Daily news - 8th October 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Britain's minister responsible for drug policy replaced

Kit Malthouse takes over from Victoria Atkins, whose time in charge was mired in controversy | Guardian, UK

DDN Magazine October 2019

For a long time now we’ve been involved in initiatives to help remove barriers for those seeking to get back into work (page 6 and page 12). Remember the UKDPC’s work on tackling stigma and getting people who have used drugs back into employment? Remember the old heated debates in DDN about the ‘two-year rule’ used by some employers to demand ‘clean’ time before people could be considered for a job? | DDN, UK

Smoking reduction interventions for smoking cessation

To assess the effect of reduction‐to‐quit interventions on long‐term smoking cessation | Cochrane Library, UK

The Steady Rise of the Two-Pint Cocaine Habit

Drinking and drugging have always gone hand-in-hand, but ease of access means Britain is getting on it more than ever | VICE, UK

News & updates September 2019: MUP impacts, tax policy, Brexit, drugs, pubs & more

Selected media stories since the August update | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks Independent Complaints

Panel Final Decision after customer compaint regrading Beaverton Brewery and Camden Town Brewery IPA and lager in a Waitrose store. Complaint not upheld | Portman Group, UK

My Family, My Rights Programme

Free events. Please join us to mark the launch of our My Family, My Rights programme | SFAD, UK

Dopeworld Discussion: An insight into the criminal underworld of drugs

Free event. October 30th. London. To mark the recent release of Dopeworld: Adventures in Drug Lands, an ex-drug dealer's foray into writing, Volteface will host a panelled discussion curated to learn more about the happenings of the criminal underworld | Volte Face, UK

Cardigan: Take Drugs Seriously

Free event. October 11th. Drugs can be dangerous. But does banning them cause more harm than good? Come along to learn about the impact of drugs in Cardigan and whether legal regulation could better protect our communities and families | Anyone's Child, UK

Dream State: From drug addiction to touring the world

At her lowest point, CJ Gilpin would sit alone her room taking MDMA | BBC, UK

'County Lines' drug supply: Exploiting the young and vulnerable; enriching organised crime (PDF)

‘County lines’ is the term used to describe a drug supply network set up by organised crime groups (OCGs) between urban and suburban locations, typically rural and coastal towns and villages | Transform, UK

Face to face with a cartel assassin: 'I'll never do cocaine again after realising the human cost of the drug'

A new Channel 5 documentary sent four cocaine users to Colombia to make some grim discoveries | i news, UK

Hi-tech drug scanners trialled in three Scottish jails in zombie drug Spice crackdown

The £30,000 scanners can detect microscopic traces of drugs including psychoactive substances soaked into clothing and paper | Daily Record, UK

Gang that tried to 'flood' Inverness with drugs is jailed

The cocaine, heroin and etizolam involved were worth a total of almost £650,000, the High Court in Glasgow heard | BBC, UK

'Code of silence': Sark police chief says island is awash with criminals

Stopping smuggling of drugs and other illegal goods on to Channel island impossible, says outgoing connétable | Guardian, UK

NHS opens clinic to help child addicts of computer games

GPs will be able to refer young people, after ‘gaming disorder’ defined as a health problem | Guardian, UK


International news

Olivia Newton John says everyone must have access to medical cannabis

While her stage four cancer is incurable, it can be managed with treatment and the Grease star spoke out last year about her use of cannabis to help her cope with any pain she experiences | Independent, UK

Researchers & Policymakers Grapple With Medical Implications Of Cannabis

A stronger research agenda for cannabis is urgently required to guide European health policymakers through a bewildering maze of medical and recreational cannabis and cannabinoid products that are fast emerging on the European market, said researchers and policymakers at a panel session of the 2019 European Health Forum (Gastein), which concluded Friday | Health Policy Watch, UK

Psychiatrist describes Medical Council views on benzodiazepines as 'utterly alarmist'

A leading psychiatrist has described as “utterly alarmist” and “frightening for doctors and patients” Medical Council advice that raises concerns about over-prescribing of benzodiazepines | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Potentially serious alcohol–medication interactions and falls in community-dwelling older adults: a prospective cohort study 

[Open access] To investigate the association between potentially serious alcohol–medication interactions (POSAMINO criteria), hypothesised to increase the risk of falls in older adults, and falls in community-dwelling older adults at two and 4 years follow-up | Age and Aging, Ireland

Community responders more likely to seek help during overdose when naloxone does not work

Calling emergency services is an integral part of overdose response training. This step may be even more important in the setting of rapidly-progressing overdoses from fentanyl. New research from Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction found, however, that community members responding to an overdose with naloxone are more likely to seek emergency help when naloxone does not work or takes more time to work | Medical Xpress, USA

In 2 states, legalization of recreational marijuana found to have little effect on crime

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana. A new study funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice sought to determine the effect of this legal change on crimes rates | EurekAlert, USA

The Struggle of Death, Hope and Harm Reduction in the Midwest

For those of us who are suffering, how do we find joy and experience pleasure? How do we create a world in which less suffering is possible? What does it look like to build community in the face of such suffering, and how can we create communities that are safe for each and every person? | Filter Magazine, USA

San Diego Proposals Illustrate Tricky Issues Around Cannabis Advertising

San Diego City Council is currently considering far-reaching restrictions on cannabis billboard ads. A revised land development code update, first proposed by District 6 Council Member Chris Cate in 2018, would ban such ads within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, playgrounds, day care centers and youth centers | Filter Magazine, USA

A Surge Strategy for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 The role and regulation of vaping and other low-risk smokefree nicotine product s (PDF)

Today a report written by leading tobacco control experts outlines how the role and regulation of vaping and other low-risk smoke-free nicotine products can get Aoteoroa New Zealand to the 2025 target | ASH, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Health Matters: Rough sleeping

The latest edition of Health Matters, PHE’s professional resource, focuses on the scale of rough sleeping in England, the causes and consequences of rough sleeping (including the links with poor physical and mental health, prevention and effective interventions) and relevant calls to action | PHE blog, UK

Drug Deaths Taskforce Meeting 1 – Chair’s Blog

Tuesday 19th September was the first meeting of the Drug Deaths Taskforce. It was a nerve racking day making sure we were prepared with background papers, presentations and films as well as meeting some members for the first time, not to mention the press interest and photos afterwards!| Scottish Government blog, UK

Labour on Drugs: Conference 2019 Write-up

A year ago, following the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, I wrote a blog for Anyone’s Child entitled ‘Change is Coming’ in response to the encouraging drug policy discussions I saw in the city. A year on and what has struck so many people involved in the reform movement is just how fast that change appears to be happening | Labour Drug Policy, UK