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MOMSTELL February 17, 2006 Edition



The Arizona-based co-founders of a drug-prevention program, "notMYkid," are to be joined by lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol today to announce the group's expanded national effort to educate parents, school and law officials on how to talk to teens about drug abuse.

The non-profit organization's recently broadened focus includes taking on the escalating misuse of prescription drugs, as well as illicit drugs. "There were over 500 million prescriptions for prescription medications written last year, only 3 percent of them to teenagers. Yet, that's where the increase in (drug) abuse is," said Steve Moak of Phoenix, who with wife Debbie founded their group in 1999. "They're getting them right out of their parents' cabinets," Debbie Moak said.

Former Diamondbacks pitcher Todd Stottlemyre will be with the Moaks in announcing the program's expansion to 25 additional cities by this fall.
As part of its drug-prevention efforts, notMYkid and one of its offshoots, "Project 7th Grade," has been teaming with First Check Diagnostics LLC of Lake Forest, Calif., which makes in-home drug-test kits. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0215drugkit0215.html


    Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana would no longer be a criminal offense under a bill that won the backing of a legislative committee yesterday. The bill, approved by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee on a 6-1 vote, would make possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a $250 fine.

In cases involving those 18 years old or younger, parents would be notified. Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is now considered a criminal offense, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for the first offense. Senator Steven A. Tolman, a Brighton Democrat and the cochairman of the committee, said the goal is to make sure that someone arrested with a small amount of marijuana doesn't have a criminal record that could make it difficult to get into college, obtain student loans, and find a job.

Critics of the bill say it could encourage the use of marijuana by easing some of the social stigma attached to it. The House chairwoman of the committee, Representative Ruth B. Balser, Democrat of Newton, said the focus should be on prevention, not jail time. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/02/14/committee_backs_easing_of_mar




Rep. Joseph Cervantes, R-Las Cruces, alleged that a medical marijuana bill that passed earlier this session in the Senate was sent to the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee to die. And that's exactly what happened Saturday.The committee tabled the bill on a 4-3 decision, with Committee Chairman Joe Stell, D-Carlsbad, casting the deciding vote. By tabling the bill, the committee will prevent it from advancing to the House floor for a vote

"Why are you trying to kill us," Essie DeBonet wailed after the committee's decision. DeBonet identified herself as a 61-year-old AIDS patient dealing with constant nausea. She said use of medical marijuana allows her to keep down the food she needs to stay alive. But a number of law enforcement officers, including federal drug control officers from Washington, D.C., opposed the bill, saying it would lead to abuse of the drug.

In casting the deciding vote, Stell said New Mexico is a part of the federal union. Others voting against the bill also said they did not want to violate federal law. Cervantes, who is a member of the committee, questioned why the bill was sent there in the first place. He noted that it had nothing to do with water, and very little to do with agriculture.  http://capwiz.com/saveoursociety/issues/alert/?alertid=8454886

Up to 35,000 British children under the age of 16 are using heroin, official figures show. The alarming scale of heroin abuse by children is revealed a week after an 11-year-old girl collapsed at her school desk in Glasgow after smoking the drug. Until now, figures on heroin addiction among children were based on research collated in just two cities, Glasgow and Newcastle upon Tyne, where 90 heroin addicts under 13 were discovered.

But new government figures based on a nationwide survey, show that the problem is much more widespread than originally thought. Doctors said the figure showed that heroin was a ticking "health time bomb" and parents called for urgent action by the Government. Gaille McCann, a spokeswoman for Mothers Against Drugs, said: "They keep trying to reassure us that there isn't a crisis but they need to stop pretending and act quickly before the situation gets out of control."

Paul Skett, an addiction expert from Glasgow University, warned that heroin abuse could cause serious long-term damage to children's health. "Heroin affects the brain, hormonal and sexual development which means children won't develop properly and girls might not be able to have children when they are older," Dr Skett said. The Government findings, from the study Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England in 2004, says that in each year since 2000 1 per cent of all children used heroin at least once. 



Teenage girls, having caught up to their male counterparts in illegal drug use and alcohol consumption, now have the dubious distinction of surpassing boys in smoking and prescription drug abuse. In the past two years, in fact, more young women than men started using marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes, according to government findings being released today.

The results are doubly disturbing, researchers said, because they run counter to trends indicating an overall decline in teenage drug use and because young women appear to suffer more serious health consequences as a result. "It's really sad the girls are winning," said Warren Seigel, chairman of pediatrics at Brooklyn's Coney Island Hospital. "This isn't the game they should be winning at."

Adolescent girls who smoke, drink or take drugs are at a higher risk of depression, addiction and stunted growth. And because substance abuse often goes hand in hand with risky sexual behavior, they are more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease or become pregnant, warns the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, which will announce its findings in New York.                                               http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/08/AR2006020802228.html

While illicit drug use among teenagers has dropped 19 percent since 2001, John Walters, the nation's drug czar, said increasingly potent marijuana smoked by ever younger children is a new threat. "This is not your father's marijuana or your father's marijuana problem," Walters said at a news conference in Denver.

While marijuana use among teens has declined since 2001, it remains by far the most commonly used illicit drug and leads to harder drug addiction, Walters said. "Marijuana is more prevalent than all the other drugs combined for teens," Walters said. "Of the five million 12- to 17-year-olds who used marijuana, 1 million have progressed to addiction."

He called for more aggressive random drug screening in schools and health-care centers to identify and treat young drug addicts. Overall, in the past five years illicit drug use has dropped among eighth-, 10th- and 12th- graders - accounting for 700,000 teens, Walters said. Walters was at the Fort Logan Mental Health Institute on Wednesday to unveil a new national anti-drug policy focused on prevention, treatment and disrupting the supply of illegal drugs. 

A leading research center says women get addicted to tobacco, alcohol and other substances faster and while using smaller amounts than men, and they pay a higher price in their health. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is publishing findings in a book released Thursday called "Women Under the Influence."

Susan Foster compiled a decade's worth of research, dividing issues into those affecting girls, adult women and older women. She says that while the public may not be aware of the gender differences in metabolizing drugs, it's surprising that professionals have not altered treatment and prevention methods with the available information.

Foster says women develop health problems linked to substance abuse faster than men. Conditions that hit women harder than men include lung cancer, cirrhosis and brain damage from alcohol and drug use. 


The inquest into a plane crash on Hamilton Island in north Queensland has been shown tests that indicate the pilot had been using marijuana in the lead up to the tragedy. All six people on board the Piper Cherokee were killed when it crashed soon after take-off on Hamilton Island in September 2002.

Toxicologist Professor Olaf Drummer today told the inquest that blood tests on the 27-year-old pilot Andrew Morris indicated he had used marijuana either in the hours leading up to the crash or he could have been a regular user.  He said he could not determine exactly when the cannabis was taken or how it would have affected the pilot.

Professor Drummer also said alcohol was found in Mr Morris' system, but that it was common for the body to produce alcohol when exposed to trauma in an accident. The inquest continues.                                                                                     http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200602/s1564190.htm

JTO BUSH BUDGET CUTS PREVENTION, TREATMENT, RESEARCH FUNDING                                               
The Bush administration's proposed 
FY2007 drug budget calls for more funding for anti-drug ads and drug courts, but elimination of state-administered school-based prevention programs and federal support for enforcement of underage-drinking laws. 

The budget plan was released in the same week as the administration's 2006 National Drug Control Strategy, which claims a 19-percent reduction in current illicit drug use among 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders between 2002 and 2005.

In what could fairly be described as the stingiest anti-drug budget in many years, the administration has declined to increase its funding request for the keystone, $1.759-billion substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant, cut funding for both the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) compared to FY2006 appropriations, and trimmed the budgets of both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism                                                                                                                http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/features/2006/bush-budget-cuts-prevention.html

Doctors are increasingly being asked to test teenagers for illegal drugs, but a new study suggests that some are not qualified to do so. Researchers have found that many doctors who conduct the tests lack basic knowledge about making sure the results are accurate and even about what the tests can and cannot determine. The study appears in the current Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"I think that a lot of physicians really see drug testing as a fairly simple lab test when, in fact, it is not at all," said the lead author of the study, Dr. Sharon Levy of Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston.Although more teenagers are being tested for drug use, in part because of court decisions allowing schools to make testing a requirement for taking part in activities, the study said the doctors performing the testing tended not to have the training that federal guidelines call for.

