Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers
I’m wholly on the side of senior nurses who, at their annual conference in Liverpool, called for those with drink-related injuries to be turned away from A&E and directed instead to ‘drunk tanks’… It’s not just that these idiotic individuals cost money we can ill afford (£3.5bn a year is spent on treating patients for the effects of alcohol; at weekends, up to 70 per cent of A&E admissions are alcohol-related); it’s also that patching up these fools diverts precious resources from other areas of the NHS. Areas such as care for the elderly, that are manifestly more deserving than some silly girl who’s drunk her own weight in Bacardi Breezers and who is slumped unconscious in a pool of her own bodily fluids.
Sarah Vine, Mail, 18 June
The next time you hear someone complaining about the ‘nanny state’ or the right of individuals to drink as they see fit, spare a thought for the people around the drinker. In particular, consider whether our children and young people have the right to grow up in an environment that protects them from the harm that alcohol causes.
Dr Evelyn Gillan, Scotsman, 5 June
The elephant in the room is the truth that it’s pleasure that drives drug use – guidelines that fail to acknowledge this will mean people will not pay attention to them.
E-cigarettes are either going to save millions of lives by helping people to quit smoking or they are going to destroy millions of lives by luring children and young people into the habit. It is very hard for the onlooker to know what to believe, when the rhetoric is flying in both directions from very eminent people who all have a passionate commitment to public health.
Sarah Boseley, Guardian, 16 June
The wildly contradictory reports on the health effects of the e-cigarette mean the only certainty I have about them is that no one knows what sucking in clouds of liquid nicotine really does to the human body… it’s not all that long ago that cigarettes were warmly welcomed into society – and millions suffered and still suffer the cancers to show for it. Well before e-cigs become just as entrenched, we need more research to discover how they work.
Lucy Tobin, London Evening Standard, 13 June
Sending drug users to jail is usually an expensive waste of time. But decriminalisation’s flaw is that it does nothing to undermine the criminal monopoly on the multi-billion-dollar drugs industry. The decriminalised cocaine consumed without criminal consequences in Portugal is still supplied by the gangs who cut off heads in Colombia. Only legalisation takes the business out of the hands of the mafia.
Economist, 18 June
Tony Blair was absolutely right to make the link between opium production in southern Afghanistan and heroin use in Britain. But it is clear now that he and others were wrong to think this link could be broken through military action internationally and police enforcement domestically.
William Patey, Guardian, 25 June