Daily news -28th March 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics, 2016-17

This bulletin presents Official Statistics on drug seizures made by the police in Scotland and the characteristics of those found in possession of drugs | Scottish Government, UK

Seizures of psychoactive drugs double in Scotland

Seizures of diazepam and other benzodiazepines have almost doubled in the past two years in Scotland | BBC, UK

Harm-reducing potential of e-cigarettes examined

The Science and Technology Committee hears from representatives from the prison service, NHS foundation trust and interest groups to explore how e-cigarettes are promoted to those trying to stop smoking, including those experiencing mental health issues or serving a sentence in a prison | Parliament.uk, UK

Government backs PCCs drug plans

Responding to a question in Parliament, the Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: "The government welcomes the focus the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner places on drugs in his report entitled 'reducing crime and preventing harm'." | West Midlands PCC, UK

Drug-related deaths in Scotland 1979–2013:evidence of a vulnerable cohort of youngmen living in deprived areas

[Open access] Even after accounting for deprivation, mortality rates are higher in Scotland relative to the rest of Western Europe | BMC Public Health, UK [See also Blogs section below]

What Dundee’s new Drugs Commission is and what it hopes to achieve

Dundee’s new drugs commission has identified four strategic priorities in its mission to tackle substance misuse and addiction in the city | Evening Telegraph, UK

Legalising cocaine and heroin would boost the economy

The war on drugs fuels turf wars, violence among gangs and harms countries | Herald, UK

Drug Education Practioners Forum

Free event. Fri 27 April 2018 10:00 – 14:30 BST. Mentor UK CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH. We are so excited to invite you all (and any other practioners that you feel would benefit) to the launch of the new and (hopefully) improved Drug Education Practioners Forum. This is a great opportunity to network with other practioners. We have some exciting speakers attending on the day including Volteface | DEPF, UK

Addictions: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated from the public purse to addiction services in each year since 2012 | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the extent to which people aged 55 or over are increasingly experiencing harm caused by alcohol, and (2) the need to introduce a different intervention strategy to address the needs of those people | They work for you, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many heroin-related (a) hospital admissions and (b) deaths there have been in the last five years | They work for you, UK

Drugs: West Midlands

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of the eight recommendations on drug policy made by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner in his recent report, Reducing Crime and Preventing Harm, and if she will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Father’s heartbreak at death of sons who died on same night from ecstasy and cocaine

A father has revealed his heartbreak at losing two sons on the same night after they took MDMA five to six times stronger than the lethal dose | Metro, UK

Laboratory Responds to Call for Increased Awareness on Hair Testing

Lextox, a specialist drug, alcohol and DNA testing laboratory, today announced it is working with family law professionals to increase their understanding and knowledge of hair testing | Lextox, UK


International news

Australian drug law reform report: Explore sniffer dog use, recreational cannabis

A report into drug law reform has made 50 recommendations in the state of Victoria | MixMag, UK

Substance Use During Imprisonment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Substance use disorders are among the most common health problems of people involved with the criminal justice system | Epidemiologic Reviews, UK

Cannabis ingredient ‘could help cocaine and alcohol addicts stay clean’, study finds

CBD – or Cannabidiol – is the ingredient in cannabis which doesn’t cause a high. It’s the same ingredient used to treat diseases such as Crohn’s Disease, as well as some cancers | Independent, UK

Drug prevention service to close despite reports of 14-year olds using heroin

A constant 'battle' for funding has led to the closure of a 30-year old award-winning national drug prevention and advisory service - at a time when its founder says that teenagers as young as 14 are taking heroin | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Improving Cultural Competence to Chemsex – Interview with David Stuart

Chemsex is not simply a word that describes the use of alcohol or drugs during sex. That is a very simple interpretation that mainstream media have misappropriated for exciting headlines | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer

Officials are close to limiting doses of the painkillers, but doctors say doing so could put older patients into withdrawal or lead them to buy deadly street drugs | NYTimes, USA

Philippines Tars Rights Groups with ‘Drug Lords’ Smear

Duterte’s Subordinates Issue Veiled Threat Against Activists | HRW, USA

Cannabis use linked to increased initiation of cigarette smoking among non-smokers

While cigarette smoking has long been on the decline, marijuana use is on the rise and, disproportionately, marijuana users also smoke cigarettes | News Medical, USA

Scientists develop new tool to study nicotine receptors

A team of scientists has developed a new technique to better understand the effects of nicotine on the brain | Medical Xpress, USA

FDA sued by health groups for 'dilly-dallying' over rules for e-cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been sued by several major public health groups because of the delays on the agency’s part to implement rules regarding electronic cigarettes and cigars | News Medical, USA

‘Peanut Butter Cup’ Vape: Is This Dessert Or An E-Cigarette Flavor?

Research out Monday offers evidence that advertising for e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products, which aren’t subject to the same restrictions that apply to the marketing traditional cigarettes, is stoking use among adolescents and young-adult smokers | Washington Post, USA

Paying to play: Do paid fantasy sports leagues signal gambling problems?

Online fantasy sports contests can be played over the length of a season, week, or even a single day, and they typically require entry fees or deposits | BASIS, USA

North Island regions show higher rates of drug dependency

Higher levels of methamphetamine and cannabis dependency, and need for help for substance abuse, were found in northern, central and eastern regions in the North Island | Medical Xpress, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alison Douglas: I welcome minimum unit pricing for alcohol

The historic introduction of Minimum Unit ­Pricing (MUP) of ­alcohol is just weeks away and will mark a significant turning point in ­Scotland’s damaging relationship with drink | Scotsman opinion, UK

An interview with Andy Lane on DORIS – the East Lancs clinical van

Andy is the clinical lead at Inspire East Lancashire. He has 17 years of experience in the substance misuse field. Last year, Andy and the nursing team began an innovative clinical van project | CGL blog, UK

Drug related deaths: learning from the past

 has been proposed that drug related deaths in Scotland, which have been rising since the 1990s, can be attributed to the social, economic and political contexts of the 1980s | BMC Series blog, UK

Trump plan to execute ‘big drug pushers’ will do nothing to stop opioid overdoses

On March 19, President Donald Trump unveiled his administration’s plan to stem the opioid overdose crisis in the United States, which has claimed some 350,000 lives since 2000 | Conversation, USA

Here’s how much marijuana you’d need to be eligible for the death penalty under federal law

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo encouraging federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for certain drug trafficking offenses | Washington Post blog, USA

Victorian drug law reform recommendations are welcome – but must include prisoners

The results of a major drug law inquiry were tabled in the Victorian parliament this week. The landmark final report contains 50 recommendations for reform to Victoria’s drug laws and policies | Conversation, Australia