News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Detroit Lakes Tribune (USA) – Report: 12 percent of American Indian deaths alcohol-related. “In the first-ever national survey of its kind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that almost 12 percent of the deaths among American Indians are alcohol-related — more than three times the rate in the general U.S. population. The CDC report, released Thursday, also found that the greatest number of alcohol-related deaths among Indians occurred in the Indian Health Service’s Northern Plains region, which stretches from Montana to Michigan and includes North Dakota and Minnesota. There was no breakdown by state or tribe.”

2. Nyngan Observer (Australia) – Website to help beat drug problems. “A major new website has been set up by the Australian National Council on Drugs to inspire women and men across Australia who are battling problems with drugs or alcohol to realise that problems can be beaten.
The website, located at, is designed to highlight that when it comes to drug and alcohol problems, treatment works. The ANCD highlights that thousands of Australians are currently in treatment programs and that treatment can make a world of difference.”

3. The Morning Sun (USA) – Opinion: Random rules vs true respect. “When my brother, sister and I get together for a meal, one of us invariably recites a line from our childhood visits to our grandparents on my father’s side. Both grandma and grandpa would regularly chastise us when we ate meat. “Don’t stab your meat,” one of them would say, which was always followed by a lecture on what poor manners it was. According to them, you squeezed your fork tines down onto your meat when cutting it with a knife, and then lifted it to your mouth.”

4. The Australian – Nice sentiment but no message. “North Melbourne’s Michael Firrito thought he got a bum decision from an umpire last weekend. The defender raised a finger in anger in the direction of the umpire. He was subsequently fined $1200 for this obscene gesture. Firrito knew he was doomed and accepted his guilt so the fine was reduced to $900. The AFL punished the footballer because it knows and believes in two things fervently. One, a warning must be sent to the broad community that umpires need to be respected no matter what the circumstances. Two, the AFL and football of all codes and their players are the most powerful messengers available to reach this nation’s youth. That’s why Firrito is short $900. And it is also why the AFL’s revamped illicit drug policy announced yesterday is as dangerous and worthless as its predecessor. The AFL commission and its executive simply cannot get the balance of player welfare and public interest right. It might not even understand that it must.”

5. Miadhu (Maldives) – Anni says a TV ad not enough to curb drug abuse. “MDP Presidential Candidate Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) has said that a song, a slogan and a television advertisement is not enough to curb drug abuse in Maldives. Anni said this while speaking at a press conference held yesterday at S. Feydhoo to reveal his policies to close all doors for drugs. Anni said that an MDP lead government would give priority to do some work beneficial in curbing drugs abuse.”

6. The Arkansas Traveler (USA) – Drinking: an option for adults of any age. “”It’s time to rethink the drinking age,” proclaim the 129 signatories of the Amethyst Initiative petition. These petitioners are not eager-to-drink 18-year-olds. They are well-educated and presumably conscientious administrators, including the presidents of Duke, Dartmouth and Johns Hopkins. Nor is the Amethyst Initiative a sloppy student movement with a trippy title. It’s a thoughtful, concerned campaign that began when a group of college presidents “discovered a common desire to reopen public debate over the drinking age,” according to the Amethyst Initiative Web site.”

7. Drug War Chronicle – Europe: Scottish Heroin Crackdown Sparks Violent Crime Increase. “In an object lesson on the unintended consequences of drug prohibition enforcement, police in Dundee have admitted that their crackdown on heroin has led to an increase in violent crime. Police called it “an unfortunate side effect” of the crackdown, which they qualified as a success. Tayside Police undertook Operation Waterloo earlier this year in an effort to target drug dealers and users in the Hilltown and Maryfield areas of Dundee. Assistant Chief Constable Clive Murray told the Tayside Joint Police Board 39 people had been arrested, and there was anecdotal evidence of price increases and disruption of the heroin market.”

8. The Courier Mail (Australia) – Queenslanders addicted to drink and drugs. “TENS of thousands of Queenslanders drink at least once a day and thousands more smoke marijuana, a report out today reveals. Despite warnings about drug and alcohol abuse, the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey has found many Australians still drink to risky levels. Canberra will use the report to back its stand on increasing taxes for alcopops to curb binge drinking among teenagers.”

9. Los Angeles Times (USA) – Opioids — we love them. Or need them. “Opioids such as Vicodin, OxyContin and morphine are used to treat pain — with which Americans are apparently sorely afflicted. More than 10 million of them take the drugs, researchers at Boston University have found, with 4 million people consuming the medications at least five days a week. The researchers report that regular use of the drugs, which pose something of an addiction risk, rose with age, fell with education level and was more common among women and whites. Their work, published in the Aug. 31 issue of the journal Pain, also found that use was more prevalent in the south central portion of the country. “