Daily news - 25th May 2018

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UK news

Doctors in Commons rally to overturn ban on medicinal cannabis

Group of MPs to campaign on issue following recent case of six-year-old Alfie Dingley | Guardian, UK

Legitimate use of controlled drugs: research and healthcare

Letter from the ACMD chair, Dr Owen Bowden-Jones to Victoria Atkins MP, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, providing interim advice from the ACMD to the Home Office regarding the legitimate use of controlled drugs in research and healthcare | ACMD, UK

Psychoactive Substances

I beg to move, That this House  has considered Government policy on new psychoactive substances | They work for you, UK

Wales to ban smoking outside hospitals and schools in UK first

Government to enforce ban by summer 2019 in bid to cut passive smoking and ‘de-normalise’ act | Guardian, UK

BAME Communities: Stop and Search — [Albert Owen in the Chair]

I beg to move, That this House  has considered the effect of police stop and search powers on BAME communities | They work for you, UK

Funded projects

The SSA funds a range of projects that support the aims of the society. In particular we aim to fund work that increases the scientific understanding of addiction and its treatment amongst clinicians and policy makers | SSA, UK

A Celebration of Women in Addiction

To coincide with the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act in which the first women in the UK were given the right to vote, Drs Sally Marlow (KCL) and Sharon Cox (LSBU) alongside the Society for Study of Addiction will celebrate some of the fantastic, intellectual, inspirational female role models in the field of addiction, in a series of short films, looking to the past, present and future | SSA, UK

Children in Ardnamurchan given whisky cask investment

A charity is offering to make the purchases on behalf of young people aged 10 to 17 in the Ardnamurchan area | BBC, UK

Cornwall council concerned about toilet drug use

Penzance councillor Cornlieus Olivier highlighted the problem at a meeting of the town's neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee | BBC, UK

Goodwood Racecourse imposes four-pint limit to clamp down on drunken behaviour

Alcohol restrictions, which mean people can only buy four drinks at one time, and increased security have been put in place as racing returns to the track for the first time since a mass brawl left six people in hospital | Telegraph, UK

Love Island bosses 'ban cigarettes in the villa and garden for 2018 series after a wave of complaints last year'

It was the hit show of the summer that attracted criticism from viewers and charities after showing many of its contestants smoking | Mail Online, UK

Katie Hopkins wins complaint against Mirror for ketamine headline

Website suggested she was detained abroad for taking drugs, rather than allegedly spreading racial hatred | BBC, UK

Cases of 43 accused in undercover drugs operation delayed as barristers refuse legal aid work

During three mornings this week 34 alleged drug dealers have come before a judge with no advocate as barristers refuse to take on new legal aid work in protest against Ministry of Justice cuts | Evening News, UK

New Channel 4 show 24 Hours in Police Custody reveals how police bring down UK drug gangs

The 24 Hours in Police Custody documentary had unprecedented access to surveillance operations and is the first time a UK police force let TV cameras show a drugs ring being exposed | Mirror, UK

Kendal Calling music festival: Drug dealer jailed

A dealer who was caught with a stash of drugs inside a "man bag" at a music festival has been jailed | BBC, UK

Welwyn crash death driver had taken MDMA

A man who died when the car he was driving crashed into a tree had a "very significant quantity" of drugs in his system, an inquest heard | BBC, UK

International news

WHO Framework Convention On Tobacco Control

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to deposit the instruments of ratification for the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products | They work for you, UK

Psychedelic Fauna for Psychonaut Hunters: A Mini-Review

Currently different classes of psychoactive substances are easilyavailable for abuse, including several hundred novel psychoactive substances (NPS). Some of these drugs occur naturally in plants and animals or are chemically modified from plant or animal compounds and have been abused by humans over millennia | Frontiers in Psychiatry, UK

Joint effort: cannabis lobby heads to Washington to woo US lawmakers

Industry leaders descended on the capital this week amid hopes the country at large is slowly embracing legalization | Guardian, UK

Workers at Indiana factory who fail drug tests get $5,000 treatment PAID for them instead of getting fired - because bosses can't find enough workers in the midst of the opioid crisis

An electronics company has begun funding drug addiction treatment for job applicants after the opioid epidemic left them unable to hire enough skilled workers to meet booming demand | Mail Online, UK

Bangladesh's Philippines-style drugs war creating 'atmosphere of terror'

Human rights activists say campaign, in which 50 people shot dead in a week, is politically motivated | Guardian, UK

'Bad trip': air force members guarding nuclear missiles took LSD, records show

Fourteen airmen were disciplined, of whom six were convicted in courts martial of LSD use or distribution or both | Guardian, UK

Australian grandmother Maria Exposto sentenced to death for drugs in Malaysia

An Australian grandmother who said she was tricked into carrying drugs into Malaysia after falling for an online romance scam was Thursday sentenced to death after an earlier acquittal was overturned, her lawyer said | Telegraph, UK

Will Colombia’s next president imperil the peace deal with the FARC?

