Category Archives: AOD in the news

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. New York Times – Iran Fights Scourge of Addiction in Plain View, Stressing Treatment. “Ali blew out a candle on a small round cake. More than 200 people cheered, celebrating the first anniversary of his becoming drug-free. “I was in an awful condition,” said Ali, describing 12 years of addiction to opium and alcohol. “I reached a state that I smashed our furniture and threw our television out of the window.” Ali, 31, who has a wife and child and identified himself by only his first name to avoid possible embarrassment to his family, is among more than 800 addicts struggling to overcome their habits at a free treatment center in central Tehran.”

2. The New Nation (Bangladesh) – Factors inducing drug addiction.”Drug abuse directly influences the economic and social aspects of a country. In Bangladesh it is a growing national concern. There are millions of drug-addicted people in Bangladesh and most of them are young, between the ages of 18 and 30. And they are from all strata of the society. In Bangladesh, sources of drug information quite limited and drug companies are the vital sources of information here. As with other countries in the world, Bangladesh is victimized for drug addiction in its young generation for mainly following reasons.”

3. The Daily Star (Bangladesh) – Call for social movement to fight drug abuse, trafficking. “Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday said drug abuse and its illicit trafficking is a major problem which cannot be resolved only by enforcing laws and issuing threat of punishment. Side by side applying laws, the home adviser underscored the need for waging a massive social movement and creating awareness against drug abuse to root out the menace from the personal life, family and the society. “Awareness should be created in every individual, while the head of every family must have to be alert in order to fight the problem effectively,” he told a function organised by the Department of Narcotics Control at the Jatiya Natyashala auditorium in the city to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Drug abuse is not an internal problem of Bangladesh rather it is a transnational one where developed countries are unable to keep them above the problem, he added.”

4. The Daily Express – Sabah detects less drug addicts. “Sabah registered fewer drug addicts between January and April this year compared to between January and June last year. Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said 86 addicts were detected during the said period this year, which comprised 71 new addicts and 15 repeat addicts, while last year there were 217 addicts, namely, 161 new addicts and 56 repeat addicts. She said this corresponded with the decreasing number of addicts throughout the country.”

5. The Calgary Sun (Canada) – Manhole victim battled drug addiction. “Mitchell David Forsyth’s family encouraged him to pursue his talent as a glass blower, a dream that will never be realized. Forsyth, 25, was found dead inside a manhole this week, a shocking end to the life of a man his mother described as “wonderful” but one who had been ravaged by a drug addiction. “He had his demons,” Nancy Creagh said yesterday of her son, who was without a permanent job or a residence and battled his addiction for several years.”

6. The Catholic News Agency – Don’t abandon drug addicts, says president of Chilean Bishops’ Conference. “The president of the Bishop’s Conference of Chile, Bishop Alejandro Goic, called on Catholics and society in general this week not to abandon drug addicts and to combat the plague of drugs. This plague, he said, affects not only those with low incomes “but also those who are well-off and are often burdened by the lack of meaning in their lives.”

7. The Guardian (UK) – We are enslaving heroin addicts in a state-run chemical gulag. “There is an important battle of ideas going on around Britain’s extensive use of methadone in the treatment of heroin addicts. Your interview with Paul Hayes, head of the National Treatment Agency, reports that he was recently “forced to defend his record against criticism that the current strategy of treatment management” – using, for example, methadone for heroin addicts rather than “curing” their addiction – “was failing and wrong-headed” (Keep taking the medicine, June 18). We are told that Hayes apparently dismisses his critics as “a few academics, politicians and ‘ideologues’ stoked up by the media”. He says: “Any notion that investment in treatment programmes has been a failure is wrong.”

8. USA Today – Understanding the Netherlands’ marijuana policy. “Cannabis is technically an illegal substance in the Netherlands, although you won’t get arrested for buying or smoking it in a coffee shop. The Dutch have adopted a policy of “gedogen,” or blind eye, to its sale and use since 1976. The government distinguished between so-called “soft” cannabis drugs and “hard” drugs such as heroin or cocaine. That’s when coffee houses sprang up to sell and let people smoke.”

9. Thaiindian.com (Thailand) – Tihar inmates paint stark images against drug abuse. “rugs as the mythological demon Ravan, alcohol as poisonous snakes, a funeral pyre made of cigarette butts…Such stark illustrations have come out of the minds of prisoners at Delhi’s Tihar Jail, especially drug addicts. Many of the prisoners revisited their hellish past to paint their thoughts on tobacco, drug and alcohol abuse – in a way succeeding where Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss failed to do on cigarette packs.”

