Addiction A Disease Not A Moral Failing

In a refreshing breakthrough in the US, we have seen the director of the National Drug Control Policy release a statement outlining that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing.

The statement could have some significant effects on law making and policy reform as we see more and more addicts jailed for crimes relating to their disease.

Many addicts find themselves in court

Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the National Drug Control Policy, has announced a new focus on treating drug addiction as a disease, not a moral failing, and emphasizes removing the stigma placed on drug abusers.

Speaking at the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs on Monday, Kerlikowske declared that “this country hasn’t looked at recovery in a way that makes sense,” and that he intended to “use the bully pulpit of the White House in a way that brings it out into the open.”

Previous federal drug policies were a three-legged stool, Kerlikowske said, with criminalization, prevention and treatment serving as the foundation for national policies. Now there will be a fourth leg – recovery.

Forming the administration’s new attitude toward drug problems “meant moving beyond talking in the beltway … it meant talking to real people dealing with addiction,” Kerlikowske said.

Source: LA Times

We often stigmatise addicts, seeing them as some kind of moral failure. In many countries treatment fails so many addicts often end up within the prison system.

Focusing on recovery

One point to note is that the fact that drugs are illegal in most parts of the world, this fact doesn’t deter people from trying drugs and or becoming addicted to drugs.

It is estimated that over 90% of the prison population in the US alone are there because of drug related crimes.

As society develops an understanding of addiction, we may see a different approach to the disease starting to take shape. Addicts that find themselves caught up in the treadmill of the legal system may actually get the help they need.

Do you think this is a breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of addicts?

Middle Class Youth Addicted To Affordable Party Drugs

LSD and Ecstasy which are cheaper than cocaine, have now become the drug of choice amongst young people from middle class socioeconomic groups because of their cost.

Many young people are choosing the psychotropic hallucinogens over the traditional drugs of marijuana and speed.

Young people like to use affordable drugs

LSD and MDMA (Ecstasy) which come cheaper than cocaine have made drug abuse a rampant issue even among middle-class youngsters in the city
Saturday night’s rave party in Banjara Hills, which was busted by city cops has exposed a new, disturbing trend that has the city in its clutch — MDMA and LSD addiction! The private bash organised in an apartment on Road Number 10, Banjara Hills, that saw the arrest of two girls, two guys and an Ugandan peddler Donald, was attended by a small, exclusive group of around 15 friends, most of whom are habitual drug abusers. The cops seized around 14 grams of cocaine, 10 packets of cube LSD, 10 small pills of micro LSD, five grams of MDMA drug and four LSD dots.
Tripping gets cheaper for the middle class
After the crackdown on the city’s cocaine nexus curbed the supply of the potent drug in the party circles, the cheaper MDMA and LSD have become the dope in demand among the city’s druggies. And it’s not just youngsters from the elite circles of the city who are hooked to drugs anymore. The affordable MDMA and LSD have become the drugs of choice among the middle class too. Anurag Sharma, Commissioner of Police, says, “The city trend is now that youngsters are taking to MDMA and LSD. MDMA in the original state is white crystalline powder and is called Ecstasy when sold as pills. Because it’s more affordable when compared to coke, it has caught the fancy of youngsters from all social strata. Earlier, only the city’s upper class was into drugs, but now the growing trend is that even youngsters from middle class families have become habitual drug abusers.”

Source: Times Of India

LSD is the preferred drug

The dangers associated with these kinds of drugs is that you can never be sure what you are getting when you buy them.

Many of these kinds of drugs are manufactured in clandestine drug labs where hygiene and ethics are not a priority. One can never be sure of the strength of the dose in a pill and you don’t really know how much or how little to take.

If you are going to take these drugs, always get them from a dealer with good street cred and it is advised to try a small dose and wait a few hours before taking a full dose.

What do you think? Should governments start to legalise these drugs to ensure that the quality of the substance is not deadly?

Lets face it… Zero tolerance has never stopped anyone from taking drugs and neither has prison!

We need to change our attitudes towards drugs and embrace the fact that people use drugs! Maybe we could utilise health practices like massage and good dirt to equalize our evil doings?

Prescription Drug Use On The Rise

Prescription drug use is on the rise as more and more people are becoming addicted to “over the counter” medication. Addicts are Doctor shopping to feed thier habits, which is leading to an increase in crime. Many addicts are turning to the medication OxyContin and oxycodone which are highly addictive opiates!

News source: Bethel Patch

Imagine that your parents are providing your children with an endless supply of addictive narcotics that will lead them directly to heroin addiction. In too many cases, according to experts and police departments, this is happening in a home near you.

At a seminar for the misuse of prescription drugs, Allison Fulton, executive director for the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse, said that in this area, most young people cannot really afford to buy expensive pills, but can readily get the drugs from family members.

“Grandparents do not realize that they are drug dealers. Many leave their prescription drugs out on the kitchen counter,” Fulton said. “Older people don’t have an understanding of kids’ mindset.”

Commonly prescribed drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone are opiates, and are derived from the same source as heroin. Det. Sgt. James Wright of the Bethel Police Department noted a video, entitled The Oxycontin Express, that highlights “pill mills” in Florida. Minimal requirements for purchasing these regulated narcotics have resulted in areas in Florida that have become a major resource for drug traffickers.

The impact in Connecticut was seen in 2011 when three Florida Transportation Security Administration and a Connecticut law enforcement official were arrested at the Westchester airport with tens of thousands of pills marked for distribution in the Stamford area.

Prescription drug addiction has changed the stereotype of the drug addict. “You used to know what the heroin addict looked like but today, it is not like that. It’s anybody,” Wright said.

With drug addiction comes crime, and Wright said, “In 2011, there were 298 larcenies, which is up from 151 the year before. That’s quite a bit,” he said.

Wright did not believe that the rise in crime had anything to do with the economy. “The people we are arresting have an addiction, they are not people who lost their jobs.”

“We have made a lot of arrests and we found a lot of people have an addiction to heroin, OxyContin, any opium based drug, hydrocodone, morphines. Heroin is opium. These prescription drugs are opiates,” Wright said.

In Danbury, Sgt. Mark Trohalis and Sgt. Thomas Michael agreed. Trohalis said, “With oxys, that addiction is expensive to maintain and it becomes a heroin addiction. It could cost $25 for a 25 gram pill, but they can buy a bag of heroin for $7 to $20.”

“There has always been a correlation between drug addicts and burglaries and robberies, and there has been a definite increase in the last six years,” Danbury Police Det Lt. James Fischer said.

In a 2001 press release from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, law enforcement and physicians were just beginning to understand how addictive these drugs are. “The use of OxyContin and its abuse, prevalent in other areas of the country, is on the rise in Connecticut. Prescriptions for all common opioid pain relievers (codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, hydromorphone) increased 23% from 1996-2000. During the same time period, prescriptions for OxyContin increased 1800%.”

In 2001, six deaths in Connecticut were attributed to OxyCodone, according to that release. Ten years later, accidental prescription overdose became the leading cause of accidental death for people under the age of 45 in eleven states, including CT, according to the Center for Disease Control.