Tuesday, January 30, 2007
People without resources currently may have to wait 60 days or longer to get a bed in a detox facility, the director of a Salina treatment program said.
Governor Sebelius' State of the State message also encouraged Kansans to take the Healthy Kansas Pledge and commit to making a few simple changes in their lives, namely: getting more physical activity, eating healthier and quitting smoking. Website. Source.
Monday, January 29, 2007
"We're seeing a lot more property crime, which I think we can attribute to heroin abuse," Combs said. "We see a lot of thefts of checks and forgeries and smash-and-grabs from vehicles. They just run out of money."
Death from overdose is not uncommon. Combs said Shelby, a town of 9,000 people, has had five fatal overdoses in the last two years.
"The availability of it is what kills us," Combs said. "We try to focus on the people who are selling it as much as we can."
But that's not easy. -- Read details in the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum.
The committee of 30 neighborhood volunteers, including both Hindus and Muslims, has set itself the mission of trying to stop more riots before they occur. Since a giant pogrom against Muslims in 2002 (photo), in which more than 1,000 lost their lives and hundreds of houses were looted, community tensions have been high.
The association's members say that most communal violence is “created” and is seldom the “spontaneous outburst” that it is touted to be. In their ward, fights usually start when drunkards come to buy the food sold at the laris (pushcarts), many of which are owned by Muslims.
“It will start with abuses, then they will fight, someone will get beaten up, and one group will organise a mob,” says Solanki, one of the members. Adds Shaikh, another member: “It is under the influence of liquor that people throw stones and fight — in our area, alcoholism is the biggest problem.”
Though prohibition is in force in Gujarat, illicit brewing and sale of liquor is widespread in the state. As one of its first initiatives, the association hopes to enlist the community’s help in stopping bootlegging in the locality. Details.
Researchers say the relaxed attitude by parents is setting up their children as alcoholics with an 84 per cent rise over six years in the number of teens taken to hospital as psychiatric patients for alcohol dependence.
- Little girls who want to be beauty queens should become alcoholics
- If she's an alcoholic, how bad can alcoholism be?
- She did something really rotten and needs an excuse
- Alcoholism strikes without regard to age, gender, or physical appearance
(Pick all that apply).
Sunday, January 28, 2007
LINDSAY LOHAN is proving very unpopular in Hollywood at the moment.
Top stars including JACK NICHOLSON and MORGAN FREEMAN have all told their agents to turn down flat any movie with her name on it.
The old guard think she is just a stupid minor celeb who brings shame on their profession and hope that if they stick together she will get shut out.
Meanwhile, she’s just as unpopular at her Alcoholics Anonymous group. Their meetings are supposed to be secret — hence the name — but when Lindsay goes to her group she always has a string of snappers in tow.
Understandably, the other recovering boozers feel they are being compromised.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Observers noted that powerful backers of Karzai's government, including the ministers of agriculture, defense, rural development, and counter-narcotics, among others, strongly opposed the spraying plan, as did governors of the big drug-producing provinces.
John Walters, the director of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, visited Kabul last month and brought pressure for the spraying. Walters said Afghanistan could turn into a narco-state unless "giant steps" were made toward eliminating poppies.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul responded to Karzai's announcement with a conciliatory statement that spraying "is a decision for the Afghans to make."
This year's opium crop in Afghanistan is 6,700 tons, up 49 per cent from last year. That's enough to make 670 tons of heroin, 90 per cent of the world's production, and more than all the current heroin addicts in the world consume in a year.
U.S Ambassador Ronald Neuman said that last year, about 1,500 acres of poppies had been destroyed by non-chemical means. That's about three tenths of one per cent of the 407,000 acres in opium cultivation in Afghanistan last year. Source.
The New York Times editorialized Friday that "the government of the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, is rife with corruption, and the regional warlord allies it depends on to control outlying areas are even more thieving as well as shockingly brutal." Source.
The day after Karzai's statement defending the opium crop, Secy of State Condoleeza Rice announced that the U.S. was planning to spend an additional $10.6 billion to prop up Karzai's government, and will extend the tours of duty of U.S. troops stationed there. Source. Two days later, Pres. Bush called Karzai "to pass his and Mrs. Bush's congratulations to the Karzai family on the birth of their son." Source.
Officer Kevin Freibott was suspended without pay and charged with driving while intoxicated and assault by auto in connection with the accident that occurred about 11 p.m. Tuesday on the Pulaski Skyway.
It left Ruth Zelaya, 37, and her son, Juan Carlos Zelaya, in critical condition at area hospitals. Source.
Suspended? Not fired?
Varenicline increased the odds of successful long-term smoking cessation approximately threefold compared with pharmacologically unassisted quit attempts.Source. Wikipedia article.
