Daily news - 25th October 2018

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UK news

Continued high price of buprenorphine used in drug treatment

A letter from Public Health England to directors of public health provides an update on recent increases in the prices of buprenorphine tablets used in the treatment of heroin (and other opioid) dependence. Earlier hopes that prices might fall again are looking less likely to be realised and the impact on the medicines budget of local authorities and the services they commission is in many cases severe | PHE, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

What assessment he has made of the proportion of children born in the UK with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders in each of the last five years | Theyw ork for you, UK

Cannabis: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will establish a duty for his Department to routinely monitor the potency of street cannabis; what assessment he has made of the implications for Government policy of the research by Kings College in (a) 2005, (b) 2008 and (c) 2016 on the potency of street cannabis; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Drug Debate in Parliament: The Elephant in the Room

There was an air of optimism amongst several MPs in Parliament’s Westminster Hall yesterday, October 23rd, when politicians came together to debate and discuss UK drug policy. MP for Inverclyde and member of the Scottish National Party, Ronnie Cowan, led the engaging and insightful debate | Volte Face, UK

Can duty cuts save pubs? Lobby groups target 2018 budget

Its no secret that pub numbers have been in decline for decades, but less clear is the role duty and tax policies may have played. Ahead of the 2018 budget, a number of industry-led campaigns have again been vying for the Chancellor's attention in calling for freezes on alcohol duties | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Talks held on lifting football's booze ban

The Scottish FA, Police Scotland and Scottish government officials have met to explore the idea of using the Euro 2020 matches at Hampden as a pilot | BBC, UK

Ketamine could soon be licensed for treatment-resistant depression

A form of ketamine called esketamine could soon be licensed for use in patients with treatment-resistant depression | PULSE, UK

Vaping Isn’t About Big Business—It’s About Us, the Vapers

Unless you are a smoker who has tried and failed to stop, I don’t think you can really appreciate how demoralizing “quit attempts” can be | Filter Magazine, UK

M&S accused of trivialising alcohol addiction by selling 'stress relieving' wine

Marks & Spencer has been accused of trivialising alcohol addiction for selling wine advertised as stress relieving | Telegraph, UK

Former drug addict credits turnaround to housing initiative

A former drug user has said that he “doesn’t know where he would be” if it wasn’t for a groundbreaking housing initiative that is coming to the north-east | Evening Express, UK

RE:GENERATE - Black-Centred Arts Festival to Take Place in London

RE:GENERATE is a free Black-centred UK arts festival focused on the intersections of drug policy, racial justice, and liberation, taking place in London from 2nd - 4th November 2018 | Release, UK

Ask Me About Detox

We caught up with Liz, one our workers for our Community Detox Link Service to find out more about the service we’ve been running since January this year | BDP, UK

Gambling addiction: Calls to helpline see 30% increase

The mother of a man who killed himself after battling a gambling addiction has likened the problem to heroin dependency | BBC, UK

Addictive Technology

That this House has considered addictive technology... | They work for you, UK

New Quay coastal path couple died from hypothermia and drugs

A man and a woman who were found on Ceredigion coastal path died of hypothermia and a cocktail of drugs, a coroner has concluded | BBC, UK

Jail for Angus man who sold drug to school kid from ‘cannabis corner shop’

A man who ran a “friendly local cannabis corner shop” – only to be caught when he sold the drug to a 14-year-old schoolboy – has been jailed | Courier, UK

Eight charged with drug offences after raids in Edinburgh

Eight people have been charged with drug offences after police raids in Edinburgh city centre | BBC, UK

Arthur Collins's dad admits cannabis factory charge

The father of nightclub acid attacker Arthur Collins Jnr has admitted allowing his home to be used as a cannabis factory | BBC, UK

Ed Farmer inquest: Students 'told to be discreet' about bar crawl

Students were urged not to tell anyone about a bar crawl which ended with the death of an undergraduate, an inquest has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Reducing crime, protecting families

Consolidates the lessons of the last five instalments of the free course on drug treatment research, exploring key studies on treatment in relation to safeguarding family and community from crime. A common theme was the contradictions involved in offering or imposing treatment centred on the patient’s welfare within a system which sees the patient essentially as a threat | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Small Pennsylvania county will pay nearly $5 million to family of girl, 18, who died from heroin withdrawal while locked up in jail on drug charges

