Daily news - 2nd March 2020

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UK news

Increased funding for preventing drug deaths

Additional funding of up to £20 million is being delivered to help reduce the harms and deaths caused by drug and alcohol use in the Scottish Government’s budget for 2020/21 | Scottish Government, UK

Alcohol: Wales minimum pricing law comes into force

As of Monday, retailers and any outlets serving alcohol must charge at least 50p a unit, meaning a typical bottle of wine costs no less than £4.69 | BBC, UK

Wales alcohol pricing scheme: How will it work?

The minimum price is worked out with a simple formula: 50p, times the strength of the alcohol, times the volume | BBC, UK

Alcohol minimum unit price could save almost 8,000 lives in north of England

Civic leaders are calling for the urgent introduction of a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol in England after new evidence from the University of Sheffield's Alcohol Research Group revealed that it could save almost 8,000 lives across the North over the next 20 years | Medical Xpress, UK

The effect of wine glass size on volume of wine sold: a mega‐analysis of studies in bars and restaurants

The volume of wine sold in restaurants in England may be greater when 370‐ml glasses are used compared with 300‐ml wine glasses, but may not be in bars. This might be related to restaurants compared with bars selling more wine in bottles and carafes, which require free‐pouring | Addiction, UK

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services (Punitive Sanction Regimes)

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the use of punitive sanction regimes in drug and alcohol treatment services. (S5O-04176) | They work for you, UK

Sobriety Orders

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the voluntary sector about how they might assist with the roll-out of the alcohol, abstinence and monitoring requirement across England and Wales | They work for you, UK

Rough Sleeping - Statement

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on the latest rough sleeping annual statistics for 2019, published today, and the new approach of the Government... | They work for you, UK

Recovering drug addict's defiant plans to set up mobile consumption room

Peter Krykant is taking the law into his own hands, creating a Just Giving page to raise funds to get a ­customised van on the road in three weeks | Daily Record, UK

Gang behind 'UK's largest' illegal tobacco factory jailed

A gang that ran what could be the UK's largest illegal tobacco factory in a £10m fraud scam have been jailed | BBC, UK


International news

63rd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

The dates for the Sixty-third session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna are: 2 - 6 March 2019. Information for participants is now available here, on the official site of the Session | IDPC, UK

Europe’s psychedelic science renaissance has started

...the psychedelic wave has washed ashore again in Europe, and we’re here to witness it first-hand. In this piece, we have attempted to give the most complete overview of the current wave of psychedelic science that’s happening on the European continent | ICPR, UK

Daughter of accused Mexico drug lord El Mencho arrested in US

She was to attend the court hearing of her brother, El Menchito, who is one of forty-one known cartel leaders working in the USA | Independent, UK

Malawi legalises cannabis amid hopes of fresh economic growth

Law change hailed by supporters as chance for country to benefit from rising global demand for medicinal cannabis products | Guardian, UK

Timeline: 25 years of monitoring — selected events from the EMCDDA’s history

Take a journey through some of the key moments in the EMCDDA’s first quarter of a century by following the timeline and checking our main milestones | EMCDDA, Portugal

Minister of Justice Wants to Legalize Alcohol Ads

Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir wants to legalize ads for alcohol, saying banning them isn’t working and discriminates against Icelandic producers. RÚV reports that a parliamentary bill is currently being drafted which, if passed, would make alcohol advertisements legal in Iceland | Iceland Review, Iceland

Study: The Opioid Crisis May Be Far Worse than We Thought

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 | University of Rochester, USA

Opioid use disorder medications improve health outcomes after endocarditis hospitalization

Study shows importance of treating underlying cause of hospitalization to decrease future hospital stays | EurekAlert, USA

House OKs bill banning all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, but Trump promises veto

Key focus for investors ought to be an upcoming FDA deadline for e-cigarette manufacturers, analysts say | MarketWatch, USA

A case study of three people who massively overdosed on LSD

A pair of Canadian researchers, one with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, the other Vancouver Coastal Health, has made headlines with a case study of three people who accidentally massively overdosed on LSD | Medical Xpress, Canada

Are Canadians drinking less as weed gets easier to buy? It’s starting to look that way

Over time, Jonathan Habel’s drinking got heavier — along with his uneasiness about it | Global News, Canada

Drug interactions with cannabinoids: 5 things to know

A practice article provides 5 things to know on how drugs can interact with cannabinoids | EurekAlert, Canada

Pressure for permanent pill-testing service in Canberra after successful festival trials

A shopfront, a discrete corner of a pharmacy, a pop-up site or the back of a van — there are a range of possible options for a permanent pill-testing service in Canberra | abc.net.au, Australia

Vaping crackdown: Advertising ban 'goes against freedom of expression'

A proposed law change prohibiting ads for vaping products and e-cigarettes is "inconsistent" with the right to freedom of expression, the Attorney-General states | Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

Drug deaths are preventable. we must do more

Over the last few days, the Scottish government and the UK government have hosted summits with the aim of identifying solutions to the public health emergency that has seen drug-related deaths reach an all-time high. The latest statistics from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) saw deaths up by 16% from the previous year, to 4359 deaths in England and Wales, the highest since records began | humankind, UK

Listen to the Unsung Heroes of Alcohol & Tobacco Policy: Legalise Cannabis

“The illegal drugs market has long existed but has never caused greater harm to society than now.” That is the dark conclusion that has come out of the release of a major independent review of illegal drug use and supply in the UK | Volte Face, UK

Drugs room veto is only for Scotland

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse denies that drug consumption rooms can play a part in the drug crisis in Scotland, or that they can be allowed in any Scottish city. Yet trials/pilot schemes for addicts to inject heroin have previously been allowed in London, Brighton and Darlington in England | Herald letters, UK

Stewart Paterson: Drugs Summit must lead to action or are we content to let people die?

What did we learn from the two drug deaths summits in Glasgow this week? We learned from listening to people in recovery that to successfully get off and stay off drugs takes a huge amount of effort and requires an enormous amount of support both emotional and practical | Glasgow Times opinion, UK

Rob Pryce on alcohol tax - podcast

Ahead of the 2020 Budget, an analysis of alcohol duties from the Institute of Alcohol Studies has found that far from the protestations of critics, the poorest households in the UK would stand to benefit most from any increases, especially if subsequent revenue is invested in expanding and strengthening the provision of health services. Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group Rob Pryce gives his thoughts on the report | IAS, UK

Vaping increases infection risk by altering oral microbiome

Study finds gum disease or infection found in 42.5 per cent e-cigarette users compared to 28.2 per cent in non-smokers | BBC Science Focus magazine, UK

A Matter of Measure: Tobacco in Seventeenth-Century German Satire

A German broadside published in 1658. Eight vignette etchings and a poem recount the story of tobacco’s arrival in Europe, and its ‘praiseworthy use by some German heroes/as well as the same’s real power and effect’. In the first image Native Americans, some adorned with feathered headdresses and smoking long pipes, appear to dance about with abandon | Intoxicating Spaces blog, UK

“Typhoid Junkie”: Controversies over Contagion and Cure in the Mid-20th Century

It is common today to think about drug addiction as an illness or disorder, and the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis that deserves a robust medical response | Points blog, USA