10. news.com.au – Australia trafficking hub, UN World Drug Report shows. “AUSTRALIA is one of the world’s fastest growing international trafficking hubs for illegal drugs including cocaine, ice and speed, a key United Nations report has found. Trafficking in these drugs has tripled in Australia in the past 12 months, figures from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report 2008 show.”

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Townhall.com (USA) – Pot Potency Peril. “According to federal drug czar John Walters, the marijuana available in the United States is better than ever. Well, that’s not quite the way he put it, but it’s closer to the truth. Last week, as part of its ongoing effort to convince baby boomers that today’s “Pot 2.0” is much more dangerous than the stuff they smoked when they were young, Walters’ Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced that “levels of THC — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — have reached the highest-ever amounts since scientific analysis of the drug began in the late 1970s.”

2. The Vancouver Sun (Canada) – A home for a drug pillar orphan. “Strange as it may sound, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Ian Pitfield’s decision concerning Insite could spell the end of harm reduction as a separate modality for addressing substance abuse in Vancouver. Stranger still, that could prove beneficial for both the city and for people struggling with drug addiction. Pitfield held that the possession and trafficking sections of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) are unjustifiable infringements of Insite users’ rights under s. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees “the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

3. The Peninsula (Qatar) – Ministry organises anti-drug campaign. “Qatar joined the world in observing World Drugs Prevention Day yesterday with an exhibition organized by the Permanent Committee on Drugs and Alcohol Affairs of the Ministry of Interior. Staff Major-General Saad bin Jassem Al Khulaifi, Director of General Security, formally opened the exhibition at the Villaggio mall.”

4. VietNamNet – Vietnam launches crackdown on drug abuse. “A national campaign was launched in Hanoi on June 17 to encourage the entire community to engage in preventing drug abuse, help drug users quit the habit, and reduce the rate of relapsed addicts. The drive is seen as one of the country’s practical approaches to tackling drug abuse in the country, comes in response to the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which falls on June 26.”

5. About.com – Psychological Trait in Boys Could Be Indicator of Drug Abuse Risks. “A psychological trait known as neurobehavioral disinhibition found in boys aged 10 to 12 could be a screening tool for those who will develop substance abuse disorders by age 19 as well as predict criminal activity, violent behavior and injuries. Neurobehavioral disinhibition symptoms include a decrease in behavior control, modulation of emotion and higher-level thought.
The study examined 278 boys when they were between 10 and 12 years old and again evaluated when they were 16 and 19 years old. For those boys who had the neurobehavioral disinhibition trait at age 10 or 12, were significantly more likely to have substance abuse problems by age 19. The trait was also a strong predictor of a a history of arrests, violent behavior, and concussive injury.”

6. Times of Oman – Seminar discusses steps against drug abuse.”Hussein bin Ali Al Hilali, prosecutor-general, opened the second national seminar on anti-narcotics at Crowne Plaza Hotel yesterday. The seminar, organised by the National Committee for Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, was held as part of the Sultanate’s celebration of World Anti-Narcotic Day under the theme ‘Protection against drugs is the responsibility of all’. In a statement to reporters, Al Hilali said the “Sultanate’s joining the world in marking the occasion, which falls on June 26 each year, mirrors the great interest shown by the Sultanate’s government in such issues which affect society, both citizens and expatriates”. The slogan of the celebration for this year adds a new dimension to the international efforts to limit and eradicate the problems of drug abuse. The Sultanate has undertaken strenuous efforts to combat the drug and psychotropic substances issues which have become more common recently.”

7. Science Daily – Popular Stimulant’s Role In Brain Function Deterioration Is Cause For Concern, According To Researchers. “Concerned by the growing numbers of people using stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (MP)–either legally or illegally–to improve attention and focus, researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to assess the effects of the drug on brain function in the normal human brain.”

8. News.com.au – ‘Choosing to use’ drug booklet scrapped. “Health service booklet that tells teenagers what to do if they choose to experiment with drugs will be scrapped. The booklet, aimed at high school students in years 9 and 10, was produced by the Sydney West Area Health Service. The Choosing to use … but wanna keep your head together? booklet suggests young people should not experiment until they are over 18, know their family medical history and “use only small amounts and not too often”.

