Daily news - 10th February 2020

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UK news

Additional £12.7 million funding in Scottish Budget to address harm associated with drug or alcohol use

The Scottish Government has announced £12.7 million in additional funding to address the harm associated with drug or alcohol use | SDF, UK

Charity warns over ‘safe’ legalisation of cannabis

One in 20 adults would take cannabis on a regular basis if it were legalised, similar to the number of people who currently use it, according to a poll for a leading mental health charity | Guardian, UK

Government opens talks on cutting delays to provision of medical cannabis

Government bodies are discussing ways to mitigate delays in medical cannabis supply, which could involve allowing licensed wholesalers to hold reserve stock | Pharmaceutical Journal, UK

From harm reduction to criminalising ‘street lifestyles’

How has the double jeopardy of homelessness and substance use problems been framed in UK policy? A new hot topic covers the range of approaches – including at the sharp end, policies zeroing in on the ‘antisocial’ nature of street drinking and public injecting | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

PhD studentships

Overall purpose: to provide the opportunity to pursue a PhD in addiction science registered at a UK university and hosted at an appropriate organisation which, in the opinion of the Trustees (or officers with devolved authority), furthers the aims of the SSA. The SSA aims to provide up to two full-time studentships per year | SSA, UK

Forward celebrates National Apprenticeships Week

National Apprenticeships Week (NAW) 2020 has arrived and this year’s theme is ‘Look Beyond’, celebrating the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities across England | Forward Trust, UK

Terminally ill pensioner arrested for growing cannabis plants in his garage

Philip Antony Bevington, who goes by Tony, began growing the plants for medical reasons, when he was diagnosed with stage three kidney failure two years ago, an incurable and terminal condition | ITV, UK

MPs call for tax cuts to save their local pubs

In a packed debate in Westminster Hall, politicians from all sides celebrated the boost the businesses gave to their local communities | BBC, UK

Liverpool Philharmonic: Pub joins Buckingham Palace on Grade I list

An opulent pub once praised by Bill Bryson for its ornate toilets has been given the same listed status as Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House | BBC, UK

Prison officer jailed after admitting sexual relationship with drug baron Curtis 'Cocky' Warren

Stephanie Smithwhite was so obsessed with notorious drug dealer that she even got a tattoo bearing his name | Telegraph, UK

Police dog finds '£300,000' worth of drugs near Fyrish

Police said the drugs, thought to be cocaine and cannabis, were discovered near Fyrish in the Alness area of Easter Ross on Tuesday | BBC, UK


International news

British American Tobacco looking into cannabis vape flavours

One of the world’s biggest tobacco firms is looking at introducing CBD (cannabidiol) and cannabis flavourings in their products as smokers turn away from traditional tobacco | ITV, UK

Cannabis compound discovered by scientists could be 30 times more powerful than THC

Findings may explain why especially potent types of marijuana have a more powerful impact than can be explained simply by THC level | Independent, UK

Questions over NSW government decision to let police watchdog go during strip-search inquiry

Justice advocates ask why government didn’t renew contract of head of LECC, who was holding high-profile and potentially embarrassing inquiry | Guardian, UK

Exclusive: 'Shock and awe' has failed in Philippines drug war, enforcement chief says

Colonel Romeo Caramat oversaw the bloodiest day in the blood-soaked war on drugs in the Philippines – 32 people killed in 24 hours in the province north of Manila where he was police chief in 2017 | Reuters, UK

Nigeria's rising nightlife and alcoholic industry - video

The nightlife industry is growing rapidly across Nigeria, due to greater economic stability and a rising young adult population | BBC, UK

'It can be lethal' - €27k seizures raise fears of increase in ketamine use in Cork

Concerns that the anaesthetic drug ketamine — which causes hallucinations and can lull users into a coma — could be on the increase in Cork after nearly €27,000 worth of the drug was seized in the city in recent weeks | Irish Examiner, Ireland

French medical cannabis trial sparks market battle

Tensions are rising between European companies, Canadian firms and French producers as France prepares to allow imports of cannabis-based medical treatments on a trial basis later this year | Connexion, France

Police Offering Drug Recovery Help: 'We Can't Arrest Our Way Out Of This Problem'

Emily Ligawiec has to sign in visitors to the recovery program she attends in a grand Victorian house in Holyoke, Mass. She can't bring people to her room. She only recently earned phone and car privileges | npr, USA

South Carolina Bid to Increase Naloxone Access in People’s Homes

You walk out of the South Carolina sun into an air-conditioned pharmacy, ready to pick up the hydrocodone and Xanax that you’re prescribed for pain and anxiety. You receive your medications as planned. But the pharmacist also prescribes a third, unfamiliar drug: naloxone | Filter Magazine, USA

Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new University of Waterloo study | EurekAlert, Canada

Health experts say failure to test drugs discarded in amnesty bins is a wasted opportunity

Harm reduction advocates say the state government's decision to destroy drugs ditched in amnesty bins at music festivals is a wasted opportunity to test the dangerous substances on the market | SMH, Australia

Author Jordan Peterson is recovering from severe tranquiliser addiction in Russia

Bestselling Canadian author and academic Jordan Peterson is undergoing rehabilitation from an addiction to the tranquiliser drug benzodiazepine, his family says | abc.net.au, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Fall in numbers of prisoners in treatment for drugs and alcohol

Latest statistics from Public Health England show a 12 per cent fall over three years in the number of people in secure settings getting help for substance misuse problems. There were 53,193 adults in alcohol and drug treatment in prisons and secure settings in 2018/19 – in 2015/16, there were over 60,000 people in treatment | Collective Voice, UK

How experimental cannabinoid studies will inform the standardized THC unit

We read with great interest the article by Freeman & Lorenzetti, which raises a very important topic in cannabis research. While there have been a number of suggestions in the past for standardized cannabis units, there is still a lack of consensus on how a unit should be defined | Addiction commentary, UK

Attending the Imperial AGM

It employs 32,000 people and earned £8bn on its products – but fewer than 30 people showed up for Imperial Brands annual general meeting this week | ASH blog, UK

The DWP is failing ill and disabled people. Could community power be the way forward?

Millions of people in communities across the country find it difficult, or even impossible, to work because of the impact of a disability or long-term health condition. These disabilities and health conditions are often part of a complex picture of wider social disadvantages such as poverty, problems with housing, loneliness and isolation, drug and alcohol addiction, and contact with the criminal justice system | NLGN, UK

Love as a drug: can romance be medically prescribed?

Love drugs could soon be a reality and used alongside therapy to help heal broken relationships, claims a new book | Guardian, UK