Drug-Related Headlines from Across the US
By MOMSTELL.Com

October 12, 2003 Issue

Hello ,
I have included information regarding a Luzerne County Pa. moms' press release regarding a walk from her house to the White House for Drug Free America, starting October 20th!  Below that press release  are the D&A headlines from across the nation this past week.  Deb Fowler/ Remembering Adam,  Kathy Berry/HEADSUP  and I participated in Public Service Announcements for Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher to be aired the next few weeks for the Red Ribbon Campaign. The PSA's will be broadcast on aprox 50-60 radio stations throughout the Commonwealth.   

Sharon Smith, Founder of MOMSTELL

 The information is below is her press release.

 

Take A Stance Come Out And Dance for a Drug Free America

Another Step Forward For Local Mom Who Plans to Take To The Roadways In An Ongoing Attempt To Create Awareness and Find Solutions For A Drug Free America.

 

Sharon Manganiello, mother of six and grandmother of six, from West Pittston, Pennsylvania, is preparing to once again pound the pavement in her pursuit of a drug free America.  Manganiello, who first traveled to Washington DC in October 1997 on a 2 week, 24mile a day 300 mile trip, then one year later walked and biked from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a 2 and a half month, 3500 mile trek, is now planning to dance her way to our Nation's Capitol in a week long Dance Marathon, October 20th through October 24th. Her route will span from her local communities of Northeast Pennsylvania, all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.
 

Manganiello, now 52, first took to the streets over five years ago when she realized that something had to be done.  “We were losing six young people to heroin in a weeks time”, “something had to change”, said Manganiello.    While she has been able to accomplish many milestones over the past five years, which include meeting with former Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, Congressman Paul Kanjorski and Senator Ray Musto, serving on the Heroin Task Force and uniting 2 large counties in “Uniting Counties for Drug Awareness”, Started “Another Step Forward Foundation”, she realizes that the problem is far from solved. Manganiello’s main goal has always been to have parents, communities and schools all working together to keep kids drug free and to achieve this she strives to keep the awareness alive and most of all growing.  As she takes “Another Step Forward”, she will be concentrating on finding solutions.  Solutions that she believes will come from drug prevention, education and intervention. 

 

What makes this event different from her last two journeys is that this time Manganiello plans to involve as many schools and communities as she can.  She is asking for the participation of all local school districts and communities along the way.  "We need everybody to be a part of the solution," says Manganiello.  She will be asking school districts along her path to Washington DC, to organize their own school and community dance marathon event in celebration of drug awareness, as she has her own dance marathon from October 20 until her arrival on October 24th, at the White House.  These dates will coincide with National Red Ribbon Week, which is the official drug awareness week.  All monies raised by the schools during the dance marathon will remain right there in that school district for the use of education and supporting the ongoing efforts of drug awareness.  Proceeds from Manganiello's marathon will go toward the "Wall of Sorrow" a traveling monument dedicated to the memories of lost students, parents and community members as a result of our ongoing drug problem.

 

Now more than ever awareness has become critical.   Each day more and more funding is being cut, benefits are lessened but the problem hasn’t decreased in fact children are starting at an earlier age to use and as a result by the time they are in high school they are full blown addicts.  Manganiello’s message is simply “we need everybody involved no matter how large or small your involvement is we can’t do it without you!”  

 

When asked why do you continue to do this? Manganiello, responded “Because we don’t want us to become so desensitized to a problem that has reached epidemic levels in all of our communities, that it become something that is acceptable or something that we think we have to get use to” and “Because drugs do not have to be a part of our children’s adolescent and teenage lives” and  “Because if one person can get prayer out of schools and a few can threaten our Nation’s Pledge of Allegiance, why can’t we as parents, teachers and American citizens get drugs out of our schools and communities!”  “It’s time for us to regain control of our neighborhoods, schools and communities.” “It’s time for us to allow our children to be the best they can right from the start before they have to go through a recovery program”.  “If I can stop just one unnecessary drug related death or just one child from having to go through rehabilitation or have one recovering addict to survive and succeed, then I will know that each step I took, whether it was walking, biking or dancing, it was worth it! “

 

For more information on how you can become involved in “Take a Stance come out and Dance” please contact Paula Gogas at (570) 655-2987 or Sharon Manganiello at (570) 479-3563 or email anotherstep4ward@aol.com    

 

WASHINGTON POSTREPORT SAYS 10% IN CITY ADDICTED
About 60,000 District residents, more than one in 10, are addicted to illicit drugs or alcohol, and substance abuse costs the city $1.2 billion each year in lost productivity, illness, premature death and crime and incarceration, a study released yesterday by Mayor Anthony A. Williams has found.
 
