Daily news - 3rd May 2018

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UK news

Advice on amending the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973

Letter to Victoria Atkins MP from the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs outlining recommendations for amending the safe custody regulations | ACMD, UK

Prescribing of controlled drugs by therapeutic radiographers: further advice

Further advice about the prescribing of controlled drugs by therapeutic radiographers | ACMD, UK

Alcohol Pricing

To ask the Scottish Government what process it will use to monitor the effectiveness of the pricing per unit of alcohol. (S5T-01059) | They work for you, UK

Know your limits: Labelling interventions to reduce alcohol consumption - small grant

The overall purpose of this research is to address the European Parliament’s call for ‘clear, concise and effective information on the effects of alcohol consumption and its health risks | Alcohol Research UK, UK

Drinkers support clearer labelling on alcohol products

New research led by the University of Bristol has found that drinkers support clearer labelling of alcohol products, including the provision of unit, calorie and health information, which would address current gaps in public knowledge | Medical Xpress, UK

Statistics on Alcohol England 2018 & latest OPN drinking figures

The annual Statistics on Alcohol for England 2018 has been released, detailing national data for key alcohol-related indicators and health harms | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Premature mortality among people with severe mental illness — New evidence from linked primary care data

[Open access] Studies assessing premature mortality in people with severe mental illness (SMI) are usually based in one setting, hospital (secondary care inpatients and/or outpatients) or community (primary care). This may lead to ascertainment bias | Schres Journal, UK

WHO Framework Convention On Tobacco Control

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, for that reasons the UK has not ratified the WHO Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products | They work for you, UK

Is there an alternative to being parked on methadone?

Michael from Dundee spent more than 20 years on heroin substitute methadone. He felt like he was left constantly sedated, with no attempt to wean him off it | BBC, UK

Dundee drug deaths 'relevant factor' in dealer's jail sentence

A man who trafficked heroin to Dundee has been told the city's record number of drug deaths was a "relevant factor" in the length of his prison term | BBC, UK

Dundee drugs crisis: City health chief admits they ‘got it wrong’

Councillor Ken Lynn, chairman of Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership integrated joint board, admitted something had gone wrong with tackling drug deaths | Evening Telegraph, UK

RSFF welcomes actor, Jason Flemyng

The Recovery Street Film Festival is pleased to announce that Hollywood actor Jason Flemyng has signed up to support the 2018 festival | RSFF, UK

Harsher drug laws won't stop violence, argues former police chief

Harsher drug prohibition won't stop violence, argue Paul Whitehouse, former Chief Constable of Sussex Police, and Jason Reed at Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP UK) which supports drug policy reform, in The BMJ today | Medical Xpress, UK

Gang who 'flooded' Blackpool with Class A drugs jailed for more than a century

Members of a Blackpool gang which infiltrated the seaside resort with Class A drugs have been sentenced to almost a century in jail | ITV, UK


International news

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans, firefighters, and police officers: a randomised, double-blind, dose-response, phase 2 clinical trial

[Open access] Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is prevalent in military personnel and first responders, many of whom do not respond to currently available treatments. This study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for treating chronic PTSD in this population | Lancet, UK

Decline of adolescent smoking in Ireland 1995–2015: trend analysis and associated factors

[Open access] The study examines trends in smoking among Irish adolescents aged 15–16 years between 1995 and 2015 and the factors associated with their smoking behaviours between 2007 and 2015 | BMJ, UK

President Duterte’s Son Cleared of Drug Trafficking, as Extrajudicial Killings Continue

As the extrajudicial killing of people for alleged drug offences continues in the Philippines, the president’s son has been cleared of trafficking - following a formal investigation | Talking Drugs, UK

2,500 sign mothers’ petition seeking legalisation of medicinal cannabis

A petition launched by two mothers who are seeking the legalisation of medicinal cannabis has gained 2,500 signatures in less than a week | Irish Examiner, Ireland

America's Opioid Crisis Is Now a Fentanyl Crisis

Officials know that synthetic opioids are killing more people than heroin or OxyContin—but there’s still a lot of data missing | The Atalntic, USA

The other opioid crisis: shortages at U.S. hospitals

U.S. hospitals are running short of the injectable opioids and anesthesia drugs that most surgery patients need during and after their procedures, a new survey shows | Medical Xpress, USA

Juul, the vape device teens are getting hooked on, explained

If you’ve seen people sucking on USB flash drives, they’re probably “Juuling.” | Vox, USA

Tobacco company's understanding of addiction revealed by internal documents

After decades denying the role of nicotine dependence in smoking addiction, tobacco company Philip Morris (PM) publicly embraced nicotine as the main driver of smoking behavior in 2000 | EurekAlert, USA

Cryo-EM structures of the nicotine receptor may lead to new therapies for addiction

Researchers have published atomic-scale blueprints of the most abundant class of brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. A structural understanding of the protein, found in neurons, could lead to new ways to treat nicotine addiction from smoking and vaping | Science Daily, USA

'I Heart Jane' Creates Ecommerce Software For Cannabis Retailers

As a West Point graduate and Apache helicopter pilot, Soc Rosenfeld was “anti-cannabis,” he said. That changed when he returned from the war in Iraq | Forbes, USA

Can Dogs Help Kids Affected By The Opioid Crisis?

