Daily news - 26th July 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Drug misuse: findings from the 2017 to 2018 CSEW

These statistics will be released on 26 July 2018 9:30am. They should be available on this page. Examines the extent and trends in illicit drug use among a sample of 16 to 59 year old residents in households in England and Wales | Home Office, UK

Revealed: loopholes that let opiate addicts buy hundreds of pills online

People with addiction problems are able to order hundreds of powerful opiate painkillers by taking advantage of a lack of proper checks with registered online pharmacies, the Guardian can reveal | Guardian, UK

Blitz on drugs in prison underway

A £9 million project to clamp down on drugs supply and consumption at a single prison, with a major emphasis on tackling addiction, has been announced by Justice Secretary David Gauke | Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, and Jackie Doyle-Price MP, UK

The new plan looks to prevent drugs entering jail while also helping addicted inmates kick their habits | Sky News, UK

Police custody deaths in England and Wales highest for decade

IOPC says 23 people died in 2017, of whom 17 were subjected to force or restraint | Guardian, UK

Medical cannabis: what will pharmacy's role be?

How the UK has realised the benefits of medical cannabis and the involvement pharmacists could have in its supply | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Family Drug and Alcohol Court

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps are being taken to ensure that the graduation rate of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court is maintained beyond September 2018 | Guardian, UK

Pregnancy: Smoking Rates

What steps he is taking to help reduce the rates of smoking during pregnancy | They work for you, UK

Alcohol Dependency

What plans the Government have to improve support for the children of alcohol-dependent parents | They work for you, UK

Criminal Justice Project: Impact of Restriction on Bail on offenders who use Class A drugs in Liverpool (PDF)

The aim of this report is to gain an understanding of the RoB processes in Liverpool, and to provide an overview on the number of offenders eligible for Restriction on Bail well as assess the impact RoB has on re-offending following a court appearance (using drug testing activity as a proxy measure) | PHI, UK

Britain's Medical Weed Laws Prevent These Epileptic Sisters from Getting the Same Care

We spoke to the makers of a new documentary, 'Separating the Strains,' which tells the story of US-based Chelsea Leyland and UK-based Tamsin | VICE, UK

Mindful Drinking Festival

Free event. Tastings, masterclasses, and other events. Saturday 28th July, Spitalfields, London | Club Soda, UK

The SSA Fred Yates prize for Researcher of the Year 2018

Congratulations to Dr Andrew McAuley, Senior Epidemiologist in the Sexual Health and Blood-Borne Virus Team at Health Protection Scotland and Senior Research Fellow within the School of Health & Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University | SSA, UK

Grocers cash in as World Cup pushes alcohol sales to record high

England's successful run at the 2018 World Cup boosted supermarket sales of alcohol to record levels in the 12 weeks to July 15, as football fans visited grocers an extra 13 million times, according to Kantar Worldpanel | Telegraph, UK

Wirral 'drugs death': Boy, 14, arrested as girl dies

A 14-year-old girl has died after taking what police believe were "controlled drugs" | BBC, UK

Waltham Abbey sedative drug killer driver jailed

A driver who killed a man in a crash after taking a sedative he had not been prescribed has been jailed for five years | BBC, UK


International news

World Hepatitis Day 2018 Campaign

Worldwide, 300 million people are living with viral hepatitis unaware. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, we call on people from across the world to take action, raise awareness and join in the quest to find the “missing millions” | World Hepatitis Alliance, Various

Violence, drugs and sexual diseases: How managed zones for prostitution are failing women worldwide

It was the sight of a prostitute injecting drugs into her groin on the backseat of a car in full view of residents in the neat terraced street in Beeston, Leeds, that convinced artist Claire Bentley-Smith it was time to act | BBC, UK

Opium contaminated with lead poisons two in Melbourne and leaves hospitals on alert

Department says opium is suspected to originate from overseas and is in the form of a dark resin or paste | Guardian, UK

