Daily news - 19th July 2019

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UK news

Smoking still a big issue in many areas

[Free registration may be required] Three quarters of Scottish constituencies of the Westminster parliament have above-average levels of smoking | The Times, UK

Convicted drink-drivers could have 'alcolocks' fitted to cars

UK government funds study to see how effective devices could be in stopping reoffending | Guardian, UK

Crime in England and Wales: year ending March 2019

Includes a statistic on Drug offences which are reported as numbering 151,471 | ONS, UK

Knife crime soars in rural areas by as much as 50 per cent as violence epidemic spreads out of cities

Knife crime rose by up to 50 per cent in rural areas in the past year as violence spread from cities, fuelled by county lines drug gangs, official figures show | Telegraph, UK

‘Scrapping short sentences will reduce £18bn reoffending cost’

David Gauke said there would be 32,000 fewer offences a year if those sent to jail for six months or less were given community punishments instead. He said this was because most on short sentences had problems, such as drug, alcohol or mental health issues, that were made worse by jail, thus increasing their chances of reoffending | Evening Standard, UK

Addiction July 2019 - interview with Adam Ficek - podcast

Suzi Gage discusses addiction, music and psychotherapy with musician and psychotherapist Adam Ficek | Addiction, UK

Tories call for cross-party approach to tackling drugs death crisis

A cross-party summit is required to find a collective way forward on reducing the number of people killed by drugs in Scotland, the Conservatives have said | Scotsman, UK

Cannabis therapy and a tale of two sisters with epilepsy

Chelsea and Tamsin Leyland have epilepsy but only one of them can legally access “life changing” cannabis. Investigations Editor David Cohen reports | Evening Standard, UK

Medical Cannabis Training Needs Survey

SMMGP is pleased to announce a free series of webinars on medical cannabis, starting in the Autumn. Please help us assign content by sharing your views. This survey will take less than 5 minutes | SMMGP, UK

Aberdeen could be whisky birthplace, researchers claim

City document of 1505 may be first record of a still for making aquavite to drink rather than use in gunpowder | Guardian, UK

Bo'ness woman sold illegal cigarettes from home

Lynda Robb evaded more than £3,500 in excise duty from goods sold from the address in Livingstone Drive | BBC, UK


International news

Police Thought They Beat the Darknet Drug Markets – They Didn't

This spring, the dark web drug trade was attacked on multiple fronts and authorities claimed victory. But after a quick restart, it's business as usual | VICE, UK

Festival deaths inquest: police pushed to release protocols after 'unconscionable' strip searches

Counsel assisting coroner says public deserves to know ‘under what circumstances are police entitled to strip search patrons’ | Guardian, UK

Man finds 'own amputation' on cigarette packets without consent

A 60-year-old man in eastern France says he was stunned to discover that a picture of his amputated leg had been used on cigarette packets, as a warning against smoking, without his consent | BBC, UK

Warning: Detoxing in Jail May Lead to Severe Injury or Death

Given the undeniable and inextricable link between jails and dangerous withdrawal from drugs and alcohol, isn’t it time that more jails had adequate detox infrastructure and medical personnel? | The Fix, USA

Potential benefits and risks of using e-cigarettes

While cigarette use for high school students is at an all-time low (8%), 21% of students in the United States report using e-cigarettes in the past month, which is the highest level to date | News Medical, USA

Ohioans have lost more than 1 million years of life due to drug overdose since 2009

New Ohio University study reveals the scope of time lost with friends, family members due to overdose | EurekAlert, USA

Nutrition Is an Overlooked Aspect of Harm Reduction

The connection between food and drugs is stronger than most people might think. Many negative health effects associated with the use of drugs have less to do with the drug itself, and more to do with lack of proper nutrition | Filter Magazine, USA

Turning to gambling to alleviate work stress: The role of burnout and emotion dysregulation in this relationship

According to the American Institute of Stress, work stress is the most significant source of stress in America. Prolonged work stress can have many negative impacts on health, such as an increased risk for heart attacks, hypertension, and addictive behaviors. Work stress can also lead to burnout, which is an enduring state of mental exhaustion and negative attitudes towards work | BASIS, USA

'Stuck in war on drugs', says NSW Health music festivals consultant

A medical expert who helped draft the NSW government's music festival guidelines has told an inquest Australia is "stuck in a war on drugs" and sniffer dogs at events are "unhelpful", leading patrons to undergo riskier behaviours | SMH, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Insight: Drugs users are killed by stigma and bad debate

We have long stigmatised drug users, especially problem users. And - worse - we also stigmatise the medicine which often saves their lives | Herald opinion, UK

Scotland has a drugs problem – and it’s called Westminster

A spike in deaths shows the failure of centralised policies. Holyrood should be allowed to try new methods | Guardian opinion, UK

Boris To Back Cannabis?

"I believe the stars are aligned. The time is right. Cannabis law reform has become a political opportunity instead of a problem and Boris Johnson is the politician who could exploit it for his personal advantage but also for great benefit to the whole nation. After Brexit and a General Election, it will be a no brainer for Boris to back cannabis." | Peter Reynolds, UK

Plastic cigarette butts should be binned like plastic cups and straws

There is an urgent need to reduce the presence of single-use plastic in our environment — and it is encouraging to see governments beginning to announce concrete actions, such as bottle return schemes or restrictions on the production of particular items | ASH Scotland blog, UK

Points Interview: David Courtwright

Points author interviews begin with a set question: Describe your book in terms your bartender could understand. David Courtwright said he preferred conversations with bartenders. He talked to his about The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business | Points blog, UK

Cartel kingpin El Chapo is jailed for life, but theUS-Mexico drug trade is booming

The infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera – aka “El Chapo” – has been sentenced to life plus an additional 30 years for drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering and weapons charges, among other crimes committed over the past quarter-century as head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, the Western Hemisphere’s most powerful organized crime syndicate | Conversation, USA