Daily news - 17th January 2019

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UK news

New appointments to the ACMD

Six new members of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) have been announced today | ACMD, UK

ACMD members' register of interests

Occupations, career history and interests of the members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) | ACMD, UK

Legitimate use of controlled drugs: research and healthcare - updated

Interim advice to the Home Office regarding the legitimate use of controlled drugs in research and healthcare. This update consists of a further letter from the Policing Minister published, responding to the ACMD's recommendations | ACMD, UK

Cannabis-based Products: Medicinal Use

What guidance his Department has issued to clinicians on the prescription of cannabis-based products for medicinal use | They work for you, UK

Leaders with Lived Experience Pilot Programme

Leaders with Lived Experience is a pilot programme providing National Lottery grants of between £20,000 and £50,000 to support lived experience leadership. A lived experience leader is someone who uses their first-hand experience of a social issue to create positive change for, and with, communities and people they share those experiences with | Big Lottery Fund, UK

Low and No Alcohol Boom Here To Stay: New Figures Show Significant Consumer Support For Alternatives in 2019

One of the first surveys into attitudes towards low alcohol released today by the alcohol social responsibility body the Portman Group highlights an explosion in popularity of low and no alcohol alternatives as a way to drink responsibly, with younger people leading the trend. Figures show that nearly a quarter (24%) of British drinkers have either already switched some of their drinking to low alcohol alternatives or would consider doing so in the next six months | Portman Group, UK

Obesity overtaking smoking as biggest Welsh health risk

The "stark" problem with overweight children could also mean this generation will not live as long as their parents, according to Wales' chief medical officer | BBC, UK

Alcohol Related Deaths 2007-2017

[Northern Ireland] The statistics show that 303 of the 16,036 deaths registered in Northern Ireland in 2017 were due to alcohol related causes. This is almost 30 per cent more than was recorded a decade previously (238) and 70 per cent more than 2001 when the time series began (178). However alcohol related deaths continue to account for less than 2% of total deaths registered each year | NISRA, UK Ireland

Alcohol harm reduction education gains credibility in UK

Trialled in schools in Northern Ireland and Scotland, an alcohol harm reduction curriculum for secondary schools plus a parental component led to fewer pupils drinking heavily at a single sitting. Bolstered by this study, school programmes aiming to reduce harm rather than prevent drinking per se now have a limited but relatively good research record in the UK | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Review of the new strategic direction for alcohol and drugs – phase 2 (PDF)

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has undertaken a comprehensive review of the New Strategic Direction for Alcohol and Drugs- Phase 2 (NSD-2), the region’s strategy on reducing alcohol and drug-related harm since 2011 | IPH, UK

North Yorkshire drugs gang violence 'at unprecedented level'

Violence linked to "county lines" drugs gangs operating in North Yorkshire has hit unprecedented levels in the past 18 months, police chiefs have said | BBC, UK

Pub selling Britain's cheapest pint for just £1 - but there's some bad news

The bargain deal on a pint of Fosters lager runs all day every day except Fridays and Saturdays | Mirror, UK

Drug addicts make Peterborough surgery 'too dangerous'

A city surgery is to close because drug addicts and prostitutes in the area had made it "simply too dangerous" for doctors to work there, a GP has said | BBC, UK

Home brew sparked homes evacuation in Kirkcaldy

A number of homes in Fife were evacuated after home brew was mistaken for a potentially dangerous substance | BBC, UK

Carlisle addicts who trafficked drugs sentenced

Terry Glencross, 39, and Gillian Proud, 55, were pressured to courier Class A drugs so their arrears would be wiped out, Carlisle Crown Court heard | BBC, UK


International news

Australian students launch national campaign to pressure MPs to allow pill-testing

Students for Sensible Drug Policy campaign comes as NSW coroner investigates five recent deaths at music festivals | Guardian, UK

Smoking cannabis just once can change a teenager’s brain, study reveals

Teenagers who use cannabis just once or twice may end up with changes to the structure of their brain, scientists have warned | Independent, UK

Dutch pair 'tried to smuggle £130m of cocaine'

Two Dutch men attempted to smuggle cocaine worth more than £130m into Europe on a yacht, a court has heard | BBC, UK

