Daily news -19th March 2018

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UK news

Night Lives: Reducing Drug-Related Harm in the Night Time Economy

The UK’s night time economy is failing to protect its most valuable asset: the people who go out and enjoy it. Night Lives: Reducing Drug-Related Harm in the Night Time Economy, a joint report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, Durham University, The Loop and Volteface, advocates for the adoption of a set of bold yet practical initiatives across our towns and cities to address this failure. Aimed at stakeholders including the night time industry, local authorities, police forces and public health, Night Lives offers new ideas for reducing drug-related harm in the UK’s night time economy | Volte Face, Durham University, We are the loop, APPG on drug policy reform, UK

All nightclubs 'should offer drug testing' to save lives

All UK nightclubs should offer drug testing in an attempt to tackle the "highest ever" drug deaths, according to a new report | BBC, UK

Low alcohol product labelling

The government is consulting on how best to continue to communicate information about low alcohol products to the public once the current legislation expires | Department of Health and Social Care, UK

Pubs facing triple tax whammy, says Camra

It says pubs are being hit hard by a "triple whammy" of one of the highest rates of beer duty across Europe, rapidly rising business rates and VAT | BBC, UK

Cancer Research UK funded research does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a ‘strong gateway’ into smoking

The following response has been issued to address the misinterpretation by the media of a Cancer Research UK funded paper looking into a potential ‘gateway effect’ between e-cigarette vaping and cigarette smoking in young people | Cancer Reaserch UK, UK

Smokers avoiding NRT and e-cigarettes over misunderstanding of risk

Public misconceptions about the dangers of nicotine replacement therapy have resulted in many smokers trying to stop without use of cessation aids | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Non-medical use of prescription drugs - podcast

Charlie Lloyd and Ian Hamilton talk about the non-medical use of prescription drugs | Mental Elf, UK

Nice drugs and nice patients? Non-medical use of prescription drugs - video

Professor Adam Winstock from the Global Drug Survey talks about the non-medical use of prescription drugs | Adam Winstock, UK

Calls for heroin prescriptions and a safe drug room to be launched in Bristol

41 people died from suspected drug related deaths in Bristol last year | Bristol Post, UK

NHS buys mobile needle exchange for addicts amid HIV 'outbreak'

The NHS has bought a mobile needle exchange for heroin addicts to use in a bid to halt an “uncontained HIV outbreak” in Scotland’s largest city | Herald, UK

Young, Female & Addicted To Legal Pills

The news has been awash with reports and investigations recently exposing the perils of drugs bought and used illegally: From reports of teens ordering Xanax and diazepam on the dark web and social media to students buying 'smart pills' online and reselling them on campus | refinery 29, UK

A Journey into the Worst Corners of the Dark Web

Author Eileen Ormsby immersed herself in the drug markets and murder sites of the dark web. Quite quickly she found herself meeting its key players | VICE, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

To ask the Scottish Government how the NHS monitors children diagnosed with foetal alcohol syndrome | They work for you, UK

Sales of magnum wine bottles rise by 500 per cent amid warnings of binge drinking at home

Magnums of wine, once a decadence reserved for the most opulent of celebrations, have now hit the mainstream, with sales rocketing up 500pc | Telegraph, UK

Alcohol ban plan in public in Pontypridd and Aberdare

Plans to crackdown on drinking in public places are being considered by Rhondda Cynon Taff council | BBC, UK


International news

Spain Arrests Alleged Colombia Drug Kingpin Hiding in the Limelight

Authorities in Spain have arrested a Colombian with celebrity connections on accusations that he used his jet-set lifestyle as cover for his role as the leader of an international drug ring, illustrating how some criminal leaders are attempting to hide in the limelight | Talking Drugs, UK

'Microdosing' LSD is not just a Silicon Valley trend – it is spreading to other workplaces

It started off as an underground practice in Silicon Valley, tried by Steve Jobs and Bill Gates | Independent, UK

Gardaí arrest two in €1.4m drug seizure in Dublin

The drugs were discovered as part of an ongoing investigation targetting criminal activity in the Dublin region | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Trump to unveil opioid plan seeking death penalty for drug dealers: White House

President Donald Trump will unveil a plan on Monday to combat the opioid addiction crisis that includes seeking the death penalty for drug dealers and urging Congress to toughen sentencing laws for drug traffickers, White House officials said on Sunday | Reuters, USA

Behavioral Addictions: Are They More or Less Stigmatized than Alcohol & Drug Addictions?

