Daily news - 4th June 2018

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UK news

Developing pathways for alcohol treatment

Guidance on referring alcohol dependent patients from hospital to specialist alcohol treatment in the hospital or in the community | PHE, UK

E-cigarettes should not be sold or marketed to young people, experts warn

Respiratory experts say that e-cigarettes should be included in all smoke-free policies to protect young people and want flavourings to be banned | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Cannabis: Regulate it. Tax it. Support the NHS. Promote public health

Regulating and legalising cannabis is an idea whose time has come. The UK public supports it too: in recent polls 47% of people support selling cannabis in licensed shops.5 Regulation also has the support of a range of groups from across the political spectrum | Health Poverty Action, UK

Legalising cannabis ‘could earn Treasury £3.5bn’

Report [item above] suggests change to law would generate revenue and cut costs across justice system | Guardian, UK

Britain’s biggest festival organiser dismays campaigners by backtracking on support for drug testing

'Considering the huge profits made by companies like Festival Republic from ticket sales, they should be funding essential services like The Loop to protect festival goers from avoidable harm' | Independent, UK

Boom in small music festivals put punters at risk, experts say

Bad weather, poor health and safety measures and budget constraints blight festivals | Guardian, UK

Yours for £2: artist Chemical X donates ‘ecstasy’ work as prize for drug test charity

Competition to win artwork made with 4,111 pills and worth £50,000 will aid drug harm reduction group | Guardian, UK

Intersections in (new) drug research

Open access to all papers in this Special Issue focusing on Intersections in (new) drug research | DEPP, UK

WHO World No Tobacco Day: why the key to quitting smoking could lie in our guts

A team of researchers at Imperial College London is investigating whether gut hormones could play a vital role in helping people to quit smoking | Imperial College London, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has spent on dispensing smoking cessation products via the NHS in each of the last three years | They work for you, UK

UK Government accepts drugs fix rooms WILL work - but won't allow Glasgow to open one

In a response to the city council the Home Office drugs and alcohol unit admits a safe drug consumption facility will have a public health benefit | Evening Times, UK

James Morris on the government's new innovation fund for children of dependent drinkers - podcast

In this edition, we interview Alcohol Policy UK editor James Morris, who speaks about the government’s new innovation fund to support the children of dependent drinkers. James begins by explaining the how much is being set aside and who is targeted to benefit from the initiative | IAS, UK

Alcohol Alert May newsletter

Latest policy news on alcohol | IAS, UK

Law, necropolitics and the stop and search of young people

Stop and search can harm young people, damage relations between police and the community and alienate ethnic and racial minorities | Theoretical Criminology, UK

Drugs: Crime

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of children "going country" to deliver drugs | They work for you, UK

County Lines: Seizing trainers 'won't deter drug runners'

A police force has announced a new tactic to tackle drug runners: confiscate their expensive trainers and designer clothes. Officers hope it "will have an impact", but a former gang member says it will do nothing to deter offenders | BBC, UK

The number of people told their lives are under threat grows, new figures show

The number of people warned by police that they are at risk of being murdered has soared amid growing fears that gang violence is spiralling out of control and spreading from the capital, figures obtained by The Telegraph reveal | Telegraph, UK

Organised crime group mixed potentially lethal drug fentanyl and posted it around the world

Three men have admitted running a dark web business selling the potentially lethal drugs fentanyl and carfentanyl to customers across the UK and worldwide | NCA, UK

Police smash plot to smuggle £4m worth of cannabis into UK

Seven men were arrested after cannabis with a street value of up to £4 million was brought to the UK on a shipping container from Spain | Telegraph, UK

Birmingham shisha bar 'lets children inhale hippy crack'

Children as young as nine have inhaled laughing gas provided by a shisha bar where the practice draws hundreds of youths at a time, police say | BBC, UK

Do you know what you're smoking? - video

Many shisha bars have been selling illegal tobacco to unsuspecting customers despite authorities' efforts to crack down on the trade | BBC, UK

Stolen Spencer painting found under drug dealer's bed

A £1m stolen Sir Stanley Spencer painting has been returned to its owners after being found under a drug dealer's bed | BBC, UK

Two men sentenced over £200K Derry cocaine seizure

Two men who admitted possessing cocaine worth between £60,000 and £200,000 have been sentenced at Londonderry Crown Court | BBC, UK

Detectives find £0.5m of cannabis plants in Glasgow

Detectives in Glasgow have said cannabis plants worth £500,000 were seized from business premises in the east end of the city | BBC, UK

Police seize cocaine worth £110,000 in Alness

Police have seized cocaine with an estimated street value of £110,000 in a Highland town | BBC, UK

Fisherman in £53m drug plot vows to clear name

A fisherman convicted of trying to smuggle cocaine with a street value of £53m into the UK is to fight to clear his name now that he is out of jail | BBC, UK

Could there be a cure for hangovers?

