Daily news - 27th June 2018

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UK news

Scottish Drug Misuse Database: Overview of Initial Assessments for Specialist Drug Treatment 2016/17 (PDF)

In 2016/17, initial assessments for specialist drug treatment relating to 11,721 individuals were recorded on the Scottish Drug Misuse Database. Drug services are increasingly dealing with an older population; the percentage of individuals assessed for specialist drug treatment who were aged 35 and over increased from 29% in 2006/07 to 51% in 2016/17. Heroin was the most common substance people reported needing help with, although reported use of heroin has decreased over time | ISD Scotland, UK

Heroin use declining in Scotland, figures show

Ten years ago, 58% of users under the age of 25 reported using heroin. That proportion has now fallen to 25% | BBC, UK

Hiding in plain sight: Treating tobacco dependency in the NHS

The report argues that existing models of delivering stop smoking services separately from mainstream NHS services, while successful in the past, may now not be the best approach. We argue that responsibility for treating smokers lies with the clinician who sees them, and that our NHS should be delivering default, opt-out, systematic interventions for all smokers at the point of service contact | RCP, UK

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme: service availability and issues

Check the availability and any issues affecting the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) | HM Revenue and Customs, UK

'Tax and regulate more to improve health'

The independent analysis, produced for the BBC, said the success of the smoking ban and sugary drinks tax should embolden ministers | BBC, UK

Minutes and slides from meeting of APPG for PDD on 6 June 2018

Please follow this link to download minutes and slides from the meeting of the APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence on 6 June 2018 | APPG, UK

Why alcohol withdrawal can be deadly

Long-term alcohol abuse causes the body to adapt, even changing the structure of the heart. Suddenly quitting can prove fatal | Independent, UK

Grieving mother says daughter would still be alive if ecstasy she took was legal and regulated

Anne-Marie Cockburn, 46, is very clear in blaming the Government for the loss of daughter Martha Fernback, who died after overdosing on highly pure ecstasy, aged 15, in 2013 | Mirror, UK

Drug dealers say cannabis profits down in saturated Scottish market

Gangsters interviewed by academics for ground-breaking new research have complained the market for the Class B substance is “now saturated” | Herald, UK

CO2 shortage: Tesco-owned Booker restricts beer sales

Food wholesaler Booker is rationing beer and cider because of a shortage of CO2 used in carbonated drinks | BBC, UK

Drugs charge teen drops joint in courtroom

A 16-year-old teenager has been arrested after a suspected cannabis joint fell out of his pocket while in court on drugs charges | BBC, UK

Psychedelic drugs: Michael Pollan on the history, science and experience of taking them – books podcast

On this week’s show, we’re talking to Michael Pollan. You may know him from his food writing - books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, or Cooked, which is also now a Netflix show. His latest focus, however, is something quite different – still something consumable – it’s psychedelic drugs | Guardian, UK


International news

World Drug Report 2018: opioid crisis, prescription drug abuse expands; cocaine and opium hit record highs

The non-medical use of prescription drugs is becoming a major threat to public health and law enforcement worldwide with opioids causing the most harm and accounting for 76 per cent of deaths where drug use disorders were implicated, according to the latest World Drug Report, released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) | UNODC, Austria

Hospital suspends trial of paramedics administering ketamine

Hennepin Healthcare plans to suspend a clinical trial of the sedative ketamine in emergency situations following criticism that Hennepin County Medical Center enrolled patients in the study without their knowledge | Mail Online, UK

Ronald dela Rosa: 'The Rock' behind Duterte's drugs war

It might have fallen away from international headlines, but state-sanctioned drug war killings continue in the Philippines. As the former chief of police tells the BBC's Howard Johnson in Manila, it's provided a cover for anyone wanting to kill with impunity | BBC, UK

Interview with Montse Rafel, General Director of Dianova International

Dianova International launches the “Bringing Addiction Stigma to an End” campaign on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, on June 26th | EURAD, Belgium

Psychedelics Are Going Mainstream, Because the Mainstream Needs Them

Some experts predict practices like MDMA therapy will be legal in as little as three years | VICE, USA

San Francisco first city to ban e-cigarette flavors

San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban the flavored liquids used in e-cigarettes, unwilling to wait for the Food and Drug Administration to take federal action. And New York state is not far behind | Washington Examiner, USA

Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms 

In a new study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, it is estimated that the overall cost of substance use in Canada was $38.4 billion in 2014. That amounts to approximately $1,100 for every Canadian regardless of age | CCSA, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

“Illogical” cannabis regulation blocks research into therapeutic uses, say doctors

I concur wholeheartedly, as any reasonable person would, with the thrust of the argument to allow medicinal use of cannabis but the eminent scientists making the case misunderstand the law | BMJ response, UK

Now wine lovers need to know about geology – or do they?

“Soil, not grapes, is the latest must-know when choosing a wine,” Bloomberg has proclaimed. Meanwhile, wine writer Alice Feiring has published a book. which helps drinkers choose their tipple by “looking at the source: the ground in which it grows” | Conversation, UK

Anthony Bourdain's toxicology report showed little alcohol, but rumours persist

When someone famous dies suddenly, what's the one thing that can be guaranteed — other than a sharp rise in their product sales? | abc.net.au opinion, Australia