Daily news - 19th September 2019

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UK news

Fastest drop in smoking rates in over a decade as Stoptober launches

The latest data from a national smoking study indicates adult smoking rates fell 2.2% from January to July 2019 - equivalent to 200 fewer smokers every hour | PHE, UK

Alcohol-related deaths ‘cut by more than 20% with minimum unit pricing’

Minimum unit pricing may have contributed to the number of alcohol-related deaths in Glasgow falling by more than a fifth, according to new research | ITV, UK

Charity calls for alcohol minimum pricing to be extended across UK

A charity has called for Scotland's minimum unit pricing policy for alcohol (MUP) to be rolled out across the UK | BBC, UK

Public attitudes to drugs in the UK: Is the UK ready for drug policy reform? (PDF)

This report sets out the detailed survey findings and shows the public are ahead of the politicians in their thinking and appetite for reform. The findings of this survey demonstrate the urgent need for policymakers and government to start to reshape policy as part of an open, fully informed and evidence-based debate on the future of drugs policy | CDPRG, UK

Local ‘system snapshot’ [free] events announced

We are pleased to announce that Collective Voice will be holding three events to bring people together from across the treatment and recovery system to discuss local challenges and hear about our new strategy and plans for the future! | Collective Voice, UK

Cornwall children's voices urge mums to stub it out

A hospital is using recorded children's voices to encourage mums-to-be to give up smoking, amid concerns in the area | BBC, UK

New books on addiction

Addiction publishes new book lists five times per year, both in print and on this website.  Items are alphabetised by author within each list | Addiction, UK

County lines: how drugs gangs are recruiting children - podcast

Aamna Mohdin tells Anushka Asthana how county lines gangs are stepping up their operations by using short-term holiday flats and recruiting local teens to sell drugs in small towns around Britain | Guardian, UK

Cuckooing victims: ‘They start as friends but end up as bullies’

How county lines gangs are targeting vulnerable people with drug and mental health problems | Guardian, UK

Terrified child drugs mule, 14, tried to hang himself in a park after losing £1,000 in county lines drugs deal

A terrified 14-year-old boy tried to hang himself after losing a £1,000 package of drugs and money, it has emerged today | The Sun, UK

Petition launched to drug test all MPs

It comes after a number of high profile Conservative MPs admitted they had taken drugs in the past | Metro, UK

Stoned’ dog video released after pet eats cannabis cookie

Footage of a “stoned” dog who became seriously ill after eating a cannabis edible found during a walk in Lancashire has been released to warn other pet owners about the drug’s effects | Independent, UK

56 guns recovered in international firearms operation: 13 suspects arrested, 80kg heroin seized

Thirteen people have been arrested and 56 firearms and 80kg of heroin recovered as part of a joint investigation between the National Crime Agency, Bulgarian law enforcement and Merseyside Police | NCA, UK

Three men jailed after £1m cross-border drugs seizure

Three men who pleaded guilty to their roles in importing and possession of nearly £1m worth of herbal cannabis have been jailed at Newry Crown Court | BBC, UK

Gambling addiction: Mum's hopes for new Leeds NHS service

The mother of a woman who killed herself after gambling away £36,000 in a fortnight hopes a new NHS service will stop others facing the same pain | BBC, UK


International news

Behind the U.S.'s Bogus War on Taliban Drug Labs

America has spent tens of millions of dollars blowing up heroin and meth labs in Afghanistan. Except many of them are just huts | VICE, UK

Ed Buck: Democratic donor arrested on charges of running drug den

A wealthy Democratic donor has been arrested and accused of running a drug den after a spate of fatal overdoses at his home in California | BBC, UK

Vaping-related illness kills man in seventh death linked to e-cigarettes

‘Any use poses a possible risk to the health of the lungs,’ users warned | Indepenedent, UK

India bans e-cigarettes as global vaping backlash grows

Ban follows vaping-related deaths in US, with punishment including up to a year in prison | Guardian, UK

Priests spray holy water from plane to stop 'alcohol use and fornication'

Russian clergymen choose 11 September as the country's unofficial ‘Sobriety Day’ | Independent, UK

Counselling our youth

The North Dublin Drugs and alcohol task force is partnering with the local community to expand youth counselling services to new areas of Fingal | Independent, Ireland

Irish doctors urged to stop over-prescribing benzodiazepines and similar drugs

That council has warned that over-prescriptions of the drugs is affecting the safety of Irish patients | Journal, Ireland

Alcohol-branded content on Facebook: What does clicking “Like” say about drinking behavior?

