DS Daily - 31st August 2009


There were two separate reports last week that reported drug related deaths.

To avoid any confusion these are listed again below ...

Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales, 2008

The number of deaths related to drug poisoning, which includes deaths involving both legal and illegal drugs, for males was 2,075 in 2008, an increase of 8 per cent compared to 2007 and the highest number since 2001 [Office of National Statistics, UK]

Drug Related Deaths in the UK Annual Report 2009

An annual report which analyses drug-related deaths that have occurred in the preceding calendar year and comments on emerging trends. An executive summary of the annual report is also published [International Centre for Drug Policy St George's, London University, UK]

Working document for developing a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol

This working document is intended to be the basis for continued collaboration and consultation with Member States during the drafting of the global strategy. 27-page PDF [World Health Organisation]

"Booze ASBOs" call time on problem drinkers

Tough new powers to crack down on people responsible for alcohol-fuelled crime and antisocial behaviour have come into force, Home Office Minister Alan Campbell announced today [Home Office, UK]

Magistrates attack plans for 'alcohol asbos' to tackle drunken behaviour

A government policy to fine drunken troublemakers up to £2,500 under a new system of "alcohol asbos" introduced today has been rubbished by magistrates whose job it is to impose them [Guardian, UK]

New licensing laws come into force

Scots will have more scope to influence who is allowed to sell alcohol as a result of new laws that come into force this week [Scottish Government, UK]

Missed opportunity

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, which comes into force tomorrow, is intended to streamline the licensing of both off-sales and on-sale premises and tackle alcohol abuse, especially among the young, without undermining legitimate businesses. Arguably, it fails on all three counts [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

Muddled attempt to end Scotland’s battle with alcohol

With so much of those early intentions now moved into other longer-term legislation, diluted or just abandoned, Scotland is left with little more than a muddled attempt to make its licensed trade more accountable, a process which has descended into administrative meltdown and forced many out of business because of the burdens of bureaucracy [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

Licensees forced to pay £60m to comply with new alcohol laws

Drinks retailers have spent £60 million to comply with a key part of Scotland's flagship alcohol legislation that comes into force this week [The Scotsman, UK]

SNP accused of drink crackdown by stealth

Ministers have been accused of making changes to alcohol laws "by stealth" after it emerged that new legislation aimed at tackling binge drinking can apply to off-licences [The Scotsman, UK]

New handbook highlights fall in UK alcohol consumption

When it comes to separating the myths from the facts around alcohol consumption in the UK, this new handbook provides much food for thought. Some of the new BBPA statistics are at odds with claims of ever rising growth in UK alcohol consumption per head [British Beer & Pub Association, UK]

Binge drinkers treated in A&E at rate of one per minute

A drunk is being admitted to casualty almost every minute in England, as the binge drinking epidemic spirals out of control [Daily Mail, UK]

September is the new January

English drinkers vow to cut back after holiday boozing [DoH, UK]

GBL ban threatens to overwhelm drug detox services in the NHS

Health services in Scotland will struggle to cope with addicts who want to stop using the chemical GBL after plans were unveiled to ban the substance, experts have predicted [Scotsman, UK]

Officials claiming victory in war on substance abuse

Health officials in Wales could be winning the war on drugs after deaths from substance abuse plunged by a fifth in 12 months [Wales on Sunday, UK]

Official figures vindicate Addiction Today

This week, Addiction Today was authoritatively validated, with the publication of the latest drug death figures by the Office for National Statistics and St George’s University/International Centre for Drug Policy. Drug deaths are the highest in eight years [Addiction Today, UK]

Ban on drugs is not the solution to rising death toll

A fresh look at our drugs laws is needed more than ever. The current classification system is outdated and insignificant to most young people - Liam Turbett, Scottish Socialist Youth [Letter - The Herald, Scotland, UK]

Risk Reduction for Sex Workers

Claudia Bellocq is a former sex worker currently working as a harm reduction practitioner & holistic therapist [Injecting Advice, UK]

Clearing the Smoke on Cannabis: Cannabis Use and Driving

This is the third in a series of reports that reviews the effects of cannabis use on various aspects of human functioning and development. In this report, the effects of cannabis use on driving are discussed. 8-page PDF [CCSA, Canada]

A Frank Analysis of Canada's Newest Drug Policy Approach

A libertarian look at Canada's drug treatment courts [Canada's Journal of Ideas]

The Libertarian Case for Decriminalization

In this essay, I explain what it would mean to establish a free-market in drugs in Canada [Canada's Journal of Ideas]

Successful Treatment of Physicians With Addictions

Research repeatedly has shown that physicians generally fare much better than the general public following addiction treatment ... approximately 75% to 85% are able to return to work, do not use drugs, and lead a productive life [Psychiatric Times, USA]

Photo-essay ... The Fall of Africa's First Narco-State

Cocaine trafficking has turned Guinea Bissau into Africa’s first narco-state, and a lucrative source of cash for Hezbollah and al Qaida as well as South American drug cartels [Pulitzer Centre, USA]

Religiosity and decreased risk of substance use disorders: is the effect mediated by social support or mental health status?

Using a large, nationally representative community sample, we found a highly significant, negative relationship between religiosity and the presence of a substance use disorder in the past year. 10-page PDF [Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology Online]