Daily news - 16th August 2019

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UK news

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2018 registrations

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales from 1993 onwards, by cause of death, sex, age and substances involved in the death | ONS, UK

Drug deaths soar to highest level on record

Drug deaths rose sharply in England and Wales to reach record numbers last year, official figures show. There were 2,917 deaths from illicit drugs in 2018, the Office of National Statistics said, a rise of 17% | BBC, UK

How do you stop people dying from illegal drug taking?

There is real frustration among frontline drug workers, experts and academics at the record numbers of people dying from illegal drugs in England and Wales | BBC, UK

'I've been dead twice... Ten minutes later I wanted more heroin' - Ex-drug addicts on how they kicked their deadly habit

"I have hit rock bottom and I've been dead twice. I don't know how long for, maybe for two minutes, but I've got a pacemaker because of it." | ITV, UK

People who inject drugs: HIV and viral hepatitis monitoring

Updated with 2008 to 2018 data and Health Protection Report 13(29) | PHE, UK

'Hundreds' seek private clinics for medical cannabis

Since its legalisation in November 2018, there have been very few, if any, prescriptions for medical cannabis containing THC on the NHS | BBC, UK

More than two-thirds of drug trafficking incidents in the North East fail to reach court

[Harry Shapiro of DrugWise quoted] Exclusive figures reveal an average of four drugs offences per day across the region | Chronicle, UK

'A Kinder egg?': Boris Johnson shocked to hear prisoners' smuggling techniques – video

Boris Johnson grimaced and exclaimed 'you are joking' as he was shown a body scan from a prisoner who tried to smuggle contraband into jail in a Kinder egg hidden inside his body | Guardian, UK

New e-learning course on hepatitis C and new treatments launched by Hepatitis Scotland

Scottish Drugs Forum and Hepatitis Scotland are pleased to announce the launch of a new, free to access e-learning resource, which is dedicated to raising knowledge and awareness of hepatitis C | SDF, UK

University shuts its SU bar because students prefer coffee to beer

A British University has closed its Student Union bar because of a dwindling demand for alcohol from its students who increasingly prefer coffee to beer | Telegraph, UK

United Airlines tightens rules on crew drinking

United Airlines is to enforce stricter rules after one of its pilots was accused of failing a breath test ahead of a flight from Scotland | BBC, UK

Detective lays bare the eye-watering scale of the county line drugs phenomenon hitting Wales

He set out the impact on the community as three men were locked up for their roles in the Rogue Line | Wales Online, UK

Boy charged over drug death of girl, 15

A teenage boy has been charged with drugs offences after the death of a 15-year-old girl | BBC, UK

Drug dealer jailed after Michael Freshwater murder probe

A man involved in a drugs ring that was exposed during inquiries into a murder has been jailed for 16 years | BBC, UK


International news

Dozens of young people taken to hospital in the US after vaping

Doctors are investigating respiratory problems in the young e-cigarettes users | Independent, UK

The legal cannabis market shrank in California last year

Blame those twin Californian ailments, taxes and regulation | Economist, UK

Man who gave seriously ill partner heroin in 'mercy killing' jailed for at least 10 years

Judge accepted Robert Ronald Cooper loved his partner Donna Green and made an ‘agonising decision’ | Guardian, UK

New Look For Cigarettes? FDA Proposes Graphic Warnings On Packages And Ads

For years, American smokers have been spared the unpleasant images of gangrene infected feet, swollen tongues overtaken by cancerous tumors and blackened lungs that are often plastered onto packs of cigarettes sold around the world. But that momentary reprieve before lighting up may only last a few more years | npr, USA

Many doctors refusing care of people prescribed opioids

Folks taking opioids for chronic pain may run into trouble if they need to find a new doctor | Medical Xpress, USA

Addiction intervention in hospital is a 'reachable moment'

Patients who meet an addiction medicine consult team while they're in the hospital are twice as likely to participate in treatment for substance use disorder after they go home, according to new research | Medical Xpress, USA

Does opioid maintenance treatment during pregnancy harm newborns?

A new Pharmacology Research & Perspectives study found no harm to newborns from opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) during pregnancy compared with no treatment | EurekAlert, USA

Social Media Giants’ Censorship of Harm Reduction Is “Book Burning”

Dominic Milton Trott, a former small-business owner in England, wanted to go to Peru to do ayahuasca, and became engaged in an online community of drug users along the way. But around 2010, he noticed that some people who had once been active were no longer posting on forums like Reddit | Filter Magazine, USA

The Optimism Gap: Class-Tailored Addiction Messaging Fuels Inequality

When people speak of inequality in America, they miss one of its powerful drivers: addiction treatment | Filter Magazine, USA

Steve-O Describes Rescue Dogs' Role In His Long-Term Recovery

"Caring about something other than me is fundamentally helpful for recovery,” Steve-O said in a recent interview | The Fix, USA

Indigenous B.C. man denied place on liver transplant list challenges alcohol abstinence rule

Policy requires people to abstain from alcohol for six months in order to be eligible for a liver transplant | CBC news, Canada

Canadians warm up to harm reduction in fight against opioids

Almost three in five Canadians are in favour of ‘supervised injection sites’ | Vancouver Courier, Canada

Do moderate drinkers need to worry about booze?

How much is too much alcohol? What are the actual risks of drinking? Isn't a glass of red a day actually good for your health? | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

UK drug deaths continue to rise – time for action

Every year since 2013, the UK’s Office for National Statistics has reported an increased level of drug-related deaths in England. Last year, we reported that drugs had overtaken traffic accidents as a leading cause of death | Conversation, UK

Be honest, do you actually care about the record number of drug-related deaths?

It’s tempting to blame politicians but they instinctively follow public opinion rather than shape it. The uncomfortable truth might be that we, the electorate, are ultimately responsible | Independent voices, UK

Drug related deaths are a preventable tragedy, says Addaction

Addaction, a leading drug and alcohol charity, has described today’s drug related death statistics as a preventable tragedy | Addaction, UK

Change Grow Live statement in response to the 2018 drug related deaths statistics

Those reading this may already be aware of the rise in drug-related deaths in England and Wales. It should never be forgotten that each and every life lost is a tragedy, which has a profound and lasting impact on families and communities | Change Grow Live, UK

Chief Exec Blog - 2018 England and Wales Drug Related Deaths

Many will be surprised that, when we know now so much about how to protect people, more people are dying of drug related issues than ever before. For those of us working in the sector we know the sad truth of the impact of every one of those deaths on mums and dads, children and siblings, partners and friends | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

Drug related deaths: getting some fundamentals right

ADPH Vice-President Prof Jim McManus argues for the importance of getting the fundamentals right when it comes to tackling the complex issue of drug-related deaths | ADPH blog, UK

Cannabidiol confusion: lofty promises and barriers to research

As cannabis researchers, we work in a field whose unknowns could positively or negatively affect the health of millions of Americans. But the U.S. government’s decades-long prohibition of cannabis research forcefully limits what we might learn | STAT News opinion, USA