Daily news - 22nd October 2018

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UK news

Funding cuts forcing drug rehabilitation centres to close

They are services for desperate people, services that save lives. Yet despite the Prime Minister’s pledge to end austerity, cuts in local authority funding mean places like residential rehabilitation centres can’t stay financially viable | Channel 4, UK

Smokers should switch from cigarettes to vaping, says world's biggest tobacco firm

The world's biggest tobacco company is encouraging smokers to give up cigarettes and switch to vaping in a multi-million pound campaign | Telegraph, UK

Philip Morris accused of hypocrisy over anti-smoking ad

One of the world's biggest tobacco firms, Philip Morris, has been accused of "staggering hypocrisy" over its new ad campaign that urges smokers to quit | BBC, UK

The toxic impact of drug panics

Alarm surrounding the bizarre effects of the latest street drug can be seductive and makes for excellent headlines. But, ask Emily Goddard and Ian Hamilton, what about the harm this causes? | Independent, UK

Drunk and Doubly Deviant? The Role of Gender and Intoxication in Sentencing Assault Offences

Little is known about how alcohol intoxication impacts sentence outcomes. This study assesses whether intoxication differentially aggravates sentence outcomes for male and female defendants of assault offences | British Journal of Criminology, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the effect on peoples health of (a) vaping and (b) smoking | They work for you, UK

Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on levels of smoking of an increase in the take-up of vaping | They work for you, UK

Bottles of wine should be hit with a 5p levy to pay for cost of treating alcoholics, say MPs

Bottles of wine should carry a 5p levy to pay for the treatment of alcoholics and problem drinkers, say MPs | Mail Online, UK

Get Up to Speed On the UK's New Approach to Various Drugs

It's been a busy year for UK drug policy, but where do we stand right now? | VICE, UK

Ex-met police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe calls for urgent review of cannabis laws

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, has called for an "urgent review" of the evidence around legalising cannabis | Telegraph, UK

How has alcohol changed in 10 million years?

Alcohol was a poisonous substance millions of years ago. Happily, humans have evolved to be able to drink it and a recent two-day conference revealed the many positive effects of the liquid – especially when used as a part of everyday bonding rituals | Morning Advertiser, UK

Wakefield's Pinderfields Hospital smokers shamed via loudspeaker

People who ignore 'no smoking' signs by the doors of a Wakefield hospital are being shamed through a loudspeaker | BBC, UK

Liverpool drugs gang jailed for smuggling operation

Twenty-six members of a gang which smuggled drugs stashed inside toilets and cat litter into the UK have been jailed | BBC, UK

Gloucester cannabis factory raided by police

About 1,000 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of £500,000 have been seized by police | BBC, UK

Arrests after £625k Govanhill cannabis seizure

Cannabis with a street value of £625,000 has been seized by police in the Govanhill area of Glasgow | BBC, UK

Murder charges over death of Battersea man who complained about drug dealers on his estate

Scotland Yard has been forced to deny claims that it has lost control of the capital’s streets after residents said police ignored complaints against drug dealers on an estate where a father was battered to death on his doorstep | Telegraph, UK

Zak Hardaker: Wigan Warriors full-back to begin rehabilitation after driving ban

Wigan Warriors full-back Zak Hardaker will undergo rehabilitation for alcohol abuse after being found guilty of drink-driving | BBC, UK


International news

Taking stock: a decade of drug policy - a civil society shadow report

This report evaluates the impacts of drug policies implemented across the world over the past decade, using data from the United Nations (UN), complemented with peer-reviewed academic research and grey literature reports from civil society | IDPC, UK

UN's 10-year plan to tackle world's drug problem has been ‘spectacular failure’ as production and consumption soar, report says

Drug-related deaths increase by 145 per cent and cultivation of opium poppies increases by 130 per cent, figures show | Independent, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 19 October 2018

Six new entries with a strong emphasis on strategies for reducing alcohol-related harm and interventions tailored to the needs of particularly vulnerable, marginalised, and underserved groups. Four full-length analyses explore alcohol licensing, minimum unit pricing, brief interventions, and opioid substitution therapy, while two ‘bite-size’ pieces highlight outreach to groups with different life circumstances and patterns of substance use | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Cannabis in Canada: Pardoning people for possession isn't enough

Canadians will get pardons if they were convicted of possessing marijuana before it was legalised | BBC, UK

Brits could soon be free to smoke weed in Benidorm and Magaluf as Spanish politicians push to legalise the drug

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias says legalising cannabis would reduce drug trafficking and significantly boost the country's healthcare budget | Sun, UK

City camp is site of Native American homelessness, heroin … and hope

The Wall of Forgotten Natives, a makeshift camp in Minneapolis, is ground zero of a housing and opioid crisis for urban Indians | Guardian, UK

‘Backlash’: Northern Territory alcohol floor price divides community

Minimum price for a standard drink was passed into law with minimal outrage. Then the price of beer went up | Guardian, UK

Mixed-methods evaluation of a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion in Banyuwangi District, Indonesia

Tobacco advertisement bans in Indonesia are rare and seldom evaluated. The recent introduction of an outdoor tobacco advertisement (OTA) ban in Banyuwangi District, East Java, Indonesia provided an opportunity to evaluate such policy | BMJ, UK