A chemical engineer designed an antidote to break down alcohol quickly – and after testing it on drunk mice, found surprising results | Guardian, UK


International news

UK is world’s biggest seller of dark web cocaine, Australian study finds 

Research published by the Australian Institute of Criminology found that 37 per cent of cocaine transactions tracked by the study were listed as coming from the UK | Telegraph, UK

Drug supply indicators: Pitfalls and possibilities for improvements to assist comparative analysis

Interventions to tackle the supply of drugs are seen as standard components of illicit drug policies. Therefore drug market-related administrative data, such as seizures, price, purity and drug-related offending, are used in most countries for policy monitoring and assessment of the drug situation | Science Direct, UK

How Philadelphia closed homeless 'heroin camps' as opioid crisis moves to American cities

Amid national opioid crisis, evictions at site raise concern over loss of community and shortage of alternative housing | Guardian, UK

Tramadol emboldens vigilantes to fight Boko Haram

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

Inside the world's largest cannabis farm

Canada is on the verge of legalising marijuana for recreational use. BBC World Service visited a huge cannabis farm in British Columbia, which the operators say is the largest facility of its kind in the world | BBC, UK

Bangladesh drugs war used to hide political assassinations

When Habibur Rahman last month joined scores gunned down by Bangladesh’s elite paramilitary anti-crime taskforce, officers told a vivid tale of how he had met his end | Telegraph, UK

Ghana Strives for a More Humane Drug Policy (PDF)

Recently, the government of Ghana proposed the Narcotics Control Commission Bill of 2017 (NCC) to replace the current Narcotic Drugs (Control, Enforcement, and Sanctions) Law of 1990 (PNDCL 236) that criminalizes all drug-related activities including drug use, possession, trade, and production. NCC aims to decriminalise drug consumption in Ghana | GDPO, UK

US school official convicted for shooting teen over drugs

A former Boston Public School official and anti-violence advocate has been convicted of shooting a student who he enlisted to work as a drug dealer | BBC, UK

HSE issues drugs harm reduction information for those attending festivals this summer

Ireland's drug fatality rate is more than three times the European average | Joe, Ireland

Ireland should follow Portugal and decriminalise personal drug use, says addiction specialist

Ireland needs to follow Portugal's example when it comes to drugs according to a leading medic | Irish Examiner, Ireland

What happens inside Ireland’s addiction rehab clinics?

'It could be your sister, your dad, your brother. Addiction doesn’t care who you are’ | Irish Times, Ireland

Athletes getting a little high sometimes doesn’t make them drug cheats

WADA should target resources on scourge of actual performance enhancing drugs | Irish Times, Ireland

Drugnet May edition

Monthly European news round-up | EMCDDA, Portugal

One in every 5 deaths in young adults is opioid-related in the United States: Study

Proportion of deaths that are opioid-related has increased by nearly 300 percent in 15 years | EurekAlert, USA

Discovery opens door for synthetic opioids with less addictive qualities

Making opioids from sugar instead of from field grown opium poppies has the potential to solve many of the problems associated with manufacturing strong pain killers | Medical Xpress, USA

Cinnamon May Be Safe in Foods, but Is It Safe in E-Cigarettes?

A cinnamon food additive impaired the cilia in human lung cells | NYTimes, USA

Organised crime research in Australia 2018

Includes a report on the international darknet drugs trade | Australian Institiute of Criminology, Australia

WA Day celebrations: Curtin University professor hailed as Western Australian of the Year for anti-tobacco work

Mike Daube AO was honoured for his work in public health, including his role in developing the plain packaging policy to combat smoking rates | Age, Australia

Regional doctors punished over opioid prescriptions

A Taree doctor who prescribed potent painkillers to drug seekers is the fourth regional doctor to be punished this year for improperly dispensing the drugs | Age, Australia

When chemists go bad: wave of drug store dealers caught pill pushing

When pharmacist Ethan Le walked out of his Sydney chemist shop carrying a large cardboard box, little did he know the police were watching | Age, Australia

Deadly Bangladeshi 'Duterte-style' anti-drug drive raises concerns

Anti-drugs campaign in which more than 100 people have died has raised international concerns but the government says the crackdown has popular support | Age, Australia

Meth myth: How the eviction hysteria unfolded

The debate over the danger of methamphetamine contamination was settled once and for all this week - when the country's top scientist revealed it was nothing more than hysteria | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

How common is alcohol and drug dependency across the world?

Hannah Ritchie presents a global picture of the state of substance dependency in five colourful charts | IAS blog, UK

When It Comes To Preventing Drug Deaths At Festivals, Zero-Tolerance Policies Won't Work

The only sensible solution to tackling the drug problem at Britain’s festivals is to introduce reliable drug testing facilities on site | Huffington Post blog, UK

Naloxone saves lives!

With drug-related deaths at the highest number since comparable statistics began, why aren’t more homelessness services using naloxone to prevent overdose deaths? | Homeless Link blog, UK

It’s not just the young who have a drink problem

I consume 100 times more alcohol than my dad did. Now I’ve learned that harmful drinking affects older people most, I feel I need to do better | Guardian CIF, UK

Why we must legalise cannabis now for the sake of public health

Governments around the world recognise the benefits of a regulated market. The UK should follow suit, says Labour MP | Observer, UK

The UK is the largest exporter of medical marijuana – now we just need to decriminalise it completely

Over the years, the absurdity of cannabis being illegal has been decloaked as often and effectively as the silliness of retaining that alleged nuclear deterrent. As with Trident, it has nothing to do with logic, and everything to do with retrograde symbolism | Independent voices, UK

Why I Wish Doctors Could Prescribe My Mother Medical Cannabis

We all know the cancer statistics: 50% of the population will be directly affected in their lifetime. But nothing prepares you for when cancer comes knocking at your own door | Huffington Post blog, UK

It is premature to expand access to medicinal cannabis in hopes of solving the US opioid crisis

There is very weak evidence to support the claim that expanding access to medical cannabis will reduce opioid overdose deaths in the United States | Addiction editorial, UK