9. Science Daily – ‘Hazardous Drinking’ May Be A New ‘Check Stop’ On The Way To Alcohol Dependence. “Current diagnostic guides divide alcohol-use disorders into two categories: alcohol abuse/harmful use and alcohol dependence. Some researchers and clinicians believe this is insufficient, that there should be a third, preceding diagnosis known as “hazardous drinking,” defined as drinking more than guidelines recommend. A Finnish study has found that hazardous drinking is quite common.”

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. The Scotsman (UK) – Now experts say cannabis should be legal. “CANNABIS should be legalised and taxed, an influential Scottish think tank recommended yesterday, just weeks after the Government hardened its attitude towards the drug, reclassifying it as a class B substance. The Scottish Futures Forum yesterday published a report on drugs and alcohol in Scotland, saying one way to tackle the problem of addiction to harder drugs was to tax and regulate cannabis.”

2. Associated Press (USA) – Can exercise help prevent addiction to drugs or alcohol? “Sure, exercise is good for your waistline, your heart, your bones — but might it also help prevent addiction to drugs or alcohol? There are some tantalizing clues that physical activity might spur changes in the brain to do just that. Now the government is beginning a push for hard research to prove it. This is not about getting average people to achieve the so-called runner’s high, a feat of pretty intense athletics.”

3. Arab News – Youth Problems Need Everyone’s Attention. “The welfare of our youth has been compromised by many factors that should be given more serious attention to protect the future of our next generation. Among them are the increasing rates of divorce, drug addiction, juvenile delinquency, terrorism, unemployment, low wages and the high cost of living. To begin with, the alarming rate of divorce is a painful reality that needs to be addressed immediately. Family disputes are a source of pain for our children and have caused enormous difficulties that adversely impact the welfare of our society.”

4. CNN – IBN (India) – J&K: Drug addiction on rise as cops remain aloof. “Jammu and Kashmir has seen prolonged conflict and high levels of stress, but now a new report by the state’s psychiatric hospital has found out that young people in rural areas are increasingly taking to drugs.
“I have been taking drugs since last 10 year. I get it from different people whenever I require it. I am not afraid of police, I fear nobody,” is the brazen confession of a 32-year-old drug addict from south Kashmir, Shabir Ahmad.”

5. The Ottawa Citizen (Canada) – An irrational and stupid drug policy. “The government’s handling of drug policy is so ignorant and foolish it is a challenge to explain why in a newspaper column. To expound on stupidity of this magnitude requires a very long book. But two images from this week do come close to capturing the full absurdity. The first is Tony Clement appearing before a Commons committee to declare his government’s opposition to the current operation of Insite, the Vancouver safe-injection pilot project.”

6. University of Cambridge (UK) – High impulsivity predicts the switch to compulsive cocaine-taking. “Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found impulsivity, a trait often associated with addicts’ behaviour, predicts whether casual drug use will lead to compulsive drug use. Their findings are reported in last week’s edition of ‘Science’.
Many individuals take addictive drugs at some point in their lives – not just illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin, but also legal and commonly available substances such as alcohol and nicotine. But only a sub-group of those who take drugs eventually lose control over their drug use and become ‘addicted’. ”

7. BBC News (UK) – Alcohol craving reduced by drugs. “Twin research projects have offered both present and future hope to people suffering from alcohol addiction. US researchers say that epilepsy drug topiramate boosts general health as well as cutting the craving for drink. A UK specialist said the potential side-effects of topiramate still merited caution. A separate project showed that a single injection of a protein into the brains of rats almost immediately stopped them wanting alcohol.”

8. Adelaide Now (Australia) – Rebadged bong to beat SA drug pipe ban. “AN Adelaide business is rebadging outlawed cannabis bongs to beat tough new laws making the sale of drug implements illegal. Attorney-General Michael Atkinson and a reformed cannabis addict say they saw illegal bongs on sale at Off Ya Tree in Hindley St, but they were labelled water-pourers.”

9. Antigua Sun (West Indies) – Drug abuse concern in Barbuda. “Substance abuse prevention activities will be extended to Barbuda for the first time this year as news of extensive youth drug abuse on the island comes to light. On 26 June, the Substance Abuse Prevention Division will be hosting its annual Walk Against Drugs in honour of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.”

