Daily news - 19th August 2019

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UK news

Responding to Drug Use with Kindness, Compassion and Hope (PDF)

The Dundee Partnership has taken delivery of the findings of the Dundee Drugs Commission. This specialist panel was set up by the partnership, which is made up of all the key agencies in the city, as a response to the increasing number of drug-related deaths in the city | Dundee City Council, UK

Dundee drug deaths report calls for radical change to services

Rigid and punitive treatment regime is failing to stem record number of fatalities | Guardian, UK

Dundee Drugs Commission publishes investigation findings and calls for leadership to promote change

A Commission set up to investigate the root causes behind a rise in drug-related deaths in Dundee, has published its findings today | SDF, UK

Drug-related deaths reach record levels in Wales

Wales had its highest number of recorded drug-related deaths last year, latest figures have shown | BBC, UK

Safe injection rooms are key to halting rise in drug deaths – expert

Former drugs tsar says Home Office must end opposition to ‘fixing’ spaces to tackle issue | Guardian, UK

‘Saved from a horrible fate’: Legal heroin prescribed to hundreds of UK drug users, figures reveal

Hundreds of people addicted to heroin in the UK are benefitting from a free legal supply of the drug, new figures show | Independent, UK

What can be done to halt Glasgow's HIV epidemic?

Researchers have described a "perfect storm" that has allowed the HIV virus to spread so quickly in Glasgow. Homelessness is the key factor. Combined with a significant rise in the numbers of people injecting cocaine as well as heroin | BBC, UK

Scotland announces hepatitis C elimination strategy

The Scottish Government’s long-awaited hepatitis C strategy, written in partnership with Health Protection Scotland, was published on 31st July 2019 | Health Protection Scotland, UK

Rapid Evidence Review: The relationship between alcohol and mental health problems

There is a strong multi directional link between alcohol use disorders (AuDs) and mental health disorders which is reflected in the high level of complex needs experienced by the service user grouping | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Clinical and cost-effectiveness of contingency management for cannabis use in early psychosis: the CIRCLE randomised clinical trial

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance amongst people with psychosis. Continued cannabis use following the onset of psychosis is associated with poorer functional and clinical outcomes | BMC Medicine, UK

Cannabis user gets police backing to grow own marijuana so she can live 'pain-free'

Carly Barton, who has suffered neuropathy and fibromyalgia since having a stroke at 24, has gained support from top cops and MPs | Mirror, UK

UK Cannabis legalisation would raise £1BILLION and is ‘pretty inevitable’ says campaigner

Cannabis legalisation would raise “at least” a billion pounds in tax revenue and is “pretty close to being inevitable” according to an individual liberties campaigner | Express, UK

Lime and soda? No thanks, say non-drinkers

The days of lime and soda are over. "Sugary, carbonated or fruit-based juice drinks just won't do" for those seeking a booze-free alternative | BBC, UK

Drug dealer's Rolexes and trainers raise £33,000 at auction

Rolex watches and designer trainers seized from the ringleader of a Gloucestershire drug-dealing operation have been sold for £33,000 at auction | BBC, UK

Liverpool gang boss threatened to burn family's home over drug debt

A gang boss threatened to burn down a family's house unless they settled a relative's drug debt, a court has heard | BBC, UK

Homes under the Hammer presenter claims he was unable to give drink driving test due to asthma

Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts attempted to avoid a drink driving conviction by claiming his asthma stopped him from giving a breath sample | Telegraph, UK

Drug dealer spared jail after telling judge his baldness had ruined his life

A judge spared a drug dealer from jail after hearing his alopecia had led to a life of ridicule and that selling drugs was a way of making friends | Telegraph, UK


International news

Race to save the rainforest: Why replacing cocaine barons with cattle ranchers is destroying the Amazon

Colombia’s great Amazon rainforest – a ‘vital lung’ of the planet – is being cleared for grazing cattle by an area bigger than Los Angeles every year. Joe Shute meets the locals trying to halt the damage | Telegraph, UK

Why US lags behind on graphic cigarette warnings

The US wants to put graphic images on cigarette packets - the first change to health warnings on tobacco products in 35 years. Other countries have long used such shock tactics to discourage smokers, so why does the US lag behind? | BBC, UK

Mystery lung illness linked to vaping reported in nearly 100 people

Medical authorities say it is unclear whether patients will fully recover | Independent, UK

The families ripped apart by the Philippines' brutal, bloody war on drugs

Maria’s last memory of her father is of him lying face down and begging for his life moments before gunshots rang out | Telegraph, UK

Coca Cola never contained cocaine - but it does profit from the cultivation of coca plants

