DS Daily - 25th January 2012


Is drug legalisation debate missing the point?

As Sir Richard Branson recommends decriminalising drugs, Channel 4 News hears that the real fight for those harmed by drug misuse is against cuts to care | Channel 4, UK

The war on the truth about drugs

So sentencing for some offences will be reduced – but we're still left with an unscientific drug policy obsessed with 'the message' | Guardian, UK

Should we legalise drugs to win the war?

Former drugs counsellor Danny Kushlick, of think tank Transform Drug Policy Foundation, explains government regulation is vital | The Mirror, UK

Richard Branson drugs policy advice to David Cameron

Sir Richard Branson said politicians should ignore newspapers like the Daily Mail, and reform the UK drug laws | BBC, UK

Killed by cannabis: Boy, 16, dies falling down stairs while high on skunk ...

... and proves Sir Richard Branson is wrong about drugs | Daily Mail, UK

100 years of the war on drugs

The first international drug treaty was signed a century ago this week. So what was the war on drugs like in 1912? | BBC, UK

Study reveals limitations of drug testing policy

A study by researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University has found that drugs testing alone is not an effective deterrent in preventing athletes from taking performance-enhancing substances | Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

New funding to tackle female offending

More than 5,000 women this year are expected to benefit from these centres, which focus on addressing the root causes of offending, including substance abuse and issues around domestic and sexual violence | Justice.gov, UK

Weaning addicts costs the taxpayer

Methadone prescribed to wean drug addicts off heroin could make them seriously ill - and in the future may cost taxpayers a fortune, says Peter McCann, Chairman at Borders-based addiction treatment centre Castle Craig. Article from the Sunday Post | Castle Craig, UK

Final call for alcohol consultation response - one week to go

With its consultation deadline closing on 31 January 2012, the Portman Group is calling for people to submit their final responses about changes to the Code of Practice for responsible alcohol marketing | The Portman Group, UK

YJB acts on think-tank recommendations

The Youth Justice Board is set to introduce a number of reforms suggested in a major report by think-tank the Centre for Social Justice, it has emerged | Children & Young People Now, UK

The introduction of the Work Programme

The Department for Work and Pensions has introduced the Work Programme quickly, in just over a year, and this has had benefits, but the speed with which it was launched has also increased risks, according to the National Audit Office. Full report | NAO, UK

Will the Work Programme Work?

In this paper, the SMF examines the viability of WP by forecasting the likely performance of the providers during the first three years, based on the actual performance achieved under the Flexible New Deal (FND), Labour's welfare to work scheme and the forerunner to WP - Download | Social Market Foundation

'Plain packs will make smoking history'

Simon Chapman, the anti-tobacco activist whose success in Australia has rattled the industry, makes a rallying visit to the UK | Guardian, UK

Smoking cessation counselling and treatment during routine HIV care helps patients to quit

The provision of smoking cessation counselling and therapy during routine HIV care increases the chances that patients will quit smoking and stay stopped, according to Swiss research published in HIV Medicine | Aidsmap, UK

Public consultation launched to help develop Mental Health Act statistics

Views are welcome from groups and individuals - from health professionals to the general public - about shaping the future content of the well established annual report; ‘Inpatients Detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, and Patients subject to Supervised Community treatment' | NHS Information Centre, UK

Groundbreaking test predicts success of drug treatment

The test, invented and developed by the university’s department of psychology, can predict whether a cocaine addict will attend treatment and how successful that treatment will be | Irish Examiner

Advertising ban on alcohol products necessary

Committee on Health and Children Report | Oireachtas, Ireland

Ban on selling alcohol in shops urged

The Report on the Misuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs, from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children, recommended an outright ban should be considered “in the longer term” in such outlets | Irish Times

Whole of Government Victorian Alcohol and Drug Strategy

The Victorian Government is encouraging Victorians to provide comment and ideas on how the harms associated with alcohol and drugs can be reduced - this will help shape the Strategy, including reflections on the current treatment system, role of government and ideas for reforms in specific area. Consultation | Department of Health, Victoria, Australia

Pricing and Taxation Policy Reforms

What are the Options? Pricing and Taxation Policy Reforms to Redress Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Related Harms in Australia | NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Australia

UNODC supports Kyrgyz anti-drug agency in curbing narcotics and organized crime

UNODC has boosted material, technical and logistical support for the State Service on Drug Control of Kyrgyzstan (SSDC) as a first step towards strengthening the agency's capacity to counter trafficking in illicit drugs and precursors | UNODC