News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. WebMD (USA) – Narcotics Sold Online, No Rx Needed. “Scores of web sites do not require a prescription to buy narcotics, stimulants, and other controlled substances — and none of those sites has controls to prevent children from making such purchases, a study shows. A report released today by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reveals that 85% of web sites selling potent prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Valium, and Ritalin do not ask Internet users for a proper prescription from a doctor. Many explicitly state that no prescription is needed.”

2. Washington City Paper (USA) – “I’m a Professional Informant”. “The informant arrives through a side door, and his handler, a cop with many years of experience, greets him warmly. The informant takes a seat, fishes out a pack of menthols, and slides them on the desktop. Last week, it was a couple of dealers selling crack in broad daylight. All the police had to do was show up, he said, and snatch them. He sneered in contempt. He insisted to the police—often loudly—that these cases were can’t-miss. The cop took his tips seriously.”

3. Reason Magazine – How Do You Keep the Magic? “I’m a little late in noting this, but last week the Journal of Psychopharmacology published a follow-up to the 2006 study in which Johns Hopkins researchers found that psilocybin triggered “mystical-type experiences” in experimental subjects who had never used psychedelics before. The first report described the 36 subjects’ impressions two months after the experiment, when a large majority reported meaningful, generally positive experiences of lasting significance.”

4. The Gulf Times (Qatar) – Book on laws against use of narcotics. “A BOOK explaining the laws that are in force in Qatar against the use of narcotics and drugs, has been published in Arabic by prominent Qatari lawyer Yusuf Ahmed al-Zaman, according to a report published in a local Arabic daily.”

5. The Tech Herald – Mothers’ reaction to own baby smile likened to drug addiction. “A mother watching her own baby smile has been found to experience the lighting up of reward centres, a natural high which mimics drug addiction, according to a U.S. team of researchers. Dr. Lane Strathearn, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Texas Children’s Hospital and a research associate in BCM’s Human Neuroimaging Laboratory, said the relationship between mother and baby is crucial and the research gives an understanding of this and what goes wrong if that relationship is damaged.”

6. The Post (Pakistan) – Smugglers using Pak soil for narco-traffic. “There is not a single laboratory in Pakistan for synthesis of heroin, however, international smugglers are using Pakistani soil for narco-traffic from Afghanistan to the entire world, Anti-Narcotics Force, Rawalpindi, force commander Brig Muhammad Asif Alvi, said while talking to The Post Wednesday. He said fencing of Pakistan-Afghanistan border could help in controlling drug trafficking in the region and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had requested the federal government in written to consider that option.”

7. (USA) – They’re young. They drink. Too many die. “On the morning after the house party on Johnson Street, Winona State University student Jenna Foellmi and several other twenty-somethings lay sprawled on beds and couches. When a friend reached over to wake her, Foellmi was cold to the touch. The friend’s screams woke the others in the house.”

8. The Punch (Nigeria) – Anxiety, shyness may be long-lasting traits. “The brains of people who suffer from anxiety and severe shyness may respond more strongly to stress and show signs of being anxious even in situations considered safe by others, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. They studied brain activity, anxious behavior and stress hormones in adolescent rhesus monkeys.”

9. The Northern Territory News (Australia) – Exasperated cops blast young revellers. “OLICE have called on young revellers to “grow up and act your age”. The call comes as more and more police time is spent wrangling drunks in Darwin city. And the majority of them are partygoers under 25. This picture (right) shows a group of young women arguing with police about having to tip out their alcohol on a Darwin city street about 5.30am.”