Daily news - 17th April 2019

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UK news

‘We are still obsessed by this idea of abstinence’: A critical analysis of UK news media representations of proposals to introduce drug consumption rooms in Glasgow, UK

Drug consumptions rooms (DCRs) are a well-established and evidence-based harm reduction response to drug use. Recently, a consortium led by health services in Glasgow, United Kingdom (UK), proposed piloting a DCR. In this article, we examine how the proposals were represented in news media reporting, and the possible effects of such reporting | IJDP, UK

Spice in Sheffield: the city’s drive to tackle the highly addictive drug

How a joined-up approach is helping to reduce the number of people found comatose in the city centre | Guardian, UK

More than 1 million older motorists admit to driving while drunk, according to survey

North East has highest breathalyser test failure rate for over 50s at 18.5 per cent, analysis shows | Independent, UK

Positive impact of new community outreach service

A new community outreach service to screen for and treat Hepatitis C amongst substance misuse clients in the community, is having a positive impact with an increase in the number of people testing for the illness and receiving treatment | NHS East Sussex Healthcare, UK

City Roads Farewell Celebration

Please join us in saying goodbye to City Roads and celebrating all the people who made the last 41 years possible. Wed, 8 May 2019, 13:00 BST. Cranstoun City Roads, 352-358 City Road, London EC1V 2PY | Cranstoun, UK

My Lightbulb Moment: a collection of short films from the Recovery Street Festival

Join us to watch six powerful and deeply personal films that each tell the story of someone’s recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, and hear from some of those involved in making them. King's College, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, 16 De Crespigny Park SE5 8AF. Thu, 16 May 2019 17:00 – 19:30 BST | NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, UK

Help to improve care for people with alcohol problems in south London - Thursday 2 May 2019, 10:30am – 3:30pm

Free event. Would you like to find out more about the work being done to help treat and support people with alcohol problems? Would you like to contribute to shaping future research in this area? You are invited to a morning of presentations with researchers and clinicians based in south London who are investigating how to improve alcohol services and treatment | NIHR, UK

SHAAP/SARN 'Alcohol Occasionals' series 2019: Thursday 25th April 2019 - 12:30pm

Free event. Exploring the role of food and nutrition for women in recovery from alcohol and substance misuse | SHAAP/SARN, UK

MCA Legacy Essay Competition

This year's topic is: ‘He who knows alcohol knows medicine.’ Discuss | MCA, UK

Neck Oil

Complaint summary: “​The can is in bright colours, and the name Neck Oil, implies that it is to be drunk "down in one", ie necked, this [sic] in line with the colours is clearly aimed at the younger market and encouraging irresponsible consumption” | Portman Group, UK

Nightclub in Birmingham warned over laughing gas sales

Stories in Birmingham came "very close" to having its licence suspended, but was issued an "informal warning" | BBC, UK

Southampton begging fines removed by council

Southampton City Council said: "Few of these fixed penalties were paid and they did little to change the behaviour of these individuals." | BBC, UK

Police find heroin stash hidden under Christmas gifts

Two men have been jailed after police seized £350,000 of drugs, including a haul hidden under Christmas presents | BBC, UK


International news

Why block the promise of a psychedelic renaissance?

In the midst of a mental health crisis, outdated legislation is hampering research into the most promising treatment development for 30 years | Open Democracy, UK

Drug treatment statistics from the Health Research Board show an increase in cocaine use

Cases requiring treatment for cocaine use increased by nearly one third within a year according to the latest report from the Health Research Board | RTe, Ireland

High levels of alcohol intoxication and strong support for restrictive alcohol policies among music festival visitors

Alcohol intoxication is associated with problems such as violence, injuries, drunk driving and sexual risk-taking, and music festivals are considered a high-risk setting for high levels of alcohol consumption. This study investigates intoxication levels, drinking habits, and opinions on alcohol use and alcohol policies among visitors at one of the largest music festivals in Sweden in 2017 | Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, Sweden

Cannabis policy and legislation in the Nordic countries

How is cannabis use controlled in the legal systems in the Nordic countries? How do the Nordic legal systems see cannabis as a drug, and how does this affect the cannabis user? The Nordic Welfare Centre´s new report looks at the similarities and differences in legislation and the ways in which the law is enacted in legal practice, police work, and other arenas | Nordic Welfare Centre, Finland and Sweden

An analysis of post-mortem toxicology practices in drug-related death cases in Europe

