News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. The Independent (UK) – Ian Oliver: Legalising drugs would only make matters worse. “Recently, A great deal of media attention has been focused on a call for the legalisation of drugs by a former civil servant who was responsible for the Cabinet’s anti-drug unit. In The Independent last week, Julian Critchley said that legalisation would be “less harmful than the current strategy” and that an “overwhelming majority of professionals in the field” agree with that view.”

2. Dallas Morning News – Sober Dorm helps college students stay the course on recovery. “Maggie Howard, a strikingly pretty college junior as fresh-faced and sweet as a spring daffodil, is accustomed to the polite dismay new acquaintances often exhibit when she mentions casually that she does not drink alcohol. She can see the little gears spinning in their heads: But she looks so cool! She’s so cute! What is she, a religious nut?”

3. Desert Dispatch – From drug addict to doctor. “The walls of John Smethers’ Barstow house are lined with antique Civil War history books, volumes from psychologist Carl Jung, copies of his own recently published book on the psychology of drug addicts, and his greatest source of pride, a doctorate degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute. It’s not the typical setting of a recovered drug addict with a pages-long rap sheet.”

4. The Daily Mail – How doctors are turning millions of us INTO addicts. “Gina Loxam was feeling a bit low, so she went to see her GP and was prescribed the anti-depressant, Seroxat.
Ten years later, she is still on the drug because the severe mood swings, headaches, fatigue and weight gain she suffers when she tries to come off are unbearable.”

5. CBC (Canada) – Clement questions MDs who favour safe injection sites. “Federal Health Minister Tony Clement says ethical concerns raised by supervised injection sites for drug addicts are “profoundly disturbing,” and he questions doctors who support the practice. “Is it ethical for health-care professionals to support the administration of drugs that are of unknown substance, or purity or potency — drugs that cannot otherwise be legally prescribed?” Clement said Monday in a speech at the Canadian Medical Association’s annual meeting in Montreal.”

6. NEWSInferno (USA) – Methadone Overdose a Growing Problem. “Once mainly used to treat heroin addiction, Methadone is being prescribed by family doctors, osteopaths, and nurse practitioners for some types of severe pain. Methadone, a synthetic form of opium, is powerful, cheap, and long lasting. Unfortunately, while it has helped millions, methadone is also widely abused and poorly prescribed by physicians. Because of this, methadone is now the fastest growing cause of narcotic deaths, is implicated in more than twice as many deaths as heroin, and is equaling or exceeding OxyContin and Vicodin in negative responses.”

7. Punjab Newsline (India) – Seizure of Intoxicants: Morcha asks Punjab BSP chief to quit. “After recovery of a huge quantity of intoxicating drugs was seized from the chemist shop of state president of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Avtar Singh Karimpuri in Hoshiarpur , the Bahujan Samaj Morcha Monday asked the party chief to quit his post on moral grounds.”

8. Fierce Healthcare (USA) – FDA may urge training to dispense narcotics. “The FDA is considering making a recommendation that doctors get special education to prescribe strong narcotics, despite the fact that it has no power to enforce such a proposal. FDA officials say they’re most concerned about high-potency, long-acting narcotics like methadone, fentanyl and some forms of oxycodone. In particular, they’ve noted that a mix of methadone and fentanyl patches has been associated with patient deaths and injuries from doctor misprescribing or accidental patient misuse.”

9. Blast Magazine – The new stoner…you. “Sitting up against a mound of pillows legs stretched over a deep blue comforter Mike and his girlfriend are like any other couple studying on a Sunday afternoon. She is frustrated that she hasn’t mastered her Italian flash cards and keeps repeating verb conjugations. Their feet are flirtatiously entangled while Mike stares intently into a large history notebook. With a slam of a flash card she gives Mike a frustrated look and he intuitively reaches for a blue box that’s sitting on the nightstand. He pulls out a blue and green swirled pipe followed by a bag of marijuana. A smile crosses Mike’s face as he fills the pipe and passes it to his girlfriend. She lights it, breaths in deeply and the room fills with a thin fog of smoke.”

10. LA Times (USA) – Pro: Marijuana use for chronic pain and nausea. “Medical marijuana use has a history stretching back thousands of years. In prebiblical times, the plant was used as medicinal tea in China, a stress antidote in India and a pain- reliever for earaches, childbirth and more throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa.”