Daily news - 8th April 2019

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UK news

Seema Kennedy replaces pharmacy minister Steve Brine

Seema Kennedy has been announced as the new public health and primary care minister, with responsibility for pharmacy, replacing Steve Brine | Chemist and Druggist, UK

Fresh guidance to fill 'information vacuum' on new cannabis products for medicinal use

A clinical review, published on Saturday 6 April 2019 for the BMJ, provides new interim advice for doctors and clinicians in prescribing cannabis-based products and cannabinoids to treat certain conditions | EurekAlert, UK

Mother of girl with epilepsy has supply of medical cannabis confiscated

Campaigner Emma Appleby was stopped with £4,500 worth of cannabis oil for her daughter | Guardian, UK

Woman tells police she is resorting to growing own cannabis after NHS refuses to pay for her prescription

A woman believed to have received the UK's first-ever private prescription for medicinal cannabis after a change in the law fears being arrested after being unable to pay the cost of ongoing treatment | Telegraph, UK

Police chief is letting off cannabis users as warnings are ‘disastrous for their life chances’

West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson told MPs he made the change to the force's policy on cannabis because he does not want to 'criminalise lots of young people' | The Sun, UK

Drug Deaths (Task Force)

To ask the First Minister whether she will provide details of the scope and remit of the Scottish Government’s new task force to tackle drug deaths | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Death

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whats steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of alcohol related deaths (a) generally and (b) among young females | They work for you, UK

Harmful “Short Fills” a Risk to E-Cigarette Users, Warns Expert

Mark Fawcett, an e-cigarette expert, has warned users of e-cigarettes that a legal loophole could mean some “short fills” are harmful | TLE, UK

Revealed: Council shelves study into safe consumption rooms after restructure

The Labour Party has backed the policy at national level, but progress appears to have stalled in Bristol | Bristol Post, UK

Leading charity calls for new approach to addiction

Addiction NI has called for government departments and communities across the region to unite in a renewed effort to end the harm being felt in many families and communities from alcohol and drug use | ITV, UK

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

The purpose of this survey is to paint a better picture of what it is like to support someone with drug or alcohol problems. A clearer understanding of the issue will help the charity and social sector to effectively support you | Adfam, UK

Recovery Games

The Recovery Games date is set for a 6th Year on the 16th August 2019- Aspire is currently looking to raise money for this year’s event we would love people to get involved in raising money for this event and also join us in a key landmark event in the Recovery Calendar which was recently presented at the UN at the 62nd CND event in Austria | Aspire, UK

Hospital smokers told to 'buzz off'

Buzzers have been installed to deter people from smoking outside two Cardiff hospital | BBC, UK

Woman charged after police seize monkey, guns and drugs during Dublin raid

A woman has been charged after a monkey, guns and a large haul of drugs were seized during a raid in Dublin | Independent, UK

Dutch flower lorry cannabis smuggler jailed

A man has been jailed for his part in trying to smuggle £1.4m worth of cannabis into the UK in the back of a Dutch flower lorry | BBC, UK


International news

Up in smoke: The countries where vaping is illegal, banned or restricted including Thailand and Mexico

The latest countries to have banned vaping include Vietnam and the Philippines | The Sun, UK

Ukraine president passes drug test demanded by electoral challenger

Ukraine's president has undergone drug and alcohol tests demanded by a comedian who is challenging him in a runoff election this month - passing both, according to preliminary results | Telegraph, UK

The Truth About Drug Dealers Lacing Cocaine with Fentanyl

Authorities have spoken out about the threat of fentanyl in recreational drugs, but there's reason to believe their claims are overblown | VICE, UK

Global Ayahuasca Community Joins Together to Defend Ceremony Leader

She knew the police would be coming for her. They’d already arrested the woman who had received a bottle of ayahuasca from her curandero in Peru and the individual who was planning to lead a ceremony with the ayahuasca | Talking Drugs, UK

Romania cocaine: Drugs wash ashore along Black Sea coastline

Police in Romania are searching along the country's Black Sea coast after 130kg (286lb) of cocaine was found washed ashore | BBC, UK

‘Air Cocaine’ smugglers given long sentences by French court

Seven jailed for role in attempt to smuggle 680kg of drug from Dominican Republic | Guardian, UK

Incredible untold story of how a teenage heroin addict and drug smuggler turned his life around and became the boss of Australia's biggest prison system - where he spent nearly three years behind bars

Michael Coutts-Trotter's first unavoidable task as the new head of Australia's largest prison system was to tell his staff he had once been a heroin addict and drug supplier who spent almost three years in jail | Mail Online, UK

Israel Decriminalizes Adult Use Cannabis During CannaTech Conference In Tel Aviv

New Israeli laws regarding cannabis decriminalize possession of the plant and its buds. In accordance of the new laws, the possession of a home grown marijuana plant is no longer punishable by law. Civilians found to be carrying small amounts of cannabis in public without medical authorization will now face fines rather than be subjected to criminal proceedings | Forbes, USA

Smoking pot vs. tobacco: What science says about lighting up

As more states make it legal to smoke marijuana, some government officials, researchers and others worry what that might mean for one of the country's biggest public health successes : curbing cigarette smoking | Medical Xpress, USA

Inside the Legal Struggle Over Safe Consumption Spaces

On February 5, a group of protestors gathered outside the Philadelphia offices of William McSwain, the US Attorney General for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. McSwain had just filed a complaint to declare the operations of a local nonprofit’s proposed safe consumption space (SCS) to be illegal | Filter Magazine, USA

Substance Use, Misuse and Dependence: Prevention and Treatment

Call for papers. Substance use and misuse affect people worldwide, of all ages and from all walks of life, resulting in a substantial burden of ill health and mortality, and presenting big challenges in prevention and treatment | PLOS One, USA

Shelby’s survival: Meet the dog who swallowed five bags of heroin

A beloved pet dog is lucky to be alive after swallowing five bags of heroin balloons at a South Australian park | Wset Australian, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 85: The truth deficit

When I was in Australia, my very good friend Dr Alex Wodak took me to one side and, in his typically low key, gentle manner, berated me for my attack on public health prompted by Ron Dworkin’s article on how public health messaging has taken on the mantle of moral crusading (see Blog 83) | NSP blog, UK

Smokeless tobacco products flying under the radar of regulation in many countries

Smokeless tobacco products are addictive and cause cancer, yet only a few countries have adequate policies to regulate them. As a result, the global efforts to control smokeless tobacco use are lagging behind the progress made in curbing cigarette consumption | Conversation, UK

Infections, outbreaks and going ‘back to the basics’ with SDF’s Sophie Given

Various areas around Scotland have experienced a number of outbreaks of bacterial infections related to substance use in recent years | SDF blog, UK

Sarah Markham: Do psychedelic drugs have a place in psychiatric treatment?

The last few years have witnessed a revival of interest in the clinical potential and utility of psychedelics in mental health. Psychedelics and related compounds such as LSD, psilocybin, cannabis, and ketamine can have varying and contradictory effects | BMJ opinion, UK

Fit in my 40s: the cannabis-aided workout

A CBD patch helps you relax. It’s still painful but I can’t stop laughing | Guardian, UK

It’s almost impossible to ingest opioids by accident, but misinformation has triggered a panic about the risks | NYTimes opinion, USA