Daily news - 27th February 2020

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UK news

UK summit looks at tackling record drug deaths

The UK government is holding a drugs summit in Glasgow to discuss measures to tackle the record number of deaths | BBC, UK

Working to cut drug deaths

Drug users, their families and people working on the frontline to tackle the problem of substance misuse have told 350 delegates at the Scottish Drug Deaths Conference in Glasgow how the issue has affected their lives | Scottish Government, UK

Calls for safer consumption rooms at drug deaths conference

Around 350 delegates attended the 'landmark event' on Wednesday, where safer drug consumption rooms were discussed | STV, UK

What can be done about Scotland's drugs crisis?

Scotland has the highest rate of drug-related deaths in Europe and the numbers are continuing to rise at an alarming speed. Both the Scottish government and the UK government are holding summits in Glasgow this week to discuss how they can tackle the drugs death crisis | BBC, UK

Letter from the ACMD to the Home Secretary: GHB, GBL, and related compounds

Thank you for your letter of 6 January 2020 where you commissioned the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to urgently review the classification and scheduling of GHB, GBL, and closely related compounds. The ACMD welcomes the commission and has prioritised this workstream | ACMD, UK

What is driving serious violence: drugs “The marketplace is more volatile and violent than it has ever been” (PDF)

This is the second in a series of reports investigating the drivers of serious violence in England and Wales in recent years. Building on the first publication, this report seeks to examine the role of drug markets as a driver, and draws on a range of existing (largely published) data and literature, as well as new research carried out for this report, including a ‘deep dive’ in an inner London borough and semi-structured interviews with law enforcement and policing experts across the country | Crest Advisory, UK

Mandate - or let clinicians and patients decide when to screen and advise for risky drinking?

A major issue facing management is whether to strongly incentivise or insist clinicians screen and advise. Given powerful enough levers, clinicians can be persuaded – but this comes at a cost, not just in resources, but in what else could have been done with the time | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Wales' minimum alcohol price 'won't tackle middle class drinkers'

The new minimum price for alcohol is not "sufficient" to tackle middle-class drinkers, according to an addiction charity | BBC, UK

If it wasn’t for the drug recovery cafes, I’d be dead

Mark Wood has suffered from drug addiction for more than 20 years. After hitting his ‘breaking point’ he began attending a recovery cafe where he and others in a similar situation can get the help they need | STV, UK

More Young People Are Using Drugs to Deal with Loneliness

A recent poll from organisation Turning Point showed that 54 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds get lonely, and 21 percent say they are intoxicated once a week or more | VICE, UK

K-Holing: Why Ketamine Causes Wild Hallucinations

A simple explainer for why doing one too many lines of ket can turn your reality inside out – and what you can do to alleviate it | VICE, UK

How we micro-eliminated hepatitis C in Halton

Johnathan Occleshaw is our Hepatitis C Coordinator for the North West region. Here he explains how the Integrated Recovery Service in Halton micro-eliminated hepatitis C | Change Grow Live, UK

BDP Open Doors | 34th Birthday

Tue, 10 March 2020. 09:15 – 14:00 GMT. Due to demand, we have released more tickets. Registration closes midday Tuesday 3rd March. On March 10th 1986 BDP first opened its doors… 34 years later, we are celebrating our anniversary by opening our doors and inviting professionals, academics and partner organisations to a range of presentations and exhibitions exploring our work at BDP | BDP, UK

Research Call for Participants: Drug Policy Voices

A team of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University are gathering anecdotal evidence from those who have ‘lived experience’ with drug use for an upcoming project. The team, led by Dr Rebecca Askew recognise the importance of listening to those most impacted by current drug policy and want to hear from them! | Volte Face, UK

Police call for more help to deal with 'county lines' drug gangs

Despite high profile and successful policing operations, police concede that they can't intercept as many lines as they'd like | Sky News, UK

Brierley Hill cannabis farm double murder: Second man charged

A second suspect has been charged with the murder of two men shot dead with a crossbow during a robbery at a cannabis factory | BBC, UK


International news

Alcohol Marketing and Youth Drinking: Is There a Causal Relationship?

