Daily news - 1st April 2019

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UK news

Taskforce plan over Scotland's record drug deaths

Ministers are to assemble a taskforce to tackle the rising number of drug deaths in Scotland | BBC, UK

NHS Lothian chief warns proposed health service cuts will lead to ‘premature deaths’

Proposals to cut more than £2.3m from drugs and alcohol support services across Edinburgh will “contribute to premature deaths”, the region’s top public health consultant has warned | Edinburgh News, UK

Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families indicators 2019

'Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families' indicator data used to track progress in tackling disadvantages affecting families’ and children’s outcomes. [Chapter 5 considers parental drug and alcohol dependency] | DWP, UK

More adults seeking support for alcoholic parents

The number of adults seeking help to cope with an alcoholic parent has tripled over five years, according to a leading charity | BBC, UK

Testing kit or ban? How universities are tackling student drug use

Student drug use is rising. Some universities are using harm reduction techniques – others are clamping down altogether | Guardian, UK

19/23 Cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Webinar. We are holding webinars to support applications to this funding opportunity. The deadline for applications is 1pm, 31 July 2019 | NIHR, UK

Pregabalin/Lyrica reclassified to a class C drug

A prescription drug linked to 33 deaths in 2017 in Northern Ireland is to be made a class C drug | BBC, UK

Polling Statistics from the Centre for Social Justice’s Cannabis: The Case Against Legislation

In December 2018, the think tank the Centre for Social Justice commissioned a national poll through YouGov which asked 1,646 respondents whether they had previously used cannabis | Volte Face, UK

Smoking: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2019 to Question 229719, what the most effective smokingcessation aids are; and what steps the Government is taking to promote those aids | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of NHS spending is allocated to drug and alcohol rehabilitation services | They work for you, UK

Blenheim and Humankind merge to become national provider of health and social care services

Following the announcement of their intention to merge in November 2018, northern-based health and social care charity Humankind and London-based alcohol and drug charity Blenheim CDP have today merged to form a national organisation focused on addressing health and social inequalities across the country | Humankid, UK

Picking up the pieces: caring as a result of somebody else's substance use

When there is a drug or alcohol related crisis in a family, it tends to be women who pick up the pieces. This survey is exploring why. It asks about the experience of women caring for someone as a result of drug and alcohol use, and aims to establish what can be done to better support them. If you consider yourself to have a careering role towards someone affected by substance use please fill in our survey. Otherwise please do share it widely | Adfam, UK

Knife crime: More stop and search powers for police

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is making it easier for officers to search people without reasonable suspicion in places where serious violence may occur | BBC, UK

24 Hours In Police Custody: Drugs 'principal driver' of violence

A detective who helped foil a multi-million pound drugs operation said trade in banned substances was the "principal driver" of violence | BBC, UK

Vaping: Newport shops sell products to underage teens

Vaping products were illegally sold to underage teenagers in half of all shops tested in one Welsh city as part of a BBC Wales investigation | BBC, UK

Decriminalise drugs, says Manchester council leader - warning arrests are having 'no impact' on spice crisis

Sir Richard Leese says it's time for us to 'wake up as a nation' and change tack | Manchester Evening News, UK

Why North East academic says banning legal highs just made the problem worse

Durham expert warns MPs that the UK faces a 'national emergency' with drug deaths rising | Chronicle, UK

Why Robert Garrigus's marijuana ban raises further questions about PGA Tour's drug policy

Can you smell that? Can you whiff it seeping from behind the caddyshack? An obnoxious puff of freshly cut grass snaking its way from behind the 18th green? | Independent, UK

UVF searches: Six charged with drug offence after PSNI operation

Six people have been charged with drug offences after a police operation into the criminal activities of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in east Belfast | BBC, UK

Suffolk cannabis farm gardeners 'bottom of drugs chain'

Two cannabis "gardeners" tending a £1m drugs factory were "expendable" links in a criminal network, a court heard | BBC, UK

Brothers who ran £2.5m drugs gang with their mother jailed

Eight members of a family-run drugs gang who supplied up to £2.5m worth of cocaine have been jailed | BBC, UK

Trio jailed for drug and driving offences in Carlisle

Two drug dealers took police on a high-speed chase the wrong way through rush-hour traffic while a five-year-old child was in the car | BBC, UK

Ant and Dec ‘almost split’ over McPartlin’s drink-driving conviction

Ant McPartlin's drink-driving conviction nearly split up his partnership with Declan Donnelly and forced the pair to talk about their feelings and "deep things", it has been revealed | ITV, UK

Llangollen priest to bless beer for 'real ale train'

A real ale steam train event will boast the holiest beer on Saturday - after it is blessed by a priest | BBC, UK


International news

After long delays, the Irish government has finally found a medicinal cannabis supplier

The Irish government has found a cannabis supplier in Denmark which can import to Ireland | Journal, Ireland

Warning issued about counterfeit alcohol after illegal factory uncovered in Co Louth

Gardaí said factory produce could have caused loss to exchequer of €25 million | Irish Times, Ireland

E-cigarettes should be treated as a normal consumer good, industry says

Electronic cigarettes should be seen as a normal consumer product and not be regulated under the Tobacco Products Directive, according to Giovanni Carucci, vice president EU affairs at British American Tobacco (BAT) | Euractiv, Belgium

Next-generation single-dose antidotes for opioid overdoses

The U.S. opioid epidemic is being driven by an unprecedented surge in deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opiates | EurekAlert, USA

Medical marijuana oil bill clears Georgia Senate

A bill that would allow the in-state production and sale of low-potency medical marijuana oil has passed the Georgia Senate, just two days after the proposal was limited significantly in committee | AP, USA

Research uncovers crucial receptor involved in response to fast-acting antidepressants

Effective treatment of clinical depression remains a major mental health issue, with roughly 30 percent of patients who do not respond to any of the available treatments. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have discovered a crucial receptor called mGlu2 that is critical to the mechanism of fast-acting antidepressants such as ketamine when used to treat depression | News Medical, USA

Why The Latest Fentanyl Surge Is Hitting Some Communities Harder Than Others

The powerful opioid fentanyl is cheap to produce and can yield hefty profits. It is now replacing or being added to heroin, cocaine and even meth — and the overdose death rate is soaring | npr, USA

We Need More Focus on How the Drug War Attacks Parents of Color

It would be hard to dispute that the War on Drugs, instigated by President Nixon in 1971, has deliberately targeted lower-income communities and communities of color | Filter Magazine, USA

If cannabis is legal, should drug driving laws change?

Canberrans who smoke a joint and drive the next day could face the same penalties as the drunkest drivers, even if the drug is legalised, an ACT parliamentary inquiry has heard | SMH, Australia

New system to crack down on doctor shopping and opioid misuse

The ACT now has a real-time prescription monitoring system in a bid to curb the misuse of controlled drugs such as opioids | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Duncan Selbie Friday Message

This week our CEO's message includes the latest prevalence estimates for opiate and crack use, the work community pharmacies do to deliver sexual health services and the alcohol treatment capital fund for 2019-20 | PHE blog, UK

Ian Hamilton: Reclassifying pregabalin and gabapentin only moves the problem onto other drugs

The restriction of gabapentinoids will simply shift the same problems onto another set of substances, says Ian Hamilton | BMJ blog, UK

The Government’s Arguments Against Drug Consumption Rooms Have Fallen, One by One

We have recently seen some welcome developments in Government drug policy:  the Home Office now approves drug safety testing, is exploring diversion schemes, and backs heroin assisted treatment – with Glasgow set to open a clinic this summer | Transform blog, UK

Keep out of reach of children—the case for increasing the legal age for tobacco purchase to 21

Increasing the legal age for tobacco purchase should be combined with other measures to reduce smoking rates in young people | BMJ blog, UK

Drug trips, not broken hips: let later life be the age of irresponsibility

Surely surrendering to hedonism rather than misery would be better in a care home | Guardian, UK