User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
1 new since Feb 09 2016 24:36 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Michael Moore's New Film Features Portugal's Groundbreaking Policy of Not Arresting People for Drug Use 8.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Filmmaker Michael Moore never shies from taking on tough issues and challenging the status quo. His latest film " Where to Invade Next " is a clever spoof of U.S. foreign policy that encourages our military leaders to "invade" other countries and import their policies that can improve our quality of life. Moore visits blissed out Italians who enjoy enviable state-sanctioned vacation time and even an extra month of salary at the end of the year to enjoy it. And Moore makes our mouths water over the healthy and thoughtfully prepared school lunches that kids get in French public schools. He shows us how Finland's schools became the best in the world by, among other things, eliminating homework (something that I am sure would interest every child in America). But particularly noteworthy from a drug policy perspective, Moore highlights Portugal's policy of all-drug decriminalization and also features Norway's humane and effective rehabilitative-focused prisons. Many Americans may not be aware of Portugal and ...
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Retired Cop Finally Wins Fight To Save Police Dog From Auction 6.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
A retired cop whose beloved K-9 partner was set to be sold at auction can now rest easy. Matt Hickey, who retired from the police force in Marietta, Ohio, last week, was able to purchase his police dog, Ajax, from the department for $1, he confirmed to The Huffington Post. For the past week, Hickey had been afraid he’d be separated from his canine companion forever -- a situation that would be devastating for both man and dog. The two had been police partners for three years, and had developed a deep professional and personal relationship. “He’s with me 24/7,” Hickey said on Wednesday. “He goes with me on my vacation; there’s a tight bond. I’m his pack leader.” Retired Ohio cop takes home K-9 partner https://t.co/dF1toMaSFs pic.twitter.com/dkwNrHUw2h — WTAE-TV Pittsburgh (@WTAE) February 5, 2016 The fate of Ajax had been up in the air because, at age 5, he was too young for police dog retirement. Hickey offered to purchase Ajax for $3,500 -- a value set by the city. But Marietta officials said an Ohio ...
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3 Reasons to Come Out to Your Doctor About Marijuana 5.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
You've seen the question many times. It's always on the form the receptionist asks you to fill out when you see a new doctor. Perhaps you pause for a few seconds. Then you probably answer "No." The question is some variant of: Have you ever used illegal drugs? And although you smoke weed, perhaps on a regular basis, and although it is illegal in your state, you probably answer "no" because... well, it's just easier that way. You don't want to prejudice a new doctor against you. And what if your illegal behavior becomes part of your medical record? What if your employer or insurance company finds out about you? With all the havoc it might conceivably cause, is it really worth coming out to your physician? I believe the answer is yes. Of course, it depends upon your boldness and your risk tolerance, but I think you should let your doctor know if you use marijuana on a regular basis. The insurance companies don't care about your cannabis use: They review charts just to locate financial irregularities. Your ...
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A Maryland Lawmaker Offers A Radical New Solution To The Heroin Crisis 5.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The war on drugs has failed. Slap that assertion into Google and you'll find it in quotes being tossed out by politicians of every stripe, from the highest levels of the Obama administration to the lowest-polling GOP candidate for president. But if the war has failed, what will peacetime look like? Dr. Dan Morhaim, who represents part of Baltimore County in the Maryland House of Delegates, wants to start that conversation after decades of treating the fallout from addiction in emergency rooms in Baltimore. On Friday, he'll announce the introduction of a sweeping set of bills that would upend the approach to the opioid epidemic, Morhaim, a Democrat, told HuffPost. The approach is a radical one likely to scare off nearly all politicians and probably a majority of voters. So let's back into his bills slowly. Who is Dan Morhaim? This is not a graduate student coming to the issue with a fresh, theoretical perspective. Morhaim is on the faculty of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, one of the ...
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Ted Cruz's Solution To The Heroin Epidemic: Secure The Border, Have Faith 5.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
HOOKSETT, N.H. -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke at a nonpartisan forum on the heroin epidemic at Emmanuel Baptist Church Thursday, where he shared his family's experiences with addiction, emphasized the importance of faith and took some shots at the Democratic Party. What he did not do is explain how he, as president, would address the crisis -- other than by promising to secure the border so that traffickers have a harder time getting into the country. "The solution to this is going to come at the state and local level. It's going to come from the church, it's going to come from charities, it's going to come from friends and families and loved ones stepping forward," Cruz said. "But it's also going to come from the federal government that actually does its job and secures the borders," he went on. "And I'll tell you this: If I'm elected president, you'll have my solemn commitment. We will secure the borders." Immigration policy wasn't enough for Holly Cekala, a recovery advocate who runs the nonprofit ...
