User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Mar 27 2015 06:38 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Overrides State Law To Authorize Needle-Exchange Program 27.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence overrode state law and his own anti-drug policies Thursday to authorize a short-term needle-exchange program designed to help contain HIV infections in a rural county where more than six dozen cases have been reported, all of them tied to intravenous drug use. Pence issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency in Scott County, an economically depressed area about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, that has seen 79 new infections since December. The county typically sees only about five HIV cases each year, health officials said. All of those infected either live in Scott County or have ties to the county, and all of the infections have been linked to needle sharing among drug users. Most of the infections involve people who injected a liquefied form of the prescription painkiller Opana. Methamphetamine and heroin account for the remaining cases, health officials said. Pence, a Republican, said officials from the Centers for Disease Control ...
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Feds May Spend Nearly $70 Million On Marijuana For Research 27.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The federal government announced Monday that it is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on marijuana research through the University of Mississippi, which houses the only federally legal cannabis garden in the United States. The new contract, worth a maximum of $68.7 million over five years, was awarded by the National Institutes of Health Monday and posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website . The award is a renewal of a contract with the university that the federal government has held for more than 40 years. In a statement provided to The Huffington Post, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an arm of NIH that oversees the marijuana operation at Ole Miss, said, "To serve the research community, NIDA has tried to build farm capacity flexible enough to accommodate various levels of demand for research marijuana and marijuana products over the next five years." NIDA is already obligated to spend $1.5 million on Ole Miss marijuana research for the 2015 fiscal year, the organization told ...
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Kentucky's New Heroin Law Makes A 'Culture Shift' 26.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday night, Kentucky lawmakers passed wide-ranging legislation to combat the state’s heroin epidemic. The bipartisan measure represents a significant policy shift away from more punitive measures toward a focus on treating addicts, not jailing them. The state will now allow local health departments to set up needle exchanges and increase the number of people who can carry naloxone, the drug that paramedics use to save a person suffering an opioid overdose. Addicts who survive an overdose will no longer be charged with a crime after being revived. Instead, they will be connected to treatment services and community mental health workers. At a Wednesday morning press conference before he signed the bill into law, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said the legislation sent a simple message to addicts across Kentucky: "We’re coming to help you. Work with us. Help us to help you to get on the road to recovery." In the past, help along the road to recovery in Kentucky typically meant an abstinence-only ...
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HIV Outbreak In Indiana To Be Declared Public Health Emergency 26.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Faced with a growing HIV outbreak tied to intravenous drug use, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Wednesday he's considering a needle-exchange program as part of a public health emergency he's preparing to declare in a county that's at the epicenter of the cases. Pence, a Republican, said he generally opposes needle exchanges but is listening to health officials to determine the best way to stop the outbreak in Scott County in southern Indiana. Health officials say 72 cases of HIV have been confirmed in southern Indiana and seven other people have preliminary positive HIV infections. All of those infected either live in Scott County or have ties to the county. Pence, who plans to issue an executive order Thursday morning outlining a range of state actions, noted Scott County typically sees five HIV cases each year. "What I'm thinking about carefully and thoughtfully is what's needed in a public health emergency, what's necessary to really get control of this in the immediate future," ...
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Harper government moves to block supervised injection services for drug users in Canada 25.3.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 The newly passed and ironically titled 'Respect for Communities Act' will effectively block the establishment of new supervised injection facilities across Canada. The House of Commons passed  Bill C-2, the Respect for Communities Act . Pretty title, but like so much Conservative legislation, the meaning of the title, like the bill, is  cruelly ironic ...
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Through Smart Drug Policies, We Can Change Our Communities for the Better 25.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a staggering and tragic statistic: Heroin overdose deaths tripled from 2010 to 2013. These numbers are shocking, but they unfortunately come as no surprise to the communities across the U.S. that have been torn apart by drug abuse and deaths from overdose. Addiction to opioids including heroin and prescription pills like Vicodin and OxyContin is an epidemic sweeping our nation. This epidemic is hurting millions of Americans who are struggling with or have lost a loved one to the disease of addiction. I share this pain. I felt it personally when I lost my son, who was just 25 years old at the time, to the crippling disease of addiction. I feel this pain every day. After my son's passing, I refocused my life to lessening the pain and stigma associated with this disease in our communities. I founded Shatterproof in the hopes of turning a story of tragedy into one of hope. There's a lack of resources for Americans struggling with addiction, and ...
