News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Maui News (USA) – Partnership taps felons as mentors. “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui County launched Tuesday a new anti-drug campaign shaped through partnerships with a national organization and local programs working with former drug addicts and families dealing with substance abuse. The group received an endorsement from Mayor Charmaine Tavares and commitments from its three partners – the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Maui Economic Opportunity Inc.’s Being Empowered and Safe Together Reintegration Program, better known as BEST, and the Institute for Family Enrichment.”

2. Newswise (USA) – Medicinal Marijuana Effective for Neuropathic Pain in HIV. “n a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the impact of smoked medical cannabis, or marijuana, on the neuropathic pain associated with HIV, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that reported pain relief was greater with cannabis than with a placebo. The study, sponsored by the University of California Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) based at UC San Diego, will be published on line, August 6 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.”

3. Total Catholic (UK) – Priest: alcohol abuse must be tackled. “In a week that saw new powers come into force that allow Gardaí to target alcohol sales and public drinking, a Limerick priest has said the issues which are driving young people to abuse alcohol must be urgently addressed. Fr Joe Young, chaplain to the Brothers of Charity Services in Limerick, said he “welcomed with open arms” the new laws, which mean off-licences will not be able to sell alcohol after 10pm.”

4. EurekAlert (USA) – Post-partum suicide attempt risks studied. “Although maternal suicide after giving birth is a relatively rare occurrence, suicide attempts often have long-lasting effects on the family and the infant. In a study published in the August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers compared two populations of mothers and found that a history of psychiatric disorders or substance abuse was a strong predictor of post-partum suicide attempts.”

5. Waterford Today (Ireland) – Solvents: The Facts. “Solvents are substances which are inhaled. Solvents are sniffed from a cloth, sleeve or plastic bag or sprayed directly into mouth (this is the most dangerous way of taking them as it can lead to instant death). Other names include aerosols, gases, glues, nail varnish, thinners, cleaning and degreasing agents.”

6. iol (South Africa) – Tobacco public hearings for North West. “The North West legislature will hold public hearings on the bill for the prevention of and treatment for tobacco abuse later this month. In a statement on Wednesday, the legislature said the North provincial Portfolio Committee on Health and Social Development would be conducting public hearings across the province from August 18 to 21.”

7. The Daily Times (USA) – Drug screenings: Are they really legal? “Are drug screens legal? Recently, I overheard a conversation at a meeting where two people were discussing the legality of pre-employment drug screens. Are they legal? Yes. Are they necessary? Absolutely. Pre-screening or background checks are necessary to make sure that you, the employer, make the right decision for your business.”

8. Times-West Virginian (USA) – More teens using hallucinogenic salvia. “A sage-like herb that triggers intense hallucinogenic trips is a new drug of choice among the country’s teenagers. It’s a drug you don’t need to buy covertly off the street. Salvia divinorum can be purchased legally online or at smoke shops in most states, including West Virginia. ”

9. Scoop (New Zealand) – The FDA Guerillas of Wonky DrugWonks – Part I. “Former Bush Administration officials have formed a pharmaceutical industry guerilla group called the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, described on its website as “a non-partisan, non-profit educational charity,” and a “new vital force in health care policy.” However, for all intents and purposes, the mission of CMPI front group is to promote back-door efforts at tort reform, including pushing complete drug maker immunity through federal preemption, to pump out rapid-response propaganda on the internet to deflate scandals involving the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA, and to discredit anyone who would dares to criticize the industry or the FDA.”

10. (USA) – Inland parents respond to influx of home drug-testing kits. “All it takes to know whether your child has been using drugs in the past 90 days — from marijuana to methamphetamine to prescription medications — is a lock of hair and an overnight mailer, according to one San Diego company. Thanks to home drug-test kits, which are for sale online and promise results within a few days, it is getting easier for parents who want to test their teenagers. And, unlike the urine tests available in drug stores, the manufacturers say hair-follicle tests are cheat-proof.”