August 8, 2004 Edition
1. OP/ED: TAKE THE VIOLENCE
OUT OF THE DRUG TRADE
- BALTIMORE SUN
2. NEW WAYS
TO LOOSEN ADDICTION'S GRIP
- NEW YORK TIMES
3. NEEDLE-EXCHANGE PROGRAM
URGED FOR WILMINGTON
- WILMINGTON NEWS JOURNAL (DE)
MARIJUANA REFORM TO TAP GRASSROOTS THIS NOVEMBER
TRAFFICKERS TARGET AGENTS -
HOSPITALIZATION FOR 'CLUB DRUGS' DOWN IN 2002 -
8. NIDA 2003 MONITORING THE FUTURE SURVE
RESULTS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB - NIDA
9. SEPTEMBER 27 NATIONAL FAMILY
DAY - CASA
DRUG FREE AMERICA FOUNDATION PRODUCES EYE-OPENING FOUR-PART VIDEO
SERIES - DFAF
1. OP/ED: TAKE THE VIOLENCE OUT OF THE DRUG TRADE
- BALTIMORE SUN
By Peter Moskos
We've quintupled our prison population since the war on drugs
began in 1970. Last year, Baltimore police made one arrest for
every six people in the city. In 1999, in the high-crime Eastern
District alone, with 45,000 residents, there were more than 25,000
Police can make things better. In a city with high levels of
violent crime, arrests can be a good thing. But arrests won't
change the culture of drug dealers. And police can't win the war
on drugs. Drug addicts have to buy because they're addicted. But
drug users destroy mostly themselves. They are not destroying the
city. Addicts want to be left alone to enjoy their high. They
rarely shoot anybody.
Drug dealers are literally killing the city. Almost all
drug-related murders involve one drug dealer shooting another.
2. NEW WAYS TO LOOSEN ADDICTION'S GRIP
- NEW YORK TIMES
Buprenorphine, made by Reckitt Benckiser and sold under the brand
name Suboxone, became the first prescription medication for people
addicted to heroin or painkillers.
The small orange tablet is available by prescription at any
neighborhood pharmacy. It relieves symptoms of opiate withdrawal
like agitation, nausea and insomnia.
But unlike methadone, buprenorphine (pronounced byoo-pre-NOR-feen)
is only weakly addictive, and is thus less tightly regulated.
Above a certain dosage, more will not produce a high, so it has a
far lower risk of overdose than methadone. And once a patient has
taken a pill, the effects last for about three days, greatly
decreasing the chance of a relapse.
Serious drug addiction is a problem that afflicts more than 10
million Americans. The grip of hard-core drugs like heroin and
cocaine is notoriously stubborn, and relapse rates are staggering.
Rehabilitation programs have only limited success. Dropout rates
are high, and even many addicts who do stay in rehab slide back
into using drugs periodically.
But buprenorphine is the first of a new generation of prescription
drugs that is changing the landscape of addiction treatment,
providing new hope and moving addiction from clinics and rehab
centers, long seen as magnets for junkies, pushers and gloom, into
the comfort of the doctor's office.
3. NEEDLE-EXCHANGE PROGRAM URGED FOR WILMINGTON
- WILMINGTON NEWS
Needle-exchange programs have helped stem the spread of AIDS in
dozens of cities, and some Delaware lawmakers think a program
could do the same for Wilmington.
But others are fighting the proposal, saying it condones drug use
and sends the wrong message to youth.
Delaware is one of nine states where it is illegal to sell
syringes to someone knowing they will be used to inject illegal
drugs, according to a 2002 survey by Temple University. Other
states have changed paraphernalia laws to accommodate
Needle-exchange programs have been around since 1986, when
activists operated an underground campaign in Boston, said David
Purchase, executive director of the North American Syringe
Exchange Network. The organization, based in Tacoma, Wash.,
supports and helps start exchange programs, coordinates a national
conference and awards grants to programs.
There are now more than 180 exchange programs nationwide, he said.
4. MARIJUANA REFORM TO TAP GRASSROOTS THIS NOVEMBER
Few domestic policy issues enjoy such deep-rooted public support
as does marijuana law reform, in particular the legalization of
medicinal pot for seriously ill patients. Yet despite nationwide
polls indicating that some 8 in 10 Americans back reform,
politicians at the state and especially federal level continue to
oppose even minor changes in existing policy, as evident by
Congress' refusal to hold hearings on a pair of proposed bills
seeking to exempt state-authorized medical marijuana patients from
federal arrest and prosecution.
As a result of this chasm between the public and their elected
officials regarding pot policy, proponents of reform have in
recent years taken the issue directly to the voters via statewide
and local ballot initiatives – most notably, passing state laws in
Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and
Washington exempting qualified patients from criminal prosecution
for the possession and use of medicinal marijuana when such use is
recommended by their physician.
This November's Presidential election will be no exception, as a
bumper crop of initiatives addressing marijuana policy and
enforcement will appear on various state and municipal ballots.
Below is a summary of this November's more prominent marijuana law
5. FRUSTRATED TRAFFICKERS TARGET AGENTS -
Smugglers of drugs and aliens, desperate to protect their
illicit cargoes, have reacted with increased violence against
U.S. Border Patrol agents involved in a new law-enforcement
initiative aimed at gaining "operational control" of the
Eighty-nine agents have been assaulted so far this year in an
escalating series of attacks by the smugglers -- some shot at
with automatic weapons, while others were attacked with
block-sized rocks or had their vehicles rammed by armed
smugglers, Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar said yesterday.
