Daily news - 25th February 2019

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UK news

Home Office gives green light to first drug testing clinic

‘Life-saving’ scheme, licensed by the government, launched amid rising concern over potentially toxic substances | Guardian, UK

Heroin reversal drug demand shows scale of NI problem

A drug used to reverse the effects of heroin overdoses is saving hundreds of lives, an Up Close investigation into the scale of drug addiction in Northern Ireland has found | ITV, UK

UPDATED Long-acting buprenorphine an advance on daily dose

*Updated with UK licensing information and advice released in February 2019 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence*
What could prove a technical advance in the medication-based treatment of opiate dependence was rigorously tested and partially vindicated among hundreds of patients at over 30 US clinics | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drug Seizures

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the supply of (a) cannabis, (b) heroin, (c) cocaine and (d) ecstasy that was seized in each year since 2008 | They work for you, UK

The dangers of taking MDMA when you’re on antidepressants

Taking MDMA isn’t recommended regardless of your mental health status, but when you’re taking antidepressants it can cause a number of extra problems | Metro, UK

Councils call for powers to tackle 'lawless' shisha bars

Local Government Association says bar owners undeterred by one-off £2,500 fines | Guardian, UK

Street drinking in Barking & Dagenham: a research report

A new research report detailing the experiences of street drinkers in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham highlights the lack of published research on the subject, as well as the complexity of the issue and possible responses | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Bookmakers call for drugs clampdown to tackle racecourse brawls

Racecourses should do more to counter illegal drug use and fighting, according to on-course bookmakers who are well placed to witness bad behaviour among the crowds at British tracks | Guardian, UK

Licensee's views on drug use in pubs

The use of illicit drugs in pubs is not a new problem and is one that continues to cause headaches for operators and, unfortunately, even the most responsible and well-run licensed premises are not immune from issues surrounding them | Morning Advertiser, UK

Pubs are closing down at a rate of one every 12 hours, new figures show

The Campaign for Real Ale say that 378 pubs shut down permanently between July and December last year in England, Scotland and Wales, representing more than 14 closures a week | Telegraph, UK

The men who tried to warn us about smoking - audio

British doctors produced a report in 1962 warning that 1 in 3 smokers would die before the age of 65. They suggested restrictions on advertising and on smoking in public places | BBC, UK

Gin’s journey in Britain, from ‘mother’s ruin’ to a hipster drink

The UK has witnessed a gin boom in recent years, now there are signs that it might go global | Independent, UK

Study title: What do you think about drug use?

Survey. This study investigates what members of the public think about issues related to illegal drug use | LJMU, UK

Portsmouth-based HMS Dragon seizes £9m of heroin in Gulf

Crew on Portsmouth-based HMS Dragon discovered 49kg of the Class A drug hidden on a vessel travelling on a notorious drug-smuggling route | BBC, UK

Scunthorpe homeless drugs row murderer jailed

Dion Hendry, 24, was living alongside Raymond Ward, 51, and other homeless people in a derelict former council property in Scunthorpe | BBC, UK


International news

US man writes his own obituary to warn others against smoking

A 66-year-old man in New York state took it upon himself to write his own obituary as a cautionary tale warning others against smoking | BBC, UK

El Chapo's lawyers request new trial after report of juror misconduct

Allegations emerged this week that jury members followed media coverage of high profile trial, despite orders not to | Guardian, UK

Tainted alcohol kills at least 84 people in India

Hundreds more are sick, with many of them critical, says Assam health minister | Guardian, UK

'I sold alcohol as a child to survive' - North Korean defector

Video. Days before US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un are set to meet in Vietnam for a second time, the BBC's Laura Bicker hears the story of Jessie Kim, who escaped from North Korea after a childhood selling alcohol at local markets | BBC, UK

Drug users in Dublin consuming entire trays of prescription tablets

“People might not associate their intake of pills with increasing their overdose risk,” says Ana Liffey Drug Project CEO Tony Duffin | Journal, Ireland

Night-time economy

City councils and tourism authorities like to talk about what they call the “night-time economy”, by which they mean businesses that supply alcohol, food, and entertainment in pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Irish psychiatrists treating children for 'gaming disorder'

Psychiatrists are treating teenagers for gaming addiction including some who are adjusting their body clocks to play against people in different time-zones | Independent, Ireland

Xchange — 16 new programmes added to online registry of evidence-based prevention programmes

The EMCDDA has added 16 new programmes to Xchange, its online registry of evidence-based prevention programmes. Launched in October 2017, and now ending its pilot phase, the registry showcases interventions that European evaluation studies demonstrate to have promising outcomes relating to substance use. Five of the new programmes focus on substance use prevention and 11 on crime and delinquency prevention. At present, Xchange contains 38 programmes | EMCDDA, Portugal

Amid opioid crisis, Google Maps will show where to dispose drugs

On Thursday, the company said it would begin showing people where to discard unneeded medications, at places such as local pharmacies, hospitals and government buildings | CNN, USA

A Tale of Two Cities in the Grips of the Opioid Crisis

Vancouver and Philadelphia are both facing overdose epidemics—but one city has found a way to keep people alive | The Nation, USA

Researchers examine patterns of prescription opioid misuse and other substance use

On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose and almost 218,000 Americans died from overdoses related to prescription opioids from 1999 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) | Medical Xpress, USA

US opioid deaths jump fourfold in 20 years; epidemic shifts to Eastern states

Opioid-related deaths nationwide jumped fourfold in the last two decades, and the epidemic has made major inroads in the Eastern states, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard University and the University of Toronto | Medical Xpress, USA

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on additional steps by the agency to support the development of safe and effective novel nicotine replacement therapies to help smokers quit cigarettes

More than 54 years after the landmark Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health, tobacco use – primarily cigarette smoking – remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., responsible for 480,000 premature deaths each year. Why? Because cigarettes are incredibly addictive | FDA, USA

Juul annual sales projected to top $3 billion after profitable 2018: Bloomberg

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc’s revenue is expected to triple this year to about $3.4 billion following a profitable 2018, Bloomberg reported on Friday | Reuters, USA

NYC Poised for Key Decision on Banning Sales of Flavored Vapes

New York City is about to make a decision that will resonate far beyond the five boroughs. In January, City Council Health Chair Mark Levine introduced Ordinance 1362, which would prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the city | Filter Magazine, USA

A 'joint' problem: Investigating marijuana and tobacco co-use

As more states move to legalize medicinal marijuana and some to decriminalize recreational use, a better understanding is needed of how co-use of marijuana affects quit attempts by smokers | Medical Xpress, USA

Supreme Court Limits Drug War’s Civil Asset Forfeiture

On February 20, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously to limit a key drug war policy that allows state and local law enforcement agencies to seize items or property that they deem connected to crime | Filter Magazine, USA

Drug and alcohol research connections - February 2019

Latest news, research and opinion | NDARC, Australia

WA drivers under the influence of drugs to be hit with new fines and charges

WA motorists could soon face tough new penalties if they are caught driving under the influence of drugs, as the State Government announces plans to introduce tougher consequences for offenders | abc.net.au, Australia

Immediate action urged to help WA children in prison with FASD

Telethon Kids Institute research has found almost all of the children at Banksia Hill, who come from across WA, have severe cognitive impairment | SMH, Australia

Capsule v zip lock bag: How the law views the way party drugs are carried

A person can carry three times as much MDMA into a music festival and still be eligible for a $400 on-the-spot fine, in lieu of facing a court, if the drugs are carried in a form other than a capsule, in what legal experts have called a "double standard" | SMH, Australia

Festivals with potential for a drug death deemed 'high risk'

Festivals with drug-related deaths have been deemed 'high risk' under the state government's new licensing rules | Age, Australia

'Rushed and botched': new festival rules condemned by music industry

Labor and the Greens have criticised a new licensing scheme for "high-risk" festivals | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Malia Obama’s rosé-shaming is the latest in drinking double standards

Women consuming alcohol is a favourite of moralising tabloids and right-wingers, despite the fact that men are far more likely to drink to excess | Guardian opinion, UK

Has the decade-old war on drugs in Asia succeeded?

Data shows that brutal anti-drug policies have failed to curb drug trade and use across Asia | Al Jazeera, Qatar