Daily news - 9th April 2019

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UK news

Sentencing offenders with mental health conditions or disorders consultation

The Sentencing Council has launched a consultation on its proposed guideline on sentencing offenders with mental health conditions or disorders. It has included Substance misuse disorders in the new consultation document (PDF) | Sentencing Council, UK

Criminals with dyslexia could get more lenient sentences under new guidelines 

Criminals with a wide range of mental health conditions and learning difficulties could receive more lenient sentences under guidelines being issued to judges and magistrates... Another factor that could be relevant is whether they sought appropriate treatment or care for their condition, or whether they exacerbated it by drinking alcohol or taking drugs | Telegraph, UK

Hepatitis C deaths fall by 16 per cent between 2015 and 2017

Deaths from serious hepatitis C related liver disease fell from 380 to 319, thanks to new curative treatments. But while England has exceeded the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target to reduce hepatitis C related mortality by 10% by 2020, challenges still exit to eliminate the disease in this country | PHE, UK

MRSA Research in Bristol

The latest issue of Eurosurveillance, Europe's journal on infectious diseases, features recent research into the prevalence of MRSA among people who inject drugs in "the Bristol clade" | BDP, UK

Alert: Wound botulism outbreak among people who inject drugs in Scotland

Four cases of wound botulism have recently been identified in Scotland | SDF, UK

'I'm just trying to save my daughter's life'

Campaigner Emma Appleby travelled to the Netherlands to purchase medical cannabis for her daughter Teagan, who has a rare and severe form of epilepsy causing up to 300 seizures a day | BBC, UK

'Sadly these people need these medicines now'

MPs should be ashamed that prescriptions for medicinal cannabis were not being honoured, said Sir Mike Penning | BBC, UK

Online cannabis oils contain dangerous amounts of psychoactive THC

Although specialist doctors registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) have been allowed to prescribe cannabis-derived medicines since November 2018, a lack of research into their effects is leaving patients open to buying unlicensed products, sometimes containing over 400 times the legal limit of certain key ingredients | News Medical, UK

Teen died in Premier Inn after taking three ecstasy 'Punisher' pills before under-18s rave at Lakota

Jackson Gibbons, 15, had travelled to Bristol with a friend for a party at Lakota nightclub on April 2 last year | Bristol Post, UK

Lloyd's of London calls time on drink and drugs

For most workers, telling them they can't roll into the office stinking of alcohol or high on drugs is unnecessary - because it's taken as read | BBC, UK

Exhibition: Brilliant Visions: Mescaline, Art, Psychiatry

1 May – 31 August 2019, London. Brilliant Visions presents drawings and paintings by Surrealist artists who took part in the Guttman- Maclay mescaline experiments of the 1930s. Julian Trevelyan, Basil Beaumont and Herbrand Williams are among the artists featured next to archival materials from the Bethlem Museum’s collection. This exhibition provides an insight into the first era of research into psychedelics and mental states | Bethlem Museum of the Mind, UK

Microdosing Survey Study

Survey - Thank you for your interest in the Microdosing Survey Study - a web-based study to assess the subjective effects of microdosing psychedelic substances | ICL, UK

Psychedelic Ceremony Study

Survey - Welcome to the Psychedelic¹ Ceremony Study - a scientific research project on the psychological effects of guided psychedelic and plant medicine use | ICL, UK

'Cuckooing' drugs clampdown expanded into Aberdeen

A clampdown on drugs dealers using vulnerable people as suppliers in what is known as "cuckooing" is being expanded into Aberdeen from Aberdeenshire | BBC, UK

Exclusive: Boat race 'is ignoring calls for drugs tests'

Boat Race organisers stand accused of ignoring calls from British Rowing to introduce drugs testing to the event | Telegraph, UK


International news

Therapy relationships that work 2: Elements of the alliance

Second of four bulletins recapping 16 reviews for the American Psychological Association featuring expert advice and amalgamations of research findings on different aspects of the client-therapist relationship. This second bulletin focuses on major elements which coalesce into the recovery-promoting bond between client and therapist. “Essential reading” Dr Luke Mitcheson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

