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Drug News: December 6


Drugs in the News:


Does Suffering From Withdrawal Really Mean You're Addicted? - TIME


“Addiction is defined by key elements: intense urges (drug cravings), behaviors (drug seeking) and loss of control (seeking drugs despite negative consequences). “


We wonder if this stat and subsequent conclusion is true:


“The vast majority of painkiller addictions start with recreational, not medical, drug use. That's why 80% of Oxycontin addicts also report having taken cocaine: their addiction starts with a mix of street drugs, not with a legitimate prescription.”


Addiction to painkillers is a growing problem: How to kick itWashington Post


This is the article that TIME criticized because their case study/anecdote, Nichole Marie Case, exhibits signs of physical dependence on drugs, not addiction.


Week Ahead in Drug Industry NewsNew York Times


“Tuesday, the United Health Foundation is holding a briefing to discuss the 20th edition of America’s Health Rankings, a state-by-state data set that looks at the prevalence of issues like smoking, obesity, lack of health insurance and children living in poverty across the country.”


Drug addiction a theme in three Philadelphia stranglingsThe Philadelphia Inquirer

This report is a devastating story about the external repercussions and consequences of drug abuse.


Alcohol Energy Drinks: There's More You Should KnowThe Huffington Post


With the government ban of caffeinated alcoholic drinks going into effect, here are some statistics that will help you understand why it was banned.


An E.R. Doc Learns the Economics of Street DrugsFreakonomics, New York Times


An E.R. doctor noticed a spike in new heroin injectors when the supply of OxyContin got slim and makes some economic conclusions.


Check out the doctor’s blog, Movin’ Meat.


The Legalities of Selling BongsMiami Herald


Martin E. Segal breaks down the statues that govern the sale of pipes, bongs and other drug paraphernalia.

Drug News: December 4 and 5


Drugs in the News:


New Jersey reaches medical marijuana agreementReuters


On Friday, New Jersey moved to implement a law legalizing medical use of marijuana. Six treatment centers are allowed to provide it, while home deliver and satellite locations are not permitted.


Ohio appropriates $5M to help curb drugsThe Columbus Dispatch


“The federal government is giving Ohio $5 million to combat a problem that kills four Ohioans every day -- prescription and opiate drug abuse.” Some counties that has high death rates and problems with the drug will get more money than other counties. For example, Jackson Country has an annual per-capita death rate of 22.5 and will receive about $60,000 for their treatment centers.


“The $5 million comes from increased federal reimbursement for Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor. Congress granted a six-month extension of allocation of money, which was set to expire Dec. 31.”


How Iran Derailed a Health CrisisThe New York Times


Tina Rosenberg has been reporting on how Iran is treating an increase of inject drug problems. According to the report, the strategy is through “harm reduction” which is based in needle exchange and methadone maintenance programs.


For the second article, click here:

Drug News: December 2


Drugs in the News:


Battling Heroin in the Maldives - NYT


Maldives, the island off of India, is currently battling with heroin addiction amongst its youth. New York Times has an interesting video report talking about the issue.


Film ‘Winter’s Bone’ explores the impact of drugs in the OzarksVariety


‘Winter’s Bone’ is an independent film which has already won tons of critical acclaim and awards for its portrayal of methamphetamine abuse in the Ozarks, which is rural southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. The film is based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell.


Should parents drug test their teens?OCRegister


Opinion columnist, Lauren Forcella, questions whether or not parents should drug test their teens.

Drug News: December 1


Drugs in the News:


Overeating As an Addiction Starts Hitting MainstreamNPR


NPR is the latest major news outlet to talk about overeating as an addiction and the impact it can have on a person’s brain, much like cocaine. This is not news in the addiction research and development community. However, it is important to note that, by talking about overeating as addiction, the issues around addiction, rehab and how to treat addicts will increasingly become a topic talked about in the mainstream. Because overeating is so prevalent in the US, this may inadvertently impact the way the public approaches drug addicts and alcoholics.


Baclofen to Treat AutismTIME


TIME magazine does a lengthy piece looking at Baclofen to treat Autism. What about marijuana?


Out of control HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada could be curbed by legalization -


Canadian website,, writes about Dr. Julio Montaner, the director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. According to the article, he has said closing supervised injection sites and pursuing legal action against them is “short-sighted, foolish and irresponsible on the part of the federal government.”


Meth lab busts on the rise and costing billionsCBS           


Tennessee CBS affiliate reports that, in 2005, there were more than 900 meth lab busts in the state of Tennessee costing the state 1.6 billion.


A Hawaiian High School holds National Meth Awareness Day assembly – NBC


An NBC affiliate station in Hawai’i reports on the Hawai’i Meth Project’s effort to educate high schoolers about the effects of meth abuse.


Hawai’i has alarming rates of meth use:


 - 40 percent of people arrested by police in Honolulu tested positive for methamphetamine use, according to a Justice Department report.

