Daily news - 17th May 2019

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UK news

Appointment of Recovery Champion

In the 2017 Drug Strategy the Government committed to appointing a national Recovery Champion. The Recovery Champion will play a key role in delivering the Government’s ambitions by helping improve the prospects of individuals seeking to recover from substance misuse | They work for you, UK

Opioid painkillers: Alarm bells are ringing

It is said to be a public health crisis in the US and Canada and officials there have branded it an "opioid epidemic" | BBC, UK

There's a Reason the UK Takes More Coke, K and MDMA Than Anywhere Else

Our nation's enduring obsession with the rave years might go some way to explaining today's Global Drug Survey results | Vice, UK

Celebrating 50 years of Residential Services

This year we celebrate 50 years of life-changing work, marking this milestone offered us the opportunity to reflect on the impact that Phoenix has had on thousands of people’s lives | Phoenix Futures, UK

RCPsych Call for Evidence on Cannabis

We are asking those with expertise and personal experience of medicinal cannabis and cannabis for recreational use to contribute to its review by providing relevant evidence | RCPsych, UK

Prisoners Are Now Smoking Nicotine Patches and Chamomile Tea

It’s been a year since the ban on tobacco, British inmates' surrogate currency. The results are weird, but also predictable | VICE, UK

181,000 UK offenders fuelling “chronic and corrosive” threat from serious and organised crime

The number of ‘County Lines’ drug supply lines has increased from 720 to around 2,000 in a little over a year | NCA, UK

Norfolk police constable resigned after positive cocaine test

Former Norfolk police constable Maddison Bee was found to have breached standards of professional behaviour | BBC, UK


International news

Global Drug Survey 2019 (PDF)

Key findings from this year's report into global drug trends | GDS, UK

Global Drug Survey Shows How Policing of Drug Use Varies Worldwide

Getting caught with drugs can be a very stressful event in people’s lives. Criminal records for personal possession of drugs can ruin careers and opportunities and costs the police and legal system considerable time and money for uncertain gain | Talking Drugs, UK

Six Men Executed for Drug Offences in Iran, Despite Legal Reform

At least six men have been hanged for drug offences in Iran since late April, raising concerns about a “new wave of drug-related executions” in a country that recently legislated to reduce the punishment | Talking Drugs, UK

High finance: Mr Nice 'cannabis lifestyle' shop opens in London

Store named after celebrity dealer Howard Marks sells legal products such as CBD oil | Guardian, UK

The cocaine trade is booming': 54% of Irish people who use cocaine want to cut down

Over one quarter of cannabis users in Ireland reported almost daily use, which the report said was “suggestive of dependent use” | Journal, Ireland

Addressing Problematic Opioid Use in OECD Countries

This report presents evidence on the magnitude of problematic opioid use across OECD countries, describes the main drivers, and identifies a set of policy actions to address them. The report highlights the opioid crisis as a complex public health issue that requires a comprehensive approach across all sectors, including health, social services, and law enforcement | OECD, France

Does cannabis legalisation change healthcare utilisation? A population-based study using the healthcare cost and utilisation project in Colorado, USA

[Open access] Recreational cannabis legalisation is associated with neutral effects on healthcare utilisation. In line with previous evidence, cannabis liberalisation is linked to an increase in motor vehicle accidents, alcohol abuse, overdose injuries and a decrease in chronic pain admissions. Such population-level effects may help guide future decisions regarding cannabis use, prescription and policy | BMJ Open, USA

Study may help prevent relapse in cocaine use disorder patients

Brazilian researchers combined cognitive dysfunction tests with an analysis of drug use patterns to identify patients at high risk of relapse after treatment | EurekAlert, USA

Global Drug Survey: Large Majority of Cocaine Users Would Pay More for Safer, “Fair Trade” Supply

As the international cocaine supply becomes increasingly risky, most people who use the drug are in favor of a regulated, “fair trade” market for the stimulant, according to a new global survey | Filter Magazine, USA

Drug War Photo-Op Policing Is a Betrayal of Law Enforcement’s Principles

It’s one of the defining images of modern policing. High-ranking officers lined up at the podium, with the drugs from their latest seizure laid out on the table before them. The cameras click and flash; impressive numbers get thrown around about the supposed “street value” of the dope that’s been seized | Filter Magazine, USA

Five states announce new suits over prescription opioids

Five more state attorneys general announced legal filings Thursday seeking to hold the company that makes OxyContin responsible for an opioid addiction crisis that's now the leading cause of accidental deaths across the country and in many states | Medical Xpress, USA

Young Aussies taking opioids at highest rate in world, survey finds

A third of Australians surveyed in a huge global drug study said they used prescription opioids in the past year, the highest number of all countries surveyed | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Seven things I learnt from the 2019 Global Drug Survey

The Global Drug Survey becomes more valuable every year; this year more than 123,000 people from more than 30 countries completed the survey including over 5,000 from the UK | Russell Webster, UK

Sonia's story: "My addiction does not define me, nor will it beat me"

Sonia was the first British Asian female sports editor for a regional paper until alcohol changed everything | Alcohol Change UK, UK