Daily news - 29th April 2019

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UK news

Opioid painkillers to carry prominent addiction warnings

Health secretary Matt Hancock promises action after 60% increase in prescriptions in 10 years | Guardian, UK

'I could get 500 tablets a month': the ease of buying opiates online

Helen*, 26, used online pharmacies to buy codeine for about three years, although she no longer has a dependency. She began ordering the painkiller in 2016 after her partner killed himself | Guardian, UK

UK online pharmacies accused of 'aggressive' tactics to sell opiates

Guardian investigation reveals ID check failures and the use of inappropriate marketing | Guardian, UK

Cannabis possession offences fall 75pc in a decade as police accused of decriminalising the drug

Cannabis possession offences have dropped up to 75 per cent in 10 years, as MPs have accused police of decriminalising the drug | Telegraph, UK

One in six people dying of lung cancer in UK are non-smokers, experts say

Scientists blame rise on car fumes, secondhand smoke and soot from wood-burning stoves | Guardian, UK

Mothers, sisters, and daughters: Experts sound the alarm as more Scots women lose battle with drugs

Record numbers of Scots women are dying from drugs overdoses prompting calls for dedicated help for female addicts | Sunday Post, UK

Imperial launches world’s first Centre for Psychedelics Research

Funded by more than £3 million from five founding donors, the new Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research will build on over a decade of pioneering work in this area carried out at Imperial, including a clinical trial that has kick-started global efforts to develop psilocybin therapy into a licensed treatment for depression. It will also investigate their potential for treating other conditions, including anorexia | Imperial College London, UK

Working with the public and your alcohol consumption - audio

Does your job require you to work with the public and how much alcohol do you drink? | BBC Radio London, UK

Peter Doherty: 'If I was drug free, I'd be a force to be reckoned with'

The Libertines co-frontman is 40 – an age few expected him to reach. Yet he’s back with a new band, a seaside hotel and an unorthodox approach to dog-handling | Guardian, UK

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

Free event. May 16th 5pm-7.30pm, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, London. My Lightbulb Moment: a collection of short films from the Recovery Street Film Festival examining addiction and recovery |  NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, UK

NIHR CLAHRC alcohol researchers and SLaM clinicians win BMJ mental health team award 2019

A team of CLAHRC South London alcohol researchers and clinicians from South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) have won the mental health team of the year award at the 2019 BMJ Awards. The winners were announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 24 April | NIHR, UK

Sainsbury’s refuse to honour beer deal over multi-buy laws despite ale being alcohol-free

Sainsbury’s has refused to honour a beer discount deal in Scotland because of multi-buy laws – even though the promoted brew is alcohol-free | Daily Record, UK

David Cotterill: Former Wales forward reveals alcohol battle

Former Wales international David Cotterill has revealed he has been battling alcohol problems | BBc, UK

ECB urged to be more open on drugs after Alex Hales fallout

The England and Wales Cricket Board has been urged to tighten up its recreational drugs policy after Alex Hales was banned for 21 days for failing two drug tests | Telegraph, UK

Man charged after £780k Glasgow cannabis raid

Officers from the Greater Glasgow Serious and Organised Crime Unit raided the property in Argyle Street, Anderston, at about 09:00 on Friday | BBC, UK

Isle of Man cannabis seizure: Liverpool man held over £120k haul

Cannabis worth about £120,000 which was smuggled to the Isle of Man in a van has been seized by police | BBC, UK

Northamptonshire Police use drug dealer's seized car

Northamptonshire Police said the car was taken in 2018 from a disqualified and uninsured driver with links to the drug supply in Wellingborough | BBC, UK


International news

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 26 April 2019

When the key goal of opioid substitution therapy is to deter use of heroin and other illicit opioids, ensuring patients receive a high enough dose and stay engaged with treatment is essential. Three analyses probe the capacity of methadone and buprenorphine to stabilise patients, while another Effectiveness Bank entry examines the psychosocial levers that drug-free therapeutic communities can pull for a population facing significant challenges around substance use including opioid dependence
| Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Ireland ‘turns pregnant women to drink’

[Free registration required] The longer that non-Irish pregnant women have lived in Ireland, the more likely they are to drink alcohol during their pregnancies, a study by Trinity College and the Technological University for Dublin has found | Sunday Times, UK

AI helps clear cannabis conviction backlog

An algorithm which speeds up the process of removing eligible marijuana convictions from people’s criminal records in the state of California has been developed | BBC, UK

Half of cannabis users think they can drive safely while high – are they right?

