Daily news - 17th July 2019

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UK news

1,187 drug-deaths in 2018: up 27 per cent in a year

There were 1,187 drug-related deaths registered in Scotland in 2018, 253 (27 per cent) more than in 2017, according to figures released by the National Records of Scotland (NRS). This is the largest number of drug-related deaths in Scotland since the series began in 1996, and more than double the figure for 2008 (574). | National Records of Scotland, UK

Volatile Substance Abuse and Helium Deaths

As Scotland’s annual numbers of these deaths are, on average, in low double figures (Volatile Substance Abuse deaths) and in single figures (Helium deaths), they may be subject to large percentage year-to-year fluctuations | National Records of Scotland, UK

Scotland's drug death crisis in six charts

Almost 1,200 died of drug-related deaths in Scotland last year, a rise of 27% on 2017 and the highest recorded rate in Europe | BBC, UK

Latest drug-death figures must prompt Government policy change, comments Chair

Responding to the release of the latest official drug-related deaths figures for 2018 published today, the Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee says the tragedy of Scotland’s ever-increasing drug-related death rate must prompt a change in drugs policy in Westminster | Parliament.uk, UK

Scotland now worst place in EU for drug deaths after sharpest rise in recorded history

Experts say ‘shocking’ figures raise ‘serious concerns’ about response to opioid addiction, a factor in 86 per cent of cases | Independent, UK

Spice vape: Warning as nine collapse in Greater Manchester

Nine young people have collapsed after unwittingly using a vaping liquid containing the synthetic drug Spice, it has emerged | BBC, UK

NHS could save billions by offering cash reward to quit smoking

Quitters 50% more likely to succeed if offered a financial incentive, researchers find | Guardian, UK

04: The Ripple Effect - audio

This week, Jacob hears from the family of his school friend Max Carlton-Smith, who died from an MDMA overdose at the age of 21. He also meets Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE, who lost her son Nick to a heroin addiction and has since founded DrugFAM to support families affected by addiction and bereavement | BBC, UK

Video: Open mic night help those affected by drugs

Open mic nights and gym sessions are run to support families and recovering drug users in Dundee | BBC, UK

Microdosing psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD linked to better mood and focus, but scientists warn evidence is thin

Microdosing psychedelics such as LSD and magic mushrooms could boost mood and focus but also trigger psychological problems. Those are the findings of a new study, as scientists warn more research is needed to prove the benefits of the practice | Newsweek, UK

Continued funding secured

From its inception in 1999, Drug and Alcohol Findings has consistently been supported by organisations who subscribe to the need to ‘upgrade the effectiveness’ of Britain’s response to drug and alcohol problems. From 2014, this included joint funding by the Society for the Study of Addiction and what became Alcohol Change UK | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Bristol Pride 2019

Our Prism outreach team were loud and proud helping to raise awareness of our dedicated LGBT+ alcohol and drug support service. At Prism, we believe that the better understanding you have of the pleasures and risks associated with alcohol and other drugs, the more you are able to make informed decisions | BDP, UK

Heated Tobacco launches In Manchester

Manchester has become the first city outside London to see the launch of IQOS Heated Tobacco technology. Two new IQOS stores have opened in St Ann’s Square and Princess Street, with heated tobacco sticks (called ‘HEETS’) now available in 50+ retailers across the city. A specialist local team has been recruited to help Greater Manchester’s 360,000 smokers understand how best to switch from cigarettes to less harmful alternatives | Business Manchester, UK

Theatre ushers now wear body-cameras to record growing number of aggressive incidents

Anight at the theatre used to be a civilised alternative to the cinema: nobody guzzling popcorn or talking loudly, phones switched off and tucked away | Telegraph, UK

Three sentenced for drug addict Anthony Winter's killing

James Christopher Jones, 19, must serve at least 20 years after he admitted stabbing 32-year-old Anthony Winter in St Mellons, Cardiff, on November 2018 | BBC, UK

Colchester stabbing: Teen 'drug runner murdered homeless man'

A teenage drug runner murdered a homeless man and seriously wounded another during an attempted robbery, a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

Colombian man arrested in Spain trying to smuggle cocaine under toupee

A Colombian man was detained at Barcelona's international airport after half a kilo of cocaine was found hidden under an over-sized toupee, Spanish police said on Tuesday | Telegraph, UK

