Daily news - 3rd October 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

MUP had modest short-term economic impact on alcohol drinks industry in Scotland

In an initial assessment of the effects of Minimum Unit Pricing, participants reported that a decrease in alcohol sold was offset by increased prices. The overall impact on retailers varied depending on the types of products sold. The effects of MUP on producer revenues and profits was thought to be negative but small, with only a small proportion of producers’ total outputs affected | NHS Health Scotland, UK

Has the evidentiary threshold for drug consumption rooms been passed?

There is compelling evidence about the positive impact of drug consumption rooms on the survival, health, wellbeing, and dignity of people who inject drugs, and little to no basis for concern about adverse effects. However, this has not quelled fears about introducing safer injecting facilities in the UK. Is there good reason to lack confidence in the evidence base, or are other factors overriding commitments to or faith in evidence-based practice and policy? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Drug Deaths Task Force

To ask the Scottish Government what specific issues were discussed at the inaugural meeting of the drug deaths task force | They work for you, UK

Deaths of Homeless People

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to make a statement on his Government’s action to prevent the deaths of people who are homeless | They work for you, UK

Street Valium

Posters have been appearing in communities that I serve with the words. “Street Valium is killing our community. It has to stop.” | They work for you, UK

Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirements

As part of the urgent review of the sentencing and release framework announced by the Prime Minister in August, we considered changes to sentencing for the most prolific offenders which could help break the cycle of reoffending | They work for you, UK

Pupils: Electronic Cigarettes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to schools on preventing pupils vaping on school premises; and what estimate his Department has made of the number of schools that have written to parents on the prevalence of vaping | They work for you, UK

Sandwell ‘Blue Light’ Project nominated for two public health awards

The Blue Light Project in Sandwell supports people who have significant and longstanding issues with alcohol misuse. Support is coordinated across a range of different agencies including substance misuse services, NHS, police, probation and housing teams | Cranstoun, UK

Insight Through Journalism Award

Expert Citizens is a Community Interest Company led by and for people with lived experience of homelessness, mental ill- health, addiction, domestic abuse, acute poverty or histories of offending behaviour. In combination we call this ‘multiple disadvantage’. The National INSIGHT Awards, now in their fourth year celebrate examples of positive and outstanding practice | Expert Citizens CIC, UK

Snapchat drug dealer jailed after Wirral girl's MDMA death

A teenage drug dealer who used social media site Snapchat as "a marketing tool" has been jailed for supplying MDMA that killed a 14-year-old girl | BBC, UK

Fourteen jailed for more than 100 years for cross-county drugs operation

Fourteen people have been collectively jailed for more than 100 years for being involved in a covert drugs operation which spanned across three counties | ITV, UK


International news

Raising Newstart would 'give drug dealers more money', social services minister says

Anne Ruston says the reporting of her comments was ‘misleading’ and she only wants to reduce barriers to employment | Guardian, UK

Scientists engineer E. coli to make psilocybin - the same chemical that causes magic mushroom users to experience hallucinations

E.coli could be manipulated to produce a substance found in magic mushrooms that wards off depression, research suggests | Mail Online, UK

Colombia 'drug smugglers' rescued after clinging to floating cocaine

Three men have been rescued after drifting in the Pacific for hours. But Colombian authorities have some questions about what kept them all afloat | BBC, UK

America's first cannabis cafe opens in California – in pictures

Lowell Cafe opens in west Hollywood – the first restaurant in the US where weed can be openly consumed | Guardian, UK

Ban on alcohol ‘on table’ as aviation sector targets unruly passengers

Airlines, aviation bodies say disruptive people pose threat to plane safety every three hours | Irish Times, Ireland

Judge Rules Planned Supervised Injection Site Does Not Violate Federal Drug Laws

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group's plan to open the first site in the U.S. where people can use illegal opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the facility | npr, USA

Sexual minority women more likely to smoke cigarettes when drinking alcohol, study finds

The study, published recently in Substance Use & Misuse, sought to identify patterns of same-day alcohol and tobacco use, and the settings in which concurrent use is more likely to occur for lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual women | Medical Xpress, USA

Vaping-associated lung injury may be caused by toxic chemical fumes, study finds

Research into the pathology of vaping-associated lung injury is in its early stages, but a Mayo Clinic study published in The New England Journal of Medicine finds that lung injuries from vaping most likely are caused by direct toxicity or tissue damage from noxious chemical fumes | Medical Xpress, USA

Vape Bans and Lung Disease: Picking Through the Feds’ Framing

The feds have been publicly finessing their approach to vaping, amid national outcries over both an outbreak of lung disease and the impact of bans of vape flavors on former smokers. But what do their words indicate in practice? | Filter Magazine, USA

Marijuana Arrests Increased Again Last Year Despite More States Legalizing, FBI Data Shows

According to new data released by the FBI on Monday, there were 663,367 marijuana arrests in the country in 2018 | Forbes, USA

Man who trained people to use life-saving anti-overdose drug loses his own battle with addiction

A recovering drug addict who trained thousands of people to save overdose victims died Saturday after "he lost his battle with addiction," his obituary said. He was 40 years old | CNN, USA

How a Misapplied Needle Exchange May Harm Incarcerated People

A needle exchange program in seven federal prisons in Canada is at the center of a heated debate between the nation’s correctional officers union and harm reduction advocates. Each side says that its constituents—correctional officers and incarcerated people who use drugs, respectively—are endangered by the program | Filter Magazine, USA

A record number of people have died from overdose and drug poisoning in Ontario, but do politicians care enough to act?

The answer to the headline’s question seems to be a resounding “no.” How else could one explain the catastrophic loss of life unfolding in Canada’s largest province. Nearly 1,500 people died in Ontario last year from accidental drug poisoning—a record number representing a two hundred per cent increase from a decade ago | CDPC, Canada

New report shows increasing rate of opioid-related harm in Victoria

A growing number of Victorians are presenting to emergency departments due to pharmaceutical opioid-related harm, according to new data released by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) | Monash University, Australia

Codeine misuse in Australia reduced by prescription-only changes

The move to prescription-only codeine in Australia has seen a 50 percent reduction in the monthly rate of codeine-related poisoning calls and halved codeine sales, finds new research led by the University of Sydney | Medical Xpress, Australia

Cannabidiol gel reduces seizures in children with severe epilepsy, Australasian trial shows

The gel, which is applied to the skin as a transdermal treatment, was found to reduce the number of focal impaired awareness and convulsive seizures experienced by children with severe epilepsy by up to 58 percent between month two and month six of being treated. At month five, 63 percent of children had a reduction of seizures by at least 50 percent | Medical Xpress, Australia

Is South Australia finally nearing its medicinal cannabis boom?

The long-promised, glittering ambitions of a large-scale medicinal cannabis industry in South Australia are about to be tested, with plans to create more than 1000 jobs at a major new manufacturing facility in Adelaide | In Daily, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Ron Hogg: why we need a drugs revolution

One of Ron Hogg’s last major jobs as a deputy chief constable was a drugs bust with 10 forces carrying out simultaneous strikes across the country | Northern Echo, UK

The Mysterious World of CBD: Part II

If CBD is so popular, why don’t we know more about it? This post, the second in a two-part series, examines consumer perceptions and the not-always-aligned realities of CBD products on the market | Points blog, USA