Drug & Alcohol Headline Week in Review from MOMSTELL.COM

December 15 Edition

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: CATHOLIC SCHOOL TO TEST ALL KIDS FOR DRUGS
All 1,000 boys attending a Northwest Side Catholic high school will face mandatory drug screens next fall--a new requirement that lands them smack in the middle of a simmering national debate.
 
Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have upheld drug testing in public schools, but only for athletes and others involved in extracurricular activities. Parochial schools are not bound by those rulings.
 
Across the country, the usefulness of drug-testing programs is under debate. A study this year by University of Michigan researchers showed no significant difference in drug use between schools testing for drugs and those that don't.
 
At St. Patrick, students will be tested randomly throughout the year. School counselors will clip each student's hair, place the sample in a sealed envelope signed by the student, and then send the package to a lab for analysis.

Hair sample tests, considered by experts to be more reliable than either blood or urine testing, detect any drugs used within the last 90 days. Students testing positive will meet with parents and school officials but will not otherwise be disciplined.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0312040178dec04,1,5136803.story?coll=chi-news-hed 
 


WASHINGTON TIMES
:
U.S. WANTS HELP IN BATTLING OPIUM CROP
The United States is seeking allies in a major campaign to destroy Afghanistan's coming opium crop, having concluded that Afghan drugs now represent al Qaeda's principal source of income.
The U.S. initiative, outlined by a senior American official in Kabul, reflects the failure of British efforts to curb poppy production, which has exploded here since the downfall of the Taliban two years ago.
 
According to separate reports by the United Nations and the CIA, about 3,600 tons of opium resin were produced this year in an unprecedented 28 of Afghanistan's 32 provinces. The crop earned poppy farmers and traffickers $4.3 billion, or more than 50 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product.
http://www.washtimes.com/world/20031205-090656-8362r.htm 

 

NEWS & OBSERVER (NC):
METH-LAB LAWS CALLED TOO WEAK
People who operate methamphetamine labs, especially in households with children, should get tougher punishment than state law now allows, justice officials say.
Prosecutors can't apply North Carolina's child-endangerment laws in meth cases because the laws don't address drug manufacturing, he said.
 
If illegal drugs are made in a home with children present, the parents can now be charged with neglect, said Jo Ann Lamm, program administrator for the state's Division of Family Support and Child Welfare Services.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nc/story/3108044p-2817495c.html 
 

THE DETROIT NEWS
:
EDITORIAL: STUDENTS LEARN WRONG FREEDOM LESSONS
By Nolan Finley
Classroom performance is dismal. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. high school graduates lack a workable knowledge of their democracy and have little or no grasp of how the rights of the individual balance against the power of the government.
 
But the real tragedy is what students are learning from those teachable moments. Well-intended efforts to rid schools of illegal drugs, violence and offensive and threatening speech have resulted in an almost totalitarian education environment, where the traditional rights and freedoms of Americans don't apply.
 
The drug war is the biggest culprit. President George W. Bush's drug czar, John Walters, is seeking $8 million from Congress to expand pilot programs for randomly drug testing high school students who participate in after-school programs.
 
Critics rightly worry that the random tests will discourage kids from joining the very clubs and athletic teams that might keep them away from drugs.
 
But Walters, who advocates testing all students, says the random checks are a powerful deterrent and a weapon students can use against peer pressure. Since drug addiction is a disease, he says, it should be treated like tuberculosis or other infectious diseases that students are screened for.
http://www.detnews.com/2003/editorial/0312/07/a13-343163.htm 
  

OMAHA WORLD HERALD (NE)METH BLAMED FOR MORE FEMALE INMATES
Nebraska prison numbers show an increase in the number of women - especially young, white women - serving time behind bars, and officials are pointing to methamphetamine as the culprit.
 
In 1993, 4,455 adults were arrested on drug-related charges in Nebraska, according to the state's Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. In 2001, the number jumped to 11,263.
 
Women made up 16 percent of those arrests in 1993 and 19 percent in 2001. About 35 percent of the women sent to the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York in the past three years went there on drug-related charges, compared with 25 percent of the men entering the state prison system, State Department of Correctional Services figures show.
Some also speculate that meth use is leading to a dramatic increase of white women in prison.
 
In 1994, the women's prison in York was home to an almost equal number of white and black prisoners. Today, almost 70 percent of the York inmates are white.
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=1638&u_sid=939996
 
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTIONLOSING JACQUE: A MOTHER ON METH
This story is about a young mother running from the responsibility of motherhood. It is about her own mother, trying frantically to save her daughter but not knowing how. And it is about how Jacque's unraveling led to the deaths of innocent strangers -- another mother and another child.
 
This story also is about a potent, cheap drug known by many names: crank, crys, crystal, ice or meth. It is sweeping Georgia and the South, cutting across age groups, races and classes. It already has ravaged the West and Midwest. The drug has been around for years, but in the past two years has become a cottage industry in Georgia.
 
Previous drug epidemics -- such as cocaine and heroin -- required sophisticated smuggling operations to distribute a steady supply to customers. Methamphetamine is spreading much faster, because it is so easy to make the drug and get into the business. Local methamphetamine production requires no network or upfront expense, just a recipe and simple ingredients from a pharmacy or hardware store. Some materials are stolen from farms or farm supply stores. Some methamphetamine users don't even buy from dealers; they just cook their own drugs.
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/meth/1203/07main1.html#
 

POLICE: WORSE THAN CRACK

When Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents talk about methamphetamine, they get downright wistful about crack cocaine.
 
"Crack was the worst thing anyone had ever seen," said Phil Price, special agent in charge of the GBI's drug enforcement in North Georgia. "On a scale of 1 to 10, cocaine is a 2, crack was a 5, but meth is probably a 9 or 10. . . . Law enforcement is in crisis mode."
 
Methamphetamine is not new to Georgia. In the 1970s, it was shipped into Georgia by large Mexican-run cartels from the western United States. By the 1980s, secret labs in North Georgia also were turning out a version of the drug.
 
But now local drugmakers have figured out ways to make it quickly, cheaply and without much equipment or expertise.
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/meth/1203/07side.html 



PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
:
HELPING INMATES ESCAPE DRUGS
The national Drug Policy Alliance says New Jersey had the nation's highest proportion of state inmates incarcerated on drug charges - 36 percent - in 2001. The national rate was 20 percent.
 
The alliance, which advocates decriminalization of drug use, blames New Jersey's rate on the state's tough drug laws and sentencing requirements. Opponents of jailing nonviolent drug offenders contend that treatment inside prison is more expensive than treatment outside it.
 
In recognition, all but five counties have adopted "drug court" programs, in which nonviolent offenders submit to weekly drug testing for 18 months instead of going to jail. Atlantic, Cape May, Middlesex, Burlington and Hudson Counties are likely to adopt such programs by this spring, according to the state Public Defender's Office.
 
In addition, a commission to review the state's drug laws, which have not been revised since 1986, would be created under a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D., Middlesex), a retired FBI agent who heads the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
 
In the meantime, the state has expanded its prison drug-treatment programs, and some county jails offer more modest, short-term treatment programs.
 
Research suggests the programs work.
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/7439028.htm 
 

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