For the study, researchers surveyed 359 doctors who saw 10 or more adolescents a week. Almost all said they had given drug tests. The study found that only 23 percent followed correct procedures for collecting urine samples, like monitoring the patients as samples were provided. Only 7 percent examined the urine for tampering. Many doctors were also unclear about how the tests work. Most, for example, did not know that routine screening tests do not turn up signs of Ecstasy, oxycodone or nitrous oxide.   http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/14/health/14test.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

(STAND), has launched its new web site.  We invite you to visit it and give us your comments.  We hope you will consider linking to it from
your web site. 


Faces & Voices of Recovery is pleased to announce that thanks to the advocacy of the recovery community and our allies, thousands of students with drug convictions, many of whom are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, will be eligible for federal financial aid to students.

A provision in the budget bill signed into law by President Bush yesterday will help people with prior drug convictions regain eligibility for federal student financial aid, which has been denied since 1998. In a press statement, Merlyn Karst, chair of Faces & Voices of Recoverys board of directors stated, We applaud this important first step in making educational financial aid available to all Americans. It will increase opportunities for thousands of people, many of whom are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Repeal of the ban on federal financial aid to students with drug convictions is one element of Faces & Voices of Recoverys Right to Addiction Recovery platform.

Methamphetamine Alert

Quick News Reference Guide

1.  View FRONTLINE's The Meth Epidemic Online

2.  How to Purchase VHS/DVD of FRONTLINE's The Meth Epidemic

3.  Teleconference on Infants Exposed to Meth Prenatally

4.  Meth Lab Explosion in Binghamton, NY

5.  Follow-up to aforementioned Meth Lab Explosion & Southern Tier Area Meth Activity

6.  York County Man Sentenced to 8 Years in Federal Prison on Meth Charges

7.  Bradford County Man Sentenced to 8 Years Prison on Meth Charges

8.  "Meth Watch" Program Employed in British Columbia, Canada

9.   Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Officials Predict Surge in Meth Activity

10. Three Meth Labs Busted in New York's Southern Tier

11.  Governor Rendell References Meth in Legislative Address

12.  Team Approach to Treatment - Peer Education & Juvenile Drug Courts

13 & 14.  Short Video on Drug Endangered Children: "Let Them Be Little"

15.  Signs & Symptoms in Meth Exposed Children

16.  Resource: PowerPoint Presentation on History of Meth

17.  Resource: Meth Education Tool Kit

18.  Resource: Tennessee District Attorney Presents "Meth Destroys" Website

Dear Listers,

1.  For those of you who were unable to view or record FRONTLINE's airing of The Meth Epidemic on Tuesday, you may stream the program online via the following link. It was an excellent, comprehensive, well-done program and well worth your time to view it. CAM's Harry Patterson commented, "The information and story line is very good and most of the knowledge was gained from the Oregonian newspaper in Portland. Their excellent investigative reporter, Steve Suo, has been working this problem on the west coast for years and has global knowledge, including the east coast of this country, of all aspects of the drug."   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/view/

2.  The program is also available for purchase on VHS or DVD via this link:                                                    http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=2192937&clickid=main_featured_viewProduct

There is additional information on meth, discussed in the above video, that can be accessed at http://www.pbs.org.

