DS Daily - 16th December 2009


Report on independent scientific advice to government

The Commons Science and Technology Committee publishes its contribution to the Government’s review of the principles that should apply to the treatment of independent scientific advice provided to government [Parliament, UK]

Science and Technology - Third Report

The Government's review of the principles applying to the treatment of independent scientific advice provided to government [Parliament, UK]

Science advisers given right to dissent

While a statement of principles for scientific advisers, published yesterday, recognises their right to dissent publicly from government policy, they will also be required to avoid “undermining mutual trust” [Times, UK]

Drug Treatment Waiting Times July to September 2009

This publication presents data from the Drug Treatment Waiting Times Information
Framework [ISD, Scotland, UK]

Rattling out prescriptions writes off addicts

Keeping drug addicts in jail under control with prescriptions ensures that the marginalised remain disempowered – and costs a fortune. Mark Johnson, a rehabilitated offender and former drug user, and founder of the charity Uservoice [Guardian, UK]

Long-acting naltrexone holds heroin use at bay more effectively than pills

The first trial of implanted versus oral versions of the opiate-blocking drug naltrexone found that in the treatment of heroin dependence, the extended action of the implants helps avoid relapse toregular opiate use [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Legal highs are not a police matter

The penalties meted out to children using legal substances such as mephedrone are outrageous, as is the police involvement [Guardian, UK]

New range of drug leaflets from Addaction

A number of publications to help you feel better-informed about drugs, alcohol and the problems they can cause - available for download [Addaction, UK]

Hooked 26: Social media and drugs work

In Hooked this week we're talking about social media and drugs work. We discuss the need to use these new services to engage with drug users and how they can be helpful for networking and research [Injecting Advice, UK]

Alcohol-related hospital admissions soar by 47% to a million in the last five years

The statistics, uncovered by the Liberal Democrats, show that in 2008/09, 945,223 people were admitted with an alcohol-related diagnosis - 47 per cent higher than the 644,185 taken to hospital in 2004/05 [Daily Mail, UK]

Wales alcohol A&E admissions 'rise 30%'

The number of people admitted to casualty departments with alcohol-related problems has risen by 30% from 2002 to 2008, according to statistics [BBC, UK]

Heavy drinking increases cardiovascular disease risk for men with HIV

Hazardous drinking and alcohol abuse or dependence were significantly associated with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease as compared with infrequent or moderate drinkers”, comment the investigators [Aidsmap, UK]

Calls for health and social care proffessionals to engage with Local Involvement Networks

LINks are made up of individuals and community groups who work together to improve local services. A LINk covers all health and social care services that are commissioned by the NHS and local authorities in an area [NHS, UK]

Centrepoint: 40 years helping the young homeless

In the winter of 1969, a vicar opened the basement of his church in central London's Soho as a temporary night shelter for the homeless [BBC, UK]

Binge drinking soars in Germany

The rise in youth binge drinking in Germany, while not as strong as in Britain, has prompted the government to do more to foster co-operation between schools, local authorities and vendors of alcohol to tackle the problem [AFP]

Alcohol policies out of context

Drinks industry supplanting government role in alcohol policies in sub-Saharan Africa [Addiction Journal]

Drugs to counter hyperactivity

In 1996, 4,000 children were prescribed drugs to counter hyperactivity … but now that figure stands at 72,000 [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

Measure to legalize pot may be on California's November ballot

Supporters say they have enough signatures - about 57% more than the required 433,971 - on a petition to qualify for the ballot. Polls have shown support for legalization among state voters [LA Times, USA]

Council chairman wants swift action on marijuana rules

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said Monday that he wants to move swiftly to establish regulations for distributing medical marijuana now that Congress has voted to lift restrictions on city drug policy [Washington Post, USA]

The slippery slope of marijuana regulation

Social attitudes toward the drug have moved beyond legal and political thinking. According to the most reliable estimates, there are somewhere between 900 and 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries [LA Times, USA]

VAADA Annual Report

The year 2008/09 has provided many challenges for VAADA and our members. The possibility of global recession, which loomed large for much of the past year, had a signifi cant impact on many alcohol and drug services as income from philanthropic foundati ons and trusts diminished. 29-page PDF [VAADA, Australia]

Big jump in cocaine, ecstasy arrests

Drug offences in New South Wales have jumped by up to 50 per cent over the past two years, according to new crime statistics [ABC News, Australia]

Drug abuse a problem for military: AMAQ

Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ) president Mason Stevenson says there are significant problems of substance abuse and mental health within the defence force - but the issue has fallen off the national agenda [ABC News, Australia]

Thailand: Convictions of Police in Drug Campaign Abuse a ‘First Step’

The conviction of eight police officers for crimes in anti-drug operations should be a catalyst for the Thai government to end police abuses, Human Rights Watch said [IHRA]