Daily news - 16th July 2019

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UK news

Scotland's drug deaths set to top 1,000

New figures released later are expected to show that more than 1,000 people died as a result of drugs in Scotland last year | BBC, UK

'I lost my mum, dad, two sisters and brother to drugs'

A woman from Fife has told how her father, mother, two sisters and brother all died because of drugs | BBC, UK

Science of microdosing psychedelics 'remains patchy and anecdotal', says review

The practice of taking small, regular doses of psychedelic drugs to enhance mood, creativity, or productivity lacks robust scientific evidence | Imperial College London, UK

UK trials not needed for medical cannabis licensing process, says Hancock

Medical cannabis will not need to be tested through randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the UK in order to be licensed, health secretary Matt Hancock has told MPs | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Safe prescribing and withdrawal management of prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal

Free event. Friday, 9th August 2019, 10.00am until 1.00pm (with registration/refreshments from 9.30am) at Avonmouth House, 6 Avonmouth Street, London SE1 6NX. This event can be attended by one person per organisation, and the organisation has to be registered as a stakeholder in the guideline | NICE, UK

Digital Drug/Alcohol Interventions in England: Survey

This survey aims to identify what digital drug/alcohol interventions are currently in use in England | LSHTM, UK

Mapping Drug-Related Death research

You will probably be aware that the 2018 Scottish Drug-Related Deaths (DRD) figures are due to be published soon and are widely expected to exceed 1,000 deaths per year for the first time | DRNS, UK

Boris Johnson campaign chief's firm lobbied councils for tobacco firm

Mark Fullbrook’s CTFP wrote to councillors before announcement of anti-smoking plan | Guardian, UK

The link between a Grindr murderer and a serial killer

Gerald Matovu has become the first person since the serial killer Stephen Port to be convicted of murder with a fatal overdose of the drug GHB | BBC, UK

GHB murder victim Eric Michels 'just loved life'

A serial thief has been found guilty of murdering a businessman by giving him an overdose of the drug GHB | BBC, UK


International news

Juul: E-cig boss says sorry to parents over child vaping

"I'd tell [parents] I'm sorry their child's using the product. It's not intended for them," Kevin Burns said | BBC, UK

Economic decline, incarceration, and mortality from drug use disorders in the USA between 1983 and 2014: an observational analysis

Drug use disorders are an increasing cause of disability and early death in the USA, with substantial geographical variation. We aimed to investigate the associations between economic decline, incarceration rates, and age-standardised mortality from drug use disorders at the county level in the USA | Lancet, UK

Music festival deaths inquest hears ‘dogs with big teeth’ leading to panicked drug-taking

Inquest hears large police presence preventing patrons from getting help from emergency services | Guardian, UK

Money laundering? Man finds cocaine in washing powder box in Brazil shop

São Paulo police find estimated 50kg of drug after tipoff from supermarket customer | Guardian, UK

Flushing drugs could create ‘meth-gators’, US police warn

‘We shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do’ | Independent, UK

Plan to liberalise illegal drugs law ‘contradictory and lacking in logic,’ campaigners say

Proposal envisages health interventions but stops short of full-blown decriminalisation | Irish Times, Ireland

New regulations on e-cigarettes may have unintended consequences

Efforts by the FDA and some cities to limit the availability and appeal of e-cigarettes to young users could drive some existing users to smoke more tobacco cigarettes to get their fix, according to new research from Duke Health | News Medical, USA

As Juul grapples with teen vaping ‘epidemic,’ CEO tells parents ‘I’m sorry’

Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs ⁠— the maker of the bestselling e-cigarette in the U.S. and center of federal regulators’ crackdown into what they’re calling a teen vaping “epidemic” ⁠— has a message for parents whose children are addicted to his company’s products: “I’m sorry.” | CNBC, USA

How Did We Come to Abandon America’s Pain Patients?

Overdoses—not those involving prescription opioids, but of heroin and illicit fentanyl, often combined with benzodiazepines—continue to go up. But opioid prescribing continues to go down | Filter Magazine, USA

Beer is giving 2022 World Cup host Qatar a headache

On Jan. 1, Qatar hiked the price of booze by 100%. This week, the Arab Gulf nation slashed prices by about 30%. Despite the price cut, a case of beer at Qatar’s sole liquor store will still put a dent in the pocket of thirsty consumers at roughly $64, according to Bloomberg—about $2.66 a beverage | Quartz, USA

Illicit-drug deaths down this year in B.C., says coroner

Overall the number is down compared with last year, but officials say illicit drug deaths linked to carfentanil, which is 100 times stronger than fentanyl, are up | Vancouver Sun, Canada

Correlates of self-reported significant adverse effects following ‘ecstasy’ use: Implications for harm reduction

This bulletin examines the percentage of consumers reporting significant adverse effects following ‘ecstasy’ use in the preceding 12 months, and correlates of experiencing significant adverse effects, among the 2018 national Ecstasy and related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) sample | NDARC, Australia

Cannabis treatment counters addiction: First study of its kind

Trial shows cannabis replacement therapy can be effective | EurekAlert, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

How we’ll use digital to make services more human — and help more people overcome addiction

Good help is too hard to reach. We want to change that | Addaction blog, UK

Newly defined at-risk drinkers following the change to the UK low risk drinking guidelines: who and what to do?

In this guest blog, Philippa Case, a researcher at University College London, explores findings from a new study on ‘newly defined at-risk drinkers’ following a change to the UK’s low risk drinking guidelines | Alcohol Policy UK blog, UK

The Trip Report 15/07

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, 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

Irish Times view on Benzodiazepine use: a cause for concern

Ireland has the highest rate of chronic benzodiazepine prescription in 16 out of 34 OECD countries | Irish Times opinion, Ireland

'Second-hand drinking' damage is more common than you may think

I had a boyfriend once whose friends knew him by two names: his given name, when he was sober, and his alter-ego name, when he was drunk | SMH, Australia