Daily news - 4th May 2018

Weekly subscribe button

Have a good Bank Holiday. See you on Tuesday.


UK news

Xanax: Children as young as 11 taking anxiety drug

Children as young as 11 are being treated for abusing the anxiety drug Xanax, the BBC has found. Drugs charity Addaction said it was also aware of 13-year-olds "dealing" the tranquiliser on school premises | BBC, UK

Xanax: The cult drug engulfing anxious young Brits

Xanax is rapidly becoming the "cult" drug of choice among young people and requires an immediate inquiry, parents, doctors and MPs have warned | ITV, UK

Six pupils rushed to hospital after 'taking zombie drug Spice and collapsing at school'

Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, confirmed an incident 'involving a small group of students taking illegal substances' yesterday | Mirror, UK

BBC Three Short Film: Drug Harm Reduction

We are currently producing a short “survival guide” film for BBC Three on what to do if you or a friend suffers medical problems after taking drugs like Ecstasy, MDMA, Cocaine or Ketamine. The film is part of a series called How Not To Die looking at medical emergencies that can often affect young peopl | BBC, UK

Cannabis in a post-prohibition world

May 15th, Liverpool, Free event. A 2013 Ipsos Mori poll undertaken on behalf of the organisation Transform suggested that 53% of the UK public supported some form of cannabis legalisation or decriminalisation | Public Health Institute, LJMU, UK

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh on religious experiences, the state of literature and why he’s still doing drugs at 59

The image of a former enfant terrible growing up, moving to a big house in coastal America and living a life of manicured leisure is hardly novel | City AM, UK

Londonderry man was dealing home-made cannabis sweets

A Londonderry man has been given a suspended sentence for making home-made, chocolate, cannabis sweets | BBC, UK

Luton fast food owner kept drugs in 'takeaway bag'

A takeaway grill's owner has been found guilty of possessing "£1.5m worth" of cocaine, which police found on the premises | BBC, UK

Simone Grainger death: Husband disappeared on 'drug binges'

A father-of-two accused of battering and strangling his wife to death would disappear for weekends on drug-fuelled binges, witnesses have told a court | BBC, UK


International news

EU report on whether rewards for abstinence aid medication-based treatment

Rewarding people dependent on illegal drugs for not using those drugs is a controversial tactic, one this report from the European Union’s drug misuse centre found patchily effective in extending retention and reducing substance use as a supplement to medication-based treatments | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Lidl offers locally grown cannabis to Swiss shoppers

Supermarket takes advantage of law change to sell ‘relaxing’ tobacco alternative | Guardian, UK

Peru's brutal murders renew focus on tourist boom for hallucinogenic brew

A faith healer was killed, and a Canadian tourist was lynched in revenge – deaths that expose the dangers of the unregulated world of ayahuasca tourism | Guardian, UK

Los Angeles sues drug companies for 'driving opioid epidemic'

Lawsuit accuses companies of 'borrowing from the tobacco industry's playbook' | Independent, UK

Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan's drug possession case goes to grand jury

The actor sought to have the charges dismissed, suggesting the drugs may have been planted by agents hired by Harvey Weinstein | Guardian, UK

White House Asked to Fight Opioids by Overriding Drug Patents

The city of Baltimore and a consumer group are asking the Trump administration to fight the opioid epidemic with a novel weapon: overriding U.S. patents on the overdose antidote naloxone | Bloomberg, USA

Changes in Synthetic Opioid Involvement in Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2010-2016

Drug overdose deaths are at unprecedented levels in the United States. Prescription opioids have been the most common drug involved in overdose deaths, but heroin and synthetic opioids (primarily illicit fentanyl) are increasingly implicated in overdoses | JAMA, USA

De Blasio Moves to Bring Safe Injection Sites to New York City

Though no injection sites exist yet in the United States, the endorsement of the strategy by New York may give the movement behind it special impetus | NYTimes, USA

Childhood communication enhances brain development, protecting against harmful behaviors

Children with greater parent communication in early adolescence have less harmful alcohol use and emotional eating in young adulthood | Science Direct, USA

The New Science of Psychedelics

New studies are finding that drugs such as LSD and psilocybin can help to alleviate depression, anxiety and addiction—and may have profound things to teach us about how the mind works | Wall Street Journal, USA

Anti-alcoholism drug shows promise in animal models

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have successfully tested in animals a drug that, they say, may one day help block the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that incessantly coax people with alcoholism to drink | Medical Xpress, USA

FDA lets vaping flourish as it eyes crackdown on cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving wide leeway to electronic cigarettes as it attempts to push people away from traditional tobacco products | The Hill, USA

Louisiana Held a Man in Jail for Over 8 Years Without Ever Convicting Him of a Crime

In 2010 Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and presidency. Barack Obama was just heading into his second year in office. Social media was basically brand new | Injustice Today, USA

Auckland principal says we discredit our brilliant, young people

A student who received a methamphetamine information booklet says it was appropriate for high school students. Massey High School student Alyssa Bult said the 25-page handbook from the Drug Foundation was not taught to them, but available for research | stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Alcohol and other drug use: we must support adults as well as children

My latest guest blogger, Professor Sarah Galvani, leads UK research on substance use in social work education and practice | Lyn Romeo, UK

As a recovering alcoholic, I welcome minimum booze pricing in Scotland

Poverty is at the root of my country’s problem with drink. But this policy is still a step in the right direction | Guardian opinion, UK

Harsher drug prohibition won’t stop violence, but regulation might

To reduce the violence from illegal trade we should replace our enforcement led approach with regulation, taxation, support, and education in a health based strategy | BMJ blog, UK

There Was Grenfell, Then The Windrush Generation And Now Theresa May Fiddles While Alfie Dingley Faces Death

Alfie’s mother has now been told that it could take up to four months for the application for medical cannabis to be. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 makes specific provision for any action that would otherwise be unlawful under the Act to be permitted under licence by the Home Secretary. It would take a single stroke of Sajid Javid’s pen to save Alfie Dingley’s life and Theresa May could have ordered that months ago | Clear, UK