DS Daily - 18th December 2009


Anthrax Alert for Drug Injecting Heroin Users

Blood tests from a drug injecting heroin user who died yesterday at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow have shown the presence of anthrax [NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, UK]

Afghanistan Opium Survey 2009

The Afghanistan Opium Survey 2009 confirms that market forces are moving against the Afghan drugs trade as prices, revenues and excess production have put a damper on supply. 147-page PDF [UNODC]

Afghan Opium Survey: export value of Afghan opium is falling

The potential gross export value of Afghanistan's opiates is down 18 per cent, from US$ 3.4 billion in 2008 to US$ 2.8 billion in 2009 - an equivalent of around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product [UNODC]

European drug prevention quality standards: consultations

The Prevention Standards Partnership, a collaboration of organisations across Europe, is currently developing European quality standards for drug prevention programmes. In spring 2010, consultations will be held with drug professionals to discuss a set of draft standards. Expressions of interest to participate in the consultations are now taken. More details [Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, UK]

Holistic family therapy helps young teens and their families get back on track

Compared to a typical group therapy model, holistic family therapy helped younger teens and their families get back on track before substance use escalated - but was substance use really their focal problem? [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

My son died from solvent abuse

In 1988, Barbara Skinner's son Darren died, aged 16, after sniffing solvent from a can of deodorant. She tells Stuart Jeffries about her 20-year campaign to warn others about the dangers of substance abuse from products sold over the counter [Guardian, UK]

Community order for cocaine rabbi

A multi-millionaire rabbi who admitted spending a £1,000 a week "on the best cocaine in town" has been ordered to do 60 days of community work [BBC, UK]

£1.3m cocaine in ‘biscuit load’ smuggler jailed for 15 years

A man, who attempted to smuggle 32 kilos of cocaine with a street value of £1.3 million into the UK in a lorry loaded with biscuits, has been jailed for fifteen years today [HM Revenue & Customs, UK]

Gartnavel Hep C clinic open

The centre is an example of the Scotland-wide efforts being made to improve treatment, care and support services for those affected by Hepatitis C [Scottish Government, UK]

Middle-class women hit bottle hardest

Highly-educated, professional women drink more often and more heavily than almost any other female group, a new study has found [Times, UK]

Police prepare for festive Friday before Christmas

Police and paramedics across Wales are preparing for one of the busiest party nights of the year [BBC, UK]

Social networking sites targeted in alcohol campaign

A panel of young Scots are set to call for social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo to be more responsible about alcohol [The Scotsman, UK]

15 cigarettes: all it takes to harm genes

Study reveals the genetic mutations suffered by smokers who go on to develop lung cancer [Independent, UK]

Concern as drug rehab projects have funding axed

Nearly 40 drug rehabilitation projects are having their funding axed, and 11 face closure, a Dáil committee was told yesterday [Irish Examiner]

Judge slapped for bias in pot case

Appeal court condemns 'personal diatribe' over Canada's drug policy [The Star, Canada]

Alarm over lethal new 'party drug'

Melbourne crime syndicates are marketing a dangerous liquid industrial solvent as a "harmless" party drug, risking widespread overdoses, a police investigation has revealed [The Age, Australia]

The law-enforcers don't have to be the fun-police

Police plan another booze blitz this weekend and also have additional powers given to them this year to search people, or move them on. But this stronger arm of the law is not a trend we should easily accept. At what point do we allow the police to become the fun-police? [The Age, Australia]

The terrible risk of one too many

Drink-drivers are still out there, despite changing public perceptions. Sadly, the spectre of the 'booze bus', ingrained into our collective conscience by countless high-profile ad campaigns, seems to have little effect on some people [The Age, Australia]