Daily news - 23rd September 2019

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UK news

UK universities publish guidance on risks of initiation ceremonies

Students warned of physical and mental dangers three years after death of Edward Farmer | Guardian, UK

Study assesses alcohol law's effect on homeless

Glasgow Caledonian University is to lead a study looking at the impact of alcohol minimum pricing on the homeless | BBC, UK

'We can't save enough lives': Swansea in grip of drug death epidemic

The Barod centre says it is working hard to prevent deaths but authorities need to take action | Guardian, UK

Drug Driving (Police Officer Numbers)

To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking to alleviate the reported concerns regarding the number of police officers available to enforce a crackdown on drug driving | They work for you, UK

Minimum Unit Pricing (Alcohol-related Deaths)

The First Minister will be aware of new research showing that there has been a 21.5 per cent decrease in alcohol-related deaths in Glasgow since the introduction of minimum unit pricing | They work for you, UK

Mother sells house to buy daughter's medical cannabis

The mother of a severely epileptic woman has put her house up for sale after spending her family’s savings on private prescriptions for medical cannabis | Guardian, UK

Mum faces breaking law to get son's epilepsy medicine

The mother of two sons with severe epilepsy faces paying thousands or breaking the law to import cannabis-based medicine, despite having it prescribed by a British doctor | BBC, UK

Alcohol and chefs: a real kitchen nightmare

For Craig Strippel, the stress of being a chef was cushioned by drink and drugs. Here, he talks about his recovery from a problem that plagues the restaurant industry | Guardian, UK

Thousands march in Inverness to show drugs can be beaten in Recovery Walk Scotland

The Daily Record has been driving a campaign to find new ways to beat Scotland's drug deaths crisis and this latest event shows momentum is growing | Daily Record, UK

Life-saving kits to stop heroin overdose deaths

Figures show since the council started issuing naloxone kits in 2015, there has been a steady decrease in the amount of drug deaths in Southend from 47 deaths in 2013-15, to 32 in 2016-18 | Basildon, Canvey and Southend Echo, UK

Thousands of children and teenagers drawn into 'county lines' drug dealing in London

More than a third of 4,000 people involved in 'county lines' in London are children, figures show | Independent, UK

How London's Camden Lock became a flashpoint for knife gang killings

The area is at the heart of a brutal battle which has left vulnerable teenagers dead and whole communities in fear | Guardian, UK

Teen dealer sent down for three years over £200 of cannabis and three MDMA pills

"I hope that whilst serving his custodial sentence he reflects on the life he has been leading" | Liverpool Echo, UK

Budweiser to stop using plastic for all its UK beer four-packs before 2021

Brewer plans to cut plastic use by 850 tonnes a year with new approaches to packaging | Guardian, UK


International news

Macron unveils 'rural action plan' including cheaper alcohol licenses in bid to win over Yellow Vests

Emmanuel Macron’s government sought to calm discontent in “left-behind” rural areas on Friday by announcing an “action plan” to improve public services in the countryside | Telegraph, UK

Murder of informant's lawyer raises fears of Dutch 'narco-state'

Dutch prosecutors have vowed to continue using supergrass witnesses in the fight against organised crime after an lawyer for an informant in a major drug case was murdered | Telegraph, UK

Walmart ending sales of e-cigarettes

Retail giant Walmart said Friday it would stop selling e-cigarettes in its US stores amid a growing crackdown on flavored vaping products to deter an ever growing number of young users | Daily Mail, UK

Vaping comes under pressure - audio

With multiple countries banning electronic cigarettes, we examine the causes for concern. The BBC's Jagdip Cheema reports on the impact in Mumbai, as India becomes the latest country to introduce restrictions | BBC, UK

Pittsburgh police probe wristband-wearer drug deaths

Police in the US city of Pittsburgh are investigating how seven people all wearing orange wristbands were involved in an apparent drug overdose | BBC, UK

The ancient Aztec ballgame saving Mexicans from life of crime and drugs

In a downtrodden neighbourhood in Mexico City, where an old rubbish dump once lay, troubled one-time gangsters are turning their lives around with the help of an obscure sport | Telegraph, UK

Argentina police arrest gang accused of smuggling cocaine in plastic penises

Police say they seized the cocaine-loaded penises at the home of a couple who managed a Peruvian restaurant | Guardian, UK

Nursing home is fined after four residents test positive for taking cocaine and are spotted passing a rolled up dollar bill to each other

Connecticut's Department of Public Health has levied fines against three nursing homes, including one in New Haven where four patients were found to have taken cocaine | Daily Mail, UK

Calls for the medical cannabis programme to be extended

A symposium in Limerick has heard that the medical cannabis access programme here is too restrictive and needs to be extended to include people who suffer with chronic pain | RTe, Ireland

A National Survey of Marijuana Use Among US Adults With Medical Conditions, 2016-2017

This survey study using data from 169 036 participants in the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys found that, compared with adults without medical conditions, adults with medical conditions had a significantly higher prevalence of current and daily marijuana use, were more likely to report using marijuana for medical reasons, and were less likely to report using marijuana for recreational purposes | JAMA open, USA

Instagram's Opioid Recovery Hashtags Are Full Of Drug Dealers

“Oxys, Roxy, Xans, Addy, codeine, perc...Available 24.7 for delivery.” | BuzzFeed, USA

Vaping-linked lung illness claims eighth life

A Missouri man in his 40s is the eighth person in the United States to die from complications of a lung injury tied to using electronic cigarettes, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported | Medical Xpress, USA

New Drugs, Bad Policies Leave Philly Harm Reduction Groping in the Dark

The “Walmart of Heroin” is how the New York Times described Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood—in a much-criticized October 2018 story that Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting condemned as “trauma tourism.” | Filter Magazine, USA

Will the FDA Repeat Its “Abuse-Deterrent” Oxy Mistake With Stimulants?

OxyContin got a makeover in 2010. That year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new version of the opioid, made by the now-notorious Purdue Pharma, to be labeled as an “abuse-deterrent formulation” (ADF)—a first-of-its-kind designation | Filter Magazine, USA

New national guideline sets out best practices for delivering injectable opioid agonist treatment

A new Canadian guideline lays out the optimal strategies for providing injectable opioid agonist treatment with prescription heroin and hydromorphone for people with severe opioid use disorder. The clinical guideline was created for a wide range of health care providers to address an urgent need for evidence-based treatment of opioid use causing overdose and death | EurekAlert, Canada

Government Response to Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services Inquiry into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis) Amendment Bill 2018 Private Members Bill (PDF)

The Government thanks Committee members for the work and thought that has gone into the preparation of the Committee’s final report. The Government appreciated the opportunity to make a submission to the inquiry and provide input through the public hearings | Paliameny.gov, Australia

Sales of non-alcoholic beer by Carlton & United Breweries have risen by 10%, amid a general decline in Aussie alcohol consumption

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), the company behind a slew of beverages including Carlton Draught, Pure Blonde and Great Northern Brewing Co has seen an uptick in the consumption of its non-alcoholic beers | Business Insider, Australia



Blogs, comment and opinion

A Tale of Two Wars

The movement to end the drug war and the environmental movement are two sides of the same coin; together, both conflicts can be brought to an end in which we save ourselves, and our home | Talking Drugs, UK

Alternatives to drugs for managing pain

Readers respond to a piece about opioid prescriptions and how doctors can help patients with long-term pain | Guardian letters, UK

A Photographic History of Addiction Recovery in the U.S.

Since publication of the second edition of Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America, many people have expressed their appreciation of the photos included in the new edition. These images put flesh and blood on the lives and key events that make up the history of addiction recovery in the U.S | William White Papers, USA