Daily news - 2nd July 2018

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UK news

Why are drug-related deaths among women increasing in Scotland? A scoping of possible explanations (PDF)

This report draws on routine data, published research, conversations with professional stakeholders, and interviews with women with lived experience of problem drug use to examine potential explanations for this phenomenon, and to identify priority areas for future work | Scottish Government, UK

Record numbers of women dying from drugs in Scotland

Scotland has seen a dramatic incease in the proportion of women being killed by drugs, a new Scottish Government report has found | Scotsman, UK

Drug Abuse Deaths (Ayrshire)

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce the death rate from drug abuse in Ayrshire in light of reports that it has more than trebled since 2010 | They work for you, UK

Innovation in Medicine 2018: Providing smoking cessation for patients in hospitals will save lives and money

A major new report released by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) calls for a radical change in the way the NHS treats smoking, by providing opt-out cessation services as a routine component of all hospital care | RCP, UK

Two dead in Darlington from suspected 'bad' heroin batch

Cleveland Police said all three incidents are believed to have taken place in the North Road area of Darlington over a 36-hour period | BBC, UK

'Anxiety and panic attacks' after MDMA use

Health chiefs have warned the average strength of ecstasy tablets tested in Wales surged to potentially fatal levels in 2017 | BBC, UK

Criminalising people for possessing small amounts of cannabis 'not a particularly good idea’, says Corbyn

'Cannabis oil use is clearly beneficial to people and that should be decriminalised and made readily available as quickly as possible' | Independent, UK

Doctor leading cannabis review ‘blocked Billy Caldwell’s care’

The new head of a panel advising ministers on the medicinal use of marijuana is facing calls to resign after being accused of blocking the treatment of a epileptic boy whose care forced the government to reconsider its position | The Times, UK

A Quick, Easy Guide To The New UK Arrangements For Access To Cannabis As Medicine

There’s already an awful lot of misunderstanding over the arrangements just introduced for medicinal cannabis and there’s no need for it because, to be fair, the government has been very clear | Clear, UK

Always practise safe sesh #8. Xanax

In the UK it can seem that the harm reduction resources on offer mainly utilise scaremongering tactics, using pictures of a people bleeding through their eyes as the word PARANOIA flashes across the screen | VICE, UK

Summary report: Hepatitis C good practice roadshow, Oxford - June 2018

This report provides a summary of the good practice hepatitis C roadshow held by HCV Action and Public Health England in Oxford on 7th June 2018. The report includes summaries of the workshops held on the day and attendees' reflections and pledges for action. Also see Presentations from the event | HCV Action, UK

ACMD members' register of interests

Details updated | ACMD, UK

Could psychedelics transform mental health?

Think of magic mushrooms and LSD and it's likely that science is not the first thing that springs to mind | BBC, UK

Alcohol Research UK / Alcohol Concern website survey

We’re looking to create a website for our new charity, formed by the merger of Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern, and we need your help to make sure it meets your needs | Alcohol Concern/ Alcohol Research UK, UK

How a City Closed a Nightclub and Destroyed Its Owners' Lives

The story of Plymouth's Dance Academy, whose owners were brought down by what one lawyer considers the most extreme miscarriages of justice she's ever come across | VICE, UK

The Rules of Drinking - BBC iPlayer

Timeshift digs into the archive to discover the unwritten rules that have governed the way we drink in Britain | BBC, UK

Cannabis convictions drop 59 per cent in Devon and Cornwall

Drugs charities say it is because police no longer stop and search people | Devon Live, UK

Dramatic fall in cannabis convictions across West Midlands

Just 14 people were jailed for cannabis possession in the West Midlands last year as convictions for holding the drug plummeted by one third | Express and Star, UK

Major fall in Suffolk and Essex cannabis convictions

Cannabis convictions in Suffolk and Essex have fallen steeply in recent years - with campaigners attributing the decline in a reduction in stop and search | Ipswich Star, UK

Police 'stopped' targeting cannabis users in Durham - but three years on, what has changed?

In 2015, Durham PCC Ron Hogg said he wanted to target drug overloads, not those simply smoking weed for personal use | Chronicle Live, UK

Could we soon be raising a glass of Champagne in space?