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As Heroin Deaths Skyrocket, Prescription Monitoring Programs May Do More Harm 18.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This post was co-authored by Michael Gilbert. When it comes to drug overdose, we may be winning one battle, but losing the war. As deaths involving prescription painkillers are leveling off, the latest stats on heroin fatalities could not be more dire. These deaths have quadrupled between 2000 and 2013, doubling just between 2010 and 2012. What's often lost behind the headlines is that the trends in prescription painkiller and heroin abuse are linked. There is evidence to suggest that the raging heroin problem is being fueled by the crackdown on painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Shuttering pill-mills, tightening restrictions on certain analgesics, and making products harder to snort and inject all seem to be curbing prescription drug abuse. But addiction does not simply go away when the pills do, which is why people dependent on prescription opioids have been switching to heroin in record numbers. From a chemical standpoint, heroin is very similar to its prescription drug cousins. Its uncontained ...
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Nevada Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Sick Pets 18.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada senator has introduced a bill that would allow pets to use pot.

Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is sponsoring the bill that was introduced Tuesday. SB372 calls on state officials to issue medical marijuana cards for animals if the animal's owner is a Nevada resident and a veterinarian certifies that the animal has an illness that might be alleviated by marijuana.

Segerblom says the provision is part of a larger bill that cleans up the state's medical marijuana statute.

Sen. Mark Manendo, a fellow Democrat and animal rights advocate, says he's concerned that marijuana might not be a safe treatment for sick animals.

Segerblom says he's also concerned that marijuana might have adverse effects on animals, but he says veterinarians won't know unless they try.
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Make the Stop Overdose Stat Act a Priority for 2015 6.3.2015 Truthout - All Articles
It's time for Congress to take an evidence-based and public health focused approach to the epidemic of opioid overdoses. Opioid overdose is an epidemic in the United States. Drug overdose death rates have more than tripled since 1990, with the vast majority of these deaths attributable to an increase in the prescription and sale of opioid medications. The death rate from heroin overdose doubled between 2010 and 2012, and young people are now more likely to die from drug overdose than from motor vehicle crashes. These statistics may be surprising, but their causes are familiar – commonly abused prescription opioid medications include names such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, or codeine, as well as the illicit drug heroin, which creates similar pain-relieving effects. Prescription drugs are often considered a "gateway" to heroin use as heroin addiction often begins as a cheaper alternative to prescription painkillers. In March 2014, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) introduced the Stop Overdose Stat (SOS) Act to ...
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Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare 4.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Obamacare faces its strangest challenge yet when the Supreme Court takes up the law for the third time Wednesday, but the oddity of the lawsuit shouldn’t obscure the cataclysm that a loss for President Barack Obama would provoke. The Supreme Court case is the latest legal effort by political opponents of the Affordable Care Act to ruin Obama’s signature domestic achievement. If successful, the suit would tarnish Obama’s legacy, foment infighting among Republicans, aggravate bitter partisanship between the GOP Congress and the White House, and threaten chaos in the health insurance market. But the worst consequences would fall on the estimated 9.6 million people who would lose their health insurance . The lawsuit, King v. Burwell , isn’t like the previous two Obamacare cases that came before the Supreme Court. Three years ago, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in upholding the constitutionality of the ...
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Despite U.N. Treaties, War Against Drugs a Losing Battle 28.2.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Utah Medical Marijuana Bill Moving Forward 28.2.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Kentucky Considers Changes To Drug Courts For Heroin Addicts 25.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The Kentucky court system is reconsidering how its drug courts treat defendants thanks to a new federal policy that is pushing them to offer medications to opiate addicts. The state currently bars medication-assisted treatments for addicts in its drug courts. State judges order defendants off medications like Suboxone and methadone when placing them in their diversion programs. In early February, Michael Botticelli, the director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, said that drug courts that receive federal money can no longer ban defendants from using treatments like Suboxone. The medication can eliminate cravings and, along with methadone, is seen by the medical establishment as the standard of care for opiate addicts. Although the vast majority of Kentucky’s drug courts do not receive federal funding, a state spokeswoman for the court system said they are currently reviewing their practices. “Kentucky drug court is evaluating the very recent news regarding federal ...
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Marijuana May Be The Least Dangerous Recreational Drug, Study Shows 25.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Marijuana is far safer than alcohol, tobacco and multiple other illicit substances, researchers say, and strict, legal regulation of cannabis might be a more reasonable approach than current prohibitions. Those are the findings of a new report published in Scientific Reports that compares the lethality of the recreational use of 10 common drugs, including marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, amphetamine and methadone. Researchers found that marijuana has the lowest risk of mortality and is safer than the commonly used alcohol and tobacco as well as the rest of the drugs in the study. They determined the risk of mortality by comparing the lethal dose of each substance with a commonly used amount of each substance. The finding that marijuana has the lowest risk when compared with the other drugs is not surprising -- previous research had found that marijuana is a substantially safer recreational drug than other commonly used recreational drugs examined in this ...