10. New York Times (USA) – Making Light of Drug Abuse, to Make a Point. “VERY spring they crop up, dark and worrisome as nightshade amid the tea roses of prom corsages: High school safety assemblies. Most often they are earnest and sobering “scared straight” campaigns against drug and alcohol use and drunken driving. But this year, Avon High School parents and school administrators tried out a new weapon in the war against bad choices: laughter. Gloriously irreverent laughter.”

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Canada.com – Society pays a high price for the bad choices of a few. “I’m not much impressed with all the crowing and cackling in the national barnyard over the court judgment relating to Insite. I think it lacks considerable insight. Now before people start cancelling subscriptions to this newspaper I want to remind them that my opinion isn’t shared by its esteemed editorial board. So don’t shoot, please, that messenger.”

2. Etalaat – Drug Abuse in the Valley. “There are day to day changes in the society and so are the norms. Sometimes these changes abolish the past to the extent that the future generations do not believe about its real historical perspective as they cannot remember the past. These changes are going on and our Kashmiri society is turning into big spiral of social evils now and one of such social evils is the drug abuse.”

3. Vladivostok Times (Russia) – Month of Drug Addiction Prophylaxis Started in Primorye. “A month of prophylaxis of drug addiction, dedicated to the international Day of struggle with drug addiction, which is traditionally celebrated on June 26, started in Primorye. As the press-service of the Primorsky Territory Administration reported to RIA PrimaMedia, the whole complex of preventive activities is planned. These are visits of specialists to summer camps, round tables and conferences in children’s hospitals, a series of information activities, anti-drug actions in universities and even a public prayer.”

4. Globe and Mail (Canada) – Shooting up is a Charter right? “Let me get this straight. Last week, a B.C. judge ruled that Vancouver’s safe-injection site – where drug addicts can shoot up under the watchful eye of government health workers – is legal. The federal government, he said, has no right to end the temporary exemption that allows the site to operate. So far, so good, I guess. But Mr. Justice Ian Pitfield did a whole lot more than that. He created a constitutional right for addicts to shoot up. First, he defined the program as health care – on the grounds that addicts have a disease, and need their fix, just as diabetics need theirs. He went on to rule that denial of health care is a violation of Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

5. ABC Online – Evidence of cannabis damage. “ELEANOR HALL: Drug addiction experts say research on cannabis published today should be taken as a warning to users about the dangers of the drug. The Australian study which is published in a leading psychiatry journal, has found the first evidence of physical brain damage in heavy long-term users. The researchers discovered that the parts of the brain affecting memory and emotion shrank in heavy users and that smoking cannabis can be as bad for your brain as a head injury. ”

6. Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt) – Opium of the masses. “While the current occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq look to be part of an ambitious plan of American domination of the Muslim world, both are proving to be a much greater problem than their shadowy planners supposed. And whatever conspiracy jigsaw puzzle Afghanistan forms a key piece in, it is certainly not one made in Russia, despite current attempts by the United States to paint Russia, formerly enemy number one, as enemy number two, after the current enemy du jour — Islam.”

7. The Telegraph (UK) – Amy Winehouse denies Israel drug rehab plans. “The artist, who was recently photographed apparently smoking crack cocaine, was allegedly planning to undergo a £6,400 operation to kick her well-documented habit. According to the Jewish Chronicle, the treatment was to take place at the Barzilai Medical Centre following a request from the 24-year-old singer’s representatives.”

8. The Daily Mail (UK) – While we revere rock stars, models and comedians who glamorise drug addiction, people like Ben will continue to die. “A father-of-two is murdered when he tries to stop a pair of drug addicts stealing his car radio; a boy is stabbed to death in a London street by a gang calling themselves MDP (which stands for ‘Money, Drugs, Power’); a popular, talented television presenter kills himself when his actress girlfriend dies after a drug-fuelled twosome; and we watch bemused as both Amy Winehouse and Peaches Geldof are questioned (although not charged) by police about possible drug offences.”

9. The Washington Post – Genes May Play Role in Quitting Smoking. “Your ability to kick the smoking habit may have a lot to do with your genetic make-up, a new study finds. Researchers have found gene patterns that influence a smoker’s response to specific smoking-cessation treatments. The researchers identified several genetic variations that appear to indicate the likelihood of success or failure with nicotine replacement therapy and the smoking-cessation drug bupropion (Zyban).”

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Jamaica Gleaner – ‘Use churches for counselling’. “Churches in Jamaica and, in particular, the Adventist denomination, were called upon to use their facilities to counsel individuals who are in need of someone to relate to as the nation faces tougher economic and social problems. The call came last Sunday from Dr Wendel Abel, head of the department of psychiatry at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).”

