Daily news - 18th March 2019

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UK news

Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities Bill (PDF)

A Bill brought in by Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central) (SNP) to make provision about supervised drug consumption facilities; to make it lawful to take controlled substances within such facilities in specified circumstances; and for connected purposes | Parliament.uk, UK

Drug Deaths

To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking in response to the reported increasing number of drug deaths. (S5F-03157) | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will legislate for the mandatory provision by local authorities of treatment for drug misuse | They work for you, UK

Heroin: Medical Treatments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will support the provision of heroin-assisted treatment services throughout England | They work for you, UK

Smoking: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS rollout of lung cancer scanning programmes, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods | They work for you, UK

Does exposure to opioid substitution treatment at prison release reduce the risk of death? A prospective, observational study in England

[Open access] Opioid use disorders are common in the prison population. Prisoners face an acute risk of death in the first 4 weeks after release. We tested whether prison-based opioid substitution treatment (OST) reduces post-release mortality | Lancet, UK

Cuts to local funding for smokers requires national Government action

Government cuts to public health budgets mean that only half of local authorities offer all smokers the best support to quit – a new report from Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK has found | ASH, UK

York 'facing drink and drug funding timebomb'

Cuts to council public health budgets mean the funding for services helping drink and drug users will be slashed by more than £500,000 over five years | BBC, UK

Frontline GP insists methadone is still best way to tackle drugs crisis

'Deep End' Edinburgh GP Carey Lunan says methadone has kept many people from heroin overdoses and allowed them to live a better life, even if the numbers who get off it remain low | Daily Record, UK

Durham police chief Mike Barton announces retirement

Since taking up the role Mr Barton has repeatedly called for debate over the approach to tackling drug addiction | BBC, UK

Blunt to give cannabis talk to law students

In a fine example of nominative determinism, Crispin Blunt is to deliver a speech on cannabis law later this month | Legal Cheek, UK

Dispute brewing as craft beer makers mull pending tax reform

Normally fraternal world of microbreweries in acrimonious split over tax breaks | Guardian, UK

Wetherspoon's profits plunge by 19%

It blamed a rise in labour costs, interest payments, utility bills, repairs and depreciation for the fall | BBC, UK

Peroni tries to take the tinny upmarket by launching new slimline can aimed at young people

Peroni is attempting to create an upmarket beer can by launching a new slimline version aimed at young people on the go | Telegraph, UK

Council tells cabbies they cannot smoke e-cigarettes or smell bad

But they will be able to drive electric cars | Derbyshire Live, UK

Police seize cocaine worth £254,000 in Stirling raids

Two men have been arrested after police seized cocaine with an estimated street value of £254,000 in Stirling | BBC, UK

Three held as police target 'county lines' gang in Manchester

The arrests were made as part of Operation Fosbury, an ongoing investigation into the exploitation of vulnerable adults and children | BBC, UK

Ex-Winchester mayor Chris Pines stabbed 10 times by drug addict

A drug addict who burst into the house of a former mayor and stabbed him 10 times in a botched robbery has been jailed for 10 years | BBC, UK


International news

Tobacco industry involvement in children’s sugary drinks market

Kim H Nguyen and colleagues examine how tobacco companies applied their knowledge of flavours, colours, and child focused marketing to develop leading children’s sugar sweetened drink brands. These techniques continue to be used by drinks companies despite industry agreement not to promote unhealthy products in this way | BMJ Open, UK

Stabilising opioid-dependent pregnant women with substitute drugs

In celebration of International Women’s Day we are highlighting studies throughout March that further our understanding of how sex and gender influence the course of addiction and treatment, with a particular focus on women. This week we invite you to view a new study in the Effectiveness Bank which addresses the needs of a severely under-researched cohort – pregnant women dependent on opioids | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Mexican cartels create new border headache for Trump as they switch from cocaine to deadly synthetic drugs

Enrique, wearing braces on his teeth and a black cap, talks quietly and carefully as he describes how he 'cooks' fentanyl | Telegraph, UK

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu 'considers legalising marijuana' to court votes ahead of election

After weeks of chasing the extreme nationalist vote, leader has now turned his attention to the stoners | Independent, UK

India's health ministry calls for blocking Juul's entry into country - document

India’s health ministry has called for Juul Labs Inc’s electronic cigarettes to be blocked from entering the country, a letter seen by Reuters showed, potentially dealing a blow to the U.S. company’s plans to tap the South Asian market | Reuters, UK

Codeine addiction is ‘epidemic verging on eruption’

Ireland is on the verge of a codeine addiction epidemic, according to a medical paper | The Times, UK

Codeine Usage in Ireland- A Timely Discussion on an Imminent Epidemic

Codeine is a highly abused substance in Ireland yet remains relatively under-documented in research studies. From a dual perspective as both a current medical student and practising community pharmacist, I note that codeine is an addiction that is often hidden under the guise of pain management, going unaddressed by both doctor and patient | IMJ, Ireland

Over one million cigarettes seized in Dublin

The unstamped cigarettes were found on Thursday with the help of Revenue detector dog Kelly and Revenue's x-ray scanner | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Bookies give €1m to new body to tackle gambling addiction

The Gambling Awareness Trust is a newly registered charity which aims to fund research into gambling problems, information campaigns and help finance agencies which provide counselling and other services | Independent, Ireland

What we have learned over the last ten years: A summary of knowledge acquired and produced by the UN system on drug-related matters (PDF)

To help boost coordination and deliver more effective assistance, we established a Task Team to produce timely briefs and encourage joint-programming and resource mobilization for drug-related programmes. This first such brief is a collection of successful experiences in law enforcement, prevention, health care, human rights and development over the last ten years. It is a tool for sharing best practices and promoting evidence-based, rights-based approaches | UNODC, Austria

Current NPS Threats

The first volume of the new biannual Current NPS Threats was launched with data reported to the Toxicology Portal (Tox-Portal) of the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS. These data from post-mortem, clinical and other casework were reported by toxicology laboratories from 29 countries in all regions of the world and allowed to identify some key recent developments regarding health threats posed by NPS | UNODC, Austria

Early menopause in smokers linked to bladder cancer

Research shows that experiencing menopause before the age of 45 is associated with a higher risk of bladder cancer. This higher risk was notable if the woman is a smoker. The study, which looked at health outcomes of more than 220,000 US Nurses, is presented at the European Association of Urology congress in Barcelona | EurekAlert, Spain

Nalmefene HCl Injection Fast-Tracked for Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to nalmefene HCl injection (Purdue Pharma) for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdoses | MPR, USA

Can Cannabis Solve the Opioid Crisis?

Probably not—but it might be part of the solution | Scientific American, USA

Juul and Big Tobacco have lobbied for months to protect themselves from aspects of the F.D.A.’s crackdown. As Scott Gottlieb leaves, they see an opening | NYTimes, USA

Methadone Helped Her Quit Heroin. Now She’s Suing U.S. Prisons to Allow the Treatment

About to enter a federal prison, a Massachusetts woman is not permitted to continue taking the opioid as a treatment to block cravings and withdrawal from heroin addiction | NYTimes, USA

Legalization of marijuana has become a pillar of progressive politics, and a litmus test for candidates’ commitment to equal treatment for all races in policing and criminal justice | NYTimes, USA

Eight kilograms of cocaine discovered hidden in children's books

Two young Perth men have been charged after a joint operation uncovered eight kilograms of cocaine hidden in children's books | SMH, Australia

Brewing a plan to win back a nation falling out of love with beer

It's the last day of summer and a cracking day for a beer. Peter Filipovic is standing behind the bar at Carlton Brewhouse, a spacious brick building in an industrial area of Abbotsford in inner Melbourne. Filipovic, the new boss of Australia's biggest brewer, pulls at the beer tap with one hand and tilts a schooner with the other | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Can we build a more trusting, collaborative substance misuse treatment sector?

I spent Friday in Manchester, at EXCO2019 – the annual conference of the Expert Faculty on Commissioning.  There were lots of fascinating discussions throughout the day, and I’d recommend catching up by looking at the hashtag on Twitter: #EXCO2019 | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

While we discuss cannabis oil, we should remember that the government is blocking life-saving research into MDMA and magic mushrooms

The government makes it intentionally difficult for researchers to work with drugs like MDMA and psilocybin despite the fact that these drugs could be potential life-savers for those with psychological trauma | Independent voices, UK

Major UN report condemns punitive drugs policies

new report from the United Nations System Coordination Task Team describes punitive drug policies as “ineffective in reducing drug trafficking or in addressing non-medical drug use and supply”. It goes on to say that such approaches “undermine the human rights and well-being of persons who use drugs, as well as of their families and communities.” | Transform blog, UK

New UN guidelines to mainstream human rights in the global drugs debate

It’s 110 years since international cooperation on drug control began. In February 1909 the International Opium Commission in Shanghai saw governments from around the world come together to address what was dubbed “the opium question”, by proposing a global plan to suppress illicit opium use and markets | Conversation, UK

What I'm really thinking ... about alcohol

It's very hard not to drink alcohol when you're 15. Especially in Ireland, I mean. It's like everyone else is drinking or thinking about drinking or has drunk, and so not drinking marks you out | Independent, Ireland

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal use and is easy to abuse. In the meantime, medical marijuana dispensaries have an increasing array of products available for pain, anxiety, sex and more | Conversation, USA

Scarce retail weed shops means most Canadians still use blackmarket pot

Squeezing out black markets is a key goal of cannabis legalization. Legalization also lets governments tax cannabis production and consumption. Canada has achieved limited progress so far toward those potentially conflicting goals. But some provinces have made good starts | Conversation, Canada