The objective of this report is to provide an updated analysis of the post-mortem toxicology practices of drug-related deaths (DRD) in Europe and to discuss the effect of these practices on the monitoring of DRDs. It is based on the results of a project that consisted of two components: a scoping study and a mapping survey | EMCDDA, Portugal

Call for expression of interest in membership of the Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA

This call is addressed to scientists who wish to be considered for membership of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee. The official text of the call for expressions of interest was published in the Official Journal and is available here | EMCDDA, Portugal

Call for expression of interest for risk assessment experts

Call for expression of interest for inclusion on a list of experts to be used by the Director of the EMCDDA to extend the Scientific Committee for the purposes of ensuring a balanced assessment of the risks posed by new psychoactive substances | EMCDDA, Portugal

Mindful body awareness training during treatment for drug addiction helps prevent relapse

A novel type of body awareness training helps women recover from drug addiction, according to new research from the University of Washington. People in the study made marked improvement, and many improvements lasted for a year | Medical Xpress, USA

Study suggests college students end up in vicious cycle of substance abuse, poor academics, stress

One negative behavior such as substance abuse or heavy alcohol drinking can lead college students toward a vicious cycle of poor lifestyle choices, lack of sleep, mental distress and low grades, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York | Medical Xpress, USA

Indicators of despair rising among Gen X-ers entering middle age

Indicators of despair--depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse--are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research | Medical Xpress, USA

The New Report on Kratom Overdoses Is Scary But Kind of Misleading

Almost all of those who tested positive for kratom also tested positive for other substances | TONIC, USA

US Buprenorphine Prices: A Complete List

To accompany Alison Knopf’s April 16 article about buprenorphine in light of federal charges against Suboxone manufacturer Indivior, Filterobtained the following list of US prices for different buprenorphine formulations and brands | Filter Magazine, USA

The Justice Gap: Trump Budget Attack on Legal Aid Orgs Targets Drug Users, HIV-Positive People

Many of the policies peddled by the Trump administration sound like a broken record. A case in point is its treatment of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a publicly funded nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 that helps to ensure that low-income people have civil legal representation | Filter Magazine, USA

Legislation to raise tobacco purchasing age doesn't go far enough

The American Heart Association issued the following statement regarding the Stopping Consumption of Tobacco by Teens (SCOTT Act), a bill to raise the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 nationwide | Medical Xpress, USA

How Changing Tobacco Laws Can Save Thousands Of Lives, Billions Of Tax Dollars

Today we have a massive and growing public health challenge that is substantially shortening the lives of millions, negatively impacting the health of our children, and adding an astounding $170 billion in health care costs to our nation annually | Forbes, USA

Smelling your favorite food or beverage could curb cigarette cravings

Struggling to curb that cigarette habit? A new study has found that people trying quit smoking may benefit from inhaling pleasant-smelling aromas like peppermint, chocolate, or vanilla | News Medical, USA

Three New Jersey men were charged in Manhattan with setting up a virtual storefront in a hidden corner of the internet that sold illicit drugs | NYTimes opinion, USA

The implementation of overdose prevention sites as a novel and nimble response during an illegal drug overdose public health emergency

[Open access] Drug-related overdoses were declared a public health emergency in British Columbia, Canada in April, 2016 facilitating the scale-up of responses including rapid sanctioning and implementation of overdose prevention sites (OPSs) | IJDP, Canada

National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection (NOPSAD) 2018

On a snapshot day in 2018, just over 50,000 clients received pharmacotherapy treatment for their opioid dependence at 2,852 dosing points across Australia. There were 3,168 authorised prescribers of opioid pharmacotherapy drugs | AIHW, Australia

The number one drug addiction driving Australians into treatment

More than 130,000 Australians were treated for alcohol or drug problems in 2017-18 at publicly funded clinics, amounting to one in every 166 people, the latest national data shows | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Medicinal cannabis enquiries up, doctors willing if informed

The first ever comprehensive and independent survey of New Zealand medical professionals’ views on medicinal cannabis shows growing enquiries from patients and a strong willingness from physicians to prescribe products from next year, providing they have sufficient information | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Reducing demand for drugs in prison

Last week, I looked at the strategy’s first objective: restricting supply, this week’s post focused on the second, and arguably the most difficult, reducing demand for drugs in prison | Russell Webster blog, UK

How small changes can help us support more people

Sometimes the biggest, most revolutionary changes are achieved by changing just one small thing at a time | Addaction blog, UK