2. Independent Online (South Africa) – Can rehabs cure sex addiction? “A recovering drug and sex addict in Cape Town says fancy rehabilitation centres, like the one British Lord Irwin Laidlaw has booked into, cost a fortune and are a waste of money. Laidlaw is at Montrose Place in Bishopscourt, one of the most exclusive facilities in the country, run by the wealthy Graaff family. Part of his treatment includes attending a sex and love addicts anonymous programme.”

3. Globe and Mail (Canada) – Military drug tests find one in 20 using. “More than one in 20 Canadian soldiers and sailors in non-combat roles tested positive for illicit drug use in random tests conducted on more than 3,000 military personnel from coast to coast. The results provided to The Canadian Press show that over a four-month period, 1,392 sailors in the navy’s Atlantic and Pacific fleets and 1,673 soldiers in the army’s four regions and training branch were subjected to blind drug testing.”

4. Merinews (India) – Teenage drug addiction. “MEET MRINAL from Kanpur. He is 16 years old and has already been to a rehabilitation centre. He started drinking and smoking since he was 13. Meet Manoj and Vijay from Delhi, aged 17. They are famous among their group for throwing big parties with unlimited flow of alcohol and marijuana.”

5. AOL Canada – Feds pony up $10M to battle addiction in Vancouver. “The federal government is putting up $10 million to fund new programs to battle drug addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. However, none of the cash will go to Insite, the controversial supervised safe-injection site that has won praise from Premier Gordon Campbell but drawn fire from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has called it a “second-best strategy at best.”

6. ScienceAlert (Australia) – Receptor may control heroin addiction. “Researchers from the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne have identified a factor that may contribute towards the development of heroin addiction by manipulating the adenosine A2A receptor, which plays a major role in the brain’s ‘reward pathway’. Using mice specifically bred without the adenosine A2A receptor, Prof Andrew Lawrence and his team showed that these mice had a reduced desire to self-administer morphine; heroin is converted to morphine in the body. The mice also self-administered less morphine compared to control littermates, but did not develop tolerance to specific behavioural effects of morphine.”

7. news.com.au – Ice addicts clog our hospitals. “DOCTORS are warning the health system is not coping with violent ice users. In the publication Australian Medicine, released today, the Australian Medical Association says medical staff are increasingly at risk from psychotic and aggressive methamphetamine (ice) users. AMA national president Rosanna Capolingua said emergency departments were being strained by ice users who were often drunk as well.”

8. United Press International – Prescription drug abuse surging. “Healthcare workers and dishonest patients are filling U.S. streets with potentially addictive prescription medications, officials say. Also contributing to the problem are pharmacy thefts, robberies and burglaries, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.”

9. Thaiindian News – A new poppy variety to check drug abuse. “A poppy plant that is difficult to extract morphine from? That is what scientists at the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, have developed in order to combat abuse of drugs produced from poppy. The new poppy variety is the first of its kind in the world, claim scientists who have been working on it for the past seven years. “Unlike the original poppy plants, easy extraction of morphine is not possible from the new variety developed at our institute,” Ashutosh K. Shukla, a senior scientist at the institute, told IANS.”

10. TheHeart.org – Marijuana users have increased apoC3, triglycerides. “Heavy, chronic use of marijuana causes increased levels of apolipoprotein C3 (apoC3), which in turn results in a major increase in triglyceride levels, a small study shows [1]. The findings may explain some of the vascular effects of marijuana that have been observed, say Dr Subramaniam Jayanthi (National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD) and colleagues in their paper published online May 13, 2008 in Molecular Psychiatry. Senior author Dr Jean Luc Cadet (National Institute on Drug Abuse) told heartwire: “A lot of people in cardiology have probably not been following the literature on marijuana, as most of it comes from the perspective of the neurologist or neuropsychiatrist. But in researching this topic, we came across a lot of papers suggesting that marijuana has acute cardiovascular effects, and we ourselves published a paper in 2005 showing that heavy marijuana users had increased resistance to brachial flow.”

