Daily news - 2nd October 2018

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UK news

Conservative conference: Middle-class drug users to be targeted - Sajid Javid

Middle-class drug users will be targeted as part of a crackdown on the causes of violent crime, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will announce | BBC, UK

Prescribed medicines: an evidence review

Public Health England is conducting a review of the evidence on dependence, and the short term discontinuation or longer term withdrawal symptoms associated with prescribed medicines: specifically Benzodiazepines, Z drugs, GABA-ergic medication, opioid pain medications, antidepressants and combinations of these medicines. As part of the Review the National Guidance Centre has been commissioned to conduct a Rapid Evidence Assessment of the relevant published and grey literature, including a call for evidence describing patients’ experiences and health/social care service delivery models. The deadline for submissions for the call for evidence is 23rd October 2018 | PHE, UK

Hepatitis C: new family resource

We’ve launched a new resource (pdf) providing practical and emotional support to the family and friends of those with hepatitis C or who inject drugs | Adfam, UK

Should universities tell students how to take drugs safely?

Sheffield Students' Union has hit the headlines for publishing advice on how to take illegal drugs safely. But should universities focus on stopping students taking drugs in the first place? | BBC, UK

Opioids and chronic pain in primary care

The number of opioid analgesics prescribed in the UK for non-cancer pain over the past few years is on a steadily upward trajectory. Alongside this, the numbers of deaths reported to involve opioid analgesics are rising as well. There are concerns that there may be some echoing of the situation in the US where overdose deaths from prescription opioids are a major issue | BJGP, UK

Stoptober: How to avoid booze around the world this month

Awhole month without alcohol? You may need a distraction. Fortunately, we have some recommendations to help see you through | Telegraph, UK

Youth drinking in decline: who, why & where next?

A new report examining the decline in youth drinking since the turn of the century has been released as part of a new four-year study which aims to examine the patterns and causes of the decline in youth drinking | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Cannabis oil – everything you need to know: is CBD really an effective treatment?

Cannabis oil has featured in several high-profile cases this year amid increasing pressure from campaigners to legalise its medical use | i news, UK

Evaluation into the Kent County Lines Pilot Project (PDF)

This evaluation report looked into a pilot six-month Home Office funded county lines intervention project St Giles Trust delivered in Kent helping vulnerable young people out of county line activity. It also carried out a scoping report to look at national approaches to the issue of county lines | St Giles Trust, UK

Children caught up in drugs gangs being failed by police, says Home Office report

St Giles Trust raises concerns about information sharing over ‘county lines’ drugs rings | Guardian, UK

Countryfile fans SHOCKED as show taken over by drug dealing gangs segment

Countryfile continued on BBC One tonight with the show based around Herefordshire, but long-time fans of the show were left utterly shocked by a segment on drug-dealing gangs | Express, UK

Airbnb and Uber urged to act on teenage drug mules 

Aminister has urged tech companies to report teenagers suspected of ferrying drugs for gangs as part of a nationwide crackdown on the problem | Telegraph, UK

Drug use primarily a health problem, says Police chief

Drug use should be seen as primarily a health problem, a senior police officer has claimed, and more would seek help if public attitudes towards them were improved | Herald, UK

Alcohol and politics in twentieth century Britain

This review surveys recent developments in the histography of the politics of alcohol in twentieth century Britain | Cambridge Core, UK

The castles built by Scotland’s opium barons

The Highland family who raised vast amounts of wealth from the 19th Century opium trade in China embedded their fortune in the walls of several castles and trophy homes built on their return to Scotland | Scotsman, UK

Alcohol-free beers, tried and tested 

Go Sober for October is a campaign to give up booze for a month from today. So far, almost 50,000 have signed up, with many more taking part unofficially. We sampled a range of alcohol-free beers (below 0.5%), from hoppy ales to chocolatey stouts, which can help you through the month | Telegraph, UK

Scottish women's football 'will reject alcohol or gambling sponsors'

Scottish women's football will never accept sponsorship deals with alcohol or gambling companies, says the organisation's chair Vivienne MacLaren | BBC, UK

John Partridge credits Masterchef for helping him talk about drink and drug addictions

John Partridge has thanked Masterchef for helping him to carry on the conversation about struggles with drink and drug addiction | Metro, UK

Woman smuggled heroin in kinder egg to inmate brother

A Paisley woman has been jailed after supplying heroin to her brother while he was on day release from prison to attend a family funeral | BBC, UK


International news

Report by Public Health Experts Laments "Missed Opportunity" as World Health Organization Debates Global Tobacco Policy

As delegates gather for the World Health Organization's (WHO) biennial conference on tobacco, the authors of a new report, "No Fire, No Smoke: Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction," are fiercely criticizing the WHO's record. The public health experts accuse the WHO of failing to comply with international treaty obligations to back reduced-harm alternatives to smoking | PRNewswire, UK

How commonly do drinkers suffer blackouts?

