Daily news - 19th March 2019

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UK news

'It's about saving lives': inside the UK's first licensed drug testing service

Anonymous service lets users know if drugs are contaminated and can alert to risky batches | Guardian, UK

Open consultation - NDTMS datasets: proposed changes

Public Health England are currently consulting on proposed changes to the NDTMS datasets which would be collected from 1st April 2020 as Core Dataset P. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 15 April 2019 | PHE, UK

Families frustrated over medical cannabis delays

The parents of a severely ill toddler from Norwich who suffers up to fifty seizures a day, want access to cannabis oil in the hope of improving his condition | ITV, UK

Hannah Deacon (Alfie's Hope) - video

Many people will know Hannah Deacon due to the immense work she has done around Medicinal Cannabis in the UK and in bringing her son Alfie’s plight to the nation. Alfie was the first person in the UK to gain an NHS prescription for Medicinal Cannabis | MyPOV, UK

Baby boomers are more likely to drink and drive than millennials

People over the age of 50 are more likely to risk drinking and driving than those aged 16-19 | Independent, UK

Should alcohol be banned on flights?

The government is reviewing airport licensing laws. But after another drunken brawl on a plane, should passengers be breathalysed before boarding – or even forbidden from boozing? | Guardian, UK

Addiction Worker Training Project pilot to provide opportunities in Dumfries and Galloway

The Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP), run by Scottish Drugs Forum, supports, trains and prepares people with a history of drug or alcohol problems to work in the social care field | SDF, UK

Public Mental Health - prevention what works

Free event. 10 May 2019. Queen Marys University, Charterhouse Square, London. This conference brings together colleagues from the disciplines of Public Health and Psychiatry to consider how we might more effectively collaborate in the creation of better mental health for all. Come and hear about examples of innovative and effective approaches from the four nations of the United Kingdom, contribute to the debate and become part of a growing interdisciplinary movement | FPH, UK

Overdose Prevention in Scotland: What can we learn from British Columbia?

Event. Tuesday, 14 May 2019 from 09:30 to 15:30 (BST). Dundee, United Kingdom. We are delighted to welcome to Dundee our guest speakers who join us from British Columbia | DRNS, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing - 1 year on - survey

Alcohol Focus Scotland is looking to understand what staff working in the sector are seeing following the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) on the 1 May 2018. Although it is still early days and there is an extensive formal evaluation we want to get your sense of the impact of MUP | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Hawick teenager's drug sales to schoolboys 'utterly disgraceful'

The schoolboys fell ill and were taken to hospital after taking the pills which contained compounds of the class A drug | BBC, UK

Norwich teacher-turned-drug addict jailed

Angela Davey, 28, of no fixed address, was living in Norwich when she became addicted to drugs | BBC, UK


International news

Social workers can do so much more than just pick up the pieces

Jamshid from Tehran, Iran, was a heroin addict for 10 years but today he is a qualified psychologist and an active member of a 2,500-strong community that supports other addicts to find meaning, direction, community and pride in their drug-free lives | Guardian, UK

Can legal weed ever beat the black market?

Even in Canada and some US states where marijuana is legal, the illegal market remains a tenacious competitor | Guardian, UK

Family sues over death of marijuana-grower police chased with bulldozer

Pennsylvanian Grateful Dead fan Greg Longenecker, 51, died after being discovered growing pot on public land | Guardian, UK

Pakistan pilots hepatitis C therapy in bid to wipe out silent epidemic

Adramatic drop in the cost of revolutionary new hepatitis drugs could see Pakistan lead the way in stamping out one of the world's most prevalent infectious diseases | Telegraph, UK

Developing a gin-and-tonic without alcohol

Whether it’s for health reasons or a lifestyle choice, quitting alcohol has become a mindful movement | Irish Examiner, Ireland

People who don't drink may still suffer harms from alcohol

Harms to people resulting from alcohol consumption by others in Germany in 2014 are assessed in a new study | Science Daily, USA

Indoor cannabis smoke and children's health

[Open access] This study explored how indoor secondhand cannabis smoke (SCS) was associated with child health | Science Direct, USA

Scientists identify brain circuit responsible for cocaine-seeking behavior during relapse

Approximately 1.5 million Americans use cocaine in a given year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse | MNT, USA

Adolescent daily users more likely to obtain electronic cigarettes from commercial sources

Adolescents for whom electronic cigarette use was a daily habit were 5.2 times more likely to buy their e-cigarettes from a drug store, 4.4 times more likely to get them from a vape shop, and 3.3 times more likely to purchase them from a mall kiosk | News Medical, USA

To help fight vaping, schools look to their own students

Teen vaping is on the rise, and schools are searching for solutions, with some taking disciplinary action or installing vape detectors in bathrooms | CNN, USA

“Addicted to the War on Drugs” Is Right, Despite the Rhetoric

Afriend from Colorado once expressed shock during her first visit to Philadelphia, which included a drive through North Philly. “It’s like Syria,” she said | Filter Magazine, USA

International Drug Talks Raise Serious Concerns Over Venezuelan Sovereignty

AUnited Nations gathering centered on “countering the world drug problem” has given the international coalition backing an attempted coup in Venezuela—which includes the United States, Colombia, Canada and others—a stage on which to criticize the current Venezuelan president’s legitimacy through the terms of the drug war | Filter Magazine, USA

Fast-acting psychedelic associated with improvements in depression/anxiety

Researchers have discovered that use of the synthetic psychedelic 5-methocy-N,-N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) appears to be associated with unintended improvements in self-reported depression and anxiety when given in a ceremonial group setting. 5-MeO-DMT is a psychedelic that is found in the venom of Bufo Alvarius toads, in a variety of plants species, and can be produced synthetically | Science Daily, USA

The inventor of Jelly Belly has launched cannabis-infused jelly beans

David Klein — who invented Jelly Belly in 1976 — recently launched a CBD-infused jelly bean brand called Spectrum Confections. The candy comes in 38 flavors, including roasted marshmallow, piña colada, and strawberry cheesecake, and it contains 10 mg of CBD in each bean | Business Insider, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Harry’s blog 84: Turf wars in a land down under

I, along with other colleagues from Knowledge-Action-Change, have just returned from Australia on a trip to showcase the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report and to support our friends in that country battling against monolithic political intransigence fuelled by smears and whispers from ‘public health’ flat earth activists over tobacco harm reduction | NSP blog, UK

Can smoking cessation improve cognitive functioning in people with psychosis?

Smoking behaviour is a high-risk factor for mortality, not only for people with psychosis but also for the general population. Certainly, that’s not new to the research community. De Leon and Diaz (2005) found that people with schizophrenia were three times more likely to smoke compared to the general population, while Olfson et al (2015) indicated a higher risk of premature mortality due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease | Mental Elf blog, UK

The Trip Report 18/03

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and DanceSafe, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK