DS Daily - 24th July 2009


Drug Misuse Declared: Findings from the 2008/09 British Crime Survey

This annual statistical bulletin examines the prevalence and trends of illicit drug use among a nationally representative sample of 16 to 59 year olds (with a particular focus on young people aged 16 to 24) resident in households in England and Wales. [Home Office UK]

Smoking, Drinking and Drug use among young people in England in 2008

This survey is the latest in a series designed to monitor smoking, drinking and drug use among secondary school pupils aged 11 to 15. Information was obtained from 7,798 pupils in 264 schools throughout England in the autumn term of 2008. [NHS Information Centre, UK]

Class A drug use on the rise among young people

Class A illicit drug use is increasing among 16- to 24-year-olds, with more than half a million young people taking cocaine and ecstasy in the last year, according to Home Office figures published today. [The Guardian, UK]

Cocaine Britain: 25 per cent rise in the last year

The number of cocaine users in Britain has risen by 25 per cent in a year to almost one million, official figures revealed yesterday, prompting calls for the Government to rethink its anti-drugs strategy. [Independent, UK]

Age, sex, money and race: how the drug use figures break down

The use of class A drugs is on the rise in the UK among 16- to 24-year-olds, with more than half a million young people taking cocaine and ecstasy in the last year, according to Home Office figures published today. And, hidden in the report is an amazing demographic breakdown of Britain’s drug users: by every category you can imagine: employment, attitudes to clubbing, age. [The Guardian, UK]

Teen drink and drug use declining

Rates of drug use and drinking are continuing to fall among young teenagers, annual NHS figures show. The proportion of 8,000 11-to-15-year-olds surveyed who have never drunk alcohol rose slightly to 48% in 2008. However, those who do drink alcohol seem to be consuming more, the NHS Information Centre said. [BBC, UK]

DrugScope responds to new figures on drug use among adults and young people: ‘marked increase’ in cocaine use among adults and 16-24 year olds

Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of DrugScope, said:“These figures show a marked and worrying increase in the use of cocaine powder, in the adult population as a whole and among 16 to 24 year olds. While this is not necessarily a surprise given the drug’s decrease in price and increase in availability over recent years, it is of significant concern, particularly the rise in use among younger people...” [DrugScope, UK]

Latest drug misuse declared findings show overall level of illicit drug use remains stable

EATA Chief Executive Peter Martin said: “We are encouraged by these findings that show overall illicit drug use has stabilised but more work needs to be done to reduce the use of cocaine powder especially amongst young people in the 16-24 age group...” [EATA, UK]

Jonathan Heyworth: Now we always ask if the patient has used cocaine

Cocaine use is becoming a much more routine consideration for emergency doctors. Young men appearing with chest pain, or even a true heart attack, brought on by using the drug is an issue that is only going to get more prominent. [Independent, UK]

Child cocaine victims up 375% in a decade

Shocking rises in the number of children treated in hospital after overdosing on cocaine have been revealed. [Metro, UK]

The drugs question

Question One: How many people do you reckon took Class A drugs last month in England and Wales? These are people who, in the moments before consumption, were guilty of an offence which carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment. So how many do you think it was? [Mark Easton blog, BBC, UK]

Home office designates drug possession ‘victimless crime’

Where this leads intellectually is also an interesting question; if possession and consenting adult use is not criminal, what are the implications for commercial drug transactions between consenting adults, that also have no obvious victim? The statistical crime bulletin could very soon be largely just blank pages. [TDPF, UK]

Time to draw the line on cocaine

The issue is not the damage that users may do to themselves, but the effect their drug of choice has on developing countries. [George Monbiot, Guardian, UK]

Stop and search

“I spoke to someone recently who had had his freshly collected new injecting equipment taken off him during a stop and search by police, he wasn’t charged with anything, and he wasn’t given any paperwork. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this happening and it’s wrong.” [Injecting Advice, UK]

Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 - new guidance on cannabis possession

This circular provides new guidance for police on the use of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) for cannabis possession offences. [Ministry of Justice, UK]

New powers allow takeover of failing youth offending teams

New powers are to be introduced to enable the justice secretary, Jack Straw, to send in a team of experts to take over failing youth offending teams with powers to remove ineffective staff. [Guardian, UK]

Children’s Minister: Government consultation on young people and alcohol receives wide-ranging support

Children’s Minister, Dawn Primarolo, today published the responses to a consultation on children, young people and alcohol. The responses show that there is a broad base of support for guidelines from the Chief Medical Office on safe levels of drinking. There is also a clear need for government advice and information for parents. [DCSF, UK]

Cannabis factories and prohibition

Recent weeks have seen increasing numbers of cannabis factories being raided and shut down by police across the UK. The ‘factories’ are located in houses where hydroponic equipment is employed to grow large quantities of intensively cultivated skunk. [Release, UK]

Student died ‘taking party drug’

An American footballer has told an inquest into the death of a woman who died after taking the so-called "party drug" GBL how he woke to find her dead. [BBC, UK]

New ‘legal high’ arrives in area

There is increasing evidence of widespread misuse of a legal drug in Tayside, according to police. Mephedrone has hallucinogenic properties and police have said its dangers are increased when mixed with other substances. [BBC, UK]

Training offer to addict families

Drug users, their families and friends have been offered training in spotting signs of an overdose in a bid to cut drug-related deaths in the Highlands. Naloxone, an antidote to drugs including heroin, will also be made available. [BBC, UK]

Presentation about SUNEE Second Chance programme

The Second Chance programme aims to use physical fitness through programmes of sports coaching to help improve the drug treatment outcomes for problematic drug users in the North East of England. [Home Office, UK]

UCLAN Community Engagement Project: Drug misuse issues within Asian and African-Carribbean Communities

Presentation slides about UCLAN community engagement project – survey within Asian and African-Caribbean communities.  [Home Office, UK]

Parent and toddler group for parents with substance abuse problems run by West Berkshire partnership

The substance misuse group is a group for people who misuse substances and have children who are under five years old. [Home Office, UK]

Women offenders seminar: Effective partnership working engaging a hidden and marginalised groups.

Presentation slides by Tyneside Cyrenians looking at the issues around addressing factors associated with women – including drug and alcohol misuse. [Home Office, UK]

Hampshire DAAT: Developing Communities: Nepalese in Rushmoor

Presentation slides by Hampshire DAAT looking at issues affecting Rushmoor’s Nepalese community. [Home Office, UK]

Hundreds of Sussex drug and drink addicts on benefits

Hundreds of people across Sussex are claiming benefits saying drug or alcohol addition has left them unable to work. Figures obtained by The Argus show more than 850 out of the city's 13,040 claimants for incapacity or severe disablement benefit - around one in 15 or the total - either have drug problems or are classed as alcoholics. [The Argus, UK]

So how did this bright-eyed little boy come to die of drink at 22?

There is a photograph of Gary Reinbach that is somehow more startling than the one of him on his hospital deathbed, swollen and yellowed from alcohol abuse at the age of 22. [Daily Mail, UK]