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Courier Post Online (USA) Flying High: American Drug Policy. “Drug abuse has been on the rise in the United States since the late 1960s. Today, an estimated five million people in the country are living with a severe drug or alcohol addiction. When left untreated, drug and alcohol addiction costs the country approximately $276 billion in lost productivity, law enforcement, healthcare, justice, welfare, and other programs and services. Drug addiction can have a devastating impact on an individual and society because addicts have little concern for anything other than their next high. As a result, existing obligations in their life are often ignored. Addicts lose their employment, homes, families, health, and even their lives.”

2. TriCities.com – Prescription Drug Addiction Has Unlikely Victims. “Lia Johnson sat shackled in a vacant, windowless room in the bowels of the Abingdon regional jail one afternoon in March. The young mother was handcuffed and zipped into an orange jumpsuit. Between her and the cool, spring breeze outside were two armed guards, a long hallway and two sets of fortified doors.”

3. Medical News Today – Benefits In Chronic Pain Outweigh Risks For Painkiller Abuse. “As controversy swirls about proper clinical use of opioids and other potent pain medications, research reported at the American Pain Society annual meeting shows that, contrary to widespread beliefs, less than 3 percent of patients with no history of drug abuse who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain will show signs of possible drug abuse or dependence.”

4. WKYC.com – Study: Marijuana use in teens could worsen depression. “Teens looking to alleviate depression with marijuana and other drugs may be making their situation worse.
According to a study by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana use can not only make depression worse, but can also lead to more serious mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and anxiety.”

5. Red Orbit – When the Internet Becomes Too Much. “One of the year’s top tech trends is Internet addiction, according to J. Walter Thompson, the advertising agency powerhouse. What’s old is new again. “Internet addiction has been a concern since the dawn of the Web,” acknowledges Ann Mack, the agency’s “director of trend spotting.” It may not be a new trend, but it remains an important one. Mack points to online discussions, Internet gambling, online porn, and interactive role-playing games. But, just about everything about the Internet can snag you in one way or another.”

6. Science Centric – Homeless youth need more than treatment for substance abuse, study says. “A new study of homeless youth suggests that treating substance abuse and mental health problems may not be enough to help get teens off the streets. Instead, researchers found that creating more opportunities for work, education and medical care were the most important factors in reducing homelessness.”

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Surrey Now (Canada) – No room for ideology at Insite. “The clock is ticking on the future of one of Canada’s most important and unique attempts to deal with drug addiction, and perhaps that’s a good thing. It may very well be good that the federal government is sending signals it will soon no longer support Vancouver’s supervised injection facility (Insite). Getting Ottawa out of the picture may actually create some certainty and stability for the controversial facility in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside.”

2. icWales (UK) – Jamie’s Addiction Story. “AT the height of his addiction to heroin, Jamie was spending over £400 a week to get the drug that his body craved. He was just 15, still at school, and shoplifting daily to finance both his habit, and that of his girlfriend Sarah (name changed to protect her identity). “I was doing about half a gram a day,” says Jamie, now 17.
“That was costing me £30 and then Sarah was using the same amount. Your whole life is about getting money to get your next bag.”

3. The Hindu (India) – UN joins OPEC partner to curb HIV among drug users. “The United Nations anti-narcotics agency has joined forces with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) in a bid to rein in the spread of HIV among drug users.”

4. Etalaat (India) – Conflict blamed for drug addiction among women in JK. “The armed conflict in Kashmir has eaten into the very vitals of the society and it is one of the main reasons for drug addiction among women, according to a study. “With search operations, crackdowns, firing incidents and grenade blasts being a regular feature, the women folk were all the time worried about the safety and security of their dear ones. Taking to drugs in the form of cough syrups and other sedatives was the only option left for them to come out of the mental tension,” Dr Ghulam Nabi Wani, founder HNSS De-addiction Centre, Khanyar, who carried out the study told Etalaat on Wednesday.”

5. Wall Street Journal – New Version Of OxyContin Raises Concern. “A Food and Drug Administration panel expressed deep concerns about a purported abuse-resistant form of the painkiller OxyContin, saying there is a “striking” lack of data about the drug’s abuse-prevention qualities. “I’m fascinated with the poor scientific rigor” of the data presented by Purdue Pharma LP, maker of OxyContin, FDA panel member Jeffrey R. Kirsch said. “It’s almost insulting.”

6. Islamic Republic News (Iran) – Number of drug-related deaths up in Germany in 2007: report. “The number of drug-related deaths rose by 98 people or 7.6 percent to reach 1,394 last year, according to the annual report released Monday by the government’s anti-drug commissioner Sabine Baetzing.”

