Daily news - 1st October 2018

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UK news


Quit smoking with your free personal quit plan | NHS, UK

Stoptober 2017 campaign evaluation

Summary evaluation of Stoptober quit smoking health marketing campaign activity | PHE, UK

Cost of lifesaving heroin withdrawal drug soars by 700%

Treatment agencies warn of extra drug-related deaths unless price hike is addressed | Observer, UK

Every Life Matters – Change Grow Live is campaigning to help reduce drug misuse deaths

Drug-related deaths are at record levels. This is a national public health crisis and urgent action is needed. Click here to tweet your support | Change Grow Live, UK

Swiss expert's 'Death sentence' warning over waiting lists as Scotland awaits new drug strategy

Sammy Deans lost both his parents to drugs – his mother died of health complications due to drug use and his dad was murdered by his partner, when both were high | Scottish Herald, UK

'County lines' drug gangs recruit excluded schoolchildren – report

Home Office says difficult pupils in small towns across the UK are being targeted | Guardian, UK

'I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy' - Parents lift the lid on the damage county lines does to families

"They're violating my child. I actually want to go rip their faces off." | ITV, UK

Spice and the cities: the areas in the UK where the drug has spread

Spice made national headlines after images and videos were shared in spring 2017 of people frozen like statues or collapsed in Manchester | I news, UK

Statistical data set: Reported drinking and driving (RAS51)

Updated data about the reported drink-drive accidents and casualties, produced by Department for Transport | DoT, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week

19-25 November 2018. This year the theme of Alcohol Awareness Week is ‘Change’ | Alcohol Concern, UK

Brian Paddick was one of Britain's most senior police officers. Now he's speaking out about his ex-boyfriend dying from a chemsex drug

Five years after his ex died, Paddick is breaking his silence to warn others about the dangers of GHB. “I should apologise to him for not doing something earlier.” | BuzzFeed, UK

Leo Butler, playwright: ‘I want to take the audience on a trip’

The Sheffield-born writer tells how taking part in a clinical trial on LSD gave him the chance to relive his youth – and the subject for his new play | Guardian, UK

Police find £1million cannabis cave in hidden tunnels in picturesque Wiltshire village at disused quarry

Two Albanian men have been charged and are due in court after police found the huge haul of drugs in a mine on Thursday | i news, UK

High-on-drugs van driver jailed over Mereworth crash death

A van driver who had taken amphetamines and had only eight hours sleep over four days has been jailed after a crash in which a car driver was killed | BBC, UK


International news

Raise prices and restrict alcohol to stop harmful drinking, says WHO

Governments should raise the price of alcohol and restrict its availability in a bid to reduce harmful drinking, the World Health Organization has said | Telegraph, UK

Could low income areas experience the greatest health benefits of a minimum pricing policy?

Increases in the minimum price of alcoholic beverages in a Canadian province between 2002 and 2013 set the stage for a ‘real-world’ study of minimum unit pricing. Reductions in alcohol-related hospital admissions, particularly in lower income areas, tentatively supported the conclusion that minimum unit pricing would have a greater impact in regions with a low level of average family income, among which there tends to be a greater burden of alcohol-related harm | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Sami Panico: Italy prop arrested for alleged drug trafficking

Italy prop Sami Panico has been arrested for alleged drug trafficking, according to Italian press reports | BBC, UK

'They're drug dealers in Armani suits': executives draw focus amid US epidemic

As the pharmaceutical industry fights off a flood of lawsuits, there’s an increased call to investigate the roles of executives pushing opioid painkillers | Guardian, UK

We Tested £50 and £60 Coke to See If Price Makes a Difference

Firstly, comparing the dealers: these graphs show that Dealer A's selection was not only the cheapest, but that their bags contained both the most cocaine and the highest concentration of pure coke across each price point | VICE, UK

Resistance Builds as Trump Attempts to Perpetuate Global Drug War

In recent days, President Trump’s administration has successfully pressured many countries into endorsing a controversial document on drug policy, but resistance is growing among civil society | Talking Drugs, UK

Duterte confesses: 'My only sin is the extrajudicial killings'

Philippines president’s admission in speech could add weight to international criminal court inquiry | Guardian, UK

Bar has alcohol licence suspended after authorities realise it hosts axe-throwing competitions

A Michigan bar that invites patrons to participate in axe throwing competitions recently had its alcohol licence suspended over healthy and safety concerns, it has emerged | i news, UK

More than 50 TDs including seven Ministers lobbied by drinks industry on alcohol Bill

Dáil row expected over ban on advertising, promotion at concerts in park venues | Irish Times, Ireland

