Daily news - 5th June 2019

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UK news

MSPs to examine routes into problem drug use

The Scottish Affairs Committee will be joined by Members of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee as it continues its inquiry into problem drug use in Scotland, with a session examining routes into problematic drug use | Parliament.uk, UK

Police say they lack resources to tackle county lines drugs networks

Cuts to youth services are undermining efforts to prevent vulnerable young people being used as drug mules | Guardian, UK

‘We drink too much’, say millions of over-50s

In the UK, harmful drinking is declining among every age group except the over-50s who continue to drink at hazardous levels | I news, UK

Study examines potential misuse of anti-anxiety medication

There is concern about the misuse of the sedative anti-anxiety medication alprazolam (Xanax®) because of the "high" it can create. A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study found that non-medical use of alprazolam in the United Kingdom is a significant issue, and it appears to be more prevalent in younger adults | BJCP, UK

Female cannabis users underrepresented in health research, study reveals

Research at the University of York has shown that women are underrepresented in research into the links between cannabis and psychosis, which could limit understanding of the impact of the drug | University of York, UK

Opioids are not sleep aids, and can actually worsen sleep research finds

Evidence that taking opioids will help people with chronic pain to sleep better is limited and of poor quality, according to research by an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and medics... | University of Warwick, UK

NHS Smoking Cessation Services Local Delivery Plan Standard, 2018/19 (Qtr3) (PDF)

In the first nine months of the financial year 2018/19, NHS Scotland contributed 63.6% (4,810 out of 7,568) towards the required annual LDP Standard. If this pattern continued for the remainder of the financial year, NHS Scotland would achieve 84.8% of the required Standard | NHS Scotland, UK

Precursor chemical import and export authorisation wallchart

[Updated] This chart shows the regulation of precursor chemicals in the UK | Home Office, UK

Depot buprenorphine injections for opioid use disorder: Patient information needs and preferences

[Open access] There has been significant recent investment in new medications for opioid use disorder, including buprenorphine depot injections. Patients and professionals need good quality, independent information on medications to help them make informed treatment decisions. This paper aims to understand patients’ information needs and preferences in relation to buprenorphine depot injections | Drug and Alcohol Review, UK

Free webinar: Long-acting buprenorphine in criminal justice settings: implications for services

This webinar will include: A background to buprenorphine prescribing in criminal justice settings (Jake) / Clinical experience from Australia regarding long-acting buprenorphine including its introduction in a prison setting (Adrian) /Clinical experience from the UK including opportunities and challenges for services (Oscar). This webinar will take place on Tuesday 25th June at 8:30pm | SMMGP, UK

Maidenhead: Take Drugs Seriously

20th June 7 – 8.30pm. Sportsable, Maidenhead SL6 1BN. Panel discussion about how a new approach to drugs could better protect communities from harm. Speakers include Anne-Marie and Rose of Anyone’s Child, and Jason Kew, Chief Inspector of Thames Valley Police | Anyone's Child, UK

Rosie Duffield MP visits Canterbury service that supports homeless people with substance misuse issues

On Monday 3rd June Rosie Duffield, Member of Parliament for Canterbury, came to see first-hand the work being carried out by two local charities. The Forward Trust, which supports people who have issues with substance misuse and Catching Lives, who work with rough sleepers and the homeless | Forward Trust, UK

Families affected by problem gambling

This survey is for families of problem gamblers | Adfam, UK

June 2019 – Current Issue

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper in this issue | Addiction, UK

Glasgow drives huge fall in serious violent crime across Scotland

... the study showed alcohol continued to be a factor in violence, with almost two-thirds of serious assaults in 2017-18 having involved drink | BBC, UK

Death of teacher who swallowed bag of cocaine 'accidental'

A mother-of-three who swallowed a bag of cocaine after she checked in at Manchester Airport accidentally killed herself, an inquest concluded | BBC, UK

Talking Horses: Kieran Shoemark gets back on track after cocaine ban

The jockey has spoken openly about the addiction that led to a positive cocaine test, and rode a winner on his return to racing | Guardian, UK

Leeds drug dealer had diamond watch 'to make rap video'

A convicted drug dealer has been ordered to hand over a £100,000 diamond-encrusted watch he claimed had been lent to him by a Dubai jeweller to make a rap video | BBC, UK


