Daily news - 23rd October 2018

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UK news

Have the chat campaign launched

To launch the Have the Chat campaign Addaction has developed seven tips for parents to start the conversation about drugs | Addaction, UK

Harm reduction special issue (part two)

In part two of this series we turn to some of the key studies validating or questioning harm reduction approaches, and then pick out those dealing with the major harm reduction modalities relied on in Britain and internationally. (Don’t worry if you missed part one – you can also navigate to this by clicking on the link.) | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Home Affairs Select Committee: Alcohol perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes

Following a Select Committee inquiry, the Home Affairs Committee today publishes a report urging the UK Government to widen its forthcoming bill to be a Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Bill | IAS, UK

How an ex-heroin addict became a priest in Derby

Reverend Darren Howie is a former thief and was addicted to heroin. He spent a decade in and out of prison - and was once told by a prison chaplain, when he weighed just six-and-a-half stone, that he would die once he left prison | BBC, UK

Surge in drink spiking reports in Devon and Cornwall

Police are providing bars with urine testing kits after a surge in reports of drink spiking in Devon and Cornwall | BBC, UK

Record numbers of gambling addicts were hospitalised last year, new NHS figures reveal

Record numbers of gambling addicts were hospitalised in the NHS last year, figures reveal, amid calls for the £2 cap on stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals to be brought forward | Telegraph, UK

Ed Farmer inquest: Student died after 'initiation-style' event

Newcastle University student Ed Farmer, 20, died in hospital in December 2016 | BBC, UK

Raids target new wave of drug dealers in Fraserburgh and Peterhead

Police have carried out a series of raids as an Aberdeenshire fishing town once dubbed "Scotland's drug capital" faces a new wave of dealers | BBC, UK

Albanian cocaine-dealing gang leader gets 25 years

Albanian national Erald Mema, 33, was found guilty of a conspiracy to supply the Class A drug after a trial at Oxford Crown Court | BBC, UK

Man 'fatally stabbed rival drug dealer' in Andover

A man stabbed to death a rival drug dealer who had just robbed him in an alleyway, a court heard | BBC, UK


International news

WHO launches ACTIVE: a toolkit for countries to increase physical activity and reduce noncommunicable diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) today launched ACTIVE, policy toolkit to help all governments reduce the alarming levels of physical inactivity and the related health, social and economic consequences | WHO, UK

EU support for recovery

European Alcohol Policy conference will hear that people can, and do, recover from alcohol-related problems, writes Sarah Devine. Inclusive and long-term approaches are needed to deliver successful recovery treatments, according to leading campaigner Rick Kamphuis from the Netherlands | Scotsman, UK

Scientists are starting to learn how e-cigs like the Juul can affect your health — and the results are troubling

In addition to inhaling burned tobacco and tar, smokers breathe in toxic metals like cadmium and beryllium, as well as metallic elements like nickel and chromium — all of which accumulate naturally in the leaves of the tobacco plant | Business Insider, UK

Cannabis from yeast: will synthetic pot help grow the industry?

Much like making craft beer, yeast enzymes can be used to create THC and CBD, the active chemicals found in marijuana | Guardian, UK

Bong arm of the law: South Korea says it will arrest citizens who smoke weed in Canada

Seoul reminds 23,000 South Korean students in Canada that domestic law applies to them no matter where they are | Guardian, UK

'Watching our mates drop dead': New Zealand's synthetic cannabis crisis

Neighbourhoods being ‘swallowed up’ by the drug, with health officials calling for urgent action | Guardian, UK

NSW premier says drug dealers could be jailed for 25 years after music festival deaths

Gladys Berejiklian announces on-the-spot fines for drug possession but pill-testing won’t be considered | Guardian, UK

Lynn Ruane: 20 years on from the introduction of the methadone strategy, where are we now?

How effective has the strategy been and what is the legacy we are left with when so many people are on the drug for so long? | Journal, Ireland

First ever state-funded heroin injection centre will cater for 60 addicts a day

The planned new State-funded injecting centre for chronic heroin and cocaine addicts in Dublin’s inner city is to cater for around 60 addicts each day and is to open at 6.30 each morning | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Captagon: understanding today's illicit market

Captagon is reported to be a commonly used stimulant in the Middle East. In addition, some recent media reports have linked this drug to perpetrators of terrorist acts in Europe or terrorist groups based in areas of conflict in the Middle East. This report aims to provide an overview of what is known about the captagon phenomenon, and how it may concern Europe, to assist those working in the illicit drugs field who may need to respond to the issue | EMCDDA, Portugal

Heroin addiction treatment and opioid misuse

Michael Fendrich is associate dean for research and a professor in the UConn School of Social Work, whose research focuses on policies, services, interventions, and risk factors related to substance misuse and mental health. He recently published a paper about heroin addiction treatment and how it relates to previous opioid misuse history | Medical Xpress, USA

New target of alcohol in the brain

When alcohol enters the brain, it causes neurons in a specialized region called the ventral tegmental area, or VTA -- also known as the "pleasure center" -- to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces those feel-good sensations, and tells the brain that whatever it just experienced is worth getting more of | Science Daily, USA

More than one in ten heavy cannabis users experience withdrawal after quitting cannabis

As reported in the first US national survey to assess cannabis withdrawal as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition | EurekAlert, USA

Two in Three Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana

Sixty-six percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, another new high in Gallup's trend over nearly half a century. The latest figure marks the third consecutive year that support on the measure has increased and established a new record | Gallup, USA

The Harm Reduction Movement: Bigger Than Ever, But Facing Threats

If numbers gauge the health of a movement, this one is flourishing. Two thousand people crammed into a vast hotel ballroom in New Orleans on October 18 for the opening of the National Harm Reduction Conference—a record for the event and also, organizers reckon, for any harm reduction conference in the world | Filter Magazine, USA

“A Tidal Wave of PTSD”–How the War on Drugs Impacts Cops Ordered to Fight It

No one can claim that Nic Castle isn’t brave. “I was tracking one of the major drug dealing gangs in my area,” he begins. “I had good intel, so I stopped them–but then one turned around and stuck a handgun in my face.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Colombia Is Growing Record Amounts Of Coca, The Key Ingredient In Cocaine

To explain why he grows coca, the raw material for cocaine, rather than food crops on his 5-acre farm in southern Colombia, Luis Tapia does the math | npr, USA

Synthetic cannabis suppliers could face up to 14 years' jail

Unlikely bedfellows the National Party and New Zealand First are working together to put peddlers of synthetic drugs behind bars for longer - possibly up to 14 years | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

How to talk to your kids about drugs

The ‘just say no’ days are over | Medium blog, UK

Will our growing enthusiasm for low-alcohol drinking change the very culture of the City?

Will our growing enthusiasm for low-alcohol drinking change the very culture of the City? | City AM, UK

E-cigarettes are good or bad depending on the study – so what’s the truth?

The number of adults currently using e-cigarettes in the UK is close to 2.9m, many of whom will have turned to the devices to quit smoking. While certainly they may help people kick the habit, there is a big problem with e-cigarettes: we don’t actually know for certain whether they are safe or not | Conversation, UK

The ‘war on drugs’ that failed our son

Journalists and politicians must back the legalisation of drugs, say Professors Pat Hudson and Tony Lane | Guardian letters, UK

Side Event – A 10-year review of successes and failures of global drug control: A civil society shadow report

Event co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Norway to the International Organisations in Vienna, the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the International Organisations based in Vienna and the International Drug Policy Consortium | CND blog, UK