Daily news - 12th June 2019

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Advanced note: A new ACMD report on custody to community transitions will be published this morning at around 11am.



UK news

Health and Social Care Committee debate on Drugs Policy - video

Witnesses: Josie Smith, Head of Substance Misuse Programme, Public Health Wales, Yusef Azad, Director of Strategy, National AIDS Trust, and Matthew Hickman, Professor in Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Bristol | Parliament.tv, UK

Drugs expert barred from policy panel after criticising Home Office

A government minister vetoed the appointment of an expert to a public body after vetting found she had criticised the Home Office and called for drug policy reform, it has emerged | Guardian, UK

Chemsex: A Case Study of Drug-Userphobia

This report focusses on challenging the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals who engage in chemsex, in order that they can equitably enjoy the full range of human rights afforded to all people | INPUD, UK

One in three men turn to alcohol to ease depression – the 10 warning signs you are at risk

A new survey reveals that nearly two thirds of guys have experienced mental health problems in the last five years | The Sun, UK

Boris Johnson cocaine use: What the Tory favourite to be next PM has said about taking illegal drugs

Increasingly attention is focusing on favourite Boris Johnson, who is yet to comment publicly on the latest admissions of drug use from his rivals despite having made a series of remarks about the drug in the past | Independent, UK

MP Liam Byrne says watching his father destroy his life with alcohol 'transformed me both personally and politically'

Liam Byrne says many homeless people with drug or alcohol addictions have similar problems to his father | Birmingham Live, UK

Smoking: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his policy paper, Smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England, published on 18 July 2017, what progress he has made on achieving the target to reduce the number of 15 year olds who regularly smoke from eight per cent to three per cent or less | They work for you, UK

Scotland's recovery village where addicts become role models

Alex Morrison is a trained stonemason who has battled with drugs and alcohol for most of his life | BBC, UK

Duchess of Cambridge to attend gala dinner for Addiction Awareness Week

The Duchess of Cambridge is due to attend a gala dinner, with food prepared by people whose lives have been touched by drugs and alcohol, to mark Addiction Awareness Week | ITV, UK

Competent Compassion

SMMGP – what does that mean to you? Substance Misuse Management Good Practice perhaps? But it means we need to answer a very important question | SMMGP, UK

Consultation event – Families affected by gambling

Adfam and GamCare are working to improve support for families affected by gambling. We want to hear directly from those affected to understand their experiences, and what support they would value. We are running an online consultation alongside a face to face consultation event in London on Thursday 27th June | GamCare and Adfam, UK

Child spies should be recruited more often by MI5 and police, security minister says

Police and intelligence agencies should make greater use of child spies to investigate terrorists, gang violence, drug dealing and sexual exploitation, says the UK’s security minister despite legal concerns over their safety | Telegraph, UK

Cocaine gang jailed after £20m seizure on M6 in Cheshire

Two drugs gang bosses have been jailed after cocaine with a street value of £20m was seized from a van on the M6 in Cheshire | BBC, UK

Police arrest 12 in Caerphilly and Abertillery drug raids

Police have arrested 12 people on drugs offence after 15 early morning raids involving more than 180 specialist officers | BBC, UK


International news

The woman who makes cannabis oil 'to help people'

Marie is a British mother-of-four who helps run an illegal cannabis oil laboratory in the mountains of Spain | BBC, UK

Drug charges against Russian journalist cancelled after international outcry

The criminal case against Russian journalist Ivan Golunov, who said police planted drugs on him and beat him, has been dismissed following an international outcry | Telegraph, UK

Falling Rock - audio

Jacob Rosales, a 20-year-old student at Yale, takes a closer look at some of the varied challenges facing Native American young people today. With alarmingly high rates of alcohol abuse, suicide and unemployment, Jacob delves behind the stats to reveal human stories of both suffering and hope | BBC, UK

The first anti-psychotic drug - audio

In the first half of the 20th century, most mentally ill patients were locked away in psychiatric hospitals and asylums. Those suffering from severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, were often sedated or restrained. Shock therapies were standard treatments. Then in France in the 1950s, a new drug was discovered which dramatically reduced psychotic symptoms in many patients. It was called Chlorpromazine | BBC, UK

More than Half of People who Misuse Prescription Opioids also Binge Drink

More than half of the 4.2 million Americans who misused prescription opioids between 2012 and 2014 also engaged in binge drinking, according to a new study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine | CDC, USA

Sustainable method to produce lifesaving opiate antidotes at reduced cost

Overdose from opiates has skyrocketed. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, on average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The high cost of antidotes such as NARCAN® prevents many first responders from having access to lifesaving antidotes when they need it most | Science Daily, USA

Lower rates of opioid prescriptions in states that implemented medical cannabis use laws

Using data from privately-insured adults, new findings from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston revealed that there is a lower level of opioids prescribed in states that have allowed the use of medical marijuana | Medical Xpress, USA

Marijuana health claims lure patients as science catches up

Marijuana has been shown to help ease pain and a few other health problems, yet two-thirds of U.S. states have decided pot should be legal to treat many other conditions with little scientific backing | News Medical, USA

New case study about cannabis hyperemesis syndrome in palliative care

The medical use of cannabis is growing. Medical marijuana may improve symptoms including pain and anorexia. While it may improve nausea and vomiting, it can rarely cause a hyperemesis syndrome with chronic use | News Medical, USA

New study provides increasing evidence base substantiating vaping’s harm reduction potential

A new study by Imperial Brands, owners of leading vape brand blu, contributes to the increasing evidence base substantiating vaping's harm reduction potential compared to smoking | News Medical, USA

Vaping device maker Juul pledges $7.5 million to research impact of e-cigarettes

A historically black college in Tennessee is planning to research the impact of electronic cigarettes and vaping with a grant from vaping device maker Juul Labs | CBC news, USA

#ChangingTheNarrative—A Much-Needed Campaign to Improve Media Coverage of Drugs

On June 8, the Atlantic published a misleading story that suggests people who use drugs will seek out the potent opioid fentanyl because of the availability of naloxone, the overdose reversal medication. Titled “Naloxone Has Made Overdosing Less Terrifying,” the article makes a fundamental mistake | Filter Magazine, USA

The notorious Silk Road site was shut down in 2013. Others have followed. But the online trafficking of illegal narcotics hasn’t abated | NYTimes, USA

Without harm reduction, overdoses would have killed thousands more, B.C. analysis finds

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control review calculates that supervised injection and other harm-reduction programs prevented more than 3,000 fatal overdoses during a 20-month period beginning in April 2016 | Georgia Straight, USA

Harm Production: Ontario’s Brutal Cuts Add Fuel to the Overdose Fire

Viewed from the United States, Canada’s comparatively liberal social mores and universal healthcare would seem to set the stage for some kind of polite, frozen harm reduction paradise | Filter Magazine, USA

Russell Brown: Experts want an end to legal sanctions on cannabis use and possession

In a Mike's Minute commentary this week, Mike Hosking told his listeners and readers that the government's Wellbeing Budget "subscribed $1.9 billion to mental health, and yet the next move is to decriminalise a substance directly linked to psychosis | NZHerald, New Zealand



Blogs, comment and opinion

My mum was an addict. I know the pain and suffering they can cause

Drugs and alcohol can ruin the lives of family members. They need and deserve our support too | Guardian opinion, UK

Our next Prime Minister will almost certainly be a self-confessed criminal. It is time to take a look at our drug laws

It is now almost certain that our next Prime Minister will be a self-confessed criminal; liable to up 14 years in prison in the case of possession of Class A drugs or up to 5 years for Class B drugs such as cannabis. But at least they will be properly representative of the country they hope to lead | Crispin Blunt blog, UK

Michael Gove’s highs and lows come under scrutiny

Readers give their views on the Tory leadership candidate’s admission of taking cocaine | Guardian, UK

A potted history of political drug use

I first became aware of David Cameron’s efforts to become prime minister in 2007. Sadly, it wasn’t because my 14-year-old self was a great political observer, but because a rumour was swirling around school that the headmaster, a contemporary and, supposedly, roommate of Cameron’s at Oxford, had been approached by a journalist to ask whether the young Dave had smoked cannabis at university | Spectator, UK

E-Cigarettes and Stop Smoking Services: Notes from the Front Line

Recently I spoke on a panel at the UKVIA forum to discuss Stop Smoking Services’ use of electronic cigarettes. In preparation for the panel, I spent some time talking to Stop Smoking Services (SSS), trying to understand the challenges they faced | Ashtray blog, UK

The First Step Act was aimed at righting racial disparities in drug sentencing. So far, more than 1,000 inmates have benefited | NYTimes opinion, USA

E-cig companies use cartoon characters as logos, and new study shows it works

Electronic cigarette use, or vaping, is unsafe for children, adolescents and young adults. Electronic cigarettes often contain nicotine and other harmful substances. Nicotine is addictive and can curb adolescent brain development, which continues into young adulthood. The leading electronic cigarette company insists it is not targeting youth as customers | Conversation, USA