Weekly news - 30th November 2018

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In date order, Monday to Friday


UK news

Guidance for drug and alcohol treatment providers and clients

Updated with PHE NDTMS patient information leaflet. Guidelines for drug and alcohol treatment providers on sharing client's information with the National Drug and alcohol Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) | PHE, UK

Study suggests rate of foetal alcohol syndrome disorder higher than thought

Up to 17% of children could have symptoms of FASD through mothers drinking during pregnancy, says new report | Guardian, UK

Public Health Crisis (Drugs and Alcohol)

The next item of business is a debate on motion S5M-14914, in the name of Miles Briggs, on a new approach needed to tackle Scotland’s drugs crisis. I call Miles Briggs to speak to and move the motion | They work for you, UK

Vaping as an alternative to smoking relapse following brief lapse

[Open access] E‐cigarettes are the most popular aid to quitting smoking in the UK. Although many smokers quit, relapse is common. Historically, the literature has reported strong associations between tobacco smoking lapse and relapse following a quit attempt. This article aims to explore how smoking lapse is experienced by those who vape to quit smoking | Drug and Alcohol Review, UK

Smoking banned in Scottish prisons

It is estimated about 72% of Scottish prisoners smoke regularly, although sales of tobacco ceased in last week in preparation for the ban on Friday | BBC, UK

Met police chief rejects calls to boost stop-and-search powers

At London assembly Cressida Dick spurns calls to lower level of suspicion needed by police | Guardian, UK

Ed Farmer: Expel students who defy initiations ban, says dad

Students who defy university rules to organise alcohol-heavy "initiation" events should be kicked out, according to the father of a student who died | BBC, UK

How to Involve People Who Use Drugs in Your Organization

Advocates at the Drugs Research Network Scotland conference in Glasgow this week circulated a striking two-page pamphlet: “How to Involve People Who Use Drugs.” | Filter Magazine, USA

PSHE KS2: A brother's involvement with drugs

Joe is worried his brother might be involved with drugs | BBC Teach, UK

Teen jailed over friends' Basshunter gig MDMA deaths

A teenager has been jailed for supplying the MDMA that killed two of his friends | BBC, UK

Two arrests after Potters Bar cannabis factory raid

Two people have been arrested after a cannabis factory with a crop potentially worth £95,000 was found | BBC, UK


International news

Why are more Americans than ever dying from drug overdoses?

Deaths from drug overdoses in the US reached staggering new heights in 2017, according to newly published figures. Trump called the crisis a “national shame and human tragedy” – but what is fuelling it? | Guardian, UK

Americans dying younger as drug overdoses and suicides rise, report finds

Life expectancy declined in 2017, falling to 78.6 years – the third straight year it has declined in the US | Guardian, UK

The Deadly Truth of New Drugs Cocktail - video

The US government has warned that a surge in cocaine deaths is being exacerbated by the presence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 80-100 times stronger than morphine | BBC, UK

Additions to the Effectiveness Bank 29 November 2018

Successes and struggles of implementing harm reduction - peer administration of the ‘overdose antidote’ naloxone in Scotland, and provision of safer injecting facilities across Europe. From Canada, the potential risks of promoting rapid and widespread exit from methadone maintenance. Finally, can the principles of opioid substitute prescribing be applied to people dependent on amphetamines? | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

Three police jailed for 40 years in first conviction over Philippine drug war killings

A Philippine court found three police officers guilty on Thursday of killing a student they alleged was a drug dealer, in the first known such conviction under the president's deadly crackdown on drugs | Telegraph, UK

Drunk pilot who tried to fly plane at Heathrow while ten times over limit caught after gargling mouthwash

A drunk Japanese pilot who attempted to fly a passenger jet from Heathrow was caught gargling mouthwash to cover up the smell of alcohol on his breath | Telegraph, UK

US family sues Cancun resort over 'poisonous' alcohol death

A Wisconsin family is suing a luxury resort in Mexico and a bookings site, claiming tainted alcohol caused the death of their 20-year-old daughter | BBC, UK

One pint of beer or glass of wine could put you over drink driving limit

Drinking even one pint of beer or one glass of wine could put you over the limit for drink driving is the warning from the Medical Bureau of Road Safety as a Christmas and New Year safety appeal is launched today | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Malaysia death penalty abolition opens door to drug policy review

Campaign to legalise use of medical cannabis gathers momentum in the country known for draconian approach to drugs | Al Jazeera, Qatar

Babies born in withdrawal new complication in opioid cases

The expansive court case seeking to hold drugmakers responsible for the nation's opioid crisis has a new complication: How does it deal with claims covering the thousands of babies born addicted to the drugs? | Medical Xpress, USA

Shut-Down of Orange County Needle Exchange Program a Win for Backwards Thinking

One step forward, two back. The day after a federal judge issued a groundbreaking order for an incarcerated man to retain access to methadone in Massachusetts, an injunction in California halted the operations of the Orange County Needle Exchange Program | Filter Magazine, USA

Needle exchanges help combat the opioid crisis. But officials keep shutting them down

Stigma triumphs over evidence, even at the height of an opioid epidemic | Vox, USA

Online now: Key findings from the 2018 Drug Trends state interviews

Key findings from the 2018 Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) and Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) jurisdictional interviews are available online now | NDARC, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Chemsex and PrEP reliance are fuelling a rise in syphilis among men who have sex with men

No one is entirely sure about the origins of syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. The first recorded outbreak in Europe appeared during the 1495 invasion of Naples, where it led to widespread disease and death, particularly among troops on the French side | Conversation, UK

My Label and Me: Alcoholic

It’s the stock photo of a bloke sat at a kitchen table in front of a whisky bottle with his head in his hands. It’s a weapon in the hands of an aggrieved child describing a parent | Metro, UK

Medical MDMA: Radical but reasonable

Recently, British regulators and lawmakers have started to acknowledge the health benefits of certain, previously banned, substances. Cannabidiol (one of the chemical constituents of cannabis but with virtually all of the stuff that gets you high – THC – removed) has been legal since 2017 | Liberal Democrat Voice, UK

Decriminalise Drug Possession: An Interview With Former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer

Calls for reforms to the approach Australian governments take to illicit drugs are growing stronger. The idea that personal drug use and possession should be treated primarily as a health and social issue, and not a criminal offence, is starting to become commonplace | Sydney Criminal Lawyers blog, Australia