Daily news - 30th August 2019

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UK news

Road to recovery: Addiction in our society – the case for reform (PDF)

We are clear that no one should be left behind on the road to recovery. Effectively funded and commissioned services, targeted at helping people fully recover from dependence, is crucial to delivering this | CJS, UK

Stop the deaths

New website. Drug deaths are being prevented every day in Scotland, but despite all our efforts and successes, there are still many tragic and preventable deaths. #StopTheDeaths aims to highlight what can be done NOW to reduce the tragic toll of drug-related deaths in the country | SDF, UK

Music festivals: What can be done to stop drug deaths?

At least one person has died from a suspected drugs overdose at a music festival this summer. The 17-year-old's death at the event in Leeds has reignited the debate about what can be done to stop others meeting the same fate | BBC, UK

Health warnings on individual cigarettes could play a role in reducing smoking

Experts from Stirling's Institute of Social Marketing examined smokers' perceptions of the warning 'Smoking kills' on individual cigarettes - as opposed to the message only appearing on packs | News Medical, UK

'Hundreds' seek private clinics for medical cannabis

Hundreds of people in the UK are turning to private clinics for medical cannabis, BBC News has been told | BBC, UK

Cannabis: Miracle Medicine or Dangerous Drug? - BBC iPlayer

At an extraordinary moment in the history of one of the world’s oldest and most controversial drugs, Horizon investigates the very latest medical and scientific research into the effects of cannabis on the brain and the body | BBC, UK

No proof red wine makes you slim or is good for your gut

Researchers looked at the self-reported drinking habits of 916 female twins in the UK, and cross-checked their findings in similar groups from the US and Belgium | NHS Behind the headlines, UK

University of Portsmouth closes student bar after demand for alcohol plummets

Street food, coffee and ‘comfy furniture’ on offer in new social space | Independent, UK

8th European Alcohol Policy Conference (8EAPC) Report (PDF)

On behalf of SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) and Eurocare (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance) we are delighted to publish this summary of discussions that took place during the 8th European Alcohol Policy Conference (8EAPC) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Scotland, on 20th and 21st November 2018 | SHAAP and Eurocare, UK

UK Recovery Walk brochure

Each September in the UK thousands of people in recovery as well as projects and services celebrate their successes and recovery itself by organising and taking part in events that are hosted up and down the UK | FAVOR UK, UK

Policing boss says some drug crimes 'as good as decriminalised' in North Wales

Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said other forms of justice are the way forward on drug crimes | Wales Live, UK


International news

Cannabis trial: Dutch cities picked for cafe supply experiment

Cannabis cafes in the Netherlands are to be supplied legally with drugs from regulated producers as part of a trial aimed at tackling the black market | BBC, UK

Cigarette makers in talks to merge in $200 billion deal - audio

Philip Morris, which makes Marlboro, will merge with another cigarette maker, Altria. The two firms were part of the same company until ten years ago. So what's behind this latest deal? We hear from Jennifer Maloney who covers the companies for the Wall Street Journal | BBC, UK

Here's Where We're at with the Rash of Vape-Related Illnesses

The bulk of the cases seem to involve patients inhaling tetrahydrocannabinol, from THC oil cartridges supposedly bought off the street or at head shops | VICE, UK

Electric Picnic festival goers warned of high strength drugs

Young people attending this weekend’s Electric Picnic Festival in Co Laois have been warned of high strength drugs in circulation, particularly as a number of people have died already this year to drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Gardaí adopt twin-track approach to tackle drugs risk at festivals

With Electric Picnic nearing, the Garda’s top drug officer talks to Cormac O’Keeffe about drugs, festivals and testing | Irish Examiner, Ireland

U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory: Marijuana Use and the Developing Brain

I, Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of protecting our Nation from the health risks of marijuana use in adolescence and during pregnancy. Recent increases in access to marijuana and in its potency, along with misperceptions of safety of marijuana endanger our most precious resource, our nation’s youth | HSS.gov, USA