‘Time to develop interventions that meet the needs of the transgender community’

Part review, part ‘call to action’, this review highlights what has been known for several decades – transgender people have been neglected in substance use intervention research. The importance of services being culturally sensitive and affirming their clients’ gender identities cannot be understated. Without this, services will be perceived to be exclusive, and prevent transgender clients from focusing on their substance use problems | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Canadians Spent $1.6 Billion on Legal Weed in 2018: Report

Canadians spent $1.6 billion (£938 million) on legal weed in 2018, more than double the amount that was spent on solely medical cannabis in 2017, according to a new report | VICE, UK

Singapore Creates New Drug Offences with Lengthy Sentences

On 15 January, Singapore's Parliament passed amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act which introduce a range of new drug offences | Talking Drugs, UK

Russian post offices raise funds with beer

Russia's beleaguered mail service plans to keep local post offices open by letting them sell beer | BBC, UK

Silent Voices alcohol abuse campaign ‘not about judging parents’

The organisation behind a new campaign aimed at tackling the trauma endured by the children of those who abuse alcohol say the initiative is not about judging parents, but ending an ongoing cycle of harmful drinking | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Meth And Cocaine Deaths Are Spurring A “Fourth Wave” Of The Overdose Crisis

“It’s not your father’s drug market,” said one expert. “We have a synthetic drug crisis caused by stronger and more potent drugs.” | BuzzFeed, USA

Pain in quitting: How smoking relates to pain sensitivity

Last year, The DRAM reviewed a study suggesting that experiencing pain can increase a person’s desire and intent to drink. Similarly, people experiencing chronic pain are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with nicotine dependence | BASIS, USA

The best Rx for teens addicted to vaping? No one knows

The nation's top health authorities agree: Teen vaping is an epidemic that now affects some 3.6 million underage users of Juul and other e-cigarettes. But no one seems to know the best way to help teenagers who may be addicted to nicotine | Medical Xpress, USA

Call to Develop Meth Addiction Meds Mustn’t Obscure Woeful Lack of Access to Existing Tools

Meth’s Resurgence Spotlights Lack of Meds to Combat the Addiction,” reads the headline of an article first published on Kaiser Health News then reposted to ABC News. Stimulant-involved overdose deaths have tripled between 2011 and 2016, the article notes | Filter Magazine, USA

Duterte gov't allows 'drug war' deaths to go unsolved

The systematic delay in solving killings does not help the Duterte administration in a landmark legal battle before the International Criminal Court | Rappler, USA

The ‘war on drugs’ is ineffective and violates human rights, say researchers and NGOs

A 130 per cent increase in poppy growing, more than 72,000 deaths by overdose during 2017 in the United States alone (the highest level on record), nearly 4,000 prisoners with death sentences executed worldwide since 2009 for drug-related crimes | Equal Times, USA

McGowan rejects pill testing in WA

I've read a lot of the materials around it, if I genuinely thought it would save lives I'd say it was a good idea but I don't," Mr McGowan said | Age, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The new film Beautiful Boy is a truly honest tale of the cycle of drug use, relapse and recovery

The new film, Beautiful Boy, follows the true story of Nic Sheff’s struggle with a crystal methamphetamine addiction and his father David’s mission to support him. It vividly documents the complexity and ambiguity which often surrounds drug use. Steve Carell’s character David loves his son | Addaction blog, UK

It’s time to look beyond cannabis and talk about how regulate stimulants

The question of how we should regulate a legal market in stimulant drugs, including cocaine, MDMA and amphetamines, remains one of the most unexplored challenges in contemporary drugs policy. It is a void Transform’s upcoming book on stimulant regulation aims to fill | Transform, UK

Beautiful boys acting ugly: why cinema can't kick its drug habit

This week, Timothée Chalamet chucks crystal meth for easy awards bait. Next week, Clint Eastwood smuggles coke for dodgy social commentary. When will the movies stop their substance abuse? | Guardian, UK

The 1920s weren’t just gin joints and jazz. Anti-immigrant racism was all the rage | NYTimes opinion, USA

El Chapo trial shows why a wall won’t stop drugs from crossing the US-Mexico border

The trial of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera has exposed just how powerful Mexico’s cartels really are | Conversation, Australia