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Drugs Costs & Prison Use: The most embarrassing graph in American drug policy

Drugs Costs & Prison Use: The most embarrassing graph in American drug policy | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Fighting illicit drugs is all about raising the price people have to pay to get them. So why do they keep getting cheaper?
Julian Buchanan's insight:

I am assuming the prison population in per population and the price of drugs takes inflation into account in order to consistently compare like with like.

Reduction in supply with little or no reduction in demand should result in increasingly higher prices not lower, so this graph suggests that US efforts to stop supply internationally, nationally and locally have failed as has the efforts to curb demand.

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Great Harm Reduction Videos from Ana Liffey Conference Key Note Speakers: DCR, Safe Sex, O/D Prevention

Great Harm Reduction Videos from  Ana Liffey Conference Key Note Speakers: DCR, Safe Sex, O/D Prevention | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The Ana Liffey Drug Project is a Low Threshold - Harm Reduction service
Julian Buchanan's insight:

It's good to share resources

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EMCDDA | Perspectives on drugs: models for legal supply of cannabis: recent developments

Julian Buchanan's insight:

interesting overview

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Video 7mins: intro to 2013 European drug report EMCDDA

The Trends and developments report presents a top-level overview of the drug phenomenon in Europe, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as we...
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Canadian Report suggests Decriminalizing Heroin, Cocaine To Combat Drug Abuse

Canadian Report suggests Decriminalizing Heroin, Cocaine To Combat Drug Abuse | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Prohibition is the biggest driver for crime, while criminalisation creates the greatest harms to the user

 

NOTE:

 

Click on the headline title to access the full report

or here to also read more background context

http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/15903/20130525/drugs-marijuana-cocaine-decriminalization.htm#.UaJQlSmWan0.twitter

 

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Grant Hall's comment, May 26, 2013 9:36 PM
Exciting to even see this being discussed as a possibility. Will common sense and harm reduction actually prevail???
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VIDEO 15min: The Wire creator David Simon on US war on drugs, capitalism & social control (worth watching)

David Simon, creator of HBO TV drama The Wire, speaks about capitalism, Margaret Thatcher and how anti-drug enforcement has evolved into social control
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Problem drug use or 'addiction' is not a disease, it's not an equal opportunity affliction (despite the addicted/recovered celebs regularly paraded before us) - it disproprtionately affects the poor and marginalised. PDU as Simon suggest should be understood as a symptom of extreme structural inequality - the plight of the discarded working class who have no worth and no opportunity to sell their labour but living in an affluent advanced wealthy capitalist society.

 

Related readings

 

The War on Drugs a War on Drug Users: http://epubs.glyndwr.ac.uk/siru/23/

 

Understanding Problematic Drug Use: A Medical Matter or a Social Issue? http://epubs.glyndwr.ac.uk/siru/18/

 

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Grant Hall's comment, May 26, 2013 11:15 PM
WE need more like him speaking out . . . excellent interview!
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VIDEO 10mins: The dubious scientific evidence of the Crack Babies. http://retroreport.org/crack-babies-a-tale-from-the-drug-wars/

VIDEO 10mins: The dubious scientific evidence of the Crack Babies. http://retroreport.org/crack-babies-a-tale-from-the-drug-wars/ | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The truth now about the big stories then

 

for more background context see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/booming/revisiting-the-crack-babies-epidemic-that-was-not.html?hp&_r&_r=2&;

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

The social construction of evidence to suit the outcome you desire

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Focusing on abuse, not use: A proposed new direction for US drug policy

Focusing on abuse, not use: A proposed new direction for US drug policy | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

How professionals and societies deal with drugs and drug consumption is premised on how abuse is defined. The “War on Drugs” approach promotes the belief that “any use is abuse” where the currently illicit drugs are concerned. Regrettably, any distinction between use and abuse has been notably absent from most public policy decisions on drug issues. Even a cursory review of both supply and demand reduction policies of the past century reveals a startling lack of awareness of this distinction. The failure of differentiation undermines prevention, treatment, and the criminal justice system. Treatment, thus, tends to show a bias toward ineffective models such as “boot camps” and “tough love”. It has contributed to controversy over maintenance treatments, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and heroin, which have proven to be highly effective for some addicted persons. It leads to treatment options for the addictions being far more limited and constrained than is typical in other areas of health care. Admittedly, studying non-problematic drug use has been a challenge, but clearly the use of illegal drugs is often not harmful, any more than is moderate alcohol use. Addiction is a fatal disease for some and that disease should be the focus of our policies.


Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09687637.2012.682231?prevSearch=allfield%253A%2528Nicholson%2529%2Band%2B%2528allfield%253A%2528drug%2Beducation%2529%2529&searchHistoryKey=

Julian Buchanan's insight:

An excellent proposal!

 

[...interestingly 25 years ago it was argued policy 'must identify those drug abusers who are dependent and differentiate from those who are experimental or recreational users' (Buchanan 1987 p.124) http://prb.sagepub.com.helicon.vuw.ac.nz/content/34/4/123.abstract ]

 

ln my opinion, the final sentence of the abstract unfortunately affirms the new US medical war on the diseased addict. Addiction (to substances, activities, behaviours) is not a disease, nor an medical condition/illness and for the millions who develop an addiction fatalities are few.

 

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Author Glenn Thomas Langohr's comment, July 19, 2013 12:15 PM
After serving 10 years in California prisons and 4 years in solitary confinement, I just spoke about that on PBS~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6csHeGqpe20 Tap this link for my Prison Books~ http://amzn.to/1bhqCUh I shined a light on Prison Overcrowding, the Hunger Strike, the lack of Rehabilitation and then pointed to a better way. To check out "My Hardest Step" in Print, being adapted for TV go here~ http://amzn.to/1930Lif
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REPORT: The Organization of American States on Friday published a report calling for decriminalization

REPORT: The Organization of American States on Friday published a report calling for decriminalization | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

In the first part, he said, "we follow the entire process of drugs in the region, the only part of the world in which all of its stages are present in a dominant way: cultivation, production, distribution and the final sale of controlled substances. In each stage we review the various forms this activity assumes, as well as its environmental impact and the reaction of the State, its implications and its limitations." He said this part of the Report examined "the consumption of the different drugs in our countries, their effects on social exclusion and the exercise of human rights, the possible forms of treatment and prevention practiced today and, again, the reaction of our States.”

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Given the institutional and national damage South America have experienced from fiercely imposed drug prohibition it is understandable that they should be the countries to lead the way for change - so desperately needed for them and for us all.

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Grant Hall's comment, May 17, 2013 9:25 PM
Excellent article . . . common sense at last!
Ruth J Morrison's curator insight, May 20, 2013 10:06 AM

A commonsense solution or, are we going down a slippery slope?

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War on drugs hitting poorest women hardest: Huge number in Thai prisons 85% for drugs

War on drugs hitting poorest women hardest: Huge number in Thai prisons 85% for drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

War on drugs hitting poor women hard. The Thai government's notion of a war on drugs has done little to solve the actual problem and has led instead to a larger number of women in prison.

About 85 per cent of female inmates are being held for drug-related offences and Thailand is said to have the world's highest number of women prisoners - almost 19,000 - after the United States....

Julian Buchanan's insight:

It's a disgrace - across the world it's the poorest people and the poorest countries who bear the brunt of the war on drugs

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Krishna Shah's curator insight, December 7, 2013 2:36 PM

People may be accusing other people of drug abuse, especially women. Interesting article!

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Should soft drugs be decriminalised? (NZ)

Should soft drugs be decriminalised? (NZ) | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The Vote is a monthly current affairs debate show filmed ‘as live’ before a studio audience.Every four weeks, two teams led by Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner will go head-to-head over a big issue facing New Zealand.

Via ReGenUC
Julian Buchanan's insight:

.... ermm what on earth are 'soft' drugs?

 

Are alcohol or tobacco soft drugs?

 

Are LSD or magic mushrooms soft drugs?

 

Maybe it's the drugs at the bottom end of David Nutt's scale of harm?

 

Surely we don't take the lead from the much maligned and outdated Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961

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Grant Hall's comment, May 15, 2013 9:03 PM
Well said . . .
Julian Buchanan's comment, May 15, 2013 9:04 PM
Cheers Grant
MildGreen Initiative's comment, June 2, 2013 4:32 PM
Media has little interest in resolving the tensions....they completly omitteto mention that we have the worlds best rules and that the current moral panic is because we havent tried/applied them. Media have never even mentioned them five years after they were made law.
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Psychiatry USA New Diagnostic Manual for DSM-5 "Don't Buy It. Don't Use It. Don't Teach It."

