Daily news - 15th January 2018

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UK news

Anxious teenagers ‘buy Xanax on the dark web’

MPs call for urgent action over reported rise in illicit use of potent tranquilliser | Guardian, UK

Xanax® misuse: what you need to know

Recent reports suggest that there may be an increase in the misuse of Xanax® (alprazolam), primarily by young people, across the UK. There have been some media reports of groups of young people needing medical assistance, police warnings, and concerns raised by other agencies and mentioned in our own services | Addaction, UK

Three in five drink to cope with stress of everyday life: Charity raises fears 'worrying' figure means people are not aware of the risks of regular drinking

Three in five adults hit the bottle to cope with the stress of everyday life, research suggests. Alcohol advice charity Drinkaware today warns a 'worrying' number of people drink at the end of the day to ease their problems | Mail Online, UK

E-cigarette rules should be relaxed to encourage smokers to switch, MPs told

Experts recommend changes to regulations, such as allowing larger refill containers and easing the restriction on nicotine strength in e-cigarettes | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Doctors call for charges for overseas patients using A&E units  

The poll also found that more than a third of those backing charges wanted to see them for A&E visits as a result of alcohol abuse | Telegraph, UK

Health Survey England 2016 & Drinkaware Monitor 2017 reports

Two recent reports detailing recent consumption and drinking behaviour insights have been released in the annual Health Survey England 2016 and Drinkaware Monitor 2017 | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

The relationship between alcohol use and long-term cognitive decline in middle and late life: a longitudinal analysis using UK Biobank

Using UK Biobank data, this study sought to explain the causal relationship between alcohol intake and cognitive decline in middle and older aged populations | JPH, UK

Driving under Influence

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve enforcement against drink-driving in light of recent report by the Institute of Alcohol Studies Running on empty, drink-driving law enforcement in England published on 8 December 2017 | They work for you, UK

Top tips for safer vaping - video

This short animated film places the much-publicised 'dangers' of vaping in perspective, and provides clear sensible advice on how to vape safely | NCSCT films, UK

Missed appointments, graduate pay, plus cocaine on bank notes - BBC radio iPlayer

How many banknotes have cocaine on them and are there any regional trends? Listen from around 18 minutes in | BBC, UK

What are your experiences of dry January?

As many around the UK and beyond quit alcohol for January, we want to hear about the highs and lows – as well as your reasons for doing it | Guardian, UK

Teen dies from drinking vodka at house party after friends drew on his face instead of dialling 999, inquest hears

Jake Wheatcroft, 16, passes away on New Year's Day after consuming entire bottle of strong spirits while fellow revellers mocked his condition rather than contacting emergency services | Independent, UK

Facebook shuts down group page where drugs were openly sold for five months

David Raynes, from the National Drug Prevention Agency, said: “The use of social media to peddle drugs is commonplace | Deadline News, UK

Man claims £70,000 cannabis cultivation was 'for personal use'

A man who claimed a £70,000 cannabis cultivation was for his personal use has been jailed for 18 months | BBC, UK

14 jailed after investigation into Parc Prison drugs network

Fourteen people have been jailed for a total of 36 years after a probe into the supply of drugs into a prison | BBC, UK

Police arrested 12-year-old on suspicion of dealing heroin in Basildon

The boy was found with drugs, cash and a knife | Essex Live, UK

Around a gram of cocaine seized every three minutes on Merseyside

The amount seized by police is at its highest level in eight years | Liverpool Echo, UK

Twenty drug dens closed across Brighton and Hove

Drug-dealing “cuckoos” have been barred from more than 20 properties in Brighton and Hove, according to a report published today | Brighton and Hove News, UK


International news

Home Office accused of cruelty for ordering cannabis slave back to Vietnam

Teenager spent five years as a cannabis gardener in the UK being beaten and threatened, after he was seized from Hanoi aged 10 | Guardian, UK

