Gloucestershire drug and alcohol service. This is a longer time, by far, than most of the paid workers in this service | CGL Blog, UK

Why it will be difficult for Jeff Sessions to put the genie back into the bottle on marijuana policy

In our recent article and post for this blog, we described state medical marijuana policies as defiant innovations – a process whereby states, through ballot initiatives or the legislature, pass laws that not only circumvent, but also reimagine, federal law | LSE blog, UK

Is the EU Drugs Strategy Helping to Curb the Harm Caused by Drugs?

Europe remains an important market for illicit drugs, both in terms of those supplied within the continent and shipped in from other regions worldwide. During the past two decades, new drug trends have emerged across Europe and the market has continued to evolve. These are largely due to innovations in drug production and trafficking methods, the establishment of new trafficking routes and online markets | RAND blog, USA

Stop Calling it an Opioid Crisis—It’s a Heroin and Fentanyl Crisis

The National Center for Health Statistics reported last month that a record 63,600 deaths occurred in 2016 due to overdoses | CATO Institute blog, USA

Opinion | As Calif. legalizes marijuana use, it may be killing small farms

California is ending prohibition on recreational marijuana. It should be good for the cannabis industry, but second-generation cannabis farmer Chiah Rodriques warns new regulations may sacrifice her farm to big business | Washington Post opinion, USA

Ineffective drug policies can no longer be ignored

Drug policy around the world today is in a state of change, and increasingly these changes are focused on fixing the harmful consequences of the ‘war on drugs’ approach taken by governments | Daily Telegraph opinion, Australia