Daily news - 1st June 2018

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UK news

Festival drug-testing shows a way to reduce harm

When they discover what is in their drugs, users tend to take less of them | Economist, UK

Family festival cancelled amid fears over 'bad batch' of drugs thought to have killed two people

It is a family-friendly event, attended by young children and pensioners who enjoy the jazz and swing music on offer. However, this weekend events at Live at The Bandstand have been cancelled by Portsmouth Council over fears of a dangerous batch of drugs which reportedly claimed the lives of two young people last weekend | Telegraph, UK

Drugs: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment he has made of progress in tackling the production and distribution of illegal psychoactive substances | They work for you, UK

June 2018 – Addiction Current Issue

A summary of the main discovery for each research paper in the ussie | Addiction, UK

A flexible model of support to engage and enable recovery for women offenders with substance dependence: Learning from HMP Send (PDF)

This edition of Pulse presents learnings from our work at HMP Send, where we have introduced a flexible model of support to engage and enable recovery for female offenders with substance dependence issues | Forward Trust, UK

Phil Moore says Northern men are stereotyped to be rugged, dependable and strong. This contributed to his struggle with alcohol | Sky News, UK

Holme House Prison therapy dog helps inmates off drugs - video

Inmates at Holme House Prison in Stockton are getting a chance to pet a therapy dog to help them kick drugs. Kola the four-year-old spoodle comes in several times a week | BBC, UK

Love Island 2018: Here's what the villa looks like this year

Smoking on the 2018 show will be confined to one small area, a representative for the show confirmed, after there were more complaints in 2017 about contestants smoking than having sex | BBC, UK


International news

Drug-related police encounters across the globe: How do they compare?

Drug law enforcement subsumes the majority of drug policy expenditure across the globe. Fuelled by knowledge that much of this investment is ineffective or counter-productive there have been increasing calls for cross-national comparisons to identify where policing approaches differ and what types of approaches may be more effective | Science Direct, UK

Experts call for ban on e-cigarette flavours to protect children

In a statement published in the European Respiratory Journal [See item below], a group of doctors and scientists from six continents have warned of the dangers posed to youngsters by electronic cigarettes | Independent, UK

Electronic cigarette use in youths: a position statement of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies

Children and adolescents are highly susceptible to nicotine addiction, which affects their brain development, even in those who smoke infrequently. Young people who become addicted to nicotine are at greater risk of becoming lifelong tobacco consumers. The use of nicotine-delivering electronic cigarettes has risen dramatically among youths worldwide | European Respiratory Journal, UK

Crypto-Market Enforcement - New Strategy and Tactics (PDF)

Between June and July 2017, two law enforcement actions targeted the cryptomarkets AlphaBay and Hansa Market, closed them, and arrested their operators, seizing millions of dollars in assets in the process. These operations, dubbed ‘Operation Bayonet’ (AlphaBay) and ‘Operation GraveSac’ (Hansa) saw a shift in the strategy and tactics that law enforcement agencies are using to target cryptomarket activity on the Tor network | GDPO, UK

Lawmakers struggle to get to grips with America’s opioid epidemic

But some states appear to be doing something right | Economist, UK

Kim Kardashian asks Trump to pardon Alice Marie Johnson

Kim Kardashian West has met President Donald Trump to discuss a potential pardon for a 63-year-old great-grandmother who is serving life in prison | BBC, UK

Nigeria's Tramadol crisis: The drug fuelling death, despair and Boko Haram

After a BBC investigation in April showed the extent of codeine addiction in Nigeria, the production of codeine-based cough syrup was banned in Nigeria | BBC, UK

Cannabis and sport: NBA winner Matt Barnes 'smoked before games'

"I would smoke cannabis six hours before a game. We'd have a shoot-around in the morning, I'd come home and smoke a joint, take a nap, shower, eat and go and play." | BBC, UK

Cannabis and sport: NFL's Mike James asks for permission to use cannabis

Take cannabis or retire? That's the dilemma for the NFL running back who says he needs the drug to continue playing American football | BBC, UK

