Daily news - 15th May 2018

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UK news

Britain's first ever city centre recreational drug testing facility opens in Bristol

The UK's first ever drug safety testing facility has opened following successful pilots at several British music festivals | ITV, UK

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England: Consultation

Thank you to all respondents, the results of the consultation are now available | NHS Digital, UK

New alcohol strategy plans include further minimum pricing review

A recent surprise announcement that the Government are developing a new alcohol strategy has been made by The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, part of which includes commissioning Public Health England to undertake a further review of the evidence for minimum unit pricing (MUP) in England | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Twitter fails to take down Xanax adverts

Twitter and Instagram have been criticised by an MP for failing to remove posts advertising Xanax | BBC, UK

'Spice epidemic in jails risk to nurses'

An epidemic of a laboratory-created cannabis substitute in UK prisons is putting nurses called in to treat inmates at risk, union leaders say. See MoJ report | BBC, UK

Revealed: Why drug users prefer heroin at home, but cocaine while out

The findings demonstrate for the first time that the setting of drug-taking is an important factor in how the brain processes the experience, and could have important implications for the treatment of drug addiction | Medical Xpress, UK

Reducing the standard serving size of alcoholic beverages prompts reductions in alcohol consumption

[Open access] To test whether reducing the standard serving size of alcoholic beverages would reduce voluntary alcohol consumption in a laboratory (study 1) and a real‐world drinking environment (study 2) | Addiction, UK

Tobacco outlet density and pathways to smoking among teenagers

New findings suggest Scottish teenagers living in areas with a high density of shops selling tobacco have greater knowledge about cigarette brands | CRESH, UK

Behavioral Health Risk Profiles of Undergraduate University Students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland: A Cluster Analysis

Limited research has explored clustering of lifestyle behavioral risk factors (BRFs) among university students. This study aimed to explore clustering of BRFs, composition of clusters, and the association of the clusters with self-rated health and perceived academic performance | Frontiers in Public Health, UK

Tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs 'are a global health threat'

"Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human health around the world, while illegal drug harms 'don't even come close'," The Independent reports | NHS Choices:Behind the headlines, UK

Take home Naloxone Tool Kit

The IOTOD take-home naloxone (THN) toolkit contains guidance and resources on how to set up a THN programme, in order to reduce overdoses and save lives | IOTOD, UK

How Quitting Weed Changed My Life

Following reports that a third of weed smokers have tried and failed to quit, we spoke to four former stoners about how their lives improved when they did | VICE, UK

Police boss calls on UK Government to do U-turn on drug 'fix' rooms

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has long been calling for a new approach to drug-related deaths | Daily Post, UK

National Crime Agency publishes 2018 analysis of serious and organised crime threats

The 2018 National Strategic Assessment (NSA) draws intelligence from UK law enforcement, government departments, the intelligence community and the private and voluntary sectors | NCA, UK

MP Victoria Atkins accused of 'hypocrisy' over legal cannabis farm

Drugs minister Victoria Atkins has been accused of "hypocrisy on a grand scale" over her husband's involvement in a legal cannabis farm | BBC, UK

Racing confident it can halt spectator violence after fighting at Goodwood and Ascot

Sniffer dogs trained to detect drugs seem were in action at Ascot on Saturday and have been for some time at York and Doncaster where amnesty bins, in which drugs can be deposited, have been used | Telegraph, UK


International news

Global statistics on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use: 2017 status report

[Open access] This review provides an up‐to‐date curated source of information on alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use and their associated mortality and burden of disease | Addiction, UK

Harm reduction and viral hepatitis C in European prisons: a cross-sectional survey of 25 countries

[Open access] Current estimates suggest that 15% of all prisoners worldwide are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and this number is even higher in regions with high rates of injecting drug use. Although harm reduction services such as opioid substitution therapy (OST) and needle and syringe programs (NSPs) are effective in preventing the further spread of HCV and HIV, the extent to which these are available in prisons varies significantly across countries | Harm Reduction Journal, UK

Fewer than 4% of emergency beds for homeless people in Dublin are designated as 'drug-free'

[Open access] Fewer than 4% of emergency beds available for homeless people in the Dublin region are designated as drug-free. Drug-free hostels, previously known as dry hostels, are reserved for homeless people who do not have substance-use issues, or those who are abstinent after having completed a rehab programme | Sunday Times, UK

Should I grow my own weed at home? Here's what you need to know

As legalization spreads, more people are interested in home growing. While it might not be rocket science, it does involve some knowhow | Guardian, UK

