News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

I thought I’d start a new weekly roundup of drug news hitting the mainstream media. Daily Dose does a brilliant daily roundup but my one will cast a wider net and will also include some video links where possible. As always, feedback welcome!

1. Science Daily – HIV Drugs, Abacavir And Didanosine Increase The Risk Of Heart Attack, Study Suggests. “A study to assess the adverse effects of anti-retroviral drugs shows that two of the widely used HIV drugs are associated with an increased risk of heart attack/the formation of blood clots in the heart. With the use of Didanosine; the risk of developing a heart attack increases by 49%, with Abacavir; the increased risk is 90%. The effect is most pronounced in patients with a high underlying cardiovascular risk. The research findings also show that the adverse effect is reversible, if patients discontinue use of these particular drugs”.

2. The Economic Times, India – Fake drugs market growing at alarming rate: ASSOCHAM. “NEW DELHI: With sale of fake and spurious drugs continuing unabated in the country, industry body ASSOCHAM said the market is growing at an alarming rate of 20-25 per cent, which has already exceeded the Rs 15,000-crore per annum mark nationally”.

3. The Telegraph, UK – GPs ‘increasing’ prescription drug addicts. “Doctors are fuelling the number of people hooked on prescription drugs by giving patients highly addictive medicines for longer than they should, a parliamentary inquiry is expected to conclude. GPs are ignoring official guidelines that state patients should not take powerful tranquilisers such as Valium for longer than four weeks, the all-party group on drugs misuse will claim later this year”.

4. Science Daily – Sex, Drugs And Alcohol: Parents Still Influence College Kids’ Risky Behavior, Study Shows. “New research shows that parents influence their child’s likelihood of involvement with drugs, alcohol and risky sexual activity even after their child leaves for college”.

5. The Press Association, UK – Drug treatment spending examined. “The scale and effectiveness of spending on drug treatment is to be the subject of a wide-ranging report in Scotland. And ministers admitted that a “rethink” is needed on the national approach to the drugs problem”.

6. Times Online, UK – ‘Suicide rating’ could be given to every new drug licensed in UK. “Every new drug licensed in Britain will be given a “suicide rating” under proposals for a big shake-up in the rules governing pharmaceutical development. European regulators are also to require pharmaceutical companies to include a comprehensive suicide assessment into trials of new medicines”.

7. Manila Times – Education key to effective
illicit-drug policy–envoy
. “Making drug use a crime is no guarantee that there will be fewer drug users, an envoy said. “By making something taboo, you make it more attractive,” said Dutch ambassador to the Philippines, Richard Brinks, in an exclusive roundtable interview with The Manila Times recently. “Repressive policies just make people more curious””.

8. Nigerian Tribune – Meet Victoria Kokobi, Indian hemp dealer who disguised as garri merchant. “For Victoria, a 62-year-old grandmother, garri business is hard and not lucrative when compared with sales of marijuana. For several years, she has been involved in the trade, using garri as a cover up, but recently, the eagle eyes of the officials of the NDLEA got her”.

9. – ‘Just Say No’ to drugs approach has failed. “ALL sport stars have one thing in common. Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, David Beckham: they all have the rare gift of perfect timing. So it came as no surprise that AFL superstar Ben Cousins held a press conference on Wednesday in Sydney to discuss his drug problem at exactly the same time that news came through that Maharishi Yogi, the Indian guru to the Beatles, had died. Meanwhile, the medical report into the death of Heath Ledger was being handed down”.

10. The Observer, UK – Legal drug craze is new killer. “Alex is a man who prides himself on sticking to routine. He likes to start the day with a large cappuccino from Starbucks and to end it with a handful of anti-depressants washed down with vodka. ‘It’s my treat after coming home from work,’ he says. ‘I guess it just chills me out a little'”.

11. – Spiders on drugs: