Daily news - 1st May 2018

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UK news

Scotland ends cheap booze as minimum price starts

The price of cheap, high-strength alcohol has gone up in Scotland as long-awaited legislation on minimum pricing comes into force | BBC, UK

Will paying more for alcohol and sugary drinks make us healthier?

A minimum price on alcohol is being introduced in Scotland, in a bid to cut problem drinking. But does making unhealthy products more expensive persuade people to make "better" choices? And what are the trade-offs associated with doing so? | BBC, UK

Q&A: Scotland introduces minimum unit pricing on alcohol

Here are some key questions about the move... | ITV, UK

Whisky shops in England braced for Scottish booze cruisers as minimum alcohol pricing hits

Whisky shops in Berwick and Carlisle are preparing for Scottish drinkers on booze cruises after the introduction of minimum pricing | Telegraph, UK

The hardest hit: Addressing the crisis in alcohol treatment services (PDF)

This research, launched at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm on 1 May 2018, warns that the alcohol treatment sector is in crisis. These services are entering into a cycle of disinvestment, staff depletion, and reduced capacity, and this is due to get worse; in 2020 ring-fenced public health funding will end, posing additional risk to the areas of highest need. [See also Press Release] | Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK, UK.

Drinks industry under pressure to provide clear labelling

With consumers in the dark about what is in their alcohol, a major international conference is preparing to discuss rules for labelling | Scotsman, UK

University to force students to sign contract promising not to take drugs

The University of Buckingham has announced it will become the UK’s first to go ‘drug-free’ | Independent, UK

Taking of samples under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill | They work for you, UK

Vapers and non-smokers have the same flourishing gut flora

The first study of its kind has found that people who vape have the same mix of gut bacteria as non-smokers, whilst smokers have significant changes to their microbiome | Medical Xpress, UK

Sales of 'Nanny State' low-alcohol beers are soaring , figures show 

Sales of low-alcohol drinks have soared by more than a fifth in just one year, research shows | Telegraph, UK

Tesco launches smaller wine bottles inspired by health conscious millenials

The new bottles come in two sizes: 50cl, which holds the equivalent to roughly four glasses of wine, and 37.5cl, which contains three | Independent, UK

Katerina Lisenkova on the economic impact of changes in alcohol consumption - podcast

In this edition, we interview Dr Katerina Lisenkova, head of economic modelling at the Fraser Allander Institute. She is the lead author of a new report looking into the economic impact of potential changes in UK alcohol consumption | IAS. UK

Britain's Cocaine Epidemic - My5

A cocaine wholesaler dilutes nine kilos into 22.5 kilos in the kitchen of an executive family home, ready to be distributed around the country. Two university students use their loans to order £500 worth of drugs via the dark web. Underground cocaine shops operate a stone's throw from thriving London nightspots | Chanel 5, UK

Former prisoner says his drug addiction began behind bars

A former prisoner has told ITV News he is addicted to a prescription drug he started taking while serving a sentence for a cannabis conviction 10 years ago | ITV, UK

Devon: Takes Drugs Seriously

Free event. Thurs May 17th. Exeter. Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Come along to learn about the impact of drugs on Devon and how we can better protect our community | Transform Drug Policy Foundation, UK

Survey: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Diverted and/or Illicitly Supplied Medications within the Recreational Market

I am carrying out research regarding the medical and non-medical use of benzodiazepines such as Diazepam (trade name Valium) and Alprazolam (trade name Xanax) | Harriet Bloomfield, Masters by Research student at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Cannabis waste in woodland costs Woodland Trust thousands to clear

The Woodland Trust recently organised clearances in Smithills Estate, Bolton and Sandybrook Wood, Preston | BBC, UK

Zak Hardaker banned for 14 months for cocaine use

Former Castleford full-back Zak Hardaker has been banned for 14 months for failing a drugs test after a mammoth afternoon drinking session ended with him taking cocaine | Telegraph, UK


International news

Alcohol bill dealt further blow by wine producers

An EU objection by two major wine-producing countries has delayed by at least three months an Irish bill to put health warning labels on alcoholic drinks here | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Darknet markets ecosystem – Lifetimes and reasons for closure of over 100 global darknet markets offering drugs, sorted by date

Darknet markets — also known as cryptomarkets — provide a largely anonymous platform for trading in a range of illicit goods and services. It is estimated that around two thirds of the offers on darknet markets are drug-related. Drug sales on these markets, although modest when compared to the overall retail drug market, are significant and appear to be expanding.  EU-based suppliers are important players in the darknet ecosystem, the evolution of which is shown in this timeline | EMCDDA, Portugal

Antidepressants for the treatment of people with co-occurring depression and alcohol dependence

Alcohol dependence is a major public health problem characterized by recidivism, and medical and psychosocial complications. The co-occurrence of major depression in people entering treatment for alcohol dependence is common, and represents a risk factor for morbidity and mortality, which negatively influences treatment outcomes | Cochrane Library, Italy

Young Dutch adults back major hike in tobacco taxes to discourage smoking

The tide may be turning against tobacco in the Netherlands, with almost three-quarters of young adults saying they support a major increase in tax on cigarettes, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond | DutchNews, Netherlands

World-first cannabis trial looks to treat insomnia

In a world-first study, researchers at The University of Western Australia will examine the effect medicinal cannabis has on adults suffering from chronic insomnia | Medical Xpress, USA

How tobacco products harm the environment from their manufacture to consumption

The process of growing tobacco, manufacturing tobacco products and delivering them to retailers causes severe and irreversible damage to the environment. Tobacco use also remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S | Truth Initiative, USA

The long-term impact of post traumatic stress disorder on recovery from heroin dependence

[Open access] This paper examines the impact of current and lifetime PTSD on long-term recovery from heroin dependence among participants who took part in the 11-year follow-up of the Australian Treatment Outcome Study | Science Direct, Australia

Plans for medicinal cannabis hub in Queensland

Australia's first licensed medicinal cannabis producer has pitched a hub for Queensland to lead and support the growth of the emerging national industry | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Minimum unit pricing begins in Scotland

On 1 May 2018 the Scottish Government introduced a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Sport is not clean: doping could be prevented if athletes had chaperones

Sport is facing a critical moment. As we head into a big sporting summer, unanswered questions cast a large shadow over many high-profile athletes and countries | Conversation, UK