Daily news - 31st January 2019

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UK news

E-cigarettes 'much better for quitting smoking'

A trial found 18% of smokers who used them to quit remained smoke-free after a year, compared with 9.9% of those using nicotine-replacement treatments | BBC, UK [ See also preview article ]

Spike in Glasgow homeless drug deaths linked to 'street Valium'

Police, health services and council warn of illegal versions of prescription tranquillisers | Guardian, UK

Drug detection technology arrives at 10 prisons

Scanners which detect drugs on clothes and mail are up and running at 10 of the most challenging jails, Prisons Minister Rory Stewart announced today (Thursday 31 January) | Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service., UK

Smoking Prohibition (National Health Service Premises)

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to prohibit smoking on National Health Service premises; and for connected purposes | They work for you, UK

March Drug Education Practitioners Forum DEPF

Free event. Fri, 15 March 2019, 12.00-4pm. Lambeth Civic Centre, 6 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1EG. We are so excited to invite you all (and any other practioners that you feel would benefit) to another Drug Education Practioners Forum. This is a great opportunity to network with other practioners | DEPF, UK

Student survey on Drug safety testing

Can you spare 5/10 minutes to complete this questionnaire based on the recent development on drug safety testing facilities? It is completely anonymous and your opinion, even if you do not know much about the topic, would be greatly appreciated | Sheffield Hallam University, UK

New alliance to call for more action on tackling problem gambling in UK

The Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) is to highlight concerns about “gambling related harms” in the UK while calling on policy makers to take more action on tackling the issue | ITV, UK

Dealer flings drugs during 100mph chase along M6 - video

A 'County Lines' drug dealer who led police on a 100mph chase on a motorway hard shoulder before throwing drugs from his car window has been jailed | BBC, UK

Angela Davey: Former history teacher involved in county lines drug dealing gang on the run from police

'Angela went from being a bright, well-educated person to somebody who the last time she was seen, was sleeping in a shop doorway' | Independent, UK


International news

Transnational trends in prescription drug misuse among women: A systematic review

Prescription drug misuse (PDM) has been on the rise since early 2000 and is now an international epidemic. Prescription drugs are easily accessible and perceived as less harmful, yet can lead to addiction and death | IJDP, UK

Philippines House of Representatives Approves Medical Cannabis Use, Production

The lower house of the Philippines Congress has approved a bill to legalise medical cannabis consumption and production, which has the support of hard-line President Rodrigo Duterte | Talking Drugs, UK

Baltimore to no longer prosecute people for marijuana possession

Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby says jailing people for marijuana is not ‘a smart way to use our limited time and money’ | Guardian, UK

Staying dry: How my month off booze turned into a life of sobriety

As 'Dry January' draws to a close, you might be debating staying sober. That's exactly what writer Kate Gunn did | Independent, Ireland

Can Tech Change The Way We Tackle Smoking?

When you scroll through the Instagram feeds of wellness bloggers, or find your inbox flooded with tips on health and wellbeing, the issue of smoking (or giving up) is rarely mentioned, amidst all the advice on healthy eating, yoga, and mindfulness | Forbes, USA

“Exhilarating”—The Life of a Career Drug Dealer Illustrates Hard Truths

Casper has lived a life out straight out of Pulp Fiction. Over a 26-year career selling illicit drugs across the United States, he has gone from peddling nickel bags of heroin on street corners to running interstate trafficking networks, then back to scraping quarters for the bus far | Filter Magazine, USA

Rise of Heat-Not-Burn Products Coincides With Decrease in Cigarette Sales

Last year, an increase in heat-not-burn (HNB) electronic tobacco product sales in South Korea coincided with a decrease in cigarette sales, causing people who care about public health to pore over the potential significance | Filter Magazine, USA

Study shows blocking serotonin receptors blocks mind-altering effects of LSD

An international team of researchers has found that blocking serotonin receptors in the brain blocks LSD's mind-altering effects. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes experiments they carried out on volunteers given LSD and what they found | Medical Xpress, USA

Florida Man: I Spent 41 Days in Jail Because Deputy ‘Falsely’ Claimed Detergent Was Heroin

“I had 92 grams of laundry detergent in my door and that’s what I was falsely charged for trafficking of heroin,” | Law and Crime, USA

Former top cop backs Dr Alex Wodak's call to regulate MDMA 

Former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer has backed Dr Alex Wodak's call to regulate ecstasy | Age, Australia

'She just made one mistake and that's it': teenager dies after party drug overdose

Less than three months after her final HSC exam, 18-year-old Marli Cartmer-Congiu has become the latest young person to die after a suspected party drug overdose in Sydney's east | Age, Australia

Combating escalating harms associated with pharmaceutical opioid use in Australia: The POPPY II study

This project seeks to use linked administrative data to examine the patterns of use of prescribed opioids, quantify the risks of adverse outcomes, and examine the population-level impact of changes to regulation and subsidy of opioids | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

County lines: Children as young as 11 are paying the price for Britain’s draconian drug laws

Stopping these gangs will take the kind of radical politics which Brexit has swept off the table | i news opinion, UK

Another Attack by Bureaucrats on CBD and its Consumers

Within the last few days it has emerged that the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), has been working surreptitiously with its opposite numbers in four other EU countries to add all products derived from cannabis except hempseeds to the EU Novel Food Catalogue | Clear, UK

Cannabidiol: Rising star or popular fad?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become a household name. On many social media sites, people suggest “but have you tried CBD oil?” on posts pertaining to any health-related issue | Conversation, USA

History, not harm, dictates why some drugs are legal and others aren’t

Drug-related offences take up a lot of the resources within Australia’s criminal justice system. In 2016–17 law enforcement made 113,533 illicit drug seizures and 154,650 drug-related arrests | Conversation, Australia

Beyond Pill Testing: Calls to Legalise and Regulate MDMA

As far as regularly used licit and illicit drugs go, pure MDMA is one of the least dangerous around. This is an idea that might take some by surprise considering the deaths of five young people – who at least thought they were taking MDMA – at NSW music festivals over the last five months | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia