Daily news - 30th October 2018

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UK news

Budget 2018: still no favour for health calls

The 2018 budget has disappointed health groups by freezing beer and spirit duties, though wine duty is set to rise in line with inflation. Most cider duties are frozen though a new duty band for cider at 6.9% to 7.5% will come into effect in February 2019 seeking to target infamous 'white ciders' | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Online gambling, cigarettes and wine hit by 'sin' taxes increase

But budget provides good news for beer and spirits drinkers with unexpected duty freeze | Guardian, UK

Westminster Hall - Drugs Policy - video

Recorded coverage of the debate in Westminster Hall on UK drugs policy, from Tuesday 23 October | BBC, UK

Rehabilitation Centres: Location

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) NHS Trusts and (b) Care Commissioning Groups on consulting local communities on the location of drug and alcohol recovery and treatment centres | They work for you, UK

Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (England) Bill

Announcement that Bill is to be read a Second time on Friday 23 November | They work for you, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: VAT

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether e-cigarettes which gain authorisation as licensed medicines from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will be taxed at the reduced rate of VAT when sold over the counter | They work for you, UK

A content analysis of alcohol content in UK television 

Exposure to audio-visual alcohol content in media is associated with subsequent alcohol use in young people, but the extent of exposure contained in UK free-to-air prime-time television has not been explored since 2010. We report an analysis of alcohol content in a sample of UK free-to-air prime-time television broadcasts in 2015 and compare this with a similar analysis from 2010 | JPH, UK

Majority of British public support legalisation of cannabis, survey reveals

The British public strongly supports the legalisation of cannabis, according to a new poll | Independent, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week

19-25 November 2018. This year the theme of Alcohol Awareness Week is ‘Change’ | Alcohol Concern, UK

Exhibition to celebrate the life of Oxfordshire teen who died after taking ecstasy

The mother of a teenager who died after taking ecstasy five years ago has opened an exhibition to celebrate her life | ITV, UK

Police make coordinated Dundee drugs raids

Police officers in Dundee have carried what they described as "one of the biggest targeted operations in recent years" | BBC, UK

‘Evil’ drug user who slashed his grandmother’s throat and stabbed her more than 40 times is jailed for life

Killer Gregory Irvin was £35,000 in debt when he went to his victim's home to ask for money | Independent, UK

Norwich drug dealer sold to undercover police officer

A man who was filmed by police selling drugs to an undercover officer has been jailed for three years | BBC, UK

Drug dealer jailed after geotaggers find heroin-filled rucksack he stashed years before

Albert Ramsay was arrested and told police he 'hadn't sold heroin for years' | Daily Record, UK


International news

Global Drug Survey 2019

This year, GDS2019 is translated into 20 languages and with partners in over 35 countries we hope this will be our biggest yet. Committed to helping people use drugs more safely regardless of the legal status of the drug and promoting honest conversation about drug use, GDS relies on the experience and expertise from people all over the world. Share your story with us and help us create change that help people have happier lives and policy that supports health well being, not punishment and stigmatization | GDS, UK

A tale of two epidemics: Drugs Harm Reduction and Tobacco Harm Reduction - Gerry Stimson

Video. A tale of two epidemics: Drugs Harm Reduction and Tobacco Harm Reduction. Speech by Professor Gerry Stimson | THR Summit, UK

E-cigarette policy should consider environmental effects, expert says

Health policy debates around electronic cigarettes should consider the health of the environment, too, according to an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health | Reuters, UK

Women are more likely to be addicted to cannabis than men, suggests study

With cannabis becoming more available and legal in certain areas, a new study has revealed that women may be enjoying the high more than men | Metro, UK

Bloodsucking flies with a taste for cannabis plants identified by scientists

Flies known to carry diseases to humans appear to have an unusual taste for cannabis – a habit that may help scientists target these pests | Independent, UK

Leading figures call for gambling advertising to be restricted

Gambling industry in Ireland is still self-regulated as volume of adverts increases | Irish Times, Ireland

DrugNet Europe

Monthly news round-up published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Any item may be reproduced provided the source is acknowledged | EMCDDA, Portugal

Trump’s New Opioid Package Is Gift-Wrapped for Indivior—At What Cost?

On October 24, President Donald Trump signed a package of bills into law aimed at addressing the overdose crisis, dubbed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act | Filter Magazine, USA

Firsthand 9/11 exposure fueling alcohol- and drug-related deaths: study

"Following a major disaster, alcohol- and drug-related mortality may be increased," said Dr. Jim Cone and colleagues of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene | Medical Xpress, USA

Can attending a top high school reduce teens' marijuana abuse?

Students from lower-income neighborhoods who attended one of five high-performing Los Angeles County high schools were less likely to abuse marijuana than those who weren't offered admission, UCLA researchers found | EurekAlert, USA

ER Patients Were Injected With Ketamine As Part Of A Clinical Study Without Their Consent

Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis conducted studies using psychoactive drugs on “agitated” patients without their consent | BuzzFeed, USA

Colorado Study Shows Lasting Benefits of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Treating Chronic PTSD

Today, the results of the largest-ever U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Psychopharmacology | MAPS, USA

Brazil Heading for Even Deadlier Drug War After Election of President Jair Bolsonaro

On October 28, repressive drug policy secured a powerful platform in Brazil, the world’s fourth-largest democracy, with the election of far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. He raked in 55 percent of the vote | Filter Magazine, USA

Health Canada considering warning labels on individual cigarettes

The federal government is considering making Canada the first country to require individual cigarettes to carry health warning labels as part of an effort to find new ways to reduce smoking levels | Globe and Mail, Canada

Australia's changing relationship with alcohol

New research from La Trobe University has revealed that 30 per cent of Australians recently reduced the quantity of their alcohol consumption and a further 29 per cent reduced the frequency of their drinking, while six per cent kicked the habit for good | Medical Xpress, Australia

Victoria's new drug rules could turn painkiller addicts into heroin users: experts

Prescription drugs are now involved in a significant number of fatal overdoses and there are fears that, under new rules to restrict them, addicts will turn to harder drugs for relief | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 73: Revelations about nicotine replacement therapy

A Freedom of Information request was sent recently to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) asking for data on reports of adverse effects of nicotine | NSP blog, UK

Addaction’s five wishes for the Autumn budget

How the government can help people who are trying to make a change | Medium, UK

Are compassion and connection the answer to drug policy debates?

Two people I have a huge amount of respect for – Suzi Gage and Harry Sumnall – have just published a paper encouraging us all to have a bit more restraint when discussing the implications of the Rat Park experiment.  Just like the original author, Bruce Alexander, did, in actual fact | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Cannabis Advocates Really Need To Stop Accusing Doctors of Being Bribed By Pharmaceutical Companies

It is and it always has been government which has prevented access to cannabis, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. This means that there has been no education at all and doctors are as poorly informed as everyone else. They don’t understand cannabis, many will not even have heard of the endocannabinoid system | Clear, UK

Black people over 9 times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched

The Home Office released statistics yesterday on the use of stop and search for the year ending 31 March 2018. While stop and search fell to a historic low of 280,000 in 2017/18 the recent trend in declining use is slowing and in some areas has reversed. | CJA blog, UK

Defies Logic: Premier Will Intensify the War Against Drugs to Make People Safer

Following the tragic drug-related deaths of two young people at the Defqon.1 festival in September, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian tasked an expert panel with investigating how to improve safety at events like music festivals | Sydney Drug Lawyers blog, Australia