News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Ottawa Citizen – Recognize Internet addiction as a mental illness, MD urges. “Compulsive e-mailing and text messaging could soon become classified as an official brain illness.
An editorial in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry says Internet addiction — including “excessive gaming, sexual pre-occupations and e-mail/text messaging” — is a common compulsive-impulsive disorder that should be added to psychiatry’s official guidebook of mental disorders.”

2. The Scotsman – Methadone: ‘Too many use it as part of their drugs routine’. “THE Conservative’s Holyrood justice spokesman Bill Aitken is no stranger to controversy and his plain-spoken attack on the methadone programme has re-ignited the debate about how best to tackle Scotland’s appalling epidemic of drug addiction.
The debate about the effectiveness of the methadone programme has raged since its inception and there has always been opposition to the principle of handing out free opium-based drugs like methadone to addicts. But there is much in the basis of the scheme to commend it, not least that it has the potential to place those on the programme outwith the reach of criminals.”

3. Idaho Press-Tribune – Overcoming addiction behind bars. “A “professional dope fiend” for years, Daniel Brown says he got out of that life to help people who are in the same situation he faced. Now a drug and alcohol rehabilitation specialist, he’s part of what he calls an “innovative” treatment model at the South Idaho Correctional Institution.”

4. The Sunday Herald (UK) – Valium Nation. “It gained notoriety in the 1960s as mother’s little helper” … but now Valium is Scotland’s hidden drugs scourge, affecting thousands from all sectors of society. An investigation by the Sunday Herald has revealed a shocking picture of the scale of use of powerful tranquillisers known as benzodiazepines. Those abusing the drug range from heroin addicts to middle-class cocaine users, while others have unwittingly become hooked for decades after being prescribed the medication by doctors.”

5. Thaindian News – Police up in arms against drugs menace: Punjab Information Minister. “Expressing his concern over the drug addiction among youth, Punjab Information and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Sunday said that the State Police is doing everything to make Punjab a drug-free state.
Though people talk about the menace, but no one seems to be prepared to come forward and check it, said Majithia while addressing a gathering after watching the play called “Armaan” at the Guru Nanak Dev University here.”

6. Science Daily – Emotional ‘Bummer’ Of Cocaine Addiction Mimicked In Animals. “Cocaine addicts often suffer a downward emotional spiral that is a key to their craving and chronic relapse. While researchers have developed animal models of the reward of cocaine, they have not been able to model this emotional impact, until now.”

7. The Herald Sun – Kevin Rudd’s plan to break gambling addiction. “Automatic teller machines will be banned in pokie venues in Victoria from 2012 in a war on problem gambling, Premier John Brumby has announced. Victoria will become the first Australian state to ban the ATMs from the floor of pokies venues.”

8. Bloomberg – Binge Drinking by Australia’s Youth Sparks Rudd Reform Campaign. “With 48 cans of beer in the back and a bumper sticker that says “Rum — So Much More Than a Breakfast Food,” Tom Dalfer headed to a remote Australian town last month with one purpose: to get as drunk as possible. The mechanic made the 750-mile trip to Trundle (population 370), to attend a Bachelors-and-Spinsters ball — a black-tie rite of passage for Australia’s rural youth.”

9. TV NZ – Alarm over binge drinking. “Drinking problems are rife on both sides of the Tasman and Australia is tackling the issue by targeting teens while NZ authorities insist it’s not just about the youngsters. One in 10 under-age drinkers binge every week in Australia, figures that mirror New Zealand’s binge drinking culture.”

10. The Irish Independent – Is Amy really the poster girl for drug abuse? “As if Amy Winehouse didn’t have enough problems, she has now been condemned by the United Nations. Speaking out against “coke-snorting fashionistas”, UN drug tsar Antonio Maria Costa described Winehouse as “the poster girl for drug abuse”.”