Daily news - 9th October 2018

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UK news

October issue of DDN Magazine out now

Personal stories are the essence of DDN. They speak volumes about good (and bad) practice and they also serve to inspire; and that’s vitally important in the land of diminishing resources | DDN, UK

Poisoning substances taken by young people: a population-based cohort study

This was an open cohort study of 1 736 527 young people, using linked Clinical Practice Research Datalink, Hospital Episode Statistics, and Office for National Statistics mortality data, from 1998 to 2014 | BJGP, UK

Hospital Data Shows How Britain's Drug Problem Is Getting Worse

Admissions for cocaine are spiralling, teens are taking sedatives in harmful doses, and more and more older people are being hospitalised after taking drugs | VICE, UK

Many doctors may be failing to warn patients about the risks of antidepressants, new APPG research suggests

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence publishes new research which indicates that many doctors and psychiatrists may be failing to warn patients about the potential risks of antidepressants, and subsequently fail to recognise withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, sources of NHS support for patients, such as NHS 111, were found to be unhelpful | APPG, UK

Antidepressant Withdrawal: a Survey of Patients’ Experience by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence (PDF)

In Sep 2017 the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence, in conjunction with researchers at the University of Roehampton, undertook one of the largest direct-to-consumer international surveys of its kind into withdrawal from psychiatric drugs. This report will summarise both the quantitative and qualitative data on the U.K. antidepressant users (319) who reported their withdrawal experience | APPG, UK

The Patient Voice: an analysis of personal accounts of prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal submitted to persons in Scotland and Wales (PDF)

This report identifies failure points in the health care system based on the testimony of 158 individuals impacted by prescribed drug withdrawal who responded to two petitions lodged with parliamentary Petitions Committees in Scotland (1) and Wales (2) in 2017 | APPG, UK

Home Office's injection room refusal 'endangering lives'

The Home Office's refusal to allow a safe injecting room to be set up in Glasgow has been slammed as putting "party political dogma ahead of people's lives" | STV, UK

Exeter prison condemned by inspectors for violence and drug use

Scathing report comes as Prison Governors Association accuses government underfunding of contributing to jail safety crisis | Guardian, UK

More student unions set to offer drug-testing kits at universities, NUS says

'There is a lot more interest in harm reduction now' | Independent, UK

English university to ask students to sign drug pledge

Buckingham University in bid to become Britain’s first ‘drug-free’ campus | Guardian, UK

Medical cannabis: 'False hope' after Home Office decision

Parents of a boy with epilepsy who want him to be prescribed medical cannabis say they have been given "false hope" by the system to apply for it | BBC, UK

Drugs 'entrepreneurs' have young people's 'blood on their hands'

The father of a 13-year-old girl who died after taking ecstasy is warning other parents if it can happen to his daughter, it can happen to anyone | BBC, UK

More than one homeless person dies every day in the UK, study finds

'This is a wake-up call to see homelessness as a national emergency,' said Crisis CEO Jon Sparkes | Independent, UK

Vapers will save thousands of pounds by enjoying the same insurance rates as non-smokers for the first time

The news comes after a Public Health England report that found vaping was 95 per cent less harmful than smoking | Sun, UK

Brexit: How 'no deal' could change tobacco warnings

Graphic warnings on cigarette packets will be replaced by Australian versions in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, it has emerged | BBC, UK

‘Heroin On Trial’

A summary of the 'Heroin on trial' Conference which took place in May with  short videos by key conference speakers and presentation slides and audio | SSA, UK

New drug test works on both the living and the dead and only requires a FINGERPRINT

Rather than an unhygienic or invasive test the Intelligent Fingerprinting system can detect four types of drug from finger sweat | Mirror, UK

Organised crime gang's £100,000 drug courier jailed

A man who helped an organised crime gang bring more than £100,000 worth of cocaine into Scotland has been jailed for 45 months | BBC, UK

Met police criticised over video of forceful restraint of black man

The Metropolitan police are facing criticism over a stop and search of a young black man caught on video in which several officers wrestle him to the floor before one uses CS spray while he is on the ground | Guardian, UK


International news

Villainous, Alien, and Killable: Narrative and Regulatory Norms Surrounding Drug Users in Video Games (PDF)

Both regulations and depictions of drug use in gaming contribute to the suppression regime around drugs. Drug users and dealers are portrayed as violent, destabilising forces that are rightly met with violence. Regulators and creators contribute to the stigmatisation of drug users by encouraging drug use to be in the most of violent games. Taken together, this helps to legitimise the use of punitive and securitised measures against dealers especially | GDPO, UK

