Daily news -21st March 2018

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UK news

Poorest 'suffer most' from easy local access to alcohol

Scotland's poorest people suffer most from having easy access to alcohol in their area, a new study has suggested | BBC, UK

Victoria Derbyshire show - BBC iPlayer

Watch from 1 hr 37 mins. Fiona Measham from The Loop, Jeff Smith MP and others talk about drug testing in clubs | BBC, UK

Prescription Drugs: Dependence - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to provide a network of support, nationally and locally, for people affected by dependence on prescribed drugs | They work for you, UK

Cocaine Is the Hidden Mixer in Newcastle's Economy

The drug isn't just an integral part of the new Geordie nightclub, but increasingly a the city's legitimate economy | VICE, UK

Call for Alfie Dingley to be allowed medicinal cannabis - video

380,000 people have backed the family's call for a special licence to use medicinal cannabis to treat Alfie Dingley's illness | BBC, UK

Older adults: RCP highlights challenge in 'Our invisible addicts' 2018

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) has released an updated report on substance misuse problems amongst older adults, calling for further training, treatment investment and policy recognition of the complex issues involved | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Protect your children from poisons: Warning as Fresh campaign reminds parents to take smoking right outside

Carbon monoxide, lead, arsenic and benzene are poisons that most of us go out of our way to avoid. But this is the toxic cocktail in tobacco smoke inhaled by smokers and potentially their families in the home and car | Northern Echo, UK

'My 3,000 calorie-a-day addiction to energy drinks rules my life'

Emma Forrest consumes 3,000 calories a day - that is 200 teaspoons of sugar - and says she would rather lose her relationship with her twin sister than give up the drinks | BBC, UK

Addiction April 2018 – Current Issue

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published | Addiction

Addiction to prescription drugs in Northern Ireland 'at epidemic levels'

More than 193,000 prescriptions were handed out here for the painkiller tramadol in 2016 - a rate of 529 a day - costing almost £2m | Belfast Telegraph, UK

SMMGP FreeLearn: Naloxone Saves Lives

Free elearning model | SMMGP, UK

Mapping Scottish Drugs Research

The DRNS is updating this review, from the period of the last review to the launch of the DRNS in July 2017. They are collating details of PhD and Masters-level work, commissioned research and service evaluations initiated between May 2016 and Jun 2017 (inclusive) | SDF, UK

Writers wanted for Volteface Magazine

We are looking for guest writers and contributors for our online magazine. Our aim is to explore the policy and politics of drug reform from science, health, lifestyle, culture, business, crime and economic perspectives | Volte Face, UK

Chemsex Workshop is a groupwork session for gay and bisexual men who do chems

Free groupwork session for gay and bisexual men who do chems. London, Thu, March 29, 2018 | GMFA, UK

'A vicious circle I couldn't break': the software helping tackle online betting

Exclusion apps such as Gamban are taking on the 24/7, 365-days-a-year temptation of internet gambling | Guardian, UK

Surge in Muslims being jailed for drug offences despite drop in overall prison population

‘This increasing Muslim prison population is a symptom of a broken justice system and a gang problem that is rapidly getting worse,’ says Dr Mohammed Qasim | Independent, UK

Aberdeen shopkeeper jailed for selling so-called legal highs

A shopkeeper who became the first in Scotland to be convicted for selling so-called legal highs was locked up yesterday | Press and Journal, UK


International news

Stub it out: Netflix criticised for too many smoking scenes

Netflix has been singled out for criticism by an anti-smoking organisation, which released research that claims the streaming giant’s original programmes have more than twice as many scenes featuring smoking as its rivals | Guardian, UK

Mother 'watching opioids kill' son in US city where 100 of the 100,000 residents each year die from the drug

Attending opioid cases in the US city has become a familiar routine for the emergency services, with firefighters now attending more overdoses than fires and trained in administering Narcan, the antidote to opioids | ITV, UK

Sackler family gift draws UK gallery into opioid crisis row

National Portrait Gallery under pressure over proposed £1m donation from family linked to US crisis | Guardian, UK

'It's all about sharing experiences': How this sailing group is helping addicts in recovery

Sailing into Wellness helps people with drug and alcohol problems to develop skills and build confidence through sailing each month | Journal, Ireland

President Donald J. Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand

President Donald J. Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioids Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand will confront the driving forces behind the opioid crisis | The White House, USA

When Trump calls for the death penalty to drug dealers, does he mean Big Pharma?

