Daily news - 11th May 2018

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UK news

Drug and alcohol services cut by £162m as deaths increase

Cuts to publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment have contributed to a 26% rise in drug-related deaths, an addiction service has said | BBC, UK

Vaping industry and the vaping community questioned on e-cigarettes

The Science and Technology Committee continues its inquiry into e-cigarettes. This session focuses on the perspective of the vaping industry and the vaping community | Parliament.uk, UK

Drug and Alcohol Services (Quality of Service)

To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that quality is embedded and evidenced in drug and alcohol services | They work for you, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol (Impact on Health)

To ask the Scottish Government what impact it expects minimum unit pricing of alcohol will have on health | They work for you, UK

Eliminating Hepatitis C

The first item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S5M-10402, in the name of Tom Arthur, on “Eliminating Hepatitis C in Scotland: A Call to Action” | They work for you, UK

Glasgow confirms 'shooting gallery' site for drug users has been chosen

The controversial ‘fix room’ for heroin addicts to legally inject will be sited in one of Glasgow’s most deprived areas, social work chiefs have comfirmed | Herald, UK

Risk of suicide following an alcohol-related emergency hospital admission: An electronic cohort study of 2.8 million people

Alcohol misuse is a well-known risk factor for suicide however, the relationship between alcohol-related hospital admission and subsequent risk of death from suicide is unknown. We aimed to determine the risk of death from suicide following emergency admission to hospital with an alcohol-related cause | PLOS One, UK

Wine nation? Industry insights into drinking motives and trends

A major player in the UK wine market recently released a 2018 UK wine report, detailing insights into the nation's wine drinkers and what it sees as opportunities for developing the market | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Recovery Street Film Festival

Submissions now open for the 2018 festival | RSFF, UK

Film for change

The Mezzanine floor was full of recording equipment, cameras and microphones. Eager operators buzzed around making sure everything was “just so” in preparation for their filming | R3COVERY.WRX, UK

4TRACK - FREE Digital Storytelling Workshop Exploring Lived Experiences of...

Free event in Manchester. Thu, 17 May 2018, 10:00 – Thu, 31 May 2018, 15:00 BST. A three day digital storytelling workshop led by interactive arts studio Invisible Flockencouraging participation from those taking part. In the workshops you will sensitively explore themes of voice, choice and recovery identity and finding a sense of place within community and the wider world | Portraits of Recovery, UK

Fire breaks out at Lewes Prison in 'dispute over smoking ban'

Fire crews were called to Lewes Prison amid a reported row over the smoking ban at the “shameful and shambolic” jail | Argus, UK

Albanian gangsters take hold of Britain’s cocaine trade - fuelling wave of brutal crime as rival groups battle for control

Gang violence has spilled out of cities and into rural villages as the number of Albanian cocaine-dealing gangsters rose by almost 60 per cent | Mail Online, UK

Heroin and cocaine ring smashed as drug gang jailed for total of 10 years

Alan Bell, Raymond Johnson and David Thomason all locked up for chanelling Class A drug from Liverpool to Warrington | Liverpool Echo, UK

£600,000 cannabis operation accused remanded in custody

The alleged head of a cannabis growing operation worth more than £600,000 must remain in custody, a High Court judge has ruled | BBC, UK


International news

Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human welfare of all addictive drugs

A new review published online today in the journal Addiction has compiled the best, most up-to-date source of information on alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use and the burden of death and disease. It shows that in 2015 alcohol and tobacco use between them cost the human population more than a quarter of a billion disability-adjusted life years, with illicit drugs costing a further tens of millions | Medical Xpress, UK

Skunk smell from marijuana crops driving Californians to distraction

'We don't want a marijuana smell, we want fresh air' | Independent, UK

Medically Supervised Injecting Facility

The proposed location for this 18-month lifesaving pilot programme is the basement of our Riverbank Centre on Merchants Quay | MQI, Ireland

Medicinal cannabis: Where does Ireland stand?

Use of these forms of cannabis is very restricted despite moves to permit limited use | Irish Times, Ireland

North West Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force: Small Grants Scheme 

The North West Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force invites applications for the 2018 Small Grants Scheme for once-off funding to Community and Not-for-profit Voluntary groups / agencies who are working to tackle drug and alcohol misuse in counties Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal | Activelink, Ireland

Surprise: Dispensaries Tell Women Cannabis is Safe in Pregnancy

About 70% of cannabis dispensaries in Colorado in a survey recommended cannabis products for relieving morning sickness in pregnant women, researchers found | MedPage Today, USA

Prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior, study finds

Smoking during pregnancy has well-documented negative effects on birth weight in infants and is linked to several childhood health problems. Now, researchers have found that prenatal marijuana use also can have consequences on infants' weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use | Science Daily, USA

Body's 'natural opioids' affect brain cells much differently than morphine

A new study led by UC San Francisco scientists shows that brain cells, or neurons, react differently to opioid substances created inside the body - the endorphins responsible for the "natural high" that can be produced by exercise, for example - than they do to morphine and heroin, or to purely synthetic opioid drugs, such as fentanyl | Medical Xpress, USA

Little 'quit-smoking' help at U.S. mental health centers

Many mental health and addiction treatment centers in the United States don't help patients quit smoking, a new government study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Cocaine breathalyzer in development

Scientists are close to launching the world's first cocaine breathalyzer, a breath test to assess whether an individual has taken the strong and addictive stimulant | Digital Journal, USA

NYPD backs supervised drug injection centers after visiting sites in Canada

NYPD officials saw crime and quality of life troubles around government-sanctioned drug injection sites they visited in Canada, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Tuesday — but he still supports opening the centers in New York | NY Daily News, USA

Completed suicide among methamphetamine users: A national study

In this study, all Australian cases of methamphetamine-related suicide (2009–2015) were retrieved from the National Coronial Information System and examined to determine crude mortality rates, characteristics and circumstances of death, and blood toxicology | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Tackling domestic abuse and substance misuse

On International Women’s Day, the Home Office and Ministry of Justice launched its consultation into the Government’s proposals for transforming the response to domestic abuse. A range of measures are proposed, including: new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders which can impose a range of conditions on abusers; the creation of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to hold the Government to account; and the enshrining in law of the cross-government definition of domestic abuse | Collective Voice blog, UK

Drugs should be legalised, regulated, and taxed

Some numbers in this week’s journal bear reflection. The war on drugs costs each UK taxpayer an estimated £400 a year. The UK is now the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis, yet recreational and medicinal use are criminalised | BMJ editorial, UK

Alcohol and mental health: time for concerted action

The links are well known, but we need leadership to change things for the better, says Andy Bell | IAS blog, UK

eCigarettes: Reduced risk and vaping regulation

The EU needs better rules to stop illicit tobacco products from entering the market, writes Laima Andrikienė | Parliament Magazine opinion, UK