Daily news - 23rd July 2018

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UK news

Opioids: Why 'dangerous' drugs are still being used to treat pain

The widespread use of opioids to treat pain frequently prompts concerns about addiction and even deaths. So, why are these sometimes dangerous drugs still being given to patients? | BBC, UK

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal smoking product on the market | PHE, UK

Cannabis Trades Association Receives Official Endorsement From the MHRA

This is long overdue recognition for the CTA's work which includes guidance to businesses on the law, regulations, professional and quality standards | Clear, UK

Tobacco Control Plan

I beg to move, That this House  considered the Tobacco Control Plan | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of drug addiction on the economy of (a) Sheffield and (b) UK | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2018 to Question 160717 on Alcoholic Drinks: Industry, if he will publish the (a) dates, (b) attendees and (c) topics of each of those meetings | They work for you, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on (a) the practices in place to allow medical professionals to identify fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in (i) newborn and (ii) young children and (b) how those cases are recorded | They work for you, UK

Stop smoking: E-cigarettes are no better than regular cigarettes, say insurance companies

Stopping smoking cigarettes can dramatically improve health. However, e-cigarettes, a product to help consumers dump the habit, are just as bad as the real thing, according to insurance companies. People with life insurance can expect to pay more if they use e-cigarettes | Express, UK

A tale of two moralities: Politicians, doctors, use of addictive substances and lobbying

Alcohol use during the day is common amongst British MPs and Parliamentary staff even when Parliament is in session. MPs are frequently under the influence of alcohol when deciding on important bills, potentially affecting their judgement | Drug Science, Policy and Law, UK

London mayor's plan to combat thousands of pub losses

After figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that London loses one pub per week, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the protection of those that remain | Morning Advertiser, UK

‘We’ve seen malaria tablets sold as cocaine’: The clubbing professor on a mission to stop people taking bad drugs

Fiona Measham admits she no longer goes to drum ‘n’ bass nights every weekend. Is she slowing down? | i news, UK

Durham rugby players in Sri Lanka had 'taken heroin' before death

Two County Durham amateur rugby players who died while on a club tour had taken heroin, a court in Sri Lanka has heard | BBC, UK

Prison - All 4

A rare insight into life behind bars, exploring the issues that prison staff and prisoners face at HMP Durham | All 4, UK

Launch of innovative drug and alcohol support services in Rotherham

National health and social care charity Change Grow Live has begun work in Rotherham through its adult substance misuse service, which came into operation on the 1st April 2018 | CGL, UK

For those dealing business is better than ever - so is it time to rethink Manchester's war on drugs?

The wretched toll that the drugs trade is taking on our city is clear to see. But how bad has it got? And is it time to rethink the war on drugs? John Scheerhout and Debora Aru investigate the truth behind the startling numbers | Manchester Evening News, UK

A recovering heroin addict sent me these messages saying he needed help - now he's dead

eon Silvester Lukins died a few days ago, shortly after a discussion about telling his story | Wales Online, UK

Gang jailed for smuggling cocaine disguised as milk powder

The head of a gang which smuggled £1m worth of cocaine from Jamaica disguised as milk powder has been jailed | BBC, UK

Newlyn Harbour: Pair in court over 'huge haul' of drugs

Two men have appeared in court after two tonnes of cocaine was seized from a yacht in the English Channel. | BBC, UK

Cocaine cabbie jailed for Liverpool pensioner death

A taxi driver under the influence of cocaine when he fatally hit a pensioner has been jailed for more than four years | BBC, UK

Brighton meat thief stole 'to fund cocaine habit'

George Hillyer, from Shoreham, West Sussex, would sneak into the warehouse of Brighton-based RP Meats after-hours to take premium cuts and sell them on | BBC, UK


International news

Police & Harm Reduction: How law enforcement can advance public safety, public health, and public confidence (PDF)

This is a briefing for law enforcement personnel around the world on how to incorporate, support, and create space for approaches that aim to increase public safety and health, reduce harm to people who use drugs, and provide law enforcement alternatives to common punitive models | OSF, UK

'It hits you very quickly': Canada brews first cannabis beer

Entrepreneurs across the country are racing to capitalise on drug’s legalisation | Guardian, UK

Lebanese farmer: Growing cannabis should be legal

Video. The Lebanese government is considering legalising cannabis for medical purposes. A farmer explains why he thinks this could "benefit everyone" | BBC, UK

Blazing a trail: as legal cannabis goes global, will Britain be next?

New laws in California and Canada, plus a high-profile UK medical case, have made it safer for nations to come out of the green closet | Guardian, UK

High uptake of sterile crack pipes in response to surge in use of drug in Dublin

There has been an increase in use of the drug since the start of last year | Journal, Ireland

Naloxone-on-Release Guidelines for naloxone provision upon release from prison and other custodial settings (PDF)

A hands-on toolkit for policy makers and practitioners on how to set up and run naloxone programmes for overdose prevention upon release from prison and other custodial settings | ISFF, Germany

Despite opioid epidemic, public support for needle exchange programs, safe injection sites remains low in U.S.

