DS Daily - 11th August 2009


Heavy drinking culture blamed for surge in oral cancers

Growing numbers of 40-somethings are developing mouth, lip and tongue cancer because they drink too much alcohol, Cancer Research UK warns today [Guardian, UK]

Drink blamed for oral cancer rise

Tobacco is, by far, the main risk factor for oral cancer, so it's important that we keep encouraging people to give up and think about new ways to stop people taking it up in the first place [BBC, UK]

Hard drugs haul 'at record level'

More than a tonne of Class A drugs were seized by the Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency last year, the largest amount since it was formed [BBC, UK]

Record £43.5 million of hard drugs seized by 'Scottish FBI'

The agency's eighth annual report revealed that nearly two tonnes of illegal drugs were recovered, more than half of which fell into the class-A category [Scotsman, UK]

Record seizures … but how do we help communities blighted by drugs?

The news yesterday that more than £47m worth of drugs has been seized by the agency in the past year has to be welcomed. But the question remains as to what difference such enforcement is making to communities blighted by drug misuse [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

There are no meaningless busts

For me, there is no such thing as a meaningless bust, especially if you are living next door to a drug dealer. Class-A drugs all carry the potential to bring chaos and misery to individuals, families and communities - Gordon Meldrum, director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

Neil McKeganey's analysis of this story

A key part of the fight against the drugs problem, however, has to be the production of clear and reliable statistics on the quantity of drugs seized. In this regard it is a shame that the SCDEA has produced figures on the amount of Class A drugs seized rather than tell us precisely how much heroin, cocaine and ecstasy has been seized [Scotsman, UK]

The drugs scourge

The significance of the record seizure of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) in the year to April is not in the amount of the haul, staggering though it is at almost one tonne. It is in the fact that the intelligence network which intercepted the drugs - including some consignments before they entered the country - prevented two million deals involving Scottish users [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

Rebuilding Lives on the South Coast - Recovery Through Regeneration

Inexcess was privileged to be invited to the Hope Farm Open Day in Littlehampton, West Sussex. This is a project that brings together fighting homelessness and its associated problems with regeneration of a derelict building and land [Inexcess TV, UK]

Recovery Through Film

We visited Pierpoint House in St.Annes-on-Sea, to meet up with David McCollom who is running a creative media course for people in treatment for addiction [Inexcess TV, UK]

Can you help DrugScope to improve access to psychological therapies?

We are interested in hearing about your experience with IAPT – including any experiences of working with the IAPT programme to facilitate effective working arrangements between drug and alcohol, IAPT services and other local stakeholders. Potentially, these could be showcased nationally by IAPT in supporting the development of best practice [DrugScope, UK]

RCGP: Certificate in the Management of Alcohol Problems in Primary Care

The Substance Misuse Unit of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has now developed a course aimed at treatment and intervention for alcohol related problems in primary care [SMMGP, UK]

Effective strategies for improving and extending evidence-based practice

This comprehensive Australian review garnered the lessons from across health promotion and medical care on how best to improve practice by introducing research-based innovations, and then assessed them for their applicability to substance misuse [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Response to guidelines on burglary offences

Release welcomes the Panel’s view that custodial sentences are not necessarily the most appropriate way to deal with defendants who offend because of drug or alcohol addiction. However, in our opinion the Panel did not go far enough and urged them to acknowledge that dependency does impact on the seriousness of the offence [Release, UK]

Young Adults Today: Key Data

For the first time ever – comprehensive data on the lives of young adults aged 16-25 [Young People in Focus, UK]

Methadone Arrhythmia – Debate Rages On

In the August 2009 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine there is a series of letters highly critical of consensus guidelines on “QTc Interval Screening in Methadone Treatment” published in the journal last spring [Pain Topics, USA]

The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City

Marijuana possession is decriminalized in New York State. Nonetheless, New York City makes more pot arrests than any city in the world [Alternet, USA]

Liverpool 1990 and Sao Paulo 1998 Added to Conference Archive

The archive now includes resources from the inaugural event – the 1st International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm in Liverpool, England in April 1990 – and also from the 9th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm in Sao Paulo, Brazil in March 1998 [IHRA]

Drug Offences

One of the chapters in the [Law handbook, Australia]

Mexico’s Drug Traffickers Continue Trade in Prison

Mexico’s prisons, as described by inmates and insiders and viewed during several visits, are places where drug traffickers find a new base of operations for their criminal empires, recruit underlings, and bribe their way out for the right price [New York Times, USA]

How Opium Profits the Taliban

This report illustrates how—for more than three decades of conflict in Afghanistan—the opium trade has become deeply embedded in the politics of the region. 44-page PDF [United States Institute of Peace]

UK and US hail conviction of Afghan drugs lord

Two opium kingpins who headed Afghanistan's third largest drug network have each been sentenced to 20 years in the biggest ever Afghan drug trial [Telegraph, UK]

Too much money makes it all too difficult to stop drugs trade

There have been no convictions inside Afghanistan against the kingpins making hundreds of millions of dollars at the apex of the country’s drugs pyramid [Times, UK]

Afghan farmers recall poppy riches

For the first time in decades, Afghanistan will be self-sufficient in wheat. The BBC's Bilal Sarwary inspects the harvest of farmers who gave up poppy farming to grow wheat and other crops and asks if they have any regrets [BBC, UK]