Substance use disorders (SUD) are among the most highly stigmatized conditions in the world. Individuals’ perceptions of those with SUD affects not only how they are treated day-to-day, but also local and national policies impacting ability to access treatment and other resources such as employment and housing | Recovery Research Institute, USA

E-cigarettes may lead to accumulation of fat in the liver

Using e-cigarettes may lead to an accumulation of fat in the liver, a study of mice exposed to the devices suggests | EurekAlert, USA

Study: One-third of young adults have ridden with an impaired driver

A new study led by a Colorado State University researcher indicates that riding with an impaired driver is prevalent among emerging adults, with 33 percent of recent high school grads reporting the risky behavior at least once in the previous year | EurekAlert, USA

Study casts doubt on ketamine nasal sprays for depression

Researchers from the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Sydney have questioned the efficacy and safety of intranasal ketamine for depression, with their pilot trial stopped early due to poor side effects in patients | Medical Xpress, USA

MDMA With Mum And Dad: Deepening Family Relationships With The “Love Drug”

Most people get shitfaced with friends or lovers. The persona of the starry-eyed glitterbug with their heart on their sleeve is one of many interchangeable hats that your average weekend raver wears at different points over the course of the week | Third Wave, USA

Colorado cannabis workers are happy, but need better safety training: study

Occupational health researchers at Colorado State University are drawing attention to worker safety and satisfaction in a young industry still finding its feet: legal cannabis | Medical Xpress, USA

Hep C compounds alcoholism's effect on brain volume

Edith V. Sullivan, Ph.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues examined cortical volume deficits using 826 structural magnetic resonance images from 222 individuals with alcohol dependence and 199 age-matched control participants. Longitudinal data were available for 116 participants with alcoholism and 96 controls | Medical Xpress, USA

Federal Agency Courted Alcohol Industry to Fund Study on Benefits of Moderate Drinking

Scientists and National Institute of Health officials waged a concerted campaign to obtain funding from the alcohol industry for research that may enshrine alcohol as a part of a healthy diet | NY Times, USA

Pill to help cure drug and alcohol addiction developed by Sydney researchers

Dr Bowen from the University of Sydney is looking forward to the day their discovery is used to save lives | 9news, Australia

Why is carrying or holding under 50g of marijuana not a criminal offence in the ACT?

If you're caught with less than 50 grams of cannabis in Canberra, it's unlikely you'll end up with a criminal record | abc.net.au, Australia

Ice grannies blowing their pension on drugs

Grandmother-of-five Lizzie* (last name withheld) sways from side-to-side as she attempts to change her grandchild’s nappy | 9news, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Working together to support young people’s co-occuring conditions

Young people with ‘co-occurring conditions’ describe people who have both substance misuse problems and mental health issues | Addaction blog, UK

Why do we treat alcohol and the alcohol industry so differently from Big Tobacco?

The claim that alcohol can be used safely while tobacco cannot must be called into question, writes Ben Hawkins | IAS blog, UK

'Why are the courts pursuing me for a cannabis charge?'

I received a court summons three months ago at my address in the name of someone who has no connection with me and doesn’t live here. It was for possession of drugs | Telegraph, UK

Leader comment: Time to allow medicines made from cannabis

Useful treatments should not be denied to patients simply because cannabis is also used illegally | Scotsman comment, UK

UK Is The Only Country In The World To Criminalise Doctors Who Prescribe Cannabis

The fate of Alfie Dingley and thousands more is entirely in Amber Rudd’s hands. The dishonest excuses advanced by junior Home Office minister Nick Hurd, that they “want to explore every option within the current regulatory framework” is obfuscation, doublespeak and deception at its most blatant | Clear, UK

Can alcohol policy accept moderate intoxication?

Having recently finished a draft of what will hopefully become a book chapter on the Psychoactive Substances Act, I’ve tried to clear my desk out this weekend, and came across all sorts of incoherent pencil notes on scraps of paper that were intended to be transformed into blog posts | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

The homeless need more than shelter: they need a good night’s rest

It is estimated that about a third of people in the UK sleep poorly most nights, due to combination of stress, partner disturbance or lack of comfort. But, on any given night, a significant group of people have an added reason for insomnia – homelessness | Conversation, UK

The death penalty for drug offences

Harm Reduction International has long been the lead agency researching and publishing information about the death penalty for drug offences | Russell Webster, UK