New Zealand grants paid leave to domestic violence victims

New Zealand will allow domestic violence victims to take up to 10 days paid leave from work to try to escape the abuse as part of a scheme to address the nation’s “shocking” levels of family violence | Telegraph, UK

Months After Decriminalising Cannabis, Bermuda Mulls Full Legalisation

A senior minister in Bermuda has said the territory could legally regulate the production and sale of cannabis for “recreational”, non-medical purposes | Talking Drugs, UK

'I wasn't ready to get sober': how Demi Lovato faces her demons squarely

The pop star’s battles with addiction and mental illness have been fought in the public eye, charted in documentaries and songs. For that, she deserves respect and compassion | Guardian, UK

Drink and drug use contributing to anti-social behaviour

Iarnród Éireann staff are encountering more and more aggressive behaviour and rowdiness from passengers, new figures have revealed | RTe, Ireland

Cannabis Addiction Is Not Heroin Addiction. That Doesn’t Make It Any Less Real

A large minority of people have trouble with cannabis, and for those people, it’s important to find help | Slate, USA

Laws allowing medical marijuana have little impact on road safety

State laws that allow the use of medical marijuana are not significantly associated with cannabis-involved driving, according to a new study by Georgia State University associate professor of criminal justice and criminology Eric Sevigny | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug Testing Organizations Save Lives, So Why Haven't Rave and Concert Organizers Embraced Them?

Groups like the Loop and DanceSafe test drugs like Ecstasy and warn users of high dosages and adulterants, but federal legislation from the early 2000s has live music promoters wary of their brand of harm reduction | The Appeal, USA

How psychedelic microdosing might help ease anxiety and sharpen focus

Tune in, turn on…and boost your focus? A new study from U of T Mississauga reveals fascinating insights into how people use small doses of psychedelic drugs for therapeutic effects | Medical Xpress, Canada

Labor moves to jail GHB traffickers for life

State government to move legislation to put traffickers of more than 20 kilograms of 1,4-Bute behind bars for life | Age, Australia

National's U-turn on medical marijuana gets cautious approval from experts

Supporters of drug reform are welcoming National's change of heart on medicinal cannabis, but questioning why the party didn't bring up its ideas at the health select committee | Newshub, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

If you wonder why Demi Lovato with her ‘perfect life’ struggled with addiction, you need to hear this

There are lots of reasons why someone might slide slowly and inexorably into a drug habit. While having security in your life can help, money and celebrity is clearly not a guarantee of immunity | Independent voices, UK

Cannabinoids: just like any other medication?

More than 17 countries permit the medicinal use of cannabis, but the UK is not one of them. Cases of children with severe epilepsy who have seen benefit with cannabinoid derivatives from the cannabis plant but cannot access the medication have reignited the debate over medicinal cannabis | Lancet, UK

Is it actually possible to have an ecstasy tablet which contains MDMA, cocaine and ketamine?

North & West Devon police have issued a warning about “Darth Vader” tablets today, saying that “it is a dangerous mix of MDMA, ketamine and cocaine”. This is very surprising as ecstasy data has never recorded a single incident of pills with this combination of drugs over the last 15 years. After being asked, N&W Devon police reveal that the pills have not been lab tested | Reagents Test blog, UK

Czech Drug Tsar calls for legalisation and regulation of drugs

The Czech national drug coordinator, Jindřich Vobořil, recently made a series of striking proposals for the new Czech 2019-2027 drug strategy - including the legalisation and regulation of drugs as part of a wider pragmatic  strategy for reducing drug related harms | Transform blog, UK

Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery 2017 – 2025

Ireland’s “Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery” strategy sets out the Government’s response to addressing the harm caused by substance misuse in our society over the next eight years.  It identifies a set of key actions to be delivered between 2017 and 2020, and provides an opportunity for the development of further actions from 2021 to 2024 to address needs that may emerge later on in the lifetime of the strategy | DoH, Ireland