Psychiatry USA New Diagnostic Manual for DSM-5 "Don't Buy It. Don't Use It. Don't Teach It." | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
That's what psychiatrist Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-IV task force, has to say about DSM-5.

Via ReGenUC
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Some One's curator insight, January 20, 2014 5:35 AM

I am scooping this article which may upset my professor as she has sung the praises of the DSM 5. I am doing so because, again; the assignment was partially to see what is out there in the general public about disorders, and I think that this is very relevant material.

 

When an Anorexia Nervosa patient declines treatment or manipulates and decieves her family and treatment team it is with material such as this in mind justifying their actions, and I think that a clinician is well served by being aware of its existence. I was surprised to see the chair of the task force denouncing the manual, though I was familiar with some of the arguments used against it. 

 

I think that it is important for therapists to note that our credibility as a profession is really being called into question and has been for the past few years. I think that whether you agree with critics or not, failing to even hear them can translate into failing to ever reach them, especially when they sit across from you in the office after having been forced into treatment against their will.

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Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’

Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’ | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
A major U.S. private prison operator known for inmate abuse, violations, and disregard for the truth reported a 56-percent spike in profit in the first quarter of 2013, due in part to its new strategy for drastically reducing its taxes, the...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Why some treatment and punishment services must never be privatised or driven by profit

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VIDEO 5mins: Debating the Risks of Synthetic Cannabis

Synthetic cannabis - 93% of tokers don't prefer it! The spray on stone - like fake tans are bad for your health. If it doesn't look like weed, smell like wee...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

But tough prohibition and increased use of drug testing by employers and government is driving people away from illicit drugs to explore synthetic and possibly more dangerous alternatives  ... the longer prohibition continues the worse the impact gets!

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Rise in legal highs is fuelled by drug prohibition

Rise in legal highs is fuelled by drug prohibition | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Mike Power: Stand-ins for drugs such as MDMA and cannabis are on the rise, while lack of quality control of all street drugs puts users at risk
Julian Buchanan's insight:

drug testing does no good at all....

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'Crack Baby' Scare Overblown, Research Finds

'Crack Baby' Scare Overblown, Research Finds | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
CHICAGO -- Research in teens adds fresh evidence that the 1980s "crack baby" scare was overblown, finding little proof of any major long-term ill effects in children whose mothers used cocaine during pregnancy.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

distortion and exaggeration to justify war on drugs has a long history ... this is by no means the first time it has happened and wont be the last time sadly -so we need to continually ask tough questions and cast doubt on the research that stands in isolation

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Retiring QC wants children removed from criminals at birth (UK)

Retiring QC wants children removed from criminals at birth (UK) | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
THE children of hardened criminals should be adopted at birth to save them from a life of crime, a top judge has claimed.

Via ReGenUC
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More countries inching forward - defenders of outdated international drug laws can expect no respite

More countries inching forward - defenders of outdated international drug laws can expect no respite | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Time to light up SEVEN of the world’s eight most violent countries lie on the bloody trafficking route from the cocaine fields of the Andes to the nostrils of...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Good to see... :)

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Sherborne Gary's curator insight, June 6, 2013 1:34 PM

More and more the people in Europe start proper debate on this failed war on drugs. 

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Golden Bullet: Addiction Now Defined As Brain Disorder, Not Behavior Problem

Golden Bullet: Addiction Now Defined As Brain Disorder, Not Behavior Problem | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Will the new definition mean we stop blaming addicts for their behaviors?
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Genetic determinism emerges once again ... Charles Darwin, Charles Murray, Sir Keith Joseph, Dr James Watson  .. and maybe they can now all support Barbara Harris who has a charity to pay drug using mothers to be sterilised - to stop the reproduction of this brain disorder?

So the poverty, inequality, abuse, unemployment, low self esteem, low achievement which feature disproportionately amongst people with patterns of problematic drug use is just a symptom?

 

The simple disease model of addiction really is making a worrying comeback.

Maybe people who commit crimes also have a brain disorder .... and people who display anti-social patterns of behaviour? So rampant capitalism with the obscene levels of inequality that create degenerate and hopeless environments for the poorest, excluded and disenfrachised - has not resulted in high levels of problem drug use at all - it's just that these people have got brain disorders!

