Daily news - 4th July 2018

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UK news

934 drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2017

There were 934 drug-related deaths registered in Scotland in 2017, 66 (8 per cent) more than in 2016, according to figures released today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) | National Records of Scotland, UK

‘Staggering’ rise in drug-related deaths in Scotland

The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland last year rose by eight per cent, official statistics have revealed, with experts calling for ‘swift action’ from the Scottish Government to tackle the issue | Scotsman, UK

Scots drug deaths hit new record high

Drug deaths in Scotland hit a new record high in 2017, having more than doubled in a decade | BBC, UK

Commission to the ACMD: scheduling under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has been asked to consider the appropriate scheduling of cannabis-related products | Home Office and Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, UK

Medicinal cannabis review part 2 commissioned

Home Secretary to receive advice on cannabis-related medicinal products | Home Office, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, UK

Decision on medical cannabis within weeks

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is now assessing the "balance of harms and public health needs" in terms of rescheduling treatments | BBC, UK

Cannabis is beneficial for some conditions, Chief Medical Officer concludes 

Cannabis moved a step closer to being legalised for medicinal use after the Chief Medical Officer concluded there was ‘conclusive evidence’ it was beneficial for some conditions | Telegraph, UK

Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2017

Cigarette smoking among adults including the proportion of people who smoke, their demographic breakdowns, changes over time, and e-cigarettes | ONS, UK

Around 1.6 million fewer adult smokers in England in six years

The number of adult smokers in England has dropped by around 1.6m between 2011 and 20172, official figures released by NHS Digital, Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show | ONS, UK

Britain is winning the war on tobacco, health chief insists

Official data shows number of adults smoking declines as more people use e-cigarettes | Guardian, UK

Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England: July 2018 update

An overview of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm and the measures being taken to reduce this harm at a local level in England | PHE, UK

Local Alcohol Profiles for England: July 2018

Update of Indicators in the Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE) interactive tool | PHE, UK

Organisation-level influences on psychosocial therapies

Key studies on how treatment organisations affect the implementation and effectiveness of psychosocial therapies for drug dependence. Appreciate the obstructive effect of high staff turnover and how to reduce it, ask yourself, “Is my service even ready for change?”, and explore whether change driven by money is just as good for patients as that motivated by a desire to improve their lives | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Plans to raise fuel and alcohol duties branded an attack on 'white van man' by  Tory MPs

Philip Hammond’s reported plans to hike fuel and alcohol duties to help fund a £20bn NHS cash injection is an attack on “white van man”, defiant Tory MPs have claimed | Telegraph, UK

Another study finds coffee might reduce risk of premature death

"Have another cup of coffee! Six cups a day could decrease your risk of early death by up to 16%," reports the Mail Online. The headline was prompted by a US-led, but UK-based, study aiming to evaluate the association between drinking coffee and risk of death | NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, UK

Motor Driving (Alcohol)

I wish to raise a question following upon the subject already dealt with—a question that is made necessary by replies given by the Minister of Transport on Wednesday of this week | They work for you, UK

Crimes of Violence: Gangs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress is being made in tackling county lines criminal activity; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

'I watched mum and dad do heroin every day': Teenager describes growing up with drug addict parents

'Social workers saw it from the outside in not the inside out. I felt like saying, you don’t understand [...] I’m still going home to my mum who’s doing drugs and feeling suicidal' | Independent, UK

Gin sales triple as Brits turn to high-end booze

It was once best known as mother's ruin, associated with the less salubrious images of Hogarth's London and destined, it appeared, to remain firmly out of fashion | Telegraph, UK

'Pint scam' as major restaurant chain caught serving beer in special glasses 8.1ml too small

Amajor restaurant chain has been caught serving pints of beer in glasses that are 8.1ml too small | Telegraph, UK

World Cup: England fans dig deep for pricier pints

England fans watching tonight's World Cup clash with Colombia in the pub may come home a little more out of pocket than expected | BBC, UK

Four smuggled drugs worth £2.1m into UK

Four men who smuggled three-quarters of a tonne of cannabis with a street value of more than £2.1m into the UK will be sentenced next month following an operation led by the National Crime Agency (NCA) | NCA, UK


