Daily news - 18th April 2019

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Enjoy the Easter break, see you again on Tuesday


UK news

Reoffenders: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to reduce re-offending rates among people with drug dependency | They work for you, UK

Prisoners' Release: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners serving sentences of six months or less who were identified as having a substance misuse need were released from custody in the quarter July to September 2018 | They work for you, UK

Prisoners: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to improve addictions services in prisons that are available to prisoners with drugdependency | They work for you, UK

Minutes available for EGM 27 March 2019

Updates on APPG DG (All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence) activity | APPG, UK

Asda offers 'free alcohol' in wrong Welsh translation

Before you empty your car boot in preparation - yes, the offer of free booze at a Torfaen supermarket really is too good to be true | BBC, UK

County Durham & Darlington Community Safety Fund

The Police, Crime & Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC), in partnership with County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF), is making available a grants fund to support the community and voluntary sector of County Durham and Darlington | CDCF, UK

Warning of dangers of taking prescription drugs not meant for you

Police are warning that teenagers are taking prescription medication not meant for them and it can be fatal | ITV, UK

'County lines' gang who forced children to deal drugs convicted of human trafficking under modern slavery laws

Group groomed vulnerable teenagers to control their movements and make them sell crack and heroin | Independent, UK


International news

Science professor allegedly taught students to make ecstasy

Tatsunori Iwamura reportedly admitted getting students in his pharmaceutical class at Japanese university to make illegal drug | Guardian, UK

Traders wake up to cost of coffee volatility as farmers down tools

[May require registration] Low prices lead coffee growers to abandon farms while others turn to coca | FT, UK

Poppies bloom across Afghanistan as drought eases

A vast field of towering white poppies sways gently in the breeze, silky petals sometimes tumbling to the ground, a visible marker of the resilience of Afghanistan's lucrative opium trade | Mail Online, UK

Jamaica’s cannabis gamble

How to sell dope without provoking America | Economist, UK

'It's an absurd profession': the world's most infamous bouncers tell all

They have a fearsome reputation for excluding eager clubbers – but as a documentary about Berlin’s doormen is released, three of them explain why their policies are ‘all about tolerance’ | Guardian, UK

National Drug Treatment Reporting System 2011-2017 drug data

Latest figures from the Health Research Board show 63,303 cases* presented for treatment for problem drug use (excluding alcohol) between 2011 and 2017. The number of treated cases increased from 8,361 in 2011 to 9,892 in 2015, and then decreased to 8,922 in 2017 | HRB, Ireland

There has been an 122% increase in reported use of crack cocaine in Dublin over the last year

8,922 people were treated for problem drug use | Joe, Ireland

€2m drug programmenets one positive

Almost €2m spent, well over 1,000 tests carried out on blood and urine samples across 28 sports and, at the end of it all, the one failed doping case in Irish sport in 2018 was that of a boxer who came up positive for a byproduct of cannabis | Irish Examiner, Ireland

College try: The role of stress and depression in nonmedical prescription drug use among students

Nonmedical prescription drug use is widespread across universities in the United States. In 2016, around one fifth of U.S. college students used prescription drugs non-medically, including painkillers, sedatives, and the most popular, stimulants; you might have heard of students using “study drugs” to enhance academic performance | BASIS, USA

New drug mimics benefits of ketamine for depression

A new small-molecule drug produced a rapid antidepressant response similar to that of ketamine when tested in mice, a new Yale-led study published April 16 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabidiol could help deliver medications to the brain

Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, is being touted as beneficial for many health conditions, ranging from anxiety to epilepsy | Medical Xpress, USA

DEA’s “Innovative” Strategy in New Orleans Encourages Ever-Harsher Prosecutions

On April 16, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) launched its latest punishment-driven, treatment-inflected response to the opioid-involved overdose crisis in New Orleans (NOLA) and two surrounding Louisiana parishes | Filter Magazine, USA

New CAMH cannabis hub to equip service providers with latest evidence

As licensed cannabis retail stores continue to open across Ontario, physicians, nurses, teachers and other professionals looking to help people who use non-medical cannabis will soon have a one-stop-shop for the best available evidence about cannabis | CAMH, Canada

The Case for Making Safe Drug Supply an Election Issue

On a National Day of Action, harm reduction advocates tell us what’s needed to put the overdose crisis on federal leaders’ agendas | VICE, Canada

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2017–18: key findings

In 2017–18, 952 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just under 210,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 130,000 clients. The four most common drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (34% of all treatment episodes), amphetamines (25%), cannabis (21%) and heroin (5%). Two-thirds (66%) of all clients receiving treatment were male and the median age of clients was 34 years | AIHW, Australia

Examining Australia’s Heaviest Drinkers

This study was undertaken by FARE’s research partner the Centre for Alcohol Policy and Research (CAPR) at La Trobe University and examines the distribution of alcohol consumption in Australia, identifying the top 10% of Australia’s heaviest drinkers and examining their sociodemographic characteristics, alcohol consumption and purchasing practices | FARE, Australia

Surgery may lead to opioid dependency for more than 13,000 Australians each year

Worldwide, warnings are growing about the widespread misuse of prescription opioids, as the use of this powerful class of painkillers has grown markedly over the past two decades | Medical Xpress, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

First four weeks of drug and alcohol treatment are crucial — how can we make the experience less daunting?

How do we reassure people who are looking for help? | Addaction blog, UK

Op-Ed: Here’s What a Legal Market for Cocaine Could Look Like

It is abundantly clear, given decades of trial and error and escalating scientific evidence, that prohibition only makes risky drug use even riskier. If we actually want to reduce mortality and other health problems associated with drugs, it makes more sense to regulate legal drug markets than to incentivize illicit ones. So-called “hard” drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are no exception | OSF, UK

June Brown is right. Old age is the time to embrace bad habits, not kick them

The actor who plays Dot Cotton has no intention of giving up fags and booze. At 92, why should she? | Guardian, UK


And finally...

'Relax - hot cross bun will not make you drunk'

Nelson Mandela Bay traffic chief Warren Prins has moved to quell widespread panic after a video purportedly showing how people could get “drunk” after consuming hot cross buns, went viral | Herald Live, South Africa