Daily news - 21st January 2019

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UK news

Timothée Chalamet

Our DrugWise Director @Shapiroharry interviews Timothée Chalamet on @BBC radio 1 about his film Beautiful Boy exploring family relationships with addiction. Listen from 90 mins in | BBC Radio 1 Life Hacks, UK

New centre in Liverpool studying alcohol misuse

Liverpool is to get a new facility looking into alcohol misuse. The centre will research the reasons and consequences for the abuse of alcohol and look to develop new treatments. TV presenter Adrian Chiles will be at the opening later to offer support and discuss some of the problems he's had with alcohol misuse | ITV, UK

NHS England’s plan to eliminate Hepatitis C decisively backed by High Court

NHS England’s plan to eliminate Hepatitis C in England by 2025 is on track after all aspects of a High Court challenge by pharmaceutical company AbbVie were dismissed | NHS England, UK

E-cigarette fears

The King’s Health Partners Addictions Clinical Academic Group are one of the largest providers of NHS addictions services in the UK.Research from King’s College London has found that smokers and ex-smokers in the UK overestimate the harm from vaping, with fewer than 6 out of 10 accurately believing that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes | Kings Health Partners, UK

Anger as Sainsbury's puts e-cigarettes and vaping liquids on open shelves near its health and beauty aisle

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said the move was to site vaping products by smoking cessation aids such as nicotine patches | Mail Online, UK

Uncovering the Golden Age of Britain’s Drug Smuggling Trade

Today, the highly lucrative British drug smuggling trade is an amorphous, sometimes deadly, free-for-all, teeming with interconnected players from all walks of life. Using the dark web, anyone with a laptop can become an international drug smuggler | VICE, UK

Blenheim and Humankind merger confirmed

Pioneering health and social care charity Humankind and innovative London-based alcohol and drug charity Blenheim CDP have confirmed that they will merge in April 2019 following the announcement of their intention to merge in November | Humankind, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse:Written question - 208256

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on reducing rates of alcohol dependency among homeless people; and if he will make a statement | Parliament.uk, UK

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

It is a shame that the Children’s Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, could not stay for the debate, because I think that it follows on very naturally from the last one | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on reducing rates of drug dependency among homeless people; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of the total number of alcohol-related crimes committed in each year since 2010 | They work for you, UK

Parliamentary Estate: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, for what reasons the Commission has restricted the sale of alcohol in parliamentary cafeterias selling food; and how that policy is intended to promote responsible alcohol consumption | They work for you, UK

Can pubs stand many more Dry Januarys?

"As a small independent bar group, we do feel a hit at the start of the year," says Tom Jackman, director of the Northcote, Venn Street and Old Street Records bars in London | BBC, UK

MDMA for alcohol dependence, Music and sleep, Interoceptive skills, Parasites and entrepreneurship - audio

Claudia Hammond finds out why MDMA could help treat people with alcohol dependence. Plus why city traders who can detect their own heartbeat may do better in the money markets | BBC, UK

Pulse 5: Involving service users and stakeholders as equal partners in the Forward East Kent Substance Misuse Service

This issue of Pulse focuses on how we involved service users and stakeholders as equal partners in the design of Forward’s East Kent Substance Misuse Service and the impact that this approach has had | Forward Trust, UK

Pupils in hospital after 'drug-related' incident at Dunfermline High School

Four pupils have been taken to hospital after becoming unwell during a suspected drug-related incident at a school in Fife | BBC, UK

Bury drugs inquiry: Further arrest after boys fall ill

Three boys who fell seriously ill after taking a "dangerous" batch of pills are now in a stable condition, police have said | BBC, UK

400% rise in use of Section 60 stop and search powers

The use of section 60 ‘stop and search’ powers rose five-fold last year. Figures obtained by Channel 4 News revealed that 7,328 section 60 orders were used in 2018, a 417% rise compared to the previous year. In the same period, there was almost a 15% rise in stop and searches, over 150,000 in total, and arrests were down in the same period by nearly 4% | Justice Gap, UK

Soldiers who held ‘cocaine parties’ kicked out of British Army

A total of 16 soldiers have been kicked out of the army after they were found to have participated in ‘cocaine parties’, it has been claimed | Metro, UK

Drugs gang jailed as police seize cocaine, heroin and MDMA worth £2.7m

Ringleader Gary O'Regan ran the network, distributing guns and drugs from southern Spain and Salford | BBC, UK

West Yorkshire men jailed for selling drugs on dark web

Three men who sold potentially deadly drugs on the dark web have been jailed | BBC, UK

Homeless man dies in Belfast city centre

The man was found in a doorway in High Street on Friday morning by staff members from the Welcome Organisation's Street Outreach team | BBC, UK


International news

Wine is different from other alcohols and cannot be blamed for binge drinking, French Minister claims

France's agriculture minister Didier Guillaume has provoked controversy after claiming wine is different from other alcohols and can rarely be the cause of binge drinking | Independent, UK

E-cigarettes could be banned in US, FDA says

Commissioner warns it could be ‘game over’ for popular e-cigarettes if use continues to rise among youth | Independent, UK

US regions where drug companies marketed hit hardest by opioids crisis

Researchers found increases in marketing were associated with higher prescribing and a higher rate of overdoses | Guardian, UK

This is not about grog. It's about depression, hopelessness and failed government

Australia is a country that even when not being intolerably racist believes First Nations people are not able to look after ourselves | Guardian, UK

Fun Lovin' Criminals frontman Huey Morgan says drugs are 'propelling' popularity of trap music

