Daily news - 15th April 2019

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UK news

NHSCC’s position on public health commissioning

Over recent months there has been a renewed focus at the national level around commissioning of public health with a consideration of commissioning responsibility being mentioned in both the NHS Long Term Plan and in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s proposals for possible changes to legislation | NHSCC, UK

Police chief says failed drug laws could create ‘narco state’ Britain

[Free registration may be required] Britain’s failed approach to tackling the drug trade could lead to the formation of “narco states”, a police chief is warning | The Times, UK

Cannabis trade body will also focus on clinical trials

The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) has announced plans to extend its remit to focus on clinical trials | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Teagan Appleby's medicinal cannabis to be returned

Medicinal cannabis that was confiscated from the mother of a girl with severe epilepsy is to be returned | BBC, UK

Patients refused NHS cannabis grow their own

[Free registration may be required] More than 200 patients denied medicinal cannabis on the NHS are starting a campaign of disobedience by illegally growing their own. They will declare their activity to the authorities and ask not to be arrested | The Sunday Times, UK

'Drug laws don't work' Experts call for radical rethink to tackle substance deaths

Three academics say Scotland must decriminalise drug possession to get the country's spiralling death rate under control | Daily Record, UK

Lord Advocate urged to provide prosecution immunity for drug consumption facility

A national body set up to combat drug use has urged Scotland’s top law officer to give the green light to plans for a safe consumption unit for addicts | Herald, UK

UK blocks fix rooms for HIV crisis

The head of a study which found Glasgow recently experienced the UK’s biggest HIV outbreak for 30 years has expressed frustration at the Home Office’s refusal to allow the opening of a drug consumption room | Scotsman, UK

Chemsex: a dangerous shortcut to intimacy

According to a recent study, Brits are more likely to take drugs before having sex than anyone else in the world | Independent UK

From rat pack to housing first

To mark their 20th anniversary, DHI are running The Vision Project. Through a series of articles, podcasts and events during 2019, they are inviting people to contribute their ideas of how society can end social exclusion over the next 20 years | RSA, UK

Leeds celebrities support Recovery Graduation

World boxing champion Josh Warrington along with his trainer-father Sean O’Hagan and Leeds Rhinos player Jack Walker, handed out certificates at the Forward Leeds Recovery Graduation on the 11 April 2019 | Forward Leeds, UK

Appearance fixation creating increase in the use of Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs)

The Juice Bar is a free and confidential service to provide accurate information, about the issues around taking Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs). As a part of the East Riding Partnership, which is run by the Alcohol and Drug Service and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, individuals can seek advice on a range of substances, including steroids and a needle exchange | ADS, UK

Voluntary researchers wanted

Mentor UK is looking for volunteers to help maintain up-to-date knowledge of drug prevention and education | Mentor, UK

Club Drug Clinic shortlisted in BMJ Awards

The awards are now in their 11th year and recognise the work that healthcare teams across the country do every day. The awards will take place on Wednesday 24 April 2019 at the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel | NHS CNWL, UK

Stirling council set up crisis group after six deaths 'linked to lethal street drugs'

Two of the deaths occurred in council houses while the other four men died in homeless accommodation | Daily Record, UK

"It's massive in Manchester": The £1 sex party drug with devastating consequences

For Patrick Ettenes, 36, the feeling induced by the drug known as 'G' became an addiction which took him to the brink | Manchester evening News, UK

Talking Horses: Kieran Shoemark praised for honesty on cocaine test

The jockey tested positive one day in autumn last year but made no attempt to claim it was a one-off and has stated a convincing commitment to changing his life | Guardian, UK

Cocaine found in greyhound called Sniffing Out as sport chiefs warn of drug spike among race dogs

Fears class A stimulant could be contributing to sudden deaths on racecourses | Independent, UK

County lines: Nine jailed for Great Yarmouth drugs gang

The leader of a county lines drug gang which "flooded" a seaside town with drugs has been jailed along with eight other members | BBC, UK

Four jailed for Southampton cannabis conspiracy

Police seized drugs worth £10,000 being transported to the city in September 2018. The group's leader, Sylwester Idziak, 30, was later arrested by armed police | BBC, UK

Serial drink-driver avoids jail 'for being a woman'

Judge Sarah Buckingham said Parry, an alcoholic who had escaped an abusive relationship, would have gone "straight down the stairs" to jail if she were a man | BBC, UK

Royal Navy sailors kicked off submarine after testing positive for cocaine

Seven sailors have been kicked off a Royal Navy submarine after testing positive for cocaine | Telegraph, UK

