DS Daily - 2nd September 2009


Afghan Opium Market Plummets, says UNODC

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is down 22 per cent, opium production is down 10 per cent, while prices at a 10 year low [UNODC]

Afghan Opium Survey

Summary of findings. 42-page PDF [UNODC]

U.N. Agency Finds Evidence of Drug Cartels Forming in Afghanistan

Though the Afghan opium harvest has declined for the second consecutive year, a new United Nations report says, there is growing evidence that some Afghan insurgent forces are becoming “narco-cartels” — similar to anti-government guerrilla groups in Colombia [New York Times, USA]

Mr Mange Goes Over

The film for the Harm Reduction Works campaign, produced by Exchange Supplies for the National Treatment Agency and the Department of Health as part of a package on overdose resources, is now available on [YouTube]

Killed by methadone

Your report (August 26) of the ever more dramatic rise in drug deaths last year did not mention those that appear to be a direct outcome of the Government’s highly interventionist drug “treatment” policy. Scroll down for letter by Professor Neil McKeganey in the [Telegraph, UK]

Could you become a painkiller addict?

Retired teacher Carole Hanna is a pillar of her community ... Carole is one of more than 30,000 people in Britain in the grip of a drug addiction, says the British Medical Association [The Mirror, UK]

Impact of persistent substance misuse on 1-year outcome in first-episode psychosis

Individuals with persistent substance misuse had more severe depression, more positive symptoms, poorer functional outcome and greater rates of relapse at 1 year than those who stopped and those who had never misused substances [The British Journal of Psychiatry]

Carers and supporting recovery

This unique report was commissioned by the Scottish Recovery Network and is the result of a long-standing project to investigate carers' perspectives of recovery and experiences supporting recovery. 47-page PDF [Scottish Recovery Network, UK]

Diagnoses are psychiatry's star signs. Let's listen more and drug people less

The biological approach to treating mental illness has been a lamentable failure. We must focus on a patient as a person [Guardian, UK]

Dozens of pubs forced to shut in licence chaos

Dozens of pubs and clubs in the west of Scotland are being forced to shut today, the first day of the country's new liquor laws [Evening Times, Scotland, UK]

Pubs and food chains caught up in drinks law chaos

Major supermarket chains are among the thousands of premises caught up in the troubled birth of Scotland's new liquor laws, resulting in multi-national names effectively having to trade outside the law because of the failings of local authorities [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

Battling booze culture

Ultimately, this legislation cannot tackle Scotland's booze culture because it represents only one side of the equation. Outlawing drinks promotions in clubs and bars cannot tackle the problem when drinkers can overindulge in cheap supermarket alcohol before they leave home [The Herald, Scotland, UK]

UK teenage girls 'worst drunks'

Young teenagers in the UK are more likely to get drunk than anywhere else in the industrial world, shows an international survey [BBC, UK]

Doing Better for Children

Drawing on a wide range of data sources, this book constructs and analyses different indicators of child well-being across the OECD covering six key areas: material well being; housing and environment; education; health and safety; risk behaviours; and quality of school life [OECD]

Britain and alcohol: Drink problem

But remember that British alcohol consumption is just below Germany's and not much higher than in Spain or France. Britain drinks too much and drinks in the wrong way, but crackdowns will fail and the fault is not just with the young [Guardian, UK]

Why Let the Good Times Go Bad?

Campaign from [Drinkaware, UK]

Pathway to Home

The Way Home 2008-2013 and realising the 2010 Vision of the Homeless Agency Partnership’s action plan on homelessness in Dublin. 140-page PDF [Homeless Agency via drugsandalcohol.ie, Ireland]

US Releases $214 Million to Aid Mexico Drug Fight

The U.S. has released $214 million of an aid package to help Mexico fight drug trafficking, including funds for five helicopters for the military to be delivered by year's end [New York Times, USA]

Tobacco Companies Sue FDA Over New Restrictions

Tobacco companies including Reynolds American Inc. ( RAI) and Lorillard Inc. (LO) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. and the Food and Drug Administration, saying that a recent law imposes "unprecedented restrictions" on First Amendment rights [Nasdaq, USA]

Doubt cast on cannabis, schizophrenia link

This latest study, led by Dr Martin Frisher of Keele University, examined the records of 600,000 patients aged between 16 and 44, but failed to find a link [ABC, Australia]

CentreLines, August 2009

CentreLines, a joint publication from the National Drug Research Institute, Perth and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Sydney [NDRI, Australia]

School to serve alcohol to under-age students

A Christchurch school admits it is "vulnerable to criticism" for serving alcohol to under 18-year-olds at its school ball [Stuff.co, New Zealand]