Daily news - 10th October 2019

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UK news

New approach to tackling drug addiction in Middlesbrough unveiled

A pioneering treatment and recovery programme aimed at freeing the most entrenched heroin users from addiction is launched next week | Cleveland PCC, UK

Middlesbrough Heroin Assisted Treatment scheme to begin

A scheme that will see drug addicts given daily doses of medical-grade heroin will begin on Monday. Costing £12,000 per person, the scheme in Middlesbrough, on Teesside, will see people take diamorphine twice a day under medical supervision | BBC, UK

GPs stopped giving alcohol advice to patients when they stopped being paid to do so

When the Department of Health (England) introduced financial incentives to encourage general practitioners (GPs) to talk to patients about their drinking in April 2008, there was a small, gradual increase in screening and the provision of alcohol advice | EurekAlert, UK

Government forced into U-turn over disability benefits for chronically ill

Sick claimants were wrongly denied benefits because they were not taking powerful painkillers | Guardian, UK

Police force to be first in Wales to offer drug users rehab instead of prosecution

The scheme aims to improve people's life chances by avoiding getting a criminal record | Wales Online, UK

SNP set to back decriminalisation of drugs in bid to tackle death toll crisis

A motion to endorse the drugs policy shift is expected to be passed at the party’s conference in Aberdeen this weekend as pressure builds on Tories at Westminster to devolve issue to Scotand | Daily Record, UK

Children 'interested in' gambling and alcohol, according to Facebook

Facebook has marked hundreds of thousands of children as “interested in” adverts about gambling and alcohol, a joint investigation by the Guardian and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation has found | Guardian, UK

The Volteface Podcast #15 Instant Gramz: Drugs and social media with Nick Hickmott

More young people are seeing drug adverts on social media, but what impact is this having on young people? And why has it taken us so long to catch on? | Volte Face, UK

Medical Cannabis – what we have learned from our membership

As anyone who reads this article will already be aware there is currently an immense groundswell of interest from medical professionals, patients and the general public in the use of medical cannabis for many chronic conditions that are also prevalent in people who use alcohol and other drugs | SMMGP, UK

CAMRA backs Castle Rock’s open letter to the BBC

The Campaign for Real Ale has thrown its support behind Castle Rock Brewery, which wrote an Open Letter to BBC East Midlands condemning the use of stock images of real ale and community pubs to illustrate a story about alcohol abuse | CAMRA, UK

CAMRA asks BBC to stop using images of real ale to illustrate stories about binge drinking 

The programme is no longer available to view online, but Castle Rock Brewery, who make the pale ale hit out at the organisation saying it was an “ill-considered choice of library shot” and that “pubs, bars and 'beer' are all tarred with the same brush and demonised via association with binge drinking.” | Telegraph, UK

Parliament has a drug problem, Speaker candidate Sir Lindsay Hoyle admits

Parliament has a drink and drug problem, one of its most senior figures has admitted. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons deputy speaker running to replace his boss John Bercow, said the two issues needed to be addressed as he pitched for the top job | ITV, UK

Thirteen charged over UK's 'biggest drugs conspiracy'

Police investigating what they say is the UK's biggest ever drugs conspiracy have charged 13 men | BBC, UK

Portsmouth police officer stabbing: Drug dealer jailed for 16 years

A drug dealer has been jailed for stabbing a police officer who tried to apprehend him in a park in Portsmouth. PC Russell Turner, 56, suffered a collapsed lung after being stabbed twice by Michael Enzanga in February | BBC, UK

Lancashire's 'biggest ever' cannabis farm seized

Three men have been arrested following the discovery of Lancashire's "biggest ever" cannabis farm. About 10,000 plants were discovered in various units of the Apex Trading Estate in Darwen on Tuesday, said Lancashire Police | BBC, UK


International news

Breaking up with my Juul: why quitting vaping is harder than quitting cigarettes

When I realized I had become the face of what the FDA called ‘an epidemic of addiction’, I knew it was time to give it up | Guardian, UK

Sesame Street takes on opioids crisis as muppet's mother battles addiction

Creators introduce bright-green Karli: ‘Nothing else out there addresses substance abuse for young kids from their perspective’ | Guardian, UK

