DS Daily - 23rd March 2012


Closing time

Counting the cost of alcohol-attributable hospital admissions in London | London Health Observatory, UK

Alcohol industry sheds a billion units to cut hospital admissions and 1,000 deaths

A billion units of alcohol will be shed by the alcohol industry through an ambitious plan to help customers drink within guidelines, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced today | Department of Health, UK

Minimum alcohol price planned for England and Wales

The government is proposing a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol in England and Wales in an effort to stamp out binge drinking | BBC, UK

How Lansley and drinks industry lined up against alcohol pricing moves

The health secretary was defeated after coming into conflict with Downing Street | Guardian, UK

Alcohol abuse is costing London hospitals £264 million per year

A report revealed that the cost of treating patients with alcohol-related problems varies widely between boroughs | London Evening Standard, UK

How others are tackling problem drinking

But England is not the only country to try to tackle this problem. What have other nations been up to? | BBC, UK

Scotland weighs up level of alcohol minimum pricing

Alcohol abuse one of Scotland's biggest 'demons', says Alex Salmond as Holyrood prepares to tackle binge drinking | Guardian, UK

Quietly, cannabis has in effect been decriminalised in Britain

The police and the courts can neither keep up with the surge in small-scale production, nor are they desperately keen to do so | The Economist

Family support: everybody's business?

Conference retrospective - how families affected by drugs and alcohol fit into a wide range of different policy and practice agendas, and how best to support them in a changing political and financial climate | Adfam, UK

Home Affairs Committee take evidence on the role of private companies in policing

This topical session is a chance for the Committee to find out more about the contract which West Midlands and Surrey police have put out to tender for various services currently performed by police staff and officers | Parliament, UK

Fear over plans to privatise child mental health service

Richard Branson's Virgin Care is among the bidders to run one English county's child mental health services, sparking concern that vital social care expertise could be lost | Community Care, UK

Richard Branson - Latin America leading the way in drugs debate

Taking part in the Google+ Versus Drugs debate last week gave me another opportunity to witness first-hand the will for a change in the way we approach drug policy, with leading figures from across the world calling for a different approach | Virgin

Industry makes more than £3,500 profit for every person killed by tobacco

In 2010 the six biggest tobacco firms pocketed a total £22.2 billion in profits, more than the combined earnings of Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Microsoft for that year, according to the latest edition of The Tobacco Atlas | Cancer Research UK

Lung cancer screening programme trial for Scotland

The trial will involve people who have smoked at least 20 a day for more than 20 years, who are most at risk | BBC, UK

HSE benzodiazepine letters to encourage quality prescribing

The HSE has written to all GPs outlining their levels of benzodiazepine and other hypnotics GMS prescribing in a new initiative to encourage better quality prescribing of these drugs | Medical Independent, Ireland

New EMCDDA multicity project on wastewater analysis

The EMCDDA has recently launched a multicity ‘demonstration project’ to investigate the potential of wastewater analysis as an indicator for estimating community drug use levels | EMCDDA

National Treatment Indicators Report, 2012

The inaugural National Treatment Indicators report - prepared by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse collaboratively with the National Treatment Indicators Working Group - is intended as a first step toward addressing the current gap in substance use treatment data at the national level | Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Don't suspend students caught with drugs, advocate says

Thunder Bay drug strategy wants schools to help students, rather than cast them out | CBC News, Canada

Director Kerlikowske Addresses the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

In Vienna, Austria last week to attend the opening of the 55th Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND), Director Kerlikowske spoke candidly about drug policy in the United States and the Obama Administration’s unprecedented efforts to rebalance the way we address this global challenge | ONDCP, USA

Whitney Houston drowned after cocaine use, says coroner

Whitney Houston's death was caused by accidental drowning, but drug abuse and heart disease were also factors, a coroner has ruled | BBC, UK

QLD judiciary ill prepared to handle FASD cases

Whether as victims or offenders, people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are highly likely to come into contact with Australia’s criminal justice system, however a study of the Queensland judiciary has highlighted a complete absence of formal FASD training and education | FARE, Australia

Thailand: executing drug dealers within 15 days?

"If drug suspects face the death penalty," Chalerm Yoobamrung said, according to the Bangkok Post, "I'll change the law so that they will be executed within 15 days. Otherwise, they will go to jail, run amok and work with other criminals again." | Global Post