Daily news - 26th February 2019

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UK news

First Home Office licensed drug testing clinic opens

The first drug-testing service licensed by the Home Office allowing users to have substances checked has opened. The month-long pilot project in Weston-super-Mare offers anyone over 18 to have their drugs analysed anonymously at a clinic run by charity Addaction | BBC, UK

How pills bought online are scarring Scotland's rural villages

More people in Scotland are dying from drugs than ever before and the deaths are hitting every part of the country. An investigation by BBC Scotland's The Nine studied the record rise in one rural area - Dumfries and Galloway | BBC, UK

The Story of a Black-Out Benzo Addict

The blissful escape of benzodiazepines helped me cope with depression and anxiety, but my life ended up falling apart around me | VICE, UK

Inside Football Hooliganism's Hidden Crack and Heroin Problem

Some old-school hoolies have quit fighting on the terraces to battle their hardcore addictions | VICE, UK

Safety fears for vapers as devices go up in flames

[Free registration may be required] Vaping, the “safer” alternative to smoking, is leading to serious injuries from battery explosions, doctors have warned | Sunday Times, UK

Street Valium: the hidden killer of Wales' drug users

Growing numbers are dying as a result of taking the drug | Wales Online, UK

Police seize 30,000 illegal cigarettes in anti-INLA raids

Almost 30,000 cigarettes and 20 kilos of tobacco have been seized in Londonderry in police raids targeting the INLA | BBC, UK


International news

Facebook content moderators using drugs `and sex` at work to cope with PTSD symptoms

Facebook pays contracted workers $15 an hour to view offensive and violent content, some of which include videos depicting murders | Independent, UK

Uruguay: the world’s marijuana pioneers - audio

Five years after Uruguay became the first country to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, what does a legal cannabis industry look like? | BBC, UK

Philip Morris-funded FSFW fails (again) to end pariah status

The Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World published an open letter to the Board of the WHO on 24 January 2019, urging it to ‘consider how best to work with the Foundation’ | BMJ tobacco Control, UK

People using street tablets 'don't know what they are getting'

People using 'street tablets' are the focus of a new harm reduction campaign in Dublin's north inner city | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Drug use should be dealt with by health system – survey

Intervention should be left to health workers, not the gardaí or courts, Ana Liffey finds | Irish Times, Ireland

Former drug addict with 128 previous convictions spared jail because of 'Trojan work' at rehab

A former Dublin drug addict with 128 previous convictions has been spared jail for robbery and attempted robbery because of his “Trojan work” at rehabilitation | Irish Independent, Ireland

Finland Needs to Relax Its Restrictive Drug Laws – An Interview with Tuukka Tammi

Finland is debating the opening of its first drug consumption room to respond to high overdose death rates. Tuukka Tammi, a top researcher in the drug field in Finland, says restrictive drug laws should be reformed as well | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Too often, opioid abuse runs in the family, study shows

When parents abuse prescription painkillers, their teenagers may follow their example, a new study finds | Medical Xpress, USA

Fewer hospital programs address opioid abuse, study finds

The damage done to America's health by the opioid epidemic is well-recognized and enormous, with drug overdose death rates helping to drive down U.S. life expectancy in recent years. Yet as the problem has worsened, American hospitals collectively have seen a loss of programs dealing with substance abuse | Medical Xpress, USA

How the FDA’s Proposed Menthols Ban Could Harm Black Communities

Bad experiences with law enforcement are often cumulative: The more negative interactions one has with the police early in life, the higher one’s likelihood of being arrested later in life | Filter Magazine, USA

Bernie Is Back—With a Commitment to Progressive Drug Policies

Bernie Sanders, a leading leftist in the crowded cohort of Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2020, has reiterated his commitment to progressive drug policy and criminal justice transformation | Filter Magazine, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

How big tobacco keeps cancer rates high in countries like mine

The industry has lost the battle against regulation in the west, so is desperate to prevent Bangladesh from imposing vital taxes | Guardian opinion, UK

Traceability: the tobacco industry is part of the problem, not the solution

Tobacco industry executives have a track record of cheating and lying, but sometimes they tell the truth | BMJ Tobacco Control, UK

Did you look forward to last night’s bottle of wine a bit too much? Ladies, you’re not alone

This month, close to 40,000 people, mostly women, have given up alcohol for FebFast and many others will be participating in Dry July | Conversation, Australia



And finally...

Polly wants crack! Parrots 'addicted to OPIUM' wreak havoc on Indian farms as they ravage crops

Flocks of parrots believed to be addicted to opium have been ravaging crops on Indian farms in order to feed their bizarre habit | Mail Online, UK