BOGOTÁA critic of the accord is the front-runner in the presidential election. Yet even if he wins, the war will not resume | Economist, USA

Government looking at how to best source 'quality' medical cannabis for new access programme

Minister Harris told his Cabinet colleagues his department are looking at how to give “quality assurance” to patients | Journal, Ireland

Public health guidance on active case finding of communicable diseases in prison settings

What are the most (cost-) effective ways to prevent and control communicable diseases in prison settings? In their joint public health Guidance, ECDC and the EMCDDA, present the evidence on active case finding as a key measure to diagnose communicable diseases early. The two agencies advise to actively offer testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV to all people in prison and to conduct universal testing for tuberculosis at prison entry | EMCDDA, Portugal

People with family history of alcoholism release more dopamine in expectation of alcohol: A new study in Biological Psychiatry

People with a family history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) release more dopamine in the brain's main reward center in response to the expectation of alcohol than people diagnosed with the disorder, or healthy people without any family history of AUD, reports a new study | Science Daily, USA

Widely used e-cigarette flavoring impairs lung function

"Our data suggest that when used in e-cigarettes cinnamaldehyde, like toxic aldehydes in cigarette smoke, significantly disrupts normal cell physiology in ways that may have implications for the development and exacerbation of respiratory disease," ... | EurekAlert, USA

Money’s better than e-cigs or nicotine gum at helping smokers quit, study says

‘I would not claim that this study confirms that e-cigarettes are not successful to help people quit.’ | The Verge, USA

Researchers develop methods for measuring free-base nicotine levels in e-cigarettes

Researchers at Portland State University have developed methods for measuring levels of free-base nicotine in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) liquids and vapor, the levels of which are associated with harshness upon inhalation of e-cigarette vapors and tobacco smoke | News Medical, USA

Receptor proteins that respond to nicotine may help fat cells burn energy

The same proteins that moderate nicotine dependence in the brain may be involved in regulating metabolism by acting directly on certain types of fat cells, new research shows | Science Daily, USA

U.S. troops guarding nuclear missiles took LSD, Air Force records show

One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. A third admitted, "I absolutely just loved altering my mind." Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America's arsenal | CBS News, USA

Harnessing the language of overdose prevention to advance evidence-based responses to the opioid crisis

Language has significant implications for how we view and respond to public health issues. Conventional moralistic messaging around drug use stigmatizes people who use drugs and inhibits the implementation of evidence-based harm reduction interventions that do not condemn drug use | IJDP, Canada

Feds hope law will help turn teens off coolness factor of vaping

A year ago vaping wasn’t all that cool, Grade 12 student Laurence Lafleur says of the rising trend among teens, but it’s become “super popular” and it’s viewed as an alternative to cigarettes | Globe and Mail, Canada

E-cigarette and vaping ads coming soon to a TV, radio or newspaper near you

For the first time in decades, you could see billboards for recreational nicotine products | CBC News, Canada

Saving our lives while losing their own – the rise of narcotics use among paramedics

Kim Jenkins knows the man in the security camera footage is her dad, but his behaviour is far from recognisable | abc.net.au, Australia

Innovative eHealth program targets the “big six” behaviours in young people to reduce chronic disease risk

A world first eHealth program being launched today at UNSW Sydney, and led by Professor Maree Teesson AC, aims to help thousands of young Australian high school children reduce their chance of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease and mental health disorders, by preventing and modifying lifestyle risk behaviours that commonly emerge in adolescence | NDARC, Australia

'Clusters' of risky habits put high school students at risk

Australian teenagers who harbour “risk clusters” of the so-called “big six” unhealthy behaviours – including binge drinking and smoking – are at greater risk of mental health problems, new research suggests | Age, Australia

Smoking shock treatment failing to make people quit the habit, survey finds

A survey of 900 Queenslanders reveals pictures of gangrenous feet and rotting teeth on cigarette packets are no longer shocking enough to prompt people to quit the habit | abc.net.au, Australia

Cannabis law reform should consider the risks: Researcher

Policymakers considering legalising cannabis need to take into account evidence about the drug's links to mental health issues, use of other substances and poorer achievement, a researcher says | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Collective Voice evidence to the Justice Select Committee

In April, Collective Voice was asked to give written evidence to the Justice Select Committee’s Inquiry into the Prison Population 2022. Here are the main points of our submission | Collective Voice blog, UK

Does cannabis cure cancer? We asked an expert

For thousands of years people have used cannabis for recreational, ritualistic and medicinal purposes. In the modern era, the latter property excites a lot of people, and there is no shortage of wild claims about the supposed medical benefits of the plant | Conversation, UK

Changing the narrative with personal stories

Yesterday I was at an amazing conference – InterAction 2018 – hosted by Adfam and funded by Alcohol Research UK.  The mixture of speakers was fantastic, including researchers, policy people, practitioners, carers, service users, and even a social historian | Thinking to some purpose, UK

Medicinal cannabis should not be used ahead of approved drugs, says German review

The increasing number of German doctors prescribing cannabis is being fuelled in part by “hype,” concludes a review that contends that in most cases “tried and tested” drugs are better options | BMJ editorial, UK

Australia smoking ban: The 'nanny state' rule that deserves to be applauded

Australia: we love banning things. We must have more bans on things than almost any other country on the planet: small, insignificant things; big, consequential things; and most of the things in between | Traveller, Australia