Contrary to popular belief, Coca Cola did not rise to success by selling drinks laced with cocaine. That signature taste we all know so well is in fact thanks to an immensely nutritious plant valued greatly by the communities that have historically cultivated it: coca | Talking Drugs, UK

Kenyan drug baron jailed for 25 years

Baktash Akasha Abdalla was found guilty of illegal dealings by a USA court | BBC, UK

White Claw craze: why the canned drink is the obsession of summer

It’s not just a drink – it’s a lifestyle, fans say. White Claw sales have surged 320% since last year, even as the brand was briefly ‘cancelled’ | Guardian, UK

HSE addiction expert: Festivals that don't provide drug information and support should be refused a licence

Some festivals are keen to explore new measures but others fear it would do reputational damage | Journal, Ireland

Does an adapted Dialectical Behaviour Therapy skills training programme result in positive outcomes for participants with a dual diagnosis? A mixed methods study

Treating severe emotional dysregulation and co-occurring substance misuse is challenging. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive and evidence-based treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) | BMC, Ireland

WHO statement urging governments to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship at international expositions

As called for in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Governments must comprehensively enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13) at international expos and conferences, in order to ensure their events and programmes are tobacco free and that their activities and participants are not sponsored by tobacco companies | WHO, Switzerland

CDC, states investigating severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes

CDC is providing consultation to the departments of health in Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Indiana, and Minnesota about a cluster of pulmonary illnesses linked to e-cigarette product use, or “vaping,” primarily among adolescents and young adults | CDC, USA

Inside The Business Of E-Cigarettes And The European Tobacco Industry

The global cigarette market was valued at $888 billion in 2018 with an estimated 28.7% of adults surveyed in Europe claiming to smoke and 21% in the United States. In Europe, the adolescent population has continued to smoke at alarming rates despite clear evidence in the dangers of smoking | Forbes, USA

A Secret Opioid Memo That Could Have Slowed an Epidemic

A confidential government document containing evidence so critical it had the potential to change the course of an American tragedy was kept in the dark for more than a decade | NYTimes, USA

Cannabis-related poison control calls for Massachusetts kids doubled after medical pot legalized

After medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts, cannabis-related poison control calls involving the commonwealth's children and teenagers doubled, according to a public health investigation led by University of Massachusetts Amherst injury prevention researcher Jennifer Whitehill | Medical Xpress, USA

His studies of the use of drugs to treat disorders led many to consider him “the father of psychopharmacology.” | NYTimes, USA

The Uncounted Dead of Duterte's Drug Way

Huge numbers of deaths have gone uncounted in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. What does that mean for due process, and for the countries that emulate him? | The Atlantic, USA

Anti-smoking crusaders criticise Federal Government's push to cut smoking rate

Anti-smoking crusaders have labelled a new government push to help Australians butt out as a "recycled" and "frustrating" strategy, saying when the exact same policy was initially introduced more than a decade ago, it failed to reduce smoking rates | abc.net, Australia

Warning over mega-dose Ecstasy pills flooding into New Zealand

They come with names like "The Punisher", "Putin" and "Trump" - a new breed of mega-dose Ecstasy pills threatening to cause carnage in New Zealand | NZHerald, New Zealand

Cannabis poll: High opposition to legal pot

Support for the personal use cannabis referendum has plummeted, with just 39 per cent of responders to a new survey saying they will vote yes | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

The UK Government must help end Scotland's drug-related death crisis

Jo Kimber and colleagues1 are right to call for the government to announce a public health crisis in response to a record number of drug-related poisonings in the UK. Recognising and responding to public health emergencies is a core responsibility of government | Lancet, UK

'Nobody in hospital picked up on the fact that I am an addict and will keep coming back - why?'

Professor Julia Sinclair, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ addictions faculty, responds to soaring drug-related deaths | MHT blog, UK

On a losing streak: when drinking and gambling collide

There are many commonalities between alcohol consumption and gambling that go beyond the potential for dependence and harm for individuals and society; here, Prof Roderique-Davies looks at the growth of gambling in the UK, and what happens when punters bet under the influence of alcohol | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

What can we do about drug related deaths?

2018 had the highest number of drug related deaths on record. What can be done to bring the number down? | Addaction, UK

Turning Point respond to the latest drug related deaths

In response to the ONS data showing that drug related deaths are at an all-time high, Jay Stewart, Director for Public Health and Substance Misuse at Turning Point said... | Turning Point blog, UK

Are ‘gateway’ drugs a fiction?

To say vaping leads kids to marijuana might just be lazy scapegoating | Unherd, UK

My son keeps stealing from me and my dad, but I can’t tell anyone

You must turn to a support group and confide in people you trust, Mariella Frostrup tells the mother of a young man struggling with addiction | Guardian, UK