News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Deutsche Welle (Germany) – EU Aims to Fight Drug Use with New Action Plan. “With a brand new drug-free campaign, the European Union hopes to keep young people substance free — and improve cooperation between the bloc’s member states. Two million people in the European Union are dependent on drugs and roughly 7,500 die every year as a consequence of their addiction – statistics which are reason enough for the EU to fight drug consumption and the spread of drugs.”

2. The Sun Daily (Malaysia) – Film competition on beating drug dependency. “THERE are some 250,000 registered drug addicts in Malaysia today. But Dr Steven Chow, president of Addiction Medicine Association of Malaysia, said this is only the tip of the iceberg. According to him, only one in four drug addicts are detected and the emergence of newer designer drugs in the social scene means the numbers could have increased.”

3. (Canada) – Researcher condemns Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s war on drugs. ”
When retired SFU psychology professor Bruce Alexander starts thinking about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s $63.8-million National Anti-Drug Strategy, he “goes ballistic”. The policy promotes cracking down on illicit drugs, mandatory minimum sentences, media messages to youth, increasing abstinence-based treatment capacity, and funding more police officers. In other words, a classic drug-prohibition stance—one the Conservatives are repeating heading into the October 14 election.”

4. Metro (Canada) – Tackling ‘sex addiction’. “I wonder how David Duchovny’s doing in rehab. As you no doubt know by now, the former X Files star and husband of actress Téa Leoni checked himself into rehab for “sexual addiction” at the end of August. No word on how he’s doing but you have to wonder. When one goes into rehab for alcohol or drug addiction, they don’t generally let you bring in a flask or a joint or two for when the temptation gets to be too much. But, what do they do when a so-called sex addict feels the urge. Keep his hands tied behind his back? Frankly, the whole idea of “sex addiction” is problematic.”

5. New York Times (USA) – Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate? Wrong. “We’ve heard it before. “Drug abuse is an equal opportunity destroyer.” “Drug addiction is a bipartisan illness.” “Addiction does not discriminate; it doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, a man or woman, or even a child.” The phrase “addiction doesn’t care” is not meant to remind us that addiction casts a long shadow — everyone knows that. Rather, it is supposed to suggest that any individual, no matter who, is vulnerable to the ravages of drugs and alcohol.”

6. The Daily Times (Pakistan) – Students highlight hazards of drug abuse. “In connection with International Day against Drug Abuse, the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in collaboration with Iqra University organised a painting competition titled ‘Say no to drugs’ at university campus here on Thursday. Ambassador of Italy Vincenzo Prati was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr Jamil Ahmed, Dean Iqra University, and Anwar Hafeez, ANF director, were also present on the occasion.”

7. Newsday (USA) – Survey: Drug use among older adults hits all-time peak. “Drug use among older adults in the United States has hit its highest point ever, according to data from the federal government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In the government’s latest report – reflecting drug use in 2007 – 1 in 20 Americans ages 50 to 59 told researchers they had used illicit drugs in the last month. More than one-half of these older users still like their street drugs, including marijuana and cocaine.”

8. Medical News Today (USA) – National Institute On Drug Abuse Unveils “Innovations” In Addiction Research. “The first annual NIDA Notes “Innovations” issue, released today, features examples of benchmark NIDA research advances that have profound implications for addiction science. Highlights include deep brain exploration made possible by new optical technologies; remote control of animal behavior in real time; and novel approaches to pain treatment. Articles in this issue shed light on mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases and will explore the role of memory in addictive behavior. ”

9. AlterNet (USA) – It’s Time for the Federal Government to Abandon the Drug War. “As both a U.S. Attorney and Member of Congress, I defended drug prohibition. But it has become increasingly clear to me, after much study, that our current strategy has not worked and will not work. The other candidates for president prefer not to address this issue, but ignoring the failure of existing policy exhibits both a poverty of thought and an absence of political courage. The federal government must turn the decision on drug policy back to the states and the citizens themselves.”