Daily news - 25th June 2018

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UK news

Nearly two-thirds of prisoners on short sentences have drug and alcohol problems and 70% go on to reoffend within a year, new figures show

A charity campaigning to end short prison sentences is calling for the Government to take a “radical new approach” to persistent, low-level offenders after new figures revealed that nearly two-thirds of those serving sentences of less than six months have a drug or alcohol problem, with almost 70% of those going on to reoffend within a year of release | Volte Face, UK

British drug to be first ever cannabis epilepsy medicine to gain regulatory approval

A cannabis-derived treatment for severe epilepsy in children that was discovered and developed in Britain will be the first medication of its kind to gain regulatory approval when US authorities give it the green light on Wednesday | Telegraph, UK

Is it time to legalise medical cannabis in the UK?

The case of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell has given fresh impetus to the debate on medicinal marijuana, but reforming the law is difficult in an industry plagued by non-scientific methods | Guardian, UK

Durham police chief calls for legalisation of cannabis in UK

Mike Barton says ban on drug is damaging public safety and market needs to be regulated | Guardian, UK

I lost both my sons to drugs – that's why I want to legalise them

Ray Lakeman’s sons died after taking ecstasy, but he says that had the drugs been legal and regulated, it might have saved them | Guardian, UK

Music festivals could test safety of illegal drugs and save lives

[Free article] Festival organisers and treatment specialists have warned that drug testing is needed to save lives this summer | The Times, UK

Millennials make it a slow booze summer in the UK

Drinks giants cater for wider range of low or no-alcohol tipples to match modern habits | Guardian, UK

Tobacco: Packaging

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the introduction of plain cigarette packaging on smoking | They work for you, UK

'County lines': One in five Norfolk arrests were of children, police say

Of 609 arrests made during Operation Gravity in Norfolk in the 18 months up to 5 June, 126 were of children | BBC, UK

'I was involved in dealing drugs at eight years old'

At eight years old Tommy was carrying drugs and money for his father and meeting people for deals on street corners | BBC, UK

Scots gangs target Belfast as new heroin supply route

Ground-breaking new research shows the province’s capital has joined Liverpool and Manchester as a core source of illegal drugs, especially for the lucrative west of Scotland market | Herald, UK

This is what happens to all the cannabis seized by West Midlands Police

In 2012, police incinerated £2million-worth of cannabis , which was seized from West Midlands drug farms | Birmingham Live, UK

Bridgend's 'largest' stash of white powder sized in drug raids

Two suspected drug dealers have been arrested after 10kg of white powder were found during a series of raids | BBC, UK

What caused the UK's carbon dioxide shortage?

Britain’s carbon dioxide shortage has been caused by an unusually high number of closures of the factories which produce the gas as a by-product of the fertiliser industry | Telegraph, UK

Drinking in Victorian and Edwardian Britain

Free book to download | Springer Verlag, Uk

NHS to launch first internet addiction clinic

Exclusive: centre in London will focus on gaming disorders, with plans to expand | Guardian, UK


International news

Support. Don't Punish. Day of Action 2018

26th June will be the 6th Day of Action organised so far. Last year, thousands of people across 205 cities in 93 countries took part in the fifth global day of action for the Support Don’t Punish campaign to call for better drug policies anchored in public health and human rights. We are on course to break this record, so if you do not see your actions reflected in the map below; please, drop us a message on Slack or email us at campaign@idpc.net | Support. Don't Punish, UK

Alcohol in the Shadow Economy Unregulated, Untaxed, and Potentially Toxic (PDF)

The report, which uses data from 26 countries compiled by Euromonitor, also found that the majority of alcohol consumed is illicit in five out of seven African countries | IARD, UK

Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence

Review evidence for cannabinoids as adjunctive treatments for treatment-resistant epilepsy. Systematic search of Medline, Embase and PsycINFO was conducted in October 2017. Outcomes were: 50%+ seizure reduction, complete seizure freedom; improved quality of life (QoL) | BMJ, UK

Offer e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, says senator

[Free article] A self-confessed “nanny state” senator has urged the government to develop a policy on e-cigarettes to reduce the number of smokers in Ireland | Times, UK

Magaluf proposes ban on all-inclusive holidays that include alcohol in bid to tackle antisocial behaviour

Calvià council gets tough on cleaning up the hedonistic holiday hotspot | Independent, UK

Putting people at the centre of harm reduction: lessons from India

Blink, and you would miss the National Drug Dependency Treatment Centre (NDDTC) in Sunder Nagri, New Delhi. Housed in a nondescript community centre in an area known for high levels of poverty, unemployment, and conservative values, it’s not necessarily where you would expect to find a drug treatment centre | International HIV/AIDS Alliance, UK

Ten-year-olds and teachers face drug tests as Duterte takes war on drugs into schools in the Philippines

The Philippines is planning to take President Rodrigo Duterte's ferocious drugs war to schools with the inspection of bags and lockers, as well as random testing for teachers, to curb demand for illegal substances, officials said on Friday | Telegraph, UK

Child labour rampant in tobacco industry

Cigarettes sold in US, Europe and elsewhere contain leaf produced in tough conditions by children, impacting school and life chances | Guardian, UK

Australia's first medicinal cannabis clinic set to open in Melbourne – as it's revealed an additional nine will be launched next year

The first of 10 medical cannabis clinics to be launched in Melbourne will open later this year with approval from the state and federal government | Mail Online, UK

Ex-drug lord: Legal cannabis is 'wonderful opportunity'

'Freeway' Ricky Ross was a drug lord in Los Angeles in the 1990s, and is thought to have made millions of dollars from dealing cocaine | BBC, UK

Japan: Cannabis plants found growing near MPs' offices

Cannabis plants have been found growing in the grounds of a Japanese parliamentary building in Tokyo | BBC, UK

