Daily news - 10th September 2018

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UK news

Public Health England and Drinkaware launch Drink Free Days

Two thirds of regular drinkers say that cutting down on their drinking is harder than improving diet or exercise | PHE and Drinkaware, UK

Middle-aged should have 'drink-free' days, say campaigners

A new campaign is urging people between the ages of 45 and 65 to have regular "drink-free" days | BBC, UK

Two festivalgoers critically ill after suspected ecstasy overdose

A number of other people at the Reminisce festival in St Helens have also been taken to hospital, police said | Guardian, UK

Scottish ministers to hear arguments for medicinal use of cannabis

Activists from Medicinal Cannabis Reform Scotland are to meet with senior officers from Police Scotland, representatives of public health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick, and the NHS in Holyrood later this month | National, UK

Drug Deaths

To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking in response to the rising number of drug deaths | They work for you, UK

Families of addicts plea for changes to Scotland's drug policy

Scotland's drug policy must be reformed to save lives, with addicts given health care and support rather than being sent to prison, according to families grieving loved ones who have died due to drug addiction | The National, UK

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that medicinal cannabis products be moved out of Schedule 1 and into Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, how long it will take to reclassify the medicinal cannabis oil used by Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell... | They work for you, UK

Naloxone will help police save lives

Young constables tend to have role models among their colleagues. I certainly did when I worked in New Mills. One of them was a grey haired PC called Tony O’Brien | LEAP, UK

Seven children a week in NI A&Es with drug overdoses

Hundreds of children have been admitted to A&Es across Northern Ireland with drug overdoses in the last 18 months, UTV can reveal | ITV, UK

Alcohol and the risk of pneumonia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

[Open access] A systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the magnitude of the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in adults was undertaken | BMJ open, UK

Not enough is known about foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), a condition that is often misdiagnosed or missed completely | Sky News, UK

The Children’s Inquiry Report Launch

On Wednesday 12th September 2018, Volteface will be releasing The Children’s Inquiry, a seminal report that examines how UK cannabis policies and laws are impacting on the very people who they aim to protect- children and young people | Volte Face, UK

Love lager – but want to drink less? Adrian Chiles’s guide to great alcohol-free beers

The broadcaster is trying to moderate his drinking, so who better to sample the growing range of low- and no-alcohol brews? | Guardian, UK

'My safe little town isn't safe any more': the toll of the county lines drug trade

Sam, 16, was sucked into drug trafficking in Oxfordshire and ended up being stabbed 13 times | Guardian, UK

Job cuts blamed for drugs 'epidemic' in Welsh jails

The number of drug finds in Welsh prisons has gone up by 475% in the past five years, according to new figures | BBC, UK

Council’s vaping project with British American Tobacco labelled ‘a disgrace’

Birmingham criticised by health campaigners over tie-in that breaches established guidelines | Guardian, UK

Hampshire County Council tobacco pension investment under fire

A council is facing criticism after continuing to invest its pension funds in cigarette manufacturing, despite running anti-smoking campaigns | BBC, UK

A third of retailers in North Yorkshire sold cigarettes to teens

An undercover test survey by a trading standards team found 16 out of 47 retailers in North Yorkshire sold cigarettes to a 15-year-old | Northern Echo, UK

Cocaine and heroin worth £27m found in vegetable lorry

Class A drugs discovered hidden among onions and tomatoes at Lincolnshire port | Guardian, UK

Drug dealer jailed after offering credit to 13-year-old

A drug dealer who set up a credit system for children as young as 13 to buy cannabis and cocaine has been jailed | BBC, UK

Paisley drugs raid recovers £500,000 worth of cannabis

Cannabis with an estimated street value of half a million pounds has been recovered from a property in Paisley | BBC, UK

Drug dealer Alan Yeomans' seized valuables up for auction

Thousands of pounds worth of artwork, watches and furniture found at a drug dealer's hidden luxury house are up for sale | BBC, UK

Man high on Monkey Dust drug arrested after using petrol pump to put out lit cigarette

Aman high on a drug known as 'Monkey Dust' has been arrested after using a petrol pump to put out a lit cigarette, police said | Telegraph, UK


International news

Rapper Mac Miller dies aged 26

Musician who was open about substance abuse died of suspected overdose | Guardian, UK

Tesla chief Elon Musk smokes marijuana on live web show

Billionaire risks further investor anger after plan to take Tesla private and false ‘pedo’ claim | Guardian, UK

Report: India Must Decriminalise Drug Use to Address Punjab Crisis

A new report - From Addict to Convict: The Working of the NDPS Act in Punjab - has called on the Indian government to decriminalise drug use, primarily as a response to an ongoing health crisis among people who use drugs in the state of Punjab | Talking Drugs, UK

Mexican police discover mass grave containing 166 human skulls thought to be linked to cartel wars

Dozens of victims discovered in pits amid widespread cartel violence in Veracruz state | Independent, UK

Kim Kardashian returns to White House urging clemency for life sentence inmate

Reality TV star meets senior White House aides for summit on prison reform | Independent, UK

Swiss nurture cannabis for medicinal use

Mention Swiss farming and images of dairy cows spring to mind - not cannabis plants | BBC, UK

Drugs in Ireland - what did we take before, what are we taking now?