It's something many people have experienced at least once in their lives - a night of heavy drinking followed by a day of missing memories. A blackout | BBC, UK

Outed over a loudspeaker: how stigma and ignorance are hampering the HIV response

Kathryn Dy (not her real name) was just 17 when she found out she was HIV positive | Telegraph, UK

Canadian troops can now grow beards and smoke weed

The U.S. military dangles cash bonuses and post-military college money to entice recruits into the service. Meanwhile, the Canadian military has beards and weed | Business Insider, UK

Contaminated bootleg alcohol kills at least 42 in Iran

At least 42 people have died after drinking contaminated bootleg alcohol in Iran, a government spokesman said | BBC, UK

Smoke-free Ireland still 34 years off as 100 die every week

Ireland risks missing its tobacco-free target date of 2025 by 27 years, the HSE has warned | Independent, Ireland

EU Commission seeks ‘quick fix’ solution on alcohol labelling proposals

The European Commission is pushing for a “quick fix” solution to the alcohol labelling deadlock before the end of its mandate, an official close to the issue told EURACTIV.com | Euractiv, Belgium

DrugNet Europe

Latest news from the EMCDDA | EMCDDA, Portugal

WHO launches SAFER alcohol control initiative to prevent and reduce alcohol-related death and disability

WHO-led initiative and action package aim to support global target of reducing harmful use of alcohol by 10% by 2025 | WHO, USA

While America wages war on opioids, meth makes its comeback

For Capt. Mark Wollmershauser Jr. and the Tulsa Police Department, the late-2000s and early 2010s were an extremely dangerous time | CNN, USA

California's Jerry Brown rejects supervised drug injection plan

California Gov. Jerry Brown rejected legislation on Sunday that would have allowed San Francisco to open what could be the nation's first supervised drug injection site under a pilot program | CBS News, USA

The White House Admits Its Marijuana Policy Committee Is Real, But Claims It’ll Be Unbiased

The admission comes after BuzzFeed News uncovered the committee's existence and reported on its requests for negative information on marijuana | BuzzFeed, USA

Mass Bail Out of Hundreds of NYC Prisoners Starts Today

On October 1, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) and a coalition of grassroots organizations launched Mass Bail Out, a project created to post money bail for approximately 500 women and 16- and 17-year-old youths currently jailed on Rikers Island and the South Bronx’s Horizon Juvenile Center, respectively | Filter Magazine, USA

Don't treat e-cigarettes like cigarettes, say experts

Assuming e-cigarettes are equal to cigarettes could lead to misguided research and policy initiatives, argue experts in a new commentary, which distills articles and published studies that compare e-cigarettes to cigarettes and supports the importance of investigating e-cigarettes as a unique nicotine delivery system | Science Daily, USA

Philippines’ Duterte Confesses to ‘Drug War’ Slaughter

ublic Admission to ‘Sin’ of Extrajudicial Killings Evidence for ICC Inquiry | Human Rights Watch, USA

Vancouver study finds barriers for women at overdose prevention sites

A new study on overdose prevention sites in Vancouver has found that women can face gendered or racialized barriers to accessing the sites | The Star, Canada

Fears of longer public waiting lists and increased opioid drug use among chronic pain sufferers

Proposed changes to private health coverage could lock many chronic pain sufferers out of timely treatment, putting more pressure on the public system and potentially forcing some to turn to opioid drug use, pain specialists say | abc.net.au, Australia

Campaign Pushes For Drug Policy Rethink

With drug induced deaths at a 20 year high in Australia, a coalition of 60 charity, community and health groups are launching a campaign to push for a rethink of current drug policy | Pro Bono Australia, Australia

Curtin-led study finds few e-cigarette users vape to quit smoking

Vaping has increased in popularity around the world, but new research suggests the technology is not being used for its intended purpose | The West Australian, Australia

Cracks in the Ice

Free app with the facts about Ice and its use | Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use


Blogs, comment and opinion

“Change is coming” – Drug Policy Reform at Labour Party Conference

I joined the Labour Party because for me it is the party of fairness, empathy and equality for all. However, while Labour party drug policy remains in support of prohibition it can never fully live up to these principles | Anyone's Child blog, UK

Safeguarding children involved in County Lines drug dealing

Very variable response with many vulnerable young people being exploited by gangs and criminalised by the justice system | Russell Webster, UK

Over 70 experts call on WHO to embrace technology innovation in the fight against diseases caused by smoking

Every two years, the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control meet to discuss how to advance the treaty. The 8th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-8) is being held this week, 1-6 October, 2018 in Geneva | Clive Bates blog, UK

What Vancouver’s departing mayor learned from a decade of the opioid crisis

There is perhaps no one in Canada better placed to reflect on the country’s response to the opioid crisis than Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. As he prepares to step down after 10 years at the helm of the city at the epicenter of the crisis, he is in a reflective mood | Globe and Mail opinion, Canada