DS Daily - 8th October 2009


Substance Misuse, 2008-09

The latest statistics for Substance Misuse in Wales 76-page PDF [Welsh Assembly Government Department for Social Justice and Local Government, UK]

Needle and syringe programme: ‘coverage calculator'

As part of the NTA 'Harm Reduction Works Campaign' Exchange Supplies have
developed an online 'coverage calculator' to help estimate the extent to
which the number of syringes being distributed to illicit drug injectors [Harm Reduction Works, UK]

Welfare benefits at risk

The Conservative party's announcement this week that "if you can work, you should work" is the latest indication of the trend towards dealing more harshly with drug and alcohol users who receive welfare payments [Release, UK]

Time for long-term, radical thinking

Budget cuts shouldn't end up punishing those people already badly hit by the recession. Investing in preventive interventions, such as those that tackle unemployment, substance misuse or mental health problems, would short-circuit the intergenerational cycle of deprivation - Victor Adebowale, chief executive, Turning Point [Guardian, UK]

Wasted billions

A staggering £3.5billion is wasted on Scotland's drug addicts every year. Cash pours out of the national coffers to pay for healthcare, policing, court time and looking after addicts' shattered families - as well as wider costs to the economy and society [The Sun, UK]

SMMGP September Policy Update

September 2009 [SMMGP, UK]

Tories plan drink levy on shops

The Conservatives would introduce a "late night levy" on shops that sell alcohol after 10.30pm and pubs or clubs that stay open after midnight [BBC, UK]

Tories pledge steep tax rises for super-strength beer and cider

Supermarkets would also be banned from selling alcohol at below cost price in plans aimed at tackling teen binge drinkers [Guardian, UK]

Conservatives pledge booze tax to stop antisocial drinking

Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary, said yesterday that the cost of a four-pack of high-strength lager would rise by £1.33 and a large bottle of alcopop would cost £1.50 more [Times, UK]

Commenting on Conservative proposals announced by Shadow Chancellor George Osborne

Introducing a minimum price for alcohol will reduce harmful drinking, cutting crime and hospital admissions, while having little impact on sensible drinkers [Alcohol Concern, UK]

Survey shows 3.4 million children live with binge drinking parents

The National Addiction Centre also found that one million are living with at least one parent who abuses drugs [Daily Mail, UK]

The alcohol industry and public interest science

It is recommended that the integrity of alcohol science is best served if all financial relationships with the alcoholic beverage industry are avoided [Addiction Journal]

Prison Governors Association annual conference - Jack Straw speech

Drug treatment has increased tenfold, education and health are now in the hands of the experts, with record numbers completing educational, behavioural or skills courses [Ministry of Justice, UK]

Robbie Williams: 'I was 24 hours from death on drugs'

The 35-year-old singer said he believes that he would have died had he not gone into rehab due to the quantity of drugs he was taking [Telegraph, UK]

Court hears case of British man accused in multi-million pound drug plot

A British man accused of a multi-million pound international drug smuggling plot fell for a sting laid by undercover Baltimore police, a court heard yesterday [Guardian, Uk]

Government uses 'full arsenal' to fight P

In a speech in Auckland, Mr Key announced the government would use "the full force of its arsenal" to fight its use in New Zealand, which has one of the highest proportions of P users in the world [National Business Review, New Zealand]

Increased addiction treatment fund will save lives

The National Committee for Addiction Treatment (NCAT) welcomes Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today that the Government is taking the ‘P’ issue seriously with increased funding, says NCAT co-chair Robert Steenhuisen [Scoop, New Zealand]

Cut booze, cigs to save billions: study

Cutting back on drinking and smoking would not only save thousands of Australian lives, it could also save the economy more than $2 billion [The Age, Australia]

UN Human Rights Council backs harm reduction and access to essential medicines

The UN Human Rights Council, the highest political body in the UN dealing specifically with human rights, has closed its twelfth regular session having adopted two resolutions of considerable importance to harm reduction – HIV/AIDS and human rights, and access to essential medicines [IHRA]

Russia: US fight against Afghan drugs insufficient

Russia's counter-narcotics chief on Wednesday criticized U.S. and NATO anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan as inadequate and called for joint action against the Afghan heroin flooding into the former Soviet Union [Associated Press]

Russian teens to be tested for drugs at school

Russian teenagers will be tested for drugs during their regular medical examinations at school, Russia's anti-narcotics agency chief said Wednesday [Independent, UK]