Daily news - 22nd October 2019

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UK news

Publication of Report: Drugs policy - Advanced notice

The Health and Social Care Committee's first report of Session 2019–20, Drugs policy (HC 143), will be published on Wednesday 23 October at 00.01am | Parliament.uk, UK

Mamba drug warning over 'highly dangerous' batch

A batch of a synthetic cannabis drug being sold in north Wales may be contaminated and could be highly dangerous, according to police | BBC, UK

Vapers see cheap life insurance going up in smoke

[Free registration maybe required] Insurance companies are starting to treat vaping the same as tobacco smoking when assessing premiums for life insurance and mortgage protection policies | The Times, UK

Call to hide alcohol from view in shops, just like cigarettes

Shops should be required to screen alcohol from public view just like cigarettes, Edinburgh’s deputy council leader Cammy Day has said | Edinburgh News, UK

Stop and Search ‘Section 60’ pilot: Equality Impact Assessments

Equality Impact Assessments undertaken in relation to decisions to pilot relaxations of the use of Section 60 stop and search powers | Home Office, UK

Action to detect, deter and disrupt the misuse of drones

New Counter-Drone Strategy will harness the benefits of the technology to society and the economy by protecting the public from malicious or criminal drone use | Department for Transport, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, UK

Drug driving law comes into effect today, with swab kits now available to Police Scotland

Motorists face the possibility of roadside drug tests from today as Scotland gets tougher on drug driving | Evening Telegraph, UK

Manchester: Take Drugs Seriously

Free event. 29 Nov. Piccadilly Gardens. Manchester. Join the Anyone's Child families and activists as they walk from Manchester city centre to Media City, Salford Quays to raise awareness of how current policy has failed and to call for the legal regulation of the drugs market | Anyone's Child, UK

Manchester: Take Drugs Seriously

Free event. 28 Nov. University of Manchester. Manchester. Panel discussion about the impact of drugs on Manchester and whether legal regulation could better protect our community | Anyone's Child, UK

Amazon makes own-brand spirit debut with Tovess gin

The debut drink, named Tovess Gin, is the first of multiple spirits that the online retailer plans to bring to market | Independent, UK


International news

Four big drug firms agree to $260m opioid payout hours before trial set to begin

Four major pharmaceutical companies agreed to a multimillion-dollar payout over the US opioid epidemic on Monday, hours before a landmark federal trial in which they were facing accusations of a conspiracy to profit from addiction and death | Guardian, UK

NSW police officer admits his 19 strip searches at music festival may have been illegal

Senior constable tells inquiry none of his searches at 2018 Splendour in the Grass could have been justified | Guardian, UK

Govt allocates €200k for new health diversion system for people caught with illegal drugs

An allocation of €200,000 has been provided for the phased implementation of the new State health diversion system for possession of illegal drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Licencing system for sales of tobacco proposed; plans to ban e-cigs for under 18s

Shops will be forced to pay for licences to sell tobacco and e-cigarette products and will be named and shamed and face potential fines if they fail to do so under new government plans | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Gangs stealing scrap metal to fund drug deals, Government told

State’s largest waste firm says workers too afraid to give evidence against gangs | Irish Times, Ireland

The Reitox network: frequently asked questions

This information brochure has been produced by the EMCDDA to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions on the Reitox network of national focal points and more broadly on national drugs observatories. Compiled over several years, it is a reference tool for both EU Member States and countries further afield on the network, its members, its role and development | EMCDDA, Portugal

Vaping - the UK perspective discussed on TRT World (Oct 2nd, 2019) - video

In a ‘Roundtable’ discussion ASH’s chief executive Deborah Arnott presents the UK perspective on vaping. She makes the point that, unlike the US, the UK regulates all vaping products through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and has not seen a rise in vaping-related illnesses | TRT World, Turkey

Drug Users are not Damaging the Environment, the War on Drugs is

It is not our search for pleasure that is so damaging to the environment, but corporal greed, social injustice, and inequality | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Global alcohol marketing treaty could reduce drinking harm

A Massey University researcher is calling for an international convention to control alcohol marketing similar to the one that has been used to help reduce tobacco harm worldwide | Medical Xpress, USA

Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder: A common cocktail?