7. The Age – Barnes’ binge: cheap wine and 10 grams of cokemebeli. “JIMMY Barnes can’t believe he lived through a death-defying drug-and-booze binge, which, by rights, should have killed him. The rock icon has revealed the extent of his drug use, in which he consumed a daily cocktail of cocaine, ecstasy and vodka for four years.”

8. The New York Times – Reports Find Racial Gap in Drug Arrests. “More than two decades after President Ronald Reagan escalated the war on drugs, arrests for drug sales or, more often, drug possession are still rising. And despite public debate and limited efforts to reduce them, large disparities persist in the rate at which blacks and whites are arrested and imprisoned for drug offenses, even though the two races use illegal drugs at roughly equal rates.”

9. The Ottawa Citizen – An addict’s White knight. “Ottawa police chief Vern White demonstrated leadership this month by travelling to Toronto and personally making the case for proper drug treatment facilities in Ottawa. In the policing world, there are probably still a few old-timers who think substance abuse is mainly a law enforcement issue and that the principal problem facing drug addicts is a flawed moral character. Chief White, it appears, is not one of them. His efforts to bring residential drug treatment services to Ottawa suggests he understands that addicts might need help more than handcuffs.”

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. KGMB9.com (USA) – Drug Addiction: A Click Away? “Morphine, vicodin, oxycontin… It used to be the only way to buy these powerful drugs was at a pharmacy, with a valid prescription from a doctor.
Today more people are ordering narcotics on the Internet. Many online pharmaceutical sites are legal, meaning they require a signed prescription from a physician and proof of a legitimate medical problem.”

2. Ireland Online – Downey blames movie for addiction. “Former troubled actor Robert Downey Jr blames his role in 1980s cult film ‘Less Than Zero’ for fuelling his drug addiction.
The 43-year-old insists he only took drugs recreationally before he was cast as a cocaine addict in the 1987 film based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis.”

3. MovieWeb – Paramount to Develop Two Drug Memoirs as One. “Paramount is venturing into the world of drug addiction in a very unique way. According to Variety, the studio has acquired the memoirs Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, by his son, Nick Sheff. Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company will also develop the project.”

4. The New Nation (Bangladesh) – ‘Drug addiction a silent killer’. “The two World Wars did not claim so many lives, as did drug addiction, the Adviser for Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and Culture, Women and Children Affairs Rasheda K Chowdhury said. She was speaking as Chief Guest a discussion meeting on “Misuse of Drugs and Addiction to It” at Viqarunnessa Noon School and College auditorium yesterday in the city.”

5. Today’s Zaman (Turkey) – Drug addiction in spotlight, threat more serious than imagined. “Though drug addiction is considered a relatively minor problem in Turkey, figures indicate that heroin and cocaine addictions are on the rise, with experts cautioning the dangerous trend may continue. “Studies and statistical data indicate Turkey is one of many countries that have suffered from problems related to drugs and drug addiction. Indeed, this problem is greater and more serious than one might imagine,” said Green Crescent Fight against Alcohol and Cigarette Abuse Chairman Mustafa Necati Özfatura.”

6. Globe and Mail (Canada) – Picking at the scab of meth addiction. “As Cranked opens, Stan, a young hip-hop MC, is comparing the slow, lumbering zombies of old movies to the speedier ones of today’s horror flicks. To him, the modern running undead seem more realistic: “When you crave flesh … When it is the sole thing in the universe that you can focus on and you want it as bad as your next breath of air? Oh yeah, you will run.”

7. The Independent (UK) – Sex addiction: The facts from the fruity fiction. “Ah, sex. Our compulsion to reproduce, or to go through the motions of doing so, has a habit of getting people into trouble, especially if they are wealthy or powerful. The readiness with which men – it is usually men – with money or influence will turn aside from their business affairs to engage in extra-curricular dalliances is all too familiar. What we didn’t know, until recently, is that it may qualify as a medical disorder.”

8. The Canadian Press – Health crisis brewing in Vancouver before safe injection site opened: lawyer. ” A lawyer for a group that wants the federal government to keep a safe-injection site open in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside says a public health crisis was brewing in the area for more than a decade before the facility opened. Monique Pongracic-Speier told B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday that injection drug use had become an epidemic in Canada’s poorest postal code and the site now provides an important health service.”

‘Alcopop’ tax rise: a clever move?

The Rudd government has raised taxes on pre-mixed alcoholic drinks, bringing them into line with spirits.