'There are gardaí, politicians and doctors who have taken something illegal at some point'

They get away with it, because we only criminalise the poor, writes Aodhán Ó Ríordáin | Journal, Ireland

Health insurance plans may be fueling opioid epidemic

Health care insurers including Medicare, Medicaid and major private insurers have not done enough to combat the opioid epidemic, suggests a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Overdose risk quintuples with opioid and benzodiazepine use

In the first 90 days of concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, the risk of opioid-related overdose increases five-fold compared to opioid-only use among Medicare recipients, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, published today in JAMA Network Open | Medical Xpress, USA

Trump carried counties with high opioid use: study

U.S. counties with high rates of prescription painkiller use voted heavily in favor of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, a new study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Native American teens at higher risk for substance abuse

Native American teens are at greater risk of alcohol and drug abuse than other American teens, a new study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Airlines have an alcohol problem and some are blaming it on airports

One of the few remaining pleasures of commercial air travel is a cold pint post-security or a Bloody Mary to quell in-flight nerves. But for flight attendants and the airlines they work for, the grand tradition of drinking while traveling causes a host of problems that some are intent on cracking down on | Quartzy, USA

38 UN rights council members urge Philippines to stop drug war deaths

Thirty-eight members of the United Nations Human Rights Council have urged the Philippine government to put an end to alleged rights abuses in its bloody war on drugs and bow to strong calls for an external investigation into the deadly campaign | Philstar, USA

'Like falling in love': How experts are re-thinking how we see addiction

Matt Noffs has been working alongside addicts for years, but he'll readily admit that he also struggles with addiction in his own way | The Age, Australia

Restricting access to opioids could drive pain sufferers to buy harder drugs on the black market, experts warn

The Federal Government says it has written to 4,800 doctors to let them know they could be prescribing too many doses of addictive painkillers, as it seeks to avoid an opioid crisis like that seen currently in the United States | abc.net.au, Australia

'Not soft on crime': push for specialist indigenous court

The state's barristers and police are calling for "urgent action" to reduce the spiralling rates of indigenous people in jail | SMH, Australia

Govt wants to avoid US-style opioid crisis

The federal government wants to stop Australia facing a US-style opioid crisis as health authorities work to rein in doctors who are handing out tens of thousands of doses | 9 News, New Zealand

The human cost of Housing NZ's meth-testing debacle

Housing New Zealand has announced operational changes in the wake of its meth-testing debacle | Newshub, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Collective Voice evidence to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs: Community-Custody Transitions

In June, Collective Voice was asked to give both oral and written evidence to the Custody-Community Transitions working group of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which makes recommendations to government on the control of harmful drugs.  Our evidence builds on our recent submission to the Justice Select Committee which is summarised in our previous blog post | Collective Voice blog, UK

Cannabis oil for epilepsy – what you need to know

Epilepsy drugs don’t work well, or at all, for about one-third of people with the condition. Unfortunately, these hard-to-treat epilepsies are associated with an increased risk of premature death | Conversation, UK

Why do we so consistently underplay the links between cannabis and psychosis? This isn’t a benevolent drug

Anybody wondering what happens to the 8 per cent of the skunk-smoking population who develop mental illness should visit any psychiatric hospital in Britain or speak to somebody who has done so | Independent voices, UK

If Labour is really progressive, it will pledge to decriminalise drugs

Years of DIY-testing the dubious stashes of festival-goers have convinced me that urgent reform is needed to keep people safe | Guardian opinion, UK

"I'm Not A Pothead": A Young Woman With MS On Why Marijuana Should Be Legal

This week the government announced a review into the medical use of marijuana, which is currently a class B drug and illegal in the UK | Refinery 29, UK

Our panicky and reactionary regulation of e-cigarettes is getting in the way of  saving lives

My colleagues relentlessly mock me for having a vape with Adam Smith’s head displayed on its control screen. But since their emergence onto the market, e-cigarettes have become a key part of smoking cessation efforts in the UK and beyond | Telegraph, UK

Why don’t more young women vape? EU regulations are partly to blame

The government’s current approach to nicotine and tobacco reminds me of the sex education scene in Mean Girls: ‘Don’t have sex. You’ll get pregnant and die.’ | Spectator, UK

Global and local perspectives on tobacco harm reduction: what are the issues and where do we go from here?

This thematic series of Harm Reduction Journal explores the issues surrounding the current state of tobacco harm reduction at global and local levels | Harm Reduction Journal editorial, UK

Gaming addiction: what we can learn from smoking cessation programmes

Between 0.3 and 1% of the UK’s 32.4m gamers are living with a gaming addiction. At last, their condition is officially recognised. This week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) added “gaming disorder” to the 11th version of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) | Conversation, UK

Cooking on High: Netflix's foray into weed cuisine is half-baked

An unusual cooking competition show sees expert chefs make sumptuous meals with cannabis while a judging panel of weed enthusiasts get stoned | Guardian, UK

Physical therapy could lower need for opioids, but lack of money and time are hurdles

Physical therapists help people walk again after a stroke and recover after injury or surgery, but did you know they also prevent exposure to opioids? This is timely, given we are in a public health emergencyrelated to an opioid crisis | Conversation, USA

Calvin White: This is who we are, unfortunately

So, this is who we are today. Former B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is now on the corporate board of a major marijuana company. Former Toronto police chief and current MP Bill Blair is a point man on marijuana legalization | Vancouver Sun opinion, Canada

Why alcohol after sport and exercise is a bad idea

Drinking alcohol after sport is a social ritual that has become ingrained in Australian culture, and it seems professional athletes are no exception, despite being paid generously to be in peak physical condition | Conversation, Australia