Daily news - 28th August 2019

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UK news

Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain, final estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2017

Final estimates for personal injury drink-drive accidents in Great Britain for 2017 | DoT, UK

Comparison of Trends in Self-reported Cigarette Consumption and Sales in England, 2011 to 2018

This study of survey and sales data found close alignment between estimates of long- and short-term changes in population cigarette consumption in England derived from the Smoking Toolkit Study, a monthly national survey, and recorded sales. According to both methods, monthly cigarette consumption decreased by almost one-quarter between 2011 and 2018, equating to a decline of more than 117 million cigarettes per month or 1.4 billion cigarettes per year | JAMA Network Open, UK

Alcohol: applying All Our Health

Updated - Added e-learning session link | PHE, UK

Controlling Drug Users: Forms of Power and Behavioural Regulation in Drug Treatment Services

This article examines the control practices used in drug treatment services to regulate the behaviour of people with drug problems. Drawing on an extensive qualitative study, we developed a conceptual framework, integrating the notion of responsive regulation with Wrong’s sociology of power | British Journal Criminology, UK

Global Drug Survey: The Big UK Cannabis Survey 2019

The survey is in 4 sections – the first asks about how you use cannabis now, the second asks about CBD use and function, the third on social club involvement and finally medical use | Global Drug Survey, UK

Medical cannabis costs family £4,000 a month to help teenager

An epileptic teenager's family are paying thousands of pounds a month for privately prescribed medical cannabis because they cannot get it on the NHS | BBC, UK

Drug death gathering to be held in Glasgow City Centre for International Overdose Awareness Day

There are increased calls for the government to alter their stance on tackling drug use | Glasgow Live, UK

From 12 months to live- to 12 months clean

A prolific thief has turned her life around with the help of neighbourhood officer after being told she had just 12 months to live | West Midlands Police, UK

Serving alcohol mist ‘fraught with complications’

Pub operators who serve alcohol mist balloons should be aware of the implications, according to a licensing expert | Morning Advertiser, UK

Criminal gangs ‘better funded than the police’

[Free registration maybe required] Young offenders no longer care about the consequences of committing violent crimes because the gangs recruiting them are better funded than the police, a chief officer has told The Times | Sunday Times

Marks and Spencer has confirmed plans to rename its Porn Star Martini drink following complaints made by members of the public

‘No drink should, in any direct or indirect way, suggest any association with sexual activity’ | Independent, UK

Liverpool taxi drivers to face random drug tests

The city council's licensing committee, which backed a plan for tests, found 54 taxis had been stopped for suspected drug-driving since February 2018 | BBC, UK

Huge cocaine haul recovered from yacht in Wales

More than 250 kilograms of cocaine have been seized and six people arrested, after an investigation led to the interception of a yacht off the coast of Wales | NCA, UK

'I stopped drug dealing when a gun was pulled on me'

Chef Roger Moore used to sell drugs as his immigration status meant he was unable to work legally | BBC, UK

Dean Saunders: Ex-footballer jailed for refusing breath test

Ex-Liverpool striker Dean Saunders has been jailed for 10 weeks for refusing to provide a roadside breath test | BBC, UK


International news

Purdue Pharma and Sacklers offer up to $12bn to settle opioid claims, report says

Purdue Pharma and members of the multi-billionaire Sackler family, who own the company that makes the prescription painkiller OxyContin, have offered to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits from US states and cities for between $10bn and $12bn, according to a media report on Tuesday | Guardian, UK

US opioid crisis: experts say payouts from drug makers ‘highly questionable’

Two potential payouts from Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma have provoked varied responses | Guardian, UK

Husband murdered wife by putting heroin in her cereal, police say

Police arrest man on murder charges after official cause of death is changed from accidental overdose to homicide | Independent, UK

Opioid addiction rising in India as US drugmakers push painkillers

As the Indian government loosens its prescription opioid laws after decades of lobbying, the cash-fed healthcare system is ripe for misuse | Guardian, UK

