Thursday, December 5, 2013
China is now the prime exporter of synthetic marijuana, according to Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Doug Coleman. In fact, a Chinese chemical compound manufacturer found online by CBS, offered to ship two pounds of synthetic marijuana for $2,500.
Last year, the federal government outlawed synthetic marijuana, known primarily as “Spice,” as well as several other synthetic drugs like “bath salts.” But, despite the bans, the chemists responsible for producing synthetic drugs continue to elude authorities by slightly altering the chemical compounds. The chemical compounds that have not been banned can still be imported into the U.S. legally, according to Coleman.
Synthetic drugs continue to be popular due to the fact that most drug tests are not capable of identifying the chemical compounds. Most people are unaware of just how dangerous synthetic drugs like Spice and K2 really are, being responsible for a number of emergency room cases and even fatalities.
“It’s like whack a mole,” Coleman told CBS News. “They pop their head up, we hit them, they go down and then they pop their head up in another spot. It’s always a cat-and-mouse game. This is just a more advanced type of cat-and-mouse because now we’ve got chemists manufacturing synthetic drugs as opposed to cartel members trafficking heroin, or coke, or methamphetamine.”
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Addictions to alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs were included in the survey.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, responsible for the self-reported survey, it is more than likely, the article points out, that the rate of unemployed people with substance use disorders is even higher.
Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis believe that unemployment leads people to substance abuse, not the other way around. “During episodes of large increases in unemployment, the number of drug users can increase dramatically.”
Unemployment gives people more time and less money to pay for drugs and alcohol, yet they have more time to use, creating a vicious cycle. “Among those who are unemployed, the leisure effect is dominating the income effect,” University of Miami researcher Michael French told CNN Money. “We find that when the unemployment rate increases, all else equal, drinking increases.”
Thursday, November 28, 2013
The AMA called for “public health based strategies, rather than incarceration.”The AMA’s position is that “cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” However, they changed the position, held since 1977, backing “modification of state law to reduce the severity of penalties for possession of marijuana.” Instead, the group supported “modification of state and federal laws to emphasize public health based strategies to address and reduce cannabis use.”
Former Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, who co-founded the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said in a statement, “The American Medical Association took a bold step today, and they should be commended. By explicitly rejecting calls to neutralize their anti-legalization position, they are sending a loud and powerful message to state and local decision makers, the Federal government, and the general public.”
Marijuana is a drug, as is any substance with mind altering properties, but people tend to have a different regard for marijuana than they do a drug like heroin. Marijuana may be the lesser of two evils but it is still a drug that could affect a developing brain, caution should be taken when it comes to adolescents and teenagers. The country is moving towards more lenient policies with marijuana, but that does not mean we should throw caution to the wind. Less incarceration and more education should be the stance the country takes towards all drugs, especially marijuana, since it is the only policy that seems to have the desired effect.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The new findings are the result of an analysis of 17 past studies, that dealt with teens substance use.
“It starts with parents but coaches and sporting organizations have a critical role to play here also,” said lead author John Cairney of McMaster University. “If adults in these contexts are ‘looking the other way’ in regards to this behavior, we need to do something about it. Education, including training at the coach level (certification) may be one solution. Raising awareness of potential dangers to parents and youth themselves is important also.”
One study has found that teens involved in sports may be able to acquire opioid pain medications easier than non-athletes, Reuters reports. Philip Veliz of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender, author of the study, stated that parents and coaches need to be cognizant of the potential for misusing opioid medications.
“Sports can be a positive protective factor in a young person’s life because of all those great things‒structure, goal setting, fair play and achievement,” Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org told Reuters. “But it’s not a silver bullet.”
The findings appear in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Friday, November 22, 2013
|Michael Bloomberg (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)|
The new law “will prevent young people from experimenting with tobacco when they are most likely to become addicted,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a news release.
About 80 percent of all smokers started before they were 21, according to the report. The rate of teenage smoking in New York City is 8.5 percent.
On top of raising the legal age, the law creates:
- Penalties for evading cigarette taxes.
- Bans discounts on cigarette sales.
- Requires inexpensive cigars to be sold in packages of no fewer than four.
- Sets a minimum price of $10.50 for packs of cigarettes and little cigars.
- Legal Age for Cigarette Smoking in New York City Now 21 (medindia.net)
- Reaction to NYC Increasing Legal Age to Buy Tobacco (wnep.com)
- NYC bans tobacco sales to anyone under age 21 (bostonherald.com)