Daily news - 5th September 2019

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UK news

Early day motion on drug deaths

That this House notes with concern that there were 4,359 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2018; further notes that this is the highest number and the highest annual increase on record; recognises that the vast majority of these deaths are preventable; and calls on the Government to reverse cuts to frontline drug treatment services | Parliament.uk, UK

RSPH and FPH release joint statement on the recent ONS report on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales

The recent report from the Office for National Statistics on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales for 2018 showed an increase of 16% on the previous year, meaning that 40 people are dying every week from illicit drug-related deaths in England and in Wales. RSPH and FPH will continue to work together to reduce the harm caused by illicit drug use, protecting the health of the public and of vulnerable drug users | FPH, UK

SDF welcomes announcement of additional £20 million funding over two years for drug services in Scotland

Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) welcomes the announcement of an additional £20 million funding over two years for drug services in Scotland | SDF, UK

Scottish methadone prescription numbers 'not accurate'

The NHS does not have accurate data for the number of people being prescribed methadone and other opioid substitutes in Scotland, the BBC has learned | BBC, UK

UK advised to recruit former drug dealers if marijuana is legalised

Commissioner in charge of legal cannabis sales in Massachusetts urges policy | Guardian, UK

Opioid overdose drug naloxone given out in Middlesbrough

The opioid overdose drug naloxone is being distributed on to the streets of Middlesbrough for the first time, the BBC has found | BBC, UK

The Drug Death Town - audio

Middlesbrough has the worst drug death problem in England and Wales | BBC, UK

Epilepsy: Cannabis

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the use of medicinal cannabis to people living with CHD2 myoclonic encephalopathy | They work for you, UK

Rehabilitation Centres: North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many residential drugs treatment services have been made available for (a) men and (b) women in the North East in each of the last five years | They work for you, UK

Smoking ban has transformed ‘grimy’ boozers, says pub guide

Good Pub Guide says move opened ‘bars full of fug and male chat’ to women and families | Guardian, UK

2019 Recovery Street Film Festival Shortlist

The 10 shortlisted videos | RSFF, UK

September 2019 – Current Issue

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue | Addiction, UK

Video: Footage shows UK's largest heroin haul at Felixstowe

The discovery of the UK's largest seizure of heroin has been caught on camera | BBC, UK


International news

How Britain's opium trade impoverished Indians

In Amitav Ghosh's acclaimed novel, Sea of Poppies, a village woman from an opium-producing region in India has a vivid encounter with a poppy seed | BBC, UK

Michigan becomes first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

Democratic governor says she wants to stop companies that are using candy flavors to ‘hook children on nicotine’ | Guardian, UK

With pancreatic cancer, what Stephen needs is legalised cannabis

A year into his cancer treatment, Stephen heard about the benefits of medical marijuana and CBD oil, but it has proven difficult to get | Guardian, UK

Italian boy aged eight 'trained to deal in drugs by crime boss'

Police in Italy have arrested a 46-year-old man suspected of using his young son to take part in drug trafficking in the far south-west | BBC, UK

Vuelta a Espana: Helicopter TV footage leads to cannabis farm raid

A cannabis farm was raided after a TV helicopter following the Vuelta a Espana captured its location | BBC, UK

America's first cannabis cafe to advise customers on best marijuana pairings for their meals

America's first cannabis cafe is set to open its doors, complete with "marijuana sommeliers" on hand to advise on the best pairings for each dish | Telegraph, UK

Status report on alcohol consumption, harm and policy responses in 30 European countries 2019 (PDF)

This report uses data gathered from 2010 to 2016, shows that over 290,000 people lose their life in Europe per year from alcohol-attributable causes, and urges stronger policy action by countries to help reduce the numbers | WHO, Austria

CDC Awards New Funds to Stop Drug Overdoses, Deaths

As the drug overdose crisis evolves and becomes more complex, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing $301 million in new Overdose Data to Action funds to states and jurisdictions | CDC, USA

Vox is investigating America’s addiction treatment system. Help us by sharing your stories

Addiction treatment and rehab are often expensive and fail to help. Share your stories to help Vox investigate | Vox, USA

WhatsApp with social media and smartphone messaging apps in the illicit drug market?

In 2018, 18% of college students reported having used an illicit drug other than marijuana in the previous year, a rate that is higher than other age groups | BASIS, USA

An Old-School Dealer Talks About Life in the Modern Weed Trade

"I still use the safeguards practiced at the height of the War on Drugs. Call me paranoid, but I switch burner accounts every 21 days." | VICE, USA

“I Am Not an Addict”⁠—What Should “Recovery” Mean in 2019?

My name is Adi, and despite my years of struggling with meth addiction, I am not an “addict.” I’m a father of three, doctor of Psychology and addiction specialist who used to be addicted; I don’t buy into the idea that I am powerless over any substance or external addictive force | Filter Magazine, USA

Prescription drug monitoring program mandates

States that require prescribers to register with and use prescription drug monitoring programs in most clinical circumstances saw notably fewer opioid prescriptions and reduced opioid-related hospital use by Medicaid patients compared to states with weak or no drug monitoring program mandates, according to a new study from investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine | Medical Xpress, USA

Is South Australia finally nearing its medicinal cannabis boom?

The long-promised, glittering ambitions of a large-scale medicinal cannabis industry in South Australia are about to be tested, with plans to create more than 1000 jobs at a major new manufacturing facility in Adelaide | InDaily, Australia

New research estimates 10 billion cigarette butts littered around NZ

The most detailed audit ever done on litter in New Zealand has revealed some shocking results. Cigarette butts make up almost 80 per cent of all litter in New Zealand | TVNZ, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

From pleasure to vice to addiction

I’ve been reading quite a bit of fiction and non-fiction about substance use and ‘addiction’ lately, and some of the latest things have sparked me to wonder if we think carefully enough, or fundamentally enough about the issues | Thinking to some purpose, UK

Vaping is risky. Do not do it if you care about your lungs

The best way to protect your lung health is to not smoke or vape | Guardian opinion, UK

Convicted of no crime, more people are being forced behind bars to undergo involuntary addiction treatment | NYTimes opinion, USA

Tackle Fentanyl like a Poisoning Outbreak, Not a Drug Epidemic

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released drug overdose statistics for 2018, and they are shocking. Of the estimated 47,000 deaths from opioids last year, roughly two-thirds involved potent synthetic opioids, most of them fentanyl | The RAND blog, USA

SBS’s medical reporting goes up in smoke

The Nine (Fairfax) news publications recently established a set of guidelines for reporting medical research and is to be commended for this. A recent article on vaping for The Feed on SBS showed why this is so important | AOD MediaWatch, Australia