Daily news - 27th July 2018

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UK news

Drug misuse: findings from the 2017 to 2018 CSEW

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

Class A drug use among young people highest in a decade as price of cocaine falls

[Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] A fall in the price of cocaine has led to the highest number of young people using class A drugs in more than a decade, experts say | Telegraph, UK

Class A drugs return in popularity to levels not seen for 10 years

New figures reveal an upsurge in cocaine and ecstasy, which alarms the Home Office | Guardian, UK

Gen Z Is More Into Coke, Ket and LSD Than We Thought

The proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds using Class A drugs is now the highest it's been for 12 years | VICE, UK

Cannabis-derived medicinal products to be made available on prescription

Specialist clinicians will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products by the autumn, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced today | Home Office and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, UK

Cannabis-derived medicines: What you need to know - video

UK doctors will be able to legally prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients from the autumn. What's in these medicines? And what difference will the change in law make? | UK

The case for medical cannabis—an essay by M P Barnes

Legal restrictions on the grounds that cannabis has no therapeutic use have impeded research, says M P Barnes, but evidence shows cannabinoids may have benefit in several indications, calling for doctors to be allowed to prescribe the drug as they can in many other countries | BMJ, UK

Medicinal cannabis: how two heartbreaking cases helped change law

Cases of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, who have severe epilepsy, along with lobbying, prompted change | Guardian, UK

'Billy can live a normal life': families react to medicinal cannabis move

Families of children with epilepsy welcome easing of rules but warn there is work to do | Guardian, UK

The figures also show that one in five inmates tested positive for substance abuse in random tests across England and Wales | Sky News, UK

Rise in prison assaults, self-harm and drug seizures signals crisis

A spike in the number of assaults and incidents of self-harm in prisons, as well as an increased number of phones and drugs seized, has prompted fresh warnings of a crisis in jails in England and Wales | Guardian, UK

Lost in a system

Many believe there is a crisis in the UK’s prison system, with understaffing and the drug Spice causing huge problems. Rob Morris died six months after leaving prison. His family is still trying to understand what went wrong while he was inside | BBC, UK

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the proportion of drugs smuggled into prisons by drones | They work for you, UK

Drug-user study to look at eliminating Hepatitis C virus

A major new study involving drug users is to explore a way of eliminating the killer Hepatitis C virus | BBC, UK

Curbs on legal highs cut need for hospital care

Fewer people sought hospital treatment for the toxic effects of so-called legal highs following temporary restrictions, a study based at an Edinburgh hospital suggests | Medical Xpress, UK

First ever study of serious case reviews of sudden unexpected infant deaths conducted

Domestic violence, mental health problems and substance misuse highlighted as factors | EurekAlert, UK

Heroin addiction: advice and support

On ITV Granada Reports we've been investigating the increasingly visible problem of heroin addiction across Greater Manchester | ITV, UK

Recovery Street Film Festival

Less than a week to submit your film. We are inviting anyone who is directly or indirectly affected by addiction (individuals, family members, friends, professionals) to make a 3 minute film and submit for inclusion in the festival | Phoenix Futures, UK

Wirral 'drugs death': Parents tribute to Bethany Devlin-McCrone

he parents of a 14-year-old girl who died in a suspected drugs-related death have said they are "heartbroken" after losing their "princess" | BBC, UK

Bestival drug death: Ceon Broughton denies manslaughter

A man has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a 25-year-old woman who died at a music festival in Dorset after taking drugs | BBC, UK

Coach passenger attempted to bring cocaine to the UK hidden in squash bottles

A Dutch woman who attempted to bring cocaine worth almost £150,000 into the UK, hidden in bottles of orange juice syrup, has been jailed after an investigation by the National Crime Agency | NCA, UK

Carlisle death crash mum was 'arrested over drug-driving'

A  mum of two killed in a head-on road crash had been arrested the previous evening on suspicion of drug-driving, an inquest has been told | BBC, UK

Love and Drugs on the Street: Girls Sleeping Rough - BBC iPlayer

In the final episode of the series, Brogan, 24, is in Brighton and has been sleeping rough or squatting across Europe for the past 6 years | BBC, UK

Alcohol alternatives: how not to get drunk on the hottest day of the year

One side effect of 2018’s long heatwave has been that the sales of alcohol has rocketed | Telegraph, UK

This Is What Will Happen to Your Dog If You Give It Weed

Side-note: do not give your dog weed | VICE, 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

Gin craze boosts sales by 22% across Europe for Diageo

Pink gin and other launches drive strong growth in Europe and UK for drinks firm | Guardian, UK

Study finds Americans more likely to see opioid crisis nationally than locally

In areas hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, few Americans surveyed felt drugs ‘posed a crisis in their own communities’ | Guardian, UK

Synthetic cannabis deaths spike in New Zealand, igniting legalisation debate

Medics say they are called to dozens of overdoses from drug that is cheaper and more addictive than natural product | Guardian, UK

Six tonnes of tobacco seized from illegal crops in Northern Territory

The 7-hectare fields of mature plants were worth more than $13m in lost tax revenue | Guardian, UK