Joint support: the left and right finally have an issue they agree on

Two-thirds of the US favor marijuana legalization, making it one of the least divisive issues in the country | Guardian, UK

Fentanyl use surges in Australia, drug monitoring program finds

Wastewater testing finds Australians are using the highly addictive opioid at concerning levels | Guardian, UK

Not criminals: underpinning a health led approach to drug use (PDF)

This report calls for the decriminalisation of drug possession in Ireland and argues treating possession as a criminal offence both fails to discourage drug use and acts as a barrier to those seeking help and reintegration | Anna Liffey Project and LSE, Ireland and UK

Report urges Govt to decriminalise drug use

The Ana Liffey Project and the London School of Economics say treating people caught with small amounts of drugs as criminals is "counter-productive" | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Most people want cost of cigarettes increased by fiver to fund cancer treatments

Budget 2019 is set to be unveiled tomorrow | Journal, Ireland

Preventing overdose deaths in Europe

[Newly updated] More than 9 000 lives were reported to be lost to drug overdoses in Europe (28 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway) in 2016, the latest reporting year, and this is an underestimate. Reducing drug-related deaths therefore remains a major challenge for public health policy | EMCDDA, Portugal

Addiction nurses save lives. What is their secret?

Our mission is to advance excellence in nursing care for the prevention and treatment of addictions for diverse populations across all practice settings through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development | InstNSA Global, USA

Up in the convention center balcony on Day 1 of the World Health Organization’s tobacco treaty negotiations last week, two men posted invitations to a party on the lake | NYTimes, USA

Research shows club drug GHB associated with brain and cognitive changes

Scientists have discovered that regular use of the party drug GHB, and especially unconsciousness following GHB use, is associated with brain changes including negative effects on long-term memory, working memory, IQ, and higher levels of stress and anxiety. This work is presented at the ECNP conference in Barcelona, following partial peer-review publication | Medical Xpress, USA

Australian Drug Trends 2018: Key Findings from the National Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) is an ongoing illicit drug monitoring system which has been conducted in all states and territories of Australia since 2000, and forms part of Drug Trends | NDARC, Australia

Use of higher purity ecstasy on the rise among young Australians

Young drug users are shifting towards higher purity ecstasy, and cocaine use is at its highest level ever recorded, the latest Australian Drug Trends Reports shows | Age, Australia

Factors influencing early withdrawal from a drug and alcohol treatment program and client perceptions of successful recovery and employment: a qualitative study

[Open access] The aim of this study was to explore reasons for early withdrawal from TC programs and perceptions of successful recovery. This study also aimed to explore how employment and volunteering related to early exit and perceptions of successful recovery | BMC Psychiatry, Australia

Pill testing won't be used to lure events to Canberra, govt says

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury had labelled Defqon.1 an "economic opportunity" for Canberra | Age, Australia

People recovering from alcohol issues needed for Australia-first study

People who have had issues with alcohol are being invited to participate in an anonymous UNSW study which is hoping to find out how people overcome the habit | UNSW, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Probation services: Collective Voice responds to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation

Drug and alcohol treatment is vital in helping to divert people from committing crime and is a vital component of the resettlement and rehabilitation of offenders. Treatment providers work in many criminal justice settings such as police custody suites, courts and prisons to deliver these services, as well as in the community | Collective Voice blog, UK

Harry’s blog 71: No Fire, No Smoke but plenty of Heat

Tuesday 2nd October saw the launch of the inaugural edition of No Fire, No Smoke: the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report. The launch took place in Geneva close to the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) | NSP blog, UK

Will drug-testing kits for university students actually improve safety?

As the National Union of Students says more young people are being offered drug-testing kits, Eleanor Busby considers the pros and cons of the scheme | Independent, UK

Ambitious for change? We're recruiting trustees

Alcohol harm affects millions of people across the UK, from the risky middle-aged drinker who knows he shouldn’t be drinking every night to the dependent drinker struggling to regain her independence, from the child growing up in a chaotic household to the family bereaved by a drink driver | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

The jury is in on cannabis legalization in North America: it’s been a success

Has the legalization of cannabis in some parts of North America been a success? While some suggest that the jury is still out on that question, Daniel Bear argues that the drug’s legalization has largely been a good thing | LSE blog, UK

Canberra's status as pill-testing capital in flux

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury’s impromptu invitation to the organisers of a controversial music festival to bring the event to Canberra is, on the face of it, understandable | Age editorial, Australia