Daily news - 10th October 2018

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Calls for radical action to curb record drug deaths in Scotland

Experts say government’s new drugs strategy not bold enough to tackle fatal overdose crisis | Guardian, UK

How many people die from drug misuse in the UK?

[DrugWise quoted] Death rate has increased dramatically over past decade | Newsweek, UK

Investigating the growing trend of non-drinking among young people; analysis of repeated cross-sectional surveys in England 2005–2015

Non-drinking among young people has increased over the past decade in England, yet the underlying factor driving this change is unknown. Traditionally non-drinking has been found to be associated with lower socio-economic status and poorer health | BMC Public Health, UK

Under-25s turning their backs on alcohol, study suggests

Researchers looked at official health data from the last decade and found almost a third of 16 to 24-year-olds in 2015 said they didn't drink, compared with around one in five in 2005 | BBC, UK

Royal College to review opposition to legalising cannabis despite concerns over mental health risks

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is to review its opposition to the legalisation of cannabis despite its concerns over the risks the drug poses to users’ mental health | Telegraph, UK

Wales and Ireland step closer to minimum pricing

The Welsh Government has proposed a 50 pence per unit minimum unit price (MUP) expected to be introduced in the summer of 2019 following a further consultation | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

NETWORK and CLINICAL UPDATES now available online

We are delighted to announce that historical editions of NETWORK are now available to be read in digital format on any device (or downloaded). CLINICAL UPDATES, curated and edited by Dr Euan Lawson from 2009 to 2016 have also been added to the online archive | SMMGP, UK

UK developer of medical cannabis products raises $345m through share sale

UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals has sold almost two million shares in a recent offering on the US stock exchange | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

HMP Exeter: Staff 'saw inmates' drug use as normal'

The Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke found two inmates at HMP Exeter "heavily intoxicated by drugs" during an inspection in May | BBC UK

Two men forced torture victim to strip naked and dance to Whitney Houston songs, court hears

Two men who tortured a victim before forcing him to strip naked and dance to Whitney Houston songs have been jailed for 15 years | Telegraph, UK

Dog kennel worth £10k seized from drug dealer

An Aston Martin, an £800,000 house and a £10,000 dog kennel have been seized from a drug dealer | BBC, UK



International news

Canada struggling to find police capable of detecting drug-drivers as country prepares for legal marijuana

Canada is frantically training police officers to spot drug-impaired drivers ahead of the legalisation of recreational marijuana next week | Telegraph, UK

Increase in services must accompany relaxed drug laws, group argues

A massive investment in services for drug-users must accompany the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use, a coalition of local drug groups says | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Cocaine cases at Kerry treatment centre double in 2017

A well-known addiction centre dealt with twice as many people with problem cocaine use last year than it did in 2016 | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Lisbon shows drug decriminalisation policy beneficial, expert says

Ana Liffey project recommends not prosecuting in cases of drugs for personal use | Irish Times, Ireland

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 | Science Daily, Spain

A New Crisis in the Opioid Epidemic... Overdoses on the Job

Companies are being asked to institute new programs to help deal with the rise in employee drug overdoses | Healthline, USA

Risk of opioid-benzodiazepine overlap up for dual prescribing

Receiving prescriptions from both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D is associated with increased risk for overlapping of opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions, according to a study published online Oct. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Deep Systemic Change: My 10 Steps to Transform Addiction Treatment

As panel after summit after commission after white paper is put forward claiming to solve the overdose crisis, you’d think that somewhere there’d be a short, sensible guide for how to improve our health care system to better manage addiction and pain | Filter Magazine, USA

Homelessness, Vaping and Fentanyl: Three More Examples of Bad Media Coverage of Drugs

Inaccurate and biased media coverage of drugs, drug use, and harm reduction was in full swing over this past weekend. Many have noted the role of the news media in perpetuating, and sometimes explicitly endorsing, the War on Drugs | NYTimes, USA

New Cannabis Tech Boosting Industry And Providing A Better User Experience

Ancient Egyptians heated herbs and oils on hot stones to create potent vapors they could inhale. Today, the fastest-growing segment in cannabis is the old-fashioned vaporizer, but the high-tech 21st-century version is vastly different from those humble hot rocks — and it’s helping create new markets for cannabis | Forbes, USA

Ohio Cop Saves Dog With Overdose Reversal Drug Narcan

The dog, Trooper, had a severe reaction to anesthesia | Huffington Post, USA

Ontario plans public awareness campaign on cannabis legalization

Attorney General Caroline Mulroney says ads to begin running next week | CBC, Canada

National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report—August 2018

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is a key initiative in establishing an objective evidence base on illicit drug use | ACIC, Australia

'No safe level': Mandatory alcohol warning labels to be voted on by health ministers

Australians could soon be confronted with warning labels spelling out the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant, with state and federal government ministers due to meet on Thursday to vote on a proposal to make the stickers mandatory | SMH, Australia

NRL fans see triple the alcohol ads of AFL fans during finals TV coverage

People watching the 2018 NRL grand final on TV were exposed to 376 instances of alcohol advertising, researchers claim, as they renew calls for an end to alcohol advertisements during sporting events | abc.net.au, Australia

He went to get drug treatment and ended up dead. Now his mother wants to know why

Australia's biggest private drug rehab operator suddenly closed its Sri Lanka clinic days after one patient was discharged in controversial circumstances | Age, Autralia

Police Association asks, 'what if cops could legally use weed?' 

Whether or not frontline cops can use cannabis and work if legalisation occurs will need to be decided, the Police Association says | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Budget 2018: why invest in drug and alcohol treatment?

With the Government publishing its next Budget at the end of this month, Collective Voice has written to the Treasury to make the case for ending the year-on-year fall in funding for drug and alcohol treatment | Collective Voice blog, UK

Novel psychoactive substances: understanding the new illegal drug market

Pharmacists should be aware of the rapidly expanding illicit drug market and how they can play a role in reducing harm from popular novel psychoactive substances | Pharmaceutical Journal blog, UK

We deserve a Prime Minister who isn’t blind to the case for cannabis

No one could follow the story of Billy Caldwell, the 12-year-old boy who suffers from debilitating, potentially fatal seizures, and fail to be outraged by a bureaucratic system that denies him the cannabis treatment he needs | City AM blog, UK

Ashamed About a Drug Problem? Don’t Be

A problem with drugs or alcohol can lead to other problems in a person’s life, such as problems with health, relationships, work, and school. Another problem for this list is shame | NIDA blog, USA

Bad History, Bad Policy: Maybe Historians Should Be Ostracized from Society

Historians aren’t the first people national publications go for hot-takes. That may be a good thing. But I’ve always been in the camp that says historians should be more active outside of academia | Points blog, USA