The two-year study, which sought to measure the scope and effects of substance abuse, also found that half of all people arrested for violent crimes in Washington test positive for narcotics.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A30908-2003Oct1?language=printer 
 
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITORSTEEP RISE IN ABUSE OF LEGAL DRUGS
Log onto e-mail anytime, and you can find one explanation for the recent dramatic and deadly spike in the abuse of prescription drugs.
 
"Get ANY D-R-U-G-S You NEED!!" declares a piece of spam that was sent on a recent morning. "OUR U.S. Doctors will Write YOU a Prescription You will get it NEXT-DAY via Fed-Ex!!"
 
It is simple and anonymous, and has helped lead to what experts are calling a national epidemic of abuse of everything from painkillers to sedatives to stimulants. Between 1995 and 2002, there was a 163 percent increase in the number of emergency-room visits tied to the abuse of prescription drugs, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency.
 
SAMSHA estimates 9 million people now abuse prescription drugs, meaning they use them for nonmedical, and often recreational, purposes. Three million abusers are kids between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. And the abuse can be deadly: Prescription drugs now play a factor in a quarter of all overdose deaths reported in the US.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1001/p01s01-ussc.htm 
 
LOS ANGLES TIMES: DRUNK-DRIVING REFORMS STIR SAFETY DEBATES
After a radical transformation of the nation's drunk-driving laws in recent years, a new battle is shaping up over just how the federal government can reduce some of the roughly 17,000 highway deaths every year that involve alcohol.

Congress is expected in the coming months to reauthorize national transportation funding covering the next six years, and a major restructuring of drunk-driving policy is likely to occur.

"There is a schism between all of the highway safety organizations about drunk-driving policy," said Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Assn., a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of state organizations. "This is a lot more complicated than just saying you are against drunk driving."

Several states this week, facing the threat of losing federal highway funding, completed significant reform of their laws.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-safety2oct02,1,630492,print.story?coll=la-home-todays-times 
  

THE MISSOULIAN (MT):
JUDGES QUESTION NEW UNDERAGE DRINKING LAW
The legality of a tough, new state law that holds parents accountable for youths arrested with alcohol is in question because of a barrage of concerns judges from around the state have raised with the attorney general's office.

The controversial law, which was passed by the 2003 Legislature and went into effect Wednesday, calls for mandatory confiscation of offending youths' driver licenses, higher fines and parents to pay for and attend substance abuse education classes with their children.


The parent-child classes would only be required if children fail to comply with their original sentence.
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2003/10/02/news/mtregional/news07.txt 
 
 
THE WASHINGTON TIMES:
PRO-POT ADS TO BE POSTED AT 10 METRO STATIONS
Metro subway stations will soon display a batch of ads promoting the legalization and taxation of marijuana as a means to improve sex, save taxes and protect children.
The poster ads, sponsored by the Massachusetts-based nonprofit group Change the Climate Inc., had been displayed on Metro buses, billboards and bus shelters during the past month. They are expected to be posted at 10 subway stations as early as Monday, said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham, chairman of Metro's Board of Directors, said, "These ads are intolerable, and we need to review our policies so that First Amendment considerations are not allowed to compel us to accept this type of advertising."
http://www.washtimes.com/metro/20031002-094723-5542r.htm 
 
 
WASHINGTON TIMES:
PCP MANUFACTURE, USE EXPANDS IN AREA
Law-enforcement authorities are concerned that the use of the hallucinogen phencyclidine, better known as PCP, is on the rise with the expansion of high-volume laboratories into several states, including Maryland.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities are seeing drug gangs across the country that produce and distribute PCP expand their bases of operations
 
The drug rings, primarily black gang members, are centered in Los Angeles and Houston, although a recent DEA update noted what it described as "the recent emergence of large PCP laboratories in other locations," including Maryland. The DEA called the expansion in the number of known PCP labs a "cause for concern."
http://www.washtimes.com/national/20031006-122415-7346r.htm
 
DES MOINES REGISTER: DRUG TAX GARNERS MILLIONS FOR STATE COFFERS
Iowa has raked in more than $4.3 million over the past 13 years from special taxes on a little-known source - the dealers and users of illegal drugs.
 
