Daily news - 9th May 2018

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UK news

DDN May 2018 issue

We need a new dialogue and thinking, says police and crime commissioner David Jamieson, talking about his recommendations to divert people away from the courts and into treatment (page 8). ‘Criminalisation of drugs will be looked back on with as much disgust as criminalisation of homosexuality,’ adds former detective sergeant Neil Woods, speaking at the same NNEF event | DDN, UK

Drug users in Scotland 'consume most cocaine' in one session

The 2018 Global Drug Survey looked at the recreational drug use of 130,000 people across 44 countries | BBC, UK

Warning drinkers of cancer risk could reduce consumption, survey finds

Drinkers were asked to read a number of advisory messages and say which might persuade them to drink less | Guardian, UK

UK among world's biggest buyers of drugs on dark web as illicit trade grows, survey finds

Global Drug Survey 2018 puts UK behind only Finland and Norway for online buyers | Independent, UK

Alcohol: Minimum Unit Pricing

The Government remain committed to tackling all alcohol-related harms, which is why we are developing a new alcohol strategy. As part of that, I am commissioning Public Health England to undertake a review of the evidence for minimum unit pricing in England | Hansard, UK

Minimum alcohol price for England back under consideration

Proposals for a minimum unit price for alcohol in England are back on the table, five years after they were last rejected, a minister told the House of Commons on Tuesday | FT, UK

Ministers set to crack down on causes of alcohol-fuelled violence

'The devastating impact of excessive drinking can all too often be seen on our streets, but it also exacts a terrible toll within the home' | Independent, UK

Letter requesting evidence: custody-community transitions

The group is investigating drug misuse by prisoners and the harms to these individuals when transferring between custody and the community [see also item below] | ACMD, UK

Custody-community transitions: public evidence gathering day

The ACMD is holding a public evidence gathering day on drug misuse in prisons and the harms associated with transitions between custody and the community. The public evidence gathering day will take place on Friday 8 June in Central London | ACMD, UK

CRACKDOWN in UK jails as ministers seek to win WAR ON DRUGS and reduce rising violence

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart met with the Prison Officers’ Association earlier this year and concluded a radical overhaul of the prison system was required, after the POA published a damning report which warned it was “easy” for mobiles phones and drugs to be smuggled into prisons | Express, UK

UK government 'closely monitoring' e-cigarette refills that resemble children's treats

The Department of Health and Social Care is “closely monitoring” firms selling e-cigarette liquids in England that look like children’s juice, sweets and biscuits after a major crackdown by the US Food and Drug Administration | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Dumfries and Galloway drug death figures more than double

There were nine deaths recorded in Dumfries and Galloway between April 2016 and February 2017 but 22 over the same timeframe the following year | BBC, UK

UK Punjabi alcohol support services 'see rise in users'

Some ethnic minority alcohol support services have seen an increase in inquiries following a BBC survey suggesting 27% of UK Punjabis had a family member with a problem | BBC, UK

Drinking in later life: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies exploring older people’s perceptions and experiences

To support healthy ageing, we must understand older people’s views with regards to their drinking. This study aims to synthesise qualitative evidence exploring the perceptions and experiences of alcohol use by adults aged 50 years and over | Age and Aging, UK

Do ‘environmental bads’ such as alcohol, fast food, tobacco, and gambling outlets cluster and co-locate in more deprived areas in Glasgow City, Scotland?

This study utilised an innovative application of spatial cluster analysis to examine the socio-spatial patterning of outlets selling potentially health-damaging goods/services, such as alcohol, fast food, tobacco and gambling, within Glasgow City, Scotland. For all categories of outlets combined, numbers of clusters increased linearly from the least to the most income deprived areas | Health and Place, UK

Are Ecstasy Induced Serotonergic Alterations Overestimated For The Majority Of Users?

