DS Daily - 22nd October 2009


Addiction, Crime and Insurgency: The Transnational Threat of Afghan Opium

The above link is to the interactive version - Read the 152-page PDF version here [UNODC]

UNODC reveals devastating impact of Afghan opium

Afghanistan has a monopoly on global opium poppy cultivation (92 per cent), the raw material for the world's deadliest drug - heroin ... Less well known, however, is the size of the opiate trade once it leaves Afghanistan, and its impact on the world [UNODC]

Paul Hayes on the public's view of substance use and the experience of affected communities

Paul Hayes says its our role to get alongside communities rather than to persuade them of the value of drug treatment. He suggests it would be easier to persuade ordinary people than Fleet St Editors [FEAD, UK]

Paul Hayes on the relationship between drug treatment and crime

Paul suggests says that the link between drug treatment and reduced crime is good news, and that this offers a way to reach out to 'hard pressed' communities [FEAD, UK]

Where is the evidence base?

In a back room in Tottenham - at least, the bit that relates to evaluating interventions. Since 1999 Drug and Alcohol Findings has been collecting, analysing and disseminating evaluation research. Its 10th anniversary report documents how it started, and how it became the custodian of the largest working drug and alcohol library in Britain [Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK]

Cannabis and schizophrenia

If cannabis caused schizophrenia—how many cannabis users may need to be prevented in order to prevent one case of schizophrenia? England and Wales calculations [Addiction, UK]

Prozac rise 'down to serial use'

An increase in prescriptions for anti-depressants is due to doctors giving drugs to the same people for longer periods of time, a study has found [BBC, UK]

City one of the worst for alcohol abuse

Sheffield is one of the worst cities in England for alcohol abuse, according to the latest estimates ... An extra £100,000 is being spent in Sheffield to help prevent alcohol abuse and provide treatment [Sheffield Telegraph, UK]

Anti-binge ads are "pretty dull", argues health chief

Alcohol Concern chief attacks government campaigns, calling for action on price [The Publican, UK]

A & E cases of drunken women soar

A surge in middle-class, middle-aged women being rushed to casualty because of drinking has triggered concern among doctors [Daily Express, UK]

Age of the thug: Violent crime by women goes up 80% under Labour

Women are fast becoming as likely as men to be caught up in alcohol-fuelled violence in bars and town centres [Daily Mail, UK]

Sober Thoughts on Binge Drinking

Britain is currently suffering an epidemic of excessive drinking that, it is estimated, will exact a toll of 91,000 lives within the next decade [Civitas, UK]

Alcohol Tolerance Switch Found in Fruit Flies

Researchers have found a genetic “switch” in fruit flies that plays an important role in making flies more tolerant to alcohol. This metabolic switch also has implications for the deadly liver disease cirrhosis in humans [North Carolina State University, USA]

Mixed reaction to drink-driving plan

The Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) today said it supported proposals by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey to reduce drivers’ maximum permitted blood/alcohol content from 80mg to 50mg per 100mls [Irish Times]

North may cut alcohol limit to level proposed in Republic

The North's DUP environment minister Edwin Poots is considering whether the drink-driving limit in Northern Ireland should be reduced to the same level as proposed in the Republic [Irish Times]

Gadejuristen - The Danish Street Lawyers

The Street Lawyers (Gadejuristen) provide a fascinating example of the way legal assistance can be implemented among street based drug user [Drug Reporter, Hungary]

Is there a medical marijuana defence?

The courts reject medical defences, James Welch tells Discogsfred, even when the defendant suffers chronic pain [Guardian, UK]

Sign of the high times

Obama's decision not to prosecute medical marijuana users and sellers suggests the war on drugs is ending [Guardian, UK]

Needle & Syringe Program Return on Investment Study

The study seeks to analyse the effectiveness of needle and syringe programs in preventing transmission of HIV, and hepatitis C (HCV) in Australia from 1991 (that is from when NSPs were well established in all jurisdictions except Tasmania) to the end of 2000. 166-page PDF Summary report [Department of Health, Australia]

The state of young people

Male and female teenagers aged 15–19 years had the highest hospitalisation rates for acute intoxication from alcohol among all age groups. 139-page PDF [Australian Government Office for Youth]

An overview of the 2009 IDRS: The Regular Injecting Drug User Survey findings

[IDRS, Australia]

An overview of the 2009 EDRS: The Regular Ecstasy User Survey findings

[EDRS, Australia]

Tobacco costs the Australian economy more than it’s worth

A new report (44-page PDF) commissioned by the Cancer Council Western Australia debunks tobacco industry arguments that higher tobacco taxes will be detrimental to the Australian economy. It also shows there are gains to be made in driving down tobacco use through increased taxes [Cancer Council Western Australia]

Support for Smokefree Parks Stronger than Ever

A public survey has shown overwhelming support for Rotorua District Council’s Smokefree Outdoor Spaces policy. The most recent survey shows 93% public support for the policy, which covers the Redwoods and all of Rotorua District Council’s children’s playgrounds [Scoop, New Zealand]

Rees shouts down raising drinking age

NSW Premier Nathan Rees has rubbished the idea of raising the drinking age to 21 and doubling the price of a schooner to curb alcohol-related violence [The Age, Australia]

Call to lift minimum drinking age to 21

The drinking age should be raised to 21 and the price of a standard drink at least doubled if state governments are serious about tackling the problem of alcohol-related violence, a leading criminologist says [SMH, Australia]

OTC naloxone would save lives

Australian experts have called for the removal of barriers that prevent the drug naloxone from being easily available for peer administration after heroin overdose [Psychiatry Update, Australia]

Chemists keep tabs on psuedoephedrine sales

The New South Wales Government is now planning to follow Queensland's lead by making it mandatory to produce identification when you buy drugs like pseudoephedrine. Debate [ABCNews, Australia]

ADCA Says ‘Stop the Spring Racing Binge’

“The Carnival, which reaches a climax this year with the Melbourne Cup on 3 November, is typically a time some racegoers use as an excuse for excessive drinking,”- Chief Executive Officer, David Templeman [ADCA, Australia]

Russian anger over Afghan drugs

Russia is highlighted as the country that bears the brunt of the ill-effects of the Afghan drug trade by a UN Office on Drugs and Crime report. The BBC's Stephen Eke reports on Moscow's growing concern about the problem [BBC, UK]