Of all the luxuries astronauts must leave behind on Earth – Sunday roasts, hot baths, a conventional working toilet – a glass of fine champagne might not be the most obviously missed | Telegraph, UK


International news

Revealed: $39m cost of defending Australia's tobacco plain packaging laws

Two years after an FOI claim was lodged, the price of the six-year fight with Philip Morris has been revealed | Guardian, UK

South Australia's cannabis crackdown based on 'nonsense', experts warn

Liberal government to increase penalties for possession and introduce prison sentences | Guardian, UK

Up in smoke: new California law could send $350m worth of cannabis to incinerator

Rules requiring special packaging and lab testing lead to fears of legal weed shortages | Guardian, UK

The Complications with Legalising Cannabis in the Arctic Circle

The Arctic territory of Nunavut has become the latest jurisdiction to pass a law that legalises the cultivation, sale, and use of recreational cannabis | Talking Drugs, UK

China Executes 10 People for Non-Violent Drug Offences

Chinese authorities have executed ten people for non-violent drug offences immediately after a public sentencing hearing | Talking Drugs, UK

Cannabis prohibition - Legislation needs to be reconsidered

Our flexibility around saying one thing but doing another informs our attitude towards cannabis. Though illegal, the drug is commonly used in a recreational setting, and increasingly for medical objectives | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Two loving mothers climb Croagh Patrick in bid to secure cannabis oil for their sick children

Just seven people in Ireland have been granted a licence to be prescribed cannabis oil | Irish Mirror, Ireland

EMCDDA's external evaluation - short video requesting feedback

The Commission is evaluating the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), covering the period 2013 to mid-2018, in line with Article 23 of the EMCDDA Regulation | EMCCDA, Portugal

Who seeks treatment for cannabis use? Registered characteristics and physical, psychological and psychosocial problem indicators among cannabis patients and matched controls

[Open access] There has been an absolute and relative increase in the number of patients with cannabis-related disorders as the principal diagnosis in many countries in recent years. Cannabis is now the most frequently mentioned problem drug reported by new patients in Europe, and cannabis patients constituted one third of all drug treatment patients in 2015 | BMC Public Health, Norway

New clinician screening tool available for substance use

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network has unveiled a new scientifically validated, online screening tool designed to assess a patient’s risk for substance misuse and substance use disorder, and assist the health care provider with prevention and treatment strategies | NIDA, USA

Newly developed therapeutic shown to combat drug addiction

A new therapeutic may help reverse chemical imbalances made to the brain by habitual drug use and could one day help recovering drug addicts avoid future drug use | Medical Xpress, USA

For the babies of the opioid crisis, the best care may be mom's recovery

The halls at UNC Horizons day care are quiet at 5 p.m | Medical Xpress, USA

Effects of Passive Smoking on Children's Health

Passive smoking, also called second-hand smoking (SHS), is the term for inhaling the sidestream smoke emitted from the end of a lighted cigarette along with the smoke exhaled by the smoker in proximity | News Medical, USA

Melbourne's first safe injecting room, clean, sterile and 'will save lives'

Up to 300 people a day are expected to use Victoria's first medically supervised drug injecting room when it opens in the coming days | abc.net.au, Australia

The green house next door

Hiding in plain sight in homes all across Australia, international crime syndicates are growing millions of dollars worth of cannabis. Here’s how they do it | abc.net.au, Australia

Drug and Alcohol Research Connections - June

Latest projects | NDARC et al, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Leader comment: Lives of misery behind surge in drug deaths among women

A Scottish Government report into the reasons behind a staggering 169 per cent rise in the number of drug-related deaths among women over the last decade tells of violent beatings by men, sexual abuse, children taken away and mental illness | Scotsman, UK

Out-of-date rules must not come before compassion for those who need medicinal cannabis

There are times when life presents a situation for which the status quo is no longer viable; when the case for compassion stands in direct challenge to the rules of the day | The Times opinion, UK

Cannabis For Medical Use And How The Royal College Of GPs Is Letting Us All Down

The last couple of weeks have brought an enormous breakthrough for those who need cannabis as medicine but with the release of the government’s interim measures for licensing, the difficulties of how this will work in practice are obvious | Clear, UK

The case for cannabis oil must be based on science, not emotion

The latest demands to change the laws on medicinal cannabis must be based on scientific evidence | New European opinion, UK

If you're a smoker who walks down the street with a cigarette, you're being ableist

Why should it be the labour of the non-smoker to police their own behaviour because of secondhand smoke? | Independent voices, UK

CND intersessional, 25 June 2018

The 2nd Intersessional Meeting of the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs took place in Vienna on the 25th of June 2018 | CND Blog, UK

Is Juul making it easy for kids to vape in school? New study suggests yes

The Juul vaporizer is the latest advancement in electronic cigarette technology, delivering nicotine to the user from a device about the size and shape of a thumb drive. Juul has taken the electronic cigarette market by storm experiencing a year-over-year growth of about 700 percent | Conversation, USA

65 percent of Americans say it’s ‘morally acceptable’ to smoke pot

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that smoking marijuana is “morally acceptable,” while 31 percent disapprove of pot on moral grounds, according to a new survey released Monday by Gallup | Washington Post blog, USA



And finally...

England's AD MEN: Harry Kane's moody Hugo Boss advert is a far cry from the hilarious pictures of former stars who flogged everything from cigarettes to nude-look tights!

1952: In an era when adverts still trumpeted the supposed health benefits of smoking, leading sportsmen such as Stanley Matthews queued up to puff cigarettes | Mail Online, UK