A small Pennsylvania county will pay nearly $5 million to the family of a teenager who collapsed and died after four days of heroin withdrawal in jail | Mail Online, UK

Healthy Ireland survey 2018 summary of findings (PDF)

This report provides an overview of results from the fourth wave of the Healthy Ireland Survey, an annual interviewer administered face-to-face survey commissioned by the Department of Health | Department of Health, Ireland

One in three drinkers has binged on alcohol in the past year – survey

Annual Healthy Ireland survey finds that smoking rates have dropped to 20% | Irish Times, Ireland

There are more people who drink, smoke and have illnesses in deprived areas

In the last 3 years, the number of smokers in Ireland decreased by 80,000 | Journal, Ireland

80,000 people quit smoking in three years

A major health survey has recorded a significant drop in the number of smokers in Ireland | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Traffic safety group says GPs should warn against drink and drug driving

Office for Traffic Medicine to develop strategy to help doctors advise addicted patients | Irish Times, Ireland

Bill aims to tackle smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol

Thirteen per cent of all packs of cigarettes in Ireland are illegal and this represented a €229 million loss to the exchequer last year, the Dáil has heard | RTe, Ireland

Signing Opioid Law, Trump Pledges To End 'Scourge' Of Drug Addiction

With the nation reeling from an epidemic of drug overdose deaths, President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that is aimed at helping people overcome addiction and preventing addictions before they start | npr, USA

Effective dose of cannabidiol for safe pain relief without the typical 'high'

In the wake of cannabis legalization, a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) and McGill University have delivered encouraging news for chronic pain sufferers by pinpointing the effective dose of marijuana plant extract cannabidiol (CBD) for safe pain relief without the typical "high" or euphoria produced by the THC | News Medical, USA

Flavored capsule cigarettes may undermine smokefree goals

New research from ASPIRE2025, a University of Otago research theme, challenges tobacco companies' claims they are working towards a smoke-free world and suggests young people are vulnerable to tobacco companies' product innovations | News Medical, USA

Reviewing the evidence: Can meditation reduce smoking?

Mindfulness has become popular in many settings, including in mental health treatment. Research shows that mindfulness-based treatments can be helpful for people experiencing substance use disorders | BASIS, USA

E-cigs: An industry Trump doesn't mind regulating

President Trump routinely boasts of unshackling the economy by cutting red tape. But one industry may be about to face an onslaught of regulations, as senior members of his administration discuss a crackdown on electronic cigarettes | Washington Examiner, USA

NSW festivals death law reform 'does nothing to prevent harm': ACT

The Barr government says the NSW government's plan to enforce harsher penalties on drug users and dealers at music festivals "does nothing to prevent harm" | Age, Australia

Are WA's 'tough on drugs' politicians about to drop their rhetoric?

Western Australia could be on the verge of abandoning its decades-old "tough on drugs" attitude to illicit substance addiction after both sides of parliament backed a plan to examine the decriminalisation of drugs | Age, Australia

Eight school students pricked with syringe found at a bus stop in 'prank'

Police are investigating after a student at a western Sydney high school pricked eight other students with a used syringe found at a local bus stop | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Liverwort could have medicinal benefits of cannabis THC – without the high

Most of us know that the cannabis plant produces compounds that react with the human body. That’s because we have our own system that makes similar compounds, cannabinoids, that have a wide range of actions from appetite control to immune function | Conversation, UK

Beyond cannabis: why we should look at legalising other illegal drugs for medical use to benefit patients

The UK government has finally realised the value of cannabis as a medicine, but it must not ignore the medical potential of other Schedule 1 drugs, such as psilocybin, LSD and MDMA | Pharmaceutical Journal opinion, UK

The phrase ‘Drugs and Alcohol’ plays into the hands of the alcohol industry. It’s time society stopped using it

A few years ago Transform suggested to a senior civil servant dealing with drugs legislation at the Home Office that they should stop using the phrase ‘drugs and alcohol’, and replace it with ‘alcohol and other drugs’. He looked aghast, and said he wouldn't even suggest such a thing to the Minister after the drubbing the alcohol industry Portman Group gave them over Minimum Unit Pricing | Transform blog, UK

An essential service to be de-funded. And yes, it’s an Aboriginal service

On the Thursday of Reconciliation Week this year (June 2) the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council South Australia (ADAC) received a letter from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet | Croakey blog, Australia