'It can make a massive difference to cases': Legal experts question garda cannabis plant valuation

Gardaí apply a general valuation of €800 to each plant – experts claims this is at odds with international best practice | Journal, Ireland

South African drug supplier suspected of facilitating Ireland's biggest cocaine dealers

The supplier is heavily linked to a Dublin crime family | Journal, Ireland

Teens who've tried marijuana have used it in more than one form

Most teens who've tried marijuana have used the drug in more than one form, including cannabis products that are smoked, eaten or vaped, new USC research shows | Medical Xpress, USA

Over four decades, an epidemic of drug overdoses reveals its inner secrets

Americans have long construed drugs of abuse as choices. Poor choices that can cost users their lives, to be sure, but choices nonetheless | Medical Xpress, USA

The War on Nicotine Pits Prejudice Against Public Health

There’s a war on nicotine. And just like the War on Drugs in general, it cannot be won. We will never live in a world where nicotine isn’t used by millions | Filter Magazine, USA

Pill testing no silver bullet for festival safety, but it's part of the solution

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian might have backed away from her threat to ban the Defqon.1 dance music festival following two drug-related deaths two weeks ago, but her tough talk appears to have had an impact, with a coalition of more than 60 music industry representatives asking for a seat at the table for any discussions "about better solutions for safety at music festivals" | Age, Australia

'This way to the festival of drugs and booze': Defqon. 1 deaths leave Listen Out revellers undeterred

Police arrested 159 people for drug offences at the event, and seven people had to be hospitalised because of drugs | Age, Australia

Alcohol floor price begins today

The new alcohol floor price begins today, designed to tackle alcohol related violence and crime by targeting problem drinkers | Katherine Times, Australia

High point: Drug test change at music festivals

Hosts of summer music festivals and gigs could be a step closer to being able to offer recreational drug testing services without fear of prosecution | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Health Matters: Stopping smoking - what works?

Welcome to the latest edition of Health Matters, PHE’s professional resource, which for this edition focuses on the range of smoking quitting routes that are available and the evidence for their effectiveness. It also explores perceptions around nicotine and e-cigarette safety | PHE blog, UK

Lessons to be learnt from young teenage alcohol consumption report

Teenagers in the UK and Ireland are among the worst alcohol users in Europe, and yet has the most improved declining usage figures, what should we take from this? | Mentor blog, UK

Tackling alcohol, challenging the norm

I remember arriving in the UK as a Junior Doctor to work in the NHS in the mid-90s. The nurses were my new friends, and I used to join them at 9pm post shift for a crawl down the Derby Mile | ADPH, UK

The ‘J’ Word: overtly stigmatising or just obliviousness?

Earlier this year I wrote about the importance of language in the drugs arena but wanted to now focus briefly but specifically on the ‘j’ word and some of my experiences with it | Cuppa with Kirsten blog, UK

Spice: a lethal epidemic fuelled by austerity

The prevalence of this debilitating drug shows that society has reached a precipitous moment of decay | Guardian, UK

Why cocaine is cheaper and better quality

The complex global situation which has made cocaine in the UK so cheap and dangerous - summed up in this 154 seconds video from the Economist | Russell Webster, UK

Five popular hangover cures, reviewed by experts

It’s a common misconception that hangovers are mainly the result of dehydration. An evening of heavy drinking can lead to inflammation of the stomach and intestines, poor-quality sleep and the production of toxic substances that lead to vomiting, sweating and an increased heart rate | Conversation, UK

The Guardian view on the Philippines: a murderous ‘war on drugs’

Extra-judicial killings have left thousands dead. President Rodrigo Duterte is proud of his anti-drugs campaign, but international pressure could yet have an impact | Guardian, UK

Out of my mind: Sarah Perry on writing under the influence of drugs

When a medical condition left her in agony, The Essex Serpent author was prescribed powerful opiates. They gave her terrifying visions - and a new insight into literary drug culture | Guardian, UK

Calls to Stop Baseless Ban on Amyl Nitrite

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has just released an interim decision that would see amyl nitrite and other nitrite inhalants banned across Australia. The proposal would move these drugs into schedule 9 of the Poisons Standard along with substances such as heroin | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia

Alcohol must be benched from sports advertising

The grand final weekend is on us. The delights of elite level sport competing at the highest level, men and women showcasing their skills on the footy field, and the passion and pain for the winners and losers | SMH opinion, Australia

NCA's decision on pill testing betrays public trust

The National Capital Authority has blocked a proposal for pill testing at this year's Spilt Milk festival in Canberra. It was able to do this because the festival is held on grounds that the NCA's manages | Age opinion, Australia