Daily news - 23rd January 2019

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UK news

Notification of tobacco or herbal products for smoking

Updated guidance for businesses needing to notify the government that they are placing a tobacco or herbal smoking product on the market | PHE, UK

County Lines Drugs Operations

What steps his Department is taking to prevent young people from becoming involved in county lines drugs operations | They work for you, UK

Social Rented Housing: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department takes steps to tackle the use of drugs in social housing; and if he will make a statement | They work for you, UK

Mentally ill people more at risk of losing benefits, study shows

People with ADHD were 3.4 times more likely than those with a physical ailment to have their benefits taken away. Those with alcohol or drug problems were twice as likely | Guardian, UK

Intoxicating Histories

Read our six-part story on intoxicants, the different forms they can take, and the blurry lines between safe and dangerous, legal and illegal | Wellcome Institute, UK

Three men sentenced after boys used to run drugs in county lines case

A Gloucestershire Constabulary investigation has brought down a county lines drugs operation which saw two young boys acting as runners distributing crack cocaine and heroin on the streets of Cheltenham | Gloucestershire Constabulary, UK

Sniffer dog Scamp has £25k bounty placed on his head by criminals after detecting £6m of illegal tobacco in five years, claims owner

Springer spaniel Scamp managed to detect £6m worth of illegal tobacco in a year, causing headaches for smugglers and black market dealers | Telegraph, UK


International news

Joe Biden says he ‘regrets’ supporting ‘tough-on-crime’ drug laws in 1990s as he considers presidential bid

Former vice president helped write 1994 crime bill criticised for leading to era of mass incarceration and disproportionately affecting black Americans | Independent, UK

Mexico's murder rate broke new record in 2018 as drug war drags on

Figures show 28,816 homicides, a 15% increase over the previous year, attributed to drug war and other illegal markets | Guardian, UK

NSW's resistance to pill testing will drive dealers to sell 'more dangerous drugs', ACT warns

Minister for justice says ACT’s support for pill testing could encourage dealers to offload lower-quality drugs in NSW | Guardian, UK

HSE defends installation of biohazard bins in Cork

The HSE has defended the installation of biohazard bins in parts of Cork city to tackle drug litter - describing them as an important public health tool in the war against heroin | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Big increase in heroin addiction in Cork and Kerry

Task force records ‘aging profile’ of people abusing drug in the south | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Irish farmers 'could be given licences to grow cannabis in the future'

The Department of Health said it may review its policy given its difficulty in sourcing cannabis product | Journal, Ireland

Study confirms 1-hour discharge rule for patients given naloxone after opiate overdose

Suspected opioid overdose patients treated with naloxone are safe for discharge from the emergency department after one hour. That is the conclusion of a studyto be published in the January 2019 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine | EurekAlert, USA

Design team creates a naloxone dispenser

Like many cities across the country, Cincinnati has been rocked by the opioid epidemic, with an ever-fluctuating range of 50 to 80 overdoses per week across the Tristate | Medical Xpress, USA

Municipal Drug Strategy: Lessons in Taking Drug Policy Reform Local

Municipal Drug Strategy: Lessons in Taking Drug Policy Reform Local lays out a roadmap for how U.S. cities of all sizes can address the harms of both drug use and the failed war on drugs, such as mass incarceration and the overdose crisis | DPA, USA

What Is Harm Reduction, Anyway?

We often describe Filter as “harm reduction journalism”—meaning both journalism that comes out of and reports on the harm reduction movement, but also journalism aimed at reducing the harms of traditional drug coverage | Filter Magazine, USA

Harm Reduction in the Land of 10,000 Rehabs

Addiction counselor Stephanie Devitch points to a Christmas tree glimmering with purple and silver ornaments in the lobby of Valhalla Place, the largest methadone provider in Minnesota | Filter Magazine, USA

The Drug GHB Is Killing Gay Men. This Survey Will Help Uncover The Scale Of The Problem

For a new documentary about GHB, BuzzFeed News and Channel 4 are asking gay and bisexual men to take this short survey, in confidence | BuzzFeed, USA

Racial disparities in opioid treatment completion across U.S. cities

When policymakers decide how to help more people with opioid use disorder enter and finish treatment, race is a necessary factor to consider | BASIS, USA

CBS rejects Super Bowl ad touting benefits of medical marijuana

Super Bowl LIII will be a clash of the coasts, with the New England Patriots facing off against the Los Angeles Rams. In both Massachusetts and California, the use of medical or recreational marijuana is legal | CBS News, USA

DR Congo: Heineken Billboards Glorify War

The multinational beer giant Heineken, the second largest beer producer in the world, has a long history of unethical marketing campaigns | IOGT, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

A generation of hidden drinkers: What’s happening to the drinking of the over 50s?

Colin Angus, a Senior Research Fellow at Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, University of Sheffield presents some worrying trends in alcohol consumption and harm in the over 50s | DrinkWise, AgeWell blog, UK

More crack users in prison drug treatment

The latest trends in alcohol and drug treatment in secure settings | Russell Webster, UK

Should all drugs be legalised now?

Most certainly drugs should be legalised, because prohibition causes far more devastation than the drugs themselves | The London Economic, UK

Points Roundtable, Part 1: Emily Dufton on Alex Berenson’s “Tell Your Children”

A new book about marijuana was released earlier this month. Alex Berenson’s Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence has been met with vocal critiques and admiration, and we here at Points wanted to respond | Points blog, USA

Three Charts on who uses illicit drugs in Australia

To demonstrate the failure of the war on drugs, NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann came out this week about her own drug use | Conversation, Australia