Heroin abuse is a public health issue letters opinion the guardian electricity definition science

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Your special report “ Death by the sea: how drugs blighted our coastal towns”, News) raises once again the issue of the appalling death rates from heroin usage. I was struck by the statement that the Royal College of Physicians has declared that the problem must be seen as a public health rather than a criminal justice issue. As a (now retired) GP, and since the deaths in the 1980s of four young patients from heroin overdose in our small market town, I cry: “At last!”

Most of us take mood-altering substances, whether alcohol, nicotine or heroin. They are all dangerous, but by treating, for example, tobacco as a public health problem, look at the impact on pubs, the workplace, public transport etc. Bringing heroin into the public health arena and out of the criminal justice system would have an immense impact on crimes related to drugs and prison populations and death rates, particularly among the young, would fall.

Regarding the article “ Powerful case for UK to get on board with onshore windfarms”, (Business leader), before onshore wind farms are so enthusiastically encouraged by the Welsh government and others, several matters need to be addressed: having moved larger turbines from hills to the settled lowlands, developers need better advice on scale and siting, with a restraint on their urge for the largest turbines; the public need to see tighter controls set over adverse impacts and we need timely enforcement of the conditions.

Since we, the public, pay for the electricity produced out of our high energy bills, and thus public funding is involved, we would like to see any increase in onshore wind accompanied by a guarantee that the size, siting and operation of schemes will be better controlled, that conditional planning consent will mean what it says and that conditions will be enforceable and enforced in a timely manner.

Everyone should have the chance to work, somewhere decent to live and support for families with caring responsibilities. Underpinning action on homes, care and jobs should be fair taxation, shifting the balance from taxing income to taxing wealth.

Taking care of all generations highlights our interdependence. Let’s focus on what unites us – our mutual hopes and concerns; prevention being better than cure; technology working for all; support throughout life; and giving power to people.

Enabling older and younger people to mix more would help increase mutual understanding and develop common solutions. We can create a Britain for all ages. To make progress, we need leadership and a new spirit in Britain that uses the assets and the contributions of citizens of all ages.

Those fighting for a historic Spanish image makeover (“ Spain fights to dispel legend of Inquisition and imperial atrocities”, World) would struggle to gloss over Charles Darwin’s observation of the Spanish methods of colonisation of South America at the time of his journey on horseback from the Plata to Buenos Aries in the late 1830s.

When I exclaimed that this appeared rather inhuman, he [Spanish Lieutenant] answered, ‘Why, what can be done? They breed so!’ ” Darwin asks: “Who would believe in this day and age that such atrocities could be committed in a Christian civilised country?”

This is a major contributory factor to the failure to establish or continue breast feeding, feelings of depression and can lead to family breakdown. It would seem that the “must-have of the night nannies”, if available to all for the first six weeks, would be a very cost-effective way of promoting health and supporting all families.

Please can Jonathan Bouquet turn his attention to the use of adjectival words to categorise people (“ May I have a word?” Comment)? I thought progress was being made, as we seldom hear references to “the disabled” or “the blind”. Recently, I have heard a lot about “illegals”, as in “this country is overrun with “illegals”. Actions can be illegal, people never.

Will Hutton concludes his depressing article on the consequences of our leaving the EU by writing that “our country needs and deserves better” (“ Struggle as I may, I can find no grounds for optimism on the economy”, Comment). We “need” to be rescued from the folly of the referendum result and cannot be said to “deserve” it. Another sage observed that in countries with democratic rule, people deserve the government for which they vote.

No, Mrs May, in voting to leave the EU, the British people didn’t vote “to leave the single market and the customs union” (“ Mrs May’s attempt to muddle through Brexit is fast approaching crunch time”, Andrew Rawnsley, Comment). They couldn’t. The government denied them the option.

Its official guidance explicitly distinguished between the EU and the single market as separate entities. Leaving the EU, it said, risked only losing “full” and enjoying “less” – not all – access to the single market, a potentially important factor for many voters.

Questions are justifiably being asked about TSB and what it stands for (“ Don’t look so worried, Paul. TSB’s tech glitch will be resolved. Eventually”, Business leader). It seems to me that the late Denis Healey was his usual prescient and succinct self on the matter: the silly billies.