Sunday November 19 , 2017

Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Addiction: a life long illness not lifestyle choice

Addiction: a life long illness not lifestyle choice

Addiction is a major health problem that costs as much as all other mental illnesses combined (about £40 billion per year) and about as much as cancer and cardiovascular disorders also.

At its core addiction is a state of altered brain function that leads to fundamental changes in behavior that are manifest by repeated use of alcohol or other drugs or engaging in activities such as gambling.  These are usually resisted, albeit unsuccessfully, by the addict.  The key features of addiction is therefore a state of habitual behaviour such as drug taking or gambling that is initially enjoyable but which eventually becomes self-sustaining or habitual. The urge to engage in the behaviour becomes so powerful that it interferes with normal life often to the point of overtaking work, personal relationships and family activities. At this point the person can be said to be addicted: the addict’s every thought and action is directed to their addiction and everything else suffers.

 

Drugs and harm to society

David Nutt and colleagues1 point out the extent of harm that alcohol does to individuals and to society. In countries with an established market economy, alcohol accounts for 10·3% of disability-adjusted life-years2 (second only to tobacco, with 11·7%).

Relevant also in recessionary times, alcohol has been estimated to cost the UK economy £55·1 billion3 annually (amounting over 15 years to the entire UK deficit). We believe the most important message from this study is therefore the urgent need for more action on the harm caused both to the individual and to society by alcohol.

 

People being prosecuted for possession on the rise.

Number of heroin and cocaine prosecutions soars

Published Date: 03 January 2011
THE number of people being prosecuted for possession of heroin or cocaine has risen by more than 50 per cent in a year.
A total of 288 people were prosecuted in the Lothians and Borders for possession of either cocaine or heroin in 2008-9 compared with 184 in the previous year, new figures show.

Across Scotland as a whole the number of people prosecuted for possession of heroin rose by 17.5 per cent and cocaine by 27 per cent.

Prosecution for the possession of ecstasy decreased by 42 per cent. The figures were revealed following a parliamentary question by Lib Dem MSP Robert Brown.

He said: “It is extremely worrying that prosecutions have risen for possession of illegal and harmful drugs in Scotland since last year, and there are particularly worrying hikes in offence numbers in certain parts of the country.

“In Dumfries and Galloway alone, heroin prosecutions have more than doubled and in Lothian and Borders they are up more than 50 per cent.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The prosecution of individual cases is a matter for the Crown Office.

“But Scotland is making significant progress in getting drugs off our streets. Since 2008-9, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency has seized over 1100kg of Class A drugs with an estimated street value of over £64 million.”

Earlier this year, a United Nations report showed 3.9 per cent of Scots now frequently use cocaine – the highest level of abuse in the world.

 

Most policies refuse to pay out if death is drug-related

MOST insurance policies will refuse to pay out if a death is drug related.

The small print in insurance forms for everything from mortgage protection to car insurance specifically excludes payment in cases such as drug abuse.

Aviva, one of the country’s largest insurers, is just one of many companies to specifically exclude payments in the event of accidental death linked to drugs.

The company’s standard mortgage- protection cover excludes everything from “taking alcohol or drugs (unless they are prescribed by a registered doctor in the Republic of Ireland)” to war, “engaging in a hazardous pursuit” or “taking part or attempting to take part in any aerial flight other than as a fare-paying passenger”.

The protection policy also says it won’t pay out in the event of “death in a country outside the EU” and following “an assault on the covered person which is not reported to the police”.

 

Will the mephedrone ban cause more drug deaths

Will the mephedrone ban cause more drug deaths?

Fascinating analysis on the Straight Statistics blog suggests that the now-banned drug mephedrone may have saved lives when it was legal.

 

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