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In Midst of Opioid Drug Crisis, No Real Drug Reform 2.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
We learn of a new tragic data point in the country's struggle to confront opioid addiction on a weekly basis. As the Centers for Disease Control recently acknowledged , the U.S. in in the midst of an "an epidemic of drug overdose (poisoning) deaths." In receipt of this information, a number of politicians have shared their own family narratives of struggles with addiction, and even more have stepped forward with new plans to expand access to treatment and increase criminal penalties for trafficking in illicit drugs. Yet no one has made the case for meaningful drug reform. As should be clear at this point, it is not for want of resources, conviction or additional penalties that the nation's war on drugs has failed. It is doomed to failure because of its own flawed premise, yet those in support of the drug war's logic remain as undisturbed by this latest "reform" wave as the prodigious illicit drug production of criminal syndicates unperturbed by law enforcement. On this point, we have sadly too much ...
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Repeal of Federal Ban on Needle Exchange: Necessary But Not Sufficient 2.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In 1988, Congress passed an omnibus bill that included a federal funding ban on needle exchange programs. This ban continued despite scientific reports demonstrating the effectiveness of such programs in preventing HIV and hepatitis infections among intravenous drug users. President Obama repealed the ban in 2009 only to have Congress reinstate it in 2012. About 200 programs across the U.S. exist through a combination of local, state, and private funding. A recent HIV outbreak in Indiana has highlighted the need for needle exchange. Last year, rural Scott County experienced a sudden increase in HIV infections that reached a peak of 184 new cases . Republican Governor Mike Pence, a vocal opponent of needle exchange, declared a state of emergency and approved a temporary program to combat the outbreak. Health officials criticized the response, pointing to the Governor's delay in waiting until the spread of HIV had reached epidemic proportions and his eventual legislation that limited needle exchange to ...
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Poll: New Hampshire Primary Voters Strongly Support Decriminalizing Drug Possession, Treating Drugs as a Health Issue 26.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A new poll finds that New Hampshire voters support treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue - this includes decriminalizing drug use and possession, eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing, and making naloxone (the antidote to opiate overdoses) more widely available. Presidential candidates in both parties are speaking in a new, reform-oriented tone when they talk about drugs, addiction and crime. Our country may finally be ready for an exit strategy from the failed war on drugs. Voters don't just want more of a health-focused approach to drugs and drug use - they also want to significantly reduce the role of criminalization in drug policy. Sixty-six percent - including half of all Republicans and 68 percent of Independents - think people caught with a small amount of illegal drugs for personal use should be evaluated for drug issues and offered treatment, but not be arrested or face any jail time. And 73 percent of New Hampshire primary voters - including 57 percent of ...
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Overdose Reversal Drug Now Available To Every U.S. High School Free Of Charge 26.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Any high school in the U.S. that wants to carry an emergency opioid overdose reversal kit will now be able to get one free of charge, thanks to a new initiative announced Monday by the Clinton Foundation and the drug's manufacturer. Adapt Pharma, manufacturers of a nasal-spray form of naloxone, also known as Narcan, has partnered with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative to further expand access to the life-saving drug, the two groups said at the final day of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative Activation Summit. Naloxone is nonaddictive, nontoxic and easy to administer, especially through nasal application. It reverses the effects of an opioid overdose by essentially blocking the opioid receptors that heroin and many prescription painkillers target. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a nasal-spray version of naloxone in November, though it had previously been gaining popularity among first responders and advocacy groups as a first line of defense to prevent surging opioid overdose deaths ...
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Few Doctors Are Willing, Able To Prescribe Powerful Anti-Addiction Drugs 16.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. SAN FRANCISCO — Dr. Kelly Eagen witnesses the ravages of drug abuse every day. As a primary care physician at a public health clinic here in the Tenderloin, she sees many of the city’s most vulnerable residents. Most are homeless. Many suffer from mental illness or are substance abusers. For those addicted to opioid painkillers or heroin, buprenorphine is a lifesaver, Eagen said. By eliminating physical withdrawal symptoms and obsessive drug cravings, it allows her patients to pull their lives together and learn how to live without drugs. Clinical studies show that U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved opioid addiction medicines like buprenorphine offer a far greater chance of recovery than treatments that don’t involve medication, including 12-step programs and residential stays. But as the country’s ...
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Maine Gov.'s Outrageous Remarks Harken Back to the Racist Origins of the Drug War 9.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Maine's Governor Paul LePage is no stranger to making crazy comments in public that are unbecoming to an elected official, but his latest racist rant about heroin use in his state is rightfully getting people up in arms. During a town hall meeting on Wednesday night, LePage was asked about how he was tackling substance abuse in Maine. What was his response? Did he bring up practical health interventions based on science and addiction medicine? Did he talk about harm reduction services that are known to save lives like availability of clean syringes, widely distributing the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone, increasing access to drug treatment services or allowing for safe facilities where drug users can consume under medical supervision as have been implemented in Europe and Canada with overwhelming positive results in reducing death and disease? Nope, not by a long shot. Instead, LePage responded, "These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty - these types of guys - they come from ...
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Councilman Screws Up Important Message By Telling People To Throw Rocks At Cops 8.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A Mississippi councilman rightly drew criticism last week when he suggested that his constituents should " throw rocks and bricks and bottles " at police cars involved in high-speed pursuits through their neighborhoods. But his incendiary language overshadowed a legitimate concern about police behavior. Third Ward Councilman Kenneth Stokes, who is black, says his controversial Dec. 31 remarks were intended to call attention to the racist nature of certain car chases in Jackson, Mississippi. At a press conference this week, Stokes said his earlier comments were provoked by a pursuit that began in a neighboring district before tearing through the streets of a predominantly black community in Jackson. “Race. Race is a factor, and the blatant disregard for the public safety of innocent children and elderly citizens in unlawful chases by outside jurisdictions, in the inner city of Jackson neighborhoods,” Stokes said, according to The Clarion-Ledger , a Jackson newspaper. On Christmas Eve, police were involved ...
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Colorado Celebrates Legalization Anniversary: Massive Drop in Arrests and Millions in Tax Revenue 6.1.2016 Truthout - All Articles
(Photo: Brett Levin ) More than three years have passed since Colorado residents voted to legalize marijuana, which immediately allowed adults to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. This past New Year's Day marked the  two year anniversary  of adults being able to legally buy marijuana in Colorado. The policy is still in its formative stage, but the  first year after marijuana sales  started in Colorado went very well and we continue to see the good shape of things to come. The destruction imagined by opponents of legalization in 2012 never came true and is unlikely to materialize. Public safety benchmarks are under scrutiny in a manner never seen under prohibition and there is no real cause for panic in the foreseeable future. In short, the current state of legalization is more reflective of the world imagined by proponents - legalization works! Of course that doesn't prevent many from making broad assumptions and speculating about dangers associated with legalization. What's important ...
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Colorado Celebrates Legalization Anniversary: Massive Drop in Arrests and Millions in Tax Revenue 6.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
More than three years have passed since Colorado residents voted to legalize marijuana, which immediately allowed adults to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. This past New Year's Day marked the two-year anniversary of adults being able to legally buy marijuana in Colorado. The policy is still in its formative stage, but the first year after marijuana sales started in Colorado went very well and we continue to see the good shape of things to come. The destruction imagined by opponents of legalization in 2012 never came true and is unlikely to materialize. Public safety benchmarks are under scrutiny in a manner never seen under prohibition and there is no real cause for panic in the foreseeable future. In short, the current state of legalization is more reflective of the world imagined by proponents -- legalization works! Of course that doesn't prevent many from making broad assumptions and speculating about dangers associated with legalization. What's important for the world to know is ...
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Top 10 Anti-Marijuana Legalization Policy Victories of 2015 28.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
2015 will be remembered as the year legalization hit bumps most supporters never anticipated. For pro-health advocates that oppose marijuana legalization, it was a year of fantastic victories! Here are the top 10: 10. Big Marijuana is Real -- and People are Writing About It. When we started talking about Big Marijuana in 2013, many people laughed. Could marijuana even be compared with Big Tobacco in any credible way? But now, that's ancient history. Several articles - even in legalization-friendly blogs like this one - mention the term. And the term is not just rhetoric -- the most senior federal legalization lobbyist in the country resigned in protest because, in his words, "industry was taking over the legalization movement." Not only was that heroic of him, it was historic for us. 9. Continuing Positive Press Coverage of Groups Opposing Legalization. With the exception of some very pro-pot columnists, this year represented one in which our side was represented just a little bit better than in the ...
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Drug Policy Reform Is the New Human Rights Movement on the Block 16.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Last month, more than 1,500 people from 71 countries gathered in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with one common goal: to end the War on Drugs. Attendees included diverse groups of people with strikingly different perspectives on drug policy; doctors, lawyers, Rastafarians, war veterans, and formerly incarcerated people amongst others. The diversity of this dynamic group reflects both the widespread impact of drug laws, and the urgent need for their reform. There is growing consensus that the prohibitionist policies propagated by the U.S. have failed . Not only have they failed to decrease drug use and production, they have also led to a multitude of human rights violations worldwide. The global drug regime has long been characterized by punishment and repression. The use, possession, cultivation, distribution, or trafficking of any narcotic drug invites criminal charges and lengthy prison sentences. After more than five decades of this approach, individuals and governments are beginning to acknowledge ...
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Touching Image Of Soldier And K-9 Sharing Hospital Bed After Surviving Blast Goes Viral 15.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Dog is man’s best friend, but sometimes man is a dog’s best friend right back. A military K-9 named Rocky and his handler of two years, Army Specialist Andrew Brown, were hit by shrapnel from an improvised explosive device (IED)  “while searching a structure” in Afghanistan,  according to a Facebook post  from the 89th Military Police Brigade, which is based in Fort Hood, Texas. The two, who arrived Dec. 9 to the  Walter Reed National Military Medical Center , are both healing from the injuries side-by-side. "Rocky and his handler are staying in the same room right now as they are receiving treatment for their injuries," the 89th Military Police Brigade  also wrote on Facebook . "Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they recover during the holiday season."   SPC Brown and Rocky are both doing well after being treated for injuries they suffered from an IED blast earlier this... Posted by 89th Military Police Brigade on  Friday, December 11, 2015 The image has resonated with a lot of people and ...
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Recovering Addicts Battle Kenya’s Exploding Heroin Problem 10.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
TANZANIA Source: UNODC As more heroin floods into East Africa, more and more Kenyans are getting hooked on the drug. While data on heroin users in Kenya is limited, the UNODC has warned that heroin addiction appears to be on the rise in the country, particularly along the coast, including the city of Mombasa, home to East Africa’s largest port, and the town of Malindi, 70 miles north of the city. The United Nations estimates that around 18,000 people inject drugs in Kenya, with 10,000 of them living on the coast. “It’s clear that the coast is an entry point, and wherever there’s a path, there are some crumbs left behind,” Sylvie Bertrand, regional adviser for HIV/AIDS at UNODC’s Eastern Africa office, told The WorldPost. Heroin first became readily available in Malindi during the 1980s tourism boom. In the 1990s, the most commonly available form of heroin switched from “brown sugar,” which is often inhaled, to “white crest,” which can be smoked or injected. Injection drug use slowly took off. At the ...
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These People Are Helping New Hampshire Heroin Addicts' Pets Stay Safe 10.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A young woman showed up at a drug recovery center in Manchester, New Hampshire, late last month with Curly, a small white dog. The woman was addicted to heroin and seeking treatment and although she'd been living on the streets, Curly looked well-groomed and well-loved -- leading Kriss Blevens, one of the center's founders, to wonder if he had been stolen. Blevens spoke with police, local animal rescue groups and a vet who checked Curly for a microchip. When she realized Curly likely hadn't been stolen, she started thinking that this young woman must have found a way to do right by her dog, regardless of everything else she was facing. Blevens is a makeup artist who lost her stepdaughter, Amber, to a heroin overdose last year. She has  been tireless in her efforts to help others avoid the same fate -- a hard thing to do in a city where, as of September, 65 residents have died of heroin overdoses  this year. The state as a whole is expected to see a record-setting 350-plus opioid-related deaths  this ...
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How Heroin Hijacked My Brain 30.11.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Heroin is my God. For me, sticking a needle into my vein, watching the blood register inside the cylinder, pulling the trigger, feeling the hot liquid moving up my arm, racing towards my heart, just waiting for the rush to explode the top of my brain with euphoria is better than sex. But I wasn't born a junkie. It wasn't my goal in life to become one either. I was twelve or thirteen when I smoked my first joint of marijuana. I was a normal kid, did what everybody did back then, got drunk on Boone's Farm apple wine at thirteen, puked and was sick for three days. Now, I get dope-sick and I turn violent. I'm petrified what I'll do. How far I'll go. There is a voice inside my head that won't go away. Constantly yelling, "Lie, steal, go to an extreme for a bag of heroin?" I cannot get dope-sick. A cold sweat turns the hair on the back of my neck into a dripping mop. I get cramps in my stomach, aching mad, screaming for somebody to help. A knot twists my calf muscles into a gnarly ball. The worst is diarrhea, ...
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