Normalisation of drugs
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‘Legal highs’ replacing Class A drugs on Manchester’s streets with 73 new substances appearing in last year | Mancunian Matters

‘Legal highs’ replacing Class A drugs on Manchester’s streets with 73 new substances appearing in last year | Mancunian Matters | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
By Danielle Wainwright & Glen Keogh
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This is doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment

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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 | Normalisation of drugs | 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


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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, May 10, 2013 12:28 PM

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.

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.

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Scientist pushing K2 ban : natural Cannabis less harmful - Scoop.co.nz (press release)

Scientist pushing K2 ban : natural Cannabis less harmful - Scoop.co.nz (press release) | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Scientist pushing K2 ban : natural Cannabis less harmful Scoop.co.nz (press release) In an interview on National Radio Dr Leo Schep, the toxicologist behind the Kronic ban, admitted that natural cannabis is less harmful than synthetic products...
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Idrasil: The First Medical Marijuana Pill ...

Idrasil: The First Medical Marijuana Pill ... | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Cannabis contains over 85 cannabinoids, a class of diverse chemical compounds which activate 2 cannabinoid receptors, believed to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, and pain relieving effects of ...
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Pupils in drug bust - Stuff.co.nz

Pupils in drug bust
Stuff.co.nz
Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said the Cobham Intermediate pupils were among a growing number of young people who were using cannabis across New Zealand.

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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, April 19, 2013 1:17 AM

> among a growing number

 

laughable language.... a growing number pretends there is a growing number. When there is 4:5 young people, or more, and it remains about constant, the Drug Foundation and in particular Ross Bell is without authority. They pretend concern when no concern is warranted. There will always be new entrants to the pot experience, and others who cease or defer to mortgages, kids and legal hard drugs like alcohol.

 

What would have been better of them is to ask is; so how does prohibition stack up as a measured response? Does it limit or ensure new entrants to the pot culture? And given that the numbers are huge, exactly where is the harm again? That is not to say there are no harms. But proportionately to alcohol, pot looks benign.

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Government regime discriminates against natural Cannabis - Scoop.co.nz (press release)

Government regime discriminates against natural Cannabis Scoop.co.nz (press release) "By systematically ignoring the Law Commission's recommendations regarding natural cannabis, Dunne is maintaining the black-market for criminals and ensuring the...
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Special Report: War on Drugs - KIMT

Special Report: War on Drugs - KIMT | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Special Report: War on Drugs
KIMT
Some describe marijuana as a gateway drug-believing it has the potential to open the door to the use and dependence of harder drugs. Andy believes further use is based on people's curiosity.
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Project Seeks to Protect Babies From Drugs - The Ledger

Project Seeks to Protect Babies From Drugs - The Ledger | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Project Seeks to Protect Babies From Drugs
The Ledger
Newborns exposed to prescription drugs while in the womb suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome.
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VIDEO 2mins: Susan Sarandon: 'The war on drugs is ridiculous, racist and a waste of tax payers money'

VIDEO 2mins: Susan Sarandon: 'The war on drugs is ridiculous, racist and a waste of tax payers money' | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Susan Sarandon has never been one to shy away from a controversial topic.

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, April 17, 2013 7:10 PM

It's simple and sensible

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60min PODCAST: "The Damage Caused by Drugs or Drug Policy" Leicester University Scarman Lecture 13th June 2010

60min PODCAST: "The Damage Caused by Drugs or Drug Policy" Leicester University Scarman Lecture 13th June 2010 | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Public Lecture series 'Scarman Lectures' at the Department of Criminology, Leicester University on 13 June 2012 A/Professor Julian Buchanan considered 'The damage caused by drugs, or the damage caused by drug policy?

 

The podcast can be access here: http://julianbuchanan.podomatic.com/entry/2012-07-04T17_03_17-07_00

 

The PREZI presentation can be accessed (copied) here:

http://prezi.com/xbqgndp6ylhd/the-damage-caused-by-drugs-or-the-damage-caused-by-drug-policy/


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Overview of Release's new drug decriminalisation report

Overview of Release's new drug decriminalisation report | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it

The purpose of this research and summary is to show that the decriminalisation model adopted in many countries has little impact on drug prevalence within a given society.

 

Download the report here:

http://www.release.org.uk/publications/drug-decriminalisation-policies-in-practice-across-the-globe

 


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VIDEO 8mins: CNN Debate on Drug War: Ethan Nadelmann

CNN does a debate on the war on drugs. Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance debates Kevin Sabet, who formerly worked in the Drug Czar's office.

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Podcast 43mins Prof David Nutt Promoting an Evidence Based Drug Policy BBC Radio 4

Podcast 43mins Prof David Nutt Promoting an Evidence Based Drug Policy BBC Radio 4 | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
On Start the Week Andrew Marr asks how far scientific evidence can influence the political agenda. Professor David Nutt is a respected researcher working in the field of drugs, but is best known as the government advisor who was sacked by the Home Secretary for comparing the risks of horse-riding with taking ecstasy. He argues for a rational debate on drugs policy based on objective evidence.

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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." | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
That's what psychiatrist Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-IV task force, has to say about DSM-5.

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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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Drug testing welfare recipients - but what does the evidence say?

Drug testing welfare recipients - but what does the evidence say? | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Before jumping to conclusions and mandating drug tests for anyone receiving welfare, we should consider some of the financial repercussions.

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Chad Smith's curator insight, May 7, 2013 2:21 PM

On April 29, 2013 Texas has passed a law that has now mandated drug tests for welfare recepients. No tax payer wants to have their hard working money spent on cocaine or any type of drug usage. An estimated $6 million of welfare benefits is spent supporting drug users. According to a report during 2007, 20 percent of TANF recipients admitted to using drugs sometime within the last year. Many of the current drug testing laws are more cost efficient than expected, but they are hoping to find a more efficient way in the near future.