In trials reported so far, more participants quit successfully with varenicline than with bupropion. The effectiveness of varenicline as an aid to relapse prevention has not been clearly established. The main adverse effect of varenciline is nausea, but this is mostly at mild to moderate levels and tends to reduce with habituation.
There is a need for independent trials of varenicline versus placebo, to test the early findings. There is also a need for direct comparisons with nicotine replacement therapy, and for further trials with bupropion, to establish the relative efficacy of the treatments.
Contacted with the medical results, York College spokesman David Salter said "No comment."
Researchers led by Sandra Woerle of the National Institute of Justice and Michael G. Landen of the New Mexico Department of Health analyzed results from an annual telephone poll of nearly 5,000 adults in New Mexico and found that about one in six was an "excessive drinker," defined as drinking five or more drinks in a sitting. But fewer than two per cent could be classified as "alcohol dependent" or "alcoholic."
Tim Naimi, a physician at the Centers for Disease Prevention, commented on the study:
"In order to prevent most alcohol-related problems, including alcoholism itself, we need to focus on excessive drinking, not just alcoholism. Focusing exclusively on alcoholism will identify only a small percentage of those at risk of causing or incurring alcohol-related harms, precludes the possibility of prevention, and is very costly, at least on a per-person basis."Study Abstract. Press release. Science Daily rewrite of press release.
Comment: This research deserves repeating with larger populations and other methods. If it can be widely replicated -- as seems probable -- it has important policy implications. As Dr. Naimi and other commentators on this study point out, a public policy focusing exclusively on alcoholics (people with alcohol dependence) misses nine tenths of the iceberg. What are some of the policy implications?
- Courts that routinely sentence intoxicated drivers to treatment programs and support groups designed for alcoholics are not fitting the solution to the problem.
- Most people who are court-mandated into treatment programs and support groups designed for alcoholics are not alcoholics and don't belong there.
- Treatment programs and support groups that require court-mandated clients/members to declare themselves alcoholics are frequently pushing a misdiagnosis.
- Treatment programs and support groups that focus on alcoholism, even when they are effective in palliating that disorder, may have only a minimal impact on the over-all public damage that excessive alcohol consumption causes.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
SALEM, MA: An Arlington man will spend up to five years in prison after he was convicted of his tenth drunk driving offense.
According to prosecutors, John McNeil, 43, drove through a stop sign in Haverhill on Christmas Day in 2005 and crashed into an ambulance responding to a call with its lights flashing.
The crash injured two emergency medical technicians.
McNeil had been convicted of drunken driving eight times in Massachusetts and once in New York before this incident, according to court documents.
McNeil's lawyer said his client is "a decent guy who has a severe alcohol problem." Source.
Why are felonies committed with automobiles considered more excusable than those committed with bare fists or ax handles? If this man had done a string of any other crimes he would have been in prison long term after the second or third offense, severe alcohol problem or not. He's not to be blamed for his alcoholism. He is responsible, though, for his decision to drive. The laws that allowed him back on the road again and again and again are broken. They need to be fixed, or they're meaningless.
This stroke victim's brain was damaged in an area called the insula, a pair of regions deep within the folds of the brain that had been previously implicated in addiction. (Drawing) The insula of cocaine addicts "lights up" in brain imaging studies when shown enticing images of the drug.
Now a study of nearly 70 heavy smokers who had suffered various types of brain damage confirms that damage or destruction of the insula took away, or drastically reduced, nicotine cravings. Of the 19 subjects with insula damage, twelve stopped smoking immediately without experiencing cravings. Smokers with damage to other regions of the brain had a much more difficult time; only four of them quit smoking with relative ease.
The study, by Antoine Bechara (photo), a neuroscientist at the University Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues, is published in today's edition of Science. Although brain damage is hardly a recommended treatment for smokers who want to quit, researchers say the findings provide important insight into the biological basis of addictive behaviors. Details from Science online. Interesting discussion by Carl T. Hall, science writer of the San Francisco Chronicle, here.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The Pentagon has reduced by more than 62% its surveillance flight-hours over Caribbean and Pacific Ocean routes that are used to smuggle cocaine, marijuana and, increasingly, Colombian-produced heroin. At the same time, the Navy is deploying one-third fewer patrol boats in search of smugglers. Many other similar efforts have been cut back.
The L.A. Times deserves commendation for its stories digging into the Bush Administration's mounting official indifference, at best, to the growing floods of illegal drugs pouring into the U.S. from many quarters, not the least from Afghanistan, where U.S. forces installed and are protecting the druglords that now produce 90 per cent of the world's heroin.
Dr Jonathan Fielden, a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care with the BMA, said: "Over the past year the availability of diamorphine has dramatically reduced. It has got to the stage where it is almost impossible in some hospitals to get hold of this drug for use outside very specific circumstances."
