Daily news - 22nd July 2019

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UK news

Drink Free Days 2018: campaign evaluation

Full evaluation report for the Drink Free Days 2018 campaign | PHE, UK

Home Office urged to attend emergency drugs summit

Scotland's Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick has said he will host a summit in Glasgow to discuss the crisis | BBC, UK

UK home secretary urged to introduce drug rooms to save lives

MPs and police commissioners call for introduction of DCR overdose prevention centres | Guardian, UK

'Engagement and connection': the key to reaching Scotland's addicts

A number of pioneering projects suggest Scotland doesn’t need radical legal reform to stop addicts dying | Guardian, UK

Crown Office stalemate over contract puts vital drug-testing service at risk

Serious concerns have been raised that more lives could be put at risk because a “crucial” toxicology service providing information about drug deaths is to be terminated after providers failed to reach a contractual agreement with the Crown Office | The National, UK

Remembrance Day Statement 2019

[21st July] was the International Day to remember our loved ones who have died as a result of the so-called war on drugs. They have died as a result of their unnecessary criminalisation; they have died as a result of prohibition. It is criminalisation and prohibition that make drugs so dangerous. It is the society in which we live that shows such callous indifference to the deaths of so many | INPUD, UK

End of life care for people with alcohol and drug problems: Findings from a Rapid Evidence Assessment

In the last 20 years there have been numerous changes evident among the population who use substances whether this be alcohol or other drugs. The most important changes appear to be an increase in the number of older drugs users, a subsequent rise in rates of death from non‐drug related conditions..., an increase in alcohol‐related morbidity among older users... and the burgeoning of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) use | Health and Social Care in the Community, UK

Teenager Brandon Rice dies after 'taking ecstasy'

Brandon Rice, 17, was taken to hospital after the alarm was raised in Pitreavie Court, Hamilton, in the early hours of Wednesday | BBC, UK

Cannabis: Analgesics

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of using medicinal cannabis for pain relief | They work for you, UK

Gym, eat, repeat: the shocking rise of muscle dysmorphia

The idealised male body has become bigger, bulkier and harder to achieve. So what drives a generation of young men to the all-consuming, often dangerous pursuit of perfection? | Guardian, UK

Rising costs and cheaper supermarket booze see 40 pubs vanish each month

Around 40 pubs each month called last orders in the UK over the first half of the year, as cheaper supermarket booze and rising costs continue to heap pressure on pubs | ITV, UK

Cannabis prescriptions given go ahead in Guernsey

The States of Guernsey has approved a change in the law that means for the first time, consultants can now prescribe herbal cannabis for medicinal use| ITV, UK

Is it time to legalise cannabis? - audio

Nick's been to see a £1m cannabis farm being dismantled by police in Lenwade | BBC Radio Norfolk, UK

Euthanasia drugs stolen in Weymouth vets burglary

Dangerous veterinary drugs, including those used for euthanasia, have been stolen during a burglary at a practice in Weymouth | BBC, UK

Police seize 1,000 cannabis plants in 'one of largest finds in Norfolk'

Police raided an industrial unit off Norwich Road in Lenwade on Tuesday (July 16) and discovered the drugs - thought to be worth around £1m | ITV, UK

£1m cannabis farm uncovered in disused Inverclyde factory

Cannabis with a street value of nearly £1m has been recovered from a disused factory in Port Glasgow | BBC, UK


International news

Cocaine smuggling: The bizarre tactics used to hide drugs

Some drugs smugglers will go to extreme lengths to ensure their illegal cargo avoids detection and reaches its intended destination | BBC, UK

Catalonia plans to introduce outdoor smoking ban

Proposed changes would outlaw smoking outside bars and restaurants, in sports grounds and cars | Guardian, UK

Dubai tourists can now buy alcohol from shops

Tourists in Dubai are able to buy alcohol from shops for the first time, thanks to new measures introduced to make the city more visitor-friendly | Independent, UK

Silicon Valley Is Spending Millions Trying to Synthesise THC From Yeast

Startups are growing THC, CBD and "unnatural cannabinoids" from yeast. But some scientists say yeast-grown compounds will never compete with the real plant | VICE, UK

How dangerous is stoned driving?