World Cup 2018: Peru captain Paolo Guerrero cleared to play despite drug ban

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero can play at this summer's World Cup after a Swiss tribunal ruled on his drug ban | BBC, UK

Local projects report abuse of benzos

Community drug projects are reporting that misuse of tranquilliser drugs is widespread, while certain parts of Dublin say crack cocaine is now a “very significant” problem | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Renewed calls for drug testing at Irish festivals following UK deaths

The Ana Liffey Drug project are keen to provide the service, while the matter will be considered at the Sinn Féin Ard Dheis | HotPress, Ireland

TD calls for 'DIY' alcohol breath testing kits to be supplied to rural pubs

A Fianna Fáil TD has called for rural pubs to be supplied with "DIY alcohol test units" instead of the Government launching a new rural transport which is only creating "a binge drinking bus" | RTe, Ireland

US doctors prescribing fewer opioid painkillers: report

The American Medical Association (AMA) found prescriptions for drugs including OxyContin and Vicodin declined nine percent in 2017, or about 19 million fewer prescriptions compared to a year earlier | Medical Xpress, USA

Pot, opioids now rival alcohol as factor in driver deaths

Forty-four percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs in 2016, up from 28 percent 10 years prior, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) | Medical Xpress, USA

New insights into nicotine's effect on reward pathways

Northwestern scientists have discovered new mechanisms used by nicotine to manipulate the brain's reward pathway—findings which could inform the development of future anti-addiction therapies | Medical Xpress, USA

Cocaine use alters gene expression in brain reward circuits

A study in Biological Psychiatry investigates transcriptome-wide alterations in response to cocaine self-administration in mice | EurekAlert, USA

Pill testing should be legalised to prevent drug overdoses, NT minister says

Pill testing should be made available at Northern Territory music festivals to prevent drug overdoses, Assistant Police Minister Jeff Collins says | abc news, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Progressing a smokefree NHS

A little over a year ago, I wrote to the chief executive of every NHS Trust in England, calling for their personal commitment to work with PHE towards a truly smokefree NHS | PHE blog, UK

Guest Blog: Fighting NCDs And Injuries With Policy – Minimum Unit Pricing In Scotland

Vital Strategies’ NCD advocacy focuses on the four main drivers of NCDs – tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol. Alcohol is responsible for 3.3 million deaths each year across the world | Vital Strategies blog, UK

The Scourge Of Spice

“No sign of him I’m afraid,” shrugs the policewoman. A filthy blanket crawling with tiny biting insects lays abandoned on the splintered floor of a dank allotment shed | Huffington Post blog, UK

Drugs at festivals are inevitable. It's time to focus on safety, not criminalising users 

Last weekend, the summer festival season started in the most tragic way – with two drug-related deaths and the subsequent closure of Mutiny Festival. This is by no means a one-off, every year there are drug-related deaths at festivals, as well as in clubs in our city centres | Telegraph comment, UK

Frequent drinkers unravelled

Within the United Kingdom, older people experience more alcohol-related hospitalisations and deaths than any other age group | BGS blog, UK

Track your drinking year-round with our app

In this blog you can find out more about our Dry January and Beyond app, which you can use year-round (regardless of whether you did Dry January) to track your drinking | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Juul: Why a trendy e-cig is causing a social – and public health – commotion

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a campaign to discourage e-cigarette vaping. While it targeted all e-cigarette vaping | Conversation, USA

Freedom from the known - podcast

In this episode the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michael Pollan about his new book How to Change Your Mind. They cover the the resurgence of interest in psychedelics in clinical practice and end-of-life care... | Sam Harris blog, USA

Smoke, heat or vapour? Ideas for risk-proportionate regulation to make World Smokefree Day irrelevant by 2025

World Smokefree Day is an apt day on which to propose some ideas that may greatly increase momentum for the achieving Smokefree Aotearoa 2025. Tobacco and vaping products such as e-cigarettes vary greatly in their likely adverse health effects and overall impact on population health | University of Otago blog, New Zealand