Daily news - 30th July 2019

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UK news

Opioid addiction numbers to be revealed for the first time

The number of patients addicted to opioid painkillers in England and the length of time they have been dependent will be set out in full for the first time in a major report due out in weeks | BBC, UK

Open consultation: NDTMS criminal justice intervention teams dataset: proposed changes

We're inviting feedback on proposed changes to the criminal justice intervention teams dataset collected for the national drug treatment monitoring system. This consultation closes at 9:30am on 26 August 2019 | PHE, UK

Scotland's drug deaths battle blow as vital forensics lab loses Crown Office contract

The Toxicology Unit that deals with overdose cases could close with samples now likely to be sent to England for testing | Daily Record, UK

Is big business coming for cannabis? - audio

How the UK is gearing up for legalisation | BBC, UK

Scientists advancing the merits of medical cannabis

Drug Science is the leading independent scientific body on drugs in the UK. The organisation works to provide clear, evidence-based information without political or commercial interference | The Extract, UK

Welcome to the UK Care Guide community events calendar

If you are looking for an event, it couldn’t be easier. Just type in what month you are looking for an event, the type of event (eg dementia, carers, wellbeing) and the location and all events will appear on the calendar below | UK Care Guide, UK

Reckless mobility scooter riders are a danger to the public, charities warn

"Persistent offenders should be fined every time and banned if have a licence, offering a re-education course could help people to understand the dangers of using such a machine while unfit through drink or drugs... | Telegraph, UK

Miles Normandale: Ex Cardiff Blues lock given two-year drug ban

Former Cardiff Blues lock Miles Normandale has been banned for two years following an anti-doping rule violation | BBC, UK

Police seize cocaine worth £1.4m from joiner's kitchen

A joiner has admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine after being caught with £1.4m of the Class A drug | BBC, UK

Miriam Margolyes' cottage rented by helicopter drugs gang

A cottage owned by actress Miriam Margolyes was the secret helicopter drop-off point for millions of pounds worth of cocaine, a court has heard | BBC, UK


International news

World Hepatitis Day 2019

World Hepatitis Day (28 July) stands as an important reminder of the global burden of viral hepatitis, as well as the opportunities to eliminate it altogether with swift diagnosis, treatment, vaccinations, and harm reduction. Read the full message from Drug and Alcohol Findings at the link below | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Can vaping save the world from smoking? Health experts may not agree

E-cigarettes were invented by business, not medicine. But as more smokers make the switch, some health experts believe we’ve finally hit on something that could stub out smoking for good | Independent, UK

Sales of low and non-alcoholic beer surge in the Republic

Some 57% of consumers want to see wider range of products on shelves and in bars | Irish Times, Ireland

Pragmatic approach to tackling drug addiction needed

Refusal of permission for safer injecting facility highlights lack of political will | Irish Times, Ireland

New York State Decriminalizes Marijuana, Expunges Conviction Records

New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a law that decriminalizes the recreational use of marijuana in the state but stops short of legalizing the drug | National Review, USA

Big question in opioid suits: How to divide any settlement

The roughly 2,000 state and local governments suing the drug industry over the deadly opioid crisis have yet to see any verdicts or reach any big national settlements but are already tussling with each other over how to divide any money they collect | Medical Xpress, USA

African Experts Explain Their Challenges in Reducing Tobacco Harms

Major obstacles to tobacco harm reduction exist in high-income, “western” countries from the United States to Australia | Filter Magazine, USA

Why club drug ketamine is also a quick-acting anti-depressant

What's better known as a club drug also happens to be a fast-acting antidepressant – and New Zealand scientists have just shown why | NZ Herald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s Blog 91: Fifteen minutes of sane

If you want a clear and sensible exposition on the critical issues surrounding the vaping/smoking controversy, stop everything and spend a quarter of an hour watching this... | NSP blog, UK

Why a regulated cannabis market might be the way forward

Reform is inevitable and we need to get it right for people who use cannabis | Addaction blog, UK

Economics of legalising cannabis – pricing and policing are crucial

Legalising cannabis can have major benefits for all citizens. If carried out correctly, everyone will benefit from less crime and stronger rule of law | Conversation, UK

I've seen how cannabis legalisation works in Canada. Britain could do it better

The illicit market is worth at least £1bn a year. We could empower the poor communities who suffer in the war on drugs | Guardian opinion, UK

The Guardian view on the case for legalising drugs: time to be reasonable

Addiction, trafficking and incarceration cause enormous harm. The UK must learn from the countries that are trying to find solutions | Guardian opinon, UK

Tackling inequalities in hepatitis C testing and treatment

The World Health Organisation estimate that a staggering 325 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B and C, leading to 1.4 million deaths a year | PHE blog, UK

The Trip Report 29/07

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

The first ever EUSPR-ECF webinar

In this blog post, Laura Castillo-Eito, PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield (UK)  shares with us the experience of the first webinar of the EUSPR Early Career Forum | EUSPR blog, UK

From ‘Pretty Little Liars’ to ‘The OC,’ television producers need to stop encouraging teen drinking – here’s how they can

Teen drinking is rampant on television these days | Conversation, USA

How Racism and Inequality Are Influencing the Rise of Legalized Cannabis in the United States

Recently, the Open Society Foundations’ New York City office held a screening of Grass Is Greener, a new documentary that raises challenging questions about how the legacy of the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and racial injustice in the United States has influenced the country’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry | OSF, USA

Panic over flesh-eating Russian zombie drug: the story that rose from the dead

In June 2019, most Australian news outlets reported on a man who presented to a NSW healthcare serviceafter experiencing problems from injecting a drug called desomorphine – better known as Krokodil. Given this was the first time the drug had been seen in Australia, and with a name like Krokodil due to green scaly skin developing around injection sites, any journalist worth their salt would have reported this story | AOD Media Watch, Australia

Potential cost to patient safety as NZ debates access to medicinal cannabis

Cannabis-based products will be allowed to bypass usual processes required for medicines in New Zealand and go directly onto the market without any proof of safety or effectiveness. This unprecedented proposal is contained in the government’s consultation document on giving greater access to medicinal cannabis | Conversation, New Zealand