Daily news - 2nd December 2015

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UK news

New test for Spice legal high will be 'game changer', says prison minister

Ministry of Justice will be able to detect prisoners using the synethic drug from early next year | Telegraph, UK

Prisons to introduce tests for legal highs in bid to reduce violence

Prisons minister tells MPs the tests will detect substances such as spice and black mamba that are linked to rising levels of disorder | Guardian, UK

Two-thirds of drink-drivers would abstain if limit was lower, survey finds

Royal Society for Public Health says poll is evidence that rest of UK should adopt lower limit of 50mg per 100ml already in force in Scotland | Guardian, UK

Cannabis farms fuel human trafficking, report says

There is a continued link between the commercial cultivation of cannabis, modern slavery and people living without legal permission to remain in the UK, according to a new report by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (PDF) | Guardian, UK

Cocaine users with social consciences targeted in new campaign

Police believe some taking drug don’t understand consequences for communities in coca growing countries | Guardian, UK

#EveryLineCounts campaign: Cocaine users urged to consider impact

A UK campaign to highlight the harm caused by the production and distribution of cocaine is being launched by the National Crime Agency | BBC, UK

Late diagnosis of HIV in the United Kingdom: An evidence review

Late diagnosis of HIV remains an important public health issue in the UK, with 40% of newly diagnosed individuals in 2014 diagnosed late. This report presents a rapid review on the published evidence on late diagnosis in the UK including the characteristics of those diagnosed late, individual and professional barriers to prompt diagnosis and interventions to reduce late diagnosis of HIV | CPH at LJMU, UK

Having trouble giving up smoking? Blame your genes

Some people may have a get-out clause when it comes to giving up cigarettes. A third of white people who smoke have gene variations that make it harder for them to kick the habit | New Scientist, UK

Tobacco - BBC Radio iPlayer

Nick asks if you think it's time to ban smoking in public places | BBC Radio Norfolk, UK

New study from Beckley collaboration supports therapeutic potential of Ayahuasca by showing increased mindfulness

Beckley Foundation collaborator Jordi Riba and his team at Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona have just published a study in the journal Psychopharmacology, co-authored by the Beckley’s Executive Director, Amanda Feilding, which shows that one of the ways ayahuasca achieves its reported therapeutic effects is by increasing people’s capacity for mindfulness – the same capacity that is cultivated through regular meditation practice | Beckley Foundation, UK

HIV and AIDS in Liverpool 2014

This report presents information on HIV treatment and care of Liverpool residents living with HIV. The year 2014 saw a total of 537 HIV positive Liverpool residents accessing treatment and care from statutory treatment centres in Liverpool, Greater Manchester and Cumbria and Lancashire. There were 77 new cases reported in 2014 a 20% increase from 2013 (64 new cases) | CPH at LJMU, UK

New campaign seeks to tackle underage drinking in Highlands

The region's number of under 15s taking alcohol remains above the national average, according to the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership | BBC, UK

Help us step up the campaign for statutory PSHE

Here at Mentor we are continuing our campaign, alongside PSHE Association and other organisations in the field, to persuade the Government of the need for statutory PSHE education | Mentor, UK

Marsh Christian Trust Volunteer Award winners 2015

The Marsh Volunteer Award is one way in which we at Addaction thank our volunteers who have done truly exceptional things in our services. The fourth annual occasion will honour four regional winners at a reception in the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday 2nd of December 2015 | Addaction, UK

Three jailed for transporting drugs into Carlisle

Three men have been jailed for transporting thousands of pounds worth of heroin | BBC, UK

Judge's anger at being 'unable to protect public' from serial drink-driver who is a 'death in waiting'

Birmingham judge bemoans sentencing powers that leave him unable to impose a 'sentence that is deserved' in case of 'deadly' drink-driver | Telegraph, UK

Suicide prevention: suicides in public places

This document is part of Public Health England’s ongoing programme of work to support the government’s suicide prevention strategy | PHE, UK


International news

Drug addiction: The maps showing where cocaine, cannabis, heroin and amphetamines are the biggest problem

Scotland was found to have the highest percentage of adult population using cocaine in the world | Independent, UK

How Do Cartels Get Drugs into the US? - BBC iPlayer radio

In November the US Drug Enforcement Administration issued its Drug Threat Assessment. Mexican ‘transnational criminal organisations’, it said, are the primary suppliers of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana to the United States | BBC World Service, UK

Big tobacco targets the young in poor countries – with deadly consequences

As smoking rates decline in the west, the tobacco industry is pouring marketing resources into developing countries, in particular trying to draw in young people | Guardian, UK

