I argue that the social context is much overlooked in drug dependence, and in this paper I illustrates how problem drug use is to a large extent a social problem, exacerbated by criminalisation, exclusion, stigma and discrimination.
Caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the world. Although consumption of low to moderate doses of caffeine is generally safe, an increasing number of clinical studies are showing that some caffeine users become dependent on the drug and are unable to reduce consumption despite knowledge of recurrent health problems associated with continued use. Thus, the World Health Organization and some health care professionals recognize caffeine dependence as a clinical disorder. In this comprehensive literature review, we summarize published research on the biological evidence for caffeine dependence; we provide a systematic review of the prevalence of caffeine dependence and rates of endorsement of clinically meaningful indicators of distress and functional impairment among habitual caffeine users; we discuss the diagnostic criteria for Caffeine Use Disorder-a condition for further study included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.); and we outline a research agenda to help guide future clinical, epidemiological, and genetic investigations of caffeine dependence. Numerous controlled laboratory investigations reviewed in this article show that caffeine produces behavioral and physiological effects similar to other drugs of dependence. Moreover, several recent clinical studies indicate that caffeine dependence is a clinically meaningful disorder that affects a nontrivial proportion of caffeine users. Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine the reliability, validity, and prevalence of this clinically important health problem.
Investors are starting to take the cannabis industry very seriously indeed if the latest funding figures from start-up Privateer Holdings are anything to go by. Privateer invests in one thing - legal cannabis – and counts among its investments the Marley-branded weed being launched later this year. Now it has closed on $75 million (£50 million)worth of funding, bringing its total funding to $82 million (£54 million).
Julian Buchanan's insight:
"Some drug reform entrepreneurs may attempt to hail privileging cannabis as an incremental step in the right direction, but the widespread and growing public support for decriminalisation, (and ultimately the regulation of all drugs), could be dissipated by this tokenistic gesture to invite cannabis to sit around the table of the powerful. While alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and maybe cannabis enjoy privileged status, the scourge, oppression and madness of a drug apartheid, remains an affront to human rights, a system of punishment and control that will continue to haunt this generation and future generations to come, one that will be remembered shamefully in history. The international system of drug control is deeply flawed and damaging to individuals, communities and countries. It needs naming, exposing and dismantling. There can be no minor adjustments, or so-called incremental steps to accommodate the status quo, abolition is what is required not compromise."
Some patients were so agitated they had to be put in restraints and given sedatives. "There was a period of time when we used all the large ventilators," a doctor says. "The ICU was running out of staff."
Jamaica just legalized marijuana for medicinal, scientific and religious purposes. Personal use and cultivation of up to five plants is allowed and the way is paved for cannabis tourism.Cue the Reggae.
While most of those receiving treatment for cannabis-related problems are treated in outpatient settings, treatment in inpatient settings is also reported by the majority of countries. Given the young age and often limited level of problems experienced by many cannabis users, Internet-based interventions are a promising approach which is already supported by some evidence. Addressing shortcomings and limitations will help to increase the overall availability and quality of treatment for cannabis use disorders in Europe, which may reduce the potential long-term negative effects in this relatively young group of drug users. The high levels of cannabis use in some parts of Europe, coupled with growing challenges to the drug’s status as a controlled substance and possible shifts in the social acceptability of the drug, underline the importance of meeting current treatment needs and remaining vigilant for future changes.
Yesterday Shona Banda, the Kansas medical marijuana activist whose home was searched after her 11-year-old son challenged anti-pot propaganda at school, failed to regain custody of the boy, who is now under the control of Child Protective Services (CPS). "I am not giving up," Banda said after yesterday's family court hearing. "I will get him, and I am not going to stop until I do."
If there was ever any doubt in your mind about the shared DNA between the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, consider the chart above. It shows the number of wiretaps granted by state and federal courts in 2013. You'll see that nearly 90 percent of the wiretaps were issued for drug offenses.
For over 50 years, many medical drugs have been effectively banned from research and clinical treatment in the vain hope that this will stop recreational use. The scientific community should now challenge this pointless ban and get governments to improve their regulations so science can flourish.
A new bill in Ecuador seeks to change the national paradigm regarding drugs, decriminalizing the sale and use of a broad range of illicit substances. The bill aims for “comprehensive drug prevention, by establishing a legal and institutional framework to address drug use, and the regulation of the substances that are subject to control
Julian Buchanan's insight:
It is interesting to see and note, it is generally the smaller countries, (not the major players in Anglophile led global western capitalism), who have been/are leading the way to alternative drug policies: Uruguay, Ecuador, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
I suspect one of the many reasons is the vested interest of the the pharmaceutical industry and the power and influence of the legal drug industry (alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine) in Anglophile capitalist countries,
NB The US move to legalize cannabis has not been led by the US government but forced through the ballot box by the US people
This is intended to be the first of anannual series of reports designedto describe key global trends in theuse and practice of imprisonmentand to identify some of the pressingchallenges facing states that wish toorganise their penitentiary system inaccordance with international normsand standards.
Prisoners are entitled to human rights, including the right to health. Under Canadian and international law, prisoners should benefit from a level of health care equivalent to what is available to all Canadians. We must always remind ourselves that when a person enters prison, the penalty is loss of liberty - and not the loss of one's health or life.
In solidarity, The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
In a recent online survey of 18-25 year old Australians, 10% of respondents who have tried synthetic drugs said use of these dangerous substances resulted in them feeling like they were either going to die or that they had died already.
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