Daily news - 14th October 2019

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UK news

SNP formally backs decriminalisation of drugs

At its conference in Aberdeen, a resolution was unanimously passed by delegates branding current drug control legislation "not fit for purpose" | BBC, UK

Grading cannabis strength ‘will improve mental health of users’

Addiction experts say standard units, similar to those used for alcohol, would help consumers know the level of drug they are taking and its effects | Guardian, UK

Parkinson's patients to receive cannabis oil in 'pioneering' trial to test drug's effectiveness

Study important as more people using expensive and unregulated CBD supplements that have not been monitored for effectiveness | I news, UK

Revealed: How much cocaine Londoners are taking every day

London's cocaine market is now worth an estimated £1bn a year after new tests revealed people in the capital are taking an average of 23kg of the Class A drug every day | Sky News, UK

Alcohol industry 'puts pregnant women at risk', researchers say

Firms and bodies are casting doubt on health advice for expecting women to abstain from drinking | Guardian, UK

Some children drinking alcohol 'every day' - video

We visit the place with England's highest rate of child hospital admissions due to alcohol | BBC, UK

The Extra Episode: Minimum wage, drinking in Scotland and identical twins - audio

We explore the numbers behind the new minimum wage announcements, whether drinking is going up or down in Scotland | BBC, UK

Private School Kids Talk About Their Boarding House Drug Binges

"This guy's dad would let him throw these parties from his massive Knightsbridge house, with coke​, ketamine​, mushrooms​, ecstasy​, top-shelf booze and high-class hookers." | VICE, UK

Why People Are Dying from Vaping in the U.S. and Not the U.K.

There's a reason—actually, a few—and none of them are very flattering to American politicians | VICE, UK

Drug and alcohol charity branches out to Cornwall's homeless

Addaction Cornwall, which provides drug and alcohol support in the area, has been awarded the Rough Sleepers Outreach Contract by Cornwall Housing | Cornwall Live, UK

Rochdale and Oldham drug and alcohol treatment service highly praised by national regulator

The Rochdale and Oldham Active Recovery Service (ROAR) launched in April 2018 and is currently providing treatment to over 1,800 people from sites across Oldham and Rochdale, as well as a range of community venues | Rochdale Online, UK

Celebrating our Peer Mentors

Last month a number of our Peer Mentors and Volunteers, along with others from across the country, were invited to a day out at the House of Lords where they were recognised by Turning Point’s ‘Inspired by Possibility Award’ | Turning Point, UK

Children as young as nine recruited by county lines gangs, Britain’s biggest children’s charity reveals

Children as young as nine are being recruited by county lines gangs as they increasingly target middle class “clean skins” to run drugs, the crime chief for Britain’s biggest children’s charity has revealed | Telegraph, UK

Teenager managed to run two County Lines drug gangs from prison

Ateenager managed to run two County Lines drug gangs from prison, court hears as he is jailed over gun and acid attack plot | Telegraph, UK

Man had ‘super strength and didn’t appear to feel pain’ in rampage after taking 10 grams of cocaine

Semi-naked father of two crashed through neighbour’s window while seven-year-old was watching television | Independent, UK

Newcastle trader 'threatened with hypodermic needle'

A street trader who claims he was threatened with a hypodermic needle has called for a crackdown on begging and drugs in Newcastle | BBC, UK

Belfast 'herbal cannabis' haul suspect charged

A 45-year-old man has been charged after police seized 32kg of suspected herbal cannabis worth an estimated £600,000 in Belfast | BBC, UK

Drugs gang who brought 'misery' to Cornwall jailed

The gang's members supplied thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack cocaine to almost 100 users | BBC, UK


International news

Patients with mysterious vaping related illness being readmitted as little as five days after discharge

Unexplained outbreak has claimed 29 lives in US so far | Independent, UK

Australian health authorities on high alert after US vaping deaths

With at least 26 deaths linked to vaping in the US, Australian doctors are being urged to question patients about their use of e-cigarettes | Guardian, UK

Philippines police chief and Duterte drug war enforcer resigns in meth scandal

Oscar Albayalde denies allegations he profits from drug deals arranged by corrupt officers in 2013 | Guardian, UK

Zambia court punishes student cannabis cake baker with essay

A university student has been ordered to write an essay on the dangers of drugs after being convicted of planning to sell cannabis cakes | BBC, UK

