Daily news - 18th July 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Report calls for radical rethink on support given to released prisoners recovering from addiction

A major new report examining the help given to prisoners recovering from addiction has set out a series of “blueprints” which its authors say could “transform” the way prisoners are supported once they have served their sentence | University of York, UK

Blueprints for the Treatment and Throughcare of Prisoners with Histories of Drug Dependence (PDF)

The report recommends a “planned pathway” away from drugs and alcohol addiction, with residential rehabilitation and supported housing at its core | EPRA, UK

DHSC to clarify to MPs that medical cannabis licensing will include clinical trials

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is to write to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee to clarify that the licensing process for medical cannabis will include clinical trials | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

What can be done about Scotland's drugs crisis?

Scotland has the highest rate of drug-related deaths in Europe and the numbers are continuing to rise at an alarming speed. What can be done about Scotland's drug death crisis? | BBC, UK

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence - minutes (PDF)

Minutes from the meeting including updates on APPG activity | APPG, UK

Drug Treatment Services

First, there is worry across the sector that the whole drug treatment services system is under pressure—some would say under threat | They work or you, UK

Smoking: Mental Illness

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of implications for his policies of the recent study published in the journal, Nicotine & Tobacco Research entitled, Prescribing prevalence, effectiveness, and mental health safety of smoking cessation medicines in patients with mental disorders | They work for you, UK

Pubs offering STI tests ‘takes away the stigma’

The trade has helped to reduce anxiety about sexual health checks by helping raise awareness of STI tests, a charity has said | Morning Advertiser, UK

Edinburgh health board under fire after 'drugs funding held back to balance budget'

Health bosses have been labelled "perverse" after holding back £1.3m of drug and alcohol addiction funding in order to help fill a black hole in under-pressure finances | Scotsman, UK

Angus businessman who sold ‘legal highs’ which landed customers in hospital has jail sentence cut

A man slammed for being “lost to all human decency” for running a Tayside shop as a front for selling so called “legal highs” has succeeded in a legal bid to have his prison sentence cut | Courier, UK

Chudleigh triple death crash driver 'had used cocaine'

Lewis Taylor's car caught fire after the 28-year-old "lost control" and crashed into another vehicle near Chudleigh, Devon | BBC, UK


International news

Opioid crisis: US drug overdose deaths drop by 5.1%

Drug overdose deaths in the US have fallen for the first time since 1999, according to preliminary official data | BBC, UK

Notorious Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo sentenced to life behind bars in US prison

The drug kingpin, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, was found guilty in February of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation after a three-month trial | ITV, UK

The unexpected identification of the cannabimimetic, 5F-ADB, and dextromethorphan in commercially available cannabidiol e-liquids

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were developed as an alternative method for nicotine delivery and had a significant surge in popularity. E-liquids are formulations used in e-cigarettes, and consist of a ratio of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), a pharmaceutical and/or herbal remedy and, usually, a flavoring agent | FSI, UK

The Catholic rebels resisting the Philippines’ deadly war on drugs

President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent crackdown has left 20,000 dead, and in a devout country, he has repeatedly hurled insults at bishops, the pope – and even God. But only a handful of Catholic activists are brave enough to speak out | Guardian, UK

Mother of festival drug death victim says Gladys Berejiklian needs to show courage

Alex Ross-King’s mother calls on NSW premier to bring in drug policy changes that could help keep festivalgoers safe | Guardian, UK

Opioid Smartphone and Tablet App Survey

Ireland's biggest social justice charity Extern is giving Harm Reduction practitioners the opportunity to win a voucher worth around £30 in return for completing this five minute questionnaire | Exterm, Ireland

Italy and Sweden: court decisions on low-THC cannabis products

On 30 May 2019, Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, published a note of information on the legality of selling low-THC cannabis. This followed attempts to prosecute entrepreneurs who were openly selling cannabis flower and other extracts | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug Overdose Deaths Drop in U.S. for First Time Since 1990

A decline in prescriptions for opioid painkillers was the major factor, but deaths from fentanyl overdoses and some other drugs continued to rise | NYTimes, USA

States Are Making Progress on Opioids. Now the Money That’s Helping Them May Dry Up

Chad Sabora, right, executive director and co-founder of Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery, speaks to Albin Martin who said he was struggling to break his opiate addiction since being released from prison | NYTimes, USA

Data shows flood of opioids across US, many of them generics

The maker of OxyContin has been cast as the chief villain in the nation's opioid crisis. But newly released government figures suggest Purdue Pharma had plenty of help in flooding the U.S. with billions of pills even as overdose deaths were accelerating | Medical Xpress, USA

Statement on the agency’s actions to tackle the epidemic of youth vaping and court ruling on application submission deadlines for certain tobacco products, including e-cigarettes

Late last week, a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland issued a decision that, among other things, requires makers and importers of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and certain other tobacco products like cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah to submit applications for their currently marketed products to the agency within 10 months | FDA, USA

New York Raises Legal Age for Purchasing Tobacco and E-Cigarettes to 21

New York has raised the legal age to 21 for purchases of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, the latest step in the state’s efforts to curb youth smoking | Yahoo, USA

About 44% of high school seniors who misuse prescription drugs have multiple drug sources

Roughly 11% of high school seniors reported prescription drug misuse during the past year, and of those, 44% used multiple supply sources, according to a pair of University of Michigan studies | Science Daily, USA

Recreational cannabis legalization could impact alcohol industry, research shows

The recent wave of recreational cannabis legalization across the U.S. could generate $22 billion in sales per year, but not everyone is happy about it | News Medical, USA

Marijuana use may not make parents more 'chill'

Sorry, marijuana moms and dads: Using pot may not make you a more relaxed parent, at least when it comes to how you discipline your children. A study of California parents found that current marijuana users administered more discipline techniques of all kinds to their children on average than did non-users | Science Daily, USA

Inside the Philippines Prison That Sparked Duterte’s Murderous Drug War

Twenty-three thousand dead. That’s the latest estimate—and maybe a low one—of people killed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines drug war. Duterte won the May 2016 presidential election on a brutal tough-on-crime ticket, playing on an impression in many Filipinos’ minds that the country was on the verge of lawlessness | Filter Magazine, USA

New data on e-cigarette use among New Zealand adults

Around one in six New Zealand adults have tried e-cigarettes but only 2 percent are using them currently, a national survey has found | Medical Xpress, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

Opioids Aren't Just America's Problem: A 34-Year-Old Brit's Story Of Addiction

For 34-year-old Louise*, it all started with a twinge in her lower back four years ago. Her GP recommended she start taking paracetamol and ibuprofen to cope with the pain, but after 12 weeks she knew she needed something stronger | Refinery29, UK

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

Alcohol guidelines have existed in the UK since 1984 in various forms. These guidelines exist to help people make informed choices about drinking alcohol by highlighting potential alcohol-related health risks. Guidelines also help health care practitioners assess and advise patients around their alcohol consumption as alcohol brief interventions have become a popular component of alcohol strategies in the UK and beyond | IAS blog, UK

Fake vape juice containing SCRA

The police in Greater Manchester (GMP) have issued a warning about supposedly THCvapes which actually contain what they refer to as “spice”, but which are more correctly termed SCRAs (Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists) | UKCIA blog, UK

Pushing the tobacco age to 21 is good, but it's not enough

It is universally acknowledged that smoking leads to premature disease and death. Yet, 1 billion people worldwide, including 38 million adults in the U.S. continue to smoke | The Hill opinion, USA