Daily news - 3rd July 2018

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UK news

Drug related deaths in Scotland in 2017

Should be available at the link above from 9.30am | National Records of Scotland, UK

Families First: An evidence-based approach to protecting UK families from alcohol-related harm (PDF)

Many people in the UK have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol; it is estimated that there are 595,000 adults with alcohol dependence in England. As well as harming individuals, this can also harm children and families | Alcohol and Families Alliance, UK

Failure by Design and Disinvestment: the Critical State of Custody-Community Transitions (PDF)

Prisons are failing to provide opiate dependent prisoners with lifesaving drug on release despite clear recommendations from the government and Public Health England. This report points to the high mortality rates of opiate dependent prisoners in the immediate post-release period, coupled with high dropout rates in community treatment services as symptomatic of critical failures in the system. Press release here | Blenheim, UK

Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime - With effect from April 2018 (PDF)

Including new rules for counting Drug Offences, Trafficking in Controlled Drugs and Possession of Drugs | Home Office, UK

Health matters: reproductive health and pregnancy planning

This professional resource focuses on reproductive choice and ensuring that pregnancy, if desired, occurs at the right time and when health is optimised. Effective contraception and planning for pregnancy means that women and men stay healthy throughout life and take steps to improve the health of the baby they might have some time in the future | PHE, UK

Children living in families facing adversity can struggle to access support

[From 30th May] Our report helps professionals understand and support young people whose parents are affected by domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems | NSPCC, UK

Billy Caldwell heads home - with his medicinal cannabis after historic agreement

Epilepsy warrior Billy Caldwell plans to start the first day of the rest of his life this week after the UK Home Office and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital agreed he could go home to Castlederg - WITH his medicinal cannabis | Familes for access, UK

Police commissioners urge Home Office to drop opposition to addicts’ ‘fix rooms’

There are renewed calls for the UK government to allow the opening of a drug consumption room in Glasgow after three police and crime commissioners backed the idea as a way of saving lives | Scotsman, UK

Third man dies in Darlington of suspected drug overdose

A third man has died of a suspected drug overdose in Darlington, as police said they no longer believe a "bad batch" of heroin was to blame | BBC, UK

Both my sons died after taking ecstasy – that's why I want to legalise it – video

Jacques and Torin Lakeman died from a drug overdose on the same night. Speaking from their home on the Isle of Man their father, Ray, says they would still be alive if drugs were legal, as he pushes for decriminalisation to save other young lives | Guardian, UK

Bottle Project (Me & You)

Mentor’s commitment to evidence-based practice in building young people’s resilience and supporting their overall health and well-being has resulted in the development of the Bottle Project, a peer-led programme that aims to build resilience to risks – particularly alcohol misuse and offending behaviour – and to foster healthy ambition, determination and a sense of community among participants | Mentor, UK

Cider sales plummet as steep prices turn off punters from buying popular Scots tipple

The bargain booze suffered the highest price increase in May and has seen the biggest drop in sales | Scottish Sun, UK

Legal highs still causing concern for prison governor and police chief

Both Fraser Munro, who is in charge of Perth Prison, and Chief Inspector Ian Scott, area commander for Perth and Kinross, have stated that all efforts are being made to keep on  top of the problem of the new psychoactive substances (NPS), which have been found in Perth Prison and also Castle Huntly open prison | Courier, UK

Jail for man who injected friend with £4 heroin

A man who gave his friend a lethal injection of heroin has been jailed for four years | BBC, UK

Coagh man's drug-driving sentence increased after appeal

A Tyrone man who appealed a prison sentence given to him after he crashed his car while unfit due to drugs has been given an extra month in jail | BBC, UK


International news

Special Issue: Illicit cannabis cultivation in a time of policy change

Free access articles: Illicit cannabis cultivation in a time of policy change | Emerald Insight, UK

Indiana police seize orange ecstasy pills featuring Trump's face in drug bust

Orange Trump ‘great again’ pills are the latest drug trend, turning up in a series of busts | Guardian, UK

Sex, Drugs and Rolls Royces - BBC iPlayer radio

Scotsman Hugh Milne spent almost ten years working as a bodyguard for the 'free love' guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh who at one point owned almost 100 Rolls Royce's. Hugh tells Jo Fidgen about his life inside the sect | BBC, UK

Smoking cigars has similar risks of mortality as cigarettes

A newly published JAMA Internal Medicine article has reported new findings on the association of smoking cigars and risk of mortality and morbidity | Medical News Bulletin, USA

The US Stopped Other Countries from Legalizing Weed for Generations

The United States has long been the world’s drug cop, but now that it has abandoned the beat by allowing nine states to legalize weed, international laws preventing countries from setting their own policies on marijuana are basically unenforceable. Canada’s move could make that situation permanent | VICE, USA

Effect of cannabis use in people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed opioids: findings from a 4-year prospective cohort study (PDF)

Interest in the use of cannabis and cannabinoids to treat chronic non-cancer pain is increasing, because of their potential to reduce opioid dose requirements. We aimed to investigate cannabis use in people living with chronic non-cancer pain who had been prescribed opioids, including their reasons for use and perceived effectiveness of cannabis; associations between amount of cannabis use and pain, mental health, and opioid use; the effect of cannabis use on pain severity and interference over time; and potential opioid-sparing effects of cannabis | Lancet, Australia

Australian study finds no strong evidence that cannabis use reduces pain or opioid use in people living with chronic non-cancer pain

Results of a four-year study, by researchers at UNSW Sydney of over 1,500 Australians prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, suggest that there is a need for caution in the use of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain | NDARC, Australia

Banned Drinkers Register is working, Govt says

A six month review of the Banned Drinker’s Register shows it is working as designed, the NT Government says | Katherine Times, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

From competition to partnership?

A bit over a week ago, I went to the EXCO conference. EXCO stands for EXcellence in COmmissioning for opioid use disorder services and it was organised by the Expert Faculty on Commissioning, chaired by Mark Gilman and supported by Camerus | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Drug and alcohol treatment goes digital

The Substance Misuse sector has been relatively slow to embrace digital. Slower even than the NHS where most of us have been booking hospital appointments online for some years and many of us (not me yet) can book a GP appointment and see our medical records from our phone or tablet | Russell Webster, UK

Mexico’s narco nightmare will not be ended by an amnesty for traffickers

The new president has vowed to tackle the country’s terrible drugs-related violence. Europe and the US must now do their bit | Guardian opinion, UK

I will continue to enable people who inject drugs….

I actively promote the supply of sterile injecting equipment for people who inject drugs | Medium, South Africa