Colombia's top sniffer dog gets police protection after gangs put £50,000 price on its head

Apolice sniffer dog who has found record amounts of illegal drugs has been moved from her post after one of Colombia's biggest drug gangs put a bounty on her head | Telegraph, UK

The rise of steroid use: Irish men are feeling pressure to get a ripped Love Island body

What's behind the rapid rise in steroid use and why is it so dangerous? | Independent, Ireland

Tobacco Free Ireland: Annual Report 2017 (PDF)

Considerable progress has been made and the action plan is being implemented as published | Doh, Ireland

Submission to the public consultation on the decriminalisation of the personal possession of illegal drugs (PDF)

The Simon Communities in Ireland welcome the opportunity to make a submission to the public Consultation on personal possession of illegal drugs | Simon Communities of Ireland, Ireland

Bile acids from the gut could help to treat cocaine abuse

Bile acids that aid fat digestion are also found to reduce the rewarding properties of cocaine use, according to a study publishing on July 26 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by India Reddy, Nicholas Smith, and Robb Flynn of Vanderbilt University, Aurelio Galli of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues. The results point to potential new strategies for treatment of cocaine abuse | Medical Xpress, USA

Massachusetts to probe e-cigarette maker Juul over sales to minors

Massachusetts is investigating e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc and two online retailers to determine whether they violated state law by failing to prevent minors from buying their products, the state’s attorney general said on Tuesday | Reuters, USA

90 Percent of Smokers in Study Couldn’t Quit After Vaping for One Year

The debate continues to flare over whether using e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking tobacco products | Healthline, USA

Warning label may have misled tobacco consumers for over 30 years

In 1986, the U.S. government passed legislation requiring a series of warnings for smokeless tobacco products, one of which advised "This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes." | Medical Xpress, USA

Assisted-injection trial means Vancouver's most-marginalized drug users could soon access Insite

Federal drug laws have prevented Insite from providing supervision to people who require assistance injecting drugs. Now, 15 years after the facility opened, a Health Canada program could finally change that | Georgia Straight, Canada

End of the line for alcohol ads on public transport in WA

In a win for both the Western Australian community and public health advocates, the WA Government has recently announced they will follow through with an election commitment to remove alcohol advertising from Perth public transport vehicles. Trains are already alcohol ad-free, while alcohol advertising on Transperth buses will cease in 2019 | Drink tank, Australia

Decline in hepatitis C treatment uptake could threaten Australia’s elimination targets

There has been a decline in the uptake of life-saving treatments among people living with hepatitis C, according to new data released today by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney | Kirby Institute, Australia

Huge jump in synthetic cannabis deaths - coroner

There's been a huge spike in the number of people dying from synthetic cannabis | RNZ, New Zealand

NZ Has More Legit MDMA On the Market

Drug-testing results are in and the last season of MDMA sold appears to be more real and uncontaminated than NZ has seen in a while. But 20 percent of drugs still aren't what users thought they were taking | VICE, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Addaction responds to drug survey in Crime Survey for England and Wales

“About one in 11 of us (3 million) used some kind of illicit substance in the last year. The numbers show a fairly flat picture in terms of self-reported drug use. One in five young people said they’d taken a drug in the last year | Addaction, UK

Alcohol: why we should call time on airport drinking

As the alcohol industry continues to make healthy profits, Britain is left counting the increasing cost of its unhealthy relationship with booze. From overstretched accident and emergency departments to a steady incidence of alcohol-related disease, the cost is massive. The most recent figures reveal that alcohol-related harms cost the NHS around £3.5 billion annually | Conversation, UK

The Definition Of A Cannabis-Derived Medicinal Product Must Include Standardised Herbal Cannabis Or Sajid Javid’s Reform Will Fail

Dame Sally Davies advised that “only cannabis or derivatives produced for medical use can be assumed to have the correct concentrations and ratios”. Bedrocan products fully comply with these requirements. Unless they come within the definition, Sajid Javid's reform will fail and most people will have no option but to continue sourcing their medicine from the illegal market | Clear, UK

Be smoke-free, be happier

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding a bike downhill – effortless speed, and the world rushing by as you project casual gracefulness. If this was all there was to it we would spend a lot more time on our bikes | ASH Scotland blog, UK

Musicians with Substance-Use Disorders Deserve Empathy Not Hysteria

Earlier this week, it was reported that Demi Lovato had been hospitalised after allegedly overdosing on an unspecified drug. The following day, a rep issued a statement to news outlets | Noisey, UK

The dangers of pot

Pot shops will soon be officially open for business in Massachusetts. While this may be good news for the marijuana industry and its lobbyists, state officials need to proceed with caution — especially when regulating high-potency pot products such as gummies, lollipops, and other treats aimed at children | Boston Globe opinion, USA

Evidence that ecigs help smokers trying to quit; overall evidence still shows ecigs depress smoking cessation

Using the large longitudinal FDA/NIDA PATH dataset they found that, among people trying to stop smoking cigarettes, e-cigarette users were more successful than non-e-cigarette users | UCSF blog, USA