Daily news - 17th June 2019

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UK news

Number of older opiate users in treatment has tripled

The number of older opiate users in treatment in England has tripled in just 12 years, a report by the ACMD reports today | ACMD, UK

ACMD report: ageing cohort of drug users

Report from the ACMD providing advice to the government on the changing age profile of people accessing drug treatment and the challenges faced by this cohort in the UK | ACMD, UK

Opiate addiction in UK in the over-40s triples in 12 years

The number of people over 40 receiving treatment for opiate addiction has tripled in just 12 years, a report has found. In 2018, 75,000 people over the age of 40 were in treatment for dependence on illegal opiates such as heroin – compared to 25,000 in 2006, a report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) found | Independent, UK

Methadone overdose figures slammed by Scottish Conservatives

The Conservatives have called for alternative treatments for drug addicts as figures indicate hundreds of people were taken to hospital after overdosing on the heroin replacement methadone | ITV, UK

Drug addicts to be given free heroin as Home Office awards first licence

[Can be read with Day Pass costing £1] Heroin addicts are to be given free supplies of the illegal class A drug as the Home Office awards the UK’s first licences for “shooting galleries.” | Telegraph, UK

Anxiety drugs widely prescribed in the UK linked to 26% rise in suicide risk, study shows

‘Young people at greatest risk’ as millions of prescriptions of pregabalin, dubbed ‘new valium’, and other gabapentinoids issued annually | Independent, UK

Parklife festival: Five hospitalised after 'taking ecstasy'

Five people needed hospital treatment after taking what is thought to have been a dangerous batch of ecstasy at Manchester's Parklife festival | BBC, UK

Lancashire County Council axes drink and drugs rehab places

Fewer people in Lancashire will have access to alcohol and drugs rehabilitation because of funding pressures, the county council said | BBC, UK

Criminal Justice Project: Class A drug tests in Merseyside Police custody (2016/17 to 2018/19) (PDF)

There were 8,605 attempted drug tests across Merseyside’s custody suites between April 2016 and March 2018. There was a year-on-year increase in the number of drug tests, with a 6% increase between 2016/17 and 2017/18 and a 4% increase between 2017/18 and 2018/19 | PHI, UK

Improving recovery prospects for women in prison

Baroness Jean Corston called for a “distinct, radically different, visibly-led, strategic, proportionate, holistic, woman-centred, integrated approach” for vulnerable female offenders. This study asks whether drug recovery wings in two English women’s prisons delivered on these ambitions, and if not what was missing for them to provide an optimal space for recovery and foster the continuous care pathway women need? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Addiction Recovery Services (Prison Estate)

To ask the Scottish Government when the justice secretary last met the Scottish Recovery Consortium to discuss the provision of addiction recovery services across the prison estate. (S5O-03372) | They work for you, UK

Call for Scots police to have alcohol search powers after beach melee

Police officers should be given powers to search young people for alcohol to prevent anti-social behaviour at some large-scale gatherings, it has been claimed | Scotsman, UK

Epileptic teenager launches legal challenge over block to GP prescribing of medical cannabis

'This is a road we did not want to take and tried every way we could to avoid it,' says mother Charlotte Caldwell | Independent, UK

Teagan Appleby's seized medicinal cannabis returned

A mother who had medicinal cannabis for her severely epileptic daughter confiscated as she arrived back from Holland has had the drugs returned | BBC, UK

Families of people killed by drugs to march on parliament to demand decriminalisation

Families of people killed in drug-related deaths will next week start a six-day walk to parliament to raise awareness of the harms of current drug policy | Independent, UK

London Metal Exchange bans traders from drinking alcohol during work day

Under the influence traders face sanctions under new rules as LME becomes latest City institution to modernise its culture | Independent, UK

Does Majestic's move online spell the end for high street wine?

Specialist sector is struggling against perfect storm, from rising duty to Brexit and gin | Guardian, UK

Adam Harris custody death: Police sergeant cleared

An inquest found Mr Harris died of cocaine and alcohol poisoning | BBC, UK

Henry Hendron returns to practice three years after drug conviction

Barrister was suspended in 2016 after admitting possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply following boyfriend’s death | Legal Cheek, UK

Cannabis farm found at Gala Bingo hall in Kettering

A "sophisticated" cannabis farm has been found inside a former high street bingo hall. The sprawling growing operation reached all four corners of The Gala Bingo building in Kettering | BBC, UK

Cannabis court: Jury says trafficked man was victim, not criminal

A Vietnamese man has become the first person Northern Ireland to be cleared of criminal charges after putting forward a defence of human trafficking | BBC, UK

RAF sergeant jailed for role in £1 million drug smuggling ring

David Corentin, 32, was described as a "professional enabler" to organised crime after the National Crime Agency uncovered an operation to supply cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines across London and Essex, Kingston Crown Court | Telegraph, UK


International news

Germans thirsty for alcohol-free beer as brewers boost taste

Rise in bars stocking 0% beers to meet demand of drinkers who wish to ditch the hangover | Guardian, UK

Drunk flying of drones to earn up to a year in prison in Japan

Operating a drone while drunk may lead to up to a year in prison in Japan, after strict new legislation was passed to tighten regulations surrounding the popular devices | Telegraph, UK

