DS Daily - 3rd November 2009


David Nutt: my views on drugs classification

David Nutt, the government's former chief drugs adviser, on how he formulated his controversial views on drugs [Guardian, UK]

The Cocaine Trade

Witness: Professor Nutt, "Chair, Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs" - starts at 48:00 minutes. 27 October 2009 [Parliament, UK]

Sacked science adviser speaks out

David Nutt explains what his dismissal means for drugs policy and scientific advice in Britain [Nature News]

Science minister calls on Brown to reverse Johnson's 'big mistake'

Lord Drayson, the Science and Innovation Minister, wrote to No 10 asking if the Prime Minister could undo the Home Secretary’s decision to dismiss David Nutt [Times, UK]

More could quit, drugs panel tells Johnson

The BBC has obtained a copy of the letter sent to Alan Johnson by a majority of ACMD members [Mark Easton's blog - BBC, UK]

Drug experts' warning to Johnson

Colleagues of the government drugs adviser sacked by Alan Johnson say they have "serious concerns" about his decision and whether they can continue [BBC, UK]

David Nutt's controversial lecture conformed to government guidelines

An interesting development in the row over the sacking of Professor David Nutt as the government's chief drugs adviser has emerged this afternoon. It appears that the lecture that provoked Alan Johnson to dismiss him (and the pamphlet in which it was subsequently published) conformed to the Government's own code of practice for scientific advisers [Eurka Zone - Times, UK]

Alan Johnson orders swift review of drugs advice body

Disclosure of decision to review operation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs follows home secretary's sacking of David Nutt as the body's chairman [Guardian, UK]

Home secretary's defence of professor's sacking is doubly wrong

Alan Johnson's defence of his damaging and rather crass decision to sack Professor David Nutt (Letters, 2 November) contained errors of fact, as well as errors of judgment. Dr Evan Harris MP and other letters [Guardian, UK]

Cameron: sacking of drugs adviser David Nutt was 'unseemly'

David Cameron called the sacking of the Government’s chief drugs adviser an “unseemly spat” today, but said that his party did not support any relaxation in the penalties for taking illegal drugs [Times, UK]

Westminster's drugs paranoia can't last

The drug-taking habits of this country have changed in the past two decades – but the government is scared to adjust its policy [Guardian, UK]

Drugs: The 40-year failure

The overall story has long been one of fear-mongering and rank hypocrisy, but the debasement of the ACMD is a comparatively recent twist [Guardian, UK]

Yes, scientists do much good. But a country run by these arrogant gods of certainty would truly be hell on earth

The trouble with a 'scientific' argument, of course, is that it is not made in the real world, but in a laboratory by an unimaginative academic relying solely on empirical facts [Daily Mail, UK]

Screening and brief intervention works with heroin/cocaine users too

Substantial minorities of heroin and cocaine users identified while visiting a US hospital for medical care cut back after assessment and brief motivational counselling. Print publication 2005 [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Naltrexone boosts outcomes for poor prognosis drinkers

Two European studies confirm that the opiate-blocking drug naltrexone particularly helps alcohol-dependent patients who respond least well to therapy, elevating in treatment outcomes to those of more promising clients. Print publication 2005 [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Finding the evidence base

On Findings’ tenth anniversary, editor Mike Ashton recalls how the largest working drug and alcohol library in Britain first started [Drink and Drugs News, UK]

8-week war on gangs nets £8m drugs haul

Strathclyde Police today hailed the eight-week blitz on criminal gangs a success but warned this was just the start of a drive to end their illegal operations [Evening Times, Scotland, UK]

'Hash in the attic'

Up to £100m of cannabis is grown in Scotland a year, more than the Scottish vegetable crop, according to the man leading the fight against the industry [BBC, UK]

Legalise drugs and society would benefit

War on drugs cannot be won. And the suppression of David Nutt won't help [Belfast Telegraph, UK]

‘Drug tests should be clinicians’ discretion’

Any decision to reduce the frequency of urine testing of patients on methadone treatment should be at the discretion of the treating clinician, leading drugs specialists have warned [Irish Medical News]

Using a factor mixture modeling approach in alcohol dependence in a general population sample

The primary goal of this study was to assess whether the alcohol dependence criteria in the population could be better characterized by a continuous dimension, a few discrete subgroups, or a combination of the two [NIH, USA]

In Mexico, fears of a 'lost generation'

Violence among young soars as drug cartels recruit more minors [Washington Post, USA]

Officially Neglected

Harm reduction in Russia is on the verge of collapse - watch video made at the Moscow AIDS confernce [Drug Reporter, Hungary]

15 million Iranians vulnerable to drug abuse: police chief

Drug addiction is on the top of the social problems that has caused so much concern in the society [Tehran Times, Iran]


November edition [Paul Cook]