DS Daily - 5th November 2009


2009 Annual report: the state of the drugs problem in Europe

The report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe presents the EMCDDA's yearly overview of the drug phenomenon. English PDF [EMCDDA]

'The population is with me'

The man at the heart of the row over the relationship between politics and science appeared relaxed and unrepentant [BBC, UK]

Professor Nutt - an accident waiting to happen

... are determined to elevate Nutt's resignation into an issue of principle, scientific infallibility and freedom of speech, the sad fact is that there has been little of principle in Nutt's conduct, even less of constraint and not always the best of science - Kathy Gyngell [Centre for Policy Studies, UK]

Nutt vows to set up new drug body

The drugs adviser controversially sacked by the government says he will establish a new scientific committee if the current advisory body disbands [BBC, UK]

Sacked drugs adviser Nutt may set up new body

Scientist removed for views on cannabis says government's advisory council is fatally flawed and should be independent [Guardian, UK]

David Nutt: Governments should get real on drugs

If there is one thing that politicians can and should do to limit the damage caused by illegal drugs, it is to take careful note of the evidence and develop a rational drug policy [New Scientist, UK]

Scientific advice must be respected...

...even when it is rejected. The Nutt row must not be allowed to fester. Lord Rees of Ludlow is President of the Royal Society [Times, UK]

DWP softens line on mandatory drug tests for benefit claimants

The government has made concessions over plans to force welfare claimants who misuse drugs and alcohol to undertake drug tests and treatment as a condition of their benefits [Community Care, UK]

New appointment to the Board of the NTA

Adrian Evans to serve as the Carer’s representative (Non-Executive Director) on the NTA Board, from the period of 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2013 [NTA, UK]

Professor David Nutt attacks ministers over ‘failure’ on alcohol

Alcohol is the “gateway drug” that remains the greatest threat to society, and the Government’s failure to address the problem epitomises its disregard for scientific evidence, Professor David Nutt said yesterday [Times, UK]

Professor Nutt: 'If we want to reduce deaths, alcohol and heroin are the issues'

The big problem, as he sees it, is that while politicians love to be "tough" on classified drugs, their response to the far greater danger posed by the most dangerous drug of all, alcohol, has been "puny" [Telegraph, UK]

Minimum pricing 'myth shattered'

Opponents insisted minimum pricing would not tackle the underlying reasons that people drink [BBC, UK]

Pub crawl organisers come under fire

A judge has criticised a company which organises drink-fuelled nights out for undergraduates - one of whom faces jail for urinating on a war memorial [BBC, UK]

Drunken violence is just part of a night out

She looks innocent and has a respectable job - but Holly is one of a generation of women for whom drunken violence is just part of a night out [Daily Mail, UK]

Drink prices crackdown 'to hit whisky exports for £600 million'

Whisky chiefs have made the extraordinary claim that the SNP's policy of minimum pricing on alcohol will cost the flagship Scottish industry a massive £600 million a year in lost export sales [The Scotsman, UK]

The Effects of Drug User Registration Laws on People’s Rights and Health

Key Findings from Russia, Georgia, and Ukraine. 42-page PDF [Open Society Institute]

Drugs: Should They Be Legal or Illegal?

One of the most important principles in economics is the law of unintended consequences, and one of the most important implications of careful economic reasoning is that many policies have effects that are exactly the opposite of what their proponents want [The Independent Institute]

Packages of mental health care for low and middle-income countries

... where over 90% of people with mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders go untreated [PLoS]

Nine-in-10 on methadone are chronically ill

Nearly nine-in-10 opiate users in metha­done treatment have one or more chronic illnesses, in addition to opiate dependence, according to new Irish research [Irish Medical News]

Letting the Science, Not the Politicians, Decide About Marijuana

The federal govt. is still blocking the process that would allow the marijuana plant to be brought to market as a prescription medicine [AlterNet, USA]

Most Who OD on Prescription Opiates Took Methadone

A new study of overdose deaths in Washington State due to prescription opiate drugs shows that most of these deaths involved methadone, [abc News, USA]

Needle and Syringe Program

Return on investment 2: evaluating the cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programs in Australia 2009 [DoH, Australia]

Queensland wants talks on drink-driving limit

Queensland's police commissioner has called for a nationwide discussion about lowering the allowable drink-driving limit to zero [The Age, Australia]