Legal marijuana cuts violence says US study, as medical-use laws see crime fall

Murder and violent crime found to have decreased most in states bordering Mexico as drug cartels lose business to regulation | Guardian, UK

Drug users find safety, community in underground injection facility

Intravenous drug users who inject in a secret U.S. facility where staff provide clean needles and guard against overdoses say they appreciate the site for letting them in off the streets and for its history-shaping role | Reuters, UK

Republican politician John Alford claims black people's 'genetics' make them more susceptible to marijuana - video

Steve Alford branded 'idiot' after telling public meeting that African-Americans 'basically responded the worst' to cannabis 'because of their character make-up' | Independent, UK

Montana Millz: US rapper behind 'Sell Drugsz' song jailed for selling drugs

Michael Persaud, from Rhode Island, found guilty of trafficking heroin and fentanyl | Independent, UK

Sniff test: Berejiklian government to swab drivers for cocaine after police pressure

Coalition’s move follows months of lobbying from NSW police, who say test will improve road safety | Guardian, UK

Sri Lanka reimposes ban on women buying alcohol – days after it was lifted

President Maithripala Sirisena reverses new law that would have allowed women to buy alcoholic drinks for first time in nearly 40 years | Guardian, UK

India top court sets aside order canceling larger tobacco health warnings

India’s Supreme Court on Monday put on hold a lower court’s order that quashed federal rules mandating larger health warnings on tobacco packages, in a setback for the country’s $11 billion tobacco industry | Reuters, UK

Announcement of site for Dublin injection centre delayed

An announcement was due today, but it’s been delayed yet again | Journal, Ireland

Opioid Addiction Knows No Color, but Its Treatment Does

In New York, treatment is sharply segregated by income, as those with money can avoid methadone clinics and use an alternate treatment| NYTimes, USA

Stigma continues to hamper response to opioid epidemic

Researchers summarize treatment and prevention of opioid use disorder | Science Daily, USA

Meet the 24-year-old Trump campaign worker appointed to help lead the government’s drug policy office

Despite a lack of relevant work experience, Taylor Weyeneth rose quickly at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in part because of staff turnover and vacancies | Washington Post, USA

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids | Medical Xpress, USA

Tobacco's grip on U.S. veterans

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. military veterans smoke or use some form of tobacco | Medical Xpress, USA

VA clears the air on talking to patients about marijuana use

"Don't ask, don't tell" is how many veterans have approached health care conversations about marijuana use with the doctors they see from the Department of Veterans Affairs | Medical Xpress, USA

On The Hunt For Poppies In Mexico — America's Biggest Heroin Supplier

The mountains looming ahead are legendary in Mexico | npr, USA

Help Shape The Times’s Opioid Coverage

The devastating effects of opioid abuse are rippling through families and neighborhoods across the United States. To improve our coverage we are seeking to learn more about what our readers are looking for | NYTimes, USA

How Australia’s strict laws have made smokers social outcasts

The lights dazzled on the dance floor, Rihanna raged over the sound system and I, gin and tonic in hand, hurriedly puffed away on what was to be my last cigarette in a club | Daily Telegraph, Australia

NSW drivers to be tested for cocaine with number of roadside tests to double

NSW drivers will now be tested for cocaine as authorities work to curb the state's horror road toll which has seen 17 people die this year after 392 people were killed in 2017, which was an eight-year high | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Reducing missed appointments at CGL

The quality team at CGL created a national pilot programme, in conjunction with the University of Manchester, to understand the most effective way to reduce missed appointments | CGL blog, UK

The use of testing for drugs and alcohol in FDAC

This tenth blog about FDAC focuses on the use of drug and alcohol tests in FDAC. All FDAC specialist teams include substance misuse workers working alongside social work colleagues | Family Law blog, UK

What I’m really thinking: the secret smoker

If I was ever going to ‘come out’, I should have done it when I was younger | Guardian, UK

What Jeff Sessions doesn’t understand about medical marijuana

On Jan. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, a 2013 document that limits federal enforcement of marijuana laws | Conversation, USA