Daily news - 28th January 2019

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UK news

County lines: Teenagers used by county lines drugs gangs 'rising'

The number of teenagers being used by the drugs trade in south Wales is rising and it would be "naive" to think none are from the area, a senior police officer has said | BBC, UK

Prosecutions: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of prosecutions for psychoactive substances dealing | They work for you, UK

Met police 'disproportionately' use stop and search powers on black people

London’s minority black population targeted more than white population in 2018 – official figures | Guardian, UK

MSPs back safe room for addicts in Glasgow to take drugs

MSPs last night voted to call on the UK government to allow a safe room to be created where addicts can take drugs | Scotsman, UK

Illegal tobacco trade harming efforts to cut smoking, councils warn

"The sale of cheap, illegal tobacco by rogue traders in shops, private homes and through social media is funding organised criminal gangs and damaging legitimate traders, as well as making it easier for young people to get hooked on smoking, which undermines councils’ efforts to help people quit." | Local Government, UK

'Millions' of fake cigarettes seized in UK

Herefordshire, Lincolnshire and Durham county councils in 2018 found illegal stashes of cigarettes behind shop walls, in sweet boxes and toilets | BBC, UK

Family spending in the UK: April 2017 to March 2018

Includes data on alcohol spending - Within catering services, the second-highest spend in the financial year ending (FYE) 2018 was on alcoholic drinks away from the home. On average, £8.00 per week was spent on this, accounting for 21% of household spending on catering services. This compares with an average household spend of £8.70 on alcoholic drinks brought home, giving a total average weekly expenditure of £16.70 spent on alcoholic drinks for all households | ONS, UK

Liverpool teenager dies after suspected MDMA overdose

The 19-year-old woman was believed to have had a cardiac arrest at the Hangar 34 Club, Greenland Street at about 02:30 GMT, Merseyside Police said | BBC, UK

Drink-drive detections down on previous Christmas period

More than 300 drink-drivers were detected by the PSNI in the run-up to and over Christmas | BBC, UK

London Pride beers sold to Japanese firm

Fuller's, the brewer whose beers include London Pride, is to sell its entire drinks business to Japan's biggest brewer Asahi | BBC, UK

Robbie Williams opens up about drug use in Instagram video

'When you get to 44 the heart can’t keep up with that s**t' | Independent, UK

Effectiveness Bank user survey 2019

Your chance to have your say on the services provided at findings.org.uk | Drugs and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drug dealer behind false novichok claim given 11-year jail term

Alex King, who was rushed to hospital after saying he was poisoned in Salisbury, has been convicted of drug offences | Guardian, UK

'Smart drugs' seized in Bournemouth medicine raids

About 200,000 doses of various pharmaceuticals were found during raids in Bournemouth, Dorset, on Thursday | BBC, UK


International news

European cannabis report: 4th edition

This report examines commercial and business opportunities in 33 European markets, changing legislation and new regulatory guidelines across the region and emerging trends, market forecasts and industry insights | Prohibition Partners, UK

Luxembourg to Open Drug Consumption Room Near French Border

Luxembourg will open a safer drug consumption room (DCR) - the country's second - during the first quarter of 2019, the health minister has announced | Talking Drugs, UK

‘Colombia of Europe’: How tiny Albania became the continent’s drug trafficking headquarters

'Albania is no longer a hub of cultivation. It’s become a centre of investment,  distribution, and recruitment' | Independent, UK

Festivalgoers hospitalised in NSW and Victoria after suspected drug-taking

Eleven people left ill in Sydney and six near Ballarat after Australia Day long weekend music festivals | Guardian, UK

A New Drug Policy Approach Can Alleviate Poverty in Rural India

The criminalisation of low-level opium cultivation in India is driving intergenerational poverty and inequality, but a new policy approach would reverse these harms and empower rural communities | Talking Drugs, UK

The Effect of Illicit Economies in the Margins of the State – The VRAEM

The analysis focuses on the influence of illegal economies on local order and questions the conventional rationale of instability and violence through illegal activities. In an in depth-case study the analysis provides evidence that illicit economies can contribute to the development of local order rather than destroying it | JIED, UK

Video - How addict Jesus survived South Africa's drug epidemic

A drug cocktail called nyaope is destroying young lives in South Africa's townships | BBC, UK

Hot topic: The rise of cannabis tourism

Canada recently legalised the recreational use of cannabis, and it’s allowed in 10 US states — high time, therefore, to look at what this means for tourism in North America | National Geographic, UK