US meth lab strikes in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians says UN

[See report below] An American blitz on dozens of Taliban drug factories in Western Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians and may have left dozens more dead, a United Nations report has found | Telegraph, UK

Budget 2020: Alcohol Action Ireland welcomes retention of rates on alcohol products excise duty

Regrets the extension of excise reliefs for microbreweries | Alcohol Action Ireland, Ireland

HIV and people who inject drugs Monitoring implementation of the Dublin Declaration on partnership to fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia: 2018 progress report (PDF)

This report presents the situation among people who inject drugs (PWID), a key group affected by HIV in the WHO European Region. As well as considering the picture for the overall European and Central Asian region, findings are presented by WHO sub-regions (West, Centre, and East) | ECDC, Switzerland

Afghanistan Protection of Civilians Special Report: Airstrikes on Alleged Drug-Processing Facilities (PDF)

This report examines the scope of civilian harm resulting from the United States Forces – Afghanistan 3 airstrikes on alleged drug facilities located in Bakwa district, Farah province, and parts of the bordering Delaram district, Nimroz province on 5 May 2019. The report sets out that drug facilities and associated workers may not be lawfully made the target of attack based on their possible economic or financial contribution to the war effort of a party to a conflict | United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), USA

Fentanyl's risk on the 'darknet'

U.S. overdose deaths attributed to synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have increased from under 3,000 in 2013 to nearly 20,000 in 2016, making up half of all opioid-related overdose deaths | Medical Xpress, USA

Researchers investigate why certain brains are more vulnerable to addiction

In a report published Tuesday, researchers in neuroscience, addiction and behavioral health laid out the latest research into what makes individuals vulnerable to substance abuse and dependency, along with new discoveries that may hold the key for successful prevention and treatment for those addicted to opioids and other drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Older Smokers Are the Forgotten Victims of Our Vaping Wars

You might have seen the recent article about an 18-year-old who vaped for two years and was told by a doctor that he now has the lungs “of a 70-year-old lifetime heavy smoker.” | Filter Magazine, USA

There’s a Real Prospect for a Safe Consumption Site in Somerville, MA

The national fight for safe consumption sites (SCS) seems effectively headquartered in Philadelphia, thanks to a combination of the legal battle over Safehouse—which just earned a major victory—and fatal overdoses remaining at “crisis levels.” Indeed, 70 out of every 100,000 Philadelphians die from preventable overdose every single year | Filter Magazine, USA

Illinois Maps “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” for Its Cannabis Social Equity Program

Illinois, where cannabis legalization will take effect on January 1, has begun the process of granting recreational cannabis business licenses. After receiving applications between December and January, it will license 75 new stores in May 2020 | Filter Magazine, USA

Can't stop, won't stop: The role of impulsivity in gambling disorder

We often assume that individuals with Gambling Disorder have trouble regulating their impulsive behavior | BASIS, USA

GHB-related overdoses see resurgence in Canberra

Emergency doctors say a small trend of GHB use among Canberrans has emerged in the ACT in recent months | Canberra Times, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Psychiatry and the global drugs debate: what every psychiatrist needs to know (PDF)

There are few topics that divide public opinion as sharply as the use of psychoactive substances and it is easy to see why. Substance use is complex and can be examined from numerous perspectives, including legal, health, economic, cultural and ethical. These varying approaches can lead to a range of different conclusions. Here we explore some of the common approaches adopted towards drug policy and suggest a number of principles, which may inform a psychiatrist’s own view | BJPsych editorial, UK

We need a more nuanced discussion about drugs and suicide

When my husband died, I realised the poor understanding I had about drugs, risk and suicide | i news opinion, UK

Alcohol marketing: the case for action

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

Darryl Bickler - "ILLEGAL DRUGS DO NOT EXIST": A vision to transform the current paradigm - video

Discussing the proverbial marriage of a qualified solicitor and an LSD chemist which led to Darryl's quest on the path of discovering how the current system has been corrupted and used against us the people, for the benefit of vested interests | EOTT, UK