Danish News in Brief: Fuelling a nation of addicts

Many drug addicts may notice a fall in the amount of cannabis and cocaine on the streets following a major bust, but they can always try their local doctor

A survey of GPs reveals the vast majority are failing to follow official procedures when it comes to prescribing addictive medications, reports DR.

The survey carried out by the patient safety body Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed found that 83 out of 99 doctors were negligent in the area.

Not only are doctors prescribing over the telephone without meeting the patients, they are often giving them the green light to take lengthy courses.

Morphine among the favourites
Pain-relief drugs containing morphine and treatments for anxiety or insomnia containing benzodiazepines are among the drugs being readily prescribed.

DR spoke to one woman who was able to call a GP and get morphine prescribed without any face-to-face contact. She is a long-term opioids addict.

The official procedures advocate consultations, treatment plans and shorter prescription courses.

Female priests outnumber their male counterparts
More than half of the nation’s priests are female. Fully 70 years after Denmark got its first three female priests, they have gone out – to paraphrase a Biblical expression – and multiplied. Today, 51 percent of the country’s priests are women, according to a review of the country’s 2,163 parishes carried out by DR in collaboration with the Church Ministry and Folkekirken. However, most senior Folkekirken clergy are men.

14 drug-related arrests in Denmark as part of international bust
Just two weeks after a massive drugs haul was discovered in Amager, 14 people have been arrested in Denmark under suspicion they are responsible for smuggling two tonnes of cannabis and other drugs into the country. Arrests have also been made in Sweden and the Netherlands, and the operation included those countries’ police forces as well as Spain’s. It is unclear whether the haul and arrests are related, but it would appear there is a north African connection to the two. In addition to the two tonnes of cannabis, 11 kilos of cocaine was also seized by the Danish authorities, along with other sizeable drug amounts in the other three countries.

READ MORE: Massive drugs haul found in Amager

Uncertainty over cause of Maersk Line fire
It has not been established how a fire started on the container ship ‘Maersk Homan’ in the Indian Ocean on March 7, which may have claimed the lives of four crew members. As well as damage sustained to the Maersk Line vessel, the contents of dozens of containers have been lost, and media is now speculating whether a dangerous substance might have been the cause. In the case of the ‘Charlotte Maersk’ in 2010, methyl ethyl ketone peroxide caused a fire that raged for 11 days.