Survey to determine the prevalence of the use of illict drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs and gambling in the general population

The Health Research Board has commissioned a national household study to gain insight into people’s behaviours and attitudes in relation to alcohol and other drugs, gambling and tobacco. This will provide us with reliable information on the extent of the use of these substances and on gambling behaviour in Ireland. We can use this information to identify gaps in policy and service provision | HRB, Ireland

Drug dealing criminals using bookmakers' online accounts to stash money

The practice is particularly prevalent in Irish prisons | Journal, Ireland

Less than 2,000 motorists tested for drug-driving since law introduced

Less than 2,000 motorists were tested for drug-driving since the legislation was introduced in April 2017, new figures show | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Prosecutor says Act being used to impede drink-driving cases

Defence barristers use law to stall cases and keep drivers on road, forum hears | Irish Times, Ireland

Judge suggests random breath tests at teenage discos

Judge James McNulty comments after reports of serious alcohol intoxication at disco | Irish Times, Ireland

Mayor hails reformed drug addict as 'a leader' of Limerick city

A reformed heroin addict has been hailed “a leader for our city” by the Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick for his extensive efforts in tackling his own addiction and advocating for victims of homelessness and drug misuse | Limerick Leader, Ireland

Expecting Better: Improving Health and Rights for Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs (PDF)

Drug use in pregnancy can lead to serious health risks for both the mother and the fetus, including HIV infection and fatal overdose. At the same time, drug use during pregnancy need not lead to any negative outcomes, or to outcomes significantly different from those experienced by non drug-using women | Open Society Foundations, USA

Study reveals impact of Juul use on teenagers and young adults

Teens and young adults who use Juul brand e-cigarettes are failing to recognize the product's addictive potential, despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine | News Medical, USA

Adding Flavors to E-Cigarette Liquids Changes Chemistry, Creates Irritants (VIDEO)

New research from Duke and Yale universities shows flavorings added to e-cigarettes and vaping devices are transforming more than marketing. The chemical additives react to e-liquid, or e-juice, creating new compounds that could trigger irritation and inflammation when inhaled | EurekAlert, USA

Engineered enzyme eliminates nicotine addiction in preclinical tests

Scientists at Scripps Research have successfully tested a potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents | Science Daily, USA

Cannabis Conviction? The First Ever National Expungement Week Begins

Expungement is going national. The process of having prior cannabis convictions wiped—and beginning to repair the many harms caused by being labeled a criminal—has entered mainstream conversation | Filter Magazine, USA

A young mom's powerful obituary is shedding light on opioid addiction

A young Vermont mother who died as a result of opioid addiction is being memorialized by her family in a fearless obituary calling for a more open understanding of the illness that took her life | CNN, USA

Here Comes the Legal Case for Medicinal Psychedelics

Therapist Bruce Tobin is striving to give end-of-life cancer patients magic mushrooms in a clinical setting | VICE, USA

A brief history of American drug panics

Eighty-five years ago, a Florida murder began a moral panic about marijuana use. On October 16, 1933, 20-year-old Victor Licata took an axe and killed his parents, brothers and sister while they slept | Spectator, USA

Cannabis oil improves Crohn's disease symptoms: study

Dr. Naftali, whose study is being billed as the first of its kind, found that an eight-week treatment with cannabis oil containing a four to one CBD to THC ratio produced clinical remission in up to 65 per cent of individuals with Crohn’s disease | CTV news, Canada

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

Presenting a strong and united front to tobacco industry interference : a content analysis of Australian newspaper coverage of tobacco plain packaging 2008–2014

In 2012, Australia was the first country in the world to introduce plain or standardised tobacco packaging, coupled with larger graphic health warnings | BMJ, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 72: Heat and Burn

OK I am not surprised that the report I wrote with a team of honest and dedicated people gets summarily dismissed by the Bloomberg shills at the FCTC and all their cronies as simply a product of ‘tobacco influence’. But that doesn’t stop me from fuming | NSP blog, UK

County lines: the dark realities of life for teenage drug runners

“County lines” is a term used by the police to describe a growing practice among criminal gangs: when demand for drugs fails to meet the supply in major cities, gangs travel to remote rural areas, market towns or coastal locations in search of new customers | Conversation, UK

The police need more money. But they also need to stop being racist

Institutional racism still blights the police service. Any new funding promised by Labour must be contingent on fixing this | Guardian, UK

Point of View: What I learnt from following my father into addiction

Josh Connolly says he can't remember a time when his father was sober before his death | ITV, UK

Gin and beer are in – but hold the wine

Despite media reports that Generation Z are forgoing alcohol for a healthier lifestyle, students seem to be bucking that trend | Guardian, UK

We need to radically change the way we talk to kids about drugs

There is often no mention of prescription medication. Nor does the guidance offered remind us that the drinks cabinet is the source of one of the most dangerous drugs on the planet | Independent voices, UK

Canada has legalised cannabis. This is why Australia should follow suit 

We're late learners when it comes to drug laws. But whether it's next year or a decade from now, legalising cannabis is no longer a question of if, but when, writes Matt Noffs | abc.net.au, Australia