Whitemoor: Prisoner on Spice set himself on fire dies of blood clot

A prisoner who died from a blood clot in his lungs had set fire to himself while high on Spice three weeks earlier, an inquest heard | BBC, UK


International news

Drivers on cannabis will no longer instantly lose licence, Germany says

Those caught with one nanogram per millimetre of THC in bloodstream face medical evaluation | Independent, UK

UK man jailed for being 'guiding mind' behind Silk Road drugs site

A university dropout who was the “guiding mind” behind an online black market for illegal drugs has been jailed for five years and four months | Guardian, UK

How the War on Drugs Attacks Indigenous Culture

In an ongoing and under-publicised tragedy, indigenous peoples around the world routinely have their rights violated under the name of the global drug war | Talking Drugs, UK

Sky high: can you travel across borders with legal cannabis?

Taking legally purchased pot into a different state or country can be tricky, but it’s possible to do so safely | Guardian, UK

Psychedelic renaissance: could MDMA help with PTSD, depression and anxiety?

As Australia’s first trial for psychedelic therapy for terminally ill patients gets under way, a growing movement says it could also help other conditions | Guardian, UK

Ten proposals for a more clear-headed EU

Eurocare Swedish member - IOGT-NTO issued an appeal to politicians ahead of European Parliament elections in May this year. IOGT NTO's goal is an EU that contributes to and empowers Member States to pursue evidence-based alcohol policy as well as creates opportunities for research, knowledge exchange and cooperation in order to reduce alcohol-related harm. Here are ten concrete proposals to get us there | Eurocare, Belgium

Wary of an Opioid Epidemic, Europe Pushes Safe Sites for Drug Use

Project Solidify, a collaborative two-year-long effort started by the European Forum for Urban Security, aims to assist in the implementation and sustainability of supervised injection sites throughout Europe | Stanford Social Innovation Review, USA

The Study of “Synthetic Cannabinoids” Condemns Punitive Marijuana Laws

On April 2, at the invitation of Alex J. Krotulski, a research scientist with the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education at the nonprofit Fredric Rieders Family Foundation, I drove 45 minutes north of Philadelphia to Willow Grove, PA, for a crash course on the impact of zero-tolerance drug policy—but from a very different vantage point than I’m accustomed to | Filter Magazine, USA

Behind the Buzz: How Ketamine Changes the Depressed Patient's Brain

The anesthetic-cum-party drug restores the ability to make connections among brain cells | Scientific American, USA

Rite Aid to Stop Selling E-Cigarettes, Citing Surge in Young Users

Rite Aid, one of the country’s biggest pharmacy chains, said it would remove e-cigarettes and vaping products from all its stores over the next 90 days | NYTimes, USA

Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis - Regular Use and Cognitive Functioning (PDF)

This report on the effects of chronic cannabis use on cognitive functioning provides an update of a previous report with new research findings that validate and extend our current understanding of this issue | CCSA, Canada

New drug mix causing harder-to-revive overdoses, sparking panic in Vancouver

'The morgues are full and they've had to rent cooling trucks to store bodies' | CBC News, Canada

Legalization of cannabis sparks curiosity in people who haven’t used it in years – or ever

Cindi Phelps never imagined herself running a pot shop. She smoked weed as a teenager, but as an adult she says she became “cranky” about cannabis, endlessly lecturing her kids and judging everyone who touched the stuff | Globe and Mail, Canada

‘Alarming’ amount of new drugs on dark web: ANU study

Australians have access to mass amounts of potent drugs online, equivalent to "billions of doses" every day, according to a new study from The Australian National University (ANU). The report found "alarming" amounts of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil available on the dark web | ANU, Australia

Health groups appeal for end to cheap wine with minimum floor price

Health groups want the McGowan Government immediately to introduce a minimum floor price on alcohol to stop $3 bottles of wine but liquor stores claim it is a bandaid measure | West Australian, Australia

Police charges for drug use still falling - except for methamphetamine

Police charges for use or possession of cannabis have fallen by 70 per cent in the past decade, latest data shows | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Medical cannabis isn’t reaching NHS patients. And I’m in too much pain to wait

The government has broken its promise to make products that help with my MS available on prescription | Guardian, UK

Finally accepting those uncomfortable feelings: Simon's story

This week’s guest blog is by Club Soda member Simon Eastwood, about the various phases that he’s experienced on his quest to being alcohol-free | Club Soda blog, UK

Lynn Ruane: The overdose drug Naloxone can save lives so let's remove the barriers to accessing it

There are more deaths in Ireland as a result of overdose than road traffic accidents and many of these deaths are preventable, writes senator Lynn Ruane | Journal, Ireland