Daily news - 28th February 2020

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UK news

Review of drugs: phase one report

In February 2019, the Home Secretary appointed Professor Dame Carol Black to undertake an independent review of drugs. This was to inform the government’s thinking on what more can be done to tackle the harm that drugs cause. Dame Carol’s response to phase one of the commission provides a detailed analysis of the challenges posed by drug supply and demand, including the ways in which drugs fuel serious violence | Home Office, UK

Illegal drugs 'almost as easy to get as pizza'

More illegal drugs than ever before are coming into the UK - and buying them is almost as easy as ordering a pizza, the author of a major new report has said | BBC, UK

Failures in treatment and policing behind 'boom in illegal drugs'

Landmark UK review says cost of drugs to society is £20bn a year as £600m is spent on treatment and prevention | Guardian, UK

The Government Has Finally Admitted County Lines Drug Dealing Is Its Own Fault

A new Home Office review shows the rise of "going country" has occurred against a backdrop of increasing inequality and child poverty | VICE, UK

Government holds Glasgow summit to combat drug deaths - video

Today the UK government has been holding a summit in Glasgow to discuss ways to tackle it. It’s been hearing calls for all sorts of solutions – from changes in the law to more funding. Channel 4 News can reveal where residential rehab services were cut in Scotland  – as the drugs deaths crisis grew worse | Channel 4, UK

Drug consumption rooms are a 'distraction' says UK minister

Plans for drug consumption rooms to get addicts off the streets have been called a "distraction" by the UK government minister for crime | BBC, UK

Council bosses rule out more drug rehab beds in Glasgow to tackle death crisis

Campaigners and people with lived experience of drugs called for more investment from the Scottish Government and councils in recovery services and calls were made for more rehab beds in the city | Glasgow Times, UK

Most investigations into drug deaths in Scotland a ‘token effort’, says police officer - video

The drugs death rate in Scotland is now among the worst in the world. But the majority of police investigations into drugs-related deaths are – a senior Police Scotland Officer told this programme – a “token effort” | Channel 4, UK

Wine glass size may influence how much you drink in restaurants

The size of glass used for serving wine can influence the amount of wine drunk, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge, funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). The study found that when restaurants served wine in 370ml rather than 300ml glasses they sold more wine, and tended to sell less when they used 250ml glasses. These effects were not seen in bars | University of Cambridge, UK

Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England Quarter 3, 2019-20

10.5% of mothers were smokers at the time of delivery | NHS Digital, UK

Employment - audio

Melissa and Jade speak to Jason Baker who started a company to help addicts get back into work | BBC Hooked, UK

Electronic Cigarettes: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the health risks of vaping and e-cigarettes | They work for you, UK

Workplaces must make room for Muslim women – starting with our toxic drinking culture

A new report has found many Muslim women give up on their career ambitious due to hostile professional environments | Independent, UK

Charities welcome plan for Northern Ireland ban on smoking in cars with children on board

The Health Minister is planning to press ahead with plans to make it illegal to smoke in cars when children are present, it can be revealed | Belfast Telegraph, UK

Bristol Symphony Orchestra has launched a concerted campaign to raise funds for a charity supporting musicians and artists in recovery from alcohol and drugs

Held at Clifton Cathedral on the 28th March, the benefit concert celebrates the power of music and creativity in transforming and changing lives. Bristol Symphony Orchestra is raising money to help the local charity Bristol Drugs Project (BDP) run their free creative groups for adults affected by alcohol and other drugs | Bristol Symphony Orchestra, UK

Two London jails put into ‘special measures’ after violence and safety concerns

HMP Pentonville, one of the country’s oldest and busiest jails, and young offenders’ institution Feltham A have been placed in the Government’s new Prison Performance Support Programme (PPSP) | ITV, UK

Andover drug dealer used child to sell heroin and crack

Kadeem Hibbert, 18, from Andover, Hampshire, arranged for the teenager to travel to the town in October last year when he was caught with a knife and wraps of the drugs | BBC, UK

Simon Jones death: Trio jailed over Chaddesden killing

A man who stabbed a 57-year-old man to death during a car park drugs deal has been jailed for life | BBC, UK


International news

Belgian woman dies after taking sip of MDMA-laced wine

Alert issued after woman opens bottle believed to have been used to transport drug | Guardian, UK

Major anti-drug operation launched

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said that drugs represent an “immediate and imminent” issue for the public, despite all the successes his organisation has had against gangs | Iris Examiner, Ireland

Medical Cannabis Access Programme

On 26th June 2019, the Minister for Health signed legislation to allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme on a pilot basis for five years. The Programme will facilitate access to cannabis-based products for medical use in line with legislation and with the clinical guidance for the scheme | Gov.ie, Ireland

INCB Annual Report 2019

The INCB Annual Report, prepared in accordance with the international drug control treaties, examines the global drug control situation, and makes recommendations to Governments and regional and international organizations | INCB, Austria

Cases of poisoning attributed to manipulated cannabidiol liquids in e-cigarettes

The health risks of e-cigarettes have come into focus after the deaths of several “vapers” due to lung injury in the USA recently. These health risks were discussed in press reports on eight young people who were poisoned in Bremerhaven in October 2019 | Medical Xpress, Germany

The opioid crisis may be far worse than we thought: study

New research appearing in the journal Addiction shows that the number of deaths attributed to opioid-related overdoses could be 28 percent higher than reported due to incomplete death records | Medical Xpress, USA

Safehouse Won a Great Victory for Harm Reduction, Still Faces NIMBYism 

Harm reduction won an historic victory on February 25, when a federal court ruling gave Safehouse, a Philadelphia nonprofit, the official green light to open the nation’s first sanctioned safe consumption site | Filter Magazine, USA

Malawi passes medical cannabis legislation

Malawi on Thursday became the latest African country to legalise the growing of cannabis, a crop that could supplement the tobacco industry, which has been the country's economic mainstay | Medical Xpress, USA

Cannabis infographics

This page provides information on CCSA’s new suite of public education resources about cannabis | CCSA, Canada

Study finds artisanal CBD not as effective as pharmaceutical CBD for reducing seizures

Children and teens with epilepsy who were treated with pharmaceutical cannabidiol (CBD) had much better seizure control than those who were treated with artisanal CBD, according to a preliminary study... | Medical Xpress, USA

Low HIV infections in drug-users point to needle exchange success

New Zealand has avoided the high HIV rates seen among high-risk groups in other countries, a new study shows | University of Auckland, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Phoenix Futures responds to the Dame Carole Black Report

We thank Dame Carol Black and her team for such a detailed and frank report. Those of working the treatment sector are acutely aware of the picture she describes. Reduced funding making it difficult to reach the people that need our help when they need it. People feeling increasingly isolated and desperate for help but not knowing how they can get it | Phoenix Futures, UK

Joint response to publication of Dame Carole Black’s landmark Review of Drugs

Collective Voice, the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Addictions Faculty and the NHS Substance Misuse Providers Alliance welcome today’s publication of the landmark Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs | Collective Voice, UK

Health Matters: Smoking and mental health

The latest edition of Health Matters, PHE’s professional resource, focuses on smoking among the population of people living with a broad range of mental health conditions, ranging from low mood and common conditions such as depression and anxiety, to more severe conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This blog provides a summary of the full edition’s content | PHE blog, UK