DS Daily - 23rd July 2009


Transform submission to the Sentencing Advisory Panel consultation on sentencing for drug offences

Transform welcomes this consultation and its commitment to reviewing the evidence regarding the enforcement of prohibition. However, we are concerned that the narrow parameters of the sentencing guidelines consultation do not allow it to go far enough. [TDPF, UK]

Briefing on Independent Safeguarding Authority

The Independent Safeguarding Authority was set up in January 2009 to strengthen the protection of children and vulnerable adults following the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Strengthened safeguards for children and vulnerable adults is a welcome development, however these changes could have a potential negative impact on the employment options of people with substance misuse problems or histories. It has particular significance for drug or alcohol services that employ ex-service users. [LDAN, UK]

NTA Parliamentary Briefing July 2009

The latest parliamentary briefing from the NTA on developments in drug treatment and the work of the NTA. [NTA, UK]

Science reduced to political bargaining chip: MPs say government must raise its game

A report published today by the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee says that the independence of scientific advisers is crucial. The criticism by the Home Secretary of Professor David Nutt, Chairman of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs, after his comments about ecstasy could deter experts from serving on Scientific Advisory Committees. It is vital that in such cases the Government Chief Scientific Adviser steps up and offers public support to safeguard the independence the advisory system. [IUSSC Committee, UK]

Simon Antrobus appointed chief executive of Addaction

Simon Antrobus, currently chief executive of Clubs for Young People, has been appointed chief executive of Addaction. [Children and Young People Now, UK]

Drug torches ‘don’t always work’

A drug torch used by police to catch people who snort cocaine doesn't always work, a Newsbeat investigation has found. [Newsbeat, UK]

Response from Concateno plc to ‘Road Safety Compliance Consultation’

This response focuses on section five of the consultation on drug driving and road safety. Concateno plc is Europe’s leading provider of drug and alcohol testing, and a long-standing supplier of drug testing solutions to the UK government and the public sector. [Concateno, UK]

London Drug and Alcohol Network (LDAN) Briefing on the Draft London Housing Strategy

Stable housing is essential to enable those with substance misuse issues to engage with treatment and work towards recovery. Yet individuals with substance misuse problems can face many barriers when attempting to obtain settled accommodation including a lack of coordination between relevant housing providers and support agencies. [LDAN, UK]

UK Drug Policy Commission Fortnightly Update

The new edition of the UKDPC fortnightly update is now available [UKDPC, UK]

Health workers get guidance on identifying abuse

The National Centre for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance to help healthcare workers identify children who may have been abused or neglected.  [CYP Now, UK]

New Horizons – government consults on mental health and well-being

The consultation launched today was developed with a wide range of partners, all of whom have a vital role to play. As well as health services, the response of local authorities and education will be critical. From schools to employers, and the NHS to the criminal justice system, New Horizons makes mental health everyone’s business. [DoH, UK]

Drug and solvent misuse in national school children in mid-west Ireland

This study provided a baseline assessment of the level of drug and solvent misuse by national school children in the Mid-Western region of Ireland. Although the results are encouraging in relation to cannabis and may dispel anecdotal concerns, there is clearly no room for complacency. The level of experimentation with glue/solvents, particularly among males, is an issue given its potential lethality. [Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, Ireland]

Calling time at the bar

Record numbers of pubs are closing down, and yet binge drinking seems to be on the increase. So what's going on? [Guardian, UK]

Royal College of Nursing: improve alcohol regulation

The Royal College of Nursing says that excessive drinking is a cultural and regulatory problem and more effective regulation in the sale of alcohol is needed. [RCN, UK]

Summer edition of Alcohol Alert, quarterly magazine of Institute of Alcohol Studies, available

The cover story is about the recent Health Select Committee on alcohol. [IAS, UK]

A face that should haunt a generation

Gary Reinbach's death is a lesson to under-age drinkers, says columnist Liz Hunt [Telegraph, UK]

Smarter drinking under the spotlight

Major players from the industry have stumped up £100m for a new responsible drinking initiative. The Publican takes a closer look at the Campaign for Smarter Drinking. [The Publican, UK]

None for the road: limit for drink-driving to be slashed

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has vowed to introduce a new lower limit for drink driving before the end of the year despite opposition from publicans. [Irish Independent]

Sober statistics bear out the fact that our attitude to alcohol is deeply unhealthy

‘Milan has banned the consumption and sale of alcohol to young teenagers in an effort to curb binge drinking,” said yesterday morning’s news as I staggered downstairs to make a cup of tea. [Irish Times]

Social norms interventions to reduce alcohol misuse in University or College students

This systematic review was based on 22 controlled trials involving 7275 college or university students randomly assigned to the social norms intervention or a control group. [Cochrane Library, international]

Kyrgyzstan – Pioneers of harm reduction

Kyrgyzstan has been the first in the region to introduce science and evidence based harm reduction strategies, like needle and syringe exchange programs and methadone maintenance therapy. This film documents how these strategies proved to be successful in curbing the HIV epidemic in the country. [Hungarian Drug Reporter]

How might schools influence young people's drug use? Development of theory from qualitative case-study research

Various pathways may plausibly underlie school effects on drug use. These support the idea of “whole-school” interventions to reduce drug use through: recognizing students’ varied achievements and promoting a sense of belonging, reducing bullying and aggression, and providing additional social support for students. [Journal of Adolescent Health, US]

Is marijuana the answer to california’s budget woes?

Proponents of marijuana legalization have advanced plenty of arguments in support of their drug of choice — that marijuana is less dangerous than legal substances like cigarettes and alcohol; that pot has legitimate medical uses; that the money spent prosecuting marijuana offenses would be better used on more pressing public concerns. [TIME, USA]

US debating payoffs to Afghan Poppy Growers

Obama administration is considering whether to pay off Afghan farmers to stop them from growing heroin poppies on contract for the Taliban, senior officials told the Associated Press. [Fox News, US]

New tactics to combat Afghan drugs trade

The U.S. will deploy dozens of drug enforcement agents to Afghanistan to target Taliban-affiliated drug labs and trafficking rings. This is a departure from an eight-year, Bush-era counter-narcotics strategy. [New Statesman, UK]

Public split on drug treatment

Harm reduction or cold turkey? British Columbians appear split on where government funds for drug treatment programs should be directed, a recent survey done for 24 hours suggests. [24 hours, Canada]

FMPCDI declaration at side event of UN meeting

The 2009 Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), and its High Level (political) Segment (HLS), was a key moment where the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the January Barcelona Forum could be transmitted and distributed. [TNI UNGASS ten-year review]