'It's all that lean (prescription cough syrup) and weed and [Xanax], and all that drug s*** that's propelling this music to be really dopey,' says Morgan | Independent, UK

Bangladesh accused of using war on drugs to hide political assassinations

When Habibur Rahman last month joined scores gunned down by Bangladesh’s elite paramilitary anti-crime taskforce, officers told a vivid tale of how he had met his | Telegraph, UK

Parents who regularly take three or more drinks a day may be abusing children

Addiction specialist warns parents on impact of their drinking on family | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs — New York City, 2000–2017

Unintentional drug overdose deaths have climbed to record high levels, claiming approximately 70,000 lives in the United States in 2017 alone | CDC, USA

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on unprecedented new efforts to support development of over-the-counter naloxone to help reduce opioid overdose deaths

With the number of overdose deaths involving prescription and illicit opioids more than doubling over the last seven years to nearly 48,000 in 2017, it’s critical that we continue to address this tragedy from all fronts. This includes new ways to increase availability of naloxone, a drug used to treat opioid overdose | FDA, USA

Firsthand accounts indicate fentanyl test strips are effective in reducing overdose risk

Young adults who use drugs find fentanyl test strips useful, residue testing more convenient and testing at home more private, a Brown study found | EurekAlert, USA

New study shows physician-targeted marketing is associated with increase in opioid overdose deaths

Many individuals cite prescription opioids as their gateway to illicit opioid use. However, while prescription opioids are involved in more than one-third of all opioid overdose deaths in the U.S., examining any correlation between prescription opioid overdose deaths and pharmaceutical industry marketing has been limited—until now | Medical Xpress, USA

Opioid addiction is a public health crisis—the way we're talking about it isn't helping

The misuse of and addiction to opioids is a public health crisis in the United States. Part of solving that crisis, say two Northeastern researchers, is changing how we talk about addiction | Medical Xpress, USA

What’s Taking So Long for Naloxone to Be Made Available Over the Counter?

Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose within minutes. Prompt access would prevent many of the 130 opioid-related deaths that occur in the United States every day | Filter Magazine, USA

'Happiness' exercises can boost mood in those recovering from substance use disorder

Brief, text-based, self-administered exercises can significantly increase in-the-moment happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders, report researchers | Science Daily, USA

Does Cannabis Use Cause Schizophrenia?

Nearly a century after the film “Reefer Madness” alarmed the nation, some policymakers and doctors are again becoming concerned about the dangers of marijuana, although the reefers are long gone | NYTimes, USA

Cannabis deliveries OK’d in California: 'The public spoke loud and clear'

California endorsed a rule Wednesday that will allow home marijuana deliveries statewide, even into communities that have banned commercial pot sales | USA Today, USA

Alcohol use and dementia: a systematic scoping review

[Open access] Alcohol use has been identified as a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline. However, some patterns of drinking have been associated with beneficial effects | BMC, Canada

What if cannabis profits went back to the community?

If recreational cannabis is legalised, some people think the profits should go back to the community - a model that's already used with alcohol | Newshub, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

The Trip Report 16/01

Even if you know exactly what you’re taking, drug use is never safe — that said, it’s much safer when you do. Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and DanceSafe, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Findings published from the first phase of the ADVANCE Research Programme

We are pleased to share with you that the findings from the first phase of the ADVANCE research programme have been published. We conducted a synthesis of 26 existing qualitative studies to explore how substance use features in survivors’ and perpetrators’ accounts of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration to help us better understand the relationship between IPV and substance use | KCL blog, UK

Newspapers are mocking Beautiful Boy, but it is the first film which accurately reflects what I have been through with addiction

There's no advice for how to navigate their addiction and your love for them. Beautiful Boy captures that | i news opinion, UK

Does marijuana use really cause psychotic disorders?

Alex Berenson says the drug causes ‘sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults’. As scientists, we find his claims misinformed and reckless | Guardian opinion, UK

Guy Kennaway: My sister said, ‘Well done Guy, you killed Mummy!’

When his 88-year-old mother asked him to buy heroin so she could end her life, the author Guy Kennaway decided there was only one thing to do: write a book about it | Guardian, UK

Albanian mafia: the dangerous myth that distorts our view of the global drugs trade

Over the last few months, if not years, the UK media has reported claims by law enforcement authorities of an upsurge of serious, complex criminality conducted by Albanian organised crime groups, often referred to as the “Albanian mafia” | Conversation, UK

Health workers and security forces must collaborate, not collide

Health care workers, police officers, and members of the military share the goal of keeping people safe. All too often, though, they are working at cross purposes, set on a collision course with fatal consequences for the populations caught in the middle | STAT news opinion, USA

I'm 'coming out' about drugs: it's time get real about pill testing

I remember vividly the first time I took MDMA. I was with friends at a club in Brisbane in the early 90s. We danced all night to house music, talked nonsense with strangers, deep and meaningfully with each other. A month or so later we did it again. And again | SMH opinion, Australia

Lizzie Marvelly: Drug-test at festivals a no-brainer

I have to confess that music festivals are not really my thing. I'm an avid music-lover. I often become infatuated with songs and listen to them over and over on repeat | NZHerald opinion, New Zealand



Ans finally...

Cocaine in Thames makes eels hyperactive

[Free registration may be required] Londoners are taking so much cocaine that the class A drug can be found in the Thames — and it is being taken throughout the week, not just at weekends, according to scientists | Sunday Times, UK