 

Very convenient ....

 

 

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Western leaders study 'gamechanging' report on global drugs trade

Western leaders study 'gamechanging' report on global drugs trade | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Review by Organisation of American States on illicit drugs 'could mark beginning of the end' of prohibition
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The times they are a-changin

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Cannabis: Colorado's budding new industry

Cannabis: Colorado's budding new industry | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Dispensaries selling cannabis chocolates and bath salts, 'bud-tenders' advising on the best blends, even a marijuana university.
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ARTICLE: School Drug Testing & Student Illicit Drug Use: Cannabis down slightly but other [more dangerous?] drugs increased

Because the study design is observational and the data are cross-sectional, no strong causal conclusions can be drawn. However, there is evidence of lower marijuana use in the presence of SDT, and evidence of higher use of illicit drugs other than marijuana. Until further research can clarify the apparent opposing associations, schools should approach SDT with caution.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

There is no evidence base to support drug testing so why is it so heavily promoted and embraced?

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Court upholds temporary ban on drug testing Florida welfare recipients

Court upholds temporary ban on drug testing Florida welfare recipients | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a temporary ban on a law requiring drug testing of Florida welfare recipients.

 

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Tuesday ruled that a lower court was right to temporarily halt enforcement of the drug-testing program. The opinion said the state of Florida hadn't shown a "substantial special need" for such mandatory drug testing.

 

Florida officials have argued that testing is necessary because it would deter drug use by those receiving welfare. Opponents say drug testing as a condition of getting welfare benefits is an unconstitutional search and seizure...

 

(click pic to continue reading)


Via Billy Corben, Chad Smith
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Drug testing beneficiaries is flawed science, flawed economics and a breach of human rights

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Chad Smith's curator insight, May 10, 2013 2:15 PM

Tallahassee, Florida has been considering a temporary ban on a law that requires drug testing of Florida welfare recipients. Officials in Florida argue that testing is necessary to stop drug usage from welfare recepients. While some people argue that these tests are worthless and a waste of the governments money, many more agree that this will help save the government money in the end.

 

 

 

 

Chad Smith's comment, May 10, 2013 2:16 PM
I do not agree with the circumstances that they have in mind. No matter what, if the recipient fails the drug test the first time their benefits should automatically be terminated. If a recipient is using taxpayers money towards drug usage there is a great chance that it will be an occurrence.
Julian Buchanan's comment, May 15, 2013 8:53 PM
If its expenditure you are concerned about how would you react if they got cannabis free from a friend?
Or if they spent some of their money on TV, chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks?
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Support Don't Punish

Support Don't Punish | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
A global advocacy campaign to raise awareness of the harms that are being caused by the criminalisation of people who use drugs.
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How drug testing may lead cannabis users to move to legal highs

How drug testing may lead cannabis users to move to legal highs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Findings: Most of the users in the qualitative sample sought a legal alternative to cannabis (their drug of choice) to avoid positive drug test screenings and criminal sanctions. Many were attending abstinence-only drug treatment programmes, under community corrections, or were seeking a career in the US military. These individuals were randomly drug tested and knew that the metabolites of synthetic cannabis are not detected in standard urine drug screenings.


Conclusions: US drug policies – the prohibition of marijuana and the proliferation of drug testing – have led users to seek out legal highs.


Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09687637.2012.749392?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&#.UY0XIXN0Sp4.twitter
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Another example of the damage caused by prohibition and the war on drugs ... in this case tough punishments and social sanction resulting from drug testing are creating a growing demand (and indeed culture) for undetectable and often unknown legal highs which probably pose much greater risk than cannabis.

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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, May 31, 2013 9:23 AM

Witness the drug by drug failure of New Zealand's latest Psychoactive Substances ammendments.... while the holistic approach, joined up thinking required by our National Drug Policy goes down the toilet along with the "worlds best" regulations,  are deleted from the books... to satisfy a moral panic. The premis is, enough people knashing teeth and politicians jump for more of the same.

 

NZ is a living laboratory, not for SAFER drugs, rather  of applied prohibitory concepts and evidence of its failure....

 

We should test regulation vs prohibition for 'safety' and policians for stupidity.