Daily news - 26th April 2019

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UK news

Cannabis: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS prescriptions for medicinal cannabis (a) THC and (b) CBD have been issued in England since December 2018 | They work for you, UK

Revealed: Arrests for Growing Weed Have Fallen By More Than Half

FOI data obtained by VICE demonstrates how more police forces have effectively decriminalised the production of cannabis | VICE, UK

Ex-tobacco worker was given 1,200 cigarettes a month

An ex-tobacco worker who has inoperable lung cancer is considering suing his former employers over free cigarettes given out as a "perk" of the job | BBC, UK

Is addiction on the rise?

Yet much like with substance use, the vast majority of people who play games online, watch pornography, or use the internet will not experience problems from doing so| Science Focus, UK

New National Strategy to tackle problem gambling

Health bodies, charities, regulators and businesses are being brought together to tackle problem gambling | BBC, UK

Solicitor escapes with suspension over ‘modest’ cannabis farm

A junior solicitor has been handed a six-month suspension after a small cannabis farm was found in her home | Legal Cheek, UK

Colchester flat fire: 'Exploited' Fred Payne killed in drug den

The home where an "exploited and manipulated" 78-year-old was killed in a fire was likely to have been used as a drugs den, a report found | BBC, UK

Guilty drugs gang flashed cash on Snapchat

Members of a gang who used children as young as 13 to make drug runs and also filmed themselves showing off cash have been convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine | BBC, UK

Student jailed for Kendal Calling laughing gas sales

Rahib Miah was caught filling balloons with nitrous oxide for partygoers to inhale at Kendal Calling Festival in July 2018 | BBC, UK


International news

How the US military's opium war in Afghanistan was lost

The US has spent $1.5m (£1.15m) a day since 2001 fighting the opium war in Afghanistan. So why is business still booming? | BBC, UK

Dark web blamed for rise in drugs sent by post from Netherlands

Amount of ecstasy and amphetamines seized from mail has more than tripled | Guardian, UK

Conflicting laws may keep contaminated needles in circulation, add to hep-C cases

Acute hepatitis C infections rose 98 percent between 2010 and 2015 nationwide, largely because more people were injecting drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers verify new method of HIV transmission among injection drug users and effective prevention technique

'Cook your Wash' campaign reduces risk of HIV transmission | EurekAlert, USA

Researchers document specific characteristics of storefront tobacco advertisements

In response to U.S. restrictions on where tobacco companies are allowed to advertise their products, the industry now dedicates nearly all of its $9 billion advertising budget to activities occurring in retail settings | News Medical, USA

Poll: About two-thirds of public blames drug companies for opioid crisis

About two-thirds of U.S. adults blame drug companies a “great deal” for the epidemic of opioid addiction, a new poll finds | The Hill, USA

After Leaving Thousands in Agony, the CDC Is Finally Clarifying Its Painkiller Restrictions

The agency is addressing the widespread suffering caused by the crackdown on opioids—the result of predictable misapplication of its guidelines | TONIC, USA

Joe Biden: The Architect of America’s Disastrous War on Drugs

Joe Biden is kicking off another presidential run. Will his role in the drug war finally catch up with him? | FEE, USA

Alcohol Relapse Rate Among Liver Transplant Recipients Identical Whether or Not There is A 6-Month Wait Before Transplant

For decades, patients with liver disease related to alcohol use have been told they must be sober for six months before they can get a liver transplant. Many die before that six-month wait period is up. Now, a growing number of researchers are questioning that six-month waiting period | Johns Hopkins Medicine, USA

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, Without the Hype

Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is nothing new, but nonetheless lacks a diagnosis code. This means that nobody—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is meant to track such things—knows the prevalence of the condition | Filter Magazine, USA

What It's Like to Tell Your Kids You Love Weed

As attitudes toward cannabis change with policy, parents who use the drug are exploring how to educate their kids about its risks and rewards | VICE, USA

The sky-high costs of Thailand’s first medical-marijuana farm

The government wants to foster a legal industry, but prices are keener in the illegal one | Economist, USA

The good, the bad and the ugly: New report cards on policies to reduce alcohol harms in Canada's 10 provinces and 3 territories

The good: Many proven strategies are available to prevent Canada's 15,000+ deaths, 90,000+ hospital admissions and $15+ billion economic costs caused by alcohol use each year. The great majority (87%) of these strategies are already being implemented in Canada | University of Victoria, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

From cruelty to care - drug policy that promotes social inclusion

In the mid-90s I began working as a drug counsellor with clients on probation and in prison. In my first couple of weeks in the job a strong batch of heroin hit Bristol and five of our clients died in one week | DHI, UK

How Harm Reduction is Saving Lives

Research shows that harm reduction is minimizing risk and keeping people alive | Psychology Today blog, USA

Three years ago this month, British Columbia responded to the opioid crisis by declaring a public health emergency. The province took steps such as expanding supervised drug-consumption sites and distributing naloxone, an overdose-reversal medication. Estimates suggest that several thousand lives were saved | Globe and Mail editorial, Canada



And finally...

'Mom, the cops are here!' Narco parrot is set to do time - at a zoo in Brazil - after it alerted its owners to police before drugs bust

A 'narco parrot' is under arrest after it alerted its owners that the police was raiding their drug house in northeastern Brazil | Mail Online, UK