A new study aims to determine if dogs can help reduce stress and anxiety for kids in child protective services | The Fix, USA

Nigeria bans codeine cough syrups over addiction fears

Nigeria has banned cough syrups containing the painkiller codeine because of concern about misuse and addiction, the government said | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis advertising in Canada: What we know right now

In December 2015, the Government of Canada announced that it would introduce legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis for recreational purposes. When July 1, 2018 was set as the target implementation date, cannabis became one of the hottest and most polarizing topics of conversation | Lexology, Canada

New SPRC and NDARC collaboration to focus on drug policy and social welfare policy

As part of a new collaboration between NDARC and the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC), the DPMP team, led by Professor Alison Ritter, will be joining the SPRC. This new collaboration brings exciting opportunities to integrate UNSW research in drug policy with social welfare policy | NDARC, Australia

Victoria’s new drink and drug driving laws

From April 30 2018 Victoria’s new drink and drug driving laws have changed for alcohol and/or drug related driving offences | VAADA, Australia

Paramedics find better drug to tame violent patients

Australian paramedics are leading the world by introducing a new drug, droperidol, to quickly and safely calm violent patients fueled by alcohol and drugs | Science Daily, Australia

'Family-run drug syndicate' shut down after police seize $10m worth of GHB chemicals

Police have used forklifts to seize thousands of litres of chemicals used to make the drug GHB, in one of the largest such seizures in Victoria's history | abc.net.au, Australia

Parent rejects school's meth pamphlet explanation

An Auckland parent is still unhappy about a school's use of a pamphlet explaining how to use meth, despite explanations of how the material was used | RNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Fiona Bruce: England should follow Scotland and introduce minimum alcohol pricing

Enjoying a drink with friends is a central part of many people’s social lives. Pubs are an important part of Britain’s culture, and are community assets across the country. We are also seeing a cultural shift in understanding what healthy drinking is – with increasing numbers of young people, in particular, choosing to drink more responsibly | Conservative Home blog, UK

Alcohol treatment: Time for action

The alcohol treatment sector is facing acute challenges. Yesterday [1 May 2018] politicians, service providers, researchers and charities met in the Houses of Parliament to set out what they see as the key challenges facing the sector, and how Government might help address them | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Do professional drinkers need to admit they have a problem?

Higher earners drink more than people in routine jobs and could be harming themselves despite boozing at levels considered socially acceptable | Guardian shortcuts, UK

Is there space for political consensus on criminal justice reform?

Law and order, policing and prisons have long been exploited in political campaigns – understandably seen as a potential weakness of any governing party. But there may be growing consensus that offers a way forward for reform-minded politicians across the political spectrum | Bright Blue blog, UK

Tobacco industry investment in electronic nicotine delivery devices: an evolving strategy

British American Tobacco’s (BAT) decision to divest its interests in Vokethe first electronic nicotine delivery (END) system to receive a medical licence, offers potentially important insights into the evolving strategies of the tobacco industry in this emerging product range | BMJ blog, UK

A decade of drug policies: where does the world go from here?

Next year, it will be time to take stock of where the world stands on drug control, a decade after the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on illicit drugs was made | AIDS Alliance blog, USA

Cannabis versus Cancer

We know weed can mitigate the side effects of the disease and its treatments, but it might also fight malignancies directly | Scientific American observations, USA

Drug rehab: what works and what to keep in mind when choosing a private treatment provider

The public alcohol and drug system is chronically underfunded. About 200,000 people receive treatment for alcohol or other drug problems each year in Australia, but the demand is estimated at closer to 500,000. The result is long waiting lists for some publicly funded treatment, or people choosing private services to fill the gap | Conversation, Australia

Kids smoking dope don't need less education, they need more

I smoked dope at school. It's not the only thing I did; I also got an education. But on a couple of occasions a mate and I wandered under a bridge down on Wairoa Road and sparked a joint. Looking back it was pretty stupid. That bridge is in open sight. It's a real rookie place to be conducting nefarious activity | NZ Herald opinion, New Zealand