10% increase in numbers treated for addiction disorders

According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, 543 people had one of these illnesses as a main diagnosis when they were discharged from an Irish hospital in 2018, compared to 498 the year before. The figures relate to inpatient or day cases, so do not include emergency department admissions | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Bill banning sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s goes to Cabinet

Anti-vaping legislation sought as 19 deaths and over 1,000 lung injuries reported in US | Irish Times, Ireland

The US could learn from how Italy tackled its own opioid problem

More than 70,000 people die of a drug overdose in the United States every year. In 2018, the majority of those deaths (almost 50,000) were from from taking opioids. And the majority of opioid deaths were from the synthetic kind, like fentanyl | Quartz, USA

National focus on overdose prevention should include alcohol too, study suggests

Study of people in treatment for addiction shows 90% had a history of alcohol overdose, and 80% of the time they were taking other addictive drugs at the time they overdosed | EurekAlert, USA

Opioid Rx dosages drop 22% in Penn Medicine's NJ practices following changes to state law

Electronic 'nudge' serves as an effective tool to influence prescribing behavior and lower quantities of prescribed opioids | EurekAlert, USA

Clinical Guidance for Health Care Providers Evaluating Patients with Lung Injury Linked to Use of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Products

Health care providers should ask patients with respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms about use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products; close follow-up advised | CDC, USA

Update: Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Evaluating and Caring for Patients with Suspected E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use Associated Lung Injury — United States, October 2019

Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory have reported 1,299 cases of lung injury associated with the use of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), or vaping, products. Twenty-six deaths have been reported from 21 states | CDC, USA

Vapers – like smokers – may now have to pay more for life insurance

Prudential, the fourth-largest U.S. life insurance company, will reclassify users of e-cigarettes to treat them as smokers | CBS News, USA

Restrictions Make Vaping the Next Lucrative Product Line for Cigarette Smugglers

High taxes and tight restrictions have handed huge chunks of the tobacco market to criminal networks. Why would vaping be any different? | Reason, USA

Dozens Of YouTube Videos Are Showing People How To Make Potentially Dangerous Vape Oil

After being contacted by BuzzFeed News, the platform took down some of the videos. Vaping-related injuries continue to climb by the day | BuzzFeed, USA

Year one of operations at MSIR

From 30 June 2018 to 30 June 2019, there were: 2,908 registered clients using the service; 61,823 visits including a supervised injection; 1,232 overdoses safely managed by staff inside the MSIR. Most overdoses are safely managed without the opiate overdose reversing medication naloxone, as staff can intervene much earlier than in the community | NRCH, Australia

Medicinal cannabis expands for kids in Vic

A Victorian teenager who spent the past seven years battling up to 50 epileptic seizures a day hasn't had any episodes since taking medical cannabis | Canberra Times, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Why Scotland can ill afford to ignore Portugal’s ground-breaking war on drugs

By a make-shift shack on a wasteland in Bairro da Picheleira, in Lisbon, a man holds out his bloody arms and gestures to me to douse them with water. He has spotted the outreach team from Crescer – one of Portugal’s many drugs agencies – making their way down the hill, and staggered over, fresh from injecting, to drop his dirty needle in one of their trademark red and yellow buckets | Scotsman, UK

Alcohol taxes cut since 2013 and thousands may have died as a result – new research

Alcohol taxes are a controversial subject. Almost every country in the world has some form of taxation on alcohol but there is huge variation in the way that countries tax alcohol and the levels at which they set these taxes | Conversation, UK

Sharp rise in antidepressant use in over-65s despite depression prevalence remaining the same

More than 300m people suffer from depression around the world. Of those, about 7% are people over the age of 60. For older people, there are many challenges when it comes to identifying and treating depression | Conversation, UK

The Heroin Assisted Treatment Programme

People with a long history of heroin dependence in Middlesbrough are to receive daily doses of diamorphine (the chemical name for pharmaceutical heroin) starting this week as part of plans to reduce deaths, stop crime and undermine drug dealers | Russell Webster, UK

Medical cannabis could be the key to stopping a US-style opioid crisis in the UK

In American states where marijuana is legal for medical uses, prescriptions for opioids and anti-depressants have fallen 30 per cent. It's time our health secretary woke up | Independent voices, UK

Why I shed no tears for these drug legalisers

There has been shrieking commentary in the press following the resignation of Professor Alex Stevens from the UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs | Conservative Woman, UK

When it comes to NZ drugs, better safe than sorry

The evidence from around the world is clear – hard-line drug policies don't reduce the demand or supply of illegal drugs | Stuff, New Zealand