DS Daily - 17th July 2009


Release response to new guidelines on drug offences

Release has submitted its response to the Sentencing Advisory Panel’s consultation on sentencing for drug offences.  The response elaborates on limiting the use of custodial sentences for drug offenders, attempting to take some of the panels recommendations further towards a more comprehensive way of rehabilitating drug users. [Release, UK]

Government spends £4million on methadone vending machines for prisons

Ministers are spending £4 million on a programme to install 'vending machines' in prisons to supply drug-addicted offenders with methadone, a substitute drug used to wean addicts off heroin. [Telegraph, UK]

Child drug overdoses up 14 per cent in four years

The number of children being admitted to hospital as a result of drug poisoning has increased by 14 per cent in the past four years, figures obtained by CYP Now show. [Children and Young People Now]

Moves to ban fatal ‘party drug’

So-called "party drug" GBL is being banned for human consumption as quickly as possible, the government has said. [BBC, UK]

Professional rugby bodies set up joint party to tackle illicit drugs

The three bodies that run professional rugby in England intend to adopt a joint policy on out-of-competition testing for illicit drugs. [Guardian, UK]

Crime in England and Wales 2008/09 (PDF)

Volume 1 includes section on the ‘influence of alcohol and drugs’ on recorded crime.

Volume 1 - Findings from the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime (PDF)
Volume 2 - Explanatory notes and classifications (PDF)

Also available: accompanying tables and reports [Home Office, UK]

The challenge is not becoming drug free but to have a meaningful lifestyle

The lecture, It’s Their Own Fault For Doing Drugs, was based upon 25 years working in the drugs field – initially as a probation officer and drugs worker before studying the issue as an academic. [Wales Online]

PM hears case for Impact Assessment on drugs law

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has held a meeting with Drugs Policy campaigning group Transform, and Lembit Öpik, Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire to hear the case for an impact assessment of drug laws. [TDPF, UK]

Elite anti-drugs team in fake goods lecture

Scotland’s elite crime fighting unit was criticised yesterday for “dumbing down” its role in the war on drugs.[Daily Express, UK]

Responsible drinking campaign targets young people

£100m campaign to be run through pubs, bars and off-licences aims to change young people's binge drinking culture [Guardian, UK]

900 children suffered mental health problems linked to alcohol in a year

More than 900 children with alcohol-related psychological and behavioural problems were admitted to hospital in one year, official figures have revealed. [Herald, UK]

Signs for improvementcommissioning interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm (PDF)

This guidance is designed to direct commissioners in areas where tackling alcohol harm is an identified priority, to the resources and guidance, which will assist them in commissioning interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm in their local community. [Department of Health, UK]

Record rate of bad reactions from taking online drugs

The medicines watchdog has warned that thousands of people are putting their health at serious risk by buying drugs online, after reporting the highest recorded level of adverse reactions in a single year.  [Irish Examiner]

Teenage mental health: what helps and what hurts? (PDF)

Includes discussion on one workshop dedicated to the role played by drink and drugs in negatively impacting on mental health. [Office of the Minister for Children and Youth affairs, Ireland]

Proceedings from conference on young people’s drinking (PDF)

The international conference, Social Norms Forum: Power of Positive Perceptions was held on 31 March, 2009 with the purpose of discussing social norms techniques to reduce risky drinking among youth. [Social Norms Forum, EU]

New study uses wastewater to map large-scale patterns of drug use

A team of researchers has mapped patterns of illicit drug use across the US state of Oregon using a method of sampling municipal wastewater before it is treated. [Addiction, USA]

Sexual orientation, substance use behaviours and substance use in the USA

Aims to assess past-year prevalence rates of substance use behaviours and substance dependence across three major dimensions of sexual orientation (identity, attraction and behaviour) in a large national sample of adult women and men in the United States. [Addiction, USA]

Implementing Change in substance abuse treatment programs

Written for substance abuse treatment administrators, managers, and supervisors, TAP 31 suggests practical and efficient approaches for introducing and implementing evidence-based practices in substance abuse treatment programs. [SAMSHA, USA]

Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders

Presents information on identifying, screening, and assessing adolescents who use substances. [SAMSHA, USA]

New report on ADHD drugs blowback

In my clinical experience, there are many children whose only problem in life is not doing their homework but who are medicated with ADHD drugs; and the majority of their parents had no idea that they were giving their children amphetamines or amphetamine-like substances. [Huffington Post, USA]

Kevin Spacey is latest pot-puffing shrink to hit movie screens – why is this a trend?

Hollywood shrink characters increasingly take mind-expanding drugs; a reflection of the growing use of psychedelics in medical research. [AlterNet, USA]

Mexican gang leader offers drug war truce

Man claiming to be head of La Familia gang blamed for police murders tells TV show his group wants 'peace and tranquillity'. [Guardian, UK]

Afghanistan: Opium eases my pain, keeps my children quiet

Tordi’s predicament is common among women working in Afghanistan’s traditional carpet-weaving industry, who use opium as a painkiller or to stave off fatigue. [IRIN Asia]

Experts probe brain’s pleasure and desire

Treatments to stop drug addiction and over-eating must go beyond blocking the pleasure centres of the brain, say researchers. [ABC Science, Australia]