Individuals often turn to alcohol as a means of relieving stress. Alcohol is commonplace at social gatherings, so those with social anxiety disorder (SAD) may be at risk for developing alcohol use disorder (AUD) in order to cope with these stressful situations | BASIS, USA

One in three pain patients suffer side effects after ketamine infusion therapy

As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate the United States, ketamine use has grown as a pain management alternative, yet more than one in three patients may experience side effects such as hallucinations and visual disturbances, suggests new research presented at the Anesthesiology 2019 annual meeting | Medical Xpress, USA

Colorado Might Be the Only State Having a Rational Response to Vape Panic

Instead of banning sales, regulators are trying to figure out what's actually causing harm | VICE, USA

Massachusetts vaping sales ban can stand but needs fixes: judge

A Massachusetts judge on Monday declined to immediately halt a ban on the sale of vaping products adopted after an outbreak of e-cigarette-related lung injuries, but he said the state must redo the ban and get public comment this time | Reuters, USA

Aurora Cannabis Is Dumping Its Pot, Which May Be A Sign It’s All Over

As I’ll explain, companies like Aurora Cannabis (ACB) are “dumping” part of their harvest… because they simply grew more pot than they could sell at a reasonable price | Forbes, USA

Cannabis Legalization: Year One Observations

Provides the first summary of Canada’s experience in the first year of retail sales after cannabis legalization, with a focus on the public health and safety objectives of the Cannabis Act. Canada’s relationship with legal cannabis is evolving and the market is still developing. With the Act in effect for less than a year, any discussion of impact is limited to preliminary observations | CCSA, Canada

Australian Drug Trends 2019: Key Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) Interviews

The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) is an ongoing illicit drug monitoring system which has been conducted in all states and territories of Australia since 2000, and forms part of Drug Trends. In 2019, we have provided a suite of products with the most up-to-date findings from interviews conducted annually from 2000-2019 with a cross-sectional sentinel group of people who regularly inject drugs recruited from all capital cities of Australia | NDARC, Australia

Seven children strip-searched at Splendour in the Grass

According to data compiled by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, only one of the minors had a support person available during the search at the Byron Bay music festival, despite the presence of a parent, guardian or other suitable adult being legally required | SMH, Australia

Zhang v R - New Sentencing Guidlelines

The Court of Appeal today released a judgment introducing a new guideline for judges sentencing people convicted of offences related to the importation, manufacture and supply of methamphetamine. This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment | SCOOP, New Zealand


Blogs,comment and opinion

The strange case of Drinkaware, PHE and the scandal that never was

I must urgently report something that hasn’t happened. There have been no howls of scandalised outrage. The Good Templars have not reached for their swords. Not one eyebrow has been raised on Twitter | Phil Mellows blog, UK

A wartime Childhood, drug addiction and psychotherapy: The real, resilient Julie Andrews

Sexual intercourse may have begun in 1963, along with the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles’ first LP, and no doubt other things besides, but the news never quite reached Julie Andrews, I always felt, who was in Hollywood shooting Mary Poppins at the time. Uniquely among major stars, she had no erotic heat | Telegraph, UK

Divine Rascal: On the Trail of Michael Hollingshead, LSD’s Cosmic Courier

Of all the figures associated with the history of LSD there is none more enigmatic than Michael Hollingshead. Appearing as if from nowhere, he turned Timothy Leary on to LSD in 1962, and was influential in Leary’s years at Harvard, Millbrook and beyond | Strange Attractor, UK

Portraits of Heartbreak and Hope: A Mother Paints To Raise Awareness About Opioid Use Disorder

In October 2018, Anne Marie Zanfagna, a grieving mother from Plaistow, New Hampshire, was asked to display 150 of her paintings near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH) invited Ms. Zanfagna to display her portraits of people lost to addiction for the public inside the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building. Ms. Zanfagna lost her daughter, Jackie, to addiction. Here is her story in her own words | NIDA blog, USA

Mexico increased security in Culiacan on Saturday after cartel gunmen clashed with federal forces | NYTimes opinion, USA