Weekly news - 21st April 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

'It's worse than heroin': how spice is ravaging homeless communities

As Manchester police report a spike in spice-related incidents, homeless people say highly addictive drug is causing deaths | Guardian, UK

West Yorkshire police drugs warning after two further deaths

Two men have died in what are thought to be drugs-related incidents as West Yorkshire Police issued a warning to drugs users | BBC, UK

Heartbroken mum releases shocking pictures of teenage son in coma after taking prescription drug Lyrica

Jane Brown, 45, described son Geordie, 16, as 'one of the lucky ones' after he woke from a coma in intensive care when he took the substance | Mirror, UK

Northern Ireland drug addiction services 'overwhelmed'

A Belfast GP has said that drug addiction services in Northern Ireland are overwhelmed and it is time for a multi-agency approach | BBC, UK

Blue Light Project: Year 1 (PDF)

The focus of this project is the ‘Blue Light’ clients those higher risk and dependent drinkers who are not only treatment resistant but are also placing a significant burden on emergency services such as the Police, EMAS and A&E | Lincolnshire County Council, UK

Stressed teachers are becoming reliant on caffeine, alcohol and prescription drugs, poll suggests

Stress at work is leading some teachers to become increasingly reliant on caffeine, alcohol and prescription drugs, while a number have seen relationships breakdown, it has been suggested | Telegraph, UK

Drinking-cut target to tackle 'devastating' alcohol impact

Scots should cut the amount of alcohol they drink by at least 10 per cent over the next decade because of the “devastating impact” alcohol abuse has on public services and communities, according to campaigners | Herald, UK

Smoking ban in beer gardens and al-fresco dining areas rejected by ministers

Asmoking ban in beer gardens and al-fresco dining areas has been blocked by the Government after ministers warned they would infringe on people's freedom and lead to pub closures | Telegraph, UK

MoJ to launch unit cracking down on drones smuggling drugs into jails

New hit squad set to tackle rising number of incidents while prisons minister vows to put people orchestrating drop-offs ‘behind bars’ | Guardian, UK

Tune Into VICE All Next Week for a Smoking Hot Special Series: 'Weed Week'

Do you enjoy the weed? You like puffing a bit of the waccy-baccy? Are you in favour of "freeing the herb"? Or, in fact, do you have a fairly debilitating medical condition for which cannabis is the best medicine? | VICE, UK

Charities see psychoactive drug addiction rise

Two Welsh charities claim to have seen an increase in the number of people approaching them with addictions to psychoactive drugs | BBC, UK

Smoking, drinking and drug use trends among young people in England

Updated resource gives overview of drug use data for young people and tips for effective school-based drug education | Mentor, UK

Is NICE guidance evidence-bound; can AA plug resource gaps in local treatment systems?

One of 25 cells in the Alcohol Treatment Matrix. Discusses key research relating to the roles of psychosocial therapies in local treatment systems. Twin foci are the research credentials of guidance from the UK’s official health advisory body (NICE) and whether commissioners can rely on mutual aid groups to square the circle of doing more with less | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Children in pubs

This Library Briefing Paper and report looks at alcohol licensing and children | Parliament.uk, UK

Want to give up smoking? NHS launches to campaign to show where you can get help

NHS Wales is launching a campaign to make it easier for people to find help if they want to give up smoking | ITV, UK

Recent ban on smoking in cars with children receives backing from majority of Scottish smokers

Anti-smoking charity, Action on Smoking Health (ASH) Scotland, said that the YouGov survey showed recent legislation and initiatives around smoking and public health were proving “popular” with smokers and non-smokers alike | Herald, UK

Two saved in Yorkshire drug deaths spate

Detectives investigating four drugs-related deaths in South Yorkshire have said two other people were taken "gravely ill" | BBC, UK

Teen death in Deal from prescription drug fentanyl

A teenager was killed by a prescription drug 50 times stronger than heroin, a toxicology report has confirmed | BBC, UK

Say why to drugs: prescription opioids

Podcast | Suzi Cage, UK

May 2017 – Addiction Journal Current Issue

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue | Addiction, UK

Spice is a terrifying drug, but panic won’t make it go away

Its effects include seizures, near-catatonic trips – and death. Rather than demonising users, we should look at why they are driven to take the drug | Guardian CIF, UK

Marijuana only rarely causes psychosis, says expert

There appears to be only a low chance of developing psychosis as a result of using cannabis, a review of existing research has suggested | Independent, UK

Fentanyl warning after spate of drug-related deaths

A spate of drug-related deaths has prompted a warning about contaminated heroin in Yorkshire and Teesside | BBC, UK

What does an LSD-style drug-induced 'higher state of consciousness' feel like?

The effects of psychedelic drugs can lead to colours seeming more vivid and things seeming more beautiful | Guardian, UK