Daily news - 6th January 2020

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UK news

Misuse of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues

This report advises government on the number and nature of known fentanyl analogues, risk factors, pharmacology, toxic effects and misuse and associated harms | ACMD, UK

Fentanyl deaths on the rise as drug is added to heroin, warns report

Government urged to consider tighter controls on drug linked to hundreds of UK deaths | Guardian, UK

Tory Annie Wells calls for 'radical' action on drug deaths

Annie Wells has written to the prime minister asking him to hold a summit on the issue "as soon as possible" | BBC, UK

Anti-drug work 'not making difference needed' in Wales

The Welsh Government provides more than £50m every year responding to drug and alcohol addiction. But Mr Jukes said it was now time to do "something different" amid rising levels of drug-related deaths | BBC, UK

What's your POISON? It's Britain's deadliest drug, costs the NHS billions and shortens our lives, yet alcohol is legal. Former drugs Tsar PROFESSOR DAVID NUTT calls last orders on a national epidemic

Now a new decade has begun, everyone is making resolutions to go to the gym, stop smoking and eat less chocolate. But above all else I would advise all of you to look at your relationship with alcohol — and to cut back | Mail Online, UK

Wedinos sample results

Latest samples receved by Wedinos who collect and test unknown / unidentified or new psychoactive substances and combinations of substances | WEDINOS, UK

Pilot project paves way for drugs treatment breakthrough

Drug addiction services across Scotland must make changes to help vulnerable people access the help they need, according to a specialist now working with the Scottish drug death task force | The National, UK

Scottish criminals could be given tags to monitor alcohol consumption

The move would see offenders wear water-resistant ankle tags which would carry out tests on their sweat every half-an-hour to detect whether alcohol has been consumed | Courier, UK

Leeds council seeks injunction to ban 'tent city' for homeless

A council is taking legal action to stop a volunteer-run homeless camp being set up in Leeds because of fears over infections, drug use and fighting | BBC, UK

Hero cop who lost leg after being hit by drunk driver calls for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers

Tom Dorman has got a lot of plans for 2020. His list includes applying for promotion at work, competing in a string of triathlons and getting married to his fiance, Anna | Telegraph, UK

Rulings & Decisions: Birra Moretti

Complaint by Alcohol Change UK, not upheld. The Panel agreed that the product’s shape and size were very reminiscent of wine bottle, which in their judgement consumers understood was designed for sharing; they felt this to be a widely held understanding | Portman Group, UK

Exactly how the notorious county lines drugs gangs operate in Wales

The National Crime Agency estimates there are around 100 so-called "county lines" networks trafficking drugs into Wales, and shipping the money back to the gang bosses | Wales Online, UK

Cannabis farm with 700 plants found in Urmston

Police said they had "acted on some information passed to them" about the farm in Victoria Parade, Urmston | BBC, UK

Dundee doctor sentenced for importing controlled drugs

A Dundee doctor who was previously cleared of killing a friend by giving her painkillers has been sentenced for importing controlled drugs | BBC, UK

Binge watching TV addicts treated by Harley Street therapists in first cases of their kind in UK

People are being treated for “binge watching addiction” to television box sets in the first reported cases of their kind in Britain, The Telegraph can reveal | Telegraph, UK


International news

Health fears could curb the flavour options in e-cigarettes

Vaping companies might club together on testing to get their products officially licensed by regulator | Guardian, UK

From frozen meat, cheese and even children's juice... the most bizarre methods drugs smugglers have used to try to sneak narcotics into Britain

The agency has revealed how drug lords hell-bent on flooding UK streets with their illegal produce are using methods such as hiding cannabis in consignments of grated pizza cheese and salad toppings | Mail Online, UK

Smoking ban: Austria's cafe society calls time on cigarettes

Austria was once dubbed "the ashtray of Europe" but has finally banned smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes | BBC, UK

More than $3m worth of cannabis sold in Illinois on first day of legalisation

'A significant portion of these dollars will go into rebuilding communities hardest hit by the war on drugs,' says state lawmaker. 'I'm framing my first gram,' says user | Independent, UK

Any change to pub opening hours would need to be considered 'very, very carefully', says minister

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said nightclub and pub opening hours need to be reformed and brought more in line with other cities in Europe | Journal, Ireland

Menthol cigarettes will be banned in Ireland from May

Minister Harris says there is evidence that menthol flavoured cigarettes may be more addictive | Journal, Ireland

Brendan Courtney one of only two to write in support of first drugs injection facility

TV personality, Brendan Courtney has emerged as one of only two members of the public to make a submission to An Bord Pleanála supporting the plan for the State’s first medically supervised injection facility (MSIF) | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Council street crews called out hundreds of times to clean up discarded needles on Dublin streets