The Future of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids

Deaths involving synthetic opioids in the United States increased from roughly 3,000 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2018. In fact, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are now involved in twice as many deaths as heroin. This book offers a systematic assessment of the past, present, and possible futures of synthetic opioids in the United States | RAND Corporaton, USA

Watch: Fentanyl Safety Campaign Poses the “Coke Challenge”

US-based harm reduction group DanceSafe and Canadian creative agency The Garden have partnered to present the “Coke Challenge” ahead of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. It’s an educational campaign aimed at encouraging cocaine users to test their drug with fentanyl test strips | Filter Magazine, USA

Marlboro cigarette giant vying to become the next e-cigarette giant

The nation's dominant tobacco company, maker of the top-selling Marlboro cigarette, is trying to become the next e-cigarette giant | The Star, USA

Drug use, excess alcohol and no helmet common among US injured e-Scooter users

A significant proportion of e-Scooter injuries in the US seem to be occurring while 'drivers' are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and almost never wearing a helmet, suggests a study of admissions to three US major trauma centres | Medical Xpress, USA

New medication may be able to improve effects of psychological treatment for PTSD

A medication that boosts the body's own cannabis-like substances, endocannabinoids, shows promise to help the brain un-learn fear memories when these are no longer meaningful | Medical Xpress, USA

Socially Anxious People Are Taking MDMA and Other Psychedelics to Cope

Scientists say that combined with therapy, these drugs could be a promising treatment option | VICE, USA

International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose | Penington Institute, Australia

Heroin overdose spike linked to painkiller changes

The Monash Addiction Research Centre warns Victoria is facing a heroin crisis not seen since the heroin glut in the mid to late-1990s. A new study by the centre finds there was a 25 per cent increase in heroin overdoses in Victoria from 2014 to 2018 | SMH, Australia

Concordance between self-reported hepatitis C virus infection status and dried blood spot result in a cohort of people who inject drugs

This presentation was given by Daisy Gibbs at the Winter School Conference, 25-26 July 2019, Brisbane, Australia. In this presentation Daisy discussed findings from the 2018 Illicit Drug Reporting System with regard to factors associated with self-reported history of HCCV antibody and RNA testing, HCV treatment engagements, and completion, as well as socio-demographics and past six-month drug use and health service utilisation | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

A more sophisticated approach to drugs is needed to tackle gang violence effectively

With everything else going on in politics and the world at the moment, an article in The Times entitled 'Criminal Gangs "Better Funded Than the Police"' may have passed people by. For those of us on the centre right of politics it should serve as a wake up call, an eye-opener to the evidence about what is happening on our streets now...today! | CDPRG blog, UK

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH: It's time to break the cycle of addiction that is killing TEN TIMES more people than the tragic knife crime epidemic

The tragic, almost daily, examples of knife crime in the UK rightly concern and dismay the British public. Each headline of each stabbing speaks of forgotten communities, dysfunctional broken homes and broken lives | Mail Online, UK

Programmes like High Society: Cannabis Cafe prove taking drugs is fine ⁠— but only if you’re privileged and on TV

New Channel 4 show High Society: Cannabis Cafe might seem harmless, but only the privileged get away with flippancy around casual drugs | I news, UK

Drug makers conspired to worsen the opioid crisis. They have blood on their hands

Johnson & Johnson and others profited from addiction and death – and yet they still don’t think they’ve done anything wrong | Guardian, UK

I've spent almost all my time as an adult high on drugs. Travel saved my life

After his writing about meth recovery was Walkley-nominated, Luke Williams was high on meth again. Three years of travel – which almost killed him – showed him how to live | Guardian, UK

The Eastern Bloc, the Cold War and International Drug Trafficking

Today’s post is the final in the two-part series from Dr. Ned Richardson-Little on drug use in East Germany during the Communist period. Richardson-Little is a Freigeist Fellow at the University of Erfurt, Germany, where he is currently leading a major research project on the history of “deviant globalization” in modern Germany | Points blog, USA