 - 30,000 Honolulu residents are hard-core users of the highly addictive drug and as many as three times more are recreational users.

 - Substance abuse — with crystal meth as the No. 1 drug of choice — is associated with 90 percent of the 2,300 confirmed child-abuse cases in the state each year.

 - In a town on the Big Island, 50 percent of teenagers are addicted to crystal methamphetamine.

 - Drug use has had a role in 44 percent of the state's homicides, Kubo said. Much of the state's most high-profile violence, including the shootout between police and Arnold Willets earlier this month in Kane'ohe, has been linked to crystal meth use.

Drug News: November 24

Drug News: November 23


Drugs in the News:


T.I. admits to being a drug addictVibe Magazine


In an interview in VIBE magazine, T.I. has admitted to suffering from addiction to prescription medication.


New Study finds Portugal’s Drug Decriminalization WorksTIME


TIME magazine reports on a new study published in the British Journal of Criminology finds that because of its drug decriminalization and treatment program Portugal has “less teen drug use, fewer HIV infections, fewer AIDS cases and more drugs seized by law enforcement.”


Jay-Z opens up to The Guardian: “I shot my brother when I was 12”The Guardian


In the weekend magazine of the British newspaper, The Guardian, rapper Jay-Z talks about how he shot his brother when he was 12. His brother was addicted to crack-cocaine at the time.


Drug addict Mom gets arrested for StealingSF Examiner


The San Francisco Examiner reports on a local story about a mother who stole a purse out of her child’s school classroom and is now going to jail.


Lohan’s unreliability makes her uninsurableWashington Post


The Washington Post writes about how movie stars are insured for various reasons when working on a film, which is why Lindsay Lohan was replaced as the star of an upcoming film.


News in a nutshellNaturally Selected


News in a nutshell reports on the merger at the National Institutes of Health, which will combine the NIDA and the NIAAA.


Under Age Drinking Prevention Programs Funded in Hawai’iStar Advertiser


Through the state Department of Health’s Alcohol Drug Abuse Division, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration funded three programs for under age drinking prevention in Hawai’i.


Interview with Doctor from Vancouver about Confronting Addiction Judgment FreeUPTOWN


Vancouver based webzine, UPTOWN, interviews Dr. Gabor Maté, a drug addiction specialist who is aiming to approach addiction treatment from a drug free angle.

Drug News: November 16


Drugs in the News:


Deaths in County Jails Raise Calls for Health Care StandardsNY Times


Over 280 inmates have died over the last four and a half years while in the custody of the Texas jail system. The article reports there are no state standards for health care in county jails.


Is there a way out of a cycle of destruction?Washington Post


Fourth things you need if you really want to break your addiction’s cycle of destruction.


Binge-drinking teens may be risking future depression -


Put Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco execs' guilty faces where all can seeNY Daily News


Prescription drug addiction fueled by doctors' efforts to treat painUSA Today


Cocaine, the perfect drug for a brittle and anxious BritainThe Guardian


'Superman' drugs lord who branded 1kg blocks of cocaine with pop art logos is jailed for eight yearsDaily Mail

Drug News: Novemeber 15


Drugs in the News:


MASBIRT: A new approach to talking to patients about substance abuseBoston Globe


The Boston Globe reports on a federally funded, state-administered program called the Massachusetts Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment program (MASBIRT). The program screens people to find people who have high or risky uses of drugs or alcohol, talk to them about the behavior and offer different solutions that can help. Director of the program, Dr. Daniel Alford, is hoping this type of screening will become protocol, like checking a patient’s blood pressure.


Female rats go for cocaine. Male rates go for food.Science News


A new study shows that, presented the choice, female rats choose cocaine, while male rats choose food. Even when the cocaine dose was doubled, while the males chose it more frequently, the females still edged them out. Scientists believe that female hormones play a role in this difference. The article says that females rats that have had their ovaries removed after puberty behave more like males, choosing food more frequently.


Texas police talk marijuana legalizationDallas Morning News


Dallas police Officer Nick Novello talks to residents this past Sunday about drug criminalization. In partnership with Medcan University, there are efforts to build a coalition of residents in favor of legalizing medical marijuana in Texas. A poignant quote from Novello’s talk: "We can survive addiction, but not conviction."


Sex addiction rehab a thriving industryLos Angeles Times


For profit sex rehabilitation clinics, that are not under any federal regulation, are becoming a booming business, due in part from celebrities’ sexual escapades.


The shifting definition of addictionStanton Peele for Huffington Post


The definition of “addiction” changes through times, says Stanton Peele, addiction expert and author of many books including Love and Addiction. He explains by saying that, “[Something] is addictive when we reckon a kind of preoccupation has significant negative effects, either on us as individuals, or on society. … And that shifts for society over time”.

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