Daily news - 31st October 2019

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UK news

New review will enhance response to serious and organised crime

The review announced by the Government will look to identify ways of bolstering the response to threats such as county lines, people trafficking and drugs | Home Office and The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, UK

Working together to challenge stigma and save lives

Faces and voices of recovery Scotland started to organise and mobilise those affected by the soaring amount of drug deaths in Scotland during August 2019. Over 60 volunteers have since been mobilised and three gatherings organised. This report has been produced as a result of those gatherings | FAVOR, UK

SURE Recovery: the new addiction recovery app designed alongside service users

We are delighted to announce the launch of the SURE Recovery App, which has been part-funded by the NIHR Maudsley BRC, with additional funds from Action on Addiction. The app is designed for people using substances to track their recovery journeys and achieve their personal goals | NIHR Maudsley BRC, UK

Alcohol Awareness Week

(11-17 November 2019) is a chance for the UK to get thinking about drinking - this year, the theme is Alcohol and me. It’s a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more | Alcohol Change UK, UK

NHS smoking cessation services: April to June 2019

4,435 Welsh resident smokers were treated by smoking cessation services | Welsh Government, UK

Health experts ‘certain as ever’ vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes — despite 34 US deaths link

British health chiefs say they are “as certain as ever” that vaping is less harmful than smoking – as it is linked to 34 deaths in the US | The Sun, UK

The Drug Science Podcast Episode #4 - Addiction

Professor David Nutt sits down with Mark Johnson and Ian Miller to discuss the science, and challenge the concept, of addiction | Drug Science, UK

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent alcohol harm and reduce health inequalities | They work for you, UK

Fears Glasgow GP practice could drive drug users to street drugs and criminality

A Glasgow GP practice has been criticised for stigmatising drug users after it warned them they must detox from drugs they have been prescribed if they wanted to register for treatment | Herald, UK

Modern slavery cannot be tackled if victims treated as criminals

Illegally trafficked migrants will stay silent if police continue to report victims to Home Office | Guardian, UK


International news

British headmaster jailed for 10 months in Singapore for smoking methamphetamine

A British former headmaster of an international school in China has been jailed for 10 months in Singapore after admitting possession and consumption of methamphetamine, officials said Tuesday | Telegraph, UK

Increases in methamphetamine use among heroin treatment admissions in the United States, 2008–17

[Open access] This study aimed to examine trends and correlates of methamphetamine use among heroin treatment admissions in the United States | Addiction, UK

Quebec raises legal consumption age for cannabis to 21

New law, which goes into effect 1 January, is intended to ‘protect’ teens and their developing brains, said junior health minister | Guardian, UK

Call for improved support for National Drugs Strategy

All nine former ministers who have held responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy are to call on the Taoiseach to intervene to restore confidence in its partnership framework and funding to its neighbourhood activities | RTe, Ireland

Drug addiction services struggling with rising demand, say providers

Campaigners call for policy change and extra funding to tackle increased use | Irish Times, Ireland

Assistant Garda Commissioner defends force’s record on dealing with drugs

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who has responsibility for Special Crime Operations, has defended the force’s record on dealing with drugs | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Study finds declining trend in prevalence of cannabis use disorder among frequent users

The prevalence of cannabis use disorder decreased in 2002 to 2016 among frequent users, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health | News Medical, USA

Of all professions, construction workers most likely to use opioids and cocaine

Construction workers are more likely to use drugs than workers in other professions, finds a study by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Mapping the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts: How prescribing practices relate to the incidence of fatal opioid overdoses between 2011-2015

Opioid overdoses have increased in the past decade in the United States, leading some public health experts to declare an “epidemic” of deaths due to opioids. Massachusetts is one of the states that has been hit especially hard by fatal opioid overdoses (see figure for comparison across states) | BASIS, USA

More than 50 organizations pressure Trump administration to follow through with vaping flavor ban

More than 50 health and advocacy groups are sending a clear message in letters to US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and first lady Melania Trump: Stick with the plan that was announced last month that would require e-cigarette companies to take their flavored products off the market, including mint and menthol | CNN, USA

Bernie Sanders’ Plan to Expunge Millions of Cannabis Convictions Faster

Has Bernie Sanders been reading Filter? Last week we asked how far all the 2020 candidates—and Sanders in partfcular—will go on cannabis reform and equity. He immediately answered | Filter Magazine, USA

Cryptocurrencies complicate effort to stop opioid dealers

The fight against the opioid crisis is facing a growing problem: Criminals are getting better at hiding the cryptocurrency transactions they use to buy drugs online | Medical Xpress, USA

University of Guelph to study cannabis as treatment for bladder cancer in dogs

Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College are beginning a three-year study of cannabis as a treatment for bladder cancer in dogs | Global News, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

Book review of Andi Brierleys book in the turn around series as he asks Your Honour, can I tell you my story?

Win a copy signed by the author | SMMGP, UK

Prohibition showed bans can be good for us

[Free registration may be required] A hundred years ago this week the career of Andrew John Volstead, a congressman from Granite Falls, Minnesota, reached its apotheosis. In the last week of October 1919 the Volstead act — officially called the National Prohibition Act — cleared its final legislative hurdle | The Times, UK

Boycotting Mexican avocados is not the best way to fight cartels

Taking action to strengthen gun laws and end the US immigration crises would accomplish far more than boycotts | Guardian, UK

Anti-Vaping Propaganda in Schools Undermines Critical Thinking and Spreads Dangerous Misinformation

Students should avoid e-cigarettes because they "have chemicals in them," a lesson warns | Reason, USA