Daily news - 24th September 2018

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UK news

Response to ACMD: cannabis-derived medicinal products, 21 September 2018

Home Secretary responds to the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs about scheduling of cannabis-derived medicinal products | Home Office, UK

Government announces definition for cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use will be available for specialist doctors to prescribe legally | Home Office, UK

Our right to know: How alcohol labelling is failing consumers (2018)

The AHA has launched a new report following an audit of alcohol labels in August and September 2018. In total, we reviewed 320 labels in 12 different locations across the UK. The report shows that fewer than 10% of the 320 alcohol products surveyed carry the current low-risk weekly drinking guideline of 14 units a week | AHA, UK

Booze label warnings 'years out of date'

Fewer than 10% of alcoholic drinks carry up to date health warnings, according to campaigners | BBC, UK

National County Lines Coordination Centre to crack down on drug gangs

The law enforcement response to county lines is set to be significantly strengthened as the National County Lines Coordination Centre becomes fully operational | Home Office, UK

National police unit starts work on 'county lines' drug gangs

Team in Birmingham will develop intelligence and act against serious offenders | Guardian, UK

Drugs gangs trick vapers with ‘spice’

Drug producers are capitalising on the rise of vaping to sell a liquid form of “spice” – an illegal synthetic substance nicknamed the “zombie” – to unwitting customers | Guardian, UK

Child awareness of and access to cigarettes: impacts of the point-of-sale display ban in England

[Open access]  England introduced a tobacco display ban for shops with >280 m2 floor area (‘partial ban’) in 2012, then a total ban in 2015. This study assessed whether these were linked to child awareness of and access to cigarettes | BMJ, UK

Tobacco display ban linked to drop in children buying cigarettes in shops

First analysis of policy’s effects shows 17% fall after tobacco products taken off display | Guardian, UK

Exclusive: Labour To Fund 'Alcohol Care Teams' In Every English District Hospital

Shadow health secretary laments 'underfunded' and 'overwhelmed' addiction services | Huffington Post, UK

The Pain Divide: a cross-sectional analysis of chronic pain prevalence, pain intensity and opioid utilisation in England

Our central research question was, in England, are geographical inequalities in opioid use driven by health need (pain)? To answer this question, our study examined: (1) if there are regional inequalities in rates of chronic pain prevalence, pain intensity and opioid utilisation in England; (2) if opioid use and chronic pain are associated after adjusting for individual-level and area-level confounders | BMJ open, UK

More than HALF of British military personnel 'drinking dangerously high levels of alcohol'

The Ministry of Defence figures have sparked fears that thousands of troops with mental health issues are self-medicating with booze | Mirror, UK

Naloxone training

[New dates] We can supply free naloxone – a lifesaving drug which temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose from drugs such as heroin, methadone and morphine. It can be used to help buy time and keep the casualty alive until the ambulance arrives | BDP, UK

Prescriptions or Prisons? Should we treat drug policy as a health issue?

Free event. Queen Mary University of London, Michael Mason Room, Yvonne Carter Building, 58 Turner Street, London E1 2AB, Thu 27 September 2018, 18:30 – 20:30 BST | LEAP UK, UK

NI Alcohol licensing regulations 'horrendous,' says food chief

Alcohol licensing regulations in Northern Ireland have been described as "horrendous," by the head of Food NI | BBC, UK

A pint of mindful, please: festival makes it cool to be teetotal in Glasgow

As public health concerns mount, Scotland’s first major alcohol-free festival aims to challenge stereotypes | Guardian, UK

Prisoner ran East Midlands teen drug ring from jail

A prisoner who used teenagers to run drugs across county lines has been sentenced to 10-and-a-half years | BBC, UK

BT confirm Nottingham 'drug phone' will be removed

A heavily-used payphone, thought to be involved in drug deals, is to be removed and not replaced | BBC, UK


International news

One in 20 of all deaths due to alcohol, says WHO

Report finds 13.5% of deaths among people in their 20s are linked to booze | Guardian, UK

Global status report on alcohol and health 2018

More than 3 million people died as a result of harmful use of alcohol in 2016, according a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) today. This represents 1 in 20 deaths. More than three quarters of these deaths were among men. Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5% of the global disease burden | WHO, Switzerland

Fentanyl crisis: Is China a major source of illegal drugs?

Amid tension between China and the US over trade, there's also friction over another issue - the illegal trade in synthetic drugs | BBC, UK

‘Without drug traffickers, we’d have peace’: indigenous people flee new cocaine killing

Two years after the end of the guerrilla war that killed 220,000, other players have moved in on the drugs trade, with poor local children now being bribed to take up arms | Guardian, UK

Haul of suspected drugs worth almost half a million euro made in Dublin

A man in his twenties has been arrested after Garda in Dublin seized almost half a million euro worth of drugs and a number of shotgun cartridges from a house in the city | ITV, UK

Judge: California child can take cannabis drug to school

A California kindergartner can keep bringing a cannabis-based drug used for emergency treatment of a rare form of epilepsy to her public school, a judge ruled Friday | Mail Online, UK

Nearly $18m in cocaine found in boxes of bananas donated to Texas prison

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said federal officials and US Customs and Border Protection are investigating | Guardian, UK

Florida man gets 20 YEARS in prison after he walked into a grocery store and stole 10 cartons of cigarettes worth just $600

A jury in Pensacola convicted 48-year-old Robert Spellman of burglary and grand theft in August | Mail Online, UK

Sniffer dogs given medals during retirement ceremony in Colombia

Fourteen Colombian police dogs have been given medals and diplomas as they were retired after years of service sniffing out drugs, bombs and bodies | ITV, UK

Maine investigates restaurant that gave lobsters marijuana

Restaurant owner says blowing smoke over lobsters is meant to lessen their suffering before they are dropped in boiling water | Guardian, UK

