DS Daily - 29th October 2009


Cannabis evidence 'was distorted'

The row over the reclassification of cannabis has been reignited after the government's chief drug adviser accused ministers of "distorting" the evidence [BBC, UK]

Alcohol worse than ecstasy - drugs chief

Alcohol and tobacco are more harmful than many illegal drugs, including LSD, ecstasy and cannabis, according to a paper from a drugs expert [Guardian, UK]

LSD less dangerous than alcohol, says government's drug adviser

David Nutt, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, attacked the decision to make cannabis a Class B drug. He accused the former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who reclassified the drug, of “distorting and devaluing” scientific research [Times, UK]

Guardian publishes Road to Recovery supplement

The supplement, sponsored by NTA and funded by Department of Health, "examines how...resources are currently being deployed in the battle against addiction." [NTA, UK]

Funding for under-18s' drug and alcohol treatment in England moves towards a fairer system

From 2010/11 funding for under-18’s drug and alcohol treatment will be reallocated using a new formula to reflect more accurately the levels of need among young people for specialist services [NTA, UK]


A complete overhaul of the NTA system of bureaucracy and paper targets is needed in order to get people on the road to recovery [Addiction Today, UK]


An NTA article printed by medical journal Lancet led national media and international academic websites to the perception that this body of bureaucracy is successfully treating addiction/dependency [Addiction Today, UK]

Structured interventions

All you ever wanted to know [Addiction Today, UK]

Evidence of the efficacy of interventions

Evidence-based information on the effectiveness of interventions attempts to integrate available individual expertise (i.e. expert opinions) with the best available external evidence from systematic research [EMCDDA]

Jackie Baillie faces test of principle on issue of minimum alcohol pricing

Labour faces it right now over the issue of minimum pricing for alcohol, and Jackie Baillie in particular has a significant choice to make [Times, UK]

Provisional alcohol-related hospital admissions data for 2008/09

Excel spreadsheets [LAPE, UK]

SNP left high and dry as Labour rejects minimum alcohol pricing

The minority SNP government’s plans to adopt a minimum price for alcohol appear doomed after Labour’s appointment of a new shadow health secretary who is strongly against the move [Times, UK]

Experts Urge Russia to Expand HIV Programmes for People Who Use Drugs

IHRA, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) and the International AIDS Society have issued a press release calling on the Russian Government to dramatically expand access to HIV prevention programmes for people who inject drug [IHRA]

Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries, 2009 -2013

A new Commission communciation was approved on 26 October 2009 which sets out priorities to tackle HIV/AIDS across Europe in the coming years [Europa]

Smoking of crack cocaine as a risk factor for HIV infection among people who use injection drugs

Smoking of crack cocaine was found to be an independent risk factor for HIV seroconversion among people who were injection drug users. This finding points to the urgent need for evidence-based public health initiatives targeted at people who smoke crack cocaine [CMAJ, Canada]

The right sentence

As Congress weighs the cocaine sentencing disparity, it should remember crack's dangers [Washington Post, USA]

Legalizing Marijuana: Issues to Consider Before Reforming California State Law

Testimony presented before the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee [RAND, USA]

A reality check on drug use

"People," he says, "want a different conversation" about drug policies. With his first report to the president early next year, he could increase the quotient of realism [Washington Post, USA]

Alcoholics could face compulsory treatment

Problem alcoholics could be sent for compulsory treatment under proposed changes to the Northern Territory's alcohol courts system [ABC News, Australia]

Triangular cooperation fights drugs and builds confidence

Senior officials from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan met in Vienna on 27 October 2009 for a ministerial meeting of the UNODC-brokered Triangular Initiative [UNODC]

Update on WTO negotiations and alcohol policy

There are new movements in the WTO negotiations, also on the issue with the greatest relevance for alcohol policy; namely the Disciplines on Domestic Regulations [Alcohol Drugs and Development]