Neuroimaging studies imply that the regular use of ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the major constituent of ecstasy pills, alters the brain’s serotonergic system in a dose-dependent manner. However, the relevance of these findings remains unclear due to limited knowledge about the ecstasy/MDMA use pattern of real-life users | Journal of Psychopharmacology, UK

Key research on treatment of problem drug use: medical treatments

Time to consolidate the lessons of the last five instalments of the online course, all on medical treatment of drug dependence. Medications most clearly mark an intervention as ‘medical’, but evidence places them in the context of practitioners, the management and organisations which determine how well they can do their jobs, and local systems through which patients access treatment and sustain their recovery | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Cannabis in a post-prohibition world

Free event. May 25th. Liverpool Medical Institution. 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 | PHI, UK

Scots vaping firm looks to light up global sales

A Leith-based designer of vaping products and e-cigarettes is in talks to distribute its wares in the US as it ramps up its international presence | Scotsman, UK


International news

Global Drugs Survey 2018

GDS Key full Findings Report 2018 now available online | GDS, UK

Senate inquiry endorses Coalition's plan to drug-test welfare recipients

Labor and Greens say there is no evidence that drug-testing would help welfare recipients find work | Guardian, UK

Australian opioid inquest told pensioners selling fentanyl on black market

New South Wales deputy coroner demands to know why state only has one supervised injecting room | Guardian, UK

Revealed: The 50 bus routes under new 'drink link' plan for rural Ireland

The routes in the 19 counties set to benefit from a new, dedicated rural transport link can be revealed | Independent, Ireland

Addicts injecting in subhuman conditions, senior Garda says

Discretion needed with those carrying heroin on their way to inject at a State run facility | Irish Times, Ireland

New laws to target problem gambling

Betting firms could be forced to shut down compulsive gamblers’ accounts by a new independent gambling regulator or face the prospect of significant fines under new Government plans | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Needle by Needle, a Heroin Crisis Grips California’s Rural North

Surging opioid use and homelessness are driving an epidemic of despair in parts of the state that are short of housing, treatment options and patience | NYTimes, USA

Programs to monitor opioid drug use may drive some to heroin: Study

Prescription drug monitoring programs are touted as a way to reduce overdoses from opioid painkillers, but they might have the unintended effect of increasing heroin overdose deaths, researchers say | UPI, USA

The role of cannabis in the opioid crisis is focus of new expert roundtable discussion

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discussed how medicinal cannabis can impact the opioid crisis, though clinical research to quantify this is difficult given strict federal laws | EurekAlert, USA

People Are Using A $1 Test Strip To Check Their Drugs For Fentanyl

Fentanyl is turning up in heroin and cocaine, but most users don’t want it. And dealers “can’t make a living by killing off their customers.” | BuzzFeed, USA

Ontario Expanding Mental Health and Addictions Support for Youth

Ontario is investing in six new youth wellness hubs to help more youth access the mental health and addictions services they need, close to home | Government of Ontario, Canada

Mothers across North America unite to combat opioid crisis through compassion and policy reform

Mothers from Canada, Mexico and the United States have joined forces ahead of Mother’s Day with the #listentomom campaign — an international rally for reform to drug laws they say are tearing North American families apart | The Star, Canada

Pill testing in the ACT

On Thursday 27 April 2018 , ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris announced a pill testing service will be available during the Groovin the Moo Canberra music festival on 29 April 2018 | ACT Government, Australia

NZ priciest place to buy cocaine and MDMA: Global Drug Survey 2018

Kiwis love a bargain, but you're not going to get one if you're after real party drugs in New Zealand, according to new figures | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Government commits to national alcohol strategy

In early May the Government committed to implementing a new, national strategy on alcohol | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Addicted lawyers: can the insurance industry help?

Insurers may be well placed to step in where support groups struggle, writes Jonathan Goodliffe | IAS blog, UK

Stubbing out the public health problem of an era

Sir Richard Doll had an illustrious career. Through his efforts, the world learned much about the causes of cancer and the dangers of asbestos, radiation and, of course, smoking | NIHR blog, UK

eCigarettes: Balanced regulation

The EU should adapt legislation on innovative products, argues Fulvio Martusciello | Parliament Magazine opinion, UK

The crippling stigma of drug addiction

I treat addiction for a living. My patients are often admitted to the hospital after inadvertently injecting bacteria into their bodies, along with heroin or methamphetamines | NY Daily News, USA

'Abstinence only' is the wrong approach to vaping products

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) may seem an unlikely member of the abstinence movement. Yet when it comes to smoking at least, he is firmly in favor of pushing the “just say no” line rather than providing information about how to limit the risk of harm | The Hill opinion, USA

The FDA should let e-cigarettes help adults — but not hook kids

The FDA announced late last month that it was conducting a month-long crackdown on shops that sell e-cigarette products to minors | Washington Post opinion, USA