Daily news - 23rd April 2019

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UK news

Brexit threatens the UK’s ability to tackle illicit drugs and organised crime: what needs to happen now?

The decision by the UK government to leave the European Union comes at a time when parts of the UK are experiencing a marked rise in reported gun and knife crimes. The health effects of Brexit will have serious consequences as to how the UK tackle this upsurge in drug-related crime | Health Policy, UK

Four in five teachers bullied in school with some turning to drugs and alcohol to cope

'Bullying is destroying many teachers' health and driving them from the profession,' says union | Independent, UK

'Costs are crippling': more than 900 British pubs vanished in 2018

Annual review shows low consumer confidence and high business rates remain a hurdle | Guardian, UK

420: Seven charts on how cannabis use has changed

Around the world, on the 20 April - or "420" - cannabis users will be lighting up to celebrate "weed culture" and protest about its prohibition in many countries | BBC, UK

Health authority ‘ignoring evidence on harmful effects of e-cigarettes’

A leading health professor has accused Public Health England (PHE) of ignoring mounting evidence on the harmful effects of e-cigarettes | ITV, UK

Vaping brand with flavours loved by teens set for big UK expansion

The world’s leading vaping brand is planning a significant UK expansion, including the marketing of fruit flavours that critics have said are designed to appeal to teenagers | Telegraph, UK

How a drug gang devastated our helpless family

Joe, 15, was an A-grade pupil. Now he’s being groomed, brutalised and terrified by a county lines gang. One family member tells their powerful, traumatic story | Guardian, UK

'I've been peed on and beaten up': the ex-rough sleeper given an MBE for helping homeless people

Dennis Rogers spent 10 years on the streets battling alcoholism, but isn’t sure he would have survived in today’s brutal climate | Guardian, UK

Diane Abbott apologises after drinking mojito on TfL train

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has apologised “sincerely” for drinking a mojito on public transport in London | ITV, UK

What are the laws for drinking alcohol on public transport in the UK?

Consumption of alcohol was banned on the London Underground more than a decade ago | Independent, UK

Recovering addict says methadone saved his life but issues deadly drugs cocktail warning

Gary believes Opiate Replacement Therapy saved his life and the lives of many others, but reveals he knows around 50 people who top up script with heroin or other street drugs | Daily Record, UK

Just Say It: Young People Speak Out

On 26 March, young people aged 14-21 from across Bath & North East Somerset and Wiltshire gathered at The Egg Theatre for Just Say It. This event was part of DHI’s Vision Project – a series of events, podcasts and articles marking the charity’s 20th anniversary, exploring how to end social exclusion | DHI, UK

Heat technology in prisons to trace illicit mobile phones to precise cells

Prisoners secretly using illicit mobile phones to make drug deals will be detected by new technology that can pinpoint their devices down to a precise cell | Telegraph, UK

Teenager arrested over death of Carson Price, 13, in Caerphilly

Fourteen-year-old suspected of supplying class A drugs after boy found unconscious in park | Guardian, UK

Brothers behind Hereford county lines network jailed

Sharaz and Ikhlas Hussain, from Birmingham, used more than 50 phones to keep in touch with 200 customers in Hereford, West Midlands Police said | BBC, UK


International news

Testing of illicit drugs in the Netherlands could be a model for the UK

Nearly five years ago Daan van der Gouwe, a drug researcher at the Dutch Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos), received laboratory test results on a “Pink Superman” ecstasy tablet that had been submitted for testing by an anonymous drug user | BMJ, UK

‘Doing time’ in a therapeutic community

How well can institutions rooted in punishment, sanctions, and security accommodate a community-led model of treatment where residents are encouraged to unlearn addictive behaviours through personal exploration, self-disclosure, and individual responsibility? This review examines the outcomes of prisoners given the opportunity to live in a drug-free therapeutic community | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Former CSIRO researcher accuses science agency of pro-alcohol research

Exclusive: Dr Saul Newman says public money is used to subsidise an industry with ‘devastating effects on global health’ | Guardian, UK

Does wearing a fake smile for customers drive you to drink? Maybe

Workers in service industries who suppress negative ones tended to be heavier drinkers, a study found. But being rude is a still a no-no | Guardian, UK

Mitch McConnell announces plan to raise tobacco purchasing age to 21

US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has announced a bill to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21 nationwide | BBC, UK

Is 4/20 on the way to becoming marijuana's Hallmark holiday?

Once an underground celebration of weed smoking, the annual event is turning into big business in the era of legalization | Guardian, UK

Cannabis websites in US and Canada crash on biggest 4/20 day

Company that offers ‘free delivery’ happy hour has difficulty fulfilling orders | Guardian, UK

420: The nuns who make £850k a year growing and selling marijuana

Convent claims to have cured eight people of addiction using homegrown products | Independent, UK

Calls for Drug Law Reform in Sweden As Drug Deaths Continue Unabated

The debate around Sweden’s zero-tolerance drug policy has been reignited in recent months, due to the approach’s failure to reduce drug deaths | Talking Drugs, UK

Guatemalan presidential candidate held over 'drug plot'

A Guatemalan presidential candidate has been arrested in the US city of Miami on suspicion of conspiring to import cocaine to the United States | BBC, UK

How this date rape wristband can tell if your drink has been spiked

A wristband that lets wearers check if their drink has been spiked with a date rape drug has gone on sale on Germany | BBC, UK

The Explainer: Why haven't any supervised drug injection centres opened in Ireland?