The study, published in the June issue of Preventive Medicine, is the first to poll a large, nationwide, representative sample of Americans about their views | Medical Xpress, USA

A Drug Company Offered An Overdose-Reversing Drug To Schools. Most Said No, Thanks

Some schools might have been reluctant to take advantage of the company’s offer because of backlash from parents, experts say | BuzzFeed, USA

Ketamine for Parkinson's? Clinical trial in the works

The drug used to manage some of the most salient symptoms of Parkinson's disease is known to expose patients to more motor issues, as part of its side effects. Researchers suggest that ketamine could be used to neutralize those side effects | Medical News Daily, USA

Canadians' average life expectancy could be cut by opioid scourge

Canada to start factoring opioid-related overdoses into average life expectancies | CBC News, Canada

State Govt softens its cannabis crackdown

The State Government has backed down on one of the most contentious elements of its “war against drugs”, dropping proposed jail terms for cannabis possession | In Daily, Australia

National Pain Week survey finds sufferers want their GPs to be able to prescribe them cannabis

The results are in — overwhelmingly Australians wants access to medicinal cannabis | news.com.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 20 July 2018

People in prison experience a much higher burden of chronic physical and mental health problems than the general population. This is for a variety of reasons but one of these is because of high smoking rates | Duncan Selbie's Friday Message, UK

Defining medical cannabis

The ACMD has published its advice to the Home Secretary regarding the scheduling of cannabis-derived medicinal products. As stated in my earlier blog, in order to make certain cannabis related products available on prescription, it is not enough merely to move cannabis from schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 to another schedule | Rudi Fortson blog, UK

Police raided my home and took my plants for cannabis oil. I’m seriously ill – they have taken my lifeline

Marc* is a 29-year-old linguist, teacher and youth worker. When he turned 13 he was diagnosed with crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel condition that causes intense pain, severe weight loss, extreme fatigue and loss of sleep. He also suffers from three autoimmune conditions. All are worsened by anxiety | i news, UK

The Guardian view on police and child spies: ends don’t always justify the means

The revelation that juvenile sources are being used in covert operations is alarming – but what we do not know is as concerning as what we have found out | Guardian editorial, UK

Use of children as spies crosses the line

Warnings from Norma Hornby and James Keeley about the risks of using children as spies in undercover police investigations | Guardian letters, UK

Spice, Mamba, Kronic, Synthetics: many names, one problem

Drug use has always come in waves and trends but the 21st Century has seen such rapid changes that local services, communities and drug users have struggled to keep up | Homeless Link blog, UK

Are vapes and nicotine patches safe to use in pregnancy?

This week, the media have reported that mothers who use nicotine patches or e-cigarettes (vapes) during pregnancy increase their baby’s risk of SIDS. This is in response to new research published in the American Journal of Physiology | Tommys blog, UK

I love beer... Or do I just love alcohol?

When you work for an alcohol charity, lots of people assume that you don’t drink. But I do. Why? Well, the thing is, I love beer. I go on about beer like some people go on about wine, or fine food, or fast cars | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

#DryEighteen: Half-way there

I’m surprised that the half-way marker crept up on me so quickly. When starting out back in January, six months seemed like a long, long time, never mind the full year. The fact that it has arrived so quickly is definitely a positive sign. I decided to mark this milestone with another bit of reflection | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Dear Graham Norton: 'Should I shop my drink-driving husband to the police?'

My 70-year-old husband regularly drinks and drives. He is of the generation when “everyone did it” – and I’m sure they did, in the days before drink-drive limits – but it doesn’t change the fact that he poses a risk to himself and others every time he drives home from the pub or golf club after a glass too many | Telegraph, UK

Naloxone remains controversial to some, but here’s why it shouldn’t be

The overdose-reversing drug naloxone saves thousands of lives each year and is more widely available today than ever. So why do overdose deaths across the U.S. continue to rise? | Conversation, USA

A Case Against Marijuana

The Weekly Standard, the conservative magazine, recently ran a skeptical cover story about marijuana. Tony Mecia reported the story from Colorado, which legalized recreational use of the drug in 2014. Many other states have since relaxed their laws, and more than 60 percent of Americans now favor legalization, up from 16 percent in 1990, according to the Pew Research Center | NYTimes opinion, USA

Cannabis use in psychiatric populations and risk of suicide: A new perspective

In the first study of its kind, a team of researchers in Canada examined marijuana (cannabis) use and the risk of suicidal behavior in psychiatric populations rather than the general population to see if similar results would be found (i.e., marijuana use increases suicidal behaviors) | BMC blog, USA

13 Years of Continuous Abstinence: The Hope and The Challenges Of Focusing on Abstinence as THE Cornerstone of Recovery

Today marks 13 years of continuous abstinence from alcohol and illicit drugs and being “in recovery” for me, but more than ever before, I feel conflicted about the message it gives in how that milestone is commonly shared… | Medium blog, USA

The Opioid Epidemic and the Urgent Need for a Philanthropic Response

Philanthropy is critical to a flourishing democratic society, one in which a vision for solving intractable problems and empowering people to thrive is shared by most, if not all | Philanthropy News Digest blog, USA

Ayahuasca: Ritual psychedelic turns modern-day anti-depressant

For any of the 300 million individuals worldwide suffering from depression, a fast-acting, effective treatment can mean the difference between life and death. Yet despite the growing number of pharmaceutical agents advertising relief from sadness, replaced by joy and contentment, their efficacy is often staggeringly slow and poor | PLOS blog, USA