Daily news - 31st May 2018

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UK news

Past Twitter Alerts

This is an archive of Twitter social media alerts produced by the Loop’s drug testing services. These alerts relate to substances that we tested and believed to be a concern for various reasons. For example, some alerts relate to psychoactive substances missold as other drugs, to contaminants, or to unusually high strength drugs that could cause harm to users | The Loop, UK

Brexit battlegrounds: Where are public health and the alcohol industry likely to clash in the years ahead (PDF)

The purpose of this document is to summarise the objectives and priorities for public health organisations and the alcohol industry as the UK government negotiates this post-Brexit landscape. Some of these relate to the successor arrangements that will define the UK’s future relationship with the EU, others to new deals with other countries | IAS, UK

Cannabis Potency - podcast

his week Elle is talking with Dr Tom Freeman from the National Addiction Centre in London but who is currently in Lisbon at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction | What's the crack?, UK

ASH Ready Reckoner 2018 Edition

A new local costs of smoking calculator | ASH, UK

A majority support liberalising policy towards cannabis

The public has a reasonably liberal attitude towards “soft drugs” and perceive cannabis as being less harmful than tobacco or alcohol | YouGov, UK

Baclofen: its effectiveness in reducing harmful drinking, craving and negative mood. A meta-analysis

Baclofen: what does the evidence really say? Summary of a meta-analysis with comment by Thomas Jones, Senior Addictions Liaison Nurse, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust | SMMGP, UK

Ecstasy on Prescription - BBC audio

MDMA, the key ingredient in the illegal party drug ecstasy, may soon be approved as a medicine. Meanwhile, it's also making a comeback across Europe's clubs and music festivals | BBC, UK

Smoking ban ‘helped drive spike in violence at prison’

A smoking ban has been identified as a factor behind a sharp rise in violence at one of Britain’s oldest jails, according to an inspection report | ITV, UK

2018/19 sees Phoenix celebrate our 50th years

We know from our founder Griffith Edwards' diaries that in 1967 he went on a fact finding mission to the USA to look at emerging methods of drug and alchol treatment. On 17 April he visited US Naval Hospital in Oakland, California | Phoenix Futures, UK

First-time Filmmaking Training

Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund we are excited to be offering free training for twenty first-time film makers. The training will be provided over four dates and include support to write your storyboard, tips on how to get the best shots, how to film and edit your 3 minute film. In addition of the training you will also have a dedicated mentor that will be on hand throughout the process to provide support for those tricky technical questions | Recovery Street Film Festival, UK

Drink Less Feel Good pre-intervention survey

This is a short self-report survey. The first section will assess your eligibility to take part in the study. If you are ineligible you will still be provided with a link to the My Drinks Check which you can still complete if you wish | LJMU, UK

Hawick Common Riding alcohol efforts praised

Police have praised efforts to address "disruptive and anti-social behaviour" at a Borders summer celebration | BBC, UK


International news

World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2018

The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2018 is "Tobacco and heart disease." | WHO, SWitzerland

We went undercover in a Chinese MDMA factory

I’m meeting my accomplices at the Grand Kempinksi Hotel in Shanghai at 7pm. I haven’t stopped moving for 29 hours, and I’m working on a internal battery fuelled by adrenaline. I thought I’d sleep on the plane, but I couldn’t | MixMag, UK

Vaping - the rise in five charts

For travellers looking forward to their summer holidays, what to pack can be a source of stress. But did you know that taking an e-cigarette with you to countries such Thailand could land you with a fine - or even time in jail? | BBC, UK

France’s Drug Trade Valued at €2.7bn, as Macron Admits Failure of Drug War to Stop Violence

The illegal drug trade in France is worth at least €2.7 billion ($3.1 billion USD), making up around 0.1 per cent of the country’s GDP | Talking Drugs, UK

The Status Quo Has Changed In France

In an interview on France Inter radio last week, French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said she is considering regulating medical cannabis in France | Volte Face, UK

Opioid traces found in mussels off the coast of Seattle

Shellfish in waters off Seattle have for the first time tested positive for opioids, marking a worrying new chapter in America’s battle against addiction | Telegraph, UK

Coding video games to tackle opium farming

Afghanistan is one of the countries with the lowest internet penetration in the world. But one school in western Afghanistan has been leapfrogging young Afghan girls into the tech industry by teaching them how to code | BBC, UK

Algeria seizes 700kg of cocaine on container ship

Algerian authorities have seized more than 700kg (1,543lb) of cocaine smuggled aboard a container ship and made 20 arrests | BBC, UK

South African 'world's oldest man' wants to stop smoking

Fredie Blom spent most of his life as a labourer - on a farm and in the construction industry - in apartheid South Africa but he might soon be recognised as the world's oldest man, as the BBC's Mohammed Allie reports from Cape Town | BBC, UK

Reduce the Use (PDF)

A cognitive behavioural type manual for professionals working with poly drug users who want to reduce or stop their drug or alcohol use | SAOL Project, Ireland

Breaking good -- Key discovery made for battling opioid epidemic

Door opens for synthetic opioids with less addictive qualities | EurekAlert, USA

Here's What Scientists Do—And Don't—Know About E-Cigarettes

A little more than 3% of American adults regularly use e-cigarettes, and 15% say they have tried them, according to 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) | TIME, USA

Social housing providers hope private housing numbers will rise following meth report

Community housing providers hope that private landlords will start offering their properties to social housing tenants now that the "bogeyman" of meth contamination has been destroyed by a report which says it is not a significant health risk | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blog, comment and opinion

How do we stop people smoking at the front doors of our hospitals?

Over a million smokers are treated in UK hospitals each year and a small proportion of these feel compelled to smoke when they are admitted to or visit hospitals | BMJ editorial, UK

Going hard on drugs is a disastrous mistake

“Campaigners are tragically misguided in claiming that decriminalisation will solve anything,” wrote Melanie Phillips today in a dangerously misleading article about the UK’s current approach to drugs | Anyone's Child blog, UK

Is the US opioid crisis contagious and could Australia be next?

Americans consume around four times more opioids than Australians. That’s a big jump and it needs certain conditions | Guardian, UK

If Addiction Is a Disease, Why Is Relapsing a Crime?

When Julie Eldred tested positive for fentanyl in 2016, 11 days into her probation for a larceny charge, she was sent to jail. Such outcomes are typical in the American criminal justice system, even though, as Ms. Eldred’s lawyer has argued, ordering a drug addict to abstain from drug use is tantamount to mandating a medical outcome | NYTimes editorial, USA

MDMA Helped Me Recover from War

I served in the military twice: first in the Marine Corps as a loadmaster on C-130s and C-9s from 1995 to 1999, and then as a sergeant in the Army | Medium blog, USA