Daily news - 30th January 2019

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UK news

NCA publishes annual assessment of county lines as over 600 arrested as part of national coordinated activity targeting drug dealing model

The number of lines has increased from 720 (as acknowledged in the 17/18 assessment) to around 2,000. Children aged between 15-17 make up the bulk of the vulnerable people involved in county lines, and we know both girls and boys are groomed and exploited. Download the report here | NCA, UK

'County lines' drug networks rapidly expanding, says NCA

Crime agency reveals trebling of individual phone numbers used by criminal gangs | Guardian, UK

Airbnbs used as drug dens by expanding ‘county lines’ gangs, officials reveal

Iryna Pona, policy manager at The Children’s Society, said the charity had seen young victims being stabbed, raped and tortured by county lines gangs | Independent, UK

The white stuff: why Britain can’t get enough cocaine

Britain snorts more of the drug than almost anywhere in Europe, more young people are taking it and deaths are rising. Why? | Guardian, UK

NHS Smoking Cessation Services Local Delivery Plan Standard, 2018/19 (Qtr1) (PDF)

In the first quarter of the financial year 2018/19, NHS Scotland contributed 21.8% (1,647 out of 7,568) towards the required annual LDP Standard. If this pattern continued for the remainder of the financial year, NHS Scotland would achieve 87.1% of the required Standard | NHS Scotland, UK

Alcohol Mis-use & Domestic Abuse Training Pack

Open opportunity - This means that the contract is currently unfulfilled but active, and the buying department is looking for potential suppliers to contact them with bid applications | Home Office, UK

Brits most likely to lie about alcohol to GPs

A quarter of Brits admit to having lied about how much they drink. The person they're most likely to lie to is their doctor | YouGov, UK

Homelessness: Death Rates

What steps his Department is taking to reduce the death rate among homeless people | They work for you, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he plans to hold with BAME communities on the development of a new alcohol strategy | They work for you, UK

How poetry and art are helping to cure addiction - video

Artists and poets across London have come together to celebrate recovery from addiction through poetry | BBC, UK

Addiction February 2019 - podcast

Suzi Gage and Rob Calder discuss the contents of the February 2019 issue of Addiction | Addiction, UK


International news

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 29 January 2019

UK studies test the benefits of school-based harm reduction curricula for young people and residential/inpatient treatments for minority of adults with already entrenched and complex drinking problems. Extended-release opioid medication is compared with the standard regimen of daily supervised consumption. Review highlights gaps and opportunities for responding to the needs of a group designated ‘high risk’ by NICE and the World Health Organization | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

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

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

Five-year standardised mortality ratios in a cohort of homeless people in Dublin

[Open access] Mortality rates among homeless persons are exceptionally high. Services and programmes, particularly housing and those targeting overdose and alcoholism, are urgently needed to prevent premature mortality in this vulnerable population | BMJ, UK

US doctor gave boy, 4, cannabis cookies for temper

A California doctor is fighting for his licence after he prescribed cannabis cookies to a four-year-old boy | BBC, UK

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

Health warnings on alcohol cans and bottles may breach EU single market rules, says Hogan

Health warnings on alcohol bottles and cans - including graphic cancer alerts - may be deemed in breach of single market rules, Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has warned | Independent, Ireland

It’s Ireland’s deadliest cancer – so why aren’t we more sympathetic?

More people die of lung cancer than any other cancer in Ireland. Yet people have less sympathy for those diagnosed with it – often at a late stage when survival rates are lower – because nine out of 10 cases are caused by smoking | Irish Times, Ireland

Drug organisations urge Govt to stop criminalising personal drug use

The Government has been urged not to accept any proposals from a high-level committee that would continue to criminalise the possession of drugs for personal use | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Use of synthetic drug Flakka rare among high school seniors, but most users take numerous drugs

Nearly 1 percent of high school seniors report using Flakka, a highly potent and potentially dangerous synthetic drug, according to a study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine... | Medical Xpress, USA

New Cannabis Research Center to explore environmental, social impacts of legalization

UC Berkeley’s new Cannabis Research Center, announced today by a multidisciplinary team of faculty, will explore how cannabis production impacts the environment and society, and how these impacts will evolve under new regulations set in place by legalization | UC Berkeley, USA

New study analyzes cost effectiveness of smoked cannabis to treat chronic neuropathic pain

Smoked cannabis as an adjunctive second-line therapy to treat chronic peripheral neuropathy can be both effective and cost-effective | EurekAlert, USA

Sex, Heroin and Survivor’s Trauma Are Interlinked for Many Women

The first time I had sex after ending my abusive relationship in 2008, I loved it because it felt like a rebellion | Filter Magazine, USA

Marlyn Mosby, the city’s top prosecutor, says she will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases and will vacate thousands of convictions | NYTimes, USA

Gambling Disorder and Compulsive Buying: How do they compare?

Compulsive Buying (CB) is characterized by a preoccupation with shopping, overpowering urges to buy things, and patterns of excessive shopping that lead to negative financial and emotional consequences | BASIS, USA

Increasing poison risk to children from e-cigarette liquid

Children are at increasing risk of poisoning from unregulated e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine, according to new research from Queensland experts | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

ACT's first ever drug and alcohol court to open this year: Ramsay

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the drug and alcohol court demonstrated the ACT's commitment to restorative justice | Age, Australia

'Completely changed': judges free not to jail minor drug dealers

Judges are looking for alternatives to prison for dealers with good prospects of rehabilitation | Age, Australia

'Blatant drug use': Rainbow Serpent was 'hijacked' by organised crime

The horror long weekend of drug use at the Rainbow Serpent event has reignited debate about festival pill-testing in Victoria | Age, Australia

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

The Trip Report 28/01

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

Cannabis use in the developing brain: evidence from a recent cross-sectional meta-analysis

Cannabis is beginning to become legal in more countries than ever. In the last 18 years, 36 countries have sanctioned the medical or recreational use of the drug, in addition to multiple US states | Mental Elf blog, UK

How we created our gender-specific trauma-informed programme - Blog

In this new blog Head of House for Phoenix's Grace House, Carly Dawson, discusses the rationale for creating a trauma-informed programme and the process she followed | Phoenix House blog, UK

The enduring power of the stereotypical idea of the alcoholic

Jim McCambridge, Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Public Health, University of York asks us (in a very timely manner) to stop and think about problem drinking | SCPN blog, UK

Making dangerous safer

Dealing with risk is notoriously difficult. How risky is riding a bicycle, eating bacon or climbing a mountain?  Experts have tried to devise measures for such things (memorably called ‘micromorts’); however, even when we have good information on risk we usually miscalculate when applying it to our own lives. | Transform blog, UK

Dry January: a recipe for a February binge?

This year's favourite Dry January criticism: “We should drink in moderation all year round, not cut out the booze for a month and binge in February.” | Alcohol Concern blog, UK

Harm reduction does not promote drug use

A misunderstanding of the meaning of ‘harm reduction’ has led to criticism of an important Australian harm reduction initiative, DanceWize, in the January 26 edition of the Saturday Daily Telegraph | AOD MediaWatch, Australia