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
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
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
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.
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.
THE DETROIT NEWS:
EDITORIAL: STUDENTS LEARN WRONG
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
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.
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
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
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.
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: LOSING 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.
POLICE: WORSE THAN CRACK
When Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents talk about
methamphetamine, they get downright wistful about crack
"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.
HELPING INMATES ESCAPE
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
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
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.
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