Wealthy Arab found dead after Dorchester hotel cocaine binge

Inquest hears Kuwati Sultan Aldabbous, 38, was found dead when police arrived at the Mayfair hotel where suites cost up to £2,000 a night | Telegraph, UK

Taking the initiative in facing up to alcohol addiction

Dependence on alcohol and other drugs is so prevalent in Ireland that it is often ignored – but the time has come to start a conversation about it, say doctors | Irish Times, Ireland

Minister: Children could touch syringes on Dublin streets

Minister with responsibility for National Drugs Strategy says he wants to see legislation for medically-supervised injection centres introduced as soon as possible | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Higher cigarette taxes linked to fewer infant deaths

Higher taxes and prices for cigarettes are strongly associated with lower infant mortality rates in the United States, according to a new study from Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan released Dec. 1 in the journal Pediatrics | EurekAlert, USA

Marijuana Legalization 2015: Major Pot Activist Quits Marijuana Policy Project, Says Industry Is Taking Over Movement

November was dizzying month in the marijuana movement, one whose impact will be felt for years to come. California inched closer to full legalization with the unveiling of a well-funded, heavily endorsed 2016 ballot initiative | IBTimes, USA

Harsh Drugs Laws, Rising HIV Rates, and Indonesia's Battle Over Both

Mira Febriyanti shoulders a backpack stuffed with needles as she steps onto the soft ground of a trash-strewn lot. In the distance, white smoke rises from a garbage fire smoldering in the afternoon rain | VICE, USA

Safe injecting sites will save lives and money - video

CityNews reporter Avery Haines tells us a medical researcher in Toronto says the controversial program would save save $43-million in health costs because of reduced HIV and Hepatitis C infections | City News, Canada

National scheme to regulate medicinal cannabis growers

The Turnbull government will introduce a national scheme to legalise medicinal cannabis by licensing growers next year, which could pave the way for a local industry | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Music industry prepares campaign to soften lockouts

The live music industry is preparing to lobby for a softening of Sydney's lockout and last drinks laws, ahead of the state government's planned review of the rules in February | Age, Australia

Rainbow Serpent Festival wants to test ecstasy pills

A Melbourne music festival attended by more than 10,000 revellers each year- Rainbow Serpent- could be the first to introduce pill testing in the wake of recent drug deaths | Age, Australia

Binge drinking vs drinking every day: which is more damaging to your health?

Hang around an inner-city emergency department on a Friday night and you will see the damage binge drinking can cause. Bloody knuckles, broken noses, black eyes and worse — fractured limbs and fractured lives | abc.net.au, Australia

Drug and alcohol connections newsletter

A joint publication of the collaborative network of alcohol and other drug research centres with latest news | NDARC, NDRI, NCETA, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Turning Point's Mark Shepperd releases statement for World AIDS Day

‘There are still many myths that surround HIV and AIDS, so on World AIDS Day we’re encouraging the people we support to be better informed; to take control and get tested | Turning Point, UK

Helen Bygrave: More people, more time, better data—what we need to “treat all” with HIV

On World AIDS Day and with the ICASA conference ongoing, Helen Bygrave discusses the implications of the recently announced World Health Organization (WHO) “treat all” policy | BMJ Blog, UK

10 Ways to do Cannabis Policy Reform Right

Cannabis legalisation has finally been realized in various states and nations and it is expected that this trend should continue for quite some time | Transform Blog, UK

'Anyone's Child' at the Drug Policy Alliance Reform Conference

Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control’, were delighted to attend this year’s Drug Policy Alliance Reform conference in Washington DC thanks, in large part, to the Open Society Foundations scholarship programme which enabled myself, Anne-Marie Cockburn and Cara Lavan from the project to attend | Transform Blog, UK

What is ‘Drug Checking’ and Why Do We need It in Australia?

This weekend saw the tragic death of a young woman after she took an unidentified tablet at the Stereosonic music festival. Drug-related deaths of this type are not uncommon in Australia, and this raises the question of whether our approach to harm minimisation needs reform | Talking Drugs Blog, UK

Mind and meaning: Decriminalising Drugs

The Minister of State for the National Drugs Strategy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is considering decriminalising heroin, cocaine and cannabis. In other words, possessing small amounts for personal use will no longer be an offence | Independent, Ireland

Drugs on the Small Screen

It is often said that we are in the midst of a new golden age of television. A remarkable abundance of compelling stories and indelible characters on the small screen has captivated American audiences, fostering new trends in how and where we consume visual media. It seems that everything these days is must-see TV | Points: Blog of the alcohol and drugs history society, USA