Daily news - 20th May 2019

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UK news

General debate on a motion on medical cannabis under prescription

On Monday 20th May, MPs are to hold a debate on a motion on medical cannabis under prescription. Mike Penning MP will begin the proceedings | Parliament.uk, UK

Three NHS prescriptions for medical cannabis dispensed in the community

The NHS Business Services Authority has confirmed that NHS presciptions for medical cannabis were dispensed for use in primary care, despite saying in March 2019 that it had no intention to publish prescribing information owing to concerns about patient confidentiality | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

Cannabis meds: 'I risk criminal record to help my child'

Anthony Clarry has had to get used to breaking the law. Once a month he smuggles two cannabis-based medicines into the UK for his five-year-old daughter Indie-Rose, who has a rare form of severe epilepsy | BBC, UK

Britain's opioid crisis takes on US dimension

[Harry Shapiro from DrugWise quoted] Opioid addiction in Britain has spiraled to a dangerous level. Experts warn that the UK is approaching a crisis of US proportions. What's the government doing to tackle the problem? | DW, UK

Cocaine use doubles in Britain in five years and purity levels at record high

Analysis suggests more than one in every 50 Londoners take drug every day | Independent, UK

Teens in care 'abandoned to crime gangs'

Thousands of teenagers in care are being "dumped" in unregulated homes and "abandoned to organised crime gangs", the BBC has been told | BBC, UK

Drugs deaths in Scottish Borders double

There were 21 in 2018 compared with 10 in the previous 12 months | BBC, UK

Drug addicts fear arrest if they are caught with kits of lifesaving naloxone

Drug addicts say they are reluctant to carry a lifesaving device containing an antidote to opioid overdose as they believe police will search them if they see it | Evening Telegraph, UK

Recovering addicts' idea wins 5 Live Rachael Bland podcast award

The winning entry of the BBC's Rachael Bland New Podcast Award will explore life in recovery from addiction | BBC, UK

Pete Doherty’s Talent Shines Through, After All These Years

He gets older, he releases new music – so what's it like seeing him live, 17 years on from the Libertines' debut album? | VICE, UK

Meet Rose Garnett, the mastermind behind Britain’s best movies

The head of BBC Films is worshipped by everyone from Rachel Weisz to Steve McQueen. How did an ex-heroin addict become the biggest hitmaker in British cinema? | Guardian, UK

Mum who paid for drugs that killed pregnant pal avoids jail

A mother-of-nine who gave her friend money to buy drugs which subsequently killed the younger woman was handed a suspended sentence yesterday | Belfast Telegraph, UK

Tairu Jallow: Drug dealer's killers jailed for 10 years each

Four men have each been jailed for 10 years for the manslaughter of a cannabis dealer during a robbery | BBC, UK

Four jailed over £1.3m drugs stash in Derby oven

Four men have been jailed after £1.3m-worth of heroin, cocaine and cannabis, three firearms and £500,000 were found in an oven and cupboards at a house in Derby | BBC, UK

Cocaine dealer enjoys luxury spa break half way through his nine-year prison sentence

Acocaine dealer has provoked outrage after he was able to enjoy a luxury spa break fewer than three years into his 10-year sentence | Telegraph, UK


International news

Big tobacco secretly bankrolling anti-NHS think tank whose bosses donate thousands to Tory leadership contenders, an investigation reveals

British American Tobacco is funding the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has called for the NHS to be abolished, while previous funders include sugar and soft drinks companies | Independent, UK

E-cigarette makers under fire for marketing to young people

Philip Morris International, the world’s biggest cigarette company which is seeking to diversify into non-combustible tobacco products, has suspended a global social media marketing campaign following a Reuters investigation into the company’s use of young online “influencers” to sell its new IQOS “heated tobacco” device | BMJ, UK

German inter-faith scheme criticised for using beermats to explain Islam

A scheme to promote better understanding of Islam in Germany has run into controversy — after Muslim groups objected to the use of beer mats to provide information | Telegraph, UK

Cannabis plant evolved super high (on the Tibetan Plateau)

Cannabis may have had high origins. Where the plant comes from has been a bit of a mystery, but analysis of ancient pollen now suggests it evolved some 3 kilometres above sea level on the Tibetan Plateau. Intriguingly, this site is only a few hundred kilometres from a cave that researchers recently announced was once home to our ancient Denisovan cousins | New Scientist, UK

'A grand experiment': how 'shrooms made Denver America's most drug-friendly city

With the decriminalization of psilocybin, the Colorado city has cemented its pioneering drug-friendly status | Guardian, UK

Ireland near top for opioid deaths as number of fatalities increase

The study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows Ireland has the sixth highest number of such deaths, with the number of fatalities increasing in recent years | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Ireland ‘sleepwalking’ into liberal cannabis regime, warn doctors

Campaigners say medicinal cannabis being used as ‘Trojan horse’ towards legalisation | Irish Times, Ireland

In Cities Where It Once Reigned, Heroin Is Disappearing

The rise of the more potent fentanyl in its place has put a generation of older users, who had managed their addiction, at far greater risk of overdose | NYTimes, USA

Preventing relapse in recovery from cocaine use disorder

A study conducted at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil and described in an article published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence may help healthcare workers identify patients who risk relapse after undergoing treatment for cocaine use disorder | Medical Xpress, USA

Majority of campus alcohol policies fail to receive 'most effective' rating from experts

Alcohol policy experts and researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who evaluated common university alcohol policies found that fewer than half of the approaches for reducing problematic alcohol consumption rated as "most effective." | Medical Xpress, USA

'Bring it on' - Philippines' drug war commander invites probes into killings

The top enforcer of a brutal war on drugs in the Philippines on Friday dared prosecutors to go after him for the deaths of thousands of people, after activists warned that his election to the Senate could insulate him from legal action | Reuters, USA

Addressing the opioid crisis through innovative treatment options and investments in frontline projects and research

On May 1, Health Canada approved a new indication for injectable hydromorphone for use by qualified healthcare professionals as part of injectable opioid agonist therapy in adults with severe opioid use disorder. This is the first approval of injectable hydromorphone for this purpose in the world | Government of Canada, Canada

New certificate recognizes street smarts of harm reduction workers in Vancouver

Street Degree graduate Joy Phelps says program has helped put her in a ‘healthier space’ | Vancouver Courier, Canada

Wade relents to pressure over contentious youth drug Bill

Health Minister Stephen Wade will today propose a suite of changes to a SA Government Bill to enforce mandatory drug treatment on young people, following criticism the proposed legislation would breach several of Australia’s human rights obligations | In Daily, Australia

How Australia ranks on drug dogs, binge drinking, and prescription opioids

In the last 12 months, Australians had more emergency medical treatment for alcohol consumption than residents of any other country | Triple J Hack, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drinking water should be free at all clubs and festivals, here’s why

Free and easy access to drinking water at clubs is crucial for ravers' safety, but some venues remain insistent on charging prices that are prohibitively high. DJ Mag's Chandler Shortlidge outlines why more needs to be done to ensure that free drinking water is made available at all clubs and festivals... | DJ Mag, UK

Big Tobacco's shadowy new play

With health authorities stubbing out much of Big Tobacco’s business, and vaping on the rise, one of the industry’s biggest players says it plans to stop selling cigarettes. Is that just hot air? | SMH, Australia