3.  A teleconference entitled, "Infants Exposed Prenatally to Methamphetamines: Developmental Effects and Effective Interventions" is being offered by the National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center in CA on Tuesday, February 21, 2006. There is a fee of $25. The teleconference will be held from 2:00-3:30 p.m. EST (11:00-12:30 p.m. Pacific Time).   http://aia.berkeley.edu/training/teleconference_series.html

4.  Lister Harry Patterson of CAM (CommUNITY Against Methamphetamine) shared the following piece from the Press & Sun-Bulletin regarding a meth lab explosion in Binghamton, NY which resulted in one man's death. Prompted by this incident, legislators are proposing new guidelines for the effective and safe cleanup of meth lab sites.   http://www.pressconnects.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060217/NEWS01/602170326/1006

5.  This follow-up piece, forwarded by Harry Patterson, appeared in the Press & Sun-Bulletin, confirming that the house fire and resulting death were indeed due to methamphetamine production. It also details the various meth-related activity that occurred in New York's Southern Tier in recent news. http://www.pressconnects.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060215/NEWS01/602150328

6.  From the York Dispatch, a York County man is sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for operating a meth lab in a trailer that he shared with his girlfriend. This was the outcome of an investigation that had spanned both Pennsylvania and Maryland. http://www.yorkdispatch.com/local/ci_3487701

7.  In the Towanda Daily Review, a Bradford County man is sentenced to 8 years in prison for meth distribution and possession. He admitted to manufacturing meth as well.  http://www.thedailyreview.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16094702&BRD=2276&PAG=461&

8.  From Join Together Online, this brief concerns our northern neighbors in Canada and the new Meth Watch initiative that has been launched in Richmond, British Columbia, which includes a Chemical Diversion Hotline for the community to report suspicious transactions in pharmacies and retail stores. http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/communitystories/2006/canadian-retailers-report.html

9.  Lister Harry Patterson shared this article published in the Elmira Star-Gazette regarding the meth situation in the region and the prediction by law enforcement of a meth surge yet to come. Harry comments, "This is the kind of awareness that the public needs. There are many quotes from law enforcement in here. Please take a moment to read."   http://www.stargazettenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060212/NEWS01/602120312

10.  Also shared by Harry Patterson, this article in the Press & Sun-Bulletin, a Binghamton, NY publication, reflects 8 arrests made on suspected meth labs in 3 different locations in New York's Southern Tier (above Bradford County, PA). A quote from the article, indicating the voracity of the meth problem: "According to information from the Tioga County Sheriff's Office, in the nine years between 1989 and 1998, there were a total of five labs in the state. Between 1999 and 2004, police identified 168 labs."  

11.  Published in The Centre Daily Times, the link below is a transcript of Governor Rendell's budget address to the state legislature. It is lengthy, so here is the piece regarding methamphetamine, directly quoted:

"Across this state, communities face extreme and heart-wrenching problems that range from wanton gun violence to the ravages of methamphetamine addiction. To help these communities, this budget adds 90 more troopers to our State Police - bringing the overall State Police complement to an all-time high." http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/politics/13822088.htm

12.  From Join Together Online, this brief cites a team approach to peer education and juvenile drug courts as successful methods to treat drug abuse, as seen in a program in Northern Michigan. http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/communitystories/2006/peer-education-and-juvenile.html

13.  Click on the following link from the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training for a brief touching video of approximately 3 minutes about children and meth labs entitled "Let Them Be Little." http://switchboard.real.com/player/email.html?PV=6.0.12&&title=let%20them%20be%


14.  The home site for the above initiative is:  http://www.mctft.com/

15.  From Prairie View Prevention Services' Meth Awareness and Prevention Project, the following link provides signs and symptoms to look for in or on children exposed to meth: http://www.mappsd.org/DEC%20Exposure%20Signs.htm

16.  From the Harm Reduction Project's National Conference on Meth, there is a Powerpoint presentation available via the link below that includes the keynote address by Dr. Patricia Case, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, entitled "The History of Methamphetamine: An Epidemic In Context."  http://www.harmredux.org/conferencemedia.html

17.  This link to METH = DEATH Meth Education site (a non-profit project) out of Tennessee provides a Meth Education Tool Kit on CD or DVD for a fee of $10, which covers the production cost. http://www.metheducation.com/

18.  Another website from Tennessee, out of the District Attorney's General Conference, provides very helpful meth resources with eye-catching graphics: http://www.methfreetn.org/

Melanie Swanson, M.Ed.
Prevention Specialist
Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
252 West Swamp Road, Unit 12
Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone 215-230-7739
Voicemail  215-230-8715, ext. 3123
Fax 215-230-8205