Unnamed authorities quoted by The Independent (London) claim that harvesting Afghan opium for legitimate medical uses would be impractical. Source. The most likely reason it would be impractical is that the opium fields are in the hands of the warlords who run the Kabul government under the protection of NATO forces. Heroin is much more lucrative than diamorphine.
Meanwhile U.S. sales of beer were also up slightly. But beer's share of the over-all alcoholic beverage market (distilled spirits, wine, and beer) dropped to 55 per cent, down from nearly 60 per cent in 1995. Beer manufacturers this year will be trying to go upscale to compete with distilled spirits among affluent drinkers. Details.
"My face has been out there for years … in front of judges," said the 53-year-old Mount Clemens resident, who was 15 when he began drinking and doing heroin and cocaine.
"Now, it's out in a positive light. I'm not that guy anymore.
"I'm not afraid to stand up."
Fischer, who has been in recovery for three years, is among a dozen local recovering substance abusers featured in a new calendar aimed at de-stigmatizing their struggle.
The grass-roots recovery advocacy group Greater Macomb Project Vox teamed up with St. Joseph's Healthcare to distribute the 5,000 or so free Faces of Recovery calendars to area businesses and treatment centers to help shed the stigma of addiction.
Finally, the part that really sucks is that there are photographers all over the place. Doesn't "AA" stand for Alcoholics Anonymous? ANONYMOUS? Those poor people whose pictures are now online of them in line for an AA meeting.Source.
I am a recovering addict and alcoholic, all my favorite music was composed by junkies and lushes, and my friends want me to go the pub for a drink. i need a mix that reassures me it’s good to be clean and sober.
Requested by: elleon713
Compiled by: Hannahrama
Note from Hannahrama: Side A is full of artists/band members that have managed to quit drug or alcohol abuse, legions of fans falling at their feet. Side B has artists/band members who died as a result of drug or alcohol abuse. You can’t really enjoy much, when you’re dead.
SIDE A: If they can do it, you can, too!
01. John Coltrane - "Aisha" (Ole Coltrane [Bonus Track])
02. David Bowie - "Heroes" (Best of Bowie)
03. Elvis Costello - "My Little Blue Window" (When I Was Cruel)
04. Velvet Revolver - "Fall to Pieces" (Contraband)
05. Tom Waits - "Anywhere I Lay My Head" (Rain Dogs)
06. Johnny Cash - "I Still Miss Someone" (Folsom Prison Blues)
07. Eric Clapton - "Tears in Heaven" (Clapton Chronicles: The Best of Eric Clapton)
08. Iggy Pop - "Private Hell" (Skull Ring)
09. The Used - "Yesterday’s Feelings" (In Love and Death)
10. The Cure - "Lost" (The Cure)
SIDE B: Cut down in their prime.
01. Nirvana - "Come As You Are" (Nevermind)
02. The Doors - "Touch Me" (Legacy: The Absolute Best)
03. Jimi Hendrix - "Castles Made of Sand" (Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix)
04. Blind Melon - "No Rain" (Blind Melon)
05. The Ruts - "Staring at the Rude Boys" (Something That I Said: The Best of the Ruts)
06. The Ramones - "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" (The Ramones)
07. Townes Van Zandt - "If I Needed You" (The Late Great Townes Van Zandt)
08. Elliott Smith - "Roman Candle" (Roman Candle)
09. Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water" (Machine Head)
10. Tim Buckley - "Chase the Blues Away" (Blue Afternoon)
"Maybe it will embarrass people and keep them from drinking and driving," said Mike Fasano (R). "Maybe they'll think twice." The bill also says police "may stop any vehicle that bears a DUI plate without probable cause to check the driver."
"Pink plates would hold out individuals for punishment as well as ridicule. We are very opposed to it," said Larry Spalding, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida.
About 840,000 of Florida's 15 million licensed drivers have an active DUI sanction on their driving records, said Frank Penela, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokesman. A small percentage of those have limited driving privileges, such as permission to drive only to and from work, Penela said. Source.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
There was no allegation that Layton was intoxicated, that his performance was impaired, or that he caused harm.
Compare this with cases where police officers are merely suspended after driving drunk and crashing their patrol cars. For example, this, or this. A little consistency in handling this type of case wouldn't hurt.
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, a psychiatrist and internationally recognized expert in alcoholism and chemical dependency, observed that the Jewish community still is in denial, clinging to the adage “Jews don’t drink.”
While drinking among Jews may be less than in the general population, he says, the same cannot be said of drugs, particularly mood-altering substances.“It is clear that chemical dependency has become a Jewish problem. This is one of the many problems the community does not want to recognize it has.”
Read more from the New Jersey Jewish News Online.
Cigarette makers not only increased the level of nicotine an average of 1.6 per cent per year, they also redesigned cigarettes so that smokers would take more puffs. Nicotine is the primary addictive agent in cigarettes.
