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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 - 26th June 2009

Michael Jackson - The addiction to pills that took over his life... and which finally destroyed him

His death may have stunned the world of music, but those who knew Michael Jackson say the warning signs of his fading health were clear. They claim his long-term addiction to painkillers is the obvious underlying health issue [Daily Mail, UK]

Take more children away from addict parents, says Labour leader

More children should be taken away from their drug-addicted parents in case they come to any harm, Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray claimed yesterday [The Scotsman, UK]

Scotland's policy against heroin is not working

Research has found that just one per cent of the 11 tons of heroin consumed in the country every year is being seized by officers [STV, UK]

New research says alcohol causes one in 10 European deaths

One in 10 deaths in Europe are caused by alcohol, according to research published today, and one in 25 around the world [Guardian, UK]


Scheme to stop growth in alcohol-related health problems

New initiatives are being looked at to try and halt the growing number of health cases centred around alcohol [Guardian, UK]

Life saving kits to be given to families of injecting drug users in groundbreaking scheme

The families and carers of injecting drug users will be given training in how to respond to overdoses and how to administer a drug called naloxone in the event of a heroin overdose in a groundbreaking new scheme to help save lives [NTA, UK]

DrugScope: NTA naloxone pilot scheme can help reduce drug-related deaths

DrugScope has today welcomed the National Treatment Agency's announcement of a pilot scheme that will see families and carers of opiate users trained in drug overdose management and the administration of naloxone, a drug which reverses the effects of a drug overdose [DrugScope, UK]

'Give drug users a break'

Not the sentiment of some soft-hearted liberal, but a clarion call to the world's governments from the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [Mark Easton's blog, UK]

Can the Government stay in denial any longer?

The annual United Nations World Drug Report published yesterday confirmed my analysis of the available data which shows the UK to have the worst drugs problem in Europe. Yet a month ago when the The Phoney War on Drugs was published by the CPS Jacqui Smith and the Home Office went into denial mode [CPS, UK]

'Celebrity cocaine users should face punishment'

As a United Nations report suggests Britain is the cocaine capital of Europe, Keith Vaz MP tells Channel 4 News there should be a clampdown on famous drug users [Channel 4, UK]

Security, development and human rights should be our primary concerns on World Drug Day

World Drug Day intended “to inspire people to act against drug abuse and trafficking.” ... Last year, Indonesia marked the day by executing two Nigerians by firing squad. Since the early 1990s, China has chosen June 26th to carry out multiple death sentences, sometimes en masse, often in public [IHRA]

China gets tough on drug crimes

In an apparent move to demonstrate China's determination to get tough on drug crimes, five men and one woman were executed yesterday morning on charges of drug production, trafficking or selling [People's Daily, China]

High, above the law

When does a drug actually become illegal? As Glastonbury opens its gates for another year, some festival goers will choose "legal highs" as an alternative to illicit drugs... helped by dealers who are using obscure loopholes to sidestep the law [BBC, UK]

Legalising drugs would be "an historic mistake," UN report says

Instead it argues that law enforcement authorities should "shift focus from drug users to drug traffickers." [BMJ, UK]

A helping hand for addicts

A neuropsychologist talks about the challenges of studying the addicted brain [Nature News]

Transforming community services: ambition, action, achievement

These best practice guides have a vital role to play in the delivery of the intentions for High Quality Care for All: the Next Stage Review [DoH, UK]

Transforming Community Services Quality Framework: guidance for community services

This guidance sets out how the seven elements of the Quality Framework apply in community services. It includes a set of proposed indicators of quality that will be developed and assured for publication. The Department will be seeking views from interested stakeholders on these indicators [DoH, UK]

New Video on Drug Treatment Outcomes in Ireland

From The National Advisory Committee on Drugs [Drugs.ie]

A Drug Free Sweden?

A new film by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), made in co-operation with our friends at the Swedish Drug Users Union has been produced and is well worth a watch [IHRA]

European Drug Policy Survey

This is a report on the results of a public poll survey on drug policy opinions among
the general adult population of 6 European Union member states: Bulgaria, Czech
Republic, Poland, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. 21-page PDF [Hungarian Civil Liberties Union]

Call to Action: Support Global Drug Policy Reform

As the United Nations launched its 2009 World Drug Report ahead of the ‘International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ (on June 26th), more than 40 international groups and experts worldwide issued a ‘Call to Action’ that presses governments to adopt a humane approach to drug policy [IHRA]

'Four Pillars' drug policy appeals to U.S. President Obama

United States President Barack Obama is swapping a 20-year "war on drugs" for a made-in-Vancouver "Four Pillars" drug policy [The Province, Canada]

Cochrane review confirms methadone maintenance prevents spread of HIV

Review conducted for the respected Cochrane collaboration finds that methadone maintenance and allied treatments for opioid dependence consistently and significantly reduce the risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses and curb the spread of HIV [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Effects of methadone on babies is not fully understood

The effects of methadone on babies is not fully understood. But for women who can't get clean without it, it might be their best hope [Baltimore Sun, USA]

Pseudoephedrine Smurfing Fuels Surge in Large-Scale Methamphetamine Production in California

The National Drug Intelligence Center collected and analyzed data and reporting from 2007-through May 2009 related to methamphetamine production and pseudoephedrine smurfing. This report draws upon data from the National Seizure System, as well as information obtained through interviews with federal, state, and local law enforcement officers [NDIC, USA]

2009 Recovery Month to Mark 20th Anniversary

SAMHSA) today unveiled materials developed to help communities plan and host Recovery Month events and activities and to help publicize the Agency’s 24/7 toll-free substance use disorder information and treatment referral Helpline [SAMHSA, UK]

A win for drug dealers

The high court ruled 5-4 yesterday that Luis Melendez-Diaz, who was picked up in a Dorchester K-Mart parking lot in 2001 with 19 bags of cocaine, had a right to confront at trial the state lab technician who analyzed the drugs, identifying them as cocaine [Boston Herald, USA]

Alcohol causes more than half of all premature deaths in Russian adults

Professor Zaridze said: “Russian health continues to be devastated by the effects of alcohol and tobacco. Many Russians die in their twenties, thirties or forties from disease, accidents, violence or suicide caused by drinking.” [MRC, UK]

Iran's Role in Opium

While the debate about illicit narcotics usually focuses on markets in Western countries and production in Afghanistan or Colombia, the UN annual drug report draws attention to other front lines [Globe and Mail , Canada]

Australia has most ecstasy labs: UN

Large quantities of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are being imported by air cargo flights into Australia, which has grown into one of the biggest markets for amphetamines and ecstasy in the region, a United Nations report on the world drug trade has warned [SMH, Australia]

Mixed signals among the coca bushes

An apparent fall in cocaine production conceals the remarkable resilience of an illegal industry [Economist, UK]

Coca Myths

History has been unjust to the coca leaf, denying it distribution on a global scale despite its proven value as an energy enhancer, and limiting its potential for widespread use as a healthy alternative to all sorts of chemical stimulants currently available on the world market. 24-PAGE PDF [TNI]

Addressing Drugs and Conflicts in Myanmar

Myanmar is now at a critical juncture, as this progress may be reversed if it is not followed up by massive alternative development programmes [SIPRI, Sweden]

Global coverage of the World Drug Report 2009

For the first time, UNODC presented the World Drug Report in a variety of media formats to cater for its wide audience [UNODC]