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New Articles

  1. The Good People of St. Louis Have an Insidious Heroin Problem on Their Hands

    ST. LOUIS - After a long decline, Eric Bearden finally hit bottom in an abandoned building on South Grand Boulevard that thousands of people pass every day. Bearden, 28, who once dreamed of being a chef, was victim No. 11 among a class of 256 fatal overdoses that quietly tore across the city of St. Louis in 2016. One year later, a spent syringe lay discarded in the busy alley near where he died. Windows and doors have been boarded up, but the only thing that seems to have changed is the...
  2. Non-Prescribed Drug Use Among Youth of Growing Global Concern

    Balancing a country's need to make prescription drugs available to those in need while simultaneously curbing nonmedical use is one of our greatest challenges, according to a perspective article just published by Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and a colleague at American University of Beirut. The article published in World Psychiatry, the journal of the World Psychiatric Association, cites research finding...
  3. Why News Medias So Often Get "New Drug" News - Wrong

    In recent years, there has been increasing media attention on drugs known as “K2,” “bath salts,” fentanyl, “molly,” and others. Unfortunately, much of the coverage—even by some of the most well-meaning journalists—contains misinformation and inaccurate or misleading terminology. This all serves to perpetuate unfounded myths and unhelpful hysteria about these substances. The Drug Policy Alliance has created media tip sheets on synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic opioids, synthetic cathinones,...
  4. Bipartisan Backing of New Cannabis Caucus Spells Hope for US Pot Enthusiasts

    A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus with a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday afternoon. Members of the Cannabis Caucus see marijuana reform as an important issue and will make a bipartisan effort to pass bills. While the group didn’t lay out specific legislative objectives, lawmakers said that there is a need to square federal law — which prohibits marijuana use — with the growing number of state laws that allow for medical and...
  5. Political Heroin Hysteria Leads to Talk of Prohibition, Increased Narcotic Bookings

    This year, legislation has been introduced in at least 29 states that would increase penalties for heroin and fentanyl-related offenses, or allow for individuals to be held criminally liable or charged with murder/manslaughter when a person they supplied with heroin overdoses and dies. The most disheartening aspect of this new sweep of proposed legislation is some of the state legislators who filed these bills have, in previous years, been sponsors of major sentencing reform legislation that...
  6. Conservatives Move to Mandatorily Drug Test State's Unemployment Recipients

    House Republicans gave Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and other Republican governors a gift on Wednesday: They voted to repeal a Labor Department rule that limited which workers state governments can drug test before handing out unemployment benefits. The vote tally was 236-189, and largely fell along party lines. Nearly 50 labor and civil rights groups signed a letter arguing that the repeal legislation would allow states like Wisconsin to waste taxpayers dollars on drug testing already...
  7. Philippine Senator and Duarte Critic Found Linked to Drug-Bribe Monies

    MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ former justice secretary, a senator and prominent critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly anti-drug crackdown, was charged Friday by prosecutors accusing her of receiving bribes from detained drug lords. Sen. Leila de Lima denied the charges and characterized the case as “political persecution.” When she was a top human rights official, de Lima tried unsuccessfully to have Duterte prosecuted when he was still a city mayor for unlawful deaths...
  8. The Opium Wars That Crushed - and Redefined - China

    The Opium Wars made it clear China had fallen gravely behind the West — not just militarily, but economically and politically. Every Chinese government since — even the ill-fated Qing Dynasty, which began the “Self-Strengthening Movement” after the Second Opium War — has made modernization an explicit goal, citing the need to catch up with the West. In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated...
  9. Portland Probation Court Offers Addicts Tough Love Amidst a Harbor of Hope

    It’s an old saw that is worthless in an informed, compassionate, smart, humanistic, science-backed, social justice, systems thinking sort of world – “Probation People are doing drugs cuz they wake up one morning and say, ‘Man, I want to screw up my life, take years off my physiology, wreck families, put my future in the hands of money changers, and virtually become a shell of myself, a zombie.’” But that’s the prevailing wind in Trump-Fourth-Reich or Clinton-Three-Strikes-&-You’re-Out Land....
  10. Featured

    China Attempts to Ease US Concern Over Its Deadly Fentanyl, Carfentanil Exports

    China has decided to ban an extremely lethal substance contributing to the deaths of numerous American drug users. The National Narcotics Control Commission announced Thursday China will add carfentanil and three other synthetic opioids to its list of controlled substances March 1. In addition to carfentanil, the country plans to ban the sale of the less potent furanyl fentanyl, acryl fentanyl, and valeryl fentanyl. The U.S. has been pushing China to blacklist carfentanil for years....
  11. Marijuana Decriminalization Coming to 4.5 Million Houston-Area Residents

    HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS - First-time offenders caught with less than 4 ounces of marijuana will no longer be arrested, ticketed or asked to appear in court when a new pot policy announced Thursday takes effect next month in Harris County, Texas. Effective March 1, individuals caught in the region with small amounts of marijuana will be given the opportunity to attend a 4-hour drug education class in lieu of going to jail or going before a judge, local officials announced at a press conference....
  12. Dispirited by the Status Quo, Researchers Scrub the Brain for Worthier Mental Health Drugs

    Katie first spoke with a demon when she was 14. He perched on the edge of her bed, and would persistently urge her to do bad things — like blow up her Arkansas high school. She spoke to God, too. Her parents, Pentecostal Christians, believed her visions made her special. So she received no therapy and no medications, and no diagnosis as her schizoaffective disorder began to take root. Katie, who is now 35, has been homeless and hospitalized several times. She tried “just about every drug...
  13. Is LSD Microdosing a Valued Way to Address Depressive Disorders?

    Psychedelics, the fabled enlightenment drugs of the ’60s, are making a comeback — this time as medical treatment. A recent study claimed that psilocybin, a mushroom-derived hallucinogenic, relieves anxiety and depression in people with life-threatening cancer. Anecdotal reports have said similar things about so-called microdoses of LSD. The allure is understandable, given the limits of our treatments for depression and anxiety. About a third of patients with major depression don’t get...
  14. NJ Governor's Proposed Bill 53 Would Hugely Limit Initial Pain Medicine Prescriptions

    The governor of New Jersey has taken the state’s opioid epidemic into his own hands after signing a new bill into law Wednesday that would limit painkiller prescriptions and force insurance companies to approve a patient's addiction treatment program without delay. Gov. Chris Christie called the new law the “toughest in the country in the fight against heroin and opioid addiction," according to reports. The new bill, S3, would enforce a five-day limit on initial prescriptions for opioids,...
  15. Legal US Marijuana States Push for Workplace Drug-Testing Reform

    In California and most other states where marijuana is legal, employers can still fire workers who test positive for cannabis – even if there’s no evidence they were ever high on the job. Marijuana rights advocates want to change that, with a national campaign aimed at making sure responsible cannabis consumers are treated the same as employees who enjoy a cocktail at the end of the day. California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of...
  16. Why Trump's Wall Will Not Keep Heroin Out of the US

    SINALOA, Mexico — Not long ago I met a small-time rancher here in the birthplace of Mexican drug trafficking. I asked him if he ever made it to the United States. He said he had been deported several years ago and couldn’t return. He was caught smuggling black-tar heroin in his shoes at the Tijuana-San Diego border crossing, he said. Wasn’t much — not quite a kilo. He did this to raise the money to buy a couple of cows, or a tractor. In Sinaloa, he said, cobblers do a thriving side...
  17. Lessons of the Opium Wars

    The Opium Wars have left an enduring sense of cultural antagonism between China and the West. The Opium Wars forced China to accommodate the British opium trade, and China's "Century of Humiliation" has led to many of its current foreign policies. While this chapter of Sino-British relations is glossed over by the British today, it has left a lingering sense of resentment among the Chinese. China's defeat by the superior technology of the British has taught the Chinese that "the...
  18. Five Ontario Overdoses Thought to be Cocaine Turn out to be Fentanyl-Laced Heroin

    BARRIE, Ont. — Police say five people who overdosed after using what they believed was cocaine at a party in a city north of Toronto, actually took heroin laced with the deadly opioid fentanyl. They say four men and a woman were taken to a hospital early on Oct. 2 after collapsing in various locations in downtown Barrie, Ont. Investigators say the five had been at a party and believed they had taken cocaine. Police say toxicology reports have confirmed that all five took a combination of...
  19. Young Man's Drugged Driving Leads to Death and Reprimand from Judge

    Drug addict Daryl Ackland, who killed a 'highly skilled' craftsman and artist while fleeing from the police, was jailed for five years four months today. Jailing Ackland at Gloucester Crown Court, a judge told him that his victim, cabinet maker Joe Marchant, 71, was "ten times the man you will ever be." Mr. Marchant, a keen mountaineer who was planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with his son, was cycling in Stroud on October 27 last year when he was hit by a Saab being driven by Ackland....
  20. Pro-Pot US Lawmakers Launch Cannabis Caucus, Amidst Political Uncertainty

    Lawmakers looking to draw attention to pet issues have formed groups in favor of everything from auto care to zoos. Now, there’s a caucus for cannabis. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said the move — to be announced at a press conference Thursday — is a sign of how mainstream the drive for marijuana legalization has become. “This is happening all across the country, and its going to continue,” said the Oregon Democrat, an advocate for legalized marijuana since the 1970s. “The industry is growing, as...
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