"Cigarettes are finely-tuned drug delivery devices, designed to perpetuate a tobacco pandemic," said former Massachusetts Health Commissioner Howard Koh, a lead author of the Harvard study. "Yet precise information about these products remains shrouded in secrecy, hidden from the public."
Prof. Gregory Connolly at HSPH and research director, said: "Our findings call into serious question whether the tobacco industry has changed at all in its pursuit of addicting smokers since signing the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 with the State Attorneys General. Our analysis shows that the companies have been subtly increasing the drug nicotine year by year in their cigarettes, without any warning to consumers, since the settlement."
Press release of the HSPH study. Full text of the report.
San Francisco: Advertising firm CBS Outdoor has agreed to remove a series of alcohol ads from bus kiosks located near schools in San Francisco after protests led by the Marin Institute.
The ads for wines, beers, and hard liquors were placed within 500 feet of nine schools, a violation of CBS Outdoor's agreement with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA).
A survey by Marin found a total of 15 ads that violated the agreement. The head of the MTA said he is considering banning alcohol ads across the city.
"It's a shame that [CBS Outdoor] had to have a watchdog group tell them their ads were in obvious violation," said Marin Institute executive director Bruce Livingston. "It's obvious that they don't have a mechanism in place to monitor where they're placing their alcohol ads. They're either incapable or indifferent when it comes to monitoring their own actions." Source.
Comment: this satire looks at the issue from the viewpoint of the publicity-hungry celebrity, who is using her or his substance abuse, support groups, rehab, and recovery as so many hooks to get media coverage. But what about AA itself? AA doesn't protest very loudly or effectively when a lovable celebrity ignores anonymity and gets worldwide headlines for herself and for AA. It seems that some of the organizations twelve Traditions also need an update. For example:
Step One: Admitting That You Are Powerless Over the Paparazzi - and That Your Public Image Has Become Unmanagable.
Step Two: Came to Believe That a Power Greater Than Our Publicist Could Restore Our Image to Good-Standing.
Step Three: Made a Decision To Turn Our Lives Over to the Will of A Luxury Rehabilitation Facility as We Understand It.
Step Four: Made a Fearless and Searching Inventory of the Pills In Our Purse.
Step Five: Admitted to the Press, and Our Fans, the Least Embarassing Aspects of Our Problems.
Step Six: Made Ourselves Ready to Have the Media Remove These Defects of Character.
Step Seven: Humbly Asked Oprah to Overlook Our Shortcomings.
Step Eight: Made a List of All Those We Had Harmed, and Became Willing To Let Them Have a Second Chance.
Step Nine: Sent Nice Text Messages to Such People Wherever Possible, Except When to do so Would Let Those Bitches Think They Won.
Step Ten: Continued to Keep A Low Profile and Relegate All the Partying to Private Locations.
Step Eleven: Sought Through Beggary and Prostitution to Improve Our Relationship With Movie Studios, Imploring only for Another Chance to Be a Famous Actress and Roles to Make That Happen.
Step Twelve: Having Had a Professional Comeback as the Result of These Steps, We Tried to Stay Away From Other Alcoholics, and to Not Party So Much We That We Have To Do All of This Again.
11. Our public relations policy is based on promotion rather than results; we need always maintain the names of celebrity recruits together with our organization's name in headlines at the level of press, radio, and films, unless the celebrity is one of our famous long-time members who has had an ugly relapse, in which case we need to cloak their membership in anonymity.That, in so many words, is the real-life policy that emerges from AA's recent handling of newcomer Lindsey Lohan and the case of its 15-year member Mel Gibson.
Alcoholics Anonymous didn't appear to help Lindsay Lohan after all.Lohan's publicist announced last month that she had been attending AA for a year. The announcement got AA and the actress into headlines worldwide. But it didn't get her into stable sobriety.
Amidst a non-stop schedule of partying, the "Mean Girls" actress has decided to take a break and seek help at a rehab facility, TMZ reports.
"I have made a proactive decision to take care of my personal health," says Lohan in a statement. "I appreciate your well wishes and ask that you please respect my privacy at this time."
She reportedly pulled an all-night drinking binge at the Golden Globes on Monday Jan. 15. The 20-year-old continued drinking after the awards at Prince's after-party at the Beverly Wilshire hotel until 6am on Tuesday when she was found passed out in a hotel corridor. Source.
Says another celeb site: "Her previous course of treatment obviously failed to keep the notorious party girl away from booze, as she was found passed out in a corridor of the exclusive Beverley Wilshire hotel at 6 am Tuesday morning." Source.
(The photo, from the tmz.com website, shows Lohan shopping for clothes the afternoon before entering rehab.)
Lohan's choice of rehabs is Wonderland in the hills above Hollywood. Wonderland's website is a strange mix.
On the one hand, it contains depressing and ungrammatical stupidities such as "Alcoholism is where the organized history of recovery truly begins with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob." Source. Whoever wrote this obviously never read William L. White's Slaying the Dragon, showing that the organized history of recovery "truly" begins nearly two hundred years before AA.
