DS Daily - 9th November 2009


Warning of extra heart dangers from mixing cocaine and alcohol

A third chemical – cocaethylene – builds up in the liver over a number of years among those who mix the two drugs. And this is now having major health consequences [Observer, UK]

Methadone maintenance outperforms alternatives in randomised trials

A surprisingly small basket of randomised controlled trials supports the superiority of methadone maintenance treatment for opiate dependence over treatments which do not involve long-term substitute prescribing [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Continuity vital after prison treatment

Whether the in-prison treatment was a drug-free therapeutic community or methadone maintenance, two long-term follow-up studies have confirmed that post-release continuity is vital to sustain the benefits. Print publication 2005 [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Ian Wardle on Workforce and workforce diversity

Ian expands on the notion of a migratory workforce as something beyond any one organisational challenge [FEAD, UK]

Ian Wardle on criticism of the Workforce

Ian suggests that attributing shortcomings in drug treatment to individual employees should be challenged against other more powerful forces [FEAD, UK]

Johnson 'misled MPs over adviser'

Alan Johnson has been accused by the Liberal Democrats of misleading MPs over the sacking of drugs adviser Professor David Nutt [BBC, UK]

Johnson has 'no regrets' over sacked drugs adviser

When he meets the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs tomorrow, the Home Secretary will try to persuade it that it has a vital role to play and appeal to other members not to join the two who have already resigned in protest at the dismissal of its chairman, Professor David Nutt [Independent, UK]

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs - Hansard

To ask the Home Secretary if he will make a statement about the dismissal of the chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs [Hansard 2 Nov 2009, Parliament, UK]

More drug advisers set to follow David Nutt and resign

Members of Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs to demand assurance of future independence from home secretary Alan Johnson [Observer, UK]

Number 10 petition

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Re-instate Professor David " Nutt

Academics attack Professor Nutt over 'incorrect statements' on drugs

Professor Andy Parrott, the country's foremost authority on ecstasy, accused him of making "misleading and factually incorrect" comments [Independent, UK]

The damaging effects of cannabis and Ecstasy/MDMA

Quotations from Professor Nutt’s published papers with brief summaries of the research evidence as supplied by Professor Andy Parrott who is “perplexed as to how Professor David Nutt can be so inaccurate in his statements about the damaging effects of cannabis and Ecstasy/MDMA” [Professor Andy Parrott, Swansea University, UK]

Cannabis debate. Professor Nutt got it completely wrong

David Nutt should visit some locked wards and speak to some psychiatrists and their patients. I have smoked cigarettes and drunk moderately since an early age, but these have caused nothing like the damage of cannabis [Letters - Observer, UK]

Professor David Nutt's take on cannabis is a creed and not science

The evidence shows that cannabis is more damaging than Professor David Nutt believes, says Alasdair Palmer [Telegraph, UK]

Are your drugs laws working? Ask a scientist

But a strange reasoning twitch has appeared ... only politicians, they say, can determine the correct way to send out a clear message to the public. It is not a matter for science [Guardian, UK]

Time to come clean

Politicians need to tell the truth about drugs, not sack those who are brave enough to do so [The Economist, UK]

The sharing question

Every drug worker asks the question “Have you shared injecting equipment?” We have to ... But let's be honest the answer given is almost always “No” even though research says it shouldn't be. So is there a better way of asking? [Injecting Advice, UK]

Party time in Berlin; repression is great when it stops

It isn’t pulling at the credibility strings too much to compare the mindset of the regime that created the Berlin wall with that which underpins the prohibition of drugs [UKCIA]

SMMGP Clinical Update

October 2009 [SMMGP, UK]

A Comparison of the Cost-effectiveness of the Prohibition and Regulation of Drugs

Due to limitations in available data we have restricted this analysis to heroin and cocaine use (the drugs identified by Government as causing the most harm) in England and Wales. 53-page PDF [TDPF, UK]

'Why was our Kate left to die from heroin in a dirty squat?'

"They talked about Kate falling into a 'grey area' [when a person is too young for adult care services but old enough to leave home] but I would call it a black hole. I feel we have been fighting for six years for nothing. Ways must be found of protecting children of 16 and 17 – because children is what they are." [Telegraph, UK]

Inexcess Series 4 - Final Show

Nigel Radcliffe, Nick Mercer - with links to the previous shows [Inexcess TV, UK]

Threshers pre-Christmas sell-off leads to scramble

It has also angered alcohol abuse campaign groups, which are pushing for a ban on cut-price offers at supermarkets [Times, UK]

Drinking by Scots parents revealed by young

Twice as many calls are made to ChildLine by young people concerned about their parents’ harmful drinking in Scotland than the rest of the UK [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

At-risk children 'can buck trend'

Unborn babies whose mothers suffer stress or illness or use drugs or alcohol can be more susceptible to both good and bad parenting, a study claims [BBC, UK]

Disunity costing Europe drugs battle

Europe is not winning the battle against drug trafficking because each of the 27 member states is fighting the narcotics trade on its own, according to the European Commission’s top drug adviser [Irish Examiner]

Mandatory minimum sentences fail to deliver, says CAMH

Mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offences are an expensive and ineffective approach to substance use problems in Canada [CAMH, Canada]

Quality youth work diverts progression of high-risk youngsters

Analyses of 48 US after-school projects for 9-18-year-olds at high risk of drug problems found that only interactive, well structured projects with supported and engaged staff curbed progression to more frequent substance use. Print publication 2005 [Drug and Alcohol Findings,UK]

INCB Examines Drug Abuse Prevention

A review of drug abuse prevention is one highlight of the 96th session of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The session is currently being held in Vienna, and will conclude on 13 November 2009 [United Nations]

Bill Would Limit Needle Exchanges

A bill working its way through Congress would lift a ban of more than 20 years on using federal money for needle exchange programs. But the bill would also ban federally financed exchanges from being within 1,000 feet of a school, park, library, college, video arcade or any place children might gather — a provision that would apply to a majority of the country’s approximately 200 exchanges [New York Times, USA]

Expanding drug treatment: Is US ready to step up?

Based on the rhetoric, America's war on drugs seems poised to shift into a more enlightened phase where treatment of addicts gains favor over imprisonment of low-level offenders. Questions abound, however, about the nation's readiness to turn the talk into reality [Associated Press]

What Are Peer Recovery Support Services?

In this paper you will be introduced to a new kind of social support services designed to fill the needs of people in or seeking recovery. The services are called peer recovery support services and, as the word peer implies, they are designed and delivered by people who have experienced both substance use disorder and recovery [SAMHSA, USA]

Centers of Excellence (CoE) for Physician Information

First Curriculum Offerings from NIDA Centers of Excellence for Physician Information [NIDA, USA]

Discharged to the streets

The overlay often includes post-traumatic stress disorder, financial insolvency, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, physical disabilities, and mental health issues [Boston Globe, USA]

Needle Exchange in America

AIDS/harm reduction activists press Obama [Addiction Inbox, USA]

Alcohol-Induced Blackout

Although the alcohol-induced blackout itself may not be an indicator of progressive alcohol dependence, the way in which an individual views the experience of a blackout may be influential in determining future drinking behavior [International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health]

2008 New Zealand Tobacco Use Survey

Quitting Results [Ministry of Health, New Zealand]

Indigenous cannabis use linked to psychosis

Research by James Cook University in far north Queensland has found that cannabis is causing serious mental health problems in some remote Indigenous communities [ABC News, Australia]

Do you use speed, ice, ecstasy or cocaine on a regular basis?

Participate in our survey [Turning Point, Australia]