Daily news - 25th January 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Crime in England and Wales: year ending September 2018

[Table 3 lists drug offences as numbering 140,399 from Oct 2017 to Sept 2018] | ONS, UK

Crime figures: Violent crime recorded by police rises by 19%

..."The Home Office has said that it's linked to the drugs market and the fact that cocaine, in particular, is now more readily available in this country," he said. "The price of it has come down, the purity has gone up, and that is increasing the tension between drug gangs, which spills across to the streets | BBC, UK

Chemsex friends & families support

Are you affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use? Is your partner, friend or family member engaged in chemsex? London Friend’s drug and alcohol support service Antidote has worked in partnership with Adfam to develop a resource for families, friends and partners of LGBT people using alcohol, drugs or engaged in chemsex | London Friend and Adfam, UK

Guidelines:  Children and young people exposed prenatally to alcohol

Guidelines to aid healthcare professionals in diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) have been published for Scotland. FASD describes a range of harmful effects to a fetus and baby’s development when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, resulting in brain damage and, in its most severe form, physical issues such as a smaller head and poor growth | Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, UK

Pubs and policy in 2019?

Pubs look set to continue to be a source of interest within alcohol policy debates in 2019, in part owing to their perceived role amongst some as part of a healthier drinking culture and shift away from cheap off-trade sales | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Dry January, social embarrassment and the gender split (PDF)

Men are more likely to feel stupid ordering nonalcoholic drinks, while younger consumers are demanding more choice, finds our exclusive consumer research | The Grocer, UK

Good Luck Getting Medical Cannabis On the NHS

Despite official guidelines, doctors are reluctant to prescribe the drug, with one hospital posting a notice telling patients not to even bother asking | VICE, UK

Digital inclusion project brings healthcare technology to the homeless

Homeless and insecurely housed people in Hastings now have access to medical treatment and support thanks to an innovative digital health care outreach project | NHS Digital, UK

Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of existing needle and syringe programmes in preventing hepatitis Ctransmission in people who inject drugs

[Open access] Needle and syringe programmes are a highly effective low-cost intervention to reduce hepatitis C virus transmission, and in some settings they are cost-saving. Needle and syringe programmes are likely to remain cost-effective irrespective of changes in hepatitis C virus treatment cost and scale-up | DEPP, UK

Developing expertise, customising sleep, enhancing study practices: exploring the legitimisation of modafinil use within the accounts of UK undergraduate students

[Open access] Increasing numbers of students are reportedly using prescription medications to enhance cognition. This study aimed to generate qualitative data on UK students’ understandings and perspectives of the risks and benefits surrounding so-called ‘study drugs’ (particularly, modafinil) | DEPP, UK


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support local stop smoking services which encourage smokers to transition to vaping | They work for you, UK

Fred Yates prize

The prize will be awarded at the annual SSA Conference to a researcher who is in the early or mid part of her or his career who has made a significant and specific contribution to the addictions field in recent years | SSA, UK

County Lines: London drugs gang in Swansea jailed

A gang member who forced an orphan to leave London and deal heroin and crack cocaine in Swansea has been sentenced | BBC, UK

Further man charged over Farnborough Airport cocaine seizure

A man has been arrested and charged, a year after cocaine with an estimated street value of £41m was seized from a private jet in Hampshire | BBC, UK

Kenya prosecutors withdraw cocaine smuggling case against British aristocrat Jack Marrian

The trial of a Scottish aristocrat charged with smuggling 100kg of cocaine into Kenya is on the verge of collapse after prosecution lawyers withdrew their case against him on Thursday | Telegraph, UK


International news

Rodrigo Duterte seeks to cut age of criminal responsibility to 12 as part of drug war

Philippines president originally wanted children as young as nine to be culpable as part of brutal war on drugs | Guardian, UK

Risk and responsibilization: resistance and compliance in Swedish treatment for youth cannabis use

[Open access] There is a lack of research on how youth make sense of substance abuse treatment. The aim of this article was to explore how young people in Stockholm, Sweden, perceive outpatient treatment for cannabis use, position themselves as subjects in relation to it, and how they respond to staff’s appeals to rationality and responsible action | DEPP, UK

Ciudad Juarez: Murder, drugs and football on the Mexican border

Between 2008 and 2011, a wave of brutal violence broke across this Mexican city of about 1.3 million people on the border with the United States | BBC, UK

Let's talk about Rx use: Recognizing and reversing an overdose

As addiction to opiates continues to be a major public health concern, it has become increasingly important to know how to respond to possible overdose situations | Medical Xpress, USA

'Cascade of Care' framework aims to reduce opioid deaths

Response to HIV/AIDS crisis provides valuable lessons for meeting challenges of ongoing opioid epidemic | EurekAlert, USA

Juul Builds Lobbying Clout In Washington

The presence of Juul e-cigarettes in high schools across the country is increasing — and so is Juul Labs' lobbying presence in the nation's capital | npr, USA

Sydney arrests made in Australia's largest heroin bust in 10 years: police

Four men have been charged after more than 150kg of heroin was allegedly smuggled into Sydney from Malaysia in air cargo labelled as gym equipment and supplements | SBS News, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

While The NHS Is Failing People, Small CBD Companies Are Stepping Up

When Sajid Javid introduced the new regulations on cannabis for medical use last year, it brought hope to hundreds of thousands of people. Now the NHS is routinely letting patients down and refusing to provide the medicinal cannabis they need. The law no longer stands in the way but many people are in despair at the cruel and ignorant response of the medical establishment and NHS bureaucrats | Clear, UK

A warning on the failure to take cannabis use seriously

More than 40,000 Irish people are addicted to cannabis in Ireland yet societal attitudes towards the drug are softening. Dr Bobby Smyth, a child and adolescent psychiatrist working with teenagers affected by addiction, speaks to Niamh Cahill about the need for greater awareness of the dangers of cannabis use | Medical Independent, Ireland

Points Roundtable, Part 2: Isaac Campos on Alex Berenson’s “Tell Your Children”

Today we bring you the second of four installments of our roundtable on Alex Berenson’s new book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence. This post comes from Isaac Campos, history professor at the University of Cincinnati and good friend of Points. He discusses Berenson’s use of his research, as well as issues Campos has with Berenson’s larger argument | Points blog, USA

Where’s the weed? Clues to Canada’s cannabis shortages

Provincial distributors subsequently blamed producers and federal regulators. Lacking stock, Québec closed stores three days a week. Alberta froze retailer licensing and Ontario limited store licences to 25 | Conversation, Canada