Daily news - 22nd January 2018

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UK news

Committees assess Government position on alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP)

The Health and Home Affairs Committees consider implications of alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) with charities, academics, professional bodies and industry | Parliament.uk, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential effect of the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol on the number of assaults on emergency service workers | They work or you, UK

1,000 may die if curb on cheap drinks is delayed

[Free registration required] As a parliamentary inquiry begins, doctors and police chiefs say a price of 50p a unit on alcohol will save lives and cut crime | The Sunday Times, UK

Does dry January work? We ask the experts

Millions pledge to start the new year alcohol-free, but how much difference can a month off booze make to our health or drinking behaviour in the long term? | Guardian, UK

Up to a million Britons use steroids for looks not sport

Up to 1 million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to change the way they look, public health experts and doctors have said | Guardian, UK

‘I think I’ll be on a dose for ever’: steroid users on the quest for perfection

The archetype of an IPED user is changing. We speak to the new breed seeking the body beautiful | Guardian, UK

Sturgeon joins international health policy taskforce

The 13-strong group was set up by billionaire Michael Bloomberg to promote policies to tackle obesity and alcohol and tobacco consumption| BBC, UK

'Trainspotting generation': Alarm as Scotland drug deaths spike

Scotland has seen a sharp rise in the number of drug deaths as years of abuse by the so-called "Trainspotting generation" finally take their toll, prompting calls for a rethink on drug policy | Medical Xpress, UK

Precursor chemical import and export authorisation wallchart

This chart shows the regulation of precursor chemicals in the UK | Home Office, UK

Bid to get more protection for shop and bar workers

An MSP is launching a consultation on his plan for a new law to protect shop and bar workers from violence | BBC, UK

HMP Liverpool: rats, drugs, violence and squalor at prison with worst conditions inspectors have ever seen

HM Inspectorate of Prisons has described the 'squalid' state of HMP Liverpool, condemning the establishment for having the worst conditions inspectors have seen | Telegraph, UK

'Drug consumption rooms' in Southampton one step closer as councillors debate the issue

Councillors on the "reducing drug-related litter in Southampton scrutiny inquiry panel" have met to discuss a report which suggests ‘drug consumption rooms’ as a way to provide addicts with a “safe and supervised” place to take their illegal substances | Daily Echo, UK

'Hundreds of needles' scattered in streets as Liverpool's homeless drug abuse problem spirals out of control

Street cleaners are faced with a daily battle to clear up hundreds of needles and other drug paraphernalia | Mirror, UK

Armed police board Gatwick flight after cabin crew called 999 over fears pilot was drunk

Armed police boarded a flight seconds before takeoff after cabin crew called for help over fears the pilot was drunk | Telegraph, UK

Bolton drug dealing gang jailed for heroin ring

A drugs gang seen by undercover police officers dropping off carrier bags filled with heroin and cocaine has been jailed | BBC, UK

Geordie Shore TV series is ‘one long advert for drinking’

Nearly 80% of all scenes in the MTV reality show contain alcohol, researchers find | Guardian, UK


International news

Two million cigarettes seized at Dublin Port

The consignment listed as "household goods" was destined for an address in Dundalk and had been sent from Dubai | BBC, UK

Snus tobacco: Healthier than cigarettes, but banned by the EU

Norwegian people using snus – an orally taken snuff tobacco – now outnumber smokers for the first time in history. Snus is healthier than cigarettes, yet it remains banned by the EU | IBTimes, UK

Paris metro drivers strike as network turned into 'junkie land' by epidemic of crack addicts

Metro drivers in Paris on Friday went on strike to protest an epidemic of crack addicts on the underground with the problem so bad that some refuse to stop at certain stations due to security fears | Telegraph, UK

Subversive Greeks stub out cigarette habit in record numbers

As tobacco use plummets, figures reveal dramatic attitude shift from EU’s worst offender | Guardian, UK

Drug violence blamed for Mexico's record 29,168 murders in 2017

Homicide rate surpasses that from peak year of country’s drug war in 2011, official figures show | Guardian, UK

Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family reveals

The musician had been suffering from 'many serious ailments' when he died in October of last year | Independent, UK

‘I overdosed, but survived​'​ – artist Nan Goldin​ takes on the billionaire family behind OxyContin

The photographer became a heroin addict after getting hooked on the prescription opioid. Now clean, she is waging war on the art philanthropists who have profited from the crisis | Guardian, UK

Government's chief medical officer admits banning over the counter codeine products could force sufferers to seek illegal drugs

Banning over-the-counter medication containing codeine could cause some people to turn to illegal drugs to curb their pain, Australia's chief medical officer has admitted | Mail Online, UK

One in eight motorists detected for drink driving face ban

One in eight motorists who test positive for drink-driving falls within the limits which, under legislation proposed by Transport Minister Shane Ross, will result in an automatic diving ban in future | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Anti-smoking plan may kill cigarettes—and save Big Tobacco

Imagine if cigarettes were no longer addictive and smoking itself became almost obsolete; only a tiny segment of Americans still lit up. That's the goal of an unprecedented anti-smoking plan being carefully fashioned by U.S. health officials | Medical Xpress, USA

Cancer Patients Get Little Guidance From Doctors On Using Medical Marijuana

Even three queasy pregnancies didn't prepare Kate Murphy for the nonstop nausea that often comes with chemotherapy | npr, USA

Ontario is considering allowing licensed cannabis consumption lounges in the province once recreational marijuana is legalized this summer, and is asking the public to weigh in on the idea | Globe and Mail, Canada

Revellers ready for festival drug checks, study finds

A study of the attitudes and behaviours of young people at music festivals found that a majority were in favour of drug checking, and would reconsider taking a drug if they were aware of its contents | Medical Xpress, Australia

Helen Clark pushes for drug laws to focus on treatment, not punishment

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark says people who use drugs are unfairly painted as criminals, and instead wants an evidence-based system based on treatment, social services and safe spaces | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

'I now sleep straight through until my alarm rings': your experiences of dry January

Five readers talk about their experiences of giving up alcohol for a month – and why they decided to do it | Guardian, UK

Minimum unit pricing must be implemented in England ‘without delay’

Leading representatives from the health, homelessness, children’s and religious sectors, along with 45 Parliamentarians, have today called for the Westminster government to introduce minimum unit pricing in England without delay | Alcohol Health Alliance UK blog, UK

Prisons- Solution to Crime or Part of the Problem?

“Prison can become a ripe place for criminal education, serious and organised crime, and radicalisation, rather than rehabilitation”.  Not the words of the Howard League, or Prison Reform Trust but, surprising as it may be, of Chief Constables | Reforming Prisons blog, UK

Which countries spend the most on beer?

No country spends more money on the amber nectar than Australia. A new study by Statista has revealed how much people in selected countries spent on beer last year. In 2017, the average Australian spent 452.55 USD, a lot more than second-placed Ireland with $347.59 | Russell Webster, UK

Sweden Figured Out How to Stop People From Smoking

The secret weapon: Snus, tobacco that doesn't kill people | Bloomberg opinion, USA

FDA considering plan to promote reduced-risk products over cigarettes: report

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering a new plan to promote reduced-risk tobacco products over cigarettes, which administrators hope will lower rates of smoking in future generations | The Hill blog, USA