News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Sydney Morning Herald – Nurofen script-only plan. “Popular painkillers containing codeine could be reclassified prescription-only to stop abuse of the powerful over-the-counter drugs.
A government committee has flagged the possibility of classifying the codeine combination medicines such as Nurofen Plus, a schedule 8, a restricted category for drugs at high risk of being abused.”

2. The News International (Pakistan) – 628,000 drug abusers in Pakistan, says report. “here are more or less 628,000 opioid users (heroin, morphine, opium, codine, pentazocine, buprenorphine etc) in the country, National Drug Abuse Assessment 2006/07 report revealed. The report is prepared by the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Narcotics Control and Anti Narcotics Force (ANF). Drug Abuse has become global phenomena, affecting the very fabric of the socio-economic structure of the families and country.”

3. The Student Operated Press (USA) – When Drug Abuse Starts at Home — Painkiller Addiction. “After several years of battling back pain and undergoing regular surgeries, John Simons became addicted to painkillers. After a two-week stay in the hospital where he was prescribed the powerful painkiller OxyContin, Simons continued to use the drug against his doctors’ orders, secretly obtaining a steady supply.”

4. etala’at (India) – KU campus safe haven for drug addicts, says survey. “Given the vastness and hugeness of its campus, University of Kashmir has turned to be a safe haven for the drug addicts and more so for the female drug addicts, according to a survey carried out by HNSS, De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centre, Khanyar here.
Talking to etala’at, Dr Ghulam Nabi Wani, founder HNSS said that the girls receiving their education at the university hide themselves behind the bushes and shrubs and take drugs being supplied to them.”

5. Kyiv Post (Ukraine) – Cheap drug addiction rising. “Addiction to a cheap, widely available prescription pain killer is on the rise, and the government has no plan to stop it, experts said. Teenagers and young adults are the primary users of a prescription drug called Tramadol, an opiate analgesic considered to be 10 percent as potent as morphine, and is used to treat mild to severe pain. Ukraine produces 90 million packages of Tramadol annually, said Vitaliy Kravchenko, a former officer at the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), with 20 five centigram capsules per package costing a few US dollars.”

6. Fox News (USA) – ‘Faces of Meth’ Uses Portraits of Addiction to Warn Against Drug Use. “With just a click of a mouse, the image of a healthy, shiny face transforms into a skeletal portrait — a toothless grin surrounded by scabbed skin and a gray complexion. This is, a Web site that shows the brutal effects of what methamphetamine does to people. Its goal is simple: Use real life images to educate kids about the dangers of methamphetamine.”

7. Science Daily – Methamphetamine Addiction Mechanism Discovered, Explains Why Cravings Last So Long. “Repeatedly stimulating the mouse brain with methamphetamine depresses important areas of the brain, and those changes can only be undone by re-introducing the drug, according to research at the University of Washington and other institutions. The study, which appears in the April 10 issue of the journal Neuron, provides one of the most in-depth views of the mechanisms of methamphetamine addiction, and suggests that withdrawal from the drug may not undo the changes the stimulant can cause in the brain.”

8. – Tanzania: Slowly, a More Enlightened Approach to Drug Addiction. “If the first step to overcoming drug addiction is admitting you have a problem, then Tanzania may be on the road to recovery. Medical officials in this East African country say the government has in the past been reluctant to accept substance dependence as a serious health problem, seeing it rather as a matter of law and order.”

9. The Washington Post – Afghans Battle Drug Addiction. “The first days were so painful that Mina Gul could barely sit upright. Thin and lanky with wide brown eyes, she rubbed the back of her neck ceaselessly with fingers stained reddish black by an opium pipe. She couldn’t shake the nausea. The light was almost blinding in the clean, white-walled medical clinic, where she lay crumpled in bed for days.”

10. Science Daily – Doctor’s Offices Can Help Stem Abuse Of Oxycontin, Other Narcotic Painkillers. “Every day, thousands of doctors around the United States walk a tightrope stretched between their duty to help patients in pain — and the risk of abetting illegal and life-destroying drug addiction and dependence, and losing their medical license for doing so. They walk this tightrope every time a patient asks for a prescription for a powerful opioid narcotic painkiller, such as Oxycontin or Vicodin. These drugs have eased the pain of millions, but have also become lucrative street drugs that are used by millions of people not for pain control, but to get high.”