Weekly news - 30th Ocober 2009

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Estimating drug harms: a risky business?

Professor David Nutt, Eve Saville Lecture 2009. 13-page PDF [Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, King’s College, UK]

Seizures of Drugs in England and Wales, 2008/09

This publication presents figures for drug seizures made by law enforcement agencies in England and Wales during 2008/09 [Home Office, UK]

Shooting Up: Infections among injecting drug users in the United Kingdom 2008

(Revised figure 8) on this 32-page PDF update [Health Protection Agency, UK]

Important changes announced to Welfare Reform Bill

During the House of Lords Report Stage debate on the Welfare Reform Bill (22nd October) the government announced concessions to measures specific to problem drug users: claimants will not be required to undergo treatment as a condition of receiving benefit and some limits will be placed on when a claimant can be required to undergo drug testing [Drugscope, UK]

The Cocaine Trade - Home Affairs committee: Witnesses

1. Paul Hayes, Chief Executive, National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, and The Priory Hospital
2. Professor Nutt, Chair, Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs

Videos from The Globalisation of Addiction

Bruce Alexander with SFF and KDOS [FEAD, 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]

Dodgy dossiers of addiction non-treatment

The content and intertwined interests of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse’s document – Effectiveness of community treatments for heroin and crack cocaine addiction in England: a prospective, in-treatment cohort study – have been questioned [Addiction Today, 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]

Scientists v Politicians: Round 3

Professor Nutt is a passionate believer in the importance of scientific evidence to underpin public policy and seems determined to initiate a serious debate about the relative harms associated with illegal and legal drugs [Mark Easton, BBC, UK]

Provisional alcohol-related hospital admissions data for 2008/09

Excel spreadsheets [LAPE, UK]

Influences on how children and young people learn about and behave towards alcohol

Part one of a review of the literature. 64-page PDF [Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK]

Influences on how children and young people learn about and behave towards alcohol

Part two of a review of the literature. 60-page PDF [Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK]

Young people and alcohol: meanings, practices and contexts

The reviews focused on the alcohol-related risks facing young people (Templeton, 2009), the reported effects of national and local programmes on problems arising from alcohol use by young people (Tyler, 2009), and the effectiveness of national policies to reduce alcohol-related harm among young people. 45-page PDF [Institute of Education, University of London, 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]

Document Collection on Overdose

This collection brings together [50] documents that provide the best information on overdose and overdose prevention [IHRA]

Retention in opioid replacement programmes improves chances of HIV treatment working for drug users

HIV-positive injecting drug users who are retained in opioid substitution therapy programmes have an increased chance of maintaining an undetectable viral load when taking HIV treatment [Aidsmap, 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]

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September

Research findings, program activities, congressional affairs, international activities etc. [NIDA, USA]

Marijuana Legalization; A Non-Starter

Statement by director R. Gil Kerlikowske - Attorney General Holder issued very clear guidelines to U.S. Attorneys about the appropriate use of Federal resources. He did not open the door to legalization [ONDCP, USA]

Legalizing Marijuana: Issues to Consider Before Reforming California State Law

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

The NSDUH Report - Injection Drug Use and Related Risk Behaviors

Combined 2006 to 2008 data indicate that an annual average of 425,000 persons aged 12 or older (0.17 percent) used a needle to inject heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or other stimulants during the past year [SAMHSA, USA]

From corrections to the community

A set of indicators of the health of Australia's prisoners [AIHW, Australia]

Indonesia adopts new repressive narcotics law

Although a careful textual analysis of the legislation is still needed, it is clear that the political considerations far outweighed sensible drug policy arguments in the adoption process, which is reflected in the texts [IDPC]