Compiled by Susan Savva


Steve Allsop, a valued Assistant Editor with Addiction, is the new director of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) based at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. NDRI conducts and disseminates high quality research with the aim of preventing harmful drug use in Australia. Steve's previous roles have included director of the Alcohol Studies Centre, Paisley, Scotland; director of the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction in South Australia; Associate Professor in International Health at Curtin University and Associate Executive Director of the Drug and Alcohol Office in Western Australia. We wish him well in his new post. Steve may be contacted at


The Jellinek Memorial Fund is soliciting nominations for the 2006 prize. The Fund provides an annual cash award to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the alcohol or alcoholism field and who would serve as a model to others who may be attracted to work in this field. The cash award is 5000 Canadian dollars. Nominations may come from any country. The category of the 2006 award is ‘Behavioral (Clinical and Experimental) Studies’. In addition to the cash award, a bust of the late E. M. Jellinek, suitably inscribed, is presented to the awardee. This prestigious award is traditionally presented at a major international conference and, if necessary, travel and accommodation expenses are provided to permit the awardee to attend the presentation.

Nominations should include a letter describing in detail the principal contribution or contributions for which the candidate is being nominated, together with their current curriculum vitae. Four copies of this material should be sent to the chair of the Selection Committee: Dr Richard Fuller, 20 Paddock Ct., Potomac, MD 20854, USA, to be received not later than 1 November 2005.


An internet resource which will be of value to UK practitioners working with people with drug and alcohol problems is

Maintained by the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) and linked with a free fortnightly online magazine, Drink and Drugs News, the site gives access to information on conferences and events, training courses, job vacancies, and ‘best practice’ guidance. There are details of professional registration and accreditation schemes offered by FDAP and others. In addition, this well-designed website gives you access to a range of useful resources such as drug and alcohol ‘facts’; a list of periodicals (including Addiction); links through to the library services at Alcohol Concern and Drugscope, and to full-text versions of the national drug strategies for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Seen on a wall inside a restaurant in rue Pacquis, Geneva, a poster for the recent Swiss referendum containing a historical reference to the banning of absinthe a century before. A green fairy in a coffin in front of a gaunt black-clad priest bears the legend ‘the hour tolls’ according to my correspondent. The law in Switzerland has now been altered to lift the absinthe ban, which will bring the country in line with most of Europe. Swiss distillers can come out of their cellars and sheds and some are hoping to persuade the authorities to grant official ‘appellation’ status to the ‘best’ absinthe from the Val-de-Travers region (New York Times, 4 November 2004).

Absinthe's colourful reputation has clouded the facts. Despite strongly-held beliefs to the contrary, it has never been illegal in most of Europe. In the United States, it is a prohibited substance which has everything to do with customs and import regulations but nothing to do with possession or consumption, which do not carry a penalty. A little research on the internet demonstrates the fascination still exerted by the fée verte – and sales must be flourishing as a result.