For the Irish, when it comes to taking controlled substances, old habits die hard | Journal, Ireland

Harm reduction for people who use stimulants

The study includes a review of the evidence for different harm reduction strategies for stimulants and a detailed description of seven good practices in different world regions | Mainline, The Netherlands

The Differences Between British and American MDMA Users

How each great nation uses the drug | VICE, USA

The Feds Say Safe Injection Sites Are Illegal. Here Are All The Places Considering Them Anyway

The new Netflix docuseries Follow This focuses one episode on the controversial fight to open the first “safe injection site” in the US | BuzzFeed, USA

What's The Evidence That Supervised Drug Injection Sites Save Lives?

As drug-related deaths rise to record numbers, at least a dozen U.S. cities are considering opening supervised injection sites, where people can use illicit drugs with trained staff present, ready to respond in case of an overdose | NPR, USA

OxyContin Billionaire Patents New Drug for Opioid Treatment

In recent years, America’s pharmaceutical industry has taken it on the chin. Populist demagogues have savaged drug companies for “jacking up” the price of life-saving substances like insulin | Daily Intelligencer, USA

Voices for Recovery

Connect with people in recovery by reviewing the personal stories of people recovering from mental and/or substance use disorders | SAMHSA, USA

Using Cannabis to Treat the Effects of Trauma

We are all impacted by experiencing or witnessing traumatic events such as violence, accidents, and the death of loved ones. As we struggle to find ways to deal with the symptoms that can persist in the aftermath of experiencing trauma, cannabis is increasingly being hailed as a potential solution | Chakruna, USA

U.S. Bombing of Drug Labs in Afghanistan Is Counterproductive to Fighting the Taliban

The U.S. military has conducted more than 100 air strikes on opium-production facilities in Afghanistan since a major shift in counter-narcotics efforts launched in November with bombardments of 10 locations believed to be drug labs in Helmand province | Just Security, USA

The Psychological Violence of Mexico’s War on Drugs

The violence committed by Mexican police and military forces during that country’s prolonged drug war has wreaked a psychological toll at least as debilitating as the deadly acts of the drug cartels themselves, according to a study from the Mexican Center for Economic Research and Teaching | Crime Report, USA

Best Practices across the Continuum of Care for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (PDF)

This report, developed to inform Health Canada’s Federal, Provincial and Territorial Treatment Task Group, outlines the standard of service that should implemented to provide person-centred care to all people experiencing harms from opioids | CCSA, Canada

WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan pushes for mandatory rehab for meth users

The WA Opposition has reignited calls for mandatory drug rehabilitation for methamphetamine users and has accused the government of spending money on trains instead of patients | West Australian, Australia

Thousands of recorded drug busts in NSW never happened

Drug busts have been mistakenly double-counted for the past seven years, and some experts warn the exaggerated data might have been used to justify crackdowns on drug users and support bad policy | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Can “ultra-brief” mindfulness reduce alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers?

Scientific interest in mindfulness has grown exponentially since the 1980s. Clinical researchers have been asking whether these practices—which are based on ancient Eastern (Buddhist) contemplative traditions—can be used as psychotherapeutic techniques to ameliorate depression, chronic pain, and addictive behaviour | OUP blog, UK

Shisha addiction may be stronger than cigarette addiction

Smoking shisha is very popular, particularly among young people. And despite what many people believe, it is highly addictive. In fact, a drug commonly prescribed to help people quit smoking cigarettes doesn’t seem to work for shisha smokers, our latest study shows | Conversation, UK

I’m fed up with people criticising new mums for drinking alcohol – it’s sexist, and it’s unscientific

Misinformation and confusion around this topic is partly responsible for low breastfeeding rates, and certainly puts more unnecessary pressure on new mothers | Independent voices, UK

Prisoners need drug and alcohol treatments but AA programs aren’t the answer

Prisons and drug use are closely linked. Two-thirds of Australian prisoners report using illicit drugs in the 12 months before they entered prison, compared with 12% of the generalpopulation in the previous 12 months. Around half of prisoners are likely to meet the criteria for substance dependence | Conversation, Australia

Drugs statistics take the truth serum

News emerged this week that Australians are not drinking nearly as much as they once did. We consume half as much beer as we did in 1974-75, when Australia had a car industry and Newtown had a rugby league team. Consumption of alcoholic drinks per head is at its lowest since 1962 | SMH editorial, Australia