DS Daily - 21st September 2009


The Calm Within

Trial by public. The importance of not playing to the gallery - Claire Brown [Editorial, Drink and Drugs News, UK] More DDN features >

> The Calm Within - cover story

> The economics of recovery

> "You have a new message"

> Moving together

> Mother of all issues

Jack Straw calls for heroin on prescription

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, has called for the NHS to give out heroin on prescription to addicts where other forms of treatment have failed [Telegraph, UK]

How many lives would have been lost if we didn't have controls on drugs?

Decriminalisation would be disaster for poor countries. We need a balanced approach covering health, development and security - Antonio Maria Costa [Comment, Observer, UK]

The war on drugs is a waste of time

It is not only very expensive and misdirected activity, but counterproductive and harmfu - Tom Lloyd, former chief constable [Comment, Observer, UK]

John Gray's Legalise drugs article - replies

Last week, philosopher and author John Gray argued in our Comment pages that it was time to legalise drugs. Here are some of your responses to his article [Letters, Observer, UK]

The Observer drugs debate

Round table: Ann Widdecombe, Camila Batmanghelidjh, AC Grayling, Erwin James, Philip Pullman, Kenneth Roth and Karol Sikora debate the UK's approach to drugs [Observer, UK]

Students warned of lethal risks from 'legal highs'

Ministers back campaign to warn clubbers of health dangers [Observer, UK]

UK addicts may be given free foil for 'safer' heroin smoking

UK authorities could give out free foil to protect heroin addicts' health [Observer, UK]

Heroin and the road to self-respect

Treating addicts with pharmaceutical heroin is beneficial emotionally and financially – I've seen it first-hand - Adam Baxter [Comment, Guardian, UK]

Leap of faith in addicts makes a huge difference

LEAP's second anniversary this weekend has brought clearer indications than ever that it seems to be working for many. Its 60 per cent success rate compares with 40 to 50 per cent who go through similar privately-run rehab programmes [Edinburgh Evening News, UK]

Briefing on Gender Equality Duty

Among other information, it covers the obligations of both service providers and commissioners/funders in ensuring that men and women have equality of access to services [Stella Project, UK]

New adverts expose the risk of 'legal highs'

The campaign by FRANK, aimed at 18-24 year old clubbers including the student clubbing community, highlights the potential danger of these substances, particularly when mixed with alcohol [Home Office, UK]

“C” for reform

These are interesting times indeed. The government seems to have woken up to the need for proper data collection in its research concerning illegal drug use, the legalisation debate has been raging in the Guardian, heroin trials are a success and Gordon Brown finally used the “C” word [UKCIA]

HMP Wandsworth

Annual Report - more reports here [Independent Monitoring Board, UK]

Inmates 'take £1m worth of drugs'

The Independent Monitoring Board said illegal drugs with a street value of about £1m were used at south-west London's Wandsworth Prison each year [BBC, UK]

'Teach' over fives about alcohol

A whisky expert has called for children aged five and over to be "educated" about alcohol in a bid to combat its misuse ... I have been working with the Greater Easterhouse Alcohol Awareness project for two years and they bring an understanding of alcohol to around 40 schools [BBC, UK]

NI child drug use 'highest in EU'

Nearly one in 10 children in Northern Ireland under the age of 12 have tried cannabis, according to a new survey conducted by Queen's University [BBC, UK]

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt's son, 21, charged with cocaine possession

Nicholas Hewitt Birtles, 21, whose father is a judge, was caught with the Class A drug near his home in Camden, North London, on Saturday night [Daily Mail, UK]

Britain's gone soft on drunks

Stigma of being inebriated in the street disappears as number of convictions plummets [Daily Mail, UK]

EMCDDA policy briefing underlines need for enforceable and evidence-based laws

Alcohol alone is estimated to account for up to 10 000 road deaths a year in the EU, one quarter of all road deaths. But there are no comparable figures are available for road accidents relating to illcit drugs and psychoactive medicines. Theme sheet - Fact sheet [EMCDDA]

Vancouver: Life on the edge

Downtown Eastside (DTES) has a disproportionately high number of homeless people, of drug addicts, people with mental health problems and the unemployed [BBC, UK]

Can a daily pill really boost your brain power?

In America, university students are taking illegally obtained prescription drugs to make them more intelligent. But would you pop a smart pill to improve your performance? [Observer, UK]

Taking the Fun Out of Popping Pain Pills

The hope for abuser-unfriendly pills is that they might eventually decrease abuse [New York Times, USA]

US struggles to keep up in Puerto Rico's drug war

While most of the drugs reaching the United States arrive through the southwest border, an estimated 30 percent come through the Caribbean - and of all the islands, authorities say, Puerto Rico is easily the biggest transshipment point [Washington Post, USA]

Risky uni drinkers a brain drain

More than a third of university students drink to harmful levels, risking permanent brain damage [The Age, Australia]