Daily news - 29th October 2019

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UK news

Spice saliva drug test 'could save lives' among users

Scientists have developed a handheld saliva test to be used by paramedics and homeless services to detect whether someone has taken the drug Spice | BBC, UK

Government Response to Transforming Rehabilitation: Follow-up published

In July this year, the Committee published a follow up to its major reportlast year, voicing its ongoing deep concern about the failure of Transforming Rehabilitation reforms. The Committee welcomed the planned move to a new delivery model for probation - though it was well overdue - and made recommendations to enable the new system to deliver better outcomes for offenders, victims, professionals and the public | Parliament.uk, UK

Fears over public funding cuts to residential rehab services

The move raises concern fewer addicts will have access to long-term residential help | STV, UK

Do You Know What’s in Your Cannabis? Almost Two-Thirds Don’t…

Cannabis has long been the most popular illegal drug in the UK, and most other countries around the world. So, it might not surprise you to read that almost a third of people in the UK have tried Cannabis in their lives. But, how many of you actually know what’s in your Cannabis? | Canex, UK

Beer costs average Londoner £82,000 in a lifetime, survey finds

People living in capital likely to spend £23 each time they go out | Independent, UK

Warning over super-strength Rolls Royce ecstasy pills circulating at Warehouse Project

Warehouse Project boss Sacha Lord has issued a warning to revellers after super-strength ecstasy pills were found circulating in Manchester this weekend | Manchester Evening News, UK

Why did Catherine Kenny and her best friend die in the same doorway?

Catherine needed treatment for addiction and mental health issues. Instead, she became Northern Ireland’s first known synthetic cannabinoid victim | Guardian, UK [see also blogs, comment and opinion section below]

Public alcohol ban by-law bid gathers 'mixed' response in Borders

A study into proposals for by-laws banning the consumption of alcohol in public places in the Borders has received a "mixed" response | BBC, UK

Labour MP Keith Vaz faces six-month suspension after drug and sex probe

Labour MP Keith Vaz "disregarded" the law by "expressing a willingness" to help buy cocaine for male prostitutes, the Commons standards body has found | BBC, UK

Cockroaches, mould and drugs on London estate - video

Residents living in the one remaining block of flats on a north-London estate undergoing redevelopment say they are being "left to rot", with pest infestations and security issues | BBC, UK


International news

Risks of cannabis use for mental health treatment outweigh benefits

New study shows evidence of positive outcomes is scarce while symptoms can be exacerbated | Guardian, UK

Following the Drug Money - BBC iPlayer

Drug dealers collect billions of pounds in the UK every year, but how do they get their dirty money into the financial system? Reporter Andy Verity follows the criminal cash from the streets of London to the gold markets of Dubai, revealing how an international crime gang laundered drug money around the world and how bankers and accountants at two big city firms failed to stop it | BBC, UK

Putin proposes new laws against “online propaganda” of drugs

“It could be used against anything as innocent as reposting a rap video,” says human rights lawyer | Independent, UK

Juul to cut jobs as e-cigarette firm restructures

Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs on Monday said it will cut jobs as part of a restructuring plan, with the threat of a US vaping ban on the horizon | Mail Online, UK

Mexican authorities DNA testing 42 human skulls found during drug raid

Authorities in the Mexican capital are carrying out DNA tests on 42 human skulls and other remains discovered during a raid on a drug trafficking bolthole in the inner-city neighbourhood of Tepito | Guardian, UK

Oireachtas health committee to consider ban on sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s

Proposed legislation will also prohibit vending machines at locations or events where children are likely to be present | Irish Times, Ireland

When a tank is urgently needed to transport… methadone to hospitals

A tank is urgently needed! It doesn’t have to be a new one. The tank is needed to transport methadone to hospitals in Kazakhstan. Drug control authorities require paramilitary security for the transportation of drugs. However, the state is not going to allocate funds for security measures and this issue has not been resolved in 10 years | EHRA, Lithuania

New CDC Report Provides First Analysis of Lung Injury Deaths Associated with Use of E-cigarette, or Vaping, Products

Report also updates data on patient characteristics and substances used | CDC, USA

Could cannabis be a pain relief alternative to opioids?

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, deaths related to opioids in the state rose 13 percent between 2016 and 2017. In response to rising opioid use and associated deaths, the Alternative to Opioids Act of 2018 created the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program | Medical Xpress, USA

Teen marijuana use may have next-generation effects

A new study by the University of Washington's Social Development Research Group shows how a parent's use of marijuana, past or present, can influence their child's substance use and well-being | EurekAlert, USA

A new system to measure pain more accurately could help fight the opioid addiction crisis

Inside a labor room at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, nurses and physicians monitored Yingzi Lin's vitals, checking on her over the course of three days, and asking how much pain she was feeling. It was 2011, and she was preparing to have her first child | Medical Xpress, USA

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?

A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs. But obesity is also a complex condition that cannot be fully explained by the addiction model | Medical Xpress, USA

Which came first: Brain size or drinking propensity?

For years, researchers have observed that alcohol consumption is associated with reduced brain volume and concluded that drinking can literally shrink the brain | Medical Xpress, USA

Beyond Methadone: Improving health and empowering patients in opioid treatment programs (PDF)

Hepatitis C, Overdose Prevention, Syringe Exchange, Buprenorphine & Other Opportunities to Make Programs Work For Patients | Urban Justice, Vocal, USA

Witnessed Urine Screens in Drug Treatment: Humiliating and Harmful

My heart drummed in time to my racing thoughts, which repeated an increasingly urgent command. Just. Fucking. Pee. But instead of performing, my pelvic area grew numb. Total drought | Filter Magazine, USA

Scholarships at NDARC

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) is offering scholarships to students who wish to undertake higher degree research (HDR) on drug and alcohol related projects that align with NDARC’s core workplan area | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Spice is more than a deadly drug – it's a window on our society

Soaring use of the ‘zombie drug’ is an inevitable response to a systemic failure in social care and drugs laws | Guardian, UK

The Trip Report 28/10

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Statement regarding the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry

A month after the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis launch in December last year the European Commission classified all extracts of hemp and derived products containing cannabinoids (including CBD) as novel foods. It was a decision that has profound ramifications for the future of the still nascent but fast growing CBD industry in the UK, EU and across the world | CMC, UK

Drug policies are killing our children

We have championed prohibition and driven drug supply into the hands of increasingly violent criminals | Guardian letters, UK

School exclusions and knife crime: why we should be listening more to vulnerable children

Exclusion rates in English state funded schools are once again on the rise, alongside concerns about the impact of exclusion on the well-being of children and also on public safety | Conversation, UK

'The Home Office won't help my client, a victim of modern slavery. She cries'

Working for a charity that supports victims of sexual and labour exploitation is tough, but there are moments of hope | Guardian, UK