Daily news - 8th June 2018

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UK news

New Collective Voice Director appointed

Collective Voice is pleased to announce the appointment of Oliver Standing as its new Director | Collective Voice, UK

Synthetic cannabis ('spice', 'k2') use may boost stroke risk in young users

Synthetic cannabis, also popularly known as 'spice' or 'k2,' may boost the risk of a stroke in young users, warn US doctors writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports | Medical Xpress, UK

Texting to Reduce Alcohol Misuse (TRAM): main findings from a randomized controlled trial of a text message intervention to reduce binge drinking among disadvantaged men

[Open access] To test the effectiveness of a theoretically based text‐message intervention to reduce binge drinking among socially disadvantaged men | Addiction, UK

Fun-loving but in control: strategies young women use when sharing drinking stories and images on Facebook

[From May1st 2018] Like alcohol, social media is now a vital part of many people’s social lives.  Young people regularly post and share drinking photographs, anticipate ‘big nights out’ and discuss their drinking and hangover stories online | Gender and Alcohol, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring the labelling of alcoholic drinks to include information on calorie content, Chief Medical Officer low-risk drinking guidelines or other health information | They work for you, UK

Debunking weed: could cannabis be a silver bullet?

Cannabis has been used medicinally by many cultures for millennia, but the 'war on drugs' prohibited its use. Changing perceptions have now led to fresh interest in this wonder weed | BBC, UK

Featured Review: Nicotine replacement therapy versus control for smoking cessation

High-quality evidence that all forms of nicotine replacement therapy can help increase chances of successfully stopping smoking | Cochrane, UK

Carlisle heroin dealer dumped stash in fish tank

A heroin dealer who tried to dump his £10,000 stash in a fish tank when police came calling has been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Canada closer to legalising marijuana after senate vote in favour

The country’s upper chamber votes for legislation aimed at ending more than 90 years of prohibition, but with dozens of amendments | Guardian, UK

European Drug Report 2018

What are the latest drug market trends and what are the factors driving them? What drugs are causing the most concern today? What are the most recent developments in drug prevention, treatment and policy? These, and other, questions will be explored by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) on 7 June in its annual overview of the European drug situation | EMCDDA, Portugal

Statistical Bulletin 2018

The annual Statistical Bulletin contains the most recent available data on the drug situation in Europe provided by the Member States. These datasets underpin the analysis presented in the European Drug Report | EMCDDA, Portugal


On this page you can access top-level overviews of the drug situation by country in all EMCDDA reporting countries*, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as well as drug policy and responses | EMCDDA, Portugal

Purity of cocaine in Europe at highest level in decade, report finds

Number of people seeking treatment for use of drug is on the rise, says EU study | Guardian, UK

HRB compares the Irish drug situation with the rest of Europe

In Ireland the number of people aged 15-64 reporting that they used illicit drugs in their lifetime has risen from two in 10 in 2002/3 to three in 10 in 2014/15. Cannabis remains the most commonly used illicit drug among this group, followed by MDMA and cocaine. A total of 9,227 cases presented for treatment in 2016 | HRB, Ireland

Young adults in Ireland are taking more MDMA and cannabis than they used to

The latest European Drug Report has been released today | Journal, Ireland

More women hospitalised in drug-related emergencies

More than half the people admitted to hospital in drug-related emergencies are female, new data has revealed. The European drug report 2018 has reported that of the almost 4,000 overdose cases at Irish hospitals, one-third can be attributed to people under the age of 25 | Independent, Ireland

Fentanils and synthetic cannabinoids: driving greater complexity into the drug situation - update (PDF)

New psychoactive substances are a broad range of drugs that are not controlled by the 1961 and 1971 United Nations drug control conventions but may pose similar threats to public health. Many of them are traded as ‘legal’ replacements to established controlled drugs such as cannabis, heroin, cocaine and MDMA | EMCDDA, Portugal

New psychoactive substances in prison: Results from an EMCDDA trendspotter study (PDF)

This publication provides an overview of the latest information available on the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and related problems in European prisons based on a rapid information assessment | EMCDDA, Portugal

The misuse of benzodiazepines among high-risk opioid users in Europe - update

This paper describes the impact of benzodiazepines misuse on the health and treatment of high-risk opioid users | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug consumption rooms: an overview of provision and evidence - update

Supervised drug consumption facilities, where illicit drugs can be used under the supervision of trained staff, have been operating in Europe for the last three decades | EMCDDA, Portugal

White House launches anti-opioid ad campaign aimed at youth

The White House launched a series of new advertisements Thursday aimed at warning young people about the dangers of opioids, taking another step in the effort to turn the tide against the deadly epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

State opioid monitoring programs are not created equal

States that have struggled with opioid abuse might want to take a look at prescription drug monitoring programs in Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and New York—states that have significantly reduced opioid dosages, according to a new University of Michigan study | Medical Xpress, USA

The SALIS Collection: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Over 2000 articles on drugs, alcohol and tobacco now digitised and avialable to access online | SALIS, USA

Senate approves cannabis legalization bill with dozens of amendments

The Senate has approved the Trudeau government’s landmark legislation to lift Canada’s 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis – but with nearly four dozen amendments that the government may not entirely accept | Globe and Mail, Canada

Youth cannabis users more likely to have poor health outcomes: study

A 10-year study on cannabis use among Canadian youth has revealed some troubling findings | CTV News, Canada

Global expert calls for drug decriminalisation in Australia

Manuel Cardoso has urged lawmakers to look to Portugal's example and treat drug use as a health problem rather than a criminal offence | Age, Australia

P was for panic! What next, now the 'meth house myth' has been debunked?

After last month's Gluckman report, we can all calm down and carry on. But what was behind the "meth house myth" that the report debunked? And what happens now it's been dispelled? | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

United Kingdom Drug Report 2018

The latest EMCDDA drug report on the UK makes for an interesting read and confirms stabilisation of drug use but a continued fall in the number of drug offences | Russell Webster, UK

How can we provide strong, effective and relevant services to crack cocaine users?

I read the serious violence strategy, recently produced by the Home Office, with great interest | NHS Blog, UK

New Directions in the Study of Life

I spent Thursday at the annual conference of the New Directions in the Study of Alcohol Group | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

‘We may unknowingly consume dangerous levels of alcohol’

Alcohol is the main cause of liver disease and associated death. By raising awareness and offering brief interventions, not only to patients but also to family and friends, nurses can potentially save lives, argues Gerri Mortimore | Nursing Times opinion, UK

Gaming the System: Drink and Play in Colonial life

Anyone who has come across this blog before will know that I tend to look at examples of excessive drinking behaviours in much of my research. Given the nature of the records held in the India Office archive in the British Library, this is hardly surprising | Imperial Measures blog, UK

The FDA is (unintentionally) going to make people smoke more

President Trump has styled himself as a slasher of red tape, signing an order the month he took office requiring executive agencies to cut two regulations for every new one they implement. Despite this, one agency that is looking to be successful in expanding its nanny state authority in the age of Trump is the Food and Drug Administration | Washington Examiner opinion, USA