Daily news - 9th October 2019

Weekly subscribe button

UK news

Are addiction clinics the answer for those hooked on prescription pills? We speak to experts about the range of possible solutions to UK's medications crisis

‘The increased prescribing of these potentially addictive drugs shows the urgent need for [dedicated centres],’ says Harry Shapiro, director of DrugWise, the information charity, who also sits on NHS and Parliamentary addiction advisory groups | Mail Online, UK

Scottish Drug Misuse Database (data release) (PDF)

This release by Information Services Division presents the data available from the Scottish Drug Misuse Database (SDMD) on individuals presenting for initial assessment at specialist drug treatment services in 2017/18 | ISD, UK

Third of Scottish addicts seeking treatment started using drugs as a child

Shocking new figures show how thousands admitted starting their substance abuse at age 14 or younger | Daily Record, UK

'We're dropping like flies': The harsh reality drug addicts face with no access to help

Darren wipes a tear from his eye and wonders aloud how long he has left. "How many drug addicts do you know in their fifties?" It’s not a question that requires an answer | ITV, UK

Does picturesque Norwich have a drug problem?

Residents have told the BBC substance abuse and drug dealing is becoming a common sight across the city, with it leading to a number of violent crimes | BBC, UK

Doing drugs for fun - video

Documentary series following four casual cocaine users as they learn more about the drug | Channel 5, UK

‘How my son went from gamer to compulsive gambler’

The NHS has opened its first clinic for young people addicted to gaming and gambling, a year after a Gambling Commission report found that 55,000 11-to-16-year-olds in the UK were problem gamblers. For some the path to gambling begins with playing online games, as the BBC's Becky Milligan heard from the father of one young man now getting help for his addiction | BBC, UK

Young gaming addicts can now get NHS treatment - so what are the warning signs to look out for?

Children and young adults who are seriously addicted to gaming will now be able to seek treatment, including via Skype. Dedicated professionals are now in place to accept referrals for youngsters aged 13 to 25 | ITV, UK

Police arrest 13 over 'biggest UK drug conspiracy'

The arrests follow an 18-month National Crime Agency investigation tracking drugs allegedly smuggled into the UK in lorry loads of vegetables and juice | BBC, UK

Loughborough gang who sold drugs and a shotgun to police jailed

Ten gang members have been jailed after they were caught in a police operation which saw them sell class A drugs and a stolen shotgun to undercover officers | BBC, UK


International news

E-cigarettes linked to lung cancer in mice

"E-cigarette smoke could cause lung cancer – despite being tobacco-free, experts warn," reports The Sun. However, The Sun's headline does not mention that this was based on a study using mice and the findings cannot be automatically applied to humans | NHS Behind the Headlines, UK

What It's Like to Report On the Mexican Drug Wars

Journalist Ioan Grillo gives unique insight into the risks and complexities of the Mexican drug war | VICE, UK

Robbie Robertson: ‘I didn't know anybody who didn't do drugs’

Guitarist Robbie Robertson helped to change music history with Bob Dylan’s backing group the Band. He remembers how the ‘brotherhood’ ended in heroin addiction and self-destruction | Guardian, UK

Fortnite is as addictive as cocaine, according to a new lawsuit

The lawsuit claims that Epic Games knowingly made Fortnite too addictive | MixMag, UK

‘Codeine luring people into drug abuse’

Over-the-counter painkillers that contain codeine are ‘tip-toeing’ more people into addiction, according to one researcher | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Kroger, Walgreens to stop sales of e-cigarettes amid U.S. vaping crackdown

Kroger Co and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Monday they would stop selling e-cigarettes at their stores, amid heightened regulatory scrutiny of the product and reports of lung disease and some deaths linked to vaping | Reuters, USA

New bill aims to cap nicotine levels in e-cigarettes

The newly introduced bill would restrict nicotine content to no more than 20 milligrams per milliliter "to make them significantly less addictive and appealing to youth," according to an announcement Monday by Krishnamoorthi's office | CNN, USA

Juul Is Sued by School Districts That Say Vaping Is a Dangerous Drain on Their Resources

The lawsuits accuse Juul of endangering students and forcing educators to divert time and money to fight an epidemic of nicotine addiction among teenagers | NYTimes, USA

Bronx Teenager’s Death Is the Youngest Vaping Fatality in U.S.