Georgian techno fans and extremists clash in Tbilisi in fight for club culture

After showpiece armed raids on techno clubs Bassiani and Cafe Gallery, protesters took to the streets and faced aggression from nationalist radicals | Guardian, UK

Spanish police unit attacked by gang with baseball bats amid warnings of rising drugs 'mafia' in Bay of Gibraltar

Spanish police unions have sounded the alarm over the rise of drug cartels in the Bay of Gibraltar after nine officers came under attack from a group of 40 people attending a communion at the weekend | Telegraph, UK

Paolo Guerrero: Peru captain to miss World Cup after drugs ban increased

Peru captain and record goalscorer Paolo Guerrero will miss this summer's World Cup after having a drugs ban increased from six to 14 months | BBC, UK

Rural TDs call time on drink-driving provision in Bill

Filibustering TDs frustrate passage of proposal described by Minister as ‘life saving | Irish Times, Ireland

Two new synthetic cannabinoids to be placed under control across the EU

Today the European Union has decided to subject two new synthetic cannabinoids to control measures across the 28 Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

Report on the risk assessment of N-(1-Amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (ADB-CHMINACA) in the framework of the Council Decision on new psychoactive substances

This publication presents the data and findings of the risk assessment on N-(1-Amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (ADB-CHMINACA), carried out by the extended Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA on 7-8 November 2017. On the basis of the Risk Assessment Report — and on the initiative of the European Commission — on 14 May 2018, the Council decided that ADB-CHMINACA should be subject to control measures across the Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

Report on the risk assessment of 1-(4-Cyanobutyl)-N-(2-phenylpropan-2-yl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (CUMYL-4CN-BINACA) in the framework of the Council Decision on new psychoactive substances

This publication presents the data and findings of the risk assessment on 1-(4-Cyanobutyl)-N-(2-phenylpropan-2-yl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (CUMYL-4CN-BINACA), carried out by the extended Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA on 7-8 November 2017. On the basis of the Risk Assessment Report — and on the initiative of the European Commission — on 14 May 2018, the Council decided that CUMYL-4CN-BINACA should be subject to control measures across the Member States | EMCDDA, Portugal

National Prevention Week - May 14th-18th

National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders | SAMHSA, USA

We really do have a solution to the opioid epidemic — and one state is showing it works

Virginia shows how Medicaid can help end the opioid crisis | Vox, USA

Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer?

The science on the link is clear, but the alcohol industry has worked hard to downplay it | Mother Jones, USA

Marketing to physicians by opioid pharma companies leads to more opioid prescriptions

A new study shows the significant impact that even a meal or two paid for by a pharmaceutical company can have on prescribing rates, despite a national decline of opioid prescribing rates | EurekAlert, USA

Surest Way to Face Marijuana Charges in New York: Be Black or Hispanic

The police explanation that more black and Hispanic people are arrested on marijuana charges because complaints are high in their neighborhoods doesn’t hold up to scrutiny | NYTimes, USA

Two District Attorneys May Stop Prosecuting Most Marijuana Offenses

Officials said that Cyrus Vance Jr. in Manhattan and Eric Gonzalez in Brooklyn are considering pursuing fewer low-level cases of a law enforced disproportionately among minorities | NYTimes, USA

Vaping regulation: Risk-proportionate

The Ministry of Health are making moves to regulate vapes, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Losing your Drug Virginity

Thinking of using cocaine, LSD or MDMA for the first time? Here’s what GDS2018 tells us about people’s very first experiences and how the risk of harm can be reduced | Global Drug Survey, UK

Cannabis : how to cut down or stop using

For me the development of the Safer Using Limit guidelines is a natural follow up to the GDS Highway Code (HWC). Safer Using Limit guidelines was developed from data collected from 40,000 people who used cannabis and who took part in GDS2015 | Global Drug Survey, UK

Take it from someone who spent years taking heroin and crack: addiction isn't a physiological problem. It's a mental health one

I know from experience that the need for the relief offered by drugs far outweighs the fear of the legal or health consequences. I was fully aware of the threat of prison, the potential for overdose and the dangers of sharing needles, but none proved even the slightest deterrent | Independent voices, UK

Mental health and alcohol: Graham's story

I never enjoyed the taste of alcohol but I absolutely loved the effect it gave me, that's why my drinking days were doomed from the beginning | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

How Duterte’s war on drugs feeds on his country’s worst fears

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody crackdown on drugs is pushing the country’s most vulnerable people even further towards the margins, says Global Commission on Drugs executive secretary Khalid Tinasti | Southeast Asia Globe, USA