Daily news - 5th March 2019

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UK news

Drug-related deaths and Deaths due to Drug Misuse in Northern Ireland, 2007-2017

Statistics relating to drug related deaths and deaths due to drug misuse |
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, UK

Male drug-related deaths up 98% in Northern Ireland

Drug-related deaths among males in Northern Ireland have almost doubled in the last 10 years, according to new government figures | BBC, UK

Naloxone: Mother says mental health teams need to 'wake up'

A mother whose son is addicted to heroin and prescription drugs has said she fears he will die if he is not given the help he needs | BBC, UK

Young people warned over buying drugs via apps

Social media apps are increasingly likely to be used by young people to buy illegal drugs, research suggests | BBC, UK

Young people at risk of addiction show differences in key brain region

The study adds further evidence to support the idea that an individual’s biological makeup plays a significant role in whether or not they develop an addictive disorder | University of Cambridge, UK

Knife crime: 'Tsar' needed to stop stabbings, says ex-Met chief

A knife crime tsar must be appointed by government in order to "get a grip" on the rise in youth violence, a former Metropolitan Police commissioner says | BBC, UK

Labour supports trials of consumption rooms to cut drug deaths

Party considers helping users get off streets to safer spaces with access to treatment | Guardian, UK

Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform Announces Ambassadors and Expert Working Group

The LCDPR, founded by MPs Jeff Smith & Thangam Debbonaire, have today announced new details of the campaign, including members of their Expert Working Group and voluntary Ambassadors | Volte Face, UK

Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks (PDF)

The Portman Group’s Code of Practice was first introduced in April 1996. This is the sixth edition. It applies to the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks and provides a procedural framework for influencing, regulating and controlling industry practice | Portman Group, UK

Smokers given free 'vape' kits to help kick the habit in new trial

Pharmacies will be giving out e-cigarette starter kits to anyone who signs up to the latest smoking cessation trial | Manchester Evening News, UK


International news

Royal Navy warship seizes record £150m of drugs on Arabian Sea's 'hash highway' and 'smack track' 

ARoyal Navy warship has seized more than two tons of hashish, in its sixth drugs haul of recent months while tackling traffickers in the Arabian Sea | Telegraph, UK

India: Opium-addicted parrots 'wreak havoc' for farmers

The farmers in Madhya Pradesh state say that along with a season of uneven rainfall, the parrots are having a serious impact on their yields | BBC, UK

'How is that harm reduction?' - Nearly 100 objections to planned drug injection centre

Nearly 100 planning objections have been raised against a planned drug injection centre in Dublin | Irish Examiner, Ireland

‘Expert’ crew flown in from Portugal by international drug gang to set up Dublin growhouse

A six-strong “expert” crew from Portugal was flown in by an international drug gang to set up and operate an industrial-scale cannabis growhouse in the middle of Dublin city | Irish Examiner, Ireland

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Considering Bankruptcy Filing: Reports

Filing for bankruptcy would likely give the company protection against the hundreds of lawsuits it faces over its role in the opioid crisis | Huffington Post, USA

Big US chains called out for selling tobacco to kids

US health authorities on Monday announced new steps to pressure 15 leading retail chains that regularly sell tobacco products to underage consumers | Medical Xpress, USA

Addiction counselor creates smartphone app to thwart overdoses

In his dozen years using heroin, Lucien Izraylov took pains to avoid detection. He was ashamed of what he was doing, so he almost always shot up alone | Medical Xpress, USA

Cocoa may help curb fatigue typically associated with multiple sclerosis

Cocoa may help curb the fatigue that is typically associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), suggest the results of a small feasibility trial, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry | Medical Xpress, USA

“Maybe if I stop the drugs, then maybe they’d care?”—hospital care experiences of people who use drugs

[Open access] Drug use is associated with increased morbidity and mortality but people who use drugs experience significant barriers to care. Data are needed about the care experiences of people who use drugs to inform interventions and quality improvement initiatives. The objective of this study is to describe and characterize the experience of acute care for people who use drugs | Harm Reduction Journal, Canada



Blogs, comment and opinion

Opioids: poverty is the culprit

Guardian readers give their views on the reasons behind the opioid crisis | Guardian letters, UK

Skewed approach: Our drugs policy is undermining Peel’s principles of policing

Police tactics may disrupt drug supplies, but they cause more crime and even contribute to the use of children as a go-between in county lines, undermining Peel's principles, says former Detective Sergeant and Chair of LEAP UK Neil Woods who argues it's time for & help | LEAP, UK

Purdue Pharma taps a Gilded Age history of pharmaceutical fraud

Newly unsealed documents from a lawsuit by the state of Massachusetts allege that Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin and other addictive opioids, actively sniffed out new, sinister ways to cash in on the opioid crisis | Conversation, USA