Weekly news - 26th May 2017


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In date order, Monday to Friday

Cigarettes sold in plain green packs under new rules

New rules have come into force which mean cigarettes and tobacco must be sold in plain green packets and carry graphic health warnings | BBC, UK

New laws in UK ‘stifling vaping’s success’ in curbing smoking

Customers put off by rules on nicotine strength could return to cigarettes | Guardian, UK

'Low tar' or 'light' cigarettes are 'MORE' likely to give smokers lung cancer

Experts investigated why rates of adenocarcinoma, a tumour that grows deep in the lungs, had gone up in recent years while cases of other lung cancers had dropped as more people gave up smoking | Mirror, UK

Two-thirds of charities subsidising public sector contracts to survive

New research warns of increasingly dysfunctional relationship between charities and the state amid budget cuts | Guardian, UK

'Half a glass of wine every day' increases breast cancer risk

Further evidence has emerged of the link between alcohol consumption in women and an increased risk of breast cancer | BBC, UK

Six UK music festivals are to allow drug testing including Reading and Leeds

At least six UK music festivals are expected to allow people to test their illegal drugs this summer | BBC, UK

Mortality matters – but how much does it matter?

The unwelcome arrival of fentanyl onto the UK heroin market made this important Addaction conference even more timely. But hand-wringing is not enough. What needs to be done? | DrugWise Blog, UK

Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Of the more than 12,000 people who reported taking psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016, just 0.2% of them said they needed emergency medical treatment – a rate at least five times lower than that for MDMA, LSD and cocaine | Guardian, UK

Cannabis dominates under-18s treatment in England

The diminishing youth treatment caseload in England is increasingly dominated by under-18s primarily being treated for cannabis use problems as the numbers of primary problem drinkers falls away to just 15% of the caseload | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families Local Data Report

Through its document Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, the Government is setting a vision for local service transformation, to support families facing multiple disadvantages which adversely impact on child outcomes. [Includes a chapter on alcohol and other drugs] | DWP, UK

Cancer Research UK - Smokers will spend around £2000 a year on cigarettes as plain, standardised packs come into full force

Alongside standardised packaging, a series of new regulations and taxes also mean smokers are paying more for a pack of cigarettes than ever before. The average smoker will now spend more than £2000* each year fuelling their addiction.  That’s enough to fill a family’s food trolley for six months, buy a pair of Premier League season tickets, or even take the kids to Disneyland | Third Sector, UK

Cannabis isn’t the health problem - it’s the tobacco you mix with it

Europe may seem like an increasingly divided continent, but there is one thing that unites its people: an obsession with using tobacco to smoke cannabis. Up to 90% of Europeans combine tobacco with cannabis, according to the latest Global Drug Survey. By comparison, only 8% of Americans smoke cannabis this way | Conversation, UK

Fact Check: do the police spend over a million hours a year fighting cannabis?

Nick Clegg, former Liberal Democrat leader, commenting on Twitter on May 15 on the party’s election pledge to legalise cannabis | Conversation, UK

Interesting new drug facts (May 2017)

Attitudes to alcohol | Russell Webster, UK

GDS highlights 2017 - video

Here are some of the highlights from Global Drug Survey 2017 introduced by GDS founder and CEO Dr Adam Winstock | GDS, UK

Cocaine is getting stronger, drug experts warn

There's a warning cocaine in the UK is getting stronger - and more users are ending up in hospital | BBC Newsbeat, UK

Lib Dems Promise Legal Cannabis, but Reception Proves to be a Mixed Bag

In an interview with Buzzfeed News last week, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Julian Huppert revealed that the party intends to fully legalise and regulate the production, sale, and use of cannabis, should they secure a shock victory in the upcoming General Election | Volte Face, UK

North East councils run £1.3m alcohol and tobacco 'de-normalisation' campaign

PR is at the heart of a new push to reduce levels of smoking and drinking in North East England, with some £1.3m being spent this year on tobacco control and alcohol "de-normalisation" | PR Week, UK

Lords’ Licensing Act Review: what are the odds for change?

It’s more than a month since The House of Lords select committee published proposals for a “major overhaul” of the 2003 Licensing Act. But how many of the Lords’ recommendations are likely to be implemented by the next Government? | Morning Advertiser, UK

Colin Drummond: Cuts to addiction services in England are a false economy

“Savings” in specialist services are increasing pressure elsewhere in the NHS, says Colin Drummond | BMJ Blog, UK

Proportion of UK drug users using dark net to buy drugs 'doubles in three years'

'We're talking about 15-year-olds getting hold of LSD. It's a complete disaster' | Independent, UK

Novel Psychoactive Substances synthetic cannabinoids in prison and community including best practice treatment approaches

The use of new psychoactive substances [NPS] in prisons has been recognised as an increasing problem for several years. Successive Chief Inspectors of Prisons and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman have drawn attention to the impact on prisons, prison staff and prisoners themselves from the use of NPS | SMMGP, UK

Alcohol availability in England: trends, patterns and policy implications

A recent study from the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group highlights how widely available alcohol is in England, and how this has changed in the last decade | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Global Drug Policy 2017: Key findings for Scotland

The 2017 report spoke to 120,000 people in over 50 global nations and spoke to 708 people in Scotland | SDF, UK

An Antidote For Spice Overdoses

Use of synthetic cannabinoids (aka ‘Spice’), as reported extensively in the mainstream media, has recently become a major problem among the homeless community and in prisons. Spice is cheap, hard to detect, has hugely variable levels of potency and comes with some severe adverse effects | Volte Face, UK

'Legal High' incidents fall dramatically following ban

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of emergency calls to treat people in the North East taking so-called 'legal highs', since the drugs were banned a year ago today | ITV, UK

A&E departments under pressure from drug users

People addicted to cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol are having to attend accident and emergency departments because most drugs services are focused on heroin, according to an expert | Herald, UK

Cocaine more addictive than first thought, study finds

People who use cocaine “recreationally” may be closer to becoming addicted than they think, a study has warned | Guardian, UK