There’s no doubt the government will be arguing it’s an important step in lowering binge drinking rates, but I’d be doubtful whether that level of taxation will in fact have much impact – in fact, it’ll be interesting to see whether the change just leads to a transfer of use from pre-mix to more traditional spirits consumption. It’d also be nice to see the extra proceeds being used to improve prevention initiatives with the demographic that consumes them.

Government has a lot of catching up to do in regard to communicating with younger age groups of alcohol. YouTube is likely to be used more and more but that is really only tokenism. A concerted social media campaign is needed but I won’t be holding my breath for that one.

News of substance – drugs in the worldwide news

1. Stuff.co.nz – Drugs ruined my relationships, Downey says. “Robert Downey Jr admits his drug addiction ruined his relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker. The actor started dating the Sex and the City star in 1984 after meeting on the set of movie Firstborn but split in 1991 because of Downey’s self-centred, wild lifestyle.”

2. The Times (South Africa) – The big problem – drugs and alcohol. “I started needing alcohol in the morning to function. Generally, people don’t have a clear concept of what the treatment for drug addiction is … they come either with no expectations or with various expectations,” said Dan Wolf, psychologist and managing director of The Gap and First Step, two drug rehabilitation centres in Johannesburg.
“People stumble into the culture of recovery as an opportunity to address the chaos in their lives.”

3. The Daily Star (Lebanon) – Doctors, lawyers join forces to fight drug addiction. “In an attempt to change the treatment and perception of people who are addicted to drugs in Lebanon, the Lebanese Addiction Center “Skoun” and the Tripoli Bar Association on Tuesday launched a project for the “Greater Respect for Drug Addicts’ Rights.” The initiative aims to promote dialogue and cooperation among judges, police, investigators, and medical workers when dealing with drug addicts.”

4. Etalaat (India) – `Broken social ties, media hoax lead to drug addiction’. “Dwindling social ties, decrease in community based activities and lack of proper knowledge is pushing valley youth into drug addiction, says a de-addiction expert, Dr Majid.
Dr Majid who has an experience of several years in de-addiction said: ” During these years of dealing with drug and chemical addicts, I have found that peer group pressure and foolish curiosity are main causes of youth falling into the drug trap.”

5. The Times of India – Drug abuse lands cops in deadly mess. “Rampant drug abuse and unsafe sex is pricking hard the Punjab Police, jeopardizing the lives of as many as 178 police personnel in the district of Tarn Taran alone. What has only compounded their case is the indifferent attitude of government, which is yet to wake up to the ticking bomb within its ranks.”

6. Goal.com (Switzerland) – Pele: Drug-Cheat Maradona Should Have Medals Stripped. “A favourite debate among football fans has always been who was greater out of Pele and Maradona. This topic has had extra spice due to the fact that the pair do not get on, and indeed have been at loggerheads for many years. Both have attacked each other in the press in the past, with Pele often criticising Maradona on moral grounds, while the Argentine has hit out at the Brazilian for being part of FIFA’s “political” family.”

7. IPP Media (Tanzania) – Drug abuse: Parents should closely follow up children`s movements. “Last week I was at a bus stop waiting for a commuter bus to take me to work when I noticed a 23-year-old youth behaving rather strangely. He was walking forward and back as if he was in a parade. He was untidy and carried all features of a mental case. I didn`t notice his problem until he went to a nearby garbage heap, picked a piece of an orange refuse and started eating it.”

8. The Retriever Weekly (USA) – The latest marijuana propaganda campaign. “Flipping through the channels, a man in a pith helmet and a white mustache flashes onto the screen, asking you to join him in his hunt for the “mature stoner.” It is yet another anti-drug commercial in the government-sponsored ad campaign “Above the Influence.” Filled with propaganda and falsified information, the series of four commercials chronicles the adventures of “Dr. Puck” and his assistant, Baldric. They watch “stoners” in their natural habitat: relaxing, going to school, and even driving. This series of ads perpetuates many of the myths associated with marijuana use.”

9. Minneapolis Star Tribune (USA) – ocaine in Spain: Party perennial and rehab regular. “Around dawn on a Sunday, packs of young people are huddled at stoplights or ambling down Paseo del Prado. Despite the hour, the day isn’t just beginning for them. Like thousands of young Spaniards, they are ending a long night of hard-core partying that probably included the unbridled snorting of cocaine.”