Opioid Prescription Patterns and Risk Factors Associated With Opioid Use in the Netherlands

In this cohort study with nationwide data from the Netherlands, 814 211 individuals (4.9% of the total population) were prescribed an opioid in 2013, and 1 027 019 individuals (6.0% of the total population) were prescribed an opioid in 2017 | JAMA Network open, Netherlands

Cannabis: a field in flux

[Special supplement of open access articles]. Numerous clinical trials that are investigating potential medical benefits of the many chemical components of cannabis are painting a promising picture, albeit one that is blurred by a lack of clarity over how the plant’s compounds interact. Researchers are also looking into the effects of combining cannabis consumption with exercise, after decades of positive anecdotal reports from athletes. But evidence of ill effects associated with cannabis use, including worrying correlations with mental illness, must be weighed against the drug’s possible medical value | Nature, USA

Under a new law, New York State will expunge the records of those convicted of low-level marijuana crimes | NYTimes, USA

Exposure to second-hand e-cigarettes increasing among young people

A growing number of middle- and high-school students are being exposed to second-hand aerosols from e-cigarettes by living with or being around individuals who are vaping, according to data from a national survey | Medical Xpress, USA

With Altria’s investment in Juul, a combination of the tobacco giants would dominate the international market for e-cigarettes | NYTimes, USA

North Carolina sues 8 e-cigarette companies, alleging marketing to children

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed eight lawsuits against eight separate e-cigarette companies on Tuesday, alleging that the companies are "unlawfully targeting children" and not requiring appropriate age verification when selling products | CNN, USA

White Claw Is What Happens When Being Cool Becomes Exhausting

Last week, the local police department in Portland, Maine, delivered a reminder to its community via Twitter: There are, in fact, laws when you’re drinking Claws | The Atlantic, USA

In Ethiopia, a rehab centre takes on khat addiction

Yonas Getu Molla started chewing khat as an architecture student, when he and his friends would munch on the leafy stimulant late into the night to help them study | Medical Xpress, USA

Drugs and stigma: a short history

The reasons a given drug becomes classified as legal or illegal are complex, in part because the criminalisation of some drugs has been influenced by the harms of the drug, as well as economic and political decisions | ADF, Australia

Vaping by teenagers on rise as tobacco companies try to hook a new generation on smoking

Educators and health experts say big tobacco companies are hooking a new generation of children on smoking by marketing candy-flavoured e-cigarette juices with glamourous social media imagery | abc.net.au, Australia

Inside Perth's 'rip-roaring' heroin trade, and the addict who just can't quit

He’s a long-term heroin user with a $200 per day habit. He freely admits he’s an addict, and he has no plans to get clean. At 46 years old, John* is one of hundreds of injecting drug users in Perth. Just don’t call him a junkie | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why a glass of red wine is good for your gut

Alcohol consumption guidelines vary widely between countries. In the UK and Netherlands, no more than one glass of wine or a pint of beer a day is recommended. In the US it is double these levels, and in Mediterranean countries and Chile it’s even more relaxed when it comes to drinking wine | Conversation, UK

My son thrives on cannabis oil - but the draft NICE guidelines entrench the difficulties of getting Eddie the prescription he needs

[Recently] saw both the publication of the draft NICE guidelines and the findings of the NHS Review commissioned by the Heath Secretary Matt Hancock into the barriers families like ours are facing in accessing an NHS prescription for medicinal cannabis products | CDPRG blog, UK

Drug Policy Alliance Proposes Bold Solutions on International Overdose Awareness Day

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is urging policymakers to adopt Bold Solutions to the Overdose Crisis, including innovative harm reduction, drug education, evidence-based treatment and policy solutions in order to make a concerted dent in the overdose crisis, which claimed nearly 70,000 lives in the U.S. alone last year | DPA, UK