The 17-year-old who died last week is the youngest of 23 people to die nationwide of a vaping-related lung illness | NYTimes, USA

Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens

The Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens curriculum is a comprehensive tool for teachers that allows them to have honest conversations about drugs with their students, equipping them with the skills to navigate their risks | DPA, USA

The Future of Drug Education Is So Much Better than D.A.R.E.

Vape panic. Fentanyl death. Legal weed. Maybe this new alternative is worth a shot? | VICE, USA

One in three young adults receive medication for opioid use disorder after overdose

A new study found that one in three young adults receive medication for opioid use disorder within 12 months of a non-fatal opioid overdose. The study, led by researchers at Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), shows which medications—buprenorphine, methadone or naltrexone—are being taken, and how long after the overdose they receive the treatment | Medical Xpress, USA

Four Loko continues to wreak havoc among young drinkers

Supersized alcopops pose unique risks to young drinkers, despite new serving size labels mandated by the Federal Trade Commission. Two new studies led by Dr. Matthew Rossheim at George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services examine the issue | Medical Xpress, USA

Psychedelic drug to be tested for treatment-resistant depression in Houston

Psilocybin, a psychedelic drug believed to help rewire the brain, is now being studied to relieve treatment-resistant depression at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) as part of a global Phase II clinical trial | Medical Xpress, USA

Why the Curious Story of William S. Burroughs’ Heroin “Cure” Still Matters

Like many non-medical professionals, my first exposure to the intriguing story of Dr. John Yerbury Dent and his “apomorphine cure” came via the legendary Beat writer, who struggled with heroin addiction for years | Filter Magazine, USA

Federal English-language leaders debate ignores opioid crisis

Nearly 13,000 Canadians died as a result of apparent illicit-drug overdoses between January 2016 and March 2019, according to the Public Health Agency | Georgia Straight, Canada

The science Of Breaking Bad: Would you know if meth was cooked inside your house?

The highly anticipated Breaking Bad movie El Camino story line focusing on drug production is more relevant than ever—with contamination of houses from methamphetamine cooking or smoking an increasing public health problem around the world| Medical Xpress, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Protecting young people: the case for statutory regulation of alcohol marketing

Policy proposal: Introduce and enforce tighter restrictions on alcohol marketing via statutory regulation, independent of industry, with a particular emphasis on protecting young people from exposure to alcohol marketing | Alcohol Change UK, UK

Can we really take the politics out of alcohol tax?

In light of the SMF's recent report and HM Treasury's controversial 'duty-free' promise, Aveek Bhattacharya asks a pertinent question about the ways in which the alcohol taxation system could be revised | IAS blog, UK

Prison, Race, Rehabilitation and Wasted Potential

In September I attended an event UK Policy, Race, Cannabis & Business learning the lessons from US cannabis legalisation. The event was co-organised by Blaksox, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Stopwatch and Operation Black Vote and featured Shaleen Title the commissioner for the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission tasked with social equity. The event got me thinking about drugs and race here in the UK | Anyones Child blog, UK

The Mysterious Case of an American Epidemic of Vaping-Related Lung Injuries

Deep down every epidemiologist imagines themselves as Sherlock Holmes: equipped with little more than a magnifying glass and a good brain, they dream of becoming the sleuth who solves the mystery of the latest epidemic | KCL Cancer Prevention Group blog, UK

Funding the Harm Reduction Response

Stepping up the fight to end AIDS among people who use drugs | HRI, UK