Daily news - 30th October 2019

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UK news

Scottish Government should appoint 'minister for recovery' to tackle drug deaths

Scotland should create a government position to focus on the drug deaths crisis and increase funding for treatment by more than a third, according to an addiction charity | Herald, UK

Relapse prevention interventions for smoking cessation

A number of treatments can help smokers make a successful quit attempt, but many initially successful quitters relapse over time. Several interventions have been proposed to help prevent relapse | Cochrane Library, UK

No evidence that medical cannabis helps mental health conditions

"Risks of cannabis use for mental health treatment outweigh benefits", The Guardian reports, following the publication of a study on the treatment of mental health conditions using medical cannabis | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK

Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a transfer to his Department of responsibility for drug and alcohol policy | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Methadone - Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to assess the regulation, and the general effectiveness, of methadone | They work for you, UK

'War cabinet' formed to buy pub where Churchill 'learned to drink'

People in an Oxfordshire village have teamed up in a bid to save a pub once frequented by Sir Winston Churchill | BBC, UK

Prisoner rehabilitation does not work, says former prisons boss

Sir Martin Narey says focus should be on treating inmates with decency and dignity | Guardian, UK

How I beat drugs, violence and life in a Glasgow gang

Jamie admits that his motivation for getting involved in gang activity was purely financial | BBC, UK

Dundalk: Cannabis herb worth £2.8m found in vegetables

Cannabis herb with an estimated street value of €3.2m (£2.8m) has been seized by gardaí (Irish police) near Dundalk, County Louth | BBC, UK

4.8m illicit cigarettes seized at Belfast docks

A trailer containing the 4,869,000 President cigarettes was detained in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Border Force and PSNI operation | BBC, UK


International news

Worker linked to Melbourne injecting room faces court charged with trafficking heroin

The 49-year-old was among five who faced court for trafficking as part of an alleged drug ring | Guardian, UK

ACT warned before it legalised cannabis that its bill could be defective

Exclusive: attorney general’s department told territory government the proposed bill may not protect users against federal law | Guardian, UK

Man who brewed alcohol in his stomach arrested for drink-driving

‘Horrible illness’ known as auto-brewery syndrome sees sufferers produce ethanol in their gut | Independent, UK

Are cigarettes responsible for modern marketing methods?

"Terrible. [They] stick in one's throat." That was one smoker's dismissal of Camel cigarettes, just before taking a blind taste test in 1920s America | BBC, UK

Funeral in Germany ends on a high as hash cake accidentally served

Investigation reveals restaurant employee’s teenage daughter baked cannabis sweet for separate occasion | Guardian, UK

'Communities are being devastated': Campaigners call for local drugs Task Forces to be 'at the heart' of national strategy

Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign have said local Task Forces are not included in decision-making with the HSE | Journal, Ireland

Surge in open drug use in Cork sparks call for more gardaí

Business leaders in Cork City have called for a “more boots on the ground” approach to policing following a surge in complaints about open drug-dealing and addicts shooting up in public | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Researchers are confronting opioid epidemic in multiple ways

With opioid drug overdose deaths skyrocketing in recent decades, researchers at Brown University's School of Public Health are confronting the epidemic in multiple ways. Two new five-year grants from the National Institutes of Health, totaling $6.8 million, will expand those efforts | News Medical, USA

In Connecticut, drug overdoses doubled in six years

Opioid overdose deaths in Connecticut doubled in the past six years, largely driven by use of multiple drugs together, according to a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and Yale University | Medical Xpress, USA

Syringe exchange programs prevented thousands of new HIV cases in Philadelphia, Baltimore

Syringe exchange programs established in Philadelphia and Baltimore prevented a total of 12,483 new cases of HIV over a ten-year period, according to a study published today. The averted HIV infections also saved both cities millions of dollars every year, according to the researchers | Medical Xpress, USA

Women And Children Are The Emerging Face Of Drug Addiction In Afghanistan

Q breaks into song, and the lyrics reflect something of himself: "My heart aches, my heart aches and my heart aches," he croons. The 10-year-old hopes to go professional one day but his mother says first, he has to break his addiction to heroin | npr, USA

Cannabis helps those with spinal cord injuries escape pain

Using cannabis helps people with spinal cord injuries better tolerate almost constant and excruciating pain and participate in community and family life without feeling like 'zombies', a new study has found | Medical Xpress, USA

The Ecuadorian Fishermen Snatched Away by US Drug Warriors 

After a flood wiped out Bexy Guerrero Salmiento’s home in 2013, her husband disappeared. Just days earlier, Manuel, Bexy and their five children had fled the wreckage of their washed-out home in Manta, a port city of 200,000 in Ecuador, to seek shelter with relatives | Filter Magazine, USA



Blogs, comment and opinion

Cocaine and alcohol: here’s why they’re such a deadly combination

When anyone under the age of 40 is admitted to a hospital emergency department complaining of chest pain, the doctor is likely to ask if the patient has taken cocaine. Cocaine use is a risk factor for heart attacks, but that risk is magnified when combined with alcohol | Conversation, UK

Vaping and lung disease in the US: PHE’s advice

Since mid-September, headlines around the world have warned about an outbreak of serious lung disease across the US, said to be associated with vaping. As of October 22, 1,604 cases have been reported to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from 49 US states, including 34 deaths | PHE blog, UK

Why invest? Why resource?

Policy proposal: Mandate local authorities to provide and promote a 'ring-fenced' resource for alcohol treatment, early alcohol intervention provision, and prevention services | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK