November 11th, 2010
Have any questions about different drugs or alcohol? We bet you do and we’re glad to see you back at All About Addiction ! You should browse our content and check out the information on alcohol, heroin, marijuana. It is a great source for a quick 30 minute information session.
BBC– A man in England was killed after consuming heroin that contained anthrax in it. This was the fifth case of a drug user in England who became ill due to anthrax. It appears that drug users are becoming increasingly vulnerable to having their contraband contaminated with anthrax.
Join Together– Do you think Marijuana should be legalized? That was the question on the minds of many individual’s as they went to the polls on Election Day, yet despite the concerted efforts of some people Proposition 19 was defeated. Some of the arguments for supporting the legalization of marijuana was so that it would be treated like alcohol and tobacco and would not be criminalized along with drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine. Apparently the majority of voters thought those benefits didn’t outweigh the possibility that legalizing marijuana would increase social problems. By the way, this is not the first time Californians have rejected the legalization of marijuana, it also occurred in 1972, which likely means that some of the people who voted against it this time supported it in the past.
Synthetic Drugs and new drug combinations
KTLA-How does a drink of prescription cough syrup, soda and jolly ranchers sound to you? Although this may be unappealing to some it is actually a drink bar-goers are getting in to. The drink is also known as Sizzurp (I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Snoop Dog say that in song) and can produce quite a high thanks to the codeine that is found in it. Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol and codeine also increases the chance that the drink will be deadly deadly. Apparently this drink is often promoted by individuals in the music industry and the DEA is worried and wants to crack down on it.
Addiction Inbox– If you would like to learn about a new drug called Mephedrone then this article is for you ! Mephedrone is a new synthetic drug found mostly in England. For more on this topic check out Dirk’s article!
Alcohol: Working Mothers and Energy Drinks
Marin Institute- There has been a growing recognition of the risks of alcoholic energy drinks and officials across the country are starting to take action against them (who hasn’t had a RedBull and Vodka?). Often times these energy drinks are marketed to youth but those individuals do not know the stress that high amounts of alcohol and caffeine can have on the body. Since 2008 major companies such as MillerCoors, Anhueser-Busch, and InBev have removed caffeine from their brands, but smaller companies have begun marketing even more dangerous products that come in larger sizes with higher alcohol content. The news media is attempting to educate the public on the dangers of these products and legal action may even be taken. Check out this article for a great read!
CNN– Working mothers have a lot to balance in their daily lives from running kids to school to doing errands and keeping houses and lives in order – it’s a tough job (just ask my wife). The magazine Working Mother found that 40 percent of working mothers turn to alcohol to try to alleviate stress and 57 percent reported misuse of prescription drugs. Check out this article to find out more and to watch a video which discusses this fuller details and don’t forget to look at some of our content on moderate alcohol intake.
Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
Breaking the cycles– It has often been reported that individuals who have certain mental health problems such as bipolar disorder have a greater chance of developing substance abuse problems (to alcohol or drugs). This article is very helpful in providing the families of individuals with bipolar disorder information to understand the disorder better as well as the alcohol and or drug abuse than may come with. With this understanding the families of these individual can help reduce the stigma of both the bipolar disorder and their addiction.
Addiction Information– Do you remember a couple weeks ago when All About Addiction reported that Michael Lohan wanted to open up his own rehab center? Well the apple does not fall to far from the tree because Lindsay Lohan now wants to open up her own rehab center. Lindsay has been in and out of rehab five times in the past two years – Is this too early for her to open up a rehab center? I think that’s probably true and that she should focus on getting herself healthy first.
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Tags: about addiction, addiction, Alcohol, all about addiction, bipolar disorder, drug, Drugs, energy drinks, heroin, legalizing, legalizing marijuana, marijuana, meth, open rehab, open rehab center, proposition 19, rehab center, stigma, working mothers
November 3rd, 2010
Well, no matter the hope for some before November 2nd, voters in California chose not to pass Prop 19 – the legislation that would have made that State the first in the Union to explicitly legalize the sale of marijuana within its borders. I’ve already said that I support the drug’s decriminalization, and I would actually support the decriminalization of all drug use, but as an ex drug dealer myself, I think going for legalization would have been somewhat premature.
Why Proposition 19 failed – Young weed smokers?
One of the interesting notions brought up during this recent debate had to do with the fact that young voters were overwhelmingly supporting the passage of proposition 19. Some writers on the topic were making the assertion that this means the likely legalization of marijuana use in the very near future regardless of the fate of prop 19. I disagree. In fact, many of those who opposed the passage of a legalization law are baby boomers – individuals who themselves smoked quite a bit of weed and were supporting its integration into society along with a host of other libertarian ideas in their youth. But the passage of time changes more than the number of wrinkles on people’s faces, and political opinions and wills are certainly among those things who shift with age. That’s why I personally think we’re a long way from passing any law that, like Prop 19, tries to legalize all aspects of the marijuana trade. I’m all for medical marijuana where it helps, and reducing the drug’s scheduling will go a long way towards that, but I don’t think we’re going to see marijuana getting full legal status anytime soon.
People on different sides of this debate will call these older voters hypocrites, but I say that since around 80% of youths engage generally in deviant behavior (if you define illegal as deviant), I think we should leave the bigger decisions to people with a little more complete brain development and a lot more experience. Besides, could we translate the fact that young voters, who supposedly supported the passage of proposition 19, stayed at home as evidence that marijuana use does reduce motivation even when it comes to passing laws affecting its own consumption? The notion doesn’t bode well for ever passing a law having anything to do with weed. I jest of course… sort of.
|Posted in: Opinions
Tags: 19, baby boomers, california, legalization, legalizing marijuana, marijuana, marijuana use, passage, prop 19, proposition 19, voters, young voters
October 24th, 2010
On November 2nd, California voters will be asked to determine whether they’d like to change the legal status of marijuana, and for the first time ever, advocates of legalization may actually accomplish their goals. There are a number of reasons why a well-intentioned voter would choose legalization, from the potential billions of dollars in tax revenue to the reduced burden of non-violent drug cases on a mired legal system. Unfortunately, without the opportunity to vote for decriminalization rather than full legalization, these voters are being presented with a false choice between a senseless century-old prohibition policy and a new option designed not to maximize the safety of California’s citizens, but rather to greatly enrich a chosen few.
Proposition 19 – Marijuana legalization and taxation
Proponents of Proposition 19 have many valid arguments working in their favor. Foremost among them is the simple but wide-reaching argument that marijuana users, like users of most other drugs, should not be jailed for their personal use. Study after study shows that the vast majority of those who experiment with drugs do not develop dependence or addiction problems, and that those who do develop such problems benefit far more from addiction treatment than from incarceration. In fact, supporters of legalization often cite Portugal as an example of a country that has reaped great social benefit from treating drug abuse and possession as a public health, rather than criminal, issue. Portugal, however, has never legalized any drug; their possession, rather, has been decriminalized, while the drug trade itself remains illegal. The crucial benefit of this approach speaks to the strength of market forces: by keeping drugs illegal, we keep them expensive enough to provide a disincentive to serious and widespread abuse. If fully legalized, the extreme reduction in cost, along with the clever and predatory marketing of marijuana in less stigmatized formats- cookies, lollipops, teas – could drive use up far closer to the levels currently seen for alcohol abuse, and with 15 million American dependent on alcohol, we all know how that fight is going. Given the high public cost of treatment and the correlated increase in depression, schizophrenia, and other related disorders, the perceived financial windfall of legalization may be nothing more than a cloud of smoke. The increase in use however is almost certain.
Driving while high – Polydrug use and marijuana
There is also the question of road safety. While proponents of marijuana are quick to point to a handful of studies that proclaim low to no risk when operating a motor vehicle, they are often too eager to ignore numerous other studies including simulation studies and research from countries such as Australia and Canada, which keep national databases on accident statistics. In Australia, one such study found a 300% to 600% increase in fatal car accidents when drivers were positive for THC (depending on concentration), and Canadian studies have shown that the combination of marijuana and alcohol can be more dangerous for drivers than the combination of alcohol and benzodiazapines. Given that nearly half of individuals admitted to drug addiction treatment include marijuana among their polydrug use pattern, the notion that newly legal marijuana users would not combine their pot use with alcohol or other drugs seems highly dubious. It certainly won’t help that drivers might suddenly be able to buy their weed brownies in the same place as their Bud Light.
Legalization versus decriminalization – Who really benefits from prop 19?
There is no doubt, however, about the one California group that stands to unequivocally gain from the legalization, not decriminalization, of marijuana- the entrepreneurs that have staked their claim to what they see as potentially a very big business. Decriminalization, by diverting marijuana users from the legal system and focusing our efforts on getting compulsive users into treatment, will both save taxpayer money and do far more for public health than legalization or the status-quo. What it will not do is make men like Richard Lee, Oakland’s major marijuana-sales benefactor and one of Prop 19’s biggest financial supporters, any richer. As California voters cast their ballot in a few short weeks, they should by all means carefully consider making a statement about our nation’s failed drug policies and misplaced law enforcement priorities. They should also carefully consider the solution that isn’t being presented as an option- and why.
|Posted in: Opinions
Tags: Alcohol, california, decriminalization, drug, legalization, marijuana, marijuana legalization, prop 19, proposition 19, public health, treatment, use