Drug & Alcohol Headline Week in Review from MOMSTELL.COM

September 4, 2004 Edition

 

1) DRUGS TAKING MORE LIVES
2)
MILWAUKEE TEENS LEAD U.S. PEERS IN POT USE
3)
EDITORIAL: LEGALIZE MEDICAL POT
4)
WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO GIVING DRUGS TO UNBORN CHILD
5) DOPE LAWS UP IN SMOKE
6)
MARIJUANA FOUND GROWING IN PLANTER OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE
7) TEENS' DRUG USE DROPPED IN 2003
8)
PETITION TO LEGALIZE POT DEALT POTENTIALLY FINAL BLOW
9)
DCS TAKING MORE CHILDREN BECAUSE OF METH PROBLEMS
10)
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT, PREVENTION, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

ALBUQUERQUE TRIBUNE
DRUGS TAKING MORE LIVES

Drugs, both illegal and prescription, are killing off more New Mexicans in alarming numbers, a state report says.

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator's annual report, released last week in Albuquerque, categorizes the causes of the 5,183 deaths across the state that the office oversaw in 2003.

Those are any death that was sudden, violent, untimely or in which a person was found dead and the cause of death was unknown - about 35 percent of all deaths in New Mexico last year.

But the numbers, OMI officials said, provide a reflection of how New Mexicans in general died, either naturally, accidentally, by their own hand or by someone else's.

Drugs caused 342 deaths last year, according to the report.

Such deaths have risen steadily over the last 10 years. Last year alone, the number jumped by 17.5 percent, said Dr. Sarah Lathrop, OMI epidemiologist.

http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news04/090704_news_omi.shtml

HIGH TIMES
MILWAUKEE TEENS LEAD U.S. PEERS IN POT USE

High school students in Wisconsin's largest city use more marijuana than their peers nationally, according to a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Twenty-nine percent of Milwaukee's high school students say they currently smoke marijuana, compared with 22 percent nationally, according to the study. And 52 percent say they have tried the drug at least once, compared with 40 percent nationally, 37 percent in Boston, 30 percent in New York City and 43 percent in Los Angeles.

http://www.hightimes.com/ht/news/content.php?bid=999&aid=10

THE TIMES (NJ)
EDITORIAL: LEGALIZE MEDICAL POT

Thousands of patients have borne witness to the fact that smoking marijuana helps stimulate hunger and relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy or AIDS. Sadly, federal law forbids this kind of humanitarian use of the drug. The production, sale and possession of pot is illegal, even when the user seeks not a high but relief from symptoms related to a debilitating illness.

Worse, George Bush's Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft has displayed a zealous dedication to enforcing this inhumane statute. The department even threatened to punish doctors in California who recommended pot to their patients until the courts ruled such action a violation of free speech.

In spite of it all, nine states have legalized the use of marijuana for appropriate medical purposes. New Jersey would become the 10th state to do so under a bipartisan bill that will be introduced in the Legislature this fall. The value of this kind of independent action by state governments is twofold. It protects patients and caregivers from the state prosecution that constitutes 99 percent of the marijuana-law enforcement in the United States, and it helps encourage those U.S. senators and representatives whose hearts are in the right place, even if their backbones are weak, to support a change in the federal law.

http://www.nj.com/editorials/times/index.ssf?/base/news-1/109419891211570


HOUSTON CHRONICLE
WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO GIVING DRUGS TO UNBORN CHILD

A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to delivering crack to her unborn son, avoiding trial in a case that could determine the boundaries of a state law intended to protect the unborn.

As part of her plea agreement, Tracy Ward, 30, retained her right to appeal, said her attorney, Joe Dawson. The deal averted trial over the question of whether a mother's actions can be prosecuted under a law that classifies a fetus as an individual.

Ward, who admitted smoking crack cocaine in the days leading up to her son's birth in early November, will be sentenced today. She faces between two and 20 years in prison on the second-degree felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance to a child.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2784447

EXPATICA (Europe)
DOPE LAWS UP IN SMOKE

The city of Berlin is moving quickly to decriminalise possession of small amounts of cannabis in what is called "bowing to reality", even as federal law in Germany still outlaws production or sale of the drug.

The legislation to permit possession of up to 15 grams of pot or hashish "for personal use" is backed by the overwhelming majority of lawmakers in the city council chambers.