El Chapo: How Mexico's drug kingpin fell victim to his own legend

Caked in filth, the world's most powerful drug baron hauled himself from a manhole | BBC, UK

The Insta king trying to dominate the UK cannabis market

Controversial social media star Dan Bilzerian is wearing a tiny pair of orange shorts and a tight white T-shirt when I meet him | BBC, UK

Alcohol is drug with 'most problematic' rates of use, NSW festival deaths inquest told

Drug researcher also reveals vast majority of festivalgoers who seek medical treatment after taking drugs do so after consuming alcohol | Guardian, UK

Group express 'serious concern' over government proposals on drugs possession

More than 50 drug workers say they are “seriously concerned” at expected Government proposals to keep possession of drugs for personal use a criminal offence | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Federal Judge Orders Release Of Dataset Showing Drug Industry's Role In Opioid Crisis

For the first time, a federal court in Ohio is releasing a trove of data that offers far more detail about the size and scope of the nation's opioid epidemic – and about the role played by drug companies and pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Johnson & Johnson that profited from the rapid growth of prescription opioid sales | npr, USA

Increase seen in foster care entries due to parental drug use

The number of foster care entries attributable to parental drug use increased considerably from 2000 to 2017, according to a research letter published online July 15 in JAMA Pediatrics | Medical Xpress, USA

What to call someone who uses heroin?

First-ever study to ask people who use heroin what they want to be called finds 'people first' language often best, and language suggesting misuse or dependence generally worst | EurekAlert, USA

Drug War Photo-Op Policing Is a Betrayal of Law Enforcement’s Principles

It’s one of the defining images of modern policing. High-ranking officers lined up at the podium, with the drugs from their latest seizure laid out on the table before them. The cameras click and flash; impressive numbers get thrown around about the supposed “street value” of the dope that’s been seized | Filter Magazine, USA

Toxic cocktail of booze, drugs key cause for medical care at festivals

Four in five Australian music festival attendees that seek medical help are consuming an average of 15 standard drinks when using drugs, finds a new report | RMIT, Australia

Drug checking – beyond the festival season

For some time now, KnowYourStuff NZ and the NZ Drug Foundation have been checking drugs at music festivals and handing out potentially lifesaving advice | Know your stuff, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 90: The truth is out there – but not for you

The first statement of the Hippocratic Oath to which all doctors are supposed to adhere to is ‘do no harm’. But to the best of my knowledge, no such undertaking is required of scientists whose findings are often translated into public policy and legislation which in turn affects millions of lives | NSP blog, UK

Record drug deaths in Scotland – a national scandal

Every early death, like that of Karen McDade who died in Dundee aged 43, is a tragedy for that person and their family. Sadly, an increasing number of families in Scotland are affected by these tragedies | Conversation, UK

Addaction responds to new Scottish drug related deaths statistics

Drug and alcohol charity Addaction reacts to Scotland’s annual drug-related death statistics released today. The statistics show 1187 people died of a drug related cause in Scotland in 2018. This is an increase of 28% on the previous year | Addaction, UK

Lack of access to treatment and prescribing practice contribute to drug death figures

Scottish Drugs Forum released this statement in response to the release of the latest figures on drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2018 | SDF, UK

Number of drug-related deaths in Scotland rises to highest on record, the UK Government must now allow overdose prevention sites

National Records of Scotland data released today shows 1,187 drug-related deaths registered in 2018 in Scotland, which is over 4 times the number of deaths registered when records began in 1996 | Release blog, UK

The Guardian view on Scottish drug deaths: put health and safety first

With Scotland’s death rate the highest in the EU, political disagreements must not get in the way of an effective response | Guardian, UK

Delivering equivalent care in secure environments

Healthcare in Secure Environments encompasses the delivery of primary health care services in prisons, young offenders institutions, immigration removal centres, secure children’s homes, secure training centres and primary care in medium and high secure hospitals | SMMGP blog, UK

The astonishing usefulness of alcohol-free beer

Alcohol-free beer offers a harmless way to transform our mistaken beliefs about alcoholic drinks into something positive, so we should welcome its increasing availability | Phil Cain, UK