On the other hand, the clinical director is one Bruce Turner, described as having "advanced training and experience using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy." Source. So there's hope for the 20-year old actress; maybe she'll find tools that work better for her than the ones she's been taught so far.
The increased acreage planted to the opium poppy in Afghanistan since the U.S. occupation outraces all other acreage shifts in the world's agricultural economy, according to the Real Estate Economy blog. Source. The author writes:
The most telling part of the story is that heroin production was practically eliminated by the Taliban, and this born again boom of the illicit crop has taken place under America's post-9/11 watch. ...
Hardly a surprise that we've failed to locate bin Laden. Hell, we apparently can't even find almost half a million acres of opium.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Data consistently show that Prop. 36 is a success--over 12,000 people have successfully completed substance treatment during each year of the program's existence, putting the program on track to graduate 72,000 Californians in its first six years. In just its first five years, Prop. 36 saved taxpayers $1.3 billion, according to figures from the Justice Policy Institute.
Read more from the California Drug Policy Alliance website.
The clean-air legislation follows the lead of Spain, Italy, and Ireland. More than 65,000 French people die each year from smoking-related illness or effects of second-hand smoke.
The move follows a steep decline in the popularity of smoking in France. In the 1950s, about three quarters of French males smoked. Today, about three quarters do not smoke.
Government policy had a hand in the change. Federal taxes raised the price of cigarettes by more than half in the past three years. They now cost about $6.66 a pack.
Starting in February, the ministry will give would-be quitters $66 coupons redeemable for the purchase of nicotine patches, chewing gum or lozenges. Read more.
It is a predominantly white, middle-class group between the ages of 18 and 25, though there have been clients younger than that. They come from Peoria and also from smaller towns and more rural areas.
Unfortunately, there just aren't enough beds to accommodate the recent surge in heroin use. Entry to the detox unit is generally on a first-come, first-served basis with some restrictions.
Last year at White Oaks, 269 patients - 14 percent of all those admitted - listed heroin as their primary or secondary addiction. Just as many, if not more, were turned away because there just wasn't the room.
There were times when six or seven of the 12 beds were filled with heroin users, and staff had to turn away those with other addictions like alcoholism that also carry serious, and possibly deadly, health issues.
For that reason, the center now tries to limit it to just two or three heroin users admitted at a time.
"Honestly, I feel that if we had 50 beds, we could fill them," said nurse Carol Leckrone, manager of the detox unit. "We have this great need, but this facility is only so big, and we're turning them away." Read full story from the Greater Paramus News.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
When former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld spoke of lighter, more mobile troops going into battle, it was accepted he was talking about units, not individuals.Reuters' report on the Pentagon study adds that Iraq-exposed troops also have higher incidences of depression, anxiety and other symptoms of mental illness, as well as increased work and family stresses. But, says the Pentagon, the soldiers' physical condition is still superior to that of the average American civilian. Source.
Which is fortunate as a recent Pentagon survey shows more than 60 per cent of troops were overweight, an increase in the 2002 figure of 56 per cent.
The Pentagon puts it all down to stress: service members are eating and drinking more because of the Iraq war.
Combined with binge drinking, overeating and illicit drugs use, it makes for what would appear to be a sorry lot of soldiers America now has to rely on.
The Pentagon says it has the best fighting force in the world. Maybe, but a lean, mean fighting machine it obviously is not.
"We've seen a steady increase in fatal and nonfatal overdoses since the late 1990s, and we've seen a dramatic shift in use patterns -- younger and younger kids using stronger and stronger drugs," said Michael Botticelli, a substance abuse specialist of the Department of Public Health. "This is part of the trend we've seen. It's not confined to the South Shore."
The US Drug Enforcement Agency reports that Massachusetts is flooded with heroin that's cheap and potent, and the overdoses are often linked to heroin that is up to 60 percent pure, and sometimes even stronger.
In 1990, the state health department recorded 87 fatal opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts. Thirteen years later, the toll had increased more than six fold to 549 fatal overdoses for the year. More.
It launches itself off high roofs and swoops on passers-by with talons outstretched.
Late-night revellers hurriedly take taxis to avoid falling “prey” to the eagle owl, which has a 5ft wingspan.
Craig Smith told how the bird swooped on him from behind as he ran through the station car park to catch a train from the Teesside town.
He recalled: “I heard a loud woo-woo noise and looked over my shoulder to see this creature with silver wings, claws stretched out.
“I ran as fast as I could on to the platform and it flew away.
“On Christmas Eve I saw it go for a man coming out of a pub and chase him down the street.” Source.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The games, with names such as Shots 'n Ladders, Drinko, and Keg Pong, are takeoffs on popular children's board games, but players take drinks instead of accumulating points. Details.