International news

Drug Policy in Ireland (with Tony Duffin)

A new episode from What’s the Crack: Elle is joined with Tony Duffin, the CEO of the Ana Liffey Drug Project in Dublin, Ireland. Together they find out what’s the crack with Ana Liffey’s successful lobby of supervised injection facilities in Ireland and their plans to work towards decriminalisation of drugs in Ireland. Find the episode on iTunes or your smartphone’s podcast app or on Acast | What's the crack?, UK

Tobacco products and e-cigarette cross-border sales registration

How businesses that supply tobacco products and e-cigarettes via cross-border distance sales can register with the UK government | PHE, UK

South Australia's 'counter-productive' cannabis crackdown likely to be defeated

Labor and upper house crossbenchers signal opposition to jail sentences for cannabis possession | Guardian, UK

Drug abuse: how China is fighting the problem

The 31st International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was marked on 26 June. What situations are arising in the fight against drugs worldwide? | Telegraph, UK

Minister Byrne announces €1 million in once-off funding for addiction services in Q4 of 2018

Speaking during Statements on implementing the National Drugs Strategy ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery; A health-led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025’ in the Dail yesterday (28th June), the Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD announced Government funding of €1 million for Q4 of 2018 to support and enhance services addressing drug and alcohol misuse nationwide | DoH, Ireland

No eggs in a frying pan: Pot messaging needs to be honest and credible, expert says

Harm reduction messaging around legalized marijuana needs to be 'honest, credible and specific,' says the University of Waterloo's David Hammond | National Post, USA

How opioid use can lead to addiction

Opioid use—even short term—can lead to addiction and, too often, overdose | Medical Xpress, USA

How Britain Went to War With China Over Opium

It was surprising to learn about the extent of public opposition to the war in Britain. How was it able to go forward? | NYTimes, USA

Survey shows Australian GPs cautiously supportive of medicinal cannabis access

A majority of Australian GPs support medicinal cannabis being available on prescription, with their preferred "access model" involving trained GPs prescribing independently of specialists, a 2017 national survey of 640 GPs published in today's British Medical Journal Open reveals | EurekAlert, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Turning the tide on tobacco: Smoking in England hits a new low

New official statistics published today show smoking prevalence in England has dipped just below 15% for the first time. That makes 6.1 million smokers in England, one million fewer than in 2014 | PHE Blog, UK

Drug and alcohol charity Addaction reacts to drug-related death (Scotland) statistics

Addaction is Scotland’s largest drug and alcohol charity. We have community-based services across the country where staff give individual support to people affected by drug and alcohol use. There were 934 drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2017, 66 (8%) more than in 2016, the largest number ever recorded, and 479 (105%) higher than 2007 | Addaction blog, UK

A painful lesson: are we repeating previous mistakes in pain management? (PDF)

The idea that cannabis could be an alternative to opioids in the treatment of pain is attractive and gaining attention | Lancet comment, UK

Joint risks? Tobacco and cannabis and psychotic symptoms

It has been well established for several decades that both cannabis (Gage et al, 2016) and tobacco smoking(Gurillo et al, 2015) are statistically associated with psychosis. As is often said, correlation does not always equal causation, and in both cases, it has been extremely difficult to clarify the reasons for the association. Two questions have been particularly challenging | Mental Elf blog, UK

The risk of underestimating the UK cannabis market

Matthew J Atha on the true level of cannabis usage in Britain; and Josh Kerr on why consumers can’t end the drugs trade | Guardian letters, UK

#Trainwine and “barmaids in the sky”: why are alcohol and travel so tied up in each other?

Quick quiz… When did you last have an #airportbeer? Or are you more of a #trainwine drinker? | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

The Origins of Cannabis Legalization

Today’s post comes from Dr. Chris Elcock, an adjunct professor at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 in Lyon, France. His dissertation on the history of LSD in New York City is currently being expanded into a monograph. Here, his post deals with the early days of cannabis activism in the 1960s | Points blog, USA