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HUFFPOST HILL - Jeb Bush Creates Job 21.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Whoever records those screaming voiceovers for local car dealerships should do one for the administration so America can know that THE PRESIDENT’S DAY HEALTH CARE SALE HAS BEEN EXTENDED FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!! Jeb Bush hired one of the GOP's best smear guys, because Jeb is the adult in the room. And two bills were just introduced that would end federal prohibition of marijuana… or it least it *FEELS* like they were just introduced...whooooaaa. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, February 20th, 2015: LEGALIZE IT - These congressmen forgot to put "jobs" or "freedom" in their weed bill titles. Come on, guys. Matt Ferner: "Two congressmen filed separate House bills on Friday that together would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana at the federal level, effectively ending the U.S. government's decadeslong prohibition of the plant. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act's schedules, transfer oversight of ...
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Marijuana Charges Dropped Against Cancer Patient Who Faced Years In Prison 20.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The federal government has dropped all charges against a Washington medical marijuana patient who was recently diagnosed with late-stage cancer , in a high-profile case that involves the patient and his family growing medical cannabis at their home. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice dismissed multiple federal marijuana charges against 71-year-old Larry Harvey because of his deteriorating health brought on by stage 4 cancer of the pancreas , which has begun to spread to his liver. But Harvey's reprieve remains bittersweet. His family members, who were charged along with him, still collectively face the possibility of decades in prison. "I'm thankful the charges against me have been dropped so that I can focus on my battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer," Harvey said in a statement. "However, if the Department of Justice truly has concerns for my well being, it will dismiss the case against my entire family. I thought the law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama was ...
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Transplanting Marijuana: Myth to Mainstream America 18.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
• use leads to unproductive lifestyles? • a pathway to moral decay? Too often these and other questions are answered in absence of real evidence or clear facts. Today, we have actual experience with two states (Colorado and Washington) that have fully legalized adult use of marijuana for over a year. Let's consider a "big picture" view of the journey towards marijuana legalization. We need to honor the complexity of the legalization question. Let's examine marijuana legalization through the standard "hot button" lens of health, crime and morality. Let's also broaden the conversation to include social justice, jobs and state revenue. Uni-dimensional views can be replaced with thoughtful dialogue that considers the many dimensions of legalization. Let's re-imagine our laws having a healthier, more productive relationship with this plant. Thoughtful, inclusive conversations can lead to well-informed laws. What will a future marijuana industry look like in my home state of Pennsylvania? I enter ...
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Members Of Congress Stand Up For California Medical Marijuana Dispensary 18.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Three congressional lawmakers from California are accusing the U.S. Department of Justice of overreach in an ongoing crackdown against Harborside Health Center, widely considered to be the largest and one of the most well-respected medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation. "We believe DOJ has overstepped its bounds in the Harborside case," Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R), Sam Farr (D) and Barbara Lee (D) wrote in a letter last week about U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag's effort to shut down the Oakland, California-based Harborside. "We believe DOJ is not acting within the spirit or the letter of the law nor in the best interests of the people who depend on Harborside for reliable, safe medical marijuana." The letter notes that public acceptance of medical marijuana has grown nationally, even as federal policy on the substance "stagnates." To highlight his support, Rohrabacher posed with Harborside's co-founder and executive director, Steve DeAngelo, at the dispensary: Twenty-three states so far have legalized ...
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New Drug Czar Is Better Than Predecessors 18.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The drug czar's office has long functioned as a cheerleader for punitive drug policies. As someone who has been engaged in drug policy reform efforts most of my adult life, I can easily recall the forcefulness with which former drug czars like John Walters and Gen. Barry McCaffrey advocated in defense of zero tolerance policies without any regard to the scientific rationale for these policies or the destructive impact they have on individuals and communities. However, under the Obama administration, the drug czar's office has made a notable shift in rhetoric and tone. Last week, U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama's nomination of Michael Botticelli to become the next director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a position informally known as "drug czar." Since joining ONDCP in 2012, Botticelli has served as ONDCP's acting director and its deputy director. Before joining ONDCP, Botticelli spent nearly two decades overseeing substance misuse programs at the Massachusetts ...
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Expert advice for building the city of the future 16.2.2015 TreeHugger
Alex Bozikovic asks international experts what advice they would give urban mayors today.
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