Open access articles on alcohol marketing and young people | JSAD, UK

Framework for Response to the Use of Illicit Substances within Higher Education Based on the Report of the Rapid Response Group (RRG) on Use of Illicit Substances within Higher Education (PDF)

In order to reduce the number of students who decide to use drugs and reduce the harm experienced by those students who have chosen to use drugs, HEIs are recommended to undertake the following four core actions... | Department of Education and Skills, Ireland

Colleges must provide alcohol-free student accommodation under new rules

Government health drive also urges drug and alcohol-free social spaces on campus | Irish Times, Ireland

Cannabis compound acts as an antibiotic

Public health agencies worldwide have identified antibiotic resistance of disease-causing bacteria as one of humanity's most critical challenges. However, scientists haven't discovered a new class of antibiotics in more than 30 years | EurekAlert, USA

Understanding the link between nicotine use and misuse of 'benzos'

Studies have correlated a relationship between smoking or vaping nicotine with misuse of other substances, such as alcohol and prescription drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

Research suggests adults—not just teens—like electronic cigarette flavors

On February 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to enforce a previously-issued policy on unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarette products with the goal of addressing the current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes | Medical Xpress, USA

Do Anti-Vaping Ads and Media Actually Encourage Youth Vaping?

In the wake of last year’s EVALI lung injury outbreak and a raft of legislative and media reactions to perceived threats to youth, an intriguing question is being asked about one potential cause of the exaggerated-but-real rise in nicotine vaping among teens who don’t smoke | Filter Magazine, USA

The World's Biggest Legal Coca Industry Might Get Shut Down

A right-wing power grab in Bolivia could spell the end of a system that has likely kept the drug war in check | VICE, USA

Drug Czar Unleashes Record Budget for Anti-Trafficking Program

President Donald Trump’s administration has announced the roll-out of the “largest-ever” baseline budget for a program that coordinates the drug war across federal, state, local and indigenous governments | Filter Magazine, USA

The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’

The Commissioner has made 109 recommendations in relation to a number of issues across Government including greater coordination of alcohol and other drug policy; decriminalisation; reframing substance use as a health issue; a greater investment in treatment, diversion and workforce initiatives; education and prevention programs; better data, reporting and research; a clear focus on priority populations... | DPC NSW Government, Australia

NSW government rejects pill testing, more injecting rooms

The Berejiklian government will reject five key recommendations from its inquiry into the drug ice, including more supervised injecting centres, pill testing and retiring its drug detection dogs. But the remaining 104 recommendations, including the decriminalisation of the personal use of ice and other illicit drugs, is still being considered | SMH, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

The problem with good news: How should public health actors respond when alcohol consumption declines? (PDF)

There is a role for public health policy actors when alcohol consumption declines as trends may differ between population sub-groups and harm may rise irrespective of consumption declines. In such circumstances, critical analysis of existing policies and emphasis on the need for policies informed by points of principle is needed | Addiction editorial, UK

The alcohol harm paradox revisited on a local level

Research Coordinator Dr Sadie Boniface explains findings from a localised study looking at alcohol harm | IAS blog, UK

I regularly drink alone - and for me it's a source of comfort and joy

A new survey shows one in ten of us drink because we are lonely. Writers Rowan Pelling and Will Gore beg to differ... | Telegraph, UK

Letting Australians get drugs from a doctor rather than a dealer will save lives

The regulation of all drugs is not utopia – it’s a pragmatic way to take control of the situation | Guardian opinion, UK

Hold the applause: E-cigs flavor ban is no ban at all

With the release of the administration’s new policy on flavored e-cigarettes, parents across the country have expected us — two volunteer parent advocates who have worked long and hard to promote nationwide action to prevent youth vaping — to be doing a victory lap | The Hill blog, USA

Fear of drug users is how we justify harming them

Every morning, I walk to my son's daycare to drop him off. He's a little guy right now, just a few months old, and I feel both protective and adventurous when we're out in the world together. I want him to see it all, to smell it, to hear it. And at the same time, I want him to be safe. His bald little head seems so delicate | Pittsburgh City Paper opinion, USA