Spearheading the public opinion campaign were local groups such as the Oregon Partnership with coordination by national groups like Join Together, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA).
More on the campaign.
In Robbins v. California (453 U.S. 950, decided July 1, 1981, at the height of Rehnquist's addiction), police had opened Robbin's suitcase without probable cause and without his permission. The court majority held that the marijuana found in the suitcase could not be used as evidence. Rehnquist -- at a time when a search of his medicine cabinet could have led to a felony conviction -- dissented and dismissed the majority's holding as "engrafting subtleties on the Fourth Amendment." Details.
Lombard police Deputy Chief Dane Cuny said the increase in heroin use in the last five years in the suburbs has been significant.
"Next to alcohol and driving, drugs are the single-most threat to our youth-particularly heroin," Cuny said, adding that heroin is very accessible in open-air markets in Chicago.
"You don't have to look any further than the drug-related deaths," the deputy chief explained. "Because of the nature of heroin, it claims quite a few lives in DuPage County." Source.
Gambia and Eritrea have banned advertising on national television and radio. Mauritius and Gabon have restricted it. Mauritius has also banned sponsorship of sports and youth events by the alcohol business. On the advertisements, however, there is a health warning. Seychelles has restricted advertising on national television, but banned it on radio and billboards. In Benin, alcohol advertisements must be accompanied by health warnings."But Kenya's response to the challenges of alcohol is one of the worst in the world," says Ndetei. He advocates controls on alcohol advertising and increased alcohol taxes to limit the harmful consequences of alcohol consumption. Read the whole piece.
Hint: Completion of the treatment program would shave a year off his sentence. Source.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Chinese chemical factories are also leading export suppliers of ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine. Read more.
That's what an autopsy released Tuesday Jan. 9 2007 shows happened to Phanta "Jack" Phoumarrath, the University of Texas (Austin) fraternity member who died of alcohol poisoning in 2005.
It also shows his blood alcohol content was five times the legal limit.
Some members of Lambda Phi Epsilon have been indicted in his death.
The family's attorney says the suspects seem to have spent a considerable amount of time drawing on Jack, when they could have been helping him instead.
"They wrote a variety of things, most of which would be considered juvenile. Some of which were lewd. It was disappointing and certainly discouraging to the family that people who hold themselves out as fraternity brothers would do something like this," Phoummarath family attorney Randy Sorrels said.
UT suspended Lambda Phi Epsilon as a registered student organization until 2011, after determining that hazing had occurred. Source.
Many of the epithets scrawled on Jack's body were homophobic. Source.
The movement models its efforts after the public awareness campaigns that pushed breast cancer and AIDS onto the country's radar screen and pushed back the walls of stigma and discrimination against gays and lesbians.
"I still don't think the general public believes that an addict or alcoholic ever gets well," says Phillip Valentine, executive director of Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery, a state-based advocacy and support group that organized the first Recovery Walk six years ago. "Many, many people have long-term, sustained sobriety and you may not know about it. We need to put a face on recovery so people won't be so afraid or fearful or angry at it. It's not a hopeless condition."
People in recovery routinely encounter public and private policies that were created as a deterrent or punishment to alcohol and drug abuse. On paper, the penalties might make sense; in practice, they often are counterproductive to people trying to put their addictions behind them.
Those with alcohol or other drug diseases pay higher insurance deductibles and co-payments for treatment, get fewer visits and days of coverage, and have more restrictions on the amount they can spend, even when their insurance benefits cover treatment ---- if they are insured at all, according to Join Together, a project of Boston University School of Public Health that formed a national policy panel in 2002 to address the discrimination issues. The panel found that the Americans with Disabilities Act is applied very narrowly in these cases and that employees who seek treatment are frequently fired before they can get help.
Another barrier is the tradition of anonymity in the 12-step organizations. Author William Cope Moyers, an advocate for greater openness, says:
"This is a very contentious issue and I respect both sides of the debate, but I will tell you that I believe this misunderstanding of the traditions has made it very difficult for those of us in advocacy to mount a sustained and successful effort."
"This whole business of anonymity is where the thorn is," says Robyn Leary, who hosts a weekly radio show called "Recovery Talk" on WDFH-FM in New York's Hudson Valley. Leary gives her guests the option of using their names.
"It's not a matter of insisting that everyone go public," says Leary, who has organized an "Under the Influence" film festival. "It's a voluntary calling. I do think anonymity is going to keep people in recovery in the basement of churches. It's going to prevent more and more people from getting treatment." -- Read the whole report in the N.C. Times.
Authors of the study urged dentists to raise the subject with patients and to advise drinking less or quitting if excessive drinking were found.
The fact that heavy drinking causes cancer of the larynx gives dentists grounds to raise the subject.
This kind of "brief intervention" by doctors has proved to be a highly effective motivator to get people to cut down or stop drinking. Details.