In pictures: Beer flows as Germany's Oktoberfest opens in Munich

The first beers have been served at the Oktoberfest beer festival in the German city of Munich | BBC, UK

Minister to remove cancer warnings on alcohol from Bill

Harris to introduce compromise proposals to include health warnings in Irish | Irish Times, Ireland

The connection between alcoholism and depression

According to studies, alcoholism has risen sharply in the 2000s, to the point that one such study suggests that one in eight people meet the criteria as an alcoholic | Medical Xpress, USA

Medical Marijuana Legalization in the U.S. Had No Effect on Crime Rates

Allowing access to medical cannabis does not increase crime, and in some cases, it decreases crime | FEE, USA

Children whose mothers use marijuana are more likely to try it at younger age

As prevailing regulatory and cultural shifts normalize adult medical and recreational cannabis use, identification of potential risk factors is key to preventing public health consequences, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine | EurekAlert, USA

How to Help Pain Patients Cut Back on Opioids

The search is on for safe, effective ways to taper the drugs for people in chronic pain | Scientific American, USA

Researchers successfully train employees to respond to opioid overdose, administer naloxone

A small study shows that business managers and staff—such as those running coffee shops and fast-food restaurants—can be trained to reverse opioid overdoses, which are known to occur in public bathrooms | Medical Xpress, USA

Many businesses are ill-equipped or unwilling to deal with opioid addiction even as it has driven up health costs and hurt productivity | NYTimes, USA

L'Oréal urged to rebrand 'breathtakingly insensitive' Black Opium fragrance by anti-drug group

The National Council Against Drug Abuse accuses the beauty giant of "the height of cruelty" by attempting to profit while people are losing their lives to real opium | Cosmetics Business, USA

Two-thirds of US smokers say they want to quit. This company has a new idea for helping them

Zero wants to make quitting as seamless as possible. But tackling addiction treatment is testing the limits of “disruptive” startup models | Vox, USA

Canadians think vapes are doing more harm than good: poll

Vapes and e-cigarettes may be a solid way for smokers to kick their habit, but many Canadians are worried that their prevalence could also be putting more people onto nicotine | Daily Hive, Canada

Overwhelming evidence shows hepatitis C treatment effective for people who inject drugs

Researchers are calling on an end to discriminatory health and illicit drugs policies, based on overwhelming evidence that new hepatitis C therapies are effective at curing the virus in people who inject drugs | EurekAlert, Australia

Pill testing: NSW voters back it, despite government's opposition

The state government will not budge on pill testing at festivals, but voters want it | Age, Australia

Minister would back a program to drug test Northern Territory parliamentarians

A Northern Territory minister says she would support alcohol and drug testing for parliamentarians as well as other parts of the public service | abc.net.au, Australia

‘I had no way of getting home’: Calls for changes to liquor laws

Left on the street without a wallet or phone, Olivia* had no way to get home | SMH, Australia

Alcohol licensing trusts model looked at as option for cannabis regulation

A "community cannabis licensing trust" could be a viable model for selling marijuana if its use was legalised, a researcher believes | Stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Medicinal Cannabis - acting with pace

Earlier postings by this commentator have cautioned against an expectation that “Cannabis-Derived Medicinal Products” (CDMP) would – in a matter of weeks or a few months – be made available on prescription by local GPs | Rudi Fortson blog, UK

Medical cannabis for mental illness: current use is not supported by research #MHQT

Whether cannabis or its derivatives are effective treatments for psychiatric conditions has generated a lot of interest recently. However to date, legal restrictions have largely prevented big, well-designed trials from being conducted | Mental Elf blog, UK

Blog: 2018 Recovery Street Film Festival

September is a busy month, we had World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th, my birthday (maybe not as important to everyone else but I think it’s worth mentioning) and we have Recovery Month, a month-long celebration of the work being done across the UK to support people to recover from drug and alcohol dependence | RSFF blog, UK

Six questions to ask yourself if you are worried about how much you drink

Nobody wakes up and decides to become dependent on alcohol. It often creeps up on us slowly over time | I news, UK

Writing your way to recovery

We all know about the self-destructive, creative genius who is also an addict, from musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse, to writers that span decades between Keats and Dylan Thomas. But how do we direct the restless need to transcend the everyday from substance abuse to something far more profound? | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Trump to host UN meeting on drug policy: Veneer of consensus masks deep disagreement on global drug policy

On September 24, President Trump will begin his appearance at the UN General Assembly by hosting an event on the “World Drug Problem.” Only delegates of those UN Member States that have signed a document circulated by the Trump administration—a “Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem”—will be invited to attend | IDPC blog, UK

South African court frees cannabis from colonial and apartheid past

ruling by the South African Constitutional Court opens the way for decriminalising private use of cannabis, locally known as “dagga” | Conversation, UK

How cannabis equity can help make up for the racism of the War on Drugs

As Canada legs it toward Legalization Day, calls for cannabis amnesty have gotten progressively louder as people wonder why a half-million Canadians should continue being punished with criminal records for something that’s no longer a crime | Globe and Mail opinion, Canada

Stigmatising Herald Sun coverage undermines reporting on impacts of homelessness

Car park junkie den metres from Parliament’ screams the front page of Melbourne’s Herald Sun (September 19) | AOD MediaWatch, Australia

My Friendship With A Heroin User Showed Me Just How Judgemental I Was

On Wednesday, readers of the Herald Sun were confronted with a cover image of two men injecting heroin into their arms in the corner of a CBD parking lot | Ten Daily, Australia

A compelling case for pushing pill testing

Summer is the high point of the music festival calendar. Hundreds of thousands of revellers spend hundreds of millions of dollars, supporting an industry of ten of thousands of workers and countless artists | Age editorial, Australia