A pilot scheme is due to open in Dublin city centre, but the process is stuck in planning permission limbo | Journal, Ireland

HHS launches program to cut opioid overdoses by 40 percent in three years

The Trump administration announced an ambitious program Thursday to reduce deaths from opioid overdoses by 40 percent over three years in hard-hit communities across several states | Washington Post, USA

FDA OKs first generic nasal spray of overdose reversal drug

U.S. regulators have approved the first generic nasal spray version of Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses | Medical Xpress, USA

Naltrexone implant helps HIV patients prevent opioid relapse

Slow-release implantable naltrexone is associated with better outcomes than the oral drug for HIV-positive patients with an opioid addiction, according to a study published in the April issue of The Lancet HIV | Medical Xpress, USA

Insights on marijuana and opioid use in people with cancer

A new study reveals that many people with cancer use marijuana, and rates of use in the US have increased over time. The study also found that patients with cancer are more likely to use prescription opioids than adults without cancer | Science Daily, USA

These are the Countries Most Likely to Legalize Weed Next

In October 2018, Canada became the second country after Uruguay—and the first G7 nation—to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, politicians took the plunge largely to reduce underage access to weed | VICE, USA

The US Says Immigrants Can Be Denied Citizenship Over "Marijuana-Related Activities," Even In States Where It's Legal

"Federal law does not recognize the decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose, even in places where state or local law does.” | BuzzFeed, USA

Marijuana users weigh less, defying the munchies

New evidence from Michigan State University suggests that those who smoke cannabis, or marijuana, weigh less compared to adults who don't | Science Daily, USA

Metabolite may play a role in nicotine addiction

A substance that scientists identify to screen people for nicotine use may also play a role in smokers becoming addicted to tobacco | Medical Xpress, USA

Rite Aid Is Wrong to Stop Selling Vapes (They’ll Still Sell Cigarettes)

In a huge blow to smokers who are trying to switch to safer nicotine products, Rite Aid, one of the largest pharmacy chains in the US, has announced that it will stop selling vaping products | Filter magazine, USA

Philip Morris needs to kill smoking to survive

Philip Morris International, the company that sells Marlboro, Chesterfield, Parliaments and other brands internationally, thinks smoke-free products may be the solution to the company's longstanding cigarette problem | CNN, USA

Shades of Sobriety: Life Shows That Recovery Needn’t Mean Abstinence

If your goal is sobriety defined as abstaining from everythingpsychoactive, good luck! | Filter Magazine, USA

The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs

Open access journal with articles from around the world on drugs ans social history| Univeristy of Chicago Press, USA

A tranquilizer for large animals and a drug similar to those used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders have seen recent upticks in B.C.'s illicit drug supply | Globe and Mail, Canada

Test case for meth sentencings under way at Court of Appeal

A major shake-up of prison sentences for methamphetamine crimes in New Zealand has been suggested in a potentially landmark case before the Court of Appeal | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

A question of substance

Within the field of mental health, substance misuse represents a microcosm of mental disorders: environment interacts with genetics, stigma hinders treatment, and untreated disorders create a downward spiral of more mental ill-health, economic hardship, and poor familial support or even increased risk of experiencing domestic violence | Lancet, UK

An interview with Lesley - Manager of the Leeds Street Outreach Service

We work with anyone who is rough sleeping or begging in Leeds. Our outreach workers are out every day on the streets trying to engage with people and help them move away from a street-based lifestyle. Sometimes accommodation isn’t the primary issue - it might be substance misuse, mental health problems, physical health or domestic abuse. We can make sure people get the right support | CGL blog, UK

Despite promises to get medical marijuana on the NHS, progress has been bafflingly slow. Why?

There are now almost 100 specialists approved to prescribe the medication. But up and down the country, patients are reporting doctors facing difficulty with the process and guidelines | Independent voices, UK

Nicotine replacement: when quitting cigarettes, consider using more nicotine, not less

When delivered through cigarettes, nicotine is considered to be one of the most addictive substances on Earth, so it may seem odd to suggest that people should use more, rather than less, to quit smoking. A recent review of the research, however, has found just that | Conversation, UK

Nicotine replacement therapy: new evidence on help to quit smoking

In this blog for people wanting to quit smoking, Sarah Chapman shares new Cochrane evidence on the effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy | Evidently Cochrane blog, UK

Building recovery from drugs in prison

Earlier this month (3 April 2019) Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) published its new Prison Drugs Strategy which has been developed to support and complement the main government Drug Strategy published in 2017 and is centred around the same three objectives of restricting supply, reducing demand building recovery | Russell Webster blog, UK

SHAD Interview: “‘It’s That Difficult of a Terrain’: Opium, Development, and Territoriality in US-Afghan Relations, 1940s-1970s” with co-editor Daniel Weimer

Today we present the second interview in our SHAD series. Dr. Daniel Weimer co-edited the newest issue of SHAD with Matt Pembleton and was, until recently, an associate professor of history at Wheeling Jesuit University | Points blog, USA

It’s Time to Regulate Cocaine and MDMA: An Interview with Transform’s Steve Rolles

The debate around legalising recreational cannabis in this country is growing louder. What once seemed to Middle Australia like a far-out idea held by some rural hippies, nowadays, isn’t such a distant concept as the news of successful legalisation in 10 US states funnels in over the internet | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia