User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Jun 24 2017 17:49 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Psychedelic Mushrooms And LSD Are Among The Safest Recreational Drugs, Survey Finds 25.5.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Governments around the world consider mushrooms and LSD to be among the most dangerous illicit substances , but a new survey of drug users suggests that these psychedelics are actually some of the safest. Around 20,000 people reported having used either mushrooms, which contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin, or LSD in the past year, according to the  2017 Global Drug Survey . Of those, just over 100 people reported seeking emergency medical treatment related to those drugs. Most of these cases were linked to LSD ― a total of 1 percent of recent LSD users and just 0.2 percent of recent mushroom users sought treatment. By that metric, the survey concludes that mushrooms are the safest recreational drug. LSD ranked a close third behind marijuana, as 0.6 percent of people who’d used cannabis over the past year reported receiving emergency medical care. All three drugs were less dangerous than alcohol, which was by far the most widely used intoxicant in the survey and led to 1.3 percent of all recent ...
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The Left/Right Challenge To The Failed 'War On Drugs' 25.5.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
More and more conservatives and liberals, from the halls of Congress to people in communities across the country, are agreeing that the so-called “war on drugs” needs serious rethinking. First, we should define our terms. The “war on drugs” that was started by Richard Nixon in 1971 and persists to this day, refers to illegal “street drugs” – cocaine, heroin, marijuana and variations thereof. It is not used to mean a war on legal pharmaceuticals, whose excessive and often inappropriate prescribing takes over 100,000 lives a year in our country. Ironically, prescription opioids alone took 35,000 lives last year – about equal to traffic fatalities. The argument to criminalize “street drugs,” and severely punish their sellers and users, is largely based on the assumption that a “tough on crime” approach will reduce addiction and abuse of these dangerous substances. Criminalizing drug use consistently fails to address the health problems of addiction, and drives the drug trade underground where crime, ...
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Can Psychedelic Drugs Treat Mental Illness? Scientists Need Your Help To Find Out. 10.5.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
To the federal government, psychedelic drugs like LSD, MDMA (also known as Ecstasy or Molly in its street forms), and psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in mushrooms) are dangerous Schedule I substances with a high potential for abuse and no medical value. But leading psychedelic researchers paint a much different picture ― one of fascinating compounds with the power to rewire the human brain and possibly revolutionize treatment for a number of debilitating mental health issues. We’ve yet to find a conclusive answer that can prove either side right or wrong, though initial indications suggest it’s fair to be skeptical of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s view. Early clinical studies have produced promising results, convincing many that psychedelics are at least worthy of further research. But thanks to a grueling approval process and the widespread stigma attached to these drugs, the path to officially recognizing their potential medical benefits has been difficult. A crowdfunding ...
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Gene alteration may speed up loss of memory in Alzheimer’s patients 4.5.2017 Lifestyle – The Indian Express
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Chris Christie Accuses Democrats Of Trying To 'Poison Our Kids' By Legalizing Marijuana 2.5.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, accused Democrats of attempting to “ poison our kids ” in pursuit of tax dollars from recreational cannabis sales. Speaking at a conference on substance abuse hosted by the New Jersey Hospital Association on Monday, the Republican governor criticized an effort by state lawmakers to regulate and tax recreational cannabis similarly to alcohol, as states like Colorado and Washington have done. Despite growing support across the nation for legalization, Christie remains firmly opposed to the idea, claiming pot is a gateway drug to substances like heroin. ( Research does not support that claim .) In his remarks, Christie  cited a recent report  that found marijuana legalization could raise $300 million annually in taxes for New Jersey.  “This is the part that liberals love the most: We can tax it,” he said, according to Politico . “Sweet Jesus, we can tax it! More money for us!” “I can say this now because I’m not running for anything ...
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A Veteran Returned Home With PTSD And Pain, So He Became A Medical Marijuana Patient 26.4.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Leo Bridgewater is a 42-year-old father of two, a veteran who served three tours of duty in the Army and a former Defense Department contractor who worked as a specialist in microwave and satellite communications in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s also a medical marijuana patient who uses the plant to manage the trauma he sustained as a result of his service. “I have an uncle who was special forces in Vietnam ― he was into the medicinal value of cannabis, and he is also someone who I counsel with on a regular basis. It was through his guidance that I started looking at cannabis as a way of treating my knee pains and then also, my overall health, my overall emotional health,” Bridgewater told HuffPost. “That’s the one thing that we don’t really pay too much attention to, because it’s the thing that you can’t see.” Thousands of veterans and active-duty military personnel face personal battles with pain or psychological trauma. To treat those symptoms, doctors often turn to an ever-expanding list of prescription ...
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It's Time to Legalize Marijuana and Abolish the Drug Czar 20.4.2017 Truthout.com
An installer puts in a drip irrigation line at Harborside Farms, a large marijuana grower, in Salinas, California, March 24, 2017. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times) Supporters of legal marijuana are not happy with President Trump or his apparent pick for White House drug czar, Rep. Tom Marino. The war on drugs will not end until the institutions behind it are dismantled and positions like "drug czar" become relics. Let's eliminate the offices that make the drug war possible -- sooner rather than later. An installer puts in a drip irrigation line at Harborside Farms, a large marijuana grower, in Salinas, California, March 24, 2017. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times) Want to see more original stories like this? Make a tax-deductible donation to support the independent investigative reporting and analysis at Truthout! With its lengthy name and familiar acronym, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is one of the oldest pro-legalization lobbies on Capitol Hill, and the group ...
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The Exhaustive List Of Everyone Who's Died Of A Marijuana Overdose 20.4.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Thursday is April 20, better known to many as 4/20 , or “ Weed Day .” People around the world are celebrating the unofficial marijuana holiday by gathering for rallies, smoke-outs, policy discussions and thousands of other weed-centric events. It’s a day of blissful hypocrisy for millions of cannabis users in the U.S., who by and large are still expected to be somewhat covert about their fondness for the plant. The federal government maintains that marijuana is a dangerous illegal drug, with no accepted medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. Despite repeated calls for the reclassification of cannabis, it remains on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of Schedule I substances  ― which also includes heroin, mescaline, LSD and a broad category of synthetic stimulants often referred to as “bath salts.” The government’s message is clear: Marijuana and the psychoactive compound within it ― tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC ― poses a severe hazard to your health. To get a better sense of just how ...
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America's First Addiction Crisis Had Some Striking Parallels To Today 19.4.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Doctors prescribing painkillers willy-nilly. Outrage over foreigners importing “poison” into America. Expensive treatment facilities marketed to addicts from well-off families. These are things America has seen before, when the country went through its first opioid crisis. “There’s definitely a parallel between our historical moment and the 1860s,” said Susan Zieger, author of Inventing the Addict , a history of addiction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the late 1860s, doctors were battling to get the public to respect them as scientifically oriented professionals, distinct from traditional healers. With the invention of hypodermic morphine, they gained a powerful weapon in this battle. But the drug created a generation of patients who struggled with dependence, leading to attitudes about drug use, treatment, and “worthy” and “unworthy” addicts that remain with us today. Opium pods had long been a staple of folk medicine , brewed in teas or used in tinctures to treat a huge variety of ...
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Public banking goes to pot 19.4.2017 High Country News Most Recent
California activists turn to the cannabis industry to help launch the nation’s first public bank in nearly a century.
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California’s backcountry drug war 30.3.2017 High Country News Most Recent
Dangerous drug cartels are growing pot on public lands—putting wildlife, water supplies, and outdoor enthusiasts at grave risk.
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Trump Creates An Opioid Panel As His Budget Threatens To Worsen Epidemic 30.3.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON ― At a roundtable discussion on the opioid epidemic Wednesday, President Donald Trump lamented that a crisis which has claimed tens of thousands of lives in recent years has not gotten enough attention. And in an effort to turn the tide, he announced he was forming a commission led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. “It’s really one of our biggest problems our country has, and nobody really wants to talk about it,” Trump said, flanked by top administration officials and individuals with firsthand experience battling addiction to opioids. “More importantly, we have to solve the problem.” Trump has pledged to play an active role in combating opioid abuse , and his appointment of Christie, who elevated the issue as a candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, shows he still is paying attention to the topic. But for those on the front lines of the epidemic, much of what the president has done so far has been, at least, a disappointment and, at worst, likely to do more harm than ...
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Would Legalizing Medical Marijuana Help Curb The Opioid Epidemic? 29.3.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
(Reuters Health) - In states that legalized medical marijuana, U.S. hospitals failed to see a predicted influx of pot smokers, but in an unexpected twist, they treated far fewer opioid users, a new study shows. Hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse dropped on average 23 percent in states after marijuana was permitted for medicinal purposes, the analysis found. Hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average. At the same time, fears that legalization of medical marijuana would lead to an uptick in cannabis-related hospitalizations proved unfounded, according to the report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. “Instead, medical marijuana laws may have reduced hospitalizations related to opioid pain relievers,” said study author Yuyan Shi, a public health professor at the University of California, San Diego. “This study and a few others provided some evidence regarding the potential positive benefits of legalizing marijuana to reduce opioid use and abuse, but ...
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What Does The Future Hold For Marijuana? 24.3.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Twenty-eight states and the nation’s capital allow for the legal use of medical marijuana . The drug is legal for recreational use in eight states and Washington, D.C. But with a new administration in office signaling a crackdown on recreational use, including an attorney general personally opposed to the drug, states are gearing up for a marijuana war. While medical marijuana has been scientifically proved to ease pain, but the jury is still out on the drug’s other health benefits. A recent study conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor Marie McCormick, found as much. Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post, will be joined by McCormick and other policy and research experts for a panel discussion on marijuana’s health benefits and legalization.  The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will be streamed live right here  at 12:30 p.m. ET. Grim will host a live ...
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Republican Opposition To Health Care Bill Cracks Open Door To Negotiations 22.3.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON ― Faced with the increasingly clear reality that House conservatives will vote down the Republican health care bill, GOP leaders may be moving toward reopening negotiations on their Affordable Care Act rewrite. Or Republicans may be moving closer to an embarrassing floor defeat. Members of the House Freedom Caucus swear they won’t be swayed by public or private pressure from President Donald Trump, and even after Trump met with House Republicans Tuesday morning, HFC Republicans reported that their positions had not changed and would not change without substantial amendments to the bill. “This isn’t the 1990s,” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said Tuesday afternoon. “There’s an internet now. They used to be able to corral people much more easily. Today we’re in a different world.” Given the conservative obstinance, GOP leaders are quietly trying to figure out what it would take to get at least some of the Freedom Caucus onboard with the health care bill, which is supposed to come up for a vote on ...
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Week in review: March 10 10.3.2017 High Country News Most Recent
A new wind record, the battle for Zinke’s seat, podcast profanity — what the staff of HCN is reading this week.
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Going After the Pain Profiteers 5.3.2017 Commondreams.org Views
Sarah Anderson

Travis Bornstein never told his friends about his son Tyler’s drug problem. He was too embarrassed.

Then, on September 28, 2014, Tyler’s body was found in a vacant lot in Akron, Ohio. The 23-year-old had become addicted to opioid pain killers after several sports-related injuries and surgeries. Unable to afford long-term treatment, he ultimately turned to a cheaper drug — the heroin that killed him.

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Psychedelics Could Play A Role In Tackling The Opioid Epidemic 25.2.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Overdoses claimed more than 33,000 lives in 2015 , and these numbers are steadily on the rise. It’s estimated that over 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, with many more using the drugs illegally. Potential solutions to the rapidly escalating opioid crisis have been few and far between . But a long-demonized class of illegal drugs may provide one unlikely approach to tackle widespread opiate abuse and addiction. A new study, published last week in the Journal of Psychopharmacology , found that experience with psychedelics was linked with decreased opioid abuse and addiction ― an effect that appears to be unique to hallucinogens and marijuana. Conversely, use of other illegal drugs such as cocaine was associated with an increased risk of opioid abuse and dependence. The findings underscore the positive psychological effects increasingly known to be associated with psychedelic experiences. Previous findings have linked psychedelic use with reduced psychological ...
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Psychedelics May Help Reduce Opioid Addiction, According To New Study 22.2.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The criminalization of people who use psychedelics is rooted in myths that are the vestiges of colonialism and the drug war – and, one by one, those myths are crumbling down. We’ve learned in recent years that people who use psychedelics are significantly *less* likely to end up developing mental health problems , perpetrating domestic violence , or suffering from psychological distress and suicidal thinking . Meanwhile, recent research has shown that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy can be an effective treatment for people struggling with difficult-to-treat conditions such as substance use disorders. Not much has been known, though, about the connection between psychedelic use and substance misuse in the general population. Now, a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has found that experiences with psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms are associated with decreased risk of opioid abuse and dependence among respondents with a history of illegal opioid use. Psychedelic use ...
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When private pain becomes a community problem 20.2.2017 High Country News Most Recent
How a rural clinic sparked a small-town addiction crisis.
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