With almost 2.5 billion active users, Facebook is still the most popular social networking website. In addition to hosting users, Facebook also allows companies to create and post branded content to their own “pages.”| BASIS, USA

Alarming number of heart infections tied to opioid epidemic

An alarming number of people nationwide are developing infections of either the heart's inner lining or valves, known as infective endocarditis, in large part, due to the current opioid epidemic | Medical Xpress, USA

Preference for fentanyl higher amount young, white, frequent opioid users

A minority of people who use illicit opioids indicated a preference for fentanyl, the super-potent synthetic opioid that accounts for much of the recent rise in U.S. overdose deaths, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | Medical Xpress, USA

CBD may alleviate seizures, benefit behaviors in people with neurodevelopmental conditions

A marijuana plant extract, also known as cannabidiol (CBD), is being commonly used to improve anxiety, sleep problems, pain, and many other neurological conditions. Now UNC School of Medicine researchers show it may alleviate seizures and normalize brain rhythms in Angelman syndrome, a rare neurodevelopmental condition | Medical Xpress, USA

Next Week Is the Perfect Time to Get Your Cannabis Conviction Expunged

The second-ever National Expungement Week (NEW) will be held September 21-28. It involves a nationwide series of events to provide expungement, record-sealing and other services to people impacted by the criminalization of cannabis | Filter Magazine, USA

Canadian Pharmacist Could Face Punishment for Giving Out Naloxone

In Ontario, a Canadian province with large rural regions, one pharmacist is no longer waiting for patients to come to his pharmacy | Filter Magazine, USA

Policing space in the overdose crisis: A rapid ethnographic study of the impact of law enforcement practices on the effectiveness of overdose prevention sites

North America is in the midst of an overdose crisis. In some of the hardest hit areas of Canada, local responses have included the implementation of low-threshold drug consumption facilities, termed Overdose Prevention Sites (OPS) | Science Direct, Canada

Young drinkers more 'selfie-conscious,' research suggests

Young Australians are less likely to over-indulge in booze and illicit drugs because they like to keep up appearances in their social media-sphere, according to a Flinders University expert on substance abuse and addiction | Medical Xpress, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

INPUD Statement: HIV2020

The International Network of People who Use Drugs, INPUD, is resolute in our support of the HIV2020 Conference in Mexico City | INPUD, UK

England SmokeFree by 2030?

In the days of vaping, in the UK at least, it’s difficult to imagine people smoking combustible cigarettes in 100 years time. But the UK government is a lot more ambitious – they have announced they want to be smoke free by 2030, despite slashed funding for stop smoking services | Ashtray blog, UK

Tegan and Sara: ‘People never talk about women and drug use positively’

The biggest twins in pop are returning to where it all began with High School, a book chronicling the acid, raves, girlfriends and guitars that shaped their teenage years | 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 opinion, Ireland

Regulating e-cigarettes requires a scalpel, not a hammer | Editorial

The U.S. is in the middle of a vaping epidemic — an epidemic of panic. Over the past few weeks, there have been reports of a mysterious vaping-related lung disease that impaired — and at least six times killed — otherwise young healthy people | Philadelphia Inquirer opinion, USA

Government officials misleading the Australian public on vaping needs to end

A recent statement by the Chief Medical Officer and State and Territory Chief Health Officers, ‘E-cigarettes linked to severe lung illness’ is alarmist, potentially misleading and does not accurately reflect the current scientific evidence on vaping, a group of 30 leading health professionals has announced today | ATHRA, Australia

Former Police Commissioner: Weaker Alternatives To Pill Testing Will Not Curb Festival Deaths

The past few months have again shone the spotlight on the campaign for pill testing in Australia | 10Daily, Australia