International news

The China Drug, Crime and Detention Database

The China Drug, Crime and Detention Database Project is the first open access quantitative database focused on Chinese government drug policy and the country's justice system. It is an open access resource for researchers, advocates, journalists and organisations engaged in the study of drug policy, criminal justice, policing and detention in China | LSE, UK

Journal of Illicit Economies and Development special issue on Brazil

Open access articles available in the latest edition of this journal | LSE, UK

The Melancholy of Killercops in the Philippines Drug War (Part 3)

Cerrado is driving to a resort outside Manila with Rozzy – his girlfriend, who is celebrating her birthday - and her parents, siblings, and cousins. Everyone meets Cerrado with respect and awe | Talking Drugs, UK

Archbishop says Dublin drug cartels will be stopped from 'exploiting' religious services

He said that religious services would no longer be used to “glorify” Dublin drug cartels’ images | Journal, Ireland

More states sue opioid maker alleging deceptive marketing

California, Hawaii, Maine and the District of Columbia filed lawsuits Monday against the maker of OxyContin and the company's former president, alleging the firm falsely promoted the drug by downplaying the risk of addiction while it emerged as one of the most widely abused opioids in the U.S | Medical Xpress, USA

San Francisco officials vote to start forcing treatment on mentally ill and drug abusers

San Francisco officials decided Tuesday to force some people with serious mental illness and drug addiction into treatment, even if it goes against the spirit of a city known for its fierce protection of civil rights | Business Insider, USA

Why Alcohol Companies Are Betting on Non-Alcoholic 'Booze'

It’s a Wednesday evening in Brooklyn, NY, and bars are dead. Tea-candle-dotted tables sit empty, waiting for a happy hour rush that isn’t. But tucked away on a side street, hours before its midnight closing time, a bar called Getaway hums with activity | TIME, USA

Denial of Methadone Devastates Incarcerated People: What Hope?

When people who are dependent on opioids are incarcerated and denied access, they go into withdrawal—an often-painful condition with symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea. Some incarcerated people have even died from this enforced “cold turkey.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Early farmers liked alcohol so much they invented two ways to brew it

Was it the lure of beer that encouraged prehistoric humans to begin farming? Archaeological evidence from China suggests it might have been as the region’s first farmers had worked out how to turn millet and other cereals into alcoholic drinks in two distinct ways, hinting at how important alcohol was at the time | New Scientist, USA

Province rejects funding for York Street supervised consumption site

A statement from the ministry of health says zoning appeals have been filed against 446 York Street | CBC news, Canada

Trends in Naloxone use among a sample of people who inject drugs in Tasmania

This paper examines trends of naloxone use in a sample of people that frequently inject drugs in Tasmania. While awareness of naloxone is high, many consumers are not aware that the drug can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies and almost none had done so in the past six months. Effort needs to be made to understand the concerns that consumers have about the drug in order to increase its uptake in Tasmania | NDARC, Australia

Experts call for crackdown on alcohol delivery services to lower suicide rate

Public health advocates have demanded a crackdown on alcohol delivery services to tackle Australia's rising suicide rate, citing a link between drinking and self harm m| SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 88: The Upton Sinclair factor

 Author, journalist and outspoken socialist Upton Sinclair, noted for his exposure of corruption in government and business, wrote that "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it" | NSP blog, UK

Tories must end their double standards over drugs

[Free registration maybe required] Instead of being flippant about taking cannabis or opium in their youth, candidates should change our outdated laws | The Times, UK

Psychedelic drugs: would you accept a prescription? It depends if you’ve tried them before

In countries such as the UK, US and Australia, strict laws and international conventions prohibiting the use of psychedelic drugs have made it almost impossible to research how these drugs work, and how they might be used to heal instead of harm – until recently | Conversation, UK

Editorial: 'Gambling reform pace far too slow'

Like many aspects of social life in Ireland, gambling is widely seen as a bit of fun, marketed by those within what is a multi-million euro industry as part and parcel of society today | Independent, Ireland

The Complicated Birth of the Gateway Theory

In 1972 , spelling  out marijuana’s gateway potential to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, President Richard Nixon explained, “Once you cross that line, from the straight society to the drug society – marijuana, then speed, then it’s LSD, then it’s heroin, etc. then you’re done.” This stepping-stone rationale existed long before Nixon’s presidency, of course. | Points blog, USA