AFGHANS' OPIUM CROP MAY
COURT: TONGUE STUD SKEWS ALCOHOL TEST
MAINE TOPS MOST
STATES IN PAINKILLER USE
WHAT'S WITH ALL THE DUTCH ECSTASY?
HEROIN INVASION SWEEPS KIDS INTO GRAVE: GRIP OF ADDICTION
TORMENTING MORE TEENS
BUDGET CUTS PUT FEDERAL DRUG ABUSE AID AT RISK
DRUGS BLAMED FOR BIG GAINS IN FEMALE PRISON POPULATIONS
BILL TO LOWER BLOOD-ALCOHOL LIMIT ADVANCES
DARE GROUP TO WELCOME A CRITIC
APPEALS COURT TODAY WILL HEAR LIMBAUGH'S CASE TO KEEP
POLICE SEEK HUNDREDS IN DRUG CRACKDOWN
NEW POLICY WOULD BROADEN DRUG-TESTING METHODS
LEGALIZING DRUGS BACKFIRES
Here are the headlines for the
past week along with a featured parent group in California "
Jenny's Journey" In the attachment is an invitation to a
meeting in Washington DC on Tuesday April 20th for ALL Members
U. S. Congress
¨Individuals and Parent
Groups Devoted to Protecting America’s Youth!
Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
1) AFGHANS' OPIUM CROP MAY
DOUBLE --THE WASHINGTON
Afghanistan's opium crop, the source of billions of dollars in
illicit profits to heroin traffickers and other criminal
organizations, including terrorists, could increase this year
by as much as 100 percent, according to a top State Department
Left unchecked, the opium crop and the heroin it produces will
undermine ongoing efforts to defeat terrorism and establish a
democratic society in Afghanistan, Robert B. Charles,
assistant secretary for the department's Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, warned a
House subcommittee yesterday.
2) COURT: TONGUE STUD SKEWS ALCOHOL TEST --
THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR
An Indiana Court of Appeals ruling Friday could change the way
the state's police deal with some drunken-driving suspects.
In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled that a breath test given to
a woman wearing a stainless steel stud in her pierced tongue
is inadmissible in court because the stud is a "foreign"
State law say a person "must not have put any foreign
substance in his or her mouth . . . within 20 minutes prior to
the time a breath sample is taken."
Prosecutors said it was too soon to determine the impact of
the ruling in the case involving Brenna Guy, 22,
Staci Schneider, spokeswoman for Attorney General Steve
Carter, said the decision was likely to be challenged.
Law enforcement officials said they might have to revisit the
way they conduct breath tests.
MAINE TOPS MOST STATES IN PAINKILLER USE --
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD (ME)
Mainers use more prescription painkillers than people in
almost any other state, according to statistics that officials
say help explain the state's growing problem with prescription
Maine ranked 7th in the nation in per capita consumption of
oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin, and was fourth
in consumption of methadone, according to federal Drug
Enforcement Administration data for 2002, the most recent
4) WHAT'S WITH ALL THE DUTCH ECSTASY? -- SLATE
Police in the United States and Canada have
a massive, Toronto-based ecstasy ring, resulting in over 145
arrests. According to authorities, the criminal enterprise
imported powdered ecstasy from the Netherlands, pressed it
into pills, then smuggled it across the border. Why don't
American drug enterprises simply synthesize their own ecstasy,
rather than import it from abroad?
Partly because of America's tough drug-enforcement regime and
partly because of simple economics.
5) HEROIN INVASION SWEEPS KIDS INTO GRAVE: GRIP OF
ADDICTION TORMENTING MORE TEENS (Part 1 of 2) -- BOSTON
Thanks to a chillingly sophisticated marketing strategy
devised by South American drug lords, heroin has moved from
back alley shooting galleries to suburban schools - from
junkies to jocks.
Fatal opiate overdoses
among teens and young adults have tripled in Massachusetts
over a four-year period. Hospitalizations have doubled.
Today's heroin is dirt
cheap, pure enough to snort and it's hooking kids barely into
their teens across the state.