Psychedelics, dance steps and giant snakes: inside the ayahuasca show

Ino Moxo, Peruvian choreographer Oscar Naters’s new show, aims to faithfully recreate the ritual experience of taking ayahuasca – so much so the performers took the hallucinogen in rehearsal | Guardian, UK

General Report of Activities 2018 – Key achievements and governance: a year in review

The General Report of Activities is an annual publication providing a detailed progress report of the EMCDDA’s activities over a 12-month period. It catalogues the Centre’s achievements in each area of its annual work programme. The report is a useful information source for all those seeking comprehensive information on the Centre and its work | EMCDDA, Portugal

Study: Use of psychoactive substances increases among entertainment sector workers

Entertainment sector workers are among those with the highest consumption of psychoactive substances. According to the Addictions study of the year 2017, 17% of the total consume these substances in Spain, a figure which is between France's 22% and Holland's 16% | News Medical, Spain

Facebook is being sued by a Polish drug prevention group over free speech violation

Facebook’s  efforts to shut down harmful and malicious content on its platform have landed it in a European courtroom, after an anti-drug abuse organization in Poland claimed that a freeze on its Facebook Pages is a violation of its rights to free speech | Techcrunch, USA

Alcohol and Drug Misuse and Suicide and the Millennial Generation – A Devastating Impact

Increases in alcohol, drug, and suicide deaths have affected all age groups and all communities, but the impact on people in their 20s and early 30s has been particularly pronounced | Trust for America's Health, USA

Youth drug use trends will compel primary care physicians to keep up

These shifts in illicit substance use will compel primary care physicians to monitor new products and how they are used, two University at Buffalo researchers write in this month's issue of American Family Physician | Medical Xpress, USA

Entertainment sector workers' addictive substance intake increases, study says

Entertainment sector workers are among those with the highest consumption of psychoactive substances. According to a study of the year 2017, 17 percent of sector workers consume these substances in Spain, a figure falling between France's 22 percent and Holland's 16 percent | Medical Xpress, USA

USC study finds e-cigarette cartoon ads may increase likelihood of vaping

Research suggests that exposure to cartoon-based advertisements for e-cigarettes is related to greater potential for young adults to use the products in the future | EurekAlert, USA

An appeals court said that inmates were within their rights to possess up to an ounce of pot, but noted that prison authorities could still ban it | NYTimes, USA

Health Canada finalizes regulations for the production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals

Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority for the Government of Canada. That is why the Government implemented a strict legal framework to regulate and restrict access to cannabis keeping it out of the hands of youth, and profits out of the pockets of criminals and organized crime | Government of Canada, Canada

Low THC levels not linked to increased risk of car crashes: study

Canadian drug-impaired driving laws penalize drivers found to have blood THC levels of between two to five nanograms per millilitre. However, new research led by the University of British Columbia suggests that THC levels less than five nanograms/ml of blood do not lead to an increased risk of causing car crashes in most drivers | Medical Xpress, Canada

National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program provides leading-edge, coordinated national research and intelligence on illicit drugs and licit drugs that can be abused, with a specific focus on methylamphetamine and other substances | ACIC, Australia

Victorians taking the most illicit drugs

Urban Victorians consume more heroin than other Australians and the state's regions have recorded the highest use of MDMA and oxycodone | Canberra Times, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

David Oliver: Doctors with drink problems deserve help

On Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC Radio 5 show in 2011, a report on alcoholism featured a live on-air conversation with an anaesthetic trainee using the pseudonym of Rachel, who had contacted the show. She was in great distress, brought to her knees by alcohol addiction. While awaiting a taxi to residential rehabilitation she opened another can on air, hoping to stave off withdrawal | BMJ views, UK

Alcohol policy in the UK: where next?

Britain's Drink Problem, the episode of BBC's Panorama that aired on June 10, 2019, highlighted the UK Government's continuing failure to take effective action to address the worrying rates of alcohol harm in the country | Lancet comment, UK

Prevention and harm reduction: part of a consistent approach to substance use in young people

I’ve been researching and working in the drug prevention and education field for about 15 years, and have been lucky to meet many dedicated people working in policy and practice both in the UK and internationally | Mentor, UK

Our drug laws do far more harm than good

[Free registration may be required] We’re banning substances less damaging than alcohol that could be effective treatments for anxiety and depression | The Times, UK

It’s last orders for working-hours boozing. We should drink to that

Workplace bans and a more abstemious generation have ended a very British practice | Guardian opinion, UK

'When you drink more, I earn more' – fuelling the oil fund problem in Norway

Why is the Norwegian prime minister painted on walls in Uganda? Nils Garnes of IOGT explains | IAS blog, UK

'I was addicted to drugs, now I'm addicted to running'

At 27, I was arrested and spent the night in a prison cell. That was the worst experience of my life and scared me into getting clean | BBC, UK

The Cannabis Culture Wars

Engaging with enthusiasts and alarmists alike can take its toll on one’s patience | Scientific American, USA

What Big Pot doesn’t want you to know about costs of legalizing marijuana

Lobbyists and lawmakers everywhere like to make bold-but-reality-challenged claims to advance legislation. But in its push to legalize commercial weed, the marijuana industry has taken legislative myth-peddling to brazen new lows | NYPost opinion, USA