How a mother’s search for the truth about America’s opioid crisis reached the White House

‘It’s clear my daughter died because of these drugs coming through our border,’ Susan Stevens said in Washington. But, as Eli Saslow discovers, nothing about the death of her daughter is clear | Independent, UK

Australian Instagram personalities found to be under influence of alcohol industry

VicHealth says alcohol industry’s use of social media is ‘underhanded’ and meant to influence young people | Guardian, UK

'I know I wouldn’t be here without it' - recovering addict says secondary treatment saved her life

Laura, who completed a Tabor Group secondary treatment programme after serving time for drugs offences, also said she has no doubt that the €4.8m expansion of the Tabor Group’s Fellowship House treatment facility on Spur Hill will save more lives | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Clinical review offers advice for doctors in prescribing cannabinoids for certain conditions

A clinical review, published today (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 | News Medical, USA

Mom With Stage 4 Cancer Uses Cannabis Oil For Self-Treatment

A mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Instead of opting for chemotherapy, she chose to self-treat with cannabis oil. Doctors were surprised at how her condition improved drastically after her diagnosis suggested that she only had a few weeks to live | Medical Daily, USA

Debate over proposed safe injection sites in the state

At Insite in Vancouver, men and women bring their own drugs, get them inspected and 500 a day inject themselves in one of a dozen booths. If someone overdoses, medical staff can apply naloxone or oxygen at the first government-approved safe injection site in North America, established in 2003. Europe has had them since the mid-80s | NJTV, USA

He traded drugs with an 18-year-old who died. Is he a murderer?

Nathan Windham walked into the courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and a scruffy beard | The News & Observer, USA

To Address Addiction, Confront Racism in Our Health and Justice Systems

It’s widely documented that decades of punitive criminal justice and drug policies have led to the US becoming the world’s leading incarcerator | Filter Magazine, USA

Amyl nitrite: Findings on use and harms from Drug Trends

Dr Amy Peacock presented at a public meeting on Thursday 31st January in Sydney organised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to consult on regulatory options for appropriate access and safety controls for alkyl nitrites | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Reaction to Prison Drug Strategy

The HM Prison & Probation Service’s Prison Drug Strategy was published this week and whilst the distraction of Brexit could be an excuse for the lack of attention it has had, I fear that even in a Brexit-free parallel universe we wouldn’t see much public commentary on this important area of criminal justice strategy | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

The Trip Report 08/04/2019

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

The Desperate Rearguard Action the British Medical Establishment is Fighting Against Cannabis

"Clinical trials are the medical establishment’s ‘kool aid’. They are a panacea for doctors’ ethical and clinical decision making. if anything goes wrong, if a doctor has prescribed a medicine which has been through the clinical trials procedure, they can wash their hands, disavow any responsibility and move on to their next ‘doctoring-by-numbers’ appointment | Clear blog, UK

Myth and misunderstanding around vaping

I am, in my bones, a law-abiding sort of chap. I was brought up to respect the law and in turn have done the same with my children. I have also spent much of my medical career doing my best to help smokers quit their habit using all the methods available to me | Hippocratic Post, UK

Does legalizing marijuana help or harm Americans? Weighing the statistical evidence

The legalization of marijuana has been a topic of contention and confusion for both sides of the debate | Conversation, USA

A new study will answer whether microdosing LSD is placebo or medicine

People say wild things about microdosing LSD. They say it makes them smarter, and happier, and more fulfilled. Heck, it’s all-but common knowledge now that Silicon Valley tech people microdose to think more creatively and alter human history at a faster rate | Rooster blog, USA

Law enforcement are not drug experts

“No compassion, no second chances for the drug dealer” insisted Glenn Weir in a recent Herald Sun story, just one of many dehumanising statements leveled at people involved with drugs by the Assistant Commissioner throughout the article | AOD Media Watch, Australia