6) BUDGET CUTS PUT FEDERAL DRUG ABUSE AID AT RISK --
With New England in the midst of an epidemic of heroin use,
Massachusetts is on the verge of forfeiting more than $9
million in federal aid for treating drug users, a penalty for
three years of reductions in state spending on substance abuse
Since the 2001 budget year, the state Department of Public
Health has cut nearly $11 million from what it devotes to
treating drug users and preventing narcotic and alcohol abuse.
Governor Mitt Romney is proposing $2 million in additional
reductions for the next budget year, although a representative
of the governor said those cuts would not imperil essential
Executives who run treatment centers and health care advocates
said that the Department of Public Health cuts in combination
with reductions in other state programs, particularly the
MassHealth Basic insurance plan for the poor, have already
spawned deep reductions in services.
BLAMED FOR BIG GAINS IN FEMALE PRISON POPULATIONS
-- PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
The state's female prison population has nearly tripled in the
last five years, the result of a greater number of drug
convictions, officials say.
The population at the state's two prisons that house women -
the State Correctional Institution at Cambridge Springs in
Erie County and SCI at Muncy in Lycoming County - rose to
1,816 last year. Five years earlier, the prisons housed 680
female inmates, according to the state Department of
Female inmates still make up less than 5 percent of the total
state prison population, the department said.
8) BILL TO
LOWER BLOOD-ALCOHOL LIMIT ADVANCES
-- DENVER POST
Drivers will have to drink less or face greater risk of
getting arrested for drunken driving under a proposal that the
House tentatively approved Tuesday.
Lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit for motorists from 0.10
percent to 0.08 percent would bring in about $50 million in
additional federal transportation money, state lawmakers said.
And in a nod to what some supporters called responsible
drinking, restaurant patrons will be able to cork unfinished
bottles of wine and take them home.
9) DARE GROUP TO WELCOME A CRITIC -- BOSTON GLOBE
As she announced plans this week to improve the criminal
justice system, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey took aim at
DARE, one of the funding darlings of the 1990s "war on drugs."
"We have known for a long time DARE doesn't work," Healey said
of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, which puts
police officers in classrooms to lead talks with students on
drugs and crime.
The criticism was news to those who champion the program --
and had invited Healey to deliver the keynote speech in a
four-day conference cosponsored by DARE in Sturbridge on April
"I'm sure she is going to get tossed a few pointed questions,"
said Domenic DiNatale, executive director of the Massachusetts
DARE Officers Association. "But I give her credit for still
The state cut its funding of DARE in 2002, prompting Janice
Cunningham, an East Bridgewater police officer, to lobby
Healey for a more generous view of DARE.
10) APPEALS COURT TODAY WILL HEAR LIMBAUGH'S CASE TO KEEP
RECORDS SEALED --
Rush Limbaugh's attorney will argue before an appeals court on
Wednesday why the conservative commentator's medical records
should be kept sealed from prosecutors who accuse him of
illegally buying prescription drugs.
If Limbaugh's appeal succeeds, the criminal case against him
could be stalled for good.
But if the appellate court sides with prosecutors, the ruling
could finally open the records to prosecutors who have been
waiting for months to pursue their case against Limbaugh.
Palm Beach prosecutors allege that Limbaugh illegally went
``doctor shopping'' to obtain pain pills. The practice refers
to visiting several doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions
of controlled narcotics.
Prosecutors went after Limbaugh's medical records in November
after learning that he received about 2,000 painkillers,
prescribed by four doctors in six months, at a pharmacy near
his Palm Beach mansion.
11) POLICE SEEK HUNDREDS IN DRUG CRACKDOWN -- THE
In what officials described as Kentucky's largest crackdown
involving illegal drug activity, police began arresting 211
suspected drug traffickers yesterday.
Shortly after dawn, more than 100 federal, state and local
officers started serving warrants in eight Appalachian
counties stemming from raids in which more than 1,700
prescription pills were seized and at least $34,000 in drug
money was confiscated. The arrests resulted from a series of
three-month investigations by a new task force that targets
street-level dealers in the region. The roundup was expected
to eclipse the 207 drug dealers arrested three years ago in an
operation called Oxyfest 2001, the largest previous
In the February 2001 operation, authorities said OxyContin — a
prescription painkiller that is crushed and then snorted or
injected by users to produce a heroin-like high — had killed
59 Kentuckians in the previous year, many in the eastern part
of the state.
The prescription drug epidemic still exists, and this week's
roundup represents the start of an all-out assault on the
problem, said U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers, whose 5th
District includes much of Appalachian Kentucky.
12) NEW POLICY WOULD BROADEN DRUG-TESTING METHODS
-- GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE
Under a proposed new policy, agencies could screen hair,
saliva or sweat samples from federal employees for signs of
drug use, instead of relying solely on urine tests.
Next week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration will propose the expansion of the types of drug
tests that employees could face.
The draft policy by SAMHSA, a branch of the Health and Human
Services Department, will be published in the April 13
President Alvaro Uribe wants to make possession of drugs
illegal again in order to curb a growing addiction problem,
Associated Press reported April 6.
Currently, possession of 20 grams of marijuana and one
gram of cocaine and heroin is legal for private consumption in
Colombia. The intent of the 1994 Constitutional Court ruling
in favor of legalization was to force the government into
identifying more effective methods to fight drug misuse
besides law enforcement, such as education.
But legalization has led to a 40 percent increase in drug
use, and funding for education programs never materialized.
According to a 2001 survey by the government's National
Narcotics Office, nine out of every 100 Colombians aged 12 to
25 living in the city regularly use drugs.
Dr. Camilo Uribe, a toxicologist and the president's adviser
on drug matters, said legalization has made drugs more
acceptable in society. "The court decision sent the completely
wrong message, that it's OK to do drugs," he said.
Uribe's attempt to criminalize drug use failed last year
when the Constitutional Court rejected a referendum; he is now
seeking a constitutional amendment.
LEGALIZING DRUGS BACKFIRES -- ASSOCIATED PRESS
By Kim Housego Posted
April 6 2004
BOGOTA · Outside a Bogotá
dance club called Pipeline, a bouncer frisks a young
businessman, comes up with a small bag of cocaine, and casually
returns it to the owner. He pockets it with a grin and swaggers
into the maze of flashing lights and techno beats.
But this laid-back approach may not last much longer. A
decade after Colombia legalized possession of 20 grams of
marijuana and one gram of cocaine and heroine for private
consumption, President Alvaro Uribe wants to restore total
The reason: The world's largest
cocaine producer has become a consumer nation with an addiction
problem, according to experts, the government and drug users
The 1994 Constitutional Court ruling for legalization was
aimed at forcing the government to find more effective methods
than law-enforcement for combating drug abuse, such as education
programs, says Sen. Carlos Gaviria, the former justice who wrote
But he complains that successive governments never invested
enough time and money in the battle.
Meanwhile, drug use has increased by 40 percent in the past
10 years, says Dr. Camilo Uribe, a toxicologist and the
president's adviser on drug matters.
No comprehensive study of domestic consumption has been
carried out since 1996, but a 2001 survey by the government's
National Narcotics Office found that nine of every 100 Colombian
city-dwellers aged 12 to 25 regularly use drugs.
Camilo Uribe (no relation to the president) blames
legalization for part of the increase, saying it made drugs more
acceptable in a society that traditionally frowned upon them as
a source of corruption and violence.
"The court decision sent the completely wrong message, that it's
OK to do drugs," he says.
The push for criminalization marks a change from a few years
ago, when liberal legislators were making the headlines by
pushing to relax the laws even further. They sought to
decriminalize drug trading, claiming the U.S.-driven war on
growers and producers was getting nowhere.
But that initiative withered for lack of public support, and
Uribe's election in 2002 buried it.
