Daily news - 17th September 2019

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UK news

A lower drink-drive limit in Scotland is not linked to reduced road traffic accidents as expected

Lowering the drink-drive blood alcohol limit in Scotland was not followed by reduced road traffic accidents, perhaps because of a lack of enforcement. While there was a 0.7% reduction in alcohol bought in pubs and restaurants after the new legislation (on-trade sales), there was no significant change in sales of alcohol from shops or supermarkets (off-trade), where most purchases are made | NIHR, UK

MHRA 'assessing reports' of respiratory illness outbreak linked to e-cigarettes in the United States

The MHRA received 62 reports of adverse reactions associated with nicotine-containing e-cigarettes from across the UK between 20 May 2016 and 6 September 2019 | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

The collectivity of British alcohol consumption trends across different temporal processes: a quantile age–period–cohort analysis

[Open access] UK alcohol consumption per capita has fallen by 18% since 2004, while the alcohol-specificdeath rate has risen by 6%. Inconsistent consumption trends across the population may explain this | Addiction, UK

Interconnected Voices with Cherise Hamilton-Stephenson - podcast

Cherise explores the impact that legalising recreational cannabis in the UK could have on the millennial generation. She is joined by: Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director of Release, the UK's national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law and Daniel Rowe, an SOS Officer for St Giles Trust, a charity that specialises in helping young people affected by gang-related violence and exploitation | Talking Drugs, UK

The Cannabis Debate: My £250-a-month cannabis fix that saves me from the misery of MS

Multiple sclerosis sufferers say it is ‘inhumane’ that they are forced to break the law, and want medical cannabis to be made available on the NHS. David Cohen reports | Evening Standard, UK

County lines drugs: Youth clubs 'key to tackling gang rise'

More youth clubs could be the key to stopping the spread of drug gangs, a police and crime commissioner says. Dafydd Llywelyn believes they can make towns in the Dyfed-Powys force area "inhospitable" for gangs | BBC, UK

County lines: where the drugs go, case by case

From crack cocaine to heroin and from Cornwall to Cumbria, here are some of the past year’s most high-profile cases | Guardian, UK

Councils ‘unwittingly helping drug gangs recruit children’

Young people put at risk by sending them to care homes up to 100 miles away, MPs warn | Guardian, UK

Nathan DeAsha: Bodybuilder branded steroid 'disgrace' for gym supply

An international bodybuilder has been called a "disgrace to the sport" by a judge after he used his fame to sell steroids to gym users | BBC, UK

Newcastle's Diamond strip bars drugs cocaine gang sentenced

A dozen members of a drugs gang involved in the supply of cocaine in Tyneside bars have been sentenced | BBC, UK

Elderly British couple who claim they were tricked into smuggling cocaine on cruise ship spent £18,000 on travel in two years

ABritish couple who claim they were tricked into smuggling cocaine on a luxury cruise spent thousands of pounds a year on trips abroad despite their meagre income, court documents have revealed | Telegraph, UK

Bristol drug-driving teen jailed for killing passenger in crash

Jake Buckle, 18, tested positive for cocaine and cannabis following the crash which killed Jordan Maxwell, Gloucester Crown Court was told | BBC, UK


International news

In numbers: Sackler family, Purdue Pharma and the US opioid crisis

The Sacklers have become one of the world's most controversial families | BBC, UK

Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy in the US

US drug-maker Purdue Pharma has filed for bankruptcy protection, as part of efforts to deal with thousands of lawsuits that accuse the firm of fuelling the US opioid crisis | BBC, UK

E-cigarette cancer warning as new study finds mint and menthol flavour risk

The study of menthol and peppermint vapes revealed high concentrations of a carcinogenic additive called pulegone that US watchdogs recently banned in food | Telegraph, UK

Teenager sues vaping company Juul after being left with 'lungs like a 70-year-old's’

Lawsuit accuses company of using social media posts to target young people | Independent, UK

California launches $20m campaign to deter e-cigarettes amid spike in illnesses

The state has seen at least 63 cases of vaping-related illnesses as flavored products contribute to a rise in youth smoking | Guardian, UK

Cannabis use by young significantly increases mental health risks

The cannabis of 2019 is not the cannabis of the Woodstock era | Irish Times, Ireland

Investigation of Lung Injury Associated with E-cigarette Product Use, or Vaping

Today the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to enhance the inter-agency response to the current investigation into cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping | CDC, USA

Flavoring ingredient exceeds safety levels in e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco: study

A potential carcinogen that has been banned as a food additive is present in concerningly high levels in electronic cigarette liquids and smokeless tobacco products, according to a new study from Duke Health | Medical Xpress, USA

Is the Purdue Settlement a Win for Harm Reduction?

The battle to hold corporations accountable for their involvement in fueling chaotic opioid use and overdose deaths in vulnerable communities reached a major landmark after pharmaceutical giant Purdue agreed to a multi-billion dollar settlement and filed for bankruptcy | Filter Magazine, USA

The DEA Shares Blame for the Opioid Crisis

The Drug Enforcement Agency's role in the opioid crisis makes clear that law enforcement shouldn't be regulating medicine | VICE, USA

5 Ways That Methadone Maintenance Treatment Changed My Life

When you’re an IV drug addict, you risk overdose, HIV, endocarditis and other infections, amputations, abscesses, and more. When I was stable on methadone and stopped using, these risks just disappeared | the fix, USA

Vancouver mayor calls on federal leaders to act on overdose crisis

Kennedy Stewart said he has had informal talks with three of the four major party leaders | CBC, Canada

Malaysia's Government looks to decriminalise drug use in bid to stem disadvantage

In conservative Malaysia, very few of the Muslim faithful on their way to afternoon prayers could ever have imagined its true purpose | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Addressing the needs of older drinkers

Policy proposal: Address the needs of older alcohol drinkers by enforcing action against age inequalities in existing services and developing a range of specialist services to support older adults who drink | Alcohol Change UK blog, UK

A Royal Commission on drug law reform: is it the best approach?

At various points in the past the idea of a Royal Commission on drug policy has been proposed a useful way of breaking the drug policy impasse. Both the Greens and Lib Dems have previously proposed Royal Commissions before eventually calling for specific reforms, including legalising and regulating cannabis for recreational use | Transform Drug Policy Foundation, UK

The Guardian view on county lines: victims, villains and everything in between

The use of modern slavery laws to target traffickers was a breakthrough. But the problems thrown up by modern drug gangs won’t be solved by criminal justice alone | Guardian editorial, UK