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Drug Headlines across the U.S. for the week of JULY 23, 2005


Kathy Berry is a mom on a mission. She has worked tirelessly with the Philadelphia Narcotics Srtike Force HEADUP program, a heroin and club drug education program.Her daughter Karen's story has been added to the Partnership for a Drug Free America Website Please visit this site and read this compelling story.  
(New York, N.Y.) – July 18, 2005 – NBC's Ann Curry reports in the hour-long documentary, "Saving Carrick" – a story that tackles the problem of addiction and offers a rare, inside look into one family struggling to save a young daughter from one of the most extreme addictions of all: an addiction to heroin. Included in the report is intimate videotape, in some cases shot by the family members themselves in their most vulnerable moments, capturing their struggle as it is happens.  Also on videotape is a raw look at the life of a heroin junkie, the shooting up and the desperation. To be broadcast on "Dateline NBC," Friday, July 29 (8 PM/ET).
Have a good Week,
Sharon L. Smith
Box 450
Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
BILLINGS GAZETTE                                                                                                                 
With her quick and eager smile, Mandy seems out of place in this room of rubber furniture, dry-erase boards and fluorescent lighting. It must seem obvious the visitors armed with notebooks aren't teenagers like her, and that they won't be staying long at the Jeffrey C. Wardle Academy. But Mandy will stay.

This is her second stay at the detention facility east of Cheyenne, though no details were offered about her first time here. She's a long way from her western Wyoming home, but this is where she celebrated her 16th birthday. This stay is different, even if Mandy isn't a stranger to the doctors and counselors. This sojourn will be longer, and it will involve her family, too.

This time, Mandy is here for substance-abuse treatment in a one-of-a-kind program tailored for teens who use methamphetamine, a cheap, homemade speed dubbed the most addictive of street drugs. Mandy, whose last name and hometown weren't shared, and seven other teens are among the first in the country to participate in a program specifically for teen methamphetamine addicts, psychiatrist Chris Reyburn said.

Reyburn is the medical director for Compass Point Wellness Center, a group formed last year to bring this and other substance-abuse treatment programs to the academy. The need for treatment tailored for meth-addicted teens was clear. "Other programs aren't designed with kids who use meth from the beginning in mind," Reyburn said.                                                                           http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/07/16/build/wyoming/35-addict-program.inc

A bill to restrict the sale of cold medicine nationwide stalled Thursday after key senators said the proposal would undermine state efforts to keep the essential methamphetamine ingredient away from criminals. The federal legislation would confine the sale of pseudoephedrine products to pharmacies and require customers to sign a logbook, as states such as Oregon, Oklahoma and Iowa have done. But, in an amendment sought by the pharmaceutical industry, the bill would supersede all similar laws approved by the states.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to send the measure to the Senate floor Thursday but postponed a vote after Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said they were firmly opposed to the "pre-emption" of state laws.
Industry groups say they will not support federal pseudoephedrine restrictions unless they pre-empt state laws. The groups say it is necessary to end a national patchwork of rules, enacted by about 30 states in the past year, that now governs how and where cold medicine may be sold

In Keizer, Ore., the other day, a toddler in diapers and a T-shirt was found walking along a busy road. When police investigated, they found that the 16-month-old boy had been left alone by his parents, who had been sleeping and were subsequently arrested for possession of a controlled substance - methamphetamine. A few weeks earlier and a few miles away in the state capital of Salem, police investigated whether girls at the Waldo Middle School - barely in their teens - had been using meth, possibly exchanging sex for the drug. 

Around the country, law-enforcement officials say methamphetamine use has become an epidemic. Federal officials estimate there are 1.5 million regular meth users in the United States today. As of 2003, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 12.3 million Americans had tried methamphetamine at least once - up nearly 40 percent over 2000 and 156 percent over 1996.
But the impact ranges beyond meth users to crime victims, since addicts typically steal to support their addiction. Most distressing, experts say, may be the thousands of children who are neglected or abused by meth users. Social service agencies around the country report increases in out-of-home placements of children because of meth, and a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures finds that 10 percent of users were introduced to meth by their parents or other family members. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, children were present at 20 percent of all meth lab busts last year.
The impact on children may be connected to the fact that women are more likely to use meth than other illegal drugs. For one thing, the drug is associated with weight loss. One federal survey of people arrested for all crimes found that 11.3 percent of women had used meth within the prior month compared with 4.7 percent of men. At a workshop in Portland, Ore., last week, White House deputy drug czar Scott Burns called meth "the most destructive, dangerous, terrible drug that's come along in a long time."
The number of positive drug tests for amphetamines grew by 6% last year, on the heels of a jump of more than 44% in 2003, according to a report by Quest Diagnostics, a provider of employer drug-testing services. Officials at Quest say drug testing may be deterring drug users, which could be one reason for the slower rate of growth. The findings are based on more than 6 million workplace drug tests in 2004. Meth is the most common type of amphetamine abused.
About 1.3 million people reported using meth in the previous year, and 607,000 said they had used it in the previous month, according to a 2003 report from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

"(Methamphetamine) is a big issue and an area of concern from employers," says Barry Sample, at Quest in Lyndhurst, N.J. "You can't necessarily tell (whether an employee is addicted). They need to feed this habit. They're going to have ill health effects. They'r  going to modify behavior to obtain the drugs by any means."
WASHINGTON POST                                                                            
Among illegal drugs, methamphetamine has surpassed marijuana as the greatest danger to the nation's children, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Monday. But law enforcement officials are making progress in battling the scourge of meth abuse, Gonzales told the summer conference of the National District Attorneys Association.