The way THC operates in the body makes it hard to gauge its impacts, and plenty of drivers think it doesn’t affect them | Guardian, UK

Explosion in popularity of hemp products leaves Texas unable to bust marijuana users

Prosecutors don’t have time or tools to distinguish between two strengths of plant | Independent, UK

Now El Chapo’s back in jail, hunt is on for the Mexican drug baron’s money

$12,666,181,704 … that’s the Sinaloa cartel boss’s sales in the US. Now he’s in jail, prosecutors want to seize his vast riches | Guardian, UK

Christian company forced to rebrand after CBD name attracts cannabis fans

Christian Book Distributors tire of fending off people looking for infused sweets and essential oils | Independent, UK

Calls to fast track e-cigarette laws and research funding

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) has called on the Government to fast track legislative measures to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s and for research funding into these products. The group is also calling for a minimum increase of €1 on a packet of 20 cigarettes | Irish Times, Ireland

Minister intervenes over funding crisis facing street project to tackle drugs and gangs issue

Minister intervenes over funding crisis facing street project to tackle drugs and gangs issue | Irish Examiner, Ireland

The farm that helps drug addicts: ‘It’s calm here. When everything is hectic, that helps’

At St Francis Farm in Co Carlow, recovering addicts develop skills in horticulture and animal management . . . and the tools to help them cope without drugs | Irish Times, Ireland

‘Local drug task force needed to tackle local drug problem’

Calls for the formation of a local task force to tackle the problem of drugs in Westmeath were made at a meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday morning in Mullingar | Westmeath Examiner, Ireland

EMCDDA Director pays official visit to Montenegro

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is paying his first official visit to Montenegro this week where he will meet high-level dignitaries working in the drugs field | EMCDDA, Portugal

Q&A: Newly public data maps opioid crisis across US

The release of a massive trove of data from lawsuits over the nation's opioid crisis provides the most detailed accounting to date of the role played by the major pharmaceutical companies and distributors | Medical Xpress, USA

Five takeaways from the DEA’s pain pill database

For the first time ever, a database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the path of every single pain pill sold in the United States — from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city — is being made public | Washington Post, USA

Audit: Hospitals put Native Americans at risk with opioids

Government hospitals placed Native American patients at increased risk for opioid abuse and overdoses, failing to follow their own protocols for prescribing and dispensing the drugs, according to a federal audit released Monday | Medical Xpress, USA

Texas Legalized Hemp, not Marijuana, Governor Insists as Prosecutors Drop Pot Charges

Prosecutors say labs don’t have the time or equipment to distinguish between legal hemp and illegal pot | NYTimes, USA

Amid teen vaping ‘epidemic,’ Juul taps addiction expert as medical director

Juul Labs, the nation's leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes, has hired as its medical director a prominent University of California researcher known for his work on the dangers nicotine poses for the adolescent brain | News Medical, USA

The complex forces at work behind drug deaths at music festivals

Over the past two weeks, deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame has heard harrowing details about the drug-related deaths of six young people at music festivals across New South Wales | The New Daily, Australia

Toxicologists throw support behind pill testing ahead of major festival weekend

The move comes as the national debate over pill testing is set to reignite this weekend as key pill testing advocate Dr David Caldicott demonstrates the technology and approach at the Splendour in the Grass festival outside Byron Bay | RACGP, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

Who owns the drug problem, and who is to be bold?

Professor Roy Robertson, Edinburgh GP and Professor of Addiction Medicine, on how drug deaths stem from institutional neglect at every level | Holyrood, UK

Alcohol-free alcohol: A 0.0-sum endgame?

Habib Kadiri wonders if non-alcoholic drinks normalise alcohol branding in areas where they shouldn't? | IAS blog, UK

Developing new research on alcohol harm: rapid evidence reviews

We’re pleased to publish the first in a series of six rapid evidence reviews that were commissioned by us earlier this year, looking into priority areas in the field of alcohol harm reduction | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

Can a ‘personalised psychosocial toolbox’ help people reduce ‘on-top’ drug use during opioid substitution treatment?

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is an increasingly challenging global health issue. In the UK alone, there are 146,000 people receiving treatment for opioid dependency (NDTMS (National Drug Treatment Monitoring System, 2017) | Mental Elf blog, UK

John Cooper Clarke: ‘I didn’t want to quit heroin’

While conceding the drug was ‘fabulous the first time’, the veteran performer has one overwhelming message: don’t do it | Observer, UK

All-night public transport hasn’t reducedalcohol-related harm in Melbourne

The Victorian government introduced 24-hour public transport on Friday and Saturday nights in Melbourne from January 1 2016. Services mostly run every hour from 1am to 5am on all metropolitan lines with some additional tram and bus services | Conversation, Australia