DS Daily - 21st July 2009


Recovery and drug dependency: a new deal families [PDF]

Drawing on a seminar held by Adfam and DrugScope on the positive role families can play in supporting recovery from drug dependency, this paper considers recovery and the family as mutually reinforcing and suggests ways of moving forward to improve outcomes for problematic drug users, their families and wider society. [DrugScope, UK]

UKDPC Consultation paper on sentencing for drug offences

The UK Drug Policy Commission has published its response to the Sentencing Advisory Panel’s consultation on sentencing for drug offences. [UKDPC, UK]

Methadone users 'more likely to carry on injecting'

Drug users prescribed methadone are less likely to die but are at substantially greater risk of carrying on injecting opiates, according to researchers at the University of Bristol. [Pulse Magazine, UK]

Pulp Fiction drug that could have saved Michael Jackson’s life

Often in the case of an overdose - in both the UK and the US - it isn't until paramedics arrive that the crucial shot is given. Sometimes it is too late. Les Iversen, a pharmacologist at the University of Oxford, believes that this may have been the case with Michael Jackson. Iversen says that had a shot of the drug Naloxone been to hand, Jackson might have survived. [The Times, UK]

Fears as women use unlicensed drug in search of allover tan

Women are injecting an unlicensed drug that promises to give an all-over tan in the latest DIY beauty treatment.People from all social backgrounds have contacted pharmacies across the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area asking for needles to help them inject Melanotan I or II. [The Herald, UK]

Recognising complexity: commissioning guidance for personality disorder services

Guidance for commissioners in the NHS, criminal justice system, local authorities and others, which provides information and suggestions on best practice when considering services and systems for people with personality disorders. Many individuals with Personality Disorder also misuse drugs or alcohol as a way of managing overwhelming emotions. Annex 6 provides best practice information on how mental health and substance misuse services can collaborate to address need. [DoH, UK]

Criminal justice system ‘broken’, says thinktank

Report by Local Government Information Unit says system fails public, professionals, victims and offenders. [Guardian, UK]

Recession blamed for 11% rise in self-harm

The economic downturn has been blamed for the 11% increase in the number of men engaging in deliberate self harm last year. Drug overdose was the most common method of self harm, followed by self cutting. There was a significant increase in heroin as the drug of choice among those using street drugs as an intentional overdose, whereas cocaine was less frequently used.  [Irish Examiner]

Heroin is now favourite drug for high fliers, doctor says

High fliers and city slickers are increasingly likely to abuse heroin, a GP specialising in substance abuse has warned. [Herald.ie]

Teenage drug use ‘is out of control’

Cocaine and heroin addiction among adolescents is spiralling out of control, while the Government does nothing to monitor the problem, according to a leading addiction centre for young people. [Irish Independent]

UK government may consider minimum price for alcohol

The UK government is considering several options on pricing of alcohol and has not ruled out a minimum price per unit, MPs were told at the parliamentary health select committee’s inquiry into alcohol held last week. [BMJ, UK]

SNP’s ban on cheap booze may be illegal

The Scottish Government’s flagship policy on minimum pricing for alcohol could fall foul of international trade laws, according to the European Commission. [Daily Express, UK]

Guidance for juries when alcoholism is raised as a defence to murder

Further guidance should be given to juries in murder trials as to the defence of diminished responsibility where the only basis for the alleged abnormality of mind arose from alcohol dependency syndrome without discernible brain damage. [The Times, UK]

Health lobby not convinced by £100m anti-binge campaign

Alcohol Concern urges government to impose mandatory code and dismiss "desperate" responsible drinking campaign. [The Publican, UK]

Man refused liver transplant dies

A man from east London who began binge-drinking at 13 has died after being denied a life-saving liver transplant. Campaign group Alcohol Concern called for more research into the way alcohol can affect young people's health. [BBC, UK]

Drug and alcohol use among rural Irish adolescents: a brief exploratory study

Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with a random sample of 220 students from schools and youth training centres within a rural area of the south eastern region of Ireland. The results show that against the backdrop of rising drug use prevalence, the attitudes towards drug use of both adolescent users and abstainers have become more liberal and 'normalised'. [National Documentation Centre on Drug Use, Ireland]

Parents in rural communities have ‘limited awareness’ of drug dangers

Rural parents have limited knowledge of drug-related issues and do not know how to access services if their children are affected, research has found.  Marie-Claire Van Hout, who lectures in youth at risk and therapeutic recreation at Waterford Institute of Technology, said the research provided an anecdotal "snapshot" of parental perceptions of youth substance use in rural Ireland. [Irish Examiner, Ireland]

Did anti-drug propaganda help bring about a psychedelic renaissance?

As the anti-drug program spread into 3/4 of all school districts by the '90s, America's youth enjoyed a psychedelic renaissance. [AlterNet, USA]

Stone me: it’s an Apple iPhone app to find marijuana

New location-based software allows users to find legal medical suppliers in the US. [Guardian, UK]

States go to war on cigarette smuggling

States across the U.S. have been taking a harder line against an old problem -- cigarette smuggling -- as part of the widening search for solutions to their budget problems. [Wall Street Journal, USA]