The city council recorded over 200 official calls from members of the public in relation to used drug paraphernalia in the last two years | Journal, Ireland

'If we sell CBD as a 'cure-all' for everything, it will drown out what it is actually effective for'

CBD helps people deal with the side effects of certain conditions, but it has also become a ‘buzz’ wellness product | Journal, Ireland

'GHB is a killer, I know of eight men who died after taking it'

Concerns have also been raised about people being sexually assaulted while taking drugs such as GHB | Journal, Ireland

Study urges life-saving drug treatment to combat Ukraine's HIV epidemic

University researchers finds that scaling up use of methadone and buprenorphine—medications for treating opioid use disorder known as opioid agonist therapies (OATs)—could greatly reduce HIV transmission rates and prevent deaths in Ukraine, where the disease is epidemic among people who inject drugs | Medical Xpress, USA

FDA finalizes enforcement policy on unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes that appeal to children, including fruit and mint

Companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions | FDA, USA

U.S. saw big rise in meth, fentanyl use in 2019

A study of over 1 million urine drug tests from across the United States shows soaring rates of use of methamphetamines and fentanyl, often used together in potentially lethal ways | Medical Xpress, USA

All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality Among People Using Extramedical Opioids - podcast

Interview with Sarah Larney, PhD, author of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality Among People Using Extramedical Opioids: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis | JAMA Network, USA

A spate of new class-action lawsuits threaten the CBD industry. Will they force Washington to act?

Since the Food and Drug Administration can’t figure out whether supplements that contain cannabidiol, the marijuana-adjacent oil known as CBD, are legal, can a customer who thought they were buying a legal product demand their money back? | STAT News, USA

Dr. Heather Ashton, 90, Dies; Helped People Quit Anxiety Drugs

She researched hundreds of patients’ experiences with benzodiazepines and put her findings in a manual that would become a guide for doctors and patients | NYTimes, USA

Episode 6: CCSA’s Issues of Substance Conference - podcast

CCSA held the conference in November 2019 and over 650 delegates attended. The episode features five select interviews with conference attendees and exhibitors to get their insights on the event. The interviews also discuss the importance of attending the event, as well as what the attendees hope to take away from the conference | CCSA, Canada

Cannabis edibles present novel health risks

With the recent legalization of cannabis edibles in Canada, physicians and the public must be aware of the novel risks of cannabis edibles, argue authors in a commentary in CMAJ | EurekAlert, Canada


Blogs, comment and opinion

The best way to ditch bad habits: what science can teach us

It’s a new year and many people are in the mood for making a fresh start. And that often means giving something up (cigarettes, alcohol, junk food). Unfortunately, the odds of sticking with new year resolutions are not good | Conversation, UK

Thinking beyond a spectrum of alcohol use

It’s January, so I shouldn’t really be surprised there seem to be a lot of stories about alcohol in the press and online.  The particular one that’s caught my eye is this academic response to the ‘new sobriety’ movement, and an exchange on Twitter | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

Why we need a trauma-informed response for women experiencing alcohol addiction

Women and their experiences are missing from our understanding and response to alcohol addiction. A failure to consider the different and specific experiences of women is leading to many being left to cope alone, unheard and unsupported. Sometimes with devastating consequences | Mental Health Today, UK

Cigarette prices, smuggling, and deaths in France and Canada

Tripling real cigarette prices would approximately halve cigarette consumption worldwide. Although high excise taxes could increase smuggling, weak customs enforcement (rather than high price) is the main determinant of illegal cigarette sales. Importantly, the tobacco industry actively smuggles its own products | Lancet correspondence, UK

Drunk men are a danger to women. So should feminists fight booze culture?

Lots of research links male alcohol consumption to violence against women. Is all this female suffering worth it, just so men can have their boozy fun? | Guardian comment, UK

Harm Reduction programs distribute one million doses of naloxone in 2019

2019 marks the close of a decade of unimaginable loss to our communities. Likely an underestimate, we lost half a million of our friends in these last ten years to the War on Drugs-fueled overdose crisis | Medium blog, USA

A History of War in Six Drugs

Peter Andreas’s new book draws from an impressive and eclectic mix of sources to give psychoactive and addictive drugs a fuller place in the history of conflict | NYTimes, USA

Comment: Mark, the barber, and the toll of drug overdoses

I start each workday at the Victoria Police Department by reading the fatal overdose reports from the night before. People continue to die in homeless shelters, parks and on the street. But the majority of fatal overdoses occur in a private residence like an apartment or house, 57 per cent in 2019 | Times Colonist, Canada

Key takeaways from the first global review into mental health outcomes associated with the use of methamphetamine

Mental health harms have become synonymous with people who use methamphetamines. However, individual study results are often inconsistent. This this has made it difficult to draw firm conclusions about the risks | NDARC blog, Australia