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Welcome to
DS Daily


Welcome to DS Daily, our new daily drug and alcohol news service. We are launching the service both as part of our core commitment to the provision and dissemination of up to date information and in support of our role as a membership organisation for the sector.


We are also very pleased to announce that Jim Young, formerly of Daily Dose, has joined our DS Daily team.


We are very keen to receive your comments about the new service which you can send to the Editor, Jim Young at jimy@drugscope.org.uk



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DS Daily - 22nd June 2009

Warning as methadone mixing linked to drug deaths

Tighter controls over prescribing have been demanded after new research found that 88% of recovering Scottish addicts who eventually died were taking potentially dangerous anti-anxiety drugs in addition to methadone [The Herald, Scotland]

Effective re-integration of drug addicts requires a joint effort, says Paul Hayes

Effectively re-integrating drug addicts back into society requires a joint effort across all levels of government, Paul Hayes, the NTA Chief Executive [NTA, UK]

New Drug Testing Kits Launched

Drugs testing kits are set to save Suffolk Police thousands of pounds in forensic submission costs, as the county becomes one of the first in the country to adopt the NPIA scheme [Police Oracle, UK]

Drug testing pupils

While drug testing school pupils in the UK has had advocates, it hasn't become a tool that schools have wanted to employ in preventing their pupils having problems with drugs. Page 4 and 5 [SHEU, UK. With permission from the Australian National Council on Drugs]

Police seize only 1% of heroin

Detectives urged to change tactics radically or risk losing war on drugs [Times, UK]

Bid to ban booze ads near schools

Labour is calling for a ban on alcohol advertising near schools in Scotland, as a wide-ranging summit on tackling drink problems takes place [BBC, UK]

Medical chief backs rise in alcohol prices

Chief Medical Officer Harry Burns revealed he had overcome his own scepticism about the SNP's drink plans and now believed the evidence for imposing minimum pricing on alcohol was "overwhelming" [Scotsman, UK]

Mentally ill patients particularly benefit from aftercare enhancements

Further analysis of findings from a US centre shows that systematically applying simple prompts and motivators especially and substantially improved aftercare attendance among patients with mental health problems, helping sustain progress made during initial residential treatment [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Antidepressant use soars as the recession bites

In total, 36m prescriptions were given out, an increase of 24% over the past five years [Observer, UK]

Sex, drugs and citizenship

Should young people learn about sex, drugs and lifestyle choices in the classroom or should these topics be discussed at home by parents and guardians? [FE News, UK]

Unit for addicted mums delivers 558 babies

A one-stop hospital clinic for mums-to-be who abuse drugs or alcohol has delivered 558 babies in Bradford since it was set up a decade ago [Telegraph Argus, UK]

Brief alcohol advice in relatively normal primary care reduces drinking

Combined findings from randomised trials confirms that brief advice to risky drinking primary care patients can reduce drinking in relatively normal practice, but will the benefits will be realised on a grand enough scale to create public health gains? [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Advertising may lead to increased alcohol consumption

Alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol and increases the amount used by established drinkers [Alcohol, Drugs and Development]

Just nine beds available for full rehabilitation

While addiction counselling and methadone maintenance treatment is available in most Irish prisons, there are only a small number of full rehabilitation programme places [Independent, Ireland]

‘National crisis’ as drug treatment services being slashed — Ring

Fianna Fáil has created a time-bomb by cutting back on essential drug treatment services, storing up massive problems for the future, Fine Gael Community Rural and Gaeltacht Spokesman Michael Ring TD warned after the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report published a damning report on drug services [Mayo Advertiser, Ireland]

Drugnet Ireland 30

Summer 2009 issue. 28-page PDF [Alcohol and Drug Research Unit, HRB, Ireland]

Demand for action as city faces heroin epidemic

Cork is on the brink of a heroin epidemic after there were at least three suspected overdoses on the northside of the city in recent weeks [Irish Examiner]

Egypt - Needle sharing rife among drug users

The prevalence of HIV among intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Egypt is relatively low, but needle sharing is rife among this group, putting them at risk of contracting the virus [IRIN]

Prominent US drug policy experts provide critical testimony to Congress on last 8 years of White House Policy

One by John Carnevale and the second by Peter Reuter and Jonathan Caulkins. Both submissions provide damning assessments of the performance of the Office of National Drug Control Policy over the last 8 years [IDPC]

Massachusetts Bar Association releases Drug Policy Task Force report

Massachusetts must enact meaningful drug reform for nonviolent offenders, focusing on education and treatment instead of incarceration and punishment, according to a 60-page PDF report of the MBA Drug Policy Task Force [Massachusetts Bar Association, USA]

Assessing Parolees' Health Care Needs and Potential Access to Health Care Services in California

Health Care Needs Are High, but Mental Health and Drug Treatment Needs Are Even Higher [RAND, USA]

Alcohol abuse on rise among US soldiers: reports

Nearly twice as many US army soldiers today compared to six years ago are either alcoholic or engage in damaging behavior such as binge drinking, according to army statistics [AFP]

Marijuana Smoke on California Cancer List

Marijuana smoke has joined tobacco smoke and hundreds of other chemicals on a list of substances that California regulators say cause cancer [New York Times, USA]

Secret of the swamps: Colombia's cocaine submarines

Mangrove boatyards build to order for traffickers supplying US market [Guardian, UK]

Mexico moves quietly to decriminalize minor drug use

President Calderon is set to sign the law, but some fear that letting off users caught with limited amounts of drugs will increase drug use and encourage 'drug tourists' from the U.S. [Chicgao Tribune, USA]

Mexico Election: Drug War Plays Big Public Role For First Time

The drug war is playing in Mexico elections like never before [Huffington Post, USA]

Steep decline in coca bush cultivation in Colombia as Peru and Bolivia see increase

While Colombia reported a major decline in coca bush cultivation in 2008 - a decrease of 18 per cent compared to 2007 - Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia recorded increases of six per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively [UNODC]

Saving dope-addled minds

The Orygen Youth Health Research Centre has teamed up with the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre to produce the first evidence-based guidelines to help people identify and assist users who may be sliding down the slope to mental illness [The Australian]

Heroin: a curse or a source of meaning?

For a substance that started out as a family-friendly cough suppressant and non-addictive morphine substitute, heroin has certainly gained a fearsome reputation since the late 1890s, when Germany's Bayer Company first marketed it [The Age, Australia]

Response to the 2008 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board

This response to the 2008 Annual Report focuses on the INCB analysis of the history of the drug control system, and on its positions on three contemporary debates – harm reduction, the search for effective cannabis control, and the Bolivian request for reconsideration of the status of the coca leaf. 12-page PDF [IDPC]

New IDPC website

The new IDPC website is now live [IDPC]

‘Universal Access and Human Rights’

Many countries still have laws and policies that impede access to HIV services and criminalize those most vulnerable to HIV .. laws criminalizing people who use drugs and the harm reduction measures and substitution [UNAIDS]

Assessment of compulsory treatment of people who use drugs in Cambodia, China, Malaysia and Viet Nam

An application of selected human rights principles [WHO]