Daily news - 4th March 2019

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UK news

Change Grow Live and Sova complete merger

Sova, formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of Change Grow Live that supports individuals with multiple and complex needs, has fully merged with its parent charity as of Friday 1 March 2019 | Change Grow Live, UK

Police back ‘shooting galleries’ for drug users

[Free registraton required] Senior police officers are backing plans to create a national network of drug consumption rooms, known as “shooting galleries”, where addicts are provided with drugs such as heroin, paid for by the state | The Times, UK

MPs call for legal smoking age to be raised to 21

Cross-party group also wants government to impose a levy on tobacco firms to fund moves to encourage people to quit | Guardian, UK

Children as young as 14 are becoming addicted to e-cigarettes, head of Britain’s biggest addiction clinic says

John Dicey, chief executive of Allen Carr’s Easyway which has 35 centres around the UK, said there has been a steep rise in  the past year of young people seeking help on how to quit vaping | Telegraph, UK

Drinking in pregnancy could affect children’s mental health

New research led by the University of Bristol has found children whose mothers drink during pregnancy could be at greater risk of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, depression and conduct disorder | University of Bristol, UK

Public health 'improving under councils despite cuts'

Councils in England say there has been a marked improvement in public health since they took over responsibility for delivering services nearly six years ago, despite budget cuts | BBC, UK

Vaping and the Number of Cigarettes Not Now Smoked: An Additional Means of Assessing the Public Health Impact of E-cigarettes (PDF)

[Open access] There are multiple ways in which the public health impact of e-cigarettes is being assessed including determining the extent to which these devices are being used by current smokers, former smokers, and never smokers and identifying whether and to what extent e-cigarette use is associated with an increase or decrease in the rate of smoking and smoking cessation |Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine, UK

Home Office backed scheme will allow people test their drugs ‘to save thousands of lives’

People over the age of 18 can take in a drug sample to find out what's in it | I news, UK

Dating apps and Netflix responsible for fall in 24-hour alcohol licences, new research suggests

Dating apps are partly responsible for a significant decrease in 24-hour alcohol licences, new research has suggested | Telegraph, UK

Mark Ogren: Dundee United owner says fans should be allowed to drink before games

Disorder at the 1980 Scottish Cup final between Rangers and Celtic led to the introduction of the ban | BBC, UK

Illegal STI drugs being sold online

Illegal antibiotics advertised on social media are being sold at the wrong dose to people too embarrassed to visit a sexual health clinic | BBC, UK

Helen Kyneston: Drugs-in-bra prison smuggling mum jailed

A woman who hid cannabis and a mobile phone in her bra for her son while visiting him in prison has been jailed | BBC, UK

Dylan Robinson: Jockey banned after testing positive for cocaine

The drug, banned under the rules of racing, was found in a sample of Robinson's urine taken at Galway on 9 October | BBC, UK

Operation Zeus: Drugs gang boss Aled Gray jailed

The boss of a multi-million pound drug dealing "consortium" has been sentenced to 10 years in prison | BBC, UK

Cannabis with your coffee?

Video.There is little evidence to back the health benefits of CBD, but some say it helps with conditions such as anxiety and pain relief | BBC, UK


International news

Global war on drugs could harm efforts to abolish death sentences - study

Iran reforms drive 90% fall in death penalty worldwide, but report warns hardline approach to minor cases violates human rights | Guardian, UK

British child raised in Pakistan jail returned to UK without mother

Khadija Shah gave birth to daughter Malaika, now 6, while serving a life sentence for smuggling heroin | Guardian, UK

French poppy seed bread found to contain dangerous levels of morphine

People in France are being warned to avoid eating poppy seed bread after tests found that it contained morphine and codeine which could cause intoxication, vomiting or nausea | Telegraph, UK

Canada appeals court orders tobacco firms to pay billions in damages

A Canadian court has upheld the bulk of a decision that ordered three tobacco companies to pay billions in damages | BBC, UK

Sweet smell of success? Big business bets on a marijuana boom

The medical cannabis industry is luring major players, and legal recreational use could bring sky high returns for investors | Guardian, UK

World number one bridge player suspended for failing drug test

The world's best bridge player, Geir Helgemo, has been suspended for a year after failing a drugs test | Telegraph, UK

Parrots ‘hooked on opium’ wreak havoc on Indian farmers’ crops

Producers failing to scare away apparently drug-addicted birds with firecrackers and loudspeakers | Independent, UK

TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia 

The article “Punitive Rehabilitation” by Aleksandr Delphinov, published on Russian web-portal “Batenka”  (Rus) touches upon the roots of stigma towards people who use drugs in modern Russian rehabilitation centres, which treat people as animals while pushing towards their complete sobriety | Talking Drugs, UK

Decision to include vaping advice on official HSE website 'does not represent policy change'

A section on vaping has been added to the official quit.ie site | Journal, Ireland

Portugal’s Decriminalization of Drug Use, Explained

In 2001, Portugal was experiencing an opioid-involved overdose crisis, similar to the one gripping the United States. The country used criminalization and incarceration to try to manage drug use, while HIV rates among people who use drugs were the highest in Europe | Filter Magazine, USA

This Black History Month (and All Year Long), Stop Ignoring Black Drug Policy Reformers

Last year, the New York Times published a piece asking “30 experts to think big, but realistically, about solutions […] to address the opioid crisis.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Study identifies predictors of psychiatric events during drug-assisted smoking cessation

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have identified a clear group of characteristics that predict heightened risk for experiencing increased anxiety or worsening of mood that interferes with daily activities when using a smoking cessation drug | Medical Xpress, USA

Liberal Hawaii decides again not to legalize marijuana

On the political spectrum, Hawaii is among the bluest of states. Democrats control all the levers of power at the state and federal levels, and voters back Democratic presidential candidates over Republicans by some of the widest margins in the U.S | Medical Xpress, USA

Non-medical prescription stimulant use to improve academic performance among Australian university students: Prevalence and correlates of use

Some university students consume pharmaceutical stimulants without a medical prescription with the goal of improving their academic performance. The prevalence of this practice has been well documented in the US, but less so in other countries | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 1 March 2019

Smoking prevalence is at an all-time low in England with fewer young people smoking and we have a fighting chance of a smokefree generation | PHE blog, UK

How can psychedelics treat mental illness? #PsilocybinMedicine

Over the past 20 years there has been a resurgence of psychedelic research in the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry. Psychedelic substances were widely researched in the 1950s and ’60s but political decisions in the decades that followed forced strict legislative restrictions on these substances | Mental Elf blog, UK

Doing harm by doing good

In the wake of the Heineken scandal, Kate Robaina says that the façade of corporate social responsibility initiatives extends far beyond that of the Dutch brewer | IAS blog, UK

Addictions at the Bar – when a dry January is not enough

I am a barrister.  I am also a recovering alcoholic | Wellbeing at the bar, UK

Opinion: 'E-cigarettes may be an effective tobacco cessation tool but at what cost to society'?

We don’t want to solve the problems of current smokers by creating a whole new generation of smokers that the tobacco companies can prey on,’ writes Dr Des Cox | Journal opinion, Ireland