The money, collected largely from seized bank accounts, tax liens and garnisheed wages, comes to state coffers through a 1990 law that requires illegal-drug users to buy special, confidentially sold stamps, which are ignored by nearly everyone but a handful of hobbyists.
 
Iowa revenue agents readily admit that the drug tax is a low priority for state collectors. Now, some Iowa lawmakers wonder whether the stamp tax could be a source of needed revenue in tough economic times.
http://desmoinesregister.com/news/stories/c4780934/22410434.html 
 
DENVER POST EDITORIAL: TIGHTEN THE DUI STANDARD
Colorado lawmakers stood up for their principles during the last legislative session by refusing to be blackmailed by the federal government.
 
Rather than being forced to lower the drunken driving standard to 0.08, the state bid adieu to much-needed highway funds, allowing legislators to beat their chests and trumpet states' rights.
 
Legislators have had their fun and now it's time to do what's right for the right reasons, regardless of the federal blackmail game.
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~417~1675019,00.html# 
 
 
BALTIMORE SUN: AFGHANISTAN'S POPPY HARVEST YIELDING VIOLENCE, GROUPS SAY
A relief worker dies in an ambush on a blind curve up a steep mountain road. Around the bend is a poppy field, a prime suspect in violence that is bogging down Afghanistan's rebuilding while its drug trade blooms.
 
Aid groups are fleeing in terror. They blame much of their exodus from the southern third of the country on its $1.2 billion export drug crop, which purportedly finances Islamic extremist violence, ethnic blood feuds, warlords' activities, provincial property disputes and competing political movements.
 
The agencies that monitor the pulse of conflict zones point to a rise in ambushes and execution-style killings that coincide with the southeast's autumn harvest of the opium-producing flora.
 
"Narcoterrorism" has become an increasingly entrenched factor in the violence that is meant to keep southern and eastern Afghanistan - the world's poppy belt - off-limits to outside assistance, said Paul Barker, country director for the charity CARE.
http://www.sunspot.net/news/nationworld/bal-te.afghanistan05oct05,0,643128,print.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines 
  

LOS ANGELES TIMES:
OPIUM AGAIN HOOKS STRUGGLING FARMERS
Throughout Afghanistan, thousands who had not grown opium before began harvesting their crops in May, taught by experienced poppy farmers who have been traveling to new growing areas to share their skills.

Afghanistan regained its position as the largest opium producing country last year, yielding 3,750 tons, and production is expected to be as high this year, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reports. Seventy-five percent of the world's heroin, which is obtained from opium poppies, comes from Afghanistan.
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-fg-opium5oct05,1,2487372,print.story?coll=la-news-a_section 
 

COLUMBIA STATE (SC):
COURT REJECTS APPEAL OF DRUG-USING MOM
Pregnant women who use illegal drugs likely will not face a new wave of prosecutions in South Carolina despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday clearing the way, state prosecutors said.
 
The nation's top court without comment declined to hear the appeal of Regina McKnight, an Horry County woman convicted in 2001 of killing her fetus by using cocaine. The court's decision, in effect, upholds her conviction.
 
In May, McKnight asked the high court to overturn a sharply divided January ruling by the S.C. Supreme Court.
 
She is serving a 12-year prison sentence for homicide by child abuse — the stiffest penalty, her lawyers say, for any South Carolina woman convicted of harming her unborn child.
http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/6950202.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp 
 

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION:
PART OF DUI LAW IS ERASED; STATE'S IMPLIED CONSENT FLAWED, COURT RULES
The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday overturned a key provision of a state law used to obtain convictions of drunken drivers involved in serious accidents.
 
In a unanimous ruling, the court held that police cannot require drivers involved in accidents with serious injuries or fatalities to submit to blood or breath tests without probable cause. Before Monday's ruling, the "implied consent" statute allowed police to seek the tests even when there was no indication the driver was impaired or intoxicated.
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/1003/07duilaw.html;COXnetJSessionID
=1C6iwsh1YmJlgJex6KXMpQl8nEFR5EsrY1O65el1gVTYCVl5otvN!-1672374177?urac=n&urvf=10655320661420.3843077342018105
 
 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS:
ADDICTION NOT A MORAL LAPSE
For all that's been written and said about addiction as a medical disease, most people, including most physicians, understand little about what draws people to drugs and keeps them hooked, often despite severe consequences and repeated attempts to quit.
 
