Daily news - 14th January 2020

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UK news

National intelligence network on drug health harms briefing: January 2020

This briefing is based on a meeting of the national intelligence network (NIN) on the health harms associated with drug use | PHE, UK

Report Illicit Drug Reactions- RIDR

Public Health England (PHE) working in collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has been piloting a national system for reporting the unexpected or severe adverse effects of illicit drugs since March 2017. PHE have decided not to continue the Report Illicit Drug Reactions (RIDR) pilot beyond 2019/20 | PHE, UK

More than a million Britons buying cannabis illegally to treat illness

[Free registration may be required] Nearly a quarter of a million people with arthritis, 100,000 cancer patients and 50,000 multiple sclerosis sufferers are among 1.4 million unwell Britons who are being forced to buy cannabis illegally to treat their symptoms | The Times, UK

No work, rest and play - audio

The psychologist Suzi Gage looks at the science behind recreational drugs – debunking common myths and misconceptions. A quarter of adults in England are taking potentially addictive prescription medicines, with half of them in long-term dependency, according to Public Health England. The epidemiologist Sir John Strang says there is greater dependency in areas of greatest deprivation. He also calls for greater action in stemming the rise in opioid-related deaths | BBC, UK

The Trip Report 13/01

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided below is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Roadside drug tests failed by 185 drivers during festive campaign

"Drugalyser" tests were used to detect cannabis and cocaine and resulted in 185 positive results out of 480 drivers stopped | BBC, UK

Drugs Diversion Scheme – New pilot in Windsor and Maidenhead

The scheme is going to run alongside the first pilot which is in West Berkshire, and both have involvement from a range of partners including Cranstoun, who provide the drug support service, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, who has helped fund the scheme, Windsor and Maidenhead Council and the Youth Offending Team | Thames Valley Police, UK

Man jailed for supplying drug cocktail to girlfriend who later died

A man has been sentenced to 21 months in jail after he admitted supplying a cocktail of illegal drugs to his girlfriend who later died while celebrating New Year's Eve at a luxury hotel | ITV, UK

Drug-binge man who killed stranger in his own home jailed

A man on a five-day drugs binge who murdered an innocent father after forcing his way into his home in Aberdeenshire has been jailed for at least 19 years | BBC, UK

Bournemouth and Liverpool county lines drugs gang jailed

Nine members of a drug-dealing gang who used a phone number dubbed the "Scouse Porky Line" to sell cocaine and heroin on a commercial scale have been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

Building of new centre for Cork children battling drug and alcohol addiction to get underway

Work will get underway shortly on building a dedicated centre to help children in Cork city and county who are battling drug and alcohol addiction | Irish Examiner, Ireland

EU drugs strategy 2013-20 - evaluation

12 November 2019 - 4 February 2020 (midnight Brussels time). The Commission seeks to gather input from a broad range of stakeholders, including public authorities and administrations at national, regional and local levels including customs and law enforcement, academia, anti-drugs and health related civil society and non-governmental organisations, chemical and medical industry representatives, practitioners involved in the drugs or health policy fields and private individuals | European Commission, Belgium

Study sheds light on link between cannabis, anxiety and stress

A molecule produced by the brain that activates the same receptors as marijuana is protective against stress by reducing anxiety-causing connections between two brain regions, Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers report | Medical Xpress, USA

College students use more marijuana in states where it's legal, but they binge drink less

Marijuana use among college students has been trending upward for years, but in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, use has jumped even higher | Medical Xpress, USA

Coerced Into Rehab? Here’s a 28-Day Survival Guide

January traditionally sees a surge in rehab admission rates. And if you’re going to residential addiction treatment by choice, I completely support you | Filter Magazine, USA

Psychedelic Events Are Going Mainstream, Where The Much-Maligned Mushroom Industry Focuses On Mental Health

Psychedelics have been a mainstay for a millennia and appreciated in the counter-culture for decades. In 2020, whether consuming, investing, or both, mushrooms are having a moment | Forbes, USA

Can the Open Science Revolution Revolutionise Gambling Research?

Over the last 8-10 years there has been a sharp increase in meta-research––that is, research of research; studies of studies | BASIS, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Chief Exec's Blog - Outrage Continues...

Phoenix Chief Exec Karen Biggs follows up her recent blog ‘No Apology For My Outrage’ by looking at the state of treatment for those people with the most complex needs | Phoenix Futures blog, UK

Why SNP must realise methadone isn’t helping drug-death crisis – Miles Briggs

I believe SNP minister do want to take a transformational approach to tackling Scotland’s drug-death emergency, but they must realise the methadone programme is not fit for purpose, writes Miles Briggs | Edinburgh Evening Times, UK

'Positive sobriety', Dry January & the rise of alcohol-free in 2020

It's hard to imagine many people won't heard have heard about Dry January this month as the alcohol-free trend appears to go from strength to strength | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Do You Drink for Pleasure or to Soothe Your Pain?

It wasn’t until I got sober that I realized beer was my medicine | Chelsea Flood on Medium blog, UK

What Happened After My First Dry January

Quitting drinking for a month might reset your relationship with alcohol, but not in the way you expect | Chelsea Flood on Medium blog, UK

The F.D.A. Is in Trouble. Here’s How to Fix It

Some New Year’s resolutions for the incoming boss | NYTimes opinion, USA

Addressing alcohol and other drug stigma: Where to next?

Stigma has long been a subject of interest to those in the alcohol and other drugs field. Modern interest harks back to the writings of sociologist Erving Goffman, whose work is most closely associated with the stigma concept | Drug and Alcohol Review commentary, Australia