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ADVISORY COUNCIL ON THE MISUSE OF DRUGS ANNUAL REPORT FINANCIAL YEAR 1998/99


Action Against Drugs Unit April 1999

CONTENTS

1. Introduction
2. Background
3. Membership, training & support arrangements
4. Meetings and Recommendations
5. Financial matters

Annex A Current Members of the Council
Annex B Members who left the Council during 1998/99

1. INTRODUCTION

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is a statutory and non-executive non-departmental public body, which is established under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

This is the first annual report of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to reflect the requirement of the Commissioner for Public Appointments that such reports by non-departmental public bodies should be made publicly available.

It provides details of the Advisory Council’s background and rôle, its membership and support arrangements, and the main issues which it considered in 1998-99.

During the year other requirements of the Commissioner for Public Appointments have been applied to the Council - a code of practice for Council members has been drawn up and implemented; the members have made declarations about political activity; and they have been asked to declare any possible conflicts of interest.

Any enquiries about this report or about any aspect of the work of the Council should be addressed to:

Action Against Drugs Unit
Home Office
50 Queen Anne’s Gate
LONDON
SW1H 9AT

for the attention of Miss Julia Wright
( 020 7273 2994, fax 020 7273 2671).

2. BACKGROUND

Terms Of Reference

The terms of reference of the Advisory Council are set out in Section 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as follows:

" It shall be the duty of the Advisory Council to keep under review the situation in the United Kingdom with respect to drugs which are being or appear to them likely to be misused and of which the misuse is having or appears to them capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem, and to give to any one or more of the Ministers, where either Council consider it expedient to do so or they are consulted by the Minister or Ministers in question, advice on measures (whether or not involving alteration of the law) which in the opinion of the Council ought to be taken for preventing the misuse of such drugs or dealing with social problems connected with their misuse, and in particular on measures which in the opinion of the Council, ought to be taken:

  • for restricting the availability of such drugs or supervising the arrangements for their supply;
  • for enabling persons affected by the misuse of such drugs to obtain proper advice, and for securing the provision of proper facilities and services for the treatment, rehabilitation and after-care of such persons;
  • for promoting co-operation between the various professional and community services which in the opinion of the Council have a part to play in dealing with social problems connected with the misuse of drugs;
  • for educating the public (and in particular the young) in the dangers of misusing such drugs and for giving publicity to those dangers; and
  • for promoting research into, or otherwise obtaining information about, any matter which in the opinion of the Council is of relevance for the purpose of preventing the misuse of such drugs or dealing with any social problem connected with their misuse".

A further duty is placed on the Council by the Act to consider any matter relating to drug dependence or the misuse of drugs which may be referred to them by any one of the Ministers concerned, and in particular to consider and advise the Home Secretary on any communication which he refers to the Council which relates to the control of a dangerous or otherwise harmful drug and which is made to Her Majesty’s Government by any organisation or authority established by treaty, convention or other agreement or arrangement to which Her Majesty’s Government is a party.

Under the Act the Home Secretary is obliged to consult the Council before laying draft Orders in Council or making regulations.

3. MEMBERSHIP & SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS

Under the Act members of the Advisory Council, of whom there should be not less than 20, are appointed by the Secretary of State. They must include representatives of the practices of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry, and chemistry other than pharmaceutical chemistry; and people who have a wide and recent experience of social problems connected with the misuse of drugs.

Committees and working groups may be appointed by the Council to report to it on any matter referred to them by the Council. The committees are usually standing bodies, of which there are two at the moment. They each meet twice a year shortly before full Council meetings. The two current committees cover technical matters and statistics, information and research matters.

A working group (the Prevention Working Group) in October 1997 started an enquiry into preventing deaths from drug misuse and will produce a report for the Council in due course, taking about two years in all.

Both the committees and the working group include some co-opted members who are not also members of the Council.

Further biographical information about the current members of the Council can be found at Annex B and about members who left the Council at Annex C.

Appointments are made in accordance with the guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has no staff or budget of its own. Administrative support is provided by a secretariat comprising staff from the Action Against Drugs Unit of the Home Office. In the period of this report those staff who spent a significant proportion of their time, but not necessarily all of it, in secretarial duties for the Council were Richard Rhodes, Julia Wright, Sue Mitchell and Claire Harrod.

The Council also wishes to record its appreciation of the contribution made by its former chairman, Professor David Grahame-Smith CBE, who retired on 31 October 1998 after 10 years in office. His tenure as chairman was marked by a series of initiatives which have had a substantial impact on the problem of drug misuse.

4. MEETINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

In the financial year 1998-1999 the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs met on the following occasions:
21 May 1998
19 November 1998

The Statistics Information and Research Committee met on :
16 April 1998
8 October 1998

The Technical Committee met on :
22 April 1998
21 October 1998

The Prevention Working Group met on :
23 April 1998, 4 June 1998, 23 July 1998, 3 September 1998, 22 October 1998, 3 December 1998, 28 January 1999
11 March 1999

Summary of main advice

During the course of the year the Council gave the following main advice to the Government,

  • the drug gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) should not be brought under the control of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 but that other measures should be taken to address its misuse
  • all the benzodiazepines should be re-scheduled under Schedule 3 of Part II of the 1985 regulations.
  • further consideration should be given by the Government to making the supply by drug services of water for injection and other drug injecting articles lawful under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
  • more needed to be done by the Government to deal with the worrying issue of Hepatitis C among injecting drug users.
  • 4-Androstene-3,17-dione and an analogue of it should be brought under the controls of the misuse of drugs legislation
  • 4-Methylthioamphetamine (4-MTA) should be brought under the control of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
  • the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1985 should be amended so as to allow computer-issued prescriptions for Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 controlled drugs
  • the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1985 should be amended so as to allow registers and other records to be held and preserved on computer
  • the rapid increase over the last few years in the prescribing of methylphenidate (Ritalin), a Schedule 2 controlled drug, gave cause for anxiety.

Published reports

The Advisory Council produced a report, "Drug Misuse and the Environment", which was published by the Stationery Office in June 1998 (ISBN 0-11-341183-9). The report recommended that environmental responses should feature more strongly in the total mix of drug prevention activities at both national and local level. It proposed some specific environmentally-based drug prevention measures.

Reports in preparation

The Prevention Working Group is currently undertaking an enquiry into preventing deaths from drug misuse which it expects to be complete around the end of 1999.

5. FINANCIAL MATTERS

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs had an annual budget of £21,000 for the financial year 1998-99, which formed part of the budget of the Action Against Drugs Unit.

Almost 100% of the budget was spent on the members’ travelling and subsistence expenses incurred by attendance at meetings.

The Advisory Council generates no income of its own.

ANNEX A

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON THE MISUSE OF DRUGS CURRENT MEMBERS:

Sir Michael Rawlins
Chairman of the Council .
Newly appointed from 1 November 1998 – 31 October 2002.
Professor of Pharmacology , University of Newcastle

Mr Vivian Ahmun
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001 .
Director, Network Drugs Advice Project London

Mrs Joy Barlow
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Assistant Director, Arberlour Child Care Trust, Stirling

Reverend Martin Blakeborough
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Director, Kaleidoscope Drugs Project, Kingston upon Thames

Mr Raj Boyjoonauth
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Specialist Manager, The Riverside Mental Health Service, London

Mr Alexander Cameron
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Director of Social Work, South Lanarkshire Council

Dr William Clee
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
General Medical Practitioner, South Wales

Dr Michael Donmall
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Unit Director, NW Regional Drug Research Unit, Manchester

Dr Anthony Duxbury
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December
Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine, University Dental Hospital of Manchester

Professor Griffith Edwards
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-30 June 2000
Emeritus Professor of Addictive Behaviour, National Addiction Centre

Ms Vivienne Evans
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Consultancy and Training Manager, The Advisory Council on Drugs and Alcohol Education, Manchester

Dr Laurence Gruer
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2000
Director HIV & Addictions Clinical Directorate Resource Centre, Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow

Ms Kim Hager
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Independent Drugs Counsellor, Exeter

Mr Paul Hayes
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
South East London Probation Service

Mr Russell Hayton
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Manager of Drug and Alcohol services, Plymouth NHS Trust

Ms Lorraine Hewitt
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Project Manager, the Stockwell Project, West Lambeth Community Care Trust

Mr Peter Housden
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Chief Executive, Nottingham County Council

Mr Roger Howard
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Chief Executive, Standing Conference on Drug Abuse

Mr Alan Hunter
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Secretary to the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry

Professor Ronald Jones
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Professor of Veterinary Anaesthesia, University of Liverpool

Professor Malcolm Lader
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-30 June 2000
Professor of Psychopharmacology, Institute of Psychiatry, London

Professor Otto Meth-Cohn
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Chemistry Department, University of Sunderland

Mr Michael Narayn Singh
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Public Education Officer, Manchester City Council

Dr Diana Patterson
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Consultant Psychiatrist, Shaftesbury Square Hospital, Belfast

Mr Colin Phillips
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary

Ms Sylvie Pierce
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Chief Executive, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Mrs Kay Roberts
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Area pharmacy Specialist-Drug Abuse, Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust

Mrs Patricia Roberts
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Director of the Drug Studies Unit, Ruskin

Dr Roy Robertson
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
General Medical Practitioner, Edinburgh

Dr Sue Ruben
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Consultant Psychiatrist, Liverpool

Mr Ian Sherwood
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist, Avon Drug Problem Team

Professor Gerry Stimson
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-30 June 2000
Director of the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour

Professor John Strang
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Director of the Addiction Research Unit, National Addiction Centre

Mr Peter Walker
Re-appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Headteacher, the Abbey School, Kent

Mrs Barbara Whiteley
Newly appointed from 1 January 1999-31 December 2001
Magistrate, London

ANNEX B

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON THE MISUSE OF DRUGS: MEMBERS WHO LEFT THE COUNCIL DURING 1998/99

Professor David Grahame Smith
Former Chairman of the Council.
Appointment ended 31 October 1998.
Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford

Mr Ronald Bartle
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, London

Mr David Bernstein
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Trustee of Broadreach House Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre, Plymouth and of the Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust

Ms Anna Bradley
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Former Director of the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence

Mr Mike Hindson
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Assistant Chief Probation Officer, Manchester

Ms Ruth Joyce
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Formerly of the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse

Mr James Kay
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Managing Director Healthwise Limited, Liverpool

Mr Anthony Massam
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Former Director of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry

Ms Sally O’Sullivan
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Former Editor-in-Chief, Ideal Home

Mr David Temple
Appointment ended 31 December 1998
Director of Post Graduate Pharmaceutical Studies, University of Wales


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Page updated 22 January 2001

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