A better understanding of the pull and tug of addiction can help those who are hooked and those who want to get the monkey off their backs for good.
 
The savings in life-years, quality of life and lost income can be huge, not to mention the costs of drug-instigated crime and medical care.
 
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, $133 billion a year is spent just on treating the short- and long-term medical complications of addiction. Among the many health consequences of addictions are sudden cardiac arrest, irreversible kidney and liver damage, AIDS, fetal harm and many cancers, including cancers of the lung, bladder, breast, pancreas, larynx, liver and oral cavity.
 
That it's possible to become free of addictions and remain so is unquestioned.
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/health_and_fitness/article/0,1299,DRMN_26_2325554,00.html 
 

GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE
OFFICIALS SEEK TO TRANSFER STATE DRUG PROGRAM TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
The chairman of the House International Relations Committee said the State Department's aviation program for eradicating illicit drugs abroad has failed and should be transferred to another federal agency.
 
In an Oct. 1 memo, Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., said the State Department has failed to adequately stop opium production in Colombia, and therefore all authority, budget and personnel of its "Air Wing" program should be transferred to the Justice Department. Hyde sent the memo to Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
http://www.govexec.com/news/index.cfm?mode=report&articleid=26752&printerfriendlyVers=1& 
 

LEGAL TIMES:
SUPREME COURT WEIGHS WORKPLACE RIGHTS FOR EX-SUBSTANCE ABUSERS
The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday to sort out an important Americans with Disabilities Act case brought by an Arizona man who wanted his job back after being terminated years earlier for alcohol and drug abuse.

Substance abuse itself is not a disability under the law, but workplace discrimination because of past abuse is covered. In Raytheon v. Hernandez, No. 02-749, the company says it was justified in not rehiring Joel Hernandez because of an across-the-board policy against rehiring anyone who was once terminated for cause. The Bush administration entered the case on the side of the Raytheon Co.

The case has "extraordinary implications," Raytheon lawyer Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood told the Court, for "thousands of companies" with similar no-rehire rules.

But much of the argument focused on procedural problems and factual uncertainties about Hernandez's case, which had been dismissed summarily by a district judge. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed in a decision written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, finding that Hernandez was entitled to a trial and had made a prima facie case of disability discrimination.

The justices appeared troubled by the appeals ruling, which assumed certain facts about the case that had never been proved. Some justices appeared ready to dismiss the case because of flaws in the lower court ruling.
http://www.law.com/jsp/printerfriendly.jsp?c=LawArticle&t=PrinterFriendlyArticle&cid=1065640806209
 
SLATE: JUNKIE JUSTICE
Raytheon v. Hernandez is the sort of case the Warren Court lived to hear: An old-fashioned sob story about a broken victim and the soulless corporation that wouldn't cut him a break. On one side, Joel Hernandez, recovering addict fighting for his old job after he finds God and gets sober. On the other, Raytheon, huge defense contractor, which—along with the federal government—is defending its no-second-chances-for-cokeheads policy. Hernandez is, not to put too fine a point on it, screwed from the word go. His case is being argued by his Phoenix trial attorney, while Raytheon is represented by D.C.'s Carter Phillips, one of those appellate Harlem Globetrotters who's spinning-the-ball-on-his-finger-while-tap-dancing-and-talking-Urdu magnificent. Hernandez's brief in the case is, well, not good. And Justices David Souter and Stephen Breyer—who tend to side with the sad sack—both recluse themselves for unexplained reasons.
 
You might think the Supreme Court would treat all these imbalances and disparities with compassion: Put a wee thumb on the scale for the little guy. But this is a court of tough guys and just-the-facts. Unless the facts are the problem.
http://slate.msn.com/id/2089534/
 
STAMFORD ADVOCATE (CT): GOVERNORS GET SOBERING NEWS ON NEW ENGLAND DRUG USE
Heroin demand in the region is so strong that traffickers now skip their traditional delivery route through New York City and head straight for New England.

Drug Enforcement Agency Administrator Karen Tandy delivered that news Wednesday to five of the six New England governors who met at Faneuil Hall to discuss the region's drug problems, which have quietly worsened in recent years.