Meth lab seizures, for example, plunged in states such as Oklahoma, Oregon and Arkansas after they restricted consumer access to cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in manufacturing the drug. "These results are dramatic and they're real," Gonzales said. "They show progress is possible."

Methamphetamine was once associated with rural, blue-collar users. But the drug has invaded big cities and its abusers now include members of all racial and economic groups, Gonzales said. "In terms of damage to children and to our society, meth is now the most dangerous drug in America, having surpassed marijuana," Gonzales said.                                                                                             http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/18/AR2005071801152.html

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                             

State officials revived California's medical marijuana identification card program Monday, saying state employees weren't violating federal law by issuing pot ID cards. "The state attorney general has reviewed this concern and said that California can issue ID cards to medical marijuana users without state employees facing prosecution for assisting in the commission of a federal crime," state Health Director Sandra Shewry said in a statement.

Shewry's office shuttered the pilot program 10 days ago, citing concerns over a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Last month, the court ruled that people who smoke marijuana because their doctors recommend it to ease pain or other conditions can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws.

The ruling did not strike down laws in California and nine other states that permit medical cannabis use, but said federal drug laws take precedence.                                                                          


ALBANY DEMOCRAT HERALD                                                                     

State Senators have unanimously endorsed a plan that would let holders of medical marijuana cards in Oregon have up to 1˝ pounds of dried marijuana and six mature plants. The legislation, which now moves to the House, is aimed at clarifying ambiguous sections of Oregon's voter-approved medical marijuana law that took effect in 1998.

The bill "provides the clear, bright lines that law enforcement needs to enforce the law fairly, without infringement on the rights of those who legitimately use the product,'' said Sen. Bill Morrisette, D-Springfield, the bill's chief sponsor.

Lack of clarity in the existing law means law officers sometimes "can get into situations where they're not sure how to proceed,'' said Kevin Campbell, executive director of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police. "The reason we like the bill is we think it clears up some of the ambiguity. It gives officers more solid ground to stand on.''

Oregon NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) is also backing the bill, with Madeline Martinez, the group's executive director, calling it a "great enhancement'' for patients.

Addiction-treatment admissions for methamphetamine and narcotic pain medications jumped sharply between 2002 and 2003, according to statistics from the federal Treatment Episodes Data Set (TEDS) report.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) said that admissions for treatment of methamphetamine use rose from 105,754 in 2002 to 116,604 in 2003, while admissions for treatment of narcotic pain-medication abuse rose from 43,377 to 48,457.

More than 20 percent of treatment admissions in Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Utah were for meth use. In Maine, Tennessee, and West Virginia, 10 percent or more of admissions were due to abuse of narcotic pain relievers.  A summary of the report is available online.
WASHINGTON POST                                                                                        
On July 9, 1998, Barry R. McCaffrey, then the White House drug policy director, fired an opening salvo against the Dutch, declaring that drug-fighting policies in the Netherlands were "an unmitigated disaster."  Eleven days later, after a maelstrom of criticism in the Netherlands, McCaffrey acknowledged he may have overstepped. On reflection, he said, the policy was a "mitigated disaster."

But the flood gates had opened, and the Bush administration has been waging a public battle with Dutch authorities over their permissive approach to drugs, criticizing cannabis cafes that target foreigners and ecstasy factories supplying drugs to Americans. In 2000, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration called the Netherlands "perhaps the most important drug trafficking and transiting area in Europe," and last year McCaffrey's successor, John P. Walters, called the country's policies "fundamentally irrational."

But last Thursday there was a limited rapprochement. Standing together at the National Press Club, Walters and Hans Hoogervorst, the Netherlands' health secretary, announced they had signed an agreement for reducing drug use. In an instant, seven years of acrimony was history amid handshakes, smiles and warm words.                                                                                                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/17/AR2005071700888.html

THE ROCKMART JOURNAL                                                                          

Days are numbered for the sale of high-powered "turbo" butane lighters and other products that the City of Rockmart defines as “drug paraphernalia.” The Rockmart City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday to address growing concerns with “drug-related” merchandise sold primarily at local convenience stores.

Also targeted are such things as: glass tubes marketed as novelty flower vases (actually, a crack or meth pipe, police say); “reefer” papers; Chronic Candy (with artificial marijuana flavoring); and other products believed to be associated with illegal drug use.                                      http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?pnpID=728&NewsID=646563&CategoryID=3481&show=localnews&om=0

REUTERS NEWS                                                                                                  
NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS DECLINING                                                  

Some needle exchange programs in the US have ceased operations in recent years, and public funding for these programs has declined, according to a report released today.  Needle exchange programs help prevent transmission of HIV and other bloodborne infections by increasing access to sterile syringes among injection drug users (IDUs) and safely disposing of used syringes. Exchange programs also offer social services, such as provision of condoms, referrals for substance-abuse treatment, and testing for HIV and hepatitis.

In 2003, Dr C.A. McKnight, from New York's Beth Israel Medical Center, and colleagues conducted surveys among 148 programs known to  the North American Syringe Exchange Network.  In 2002, for the first time in 8 years, the number of exchange programs, the number of localities with exchange programs, and the amount of public funding for exchange programs in the United States decreased," the authors note in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the Atlanta-based US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Specifically, the number of needle exchange programs declined from 154 to 148 from 2000 to 2002, primarily through loss of small programs, while the number of states and territories with exchange programs fell from 35 to 32. Public funding decreased 18 percent." http://www.rednova.com/news/health/175440/us_needle_exchange_programs_declining/

ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS                                                                          
PRO-MARIJUANA GROUP SUES STATE OVER DRUG CZAR"S CAMPAIGHN SPENDING                                                                                                              

A pro-marijuana group is suing state campaign finance regulators in an effort to force them to investigate a deputy federal drug czar's expenses in campaigning against a 2004 marijuana legalization initiative. The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project says Scott Burns, deputy director for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, toured Alaska last fall giving public speeches against an initiative to legalize marijuana in the state. Burns, however, did not disclose to the Alaska Public Offices Commission how much was spent on the trip.

"The Marijuana Policy Project and the groups supporting the initiative in Alaska filed reports and told the citizens of Alaska exactly how much was spent on the campaign and we simply feel the federal government should play by the same rules," said Marijuana Policy Project government relations director Steve Fox. Fox said the group filed the lawsuit in an Anchorage Superior Court Thursday. He said the group has filed a similar lawsuit in Montana.                                                http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/ap_alaska/story/6707940p-6594992c.html

The Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources will hold a hearing next Tuesday, July 26, 2005, entitled, "Fighting Meth in America's Heartland: Assessing the Impact on Local Law Enforcement and Child Welfare Agencies." The hearing will address the impact that methamphetamine is having on America's communities; particularly law enforcement organizations and child welfare services.

On July 18, 2005 CBS Evening News aired a segment on the impact of methamphetamine titled "The Tragedy of 'Meth Orphans." The segment can be found on their website with the following link: <http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?channel=eveningnews>.

Marc Wheat
Staff Director and Chief Counsel
Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources
Committee on Government Reform

202.225.1154 (fax)

Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Approves FY 2006 Spending Bill; Bill Would Provide Level Funding, Small Increases and Cuts for Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Treatment Programming
On July 12th, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor HHS) approved its FY 2006 spending bill.  The bill, which represents a $2.23 billion increase over the previous year's funding levels, would provide level funding, small increases and cuts for drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA.)  Overall, SAMHSA would receive $3.385 billion, an increase of $49 million from the President’s FY 2006 budget request and a $7 million increase over FY 2005 funding.  The addiction research institutes would both receive funding increases.  The spending bill would also restore most of the funds to the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities program slated for elimination in the President’s budget.                                                                                                                             

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.   

Thank you!                                                  
Alexa Eggleston, J.D.
Director of National Policy
Legal Action Center
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE Suite 505
Washington, DC 20002

Methamphetamine Alert!!!                                      
Below please find information indicating a significant increase in the number of admissions for methamphetamine treatment in Pennsylvania and nationwide.

Pennsylvania treatment admissions (courtesy of PA Department of Health - Bureau of Health Statistics):

2001-2002 = 162
2002-2003 = 195
2003-2004 = 300                                  

Note that the rates more than doubled from 2003-2004.

For a PowerPoint slide charting this data, please click here:                                                                   
<<PA Treatment Admissions for Methamphetamine.ppt>>

U.S. treatment admissions, per SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration):
From 2002-2003 = 10% increase                                                                                                       
Treatment admissions for meth as primary drug:                                                                                    
2002 = 105,754
2003 = 116,604

Over 20% of treatment admissions were due to meth abuse in the following states:
Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, & Utah.

For more information on methamphetamine use and statistics, please click on the link below from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services/SAMHSA: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NHSDA/Treatan/treana13.htm

Melanie Swanson, M.Ed.
Prevention Specialist
Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
252 West Swamp Road, Unit 12
Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone 215-230-8715, ext. 3123
Fax 215-230-8205