News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. New York Times – Iran Fights Scourge of Addiction in Plain View, Stressing Treatment. “Ali blew out a candle on a small round cake. More than 200 people cheered, celebrating the first anniversary of his becoming drug-free. “I was in an awful condition,” said Ali, describing 12 years of addiction to opium and alcohol. “I reached a state that I smashed our furniture and threw our television out of the window.” Ali, 31, who has a wife and child and identified himself by only his first name to avoid possible embarrassment to his family, is among more than 800 addicts struggling to overcome their habits at a free treatment center in central Tehran.”

2. The New Nation (Bangladesh) – Factors inducing drug addiction.”Drug abuse directly influences the economic and social aspects of a country. In Bangladesh it is a growing national concern. There are millions of drug-addicted people in Bangladesh and most of them are young, between the ages of 18 and 30. And they are from all strata of the society. In Bangladesh, sources of drug information quite limited and drug companies are the vital sources of information here. As with other countries in the world, Bangladesh is victimized for drug addiction in its young generation for mainly following reasons.”

3. The Daily Star (Bangladesh) – Call for social movement to fight drug abuse, trafficking. “Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday said drug abuse and its illicit trafficking is a major problem which cannot be resolved only by enforcing laws and issuing threat of punishment. Side by side applying laws, the home adviser underscored the need for waging a massive social movement and creating awareness against drug abuse to root out the menace from the personal life, family and the society. “Awareness should be created in every individual, while the head of every family must have to be alert in order to fight the problem effectively,” he told a function organised by the Department of Narcotics Control at the Jatiya Natyashala auditorium in the city to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Drug abuse is not an internal problem of Bangladesh rather it is a transnational one where developed countries are unable to keep them above the problem, he added.”

4. The Daily Express – Sabah detects less drug addicts. “Sabah registered fewer drug addicts between January and April this year compared to between January and June last year. Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said 86 addicts were detected during the said period this year, which comprised 71 new addicts and 15 repeat addicts, while last year there were 217 addicts, namely, 161 new addicts and 56 repeat addicts. She said this corresponded with the decreasing number of addicts throughout the country.”

5. The Calgary Sun (Canada) – Manhole victim battled drug addiction. “Mitchell David Forsyth’s family encouraged him to pursue his talent as a glass blower, a dream that will never be realized. Forsyth, 25, was found dead inside a manhole this week, a shocking end to the life of a man his mother described as “wonderful” but one who had been ravaged by a drug addiction. “He had his demons,” Nancy Creagh said yesterday of her son, who was without a permanent job or a residence and battled his addiction for several years.”

6. The Catholic News Agency – Don’t abandon drug addicts, says president of Chilean Bishops’ Conference. “The president of the Bishop’s Conference of Chile, Bishop Alejandro Goic, called on Catholics and society in general this week not to abandon drug addicts and to combat the plague of drugs. This plague, he said, affects not only those with low incomes “but also those who are well-off and are often burdened by the lack of meaning in their lives.”

7. The Guardian (UK) – We are enslaving heroin addicts in a state-run chemical gulag. “There is an important battle of ideas going on around Britain’s extensive use of methadone in the treatment of heroin addicts. Your interview with Paul Hayes, head of the National Treatment Agency, reports that he was recently “forced to defend his record against criticism that the current strategy of treatment management” – using, for example, methadone for heroin addicts rather than “curing” their addiction – “was failing and wrong-headed” (Keep taking the medicine, June 18). We are told that Hayes apparently dismisses his critics as “a few academics, politicians and ‘ideologues’ stoked up by the media”. He says: “Any notion that investment in treatment programmes has been a failure is wrong.”

8. USA Today – Understanding the Netherlands’ marijuana policy. “Cannabis is technically an illegal substance in the Netherlands, although you won’t get arrested for buying or smoking it in a coffee shop. The Dutch have adopted a policy of “gedogen,” or blind eye, to its sale and use since 1976. The government distinguished between so-called “soft” cannabis drugs and “hard” drugs such as heroin or cocaine. That’s when coffee houses sprang up to sell and let people smoke.”

9. (Thailand) – Tihar inmates paint stark images against drug abuse. “rugs as the mythological demon Ravan, alcohol as poisonous snakes, a funeral pyre made of cigarette butts…Such stark illustrations have come out of the minds of prisoners at Delhi’s Tihar Jail, especially drug addicts. Many of the prisoners revisited their hellish past to paint their thoughts on tobacco, drug and alcohol abuse – in a way succeeding where Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss failed to do on cigarette packs.”

10. – Australia trafficking hub, UN World Drug Report shows. “AUSTRALIA is one of the world’s fastest growing international trafficking hubs for illegal drugs including cocaine, ice and speed, a key United Nations report has found. Trafficking in these drugs has tripled in Australia in the past 12 months, figures from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report 2008 show.”