Outside the spotlight, dependence on illegal drugs in New England has grown to be highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy. Heroin use, especially among young people, is of particular concern, selling for as little as $4 per bag and marketed in colorful logos to appeal to kids.
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/state/hc-09015901.apds.m0339.bc-ct--drugoct09,0,3164046,print.story?coll=hc-headlines-local-wire
 
WHITE HOUSE DRUG CZAR RECOMMENDS DRUG TESTING IN SCHOOLS
President Bush's drug czar told New England governors Wednesday that drug testing in schools would be an effective way to combat what is a growing problem of drug use among young people, especially in the Northeast.

The region's six governors and John Walters, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, met at Faneuil Hall in an anti-drug summit focusing on New England's heroin epidemic.

New England has more people ages 12 and over dependent on illegal drugs than any other region of the nation, according to Walters.
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/state/hc-08124945.apds.m0246.bc-ct--drugoct08,0,533408,print.story?coll=hc-headlines-local-wire
THE RECORDER (CA)
 
LATEST POT ARGUMENT MAY GO TO SEED
With little success to show for their efforts to get federal courts to recognize medical marijuana, advocates arrived at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday hoping that a honed argument might finally score them a win.

Their reception was lukewarm, however. The government's lawyer was able to breeze through his presentation so quickly that Judge Harry Pregerson spent some time quizzing him about the ingredients in pigeon feed and a recent newspaper article he'd read.

The plaintiffs, Angel McClary Raich and Diane Monson, want an injunction to prevent the federal government from confiscating a small number of marijuana plants grown in their homes for medical use.

The case is the latest in a number of challenges to federal drug policy under the Supreme Court's recent Commerce Clause jurisprudence. But with the marijuana grown and used at home exclusively by the patient, Raich and Monson argue that this case is distinguishable from others involving medical marijuana shops or collectives, where money or services change hands.
http://www.law.com/jsp/printerfriendly.jsp?c=LawArticle&t=PrinterFriendlyArticle&cid=1065640806483
 
NEW SCIENTIST (UK): FORTY-SECOND ECSTASY TABLET TEST DEVELOPED
A new technique that rapidly analyses ecstasy tablets could provide an early warning system for rogue pills and also police help trace illicit manufacturers.
 
The method uses Raman spectroscopy to produce a fingerprint for each ecstasy tablet. This reveals the concentration of the active ingredient MDMA plus the identity of any toxic contaminants.
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994242 
 
COST OF STUDENT DRUG TESTING: FROM: DAVID G. EVANS, ESQ. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS COALITION    908-788-7077
One of the arguments that opponents of student drug testing raise is that it costs too much. This is not true. For the results achieved, drug testing is surprisingly inexpensive. When compared with athletic equipment it is estimated we spend hundreds of dollars on equipment to protect a football player. Drug testing is cost effective with the average cost per student of $19 per year. The cost per test (lab fee) ranges from $10 to $148.50. The mean cost is $42 and the median is $21. Initial tests can cost only a few dollars. Schools only need to test a few students to get the desired effect.  1

States may have drug test purchase contracts that schools could use. For example, in New Jersey there is a state contract for criminal justice agencies that is available to schools (contract #86602). Under the contract a school can purchase test cups that conduct the initial test for 3 or more drugs for $8.55 to $9.31 for each cup depending on which drugs they want to test for. Alcohol tests run for about $1.80 and strips to test for adulteration cost about 80 cents. Confirmation of positives will be $15 per drug.

If a school tests 100 students the cost will be $855 to $931. If they have tests positive for 5% of the students the confirmation will be 5 x $15.00 = $75. There will be some other minor costs for the adulteration tests at 80 cents each and mailing, etc.

100 alcohol tests will cost about $180

Thus a school can test 100 students for drugs and alcohol for a little over $1,200

If you wish to verify this information you can call the test manufacturer Varian, Inc. The person to speak to is Alan Lubins at 732-236-5298 (cell)


1. United States Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, Report of a Preliminary Study: Elements of a Successful School-Based Student Drug Testing Program, July 22, 2002, Prepared By: The Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., 6191 Executive Blvd. Rockville, Maryland 20852, U.S. Dept. of Education Order No. ED-01-PO-3886 Authors: Robert L. DuPont, M.D., Teresa G. Campbell, Ph.D., and Jacqueline J. Mazza.


 

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