News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. IRIN – AFGHANISTAN: Tackling rising drug addiction in Parwan Province. “Sitting on his bed in a room with four others at a drug rehabilitation centre in Charikar, capital of Parwan Province, northern Afghanistan, 18-year-old Kharun tells how he got addicted to drugs”.

2. Punjab Newsline (India) – Amritsar is the main hub for drug smuggling in Punjab. “Punjab and Haryana High court Justice and Chairman Punjab Legal Services Authority Mehtab Singh Gill Sunday expressed deep concern over the drug addiction among the youth and described Punjab as main hub of drug smuggling.”

3. – A Heroin Economy Of Tajikistan: Luscious Smell Of The Heroin Money. “About 30 % of production and smuggling of drugs in the territory of Central Asia and Russia consists of narcotics of Tajikistan origin. If an annual turnover of the Afghani heroin in 2006 made 4.5-5 billion US dollar, the volume of the narcotic market in Tajikistan has reached around $1.5 billion. Today it has already made equal 60-70 % of the volume of Gross National Product of Tajikistan.”

4. Los Angeles Times – Farm life raises addicts’ hopes. “ust before dawn, shoveling cow manure in the milking barn, Ryan Medlin feels a world away from his wild life back in San Francisco. For the onetime homeless addict, that’s a good thing. Last fall, Medlin was living out of his car, blowing his entire six-figure salary as a software engineer on crack and bourbon binges. At 33, he was so gaunt he was nearly skeletal. He walked slouched over, the nights scrunched up in his Suzuki hatchback playing havoc with the nerves in his right leg.”

5. Granma (Cuba) – Successful use of natural medicine for drug addicts. “Health experts at the El Quinqué International Clinic in this eastern Cuban city are using, with notable results, the techniques of natural and traditional medicine in patients being treated for drug addiction. The use of these procedures made it possible last year to reduce by more than 3,500 the quantity of pharmaceuticals utilized in the detoxification process, close to 80% less that what was previously used.”

6. Daily Press (USA) – Combat trauma can fuel addictions, experts say. “Combat trauma and addiction to drugs or alcohol go hand and hand and must be treated together, an addiction specialist from Nevada told a group of Virginia counselors gathered in Williamsburg. Self-medicating or numbing the stress that follows a traumatic event is especially prevalent in combat veterans who don’t reach out for mental health help because of the stigma or out of fear that admitting a problem will hurt their career, said Larry Ashley, a veteran of the Vietnam War.”

7. The Vancouver Sun (Canada) – Drug rehab centre at a crossroad. “t’s not clear exactly when Jeremy Ward hit bottom. It could have been last October when the 20-year-old cocaine addict crammed a handful of pills down his throat, hoping the massive combination of anti-psychotics and Valium would ease the pain of being dumped. Or, it might have been after getting out of hospital after the overdose, as he knelt on the corner of Granville and Helmcken begging his pregnant, crack-addicted girlfriend to take him back.”

8. – Nigeria: Why Banditry Thrives, By Expert. “Drug abuse is becoming a pervasive problem and is directly responsible for the increase in robbery, violence and youth restiveness being experienced today in Nigeria, President of Association of Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, (AISSON) Dr. Ona Ekhomu has said. Drug abuse, according to him, is also responsible for a large percentage of the mass casualty accidents involving commuter vehicles on our roads in recent times. Speaking at a security seminar for intending Certified Protection Officers in Lagos recently, Ekhomu indicated that drug abuse decreases productivity, increases work place accident and safety incidents and also results in greater absenteeism. “Drug abuse leads to an increase in workmen compensation costs and greater healthcare cost for companies. In fact, it is a loss-loss situation for the firm” he said.”

9. International Herald Tribune (France) – Man who sold Nixon White House on youth drug study has new public enemy. “President Richard Nixon may not have dented the nation’s drug epidemic when he named Elvis Presley a “federal agent at large” in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in 1970. But a $120 million (€77 million) research program born in the Nixon administration continues to shape America’s drug policies. And it all started with a 33-year-old psychology graduate student’s bold plan to poll thousands of teens nationwide each year about their drug habits and beliefs at a time when reefer madness had them in its grip.”

10. Sydney Morning Herald – Zero tolerance for drug-friendly baby boomers. “WHEN the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) released a report last week condemning the idea of drug tests in schools, ABC 702 host Deb Cameron told a little anecdote. Walking down the street, she had once passed a boy of about 16 in school uniform hiding under some stairs smoking a bong. She asked him: “Does your mother know you’re not at school?” He responded that he had a late start.”