It’s been several years since recreational cannabis was made legal in some US states. What effect has it had on road safety? | Guardian, UK

Denying Revenue or Wasting Money? Assessing the Impact of the Air Campaign Against ‘Drugs Labs’ in Afghanistan (PDF)

This paper conducts a forensic assessment of the aerial campaign against drugs labs to determine whether it fulfilled its primary objective of denying revenue to the insurgency. The paper does this by combining video analysis, high-resolution imagery and in-depth interviews with the lab operators, owners and the rural population most affected by the campaign | LSE, UK

Satellite images show an agricultural compound in Afghanistan converted into a heroin lab

Video.Satellite images show an agricultural compound in Afghanistan converted into a heroin lab | BBC, UK

Signs of Drug Trade Continue in Former “Narco-State” Guinea-Bissau

Voters in Guinea-Bissau hope a recent election will end political deadlock in the country, where leaders have failed to tackle a thriving illegal cocaine trade | Telegraph, UK

Liquor and gaming lobby pumped more than $1m into Liberal, Labor and far-right parties

Australian Hotels Association gave highest amount in seven years, with bulk going to Liberal and National parties | Guardian, UK

Breaking Free from Substance use goes live in Canada

Breaking Free Group has launched a fully-localized Canadian version of the UK's leading digital behaviour change program for substance dependence | Breaking Free, UK

Seizure of drugs in postal sorting centres on the increase

Increase in cannabis, cocaine, heroin seizures shows role of internet in narcotics trade | Irish Times, Ireland

A total ban on alcohol advertising necessary for public health, Belgian study says

A total ban on the advertising of alcohol is necessary from the public health point of view, according to a study conducted at the University of Ghent for the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office | Brussels Times, Belgium

British Police Are Raising Their Voices Against the Drug War

Police are very, very good at catching drug dealers, but that’s part of the problem,” says Neil Woods, a former undercover drugs detective who is now the chair of Law Enforcement Action Partnership UK (LEAP UK). “Police never reduce the size of the market, but they do change the shape of it.” | Filter Magazine, USA

A new age for tobacco — raising the age to 21 is a smart move

We are encouraged to see that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are getting serious about raising the minimum age to 21 years old to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes | The Hill, USA

Changes in Stimulant Use and Related Harms: Focus on Methamphetamine and Cocaine (PDF)

In response to recent reports of increasing harms related to methamphetamine use in Canada, this bulletin summarizes recent changes in stimulant-related harms in Canadian communities. It is intended for a broad audience of health professionals, law enforcement, harm reduction and health service providers, policy makers, and people who use drugs | CCSA, Canada

Ontario becomes 1st province to demand pharmacists complete a cannabis education course

Course details risks, dosage forms and common side effects of the drug | CBC, Canada

Take a look inside Groovin the Moo's pill-testing facility

Australia's second-ever legal pill-testing trial will get underway on Sunday at Canberra's Groovin the Moo music festival, as representatives from other states and territories examine the facility for consideration in their own jurisdictions | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Impaired on the job or behind the wheel? It’s not just a cannabis problem

The legalization of cannabis in Canada has sparked discussion about workplace and driver impairment, but what about other forms of on-the-job impairment? | Conversation, Canada

CSIRO can't justify pro-alcohol research

Shocking revelations that Australia's publicly-funded scientific institution, the CSIRO, is in bed with the alcohol industry have been made in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, by former CSIRO scientist, Dr Saul Newman | Herald opinion, Australia