Chief Aguilar believes the smugglers are striking out because
they are beginning to suffer financial losses as a result of the
border enforcement program, known as the Arizona Border Control
Initiative, although incidents of violence have increased this
year all along the U.S.-Mexico border.
HOSPITALIZATION FOR 'CLUB DRUGS' DOWN IN 2002
- WASHINGTON TIMES
Emergency room visits related to the use of Ecstasy and other
so-called "club drugs" either remained stable or declined in 2002,
a sharp reversal from previous years, a federal report shows.
Health officials are encouraged by the findings in the report,
"Club Drugs: 2002 Update," prepared for the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), but they stress
more work needs to be done.
The term "club drug" refers to a variety of drugs popular with
teens and young adults at dance clubs and raves. Their popularity
stems from a relatively low cost and the "intoxicating highs" they
produce, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The SAMHSA report showed that emergency rooms visits associated
with the use of club drugs more than doubled from 1994 to 1999.
Nevertheless, such visits have been rare, accounting for 1.2
percent of all emergency room visits related to drug abuse, the
study found. In 2002, fewer than 1 percent of all emergency room
visits in the United States were related to drug abuse, SAMHSA
Emergency room visits resulting from the use of Ecstasy, a drug
chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the
hallucinogen mescaline, rocketed from 250 in 1994 to 5,542 in
(the update can be found at
Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) in Washington, D.C., spent
$217,692 during the first half of 2004 to get a medical-marijuana
initiative passed in Vermont, the Rutland Herald reported July 27.
The record-setting spending spree was credited with Vermont
adopting a medical-marijuana law. State lawmakers passed the law
The money was spent on numerous visits to the Vermont State House
this past winter by lobbyists and a statewide media campaign.
"We understand it was a significant amount of money, but it was
worth it," said Nancy Lynch, spokeswoman for MPP's Vermont office.
"The local law is landmark legislation. Vermont's is only the
second legislature in the country to pass a medical-marijuana
The $217,692 total is about $7,000 short of the $224,588 spent in
all of 2003 by the Vermont Hospital and Health System Association,
the largest single-year lobbying total on record at the Secretary
of State's office.
Spending by MPP will continue in 2004 as the group ensures that
the new law is implemented properly.
"We do have very deep pockets," Lynch said. "We are very committed
to Vermont, so we will spend what it takes to be successful here."
8. NIDA 2003 MONITORING THE
FUTURE SURVE RESULTS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB - NIDA
The NIDA-published monograph, "Monitoring the Future National
Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2003, Volume I: Secondary School
Students," is now available in electronic form on the Monitoring
9. SEPTEMBER 27 NATIONAL
FAMILY DAY - CASA
Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children is a
national effort promoting parental engagement as a simple,
effective way to reduce substance abuse by children and teens
and raise healthier children.
Research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
(CASA*) at Columbia University consistently finds that the more
often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely
they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs.
Family Day is not just for families. It is a day for all
to celebrate, including businesses, unions, religious
organizations and community groups. The symbolic act of regular
family meals should be promoted and celebrated inside and
outside the home throughout the year.
DRUG FREE AMERICA FOUNDATION PRODUCES EYE-OPENING FOUR-PART VIDEO
SERIES - DFAF
FL) Drug Free America Foundation has produced a four-part video
series entitled Real View Mirror: Looking at Your Future,
Leaving the Drug Culture Behind which includes nine intriguing
high school students who give their "real view" on drug use. This
series features the titles Drug Victimization, Club Drugs and
Raves, The Flawed Notion of Harm Reduction, and Marijuana:
What You Haven't Heard. Throughout each show, these engaging
young students discuss current drug trends and pressures youth
experience through candid peer dialogue. Subject matter experts
discuss the dangers of drugs and their effects, dispel myths
common to drug use and highlight the legalities associated with
aired via satellite uplink earlier this year, reaching more than
2,500 downlink sites nationwide. It included a live audience of
nearly 20,000 and a taped audience of nearly 50,000. More than 40
cable access stations carried the series, reaching an estimated
six million households. The series was made available to more
than 2,000 schools and picked up by The Corrections Learning
Network, The Department of Justice Television Network and The
Housing Television Network. "The compelling anti-drug messages of
this series coupled with its energetic flow are sure to catch the
attention of young people. And that's what you need to do - get
their attention and get them listening," says Calvina L. Fay,
executive director of Drug Free America Foundation.
creative team - Lana Beck, Jennifer Cavendish, Dianne Glymph and
Amy Miller - wrote and produced the shows to appeal to the younger
generation, as well as adults, ensuring all viewers would benefit
from the information and still be entertained. Crimson Media
provided pre and post-production, graphics and effects. The
project was supported by an award from the Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention and with assistance from the
Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training program, a
partnership between the St. Petersburg College and the National
The Real View
Mirror series will be distributed nationally, targeting
12-year-olds through 18-year-olds, their parents, teachers and
other concerned adults. DVD copies may be ordered from (www.dfaf.org)
at no cost while supplies last, and a limited stock of VHS copies
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