Addiction, Corruption and Democracy……

12 Sep

The National Health Service is letting down large groups in society because of the Government’s inability to act on the advice of specialist healthcare professionals whilst impeding progress to service improvements with endless committees, reports and commissions.  This is particularly true of Drug and Alcohol services despite a unanimous consensus that the current status quo isn’t working and which has a detrimental effect on communities, businesses and the legal system……

House of Commons Affairs Committee……

As if any further demonstration was needed, after a year long enquiry into drugs and addiction, which reported to the fingers-in-earsCommons Affair Committee earlier this year, Keith Vaz recommended the immediate setting up a special Royal Commission as it was a ‘critical, now or never moment for serious reform’ and should report by 2015.  All he has achieved by making this recommendation is a delay in any action being taken until 2015, or later.  The Prime Minister, David Cameron, dismissed the call when one week earlier his deputy, Nick Clegg, backed the call, telling the BBC that is was time to break the conspiracy of silence in which serving politicians shy away from a proper discussion on drug policy……

The UK Drugs Policy Commission……

The UKPDC was given six years to look into drug and alcohol services.  Its remit has now come to an end.  The full report can be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking here.

In brief the UKDPC conclusions are not that different from many of the reports the Government has commissioned.  They say the way in which we collect and analyse evidence is woefully inadequate and that holds back cost effective policies. They also refer to the systems used in Canada where users are provided with a clean, monitored environment in which to use their drugs.  Their report also highlights the disjointed approach to tackling drug and alcohol problems where the Police, Mental Health Services, Family Services and other agencies don’t work in tandem on the problem……

Burying your Head in the Sand……

Current Policy

Current Policy

Some readers may remember Prof. David Nutt who was the Government’s Chief Advisor on drug policy.  Prof. Nutt proposed alternatives to the ‘standard’ Methadone or Subutex treatments that are use in the UK, advocating instead the use of Dia-Morphine.  This was not the ‘advice’ that the Government wanted to hear, so they sacked Prof. Nutt and found an ‘advisor’ that agreed with their limited vision toward drug treatments……

Drugs Don’t Kill People, Policies Do……

Heroin is the street name for Dia-Morphine, a drug that is used in hospitals every day.  It has a very low impact on the body and is no more dangerous than a Paracetamol.  The damage caused to Heroin addicts is not caused by the drug, rather the lifestyle that goes with it.  Finding the money to pay for it causes crime.  The drug is acquired illicitly and may be contaminated which causes the health issues, as does the cross contamination from sharing equipment.  The illicit nature of the drug means that the user does not know how strong it is, which can lead to overdose.  The list goes on.  If, like Prof. Nutt suggested, it was provided on prescription all of the potential harms are removed or controlled.  But ‘Prescribe Heroin to Heroin addicts’ is not the recommendation the politicians wanted.  It is a political hot potato so it is easier to continue with the status quo, even if that has an impact on the legal system with people being burgled, shoplifting, supporting organised crime and terrorism etc.

So, there is the political answer.  Rather than saving lives, reducing crime and offering what has been proven in all peer reviewed trials to be an effective treatment, MPs want the current situation to continue for fear of unpopularity amongst some ‘Sun’ readers.

The same self serving attitudes are the reason they don’t want to ban cigarette advertising or minimum alcohol pricing; 1, popularity and 2, upsetting their paymasters……

We’re all in this Together……

Only we’re not.  Very few of us earn £80,000 per year, with another £135,000 expenses to cover our first class travel, luxury business lunches and mandatory second homes.  Very few of us have ‘consultancy’ jobs paying £1,500 per hour for 2 hours asqcomp08 week and very few of us are given gifts to go to the Chelsea Flower Show with a champagne lunch thrown in.  And, very few of us have work contract that is completely blank and allows us act as we see fit.  Finally, very few of us get a whole years wages when we loose our jobs and go on to work for some of the ‘friends’ we made when we were in power.

Is it any surprise that the Government are unable to close the tax loopholes that allow billions to go unpaid or that they we able to find billions to bail out the privately held banks that are still returning large payouts to shareholders and multi-million pound remuneration packages for their employees.  I distinctly remember David Cameron state ‘No banker will receive more than £2000 as a bonus’ under his leadership; maybe I imagined it……

Democracy……

The will of the people, no, democracy; an old boy network that act in their own interest and in the interest of companies and people who will be of use to them when they loose their seat, as they inevitably will……

‘If only we were all in it together……’

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