Daily news - 14th June 2019

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UK news

Anabolic Steroids: Why Are Young Men Risking Dangerous Side Effects To Bulk Up?

"They’re using it to bulk out body mass and get to an ideal shape very quickly." | Huffington Post, UK

Cannabis and cocaine most popular drugs in Scotland, survey finds

In a survey, almost four-fifths of those asked said they had taken cannabis and nearly three-quarters admitted using cocaine | Sky News, UK

Drug expert is rejected from advisory committee for criticising government

An expert on drug policy has been disallowed from joining the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs because of criticisms she made of the government’s position on drug consumption rooms | BMJ, UK

Politicians Adam Price and Stephen Kinnock admit taking drugs

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: "As a gay man who first went clubbing in the 1990s it would be a bit of a surprise if I hadn't taken drugs." Labour backbench MP Stephen Kinnock, who represents Aberavon, admitted "smoking weed" at high school | BBC, UK

Critics condemn Church of England's plan to invest in medicinal cannabis companies

The church's investment arm, The Church Commissioners for England, is thought to be relaxing self-imposed rules for investing in medical marijuana companies, as reported by The Financial Times | Mail ONline, UK

Volteface Announces Sponsorship with MPX International // 

Volteface is delighted to announce its partnership agreement with the multinational company MPX International. The sponsorship agreement is governed by our Industry Sponsor Policy, which guarantees the integrity and independence of our research | Volte Face, UK

Mass Lobby at Parliament

25th June 12 – 5pm. Parliament, London SW1A 0AA. Join our mass lobby by arranging a meeting at parliament with your MP to demand an end to the drug war | Anyone's Child, UK


International news

Chinese tombs yield earliest evidence of cannabis use

The study suggests cannabis was being smoked at least 2,500 years ago, and that it may have been associated with ritual or religious activities | BBC, UK

British American Tobacco boosted by vaping sales

British American Tobacco (BAT) announced that sales of e-cigarettes and vaping products would accelerate in the second half of the year as demand for traditional cigarettes declines | City AM, UK

Colorado has made more than $1bn from legal marijuana industry

State has doubled its revenues from cannabis products in just under two years | Independent, UK

Deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug overdoses at all-time high

[See report below] Drug overdose nationally rose 115 per cent in 15 years, but different states impacted in differing ways | Independent, UK

2019 Scorecard on State Health System Performance: Deaths from Suicide, Alcohol, Drugs on the Rise; Progress Expanding Health Care Coverage Stalls; Health Costs Are a Growing Burden

The Commonwealth Fund’s 2019 Scorecard on State Health System Performance reveals that most states are losing ground on key measures related to life expectancy as premature deaths from suicide, alcohol, and drug overdose continue to increase | Commonwealth Fund, USA

Growing life expectancy inequality in US cannot be blamed on opioids alone

A new University of Michigan study challenges a popularized view about what's causing the growing gap between the lifespans of more- and less-educated Americans -- finding shortcomings in the widespread narrative that the United States is facing an epidemic of "despair." | Science Daily, USA

MRI plays a role in diagnosis of cocaine-related damage to the heart

Cardiac MRI has a pivotal role to play in the diagnosis of cocaine-induced cardiovascular diseases, according to an article published in the journal Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging | EurekAlert, USA

Why the Smoking Ban in Public Housing Makes Residents’ Lives Worse

The first thing that greets you when you walk in is the stench of Pampers and rotten food, rodents and cats feeding out of the garbage,” said Yordani,* a middle-aged man who lives in the Drew-Hamilton Houses in Harlem | Filter Magazine, USA

NYC Jail Deprived Trans Women of MAT for Years

Between 2015 and 2018, transgender women incarcerated in New York City’s first-of-its-kind Transgender Housing Unit (THU) were deprived of access to lifesaving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) like methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone | Filter Magazine, USA

Alcohol main cause of substance-related deaths in hospital

Alcohol contributes to more than half of all substance-use hospitalizations | CBC News, Canada

Drug and Alcohol Research Connections Newsletter

June edition of the newsletter looking at the latest news, research and policy in Australia | NDARC / NCETA / NDRI, Australia

Government invests $2.5 million in firm with ties to medicinal cannabis industry

The Government will be investing $2.5 million in a tech start-up working in the cannabis space. The grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will be paid over five years to ag-tech firm BioLumic, which develops technology to aid in the agriculture of crops | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Gabapentinoids linked to new risks, including suicidal behaviour

Medical training might start with “first, do no harm,” but in truth the prescribing of drugs is a balance of risks. All drugs can cause harm, although the extent of this varies among different people, drugs, dosages, and durations of use | BMJ editorial, UK

Should we worry that take-home naloxone availability may increase opioid use?

Take-home naloxone saves lives by preventing deaths from opioid overdose in individual cases. It is not clear whether it has led to an increase in opioid use, but any such effect is unlikely to outweigh its positive impact | Addiction editorial, UK

I was blocked from advising on UK drug policy – because I criticised UK drug policy

This country has a drug crisis. But it appears that the government can’t tolerate experts like me pointing that out | Guardian opinion, UK

Home Office drugs policy panel decision condemned

Niamh Eastwood’s barring from the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is wrong, say drug scientists, policy experts and MPs | Guardian letters, UK

The recommended alcohol limit of 14 units a week is too low

I'm an addict in recovery, and I know that drinking problems are gradated, not binary. It’s not 14-and-under, good; 15-and-over, bad | i news, UK

Parents and Prevention

As part of #LetsTalkPrevention, Fiona Spargo-Mabbs reflects on the work of the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation and how important it is for parents to be informed when it comes to preventing harm to young people from drugs and alcohol | Mentor blog, UK

Mescaline by Mike Jay review – a global history of the first psychedelic

From the ancient Andes to Aldous Huxley’s trousers – the uses and abuses of ‘fiendish cactus juice’ | Guardian, UK