While placing pressure on other Germany states to follow, when the law comes into effect, possibly in a matter of weeks, it will put Berliners in the odd position of living in a city where cannabis is legal, and in the capital of a nation where it is not.

http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=52&story_
id
=5589&name=Dope+laws+up+in+smoke

(This would be akin to decriminalizing marijuana in Washington, DC)

WFTV.COM - FLORIDA
MARIJUANA FOUND GROWING IN PLANTER OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE

Deputies didn't have to go far to find this marijuana: It was growing right outside their Green Bay headquarters.

Green Bay television station WLUK-TV reported Tuesday that it received a tip and alerted the Brown County Sheriff's Department about the pot in a planter on the south side of the courthouse

Chief Deputy John Gossage wasn't sure of the plants' identity, but a drug officer confirmed the presence of marijuana.

"Obviously, as a prank, somebody planted this or dropped some seeds into the plants," Gossage said.

The drug officer pulled the six small plants, which were to be destroyed.

"It's a good thing it was brought to our attention because someone may have realized what it was and could've taken it and used it," Gossage said.

http://www.wftv.com/news/3713177/detail.html

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
TEENS' DRUG USE DROPPED IN 2003

The number of teens who have tried marijuana or used Ecstasy and LSD dropped significantly in 2003, but the overall consumption of illicit drugs and tobacco in America was largely unchanged from 2002, according to a new federal survey.

The 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that fewer teens ages 12 to 17 have ever used marijuana — 19.6 percent instead of 20.6 percent in 2002, which officials said was a statistically significant decline because upward of 15 million people use it.

This shows that youths "are getting the message that marijuana, which is substantially more potent today than it was 20 years ago, is a dangerous drug, and they are increasingly staying away from it," said John Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy.

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040909-111008-1701r.htm

(The 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health can be accessed at

http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nhsda.htm#NHSDAinfo)

LAS VEGAS SUN
PETITION TO LEGALIZE POT DEALT POTENTIALLY FINAL BLOW

The initiative to legalize small amounts of marijuana was dealt a potentially fatal blow Wednesday when a federal court ruled that thousands of the signatures petitioners collected did not count.

The ruling, by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, upheld by a vote of 2-1 a lower court's decision that some signatures were invalid because the signers were not registered to vote at the time they inked the forms.

The ruling invalidated more than 2,000 signatures on the marijuana petition; the petition needed about 1,900 more valid signatures to get on the ballot.

By law petition signers must be registered voters in Nevada. When canvassers for the marijuana petition found residents who supported the initiative but were not registered to vote, they offered voter registration forms.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/lv-gov/2004/sep/09/517482878.ht

THE TENNESSEAN
DCS TAKING MORE CHILDREN BECAUSE OF METH PROBLEMS

Methamphetamine's destruction of families in Tennessee is increasing, with a report yesterday showing that the state will take about 750 children from parents involved with the drug this year.

The report by the Department of Children's Services, based on an analysis of April-June investigations by case workers, projects about 150 more meth-related child removals this year than in 2003.

''It looks like a fairly substantial increase over last year,'' said Paul Montebello, executive director of performance at the DCS. ''In general, we are looking at 700 to 750 children who will come into custody where meth is the reason or part of the reason.''

http://tennessean.com/government/archives/04/08/57311058.shtml?Element_ID=57311058

NCAAD.ORG
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT, PREVENTION, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

House of Representatives Approves FY 05 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Bill; Senate Subcommittee Agrees to Numbers through Polling Process

On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved on a 388 to 13 vote the FY 05 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill (H.R. 5006) that funds drug and alcohol treatment, prevention, education and research programs. The bill maintained the funding levels for alcohol and drug treatment, prevention, education, and research programs that were allocated by the full Appropriations Committee before the August recess. The House bill would provide increases for the drug and alcohol treatment and prevention block grant and research programs, as well as for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). The bill would provide funds level to those of FY 04 for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), including $100 million for the “Access to Recovery” drug treatment voucher program.

Congressman Ramstad (R-MN) offered an amendment to increase the funding for the Access to Recovery program by $100 million, but the amendment failed after it was ruled out of order because it sought to provide funding for an unauthorized program.

The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant received a $10 million increase. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

(NIAAA) received a $13 million increase and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) received a healthy $28 million increase. Additionally, the Ryan White Care Act would receive an increase of $35 million over its FY 04 funding level. This program helps to fund drug and alcohol treatment services as well as HIV/AIDS treatment and related services.