The new system marks a major turnaround at the school, previously infamous for scenes of drunken, vomiting boys. Details.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Drug addiction has increased by 54 per cent nationwide in the last seven years but China has achieved some success where it counts most, among primary and middle school students, a senior anti-drug official said on Monday.
According to Chen Xufu, secretary-general of China Anti-narcotics Foundation, drug education in primary and middle schools nationwide has made students more capable of identifying and refusing narcotics.
A recent questionnaire-based survey conducted in several major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, showed that 99 percent of the 3,000 interviewed students in primary and middle schools were aware of the dangers of drug addiction, and 87 percent said that if somebody offered them drugs, such as ecstasy, they would refuse and report the incident to teachers or police.
There are now more than 1 million registered drug users in China and more than 200 million primary and middle school students. Drug education for schoolkids is seen as a key component in the fight against drugs, Chen said.
Primary and middle schools nationwide have made drug awareness part of the regular school curriculum.
According to official statistics, 758,100 of the 1,050,000 registered drug addicts -- 72.2 per cent -- in the country are under 35 years of age. The proportion is down from 77 percent in 2001. -- From Xinhua.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
Jerry Jolly, a 31-year veteran of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, began work this week as a consultant to the wine, beer and spirits-industry practice of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, a San Francisco law firm with offices worldwide, including Sacramento.
Watchdogs who monitor the industry called Jolly's career move common for alcohol regulators — and regrettable.
"This is the usual practice and it's really unfortunate, this revolving door between regulators and the alcohol industry," said James Mosher, director of the Center for the Study of Law and Enforcement in Felton, which tracks alcohol industry marketing and sales practices. "It certainly creates the impression that the industry has additional ways of influencing the regulators." More.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Counselors using MI are trained to express empathy with the individuals who come for counseling, manage resistance without confrontation, and support the self-confidence of the individual. For parallels between MI and basic tenets of LifeRing, see this book review.
Cars fitted with the detection system will not start if sweat sensors in the driving wheel detect high levels of alcohol in the driver's bloodstream, according to a report carried by the mass-circulation daily, Asahi Shimbun. More.
Or drunks will have to wear gloves.
Says the Post:
Possibly much more relevant to Obama's campaign than these old revelations of youthful drug use is the senator's current support for the Byrne program on methamphetamine. Read Maya Szalavitz as she rips him a new one over that issue.
Obama has not expressed any regrets for his candor. In a preface to the new edition, he says that he would tell the same story today "even if certain passages have proven to be inconvenient politically."
In the book, Obama acknowledges that he used cocaine as a high school student but rejected heroin. "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," he says.
In an interview during his Senate race two years ago, Obama said he admitted using drugs because he thought it was important for "young people who are already in circumstances that are far more difficult than mine to know that you can make mistakes and still recover.
"I think that, at this stage, my life is an open book, literally and figuratively," he said. "Voters can make a judgment as to whether dumb things that I did when I was a teenager are relevant to the work that I've done since that time."
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Based on questionnaires filled out by more than 15,000 teens, the study found that
Binge drinkers were more than five times as likely as non-drinkers to be sexually active; more than 18 times as likely to smoke cigarettes; and more than four times as likely to have been in a physical fight. The likelihood of engaging in these and other risky behaviors, including marijuana use and suicide attempts, increased with the frequency of binge drinking. Binge drinking was also strongly associated with poor school performance.The study estimated the percentage of teens who binge drink at about 29 per cent. Forty-five per cent of teens said they had used alcohol in the past month, and nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of these reported at least one episode of binge drinking. Source. CBS News story.
A state report that didn’t get as much attention as it deserved during the Christmas holiday hustle and bustle was full of good news for those who understand the value of preventing teenagers from getting hooked on the deadly addiction of cigarette smoking.
The 2006 Kentucky Youth Tobacco Survey of 3,000 students in 65 high schools and 3,700 in 74 middle schools found that decline in youth smoking rates in the state continues despite the obvious efforts of tobacco companies to make smoking appealing to young minds.
That’s good news. The decline has been attributed to the efforts of the state’s public health programs and other organizations to reduce youth smoking, the state’s first hike in the tobacco tax in decades that increased the cost of tobacco products for normally cash-strapped teens and the adoption of smoke-free policies in schools.
In addition, the growing number of bans on smoking in public places that has produced documented influence on adults quitting should get some of the credit for discouraging teens from taking up the dirty, stinky habit, too. Full text.
Both Gates and Negroponte were involved in the Reagan-era Iran-Contra affair. Source. Part of that sordid scheme was reported CIA support of cocaine gangs in Honduras and Nicaragua to finance the anti-government "Contra" death squads. Wikipedia currently says:
The current Afghan heroin scandal -- with high-potency low-priced heroin produced in Afghanistan under U.S. and British protection flooding the European and U.S. markets -- calls for a thorough house cleaning at the top of the U.S. intelligence, military, diplomatic, and political establishments. The appointments of Gates and Negroponte say: don't hold your breath.