Uribe's presidency has been characterized by sternness on
all fronts, the fight against rebels, corruption in politics,
and drug use. But his attempt to criminalize drug use by
referendum last year was killed by the Constitutional Court
before the vote could take place. The court said prohibiting
drug use would violate the constitutional right to free choice.
So the president is seeking a constitutional amendment, but
it's unclear whether he can get Congress to approve the change.
Among the smartly dressed crowd at the Pipeline club, the
cocaine sniffers say recriminalization would probably push up
prices from their rock-bottom level of $3-$4 a gram, compared
with $75-$100 in the United States.
"Right now it's cheaper than buying a beer," a 33-year-old bank
executive, who gives his name only as Guillermo, says after
snorting a line of cocaine in the restroom.
Guillermo says outlawing drug use probably wouldn't change his
habits much, except to make him more discreet. He agrees that
legalization increased drug use, but also blames the explosion
of bars featuring techno and trance music, which often prove
more popular than traditional salsa fiestas.
Jennifer Cubides, chief psychologist at a juvenile detention
center where many drug peddlers are incarcerated, is desperate
to see tougher laws.
Her office at the Hogares Claret prison overlooks one of
Bogotá's most notorious streets, nicknamed "El Bronx," where
dealers, pimps and prostitutes lurk in doorways and addicts loll
lifelessly atop piles of broken cardboard boxes.
To Cubides' despair, the police can't or won't do much about it.
The sale of drugs remains illegal, but suspected dealers can
only be arrested if caught with more than the legal limit.
"They know exactly what their rights are," Cubides says. "The
1994 law was the worst thing that could have happened."
14) FEATURE: JENNY’S
Jenny's Journey began as a presentation to high school students
to deter them from taking Jenny’s path into addiction and
eventual death by telling the reality of drugs and the lives of
those who succumb plus the devastation to families .
Since it’s inception,”Jenny’s
Journey” now has a professionally produced video and
facilitator’s study guide kit to take her story worldwide.
Russ and Pat have had audiences
ranging from third-graders through college age.
Recovering addicts programs.
Drug court groups for both
juveniles and adults.
OASIS (which is for mature
Counselors (both school and
Several conventions in the west
for alcohol and drug abuse.
Pat authored the presentations and
video,participating in the editing of the latter and as
narrator,along with Russ.
Recently the cover article for
“Ashore” magazine was requested to be written by Pat and can
be seen on the website as well as in the publication.(“Ashore”
is a magazine on safety issues, published by the naval service
for distribution to naval and marine personnel worlwide.)
Because of the above article about
an incident in Jenny’s life( driving under the influence), and
the use of the video/guide within the services,Pat received a
citation from Adm.Richard Brooks, Commander,Naval Safety Center.
“Jenny’s Journey” website can be
Russ or Pat can be contacted
at the following :
GRASP (Grief Recovery After
GRASP was a natural progression from
“Jenny’s Journey” when Russ and Pat realised that at every
presentation they gave,several people would approach them with
their own family’s stories (some never before told – even to
other family members)
The Wittbergers had never found a
grief group within their community which addressed the drug and
alcohol deaths – in fact,this appeared to be a taboo
subject. Hence – they answered the need by founding GRASP for
anyone in this circumstance.
As anyone who has, or is, in this
situation of trying to cope with grief, it does not take a
degree to listen,to talk, to share,to hold,to be
compassionate.And if anyone needs gentle kindness and
understanding, it is the parents and others who have and are
experiencing a passing from drugs.
Thus, a book written for parents and
those who would seek to truly help, will be available within the
next few months. The title? How’s this for being
“When a Child Dies From Drugs”.
It won’t be a ‘bestseller’ but it
will help those who need and read it!
There is also a website for GRASP
with much information for all, including ‘pages’ to display
poetry/prose or art left by our troubled angels and,too, a place
to share their stories.
to contact Russ or Pat :firstname.lastname@example.org
Other information for the
1088 Torrey Pines Road,
Chula Vista. CA.91915.
Fax: (619) 397- 3493..
Ph : (619) 656-8414.