Guzmán trial: Drug lord tortured and murdered rivals, says witness

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán personally tortured and murdered his rivals, his former bodyguard has said at a trial in New York | BBC, UK

Hidden harm practice guide. Seeing through Hidden Harm to brighter futures

Many different professionals and agencies in drug and alcohol services and child welfare and protection services are now involved in the care of children who are affected by parental problem alcohol, and other drug use | Health Service Executive and Tusla Child and Family Agency, Ireland

Dealers make violent threats against 12-year-olds over cannabis debt

Parents of addicts have remortgaged their homes in some cases to pay off drug debts | Journal, Ireland

Parents worried about risks, still think opioids are best for kids' pain relief

Headlines filled with frightening news of opioid abuse, overdoses and reports that 90 percent of addictions start in the teen years could make any parent worry | Medical Xpress, USA

Nature versus nurture and addiction

The progressive understanding of addiction as a disease rather than a choice has opened the door to better treatment and research, but there are aspects of addiction that make it uniquely difficult to treat | Medical Xpress, USA

West Virginia study details promising method for estimating rural intravenous drug use

Researchers release a new tool to help rural communities understand the resources needed to combat the opioid epidemic | Science Daily, USA

Present bias in alcohol use disorder

“Present bias” is the term used to describe how individuals perceive events, gains, and losses in the present as more significant than those in the future. A small amount of present bias is reasonable. For example, receiving $5 in the present should have more value than receiving $5 in the future | BASIS, USA

Tobacco use during adolescence is associated with paranoia, largely due to shared genetic influences

Paranoia is associated with regular tobacco smoking in adolescents after accounting for other factors like cannabis use, sleep disturbances and stressful life events, reports a study | Medical Xpress, USA

The vape company Juul said it doesn’t target teens. Its early ads tell a different story

A new analysis of Juul’s marketing campaign suggests it targeted youth from its inception | Vox, USA

Opioid injecting linked to substantial rise in bacterial heart infections

A study of people who inject drugs found a significant increase in the risk of infective endocarditis, a serious infection of the lining of the heart, possibly linked to increasing use of the opioid hydromorphone | EurekAlert, USA

Seven core principles can help substance use treatment systems focus on high-level goals

Building on reviews of existing studies, researchers in Canada have identified the principles that may help improve substance use treatment systems | EurekAlert, Canada

Tightly regulated framework likely for 2020 vote on cannabis

The 2020 referendum to legalise cannabis looks likely to propose a tightly regulated framework, including strict rules on supply and possession, an age limit of at least 18, and a non-profit model where money from sales may be funnelled into health services | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 25 January 2019

Includes an update on usage figures for the Talk to FRANK website | PHE blog, UK

Take-home naloxone: a life saver in opioid overdose

Deaths from synthetic opioids, natural and semi-synthetic opioids, and heroin totalled 49 068 in 2017 in the USA, with the sharpest increase occurring in fatal overdose related to oxycodone, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues | Lancet editorial, UK

Why it makes financial sense to help drug addicts, not punish them – Karyn McCluskey

Open a newspaper on any day of the week, and you’ll find stories of addiction. It might be a celebrity in rehab or a story closer to home: crime, homelessness, death, human misery. Often, the words used to describe the people involved seem designed to dehumanise: “junkie”, “smack head” | Scotsman opinion, UK

‘Hangxiety’: why alcohol gives you a hangover and anxiety

A few drinks can relax you – but, says scientist David Nutt, that morning-after feeling is the booze playing tricks with your brain | Guardian, UK

'The smell of booze was part of the fabric of my childhood': the hidden victims of alcoholism

What’s it like to grow up the child of an alcoholic? One writer looks back at her teenage years, and talks to others about fear, shame and survival | Guardian, UK

Bruce Gilden: 'In these women's faces, I find my mother's story'

When Bruce Gilden started to photograph the drug-addicted sex workers in Miami, he was confronted with the memory of his mother, who killed herself when he was a young man | Guardian, UK

Anne Hathaway is giving up booze for 18 years to be a better mother? I can’t drink to that

The actor is giving up alcohol so her son will never see her drunk. What joys he will miss out on. As my son asked me the other day: ‘If you can die from too much alcohol, how come you are still alive?’ | Guardian, UK

Why a public vote is the wrong way to determine drug policy

Does the way we approach drug law form fundamentally overlook what addiction is all about, asks Danyl Mclauchlan | The Spinoff, New Zealand