Senator John Kerry's 1988 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report on Contra drug links concluded that "senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems." Kerry was suspicious of North's connection with Manuel Noriega, Panama's drug baron. According to the National Security Archive, Oliver North had been in contact with Noriega and had met him personally.
The allegations resurfaced in 1996 when journalist Gary Webb published reports in the San Jose Mercury News, and later in his book Dark Alliance, detailing how Contras had distributed crack cocaine into Los Angeles to fund weapons purchases. These reports were initially attacked by various other newspapers, which attempted to debunk the link, citing official reports that apparently cleared the CIA.
In 1998, CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz published a two-volume report that substantiated many of Webb's claims, and described how 50 Contras and drug traffickers had been protected from law enforcement activity by the Reagan-Bush administration, and documented a cover-up of evidence relating to these activities. The report also showed that Oliver North and the NSC were aware of these activities. A report later that same year by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich also came to similar conclusions.
Rehnquist was on a prescription for Placidyl from 1970 to 1981, the files show. Placidyl (ethchlorvynol), known on the street as "jelly bellies," was an addictive drug having slurred speech (a Rehnquist trademark on the bench) among its side effects. Withdrawal from Placidyl can bring psychotic episodes. It was yanked from the U.S. market in 1999.
The FBI file, citing one of his physicians, said Rehnquist experienced withdrawal symptoms that included going to the hospital lobby in his pajamas in a bid to escape. He imagined that there was a Central Intelligence Agency plot against him, and he also seemed to discern changes in the patterns on the hospital curtains. Rehnquist thought he heard voices outside his room discussing various plots against him. Source.
P.S. As pointed out in comment No. 1, below, Placidyl was in fact not prescribed for pain but for insomnia. It is a sedative and a hypnotic. Source.
One of Gibson's drunken boasts when arrested was that he "owned Malibu" and would "f**k the officers" who busted him. Review. Is that what's happening now? Mee has been abruptly transferred off the tony Malibu beat to the much more proley town of Agoura Hills, infamous for the Brandon Hein drug murder case of ten years ago. TMZ, the web site that broke open the story of Gibson's tirade, says that the Sheriff's department suspects Mee of leaking the story to TMZ, and has put him under special scrutiny, but no formal charges have been brought. Source.
What's the message of the Sheriff's department's action here? Don't mess with celebrities?
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Newly elected Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., plans to use his recently acquired seat on the House International Relations Committee to propose setting up a legal market for Afghan opium for manufacturing pain relief medications.
"You can't just cut off the poppies because that's the livelihood of the people who live there," Carnahan says. "But providing them with alternative legal markets for pain-relief medication is a way to help cut back on that heroin supply." Details from the San Jose Mercury News.
Speaking in the House of Commons he said to fellow MPs: "Why, given that heroin can have legitimate medical uses, cannot we buy up the Afghan heroin crop and use it around the world for pain relief? That would stop it flooding into this country illegally. We need much serious thought on that issue."
"Given that we know that 90 per cent of the heroin on UK streets comes from Afghanistan and that we have a major military presence there, it is extraordinary that we cannot do more to stop the poppy crop ending up here."Details from the Dunstable News.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Responding to the death, University authorities deplored a "culture of alcohol" and called for a study group to come up with recommendations. The local Baptist church called for prayers and condemned a climate of "moral indecency." Translation: after the handwringing, nothing will change.
Ignoring Iranian requests for cooperation in battling the Afghan drug traffic, U.S. and Afghan authorities have "looked the other way" while major drug processing and trafficking operations go on in plain view in Afghanistan, Fiderer says. He cites a report in the Dec. 6 Los Angeles Times:
Military units in Afghanistan largely overlook drug bazaars, rebuff some requests to take U.S. drug agents on raids and do little to counter the organized crime syndicates shipping the drug to Europe, Asia and, increasingly, the United States, according to officials and documents.More from the L.A. Times.
In many cases the Pentagon has balked at drug interdiction efforts even when it had the resources, said a former senior U.S. anti-drug official, who declined to give details of what he said were classified operations.
"There were [drug] convoys where military people looked the other way, and situations where DEA sought [Pentagon] intelligence and it wasn't given to them," the former official said.
"DEA would identify a lab to go hit or a storage facility and [the Pentagon] would find a reason to ground the helicopters," the former official added. "They would say we don't want you to create a disturbance in an area where we're trying to chase down terrorists and the Taliban."
The order comes two days after six-year firefighter Joseph Dance allegedly drove his vehicle head-on into Lisa Kreutzer, 25, killing her, while under the influence of alcohol. Dance was indicted Thursday for aggravated vehicular homicide. He was believed to be on his way to the firehouse to sleep it off. Details.