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention received an increase of $1.6 million despite the Administration’s FY 2005 request of a $2 million cut. The State Grants portion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Program, which funds community-based prevention programming

such as student assistance programs, received a $1 million cut.

This week in the Senate, the Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee Members were polled in an informal process for their agreement on funding levels for the FY 05 LHHS bill. The polling occurred in lieu of a formal Subcommittee mark-up (review). The FY 05 funding recommendations will be submitted to the Full Appropriations Committee for approval. It is unclear when the Full Committee mark-up (review) will occur, possibly in the next two weeks. Senator Stevens (R-AK), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has stated that his goal is to have all the spending bills approved by the Full Committee next week but it is uncertain if this will occur.

2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Released at Recovery Month Press Conference; Use of Several Drugs on Decline, Prescription Drug Abuse Increases

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the results of the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), previously known as the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). The annual survey is the government’s primary source of statistical information on the use of illegal drugs, pharmaceuticals, alcohol and tobacco by individuals in the United States aged 12 and older. The release of the 2003 survey served as the highlight of the annual Recovery Month press conference that ushered in a month-long celebration of individuals in treatment for and recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, as well as recognition of treatment providers.

Speakers at the press conference included Charles Curie, Administrator of SAMHSA; John Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT); Stephen Pasierb, President and CEO, Partnership for a Drug Free America; Deni Carise, Ph.D., Director of Treatment Systems Section at the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia and individual in recovery; and Rachel Cooke, college student and individual in recovery.

In 2003, the survey found that an estimated 21.6 million Americans suffered from substance dependence or abuse to drugs, alcohol, or both.

The report also found:

There was no change in the overall rate of illicit drug use between 2002 and 2003. In 2003, an estimated 19.5 million Americans, 8.2 percent of the population aged 12 or older, were current illicit drug users.

Ecstasy and LSD use by youth aged 12 –17 declined significantly, by 41 percent for Ecstasy and 54 percent for LSD.

About 54 million Americans (22.6 percent) participated in binge drinking in the 30 days previous to the study, and 16.1 million (6.8 percent) were heavy drinkers.

Non-medical lifetime use of prescription pain relievers increased by five percent for individuals aged 12 and older, with a 15 percent increase in lifetime and current use among young adults aged 18-25.

22.2 million individuals (9.3 percent of the total population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an alcohol or illicit drug problem (about the same as in 2002).

The number of individuals receiving specialty treatment declined from 2.3 million to 1.9 million. This decline was driven by a decrease in treatment among adults aged 26 or older from 1.7 million in 2002 to 1.2 million in 2003.

To obtain an electronic copy of the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health please visit www.oas.samhsa.gov.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) Celebrates 60th Anniversary; Conference Features Panel on Government’s Response to Addiction

This week, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) commemorated its sixty years of service with a conference for its affiliates in Washington, D.C. NCADD is the country’s oldest national advocacy health organization dealing exclusively with alcoholism and drug dependence. NCADD was founded to educate the public that addiction is both a preventable and treatable disease, and to fight stigma associated with the disease.

Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) was the featured speaker during a conference panel on the government’s response to addiction. Congressman Kennedy spoke about the need for sustained advocacy for additional resources for addiction research, prevention, and treatment. Congressman Kennedy also discussed the importance of continuing efforts to reduce the stigma that persists to be associated with addiction. When asked by conference participants about how they could best advocate for better public policy for people struggling with addiction, Congressman Kennedy encouraged attendees to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to join the Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus. The bipartisan caucus, co-chaired by Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) and Congressman Kennedy, was recently formed with the primary purposes of educating and raising awareness about addiction, and promoting access to treatment and recovery. Currently 46 members of the House of Representatives are members of the caucus.

In addition to the forum on legislative advocacy concerning addiction, conference participants attended a number of plenary sessions and took part in several working groups on topics such as the importance of treating addiction with science-based methodologies, and tools for coalition building. A highlight of the NCADD conference was a kick-off luncheon for National Alcohol and Other Drug Recovery Month where individuals in recovery were honored and publicly recognized. The conference was to conclude with a dinner and awards ceremony to celebrate the organization’s 60th anniversary. Additional information about NCADD can be found on their website, www.ncadd.org.

OTHER MOMSTELL HEADLINE ISSUES ON DPNA.ORG