Donald Trump announced a new US policy in New Hampshire yesterday—the US would seek the most severe punishment for drug dealers to combat the country’s crippling opioid epidemic, he said, a move quickly affirmed by the Department of Justice | Quartz, USA

The other opioid crisis: Hospital shortages lead to patient pain, medical errors

Even as opioids flood American communities and fuel widespread addiction, hospitals are facing a dangerous shortage of the powerful painkillers needed by patients in acute pain, according to doctors, pharmacists and a coalition of health groups | Medical Xpress, USA

Drug Courts in the Americas

Drug courts in the United States are presented as an alternative to incarceration for people arrested for minor drug offenses where drug use is considered an underlying cause of the crime, thus theoretically serving as a tool for reducing prison and jail populations | SSRC, USA

How Women Experience Addiction Differently Than Men

Addiction to substances such as heroin and alcohol affect women differently than men. Find out how and why it matters from an addiction expert | Forbes, USA

Learning How to Eat Again After Recovering From Addiction

As part of a growing movement to provide comprehensive care to people in recovery, a new class aims to help them re-establish a relationship with food | Slate, USA

FDA could curb or ban tobacco in menthol or fruit flavoured cigarettes soon

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking deeper at the tobacco levels in the flavoured tobacco products closely. These menthol or fruit flavoured cigarettes are more appealing to young people who take up smoking, they find | News Medical, USA

In California, Learning How Marijuana Is an Unlikely Divider

A reporter explains that although the drug is now legal in the state, attitudes about it are anything but united | NYTimes, USA

New avenues for gambling treatment

People who experience gambling-related problems make up less than 3% of the general population, yet among people seeking treatment for substance use disorder, nearly 37% report gambling-related problems | BASIS, USA

Dangerous cocktail: Aussies uninformed and misled on alcohol-related cancer & disease links

Now in its ninth year, the Annual alcohol poll 2018: Attitudes and behaviours examines in detail Australians’ awareness of the links between alcohol and cancer and other disease, our understanding of the official drinking guidelines, and our desire as consumers to be fully informed of the risks associated with alcohol use, and measures to reduce that harm | FARE, Australia

Unpacking the 2018 Annual Alcohol Poll Findings

Since 2010, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Annual Alcohol Poll has examined Australians’ attitudes towards alcohol, their consumption behaviours, awareness and experiences of alcohol harm, and perspectives on alcohol policies | DrinkTank, Australia

Teens unaware of 'social' smoking dangers

Research has found two in three teenagers wrongly believe 'social' or occasional smoking is harmless, prompting concern from public health experts | SBS.com.au, Australia

As ice use has climbed, so has the number of children removed from families

The drug ice is playing a large factor in rising child-protection rates around the country, according to experts. But they warn there's no easy solution, especially when parents have their own traumas | abc.net.au, Australia

Medical cannabis users fear police arrest if they submit on Bill

There are concerns that people who want to make submissions to the Government's medicinal cannabis bill are not doing so because they are "too afraid" the police will use the information to arrest them | NZHerald, New Zealand

Fentanyl found at New Zealand festival

Testing by KnowYourStuffNZ has identified a sample containing Fentanyl | Know your stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

The International Cannabis Survey 2018 – Dr Musa Sami of KCL Replies

Following the blog I posted on Sunday 18th March (The International Cannabis Survey 2018 – Kings College London), the researcher running the survey, Dr Musa Sami responded in the comments and I offered him the opportunity to explain in more detail | UKCIA blog, UK

Unbearably lonely, surrounded by lies - I know what it's really like to be married to an alcoholic

I have spent the best part of 17 years hiding. You get very good at that when you are married to an alcoholic. Their whole existence is built on a tightly woven web of lies – lies which you often end up helping them to keep | Telegraph, UK

Smokers fail to respond to UAE 'sin tax'

Only one in four smokers in the United Arab Emirates have changed their habits after the government introduced a 100% "sin tax" last year, it's been reported | BBC Elsewhere blog, UK

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Recommends Russia to Change Their Drug Policy Approach

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), monitoring the implementation of the Convention by the States Parties, recommended Russia to reconsider their approach to drug policy | Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice blog, Russia

President Trump is dehumanizing drug dealers; that's wrong

A lot could be written about President Trump’s abhorrent proposal to execute people who sell drugs. Many will argue that it’s wrongheaded because deterrents seldom work. And they would be right | NY Daily Post, USA

How exercise can help tackle the opioid crisis

Prescription of low-dose opioids over the medium-term may be a useful pain management strategy. Nearly one in five adults live with chronic pain in Canada, and the rates are higher among older adults and women | Conversation, USA