Daily news - 8th November 2019

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UK news

Substance misuse treatment for adults: statistics 2018 to 2019

The report and tables present statistical analysis of treatment data from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. Treatment centres from across England submitted the data | PHE, UK

Scottish Government ‘completely ignorant’ to impact of budget cuts on drug deaths

The Scottish Government has been accused of being “completely ignorant” to the impact of budget cuts to drug and alcohol partnerships and their impact on drug deaths | Courier, UK

Optimising opioid substitution therapy in the prison environment

[Open access] The purpose of this paper is to examine the current provision of opioid substitution therapy (OST) during and immediately following release from detention in prisons in England and Wales | Emerald Insight, UK

Pilot programme could help 20,000 patients receive subsidised medical cannabis

Project Twenty21 says it aims to provide patients with “vital therapy” and build confidence in clinicians prescribing medical cannabis | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

General election 2019: Boris Johnson pledges review of alcohol taxes to help Scottish whisky

The move comes after Donald Trump's decision to impose a 25% tariff on single malt Scotch whisky exported to the US | i news, UK

Borders' addiction charity backs calls to decriminalise drugs

Calls to decriminalise the possession of drugs for personal use have been backed by an addiction charity in the Scottish Borders | ITV, UK

Jodie Chesney murder trial: Drug dealer Svenson Ong-a-Kwie found guilty

A drug dealer has been found guilty of murdering 17-year-old Jodie Chesney in a park in east London | BBC, UK

Dozens of drug gang cuckooing victims identified in north east Scotland

An initiative aimed at protecting vulnerable people from being exploited by drug gangs has identified dozens of victims in the north east of Scotland | BBC, UK

Ex-footballer exploited teenagers to sell heroin and crack in ‘highly organised’ county lines drug ring

Shylo Thomas arrested with mobile of 15-year-old girl he used to sell class A drugs | Independent, UK

Men attempt to ferry £6.8m heroin haul to Scotland

Two drug couriers were caught with £6.8m of heroin as they travelled back to Scotland from the Midlands | BBC, UK


International news

Boozy Britons are drinking 108 bottles of wine a year - far more than the rest of the western world

The average Briton is now drinking 108 bottles of wine a year - far more than in the rest of the Western world, a major report shows | Telegraph, UK

Juul halts sales of mint-flavored e-cigarette popular with teenagers

Leading e-cigarette company Juul has halted sales of its popular mint flavor tobacco products, the company announced on Thursday. Mint-flavored products reportedly account for 70% of Juul’s sales and are particularly popular with younger vapers | Guardian, UK

NSW coroner says punitive policing tactics increase risk of drug deaths and calls for reform

Harriet Grahame also recommends pill testing and removing police drug dogs after inquest into the deaths of six young people | Guardian, UK

Call for new laws to combat use of children in sale of drugs

Strict new laws are needed to stop gangs using young children to sell drugs, amid fears the growing drugs epidemic hitting the country is fuelling the involvement of minors in crime | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Almost half of inmates at Dublin women's prison receiving methadone treatment

It is the largest proportion of prisoners undergoing opioid substitution treatment at any detention facility in the State | Dublin Live, Ireland

Spain's Legendary 'Weed Granny' Is Facing Jail Time

Fernanda de la Higuera was the first woman to legally grow cannabis in Spain | VICE, USA

CDC, states update number of cases of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products-11-07

As of November 5, 2019, 2,051 confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products were reported by 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands | CDC, USA

Vaping risks significant, says new review

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are still a very new thing as far as research is concerned. In other words, scientists don’t actually know much about what e-cigarettes do to the body | News Medical, USA

Can Harm Reduction Finally Take Root in America’s Schools?

In my second year in junior high in Philadelphia, I sat with two dozen peers, waiting for the start of our mandatory seminar on “drug abuse.” It was 1984. President Ronald Reagan had just won his second term, and the War on Drugs was in surge mode | Filter Magazine, USA

Addiction Support Goes Mainstream

Recovery programs that help students with alcohol and drug problems are more welcome as campus leaders try to help students overcome social barriers that prevent them from earning degrees | Inside Higher Ed, USA

Vapes and Lung Disease: The CDC’s Lesson in How Not to Handle an Illness Outbreak

Optimally resolving a nationwide outbreak of any illness involves the cooperation of not only countless local, state and federal agencies, but the media, medical providers and private industry as well | Filter Magazine, USA

Can a Trip-Free Psychedelic Still Help People With Depression?

Psilocybin has shown promise for conditions like depression. Now, researchers are asking if the psychedelic experience is absolutely necessary to treat mental health | VICE, USA

Plant-Based Meth Is the Next Frontier of Afghanistan's Drug Trade

Investigators have uncovered a burgeoning local trade in the production of methamphetamine using a mountain shrub | VICE, USA

What are the most important risk factors that predict gambling problems?

Opportunities for legalized gambling have increased in the United States over the past decade. Massachusetts and New York have both expanded casino gambling and several states have legalized sports betting in recent years, leading to calls to examine gambling within a public health perspective | BASIS, USA

Coronial Inquest Recommends Scrapping Sniffer Dogs, Trial Of Pill Testing

The state government should trial pill testing at music festivals this summer, but also stop the use of drug detection dogs, the NSW coroner has recommended after an inquest into drug-related deaths | 10Daily, Australia

Adelaide medicinal cannabis supplier spared conviction

An Adelaide woman who admitted to drug offences after supplying medicinal cannabis to help people suffering from chronic pain and other ailments has been spared a conviction | InDaily, Australia

Treating the hype: supports and treatment responses for people impacted by methamphetamine use - webinar

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data list methamphetamine use second only to alcohol as the most common drug of concern in clients attending Alcohol and other Drug (AoD) services in Australia. Whilst overall rates of MA use in Australia have remained stable in recent years, people who use MA are reporting higher rates of regular and dependent use, leading to complex physical, mental health and social problems | NCCRED and NADA, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Fewer young people are going into drug treatment – thanks to the government, there’s virtually nowhere left to get it

The UK’s youth have been abandoned by the state at a time when state intervention is most needed. We need to be honest about the real root of the issue: the lasting effects of austerity | Independent voices, UK

In Conversation…Addiction and Substance Use with Ian Hamilton - podcast

Ian Hamilton discusses the impact that substance use and addiction can have on a young person’s mental health | ACAMH, UK

Scotland’s drug-death crisis: Lack of cash from SNP, lack of reason from Tories – Martyn McLaughlin

A much-needed consensus to tackle problem drug use seems further away than ever, writes Martyn McLaughlin | Scotsman, UK

Toward healthier abortion and drug laws

...Meanwhile, throughout the UK many people with drug use disorders remain at risk of criminal punishment. Yet illicit use of drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine persists | BMJ editorial, UK

MUP in England: myths and facts

Policy proposal: Introduce Minimum Unit Pricing in England following the lead of other home nations. | Alcohol Change UK, UK

The Blue Light project: awards for Sandwell

At the end of October 2019, the Blue Light project in Sandwell won the Royal Society of Public Health Award for Healthier Lifestyles 2019 | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Boris should be the one to finally legalise cannabis

Cannabis legalisation has typically been rebuffed by UK politicians, only for them to back it after experiencing a moment of “realisation” at the end of their career | 1828, UK