News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

This week you’ll see that a recently released report by the United Nations has been picked up extensively by the mainstream media:

1. ABC News (Australia) – Qld Australia’s speed capital: UN drugs report. “A report from the International Narcotics Control Board has found Queensland is the main supplier of amphetamines to the rest of Australia.”

2. CNN – U.N. blasts celebrity drug abuse. “Cocaine-abusing celebrities are glamorizing the use of narcotics and encouraging more young people to use illegal substances, the United Nations drug control agency has warned. Model Kate Moss faced allegations of cocaine use in 2005 but was never charged for over the claims. The annual report from the International Narcotics Control Board warns that treating stars “leniently” by allowing them to get away with drug crimes undermines faith in the criminal justice system and has a damaging effect on adolescents.”

3. The Washington Post – Deficit in Brain Function Puts Teens at Risk of Drug Abuse. “Teens at risk of developing a substance abuse disorder have deficits in frontal brain activation, a U.S. study concludes. The researchers used functional MRI to study brain activity in 25 participants, ages 12 to 19, as they did an eye movement test. The scientists found a link between increased risk for a substance abuse disorder and shortfalls in executive cognitive function (ECF).”

4. Science Daily – Non-medical Use Of Prescription Medications Associated With Drug Abuse Among College Students. “College students who take frequently abused medications without a prescription appear to have a higher risk for drug abuse than those who use such therapies for medical reasons, according to a new report.”

5. ABC Radio (Australia) – Booze bans push up NT community drug use. “The Commonwealth intervention in remote Northern Territory communities is having some disturbing side effects. A medical report out today says alcohol bans and restrictions are fuelling the use of illegal drugs. Researchers say that marijuana use in one Arnhem Land community has jumped since the intervention began, and alcohol supplies dried up.”

6. All Africa – Ghana: More Laws Needed to Tackle Drug Abuse. “The Director of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr Akwasi Osei, has called on Parliament and other stakeholders to pass more stringent laws to curb the drug menace in the country. According to him most of the laws on drugs in the country mainly deal with hard drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and heroine even though there are equally dangerous substances being used by people in the country.”

7. U.S. News – Ritalin and the Risk of Substance Abuse. “A new report in this month’s American Journal of Psychiatry adds to the ongoing debate about the risks and rewards of using stimulant drugs like Ritalin and Adderall to treat kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Previous research has suggested that the stimulant medications offer a protective effect against drug abuse during adolescence.”

8. Sunshine Coast Daily – Bikie gangs behind our drug trade. “Outlaw motorcycle gangs are choosing to set up camp on the Sunshine Coast with the specific intention of manufacturing and distributing drugs. The information from Coast police comes on the same day as a new UN report naming Queensland as the drug capital of Australia.”

9. San Francisco Chronicle – Addiction – a father-son story. “One of the unsettling themes in David Sheff’s memoir, “Beautiful Boy,” a wrenching tale about his son’s drug addiction, is that even though Sheff was among what he calls the “first wave” of self-conscious parents who were hip enough to forge honest relationships with their kids, he was woefully unprepared for the vagaries of methamphetamine.”

10. WMUR New Hampshire – Is Ritalin A Gateway Drug?. “Children who use stimulants such as Ritalin to treat attention-deficit hypeactivity disorder are no more likely than others to abuse drugs or alcohol later, a new study found. The study from Massachusetts General Hospital followed more than 100 men for 10 years after they were diagnosed with ADHD.”

11. Vladisvostok News – Drug addiction on decline, officials report. “Since 2003, the number of drug users registered in Primorye has declined by 19 percent, the head of Primorye’s Department of Federal Drug Control Service Alexander Rolik revealed at a press conference on Tuesday. Reporting the Department’s activities for the past five years, Rolik boasted that over 250 drug use locations have been eliminated and some 1,500 hot spots for drug sales have been detected in the region. Narcotics police have prevented the activity of 93 organized criminal groups and eliminated over 200 regional and international routes of trafficking drugs and psychoactive substances.”

12. News Locale (India) – Harry Potter May Induce Drug Addiction Symptoms. “All you Harry Potter fans out there, take note. Reading about your favorite boy wizard’s exploits may induce drug addiction symptoms like depression, loss of appetite and sleeplessness, a new study has suggested. Researchers at the Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania surveyed 4,000 Potter fans for this study and found at least 10 percent of them to be hampered by symptoms akin to drug addiction. Some of these symptoms included sleeplessness and loss of appetite.”