 

I feel that states should spend as much money as they are able to stop welfare recepients from spending the governments money on drug usage. Once welfare recepients realize that the money they receive from the government is only for themselves and their family, tax payers will feel like their money is being spent on something useful.

 
Chad Smith's curator insight, May 7, 2013 2:25 PM

On April 29, 2013 Texas has passed a law that has now mandated drug tests for welfare recepients. No tax payer wants to have their hard working money spent on cocaine or any type of drug usage. An estimated $6 million of welfare benefits is spent supporting drug users. According to a report during 2007, 20 percent of TANF recipients admitted to using drugs sometime within the last year. Many of the current drug testing laws are more cost efficient than expected, but they are hoping to find a more efficient way in the near future.

 

I feel that states should spend as much money as they are able to stop welfare recepients from spending the governments money on drug usage. Once welfare recepients realize that the money they receive from the government is only for themselves and their family, tax payers will feel like their money is being spent on something useful.

Julian Buchanan's comment, May 9, 2013 5:00 AM
Chad if its expenditure you are concerned about how would you react if they got cannabis free from a friend?
Or if they spent money on chocolate crisps and fizzy drinks?
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The International Reaction to DSM-5

The International Reaction to DSM-5 | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
I doubt DSM-5 will remain the international standard for research journals; it will almost certainly not gain any clinical following outside the U.S.; and it will also probably lose its role as the lingua franca of American psychiatry.
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Legal high sales ad gets police interest

Legal high sales ad gets police interest | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
Oamaru police are alarmed that a job selling legal highs has been advertised.

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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, March 16, 2013 9:52 PM

Police "Alarmed" - so who in the hell gave them the mandates to alter the political dialog. They exact policy, not formulate it on the fly.....

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US Drug Policy 2013: The pursuit of [drug free] happiness by legal and medical means

US Drug Policy 2013: The pursuit of [drug free] happiness by legal and medical means | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, April 25, 2013 9:10 PM

To read the latest US Drug Policy click on the headline above. Here are some intial reflections:


For the past two decades this abstinence and zero tolerance approach to drugs has benefitted the prisons and other law enforcement agencies -but not the general population or drug users themselves.

The new policy for the 21st century offers little change, it continue to be against all (illicit) 'drug' use (not just problematic use) and continues to pursue a 'drug' free America. In its pursuit of a 'drug free' US the drug policy excludes big pharma drugs, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine - somehow despite the serious dangers they pose, they are not seen as drugs ...although alcohol is now on the radar as addictive [to those who have the gene?].

The US Drug policy is explicit - it will educate young people to say no to all illegal drugs, and those that are caught in possession will continue to be criminalised, but the new beneficiaries of catching these 'addicts' will be the legal professions, drug testing companies and drug rehab and treatment providers as people are placed on Abstinence Drug Court Orders. The business generated by the mass of drug users caught up in the criminal justice system will now have to be shared by Legal Agencies with drug treatment and drug detection agencies. These are the new beneficiaries not the general population or drug users themselves.

But the medicalisation of 'drug' use and addiction is pushed hard in the US policy - but to use drugs is neither a criminal matter nor a health issue. Whether you choose enjoy a coffee to start the day, have a few shots to have a good night out, enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, a spliff with a few friends or some viagra later on ... this use of drugs cannot be framed as essentially a criminal nor a medical matters - they are social choices and cultural patterns of behavior. Those that choose to use illicit drugs don't need treatment or drug testing and more than those who enjoy a Budweiser.

When the use of legal or illegal substances get out of control -which happens for a very small proportion of people (legal or illegal) - the matter can become a social, medical and possibly criminal concern. But it's not a disease, just like gambling, speeding, texting, over eating, violence and abuse are not diseases.

 

With law enforcement agencies tasked to arrest those that possess drugs and then through the criminal courts subject these 'sick' offenders are coerced towards compulsory treatment overseen by the judiciary with the threat of punishment and incarceration for failure to comply, this behaviour modification approach at the heart of US Drug Policy 2013 can hardly be described as offering and drug policy reform.

 

Those of us who have long to see an end to the war on drugs, who are aghast at the damage of criminalisation and prohibition, might be tempted to embrace the apparent enlightenment that 'drugs are a health problem' - but it'd be a serious mistake. Drug taking is not a health issues, addiction is not a disease, and the medicalisation of drug use will like prohibition and criminalisation prove a dangerous path to travel down.

 

Julian Buchanan

26th April 2013

 

see

Understanding Problematic Drug Use: A Medical Matter or a Social Issue?

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Marijuana Pill May Be Better For Pain

Marijuana Pill May Be Better For Pain | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
By: Rachael Rettner, MyHealthNewsDaily Senior Writer Published: 04/22/2013 12:13 PM EDT on MyHealthNewsDaily A pill form of marijuana may work just as well to relieve pain as the smoked form, but with fewer side effects, new research suggests.
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Women Are Being Prosecuted for Losing Their Babies -The New Law Enforcement State?

Women Are Being Prosecuted for Losing Their Babies -The New Law Enforcement State? | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it

In 2006, 15-year-old Rennie Gibbs's unborn child died after 36 weeks.

An autopsy of the fetus showed traces of a metabolite of cocaine. Her doctors informed the authorities that she had tested positive for drugs while pregnant, and she was arrested on a charge of “depraved heart murder”


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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, April 21, 2013 8:12 PM

It is too easy to demonise drugs, demonise drug users, then create a causal relationship to drugs whenever anything bad happens. More evidence needed before jumping to easy conclusions.

 

Women who lose their baby need health and social care not law enforcement.

What was once the caring welfare state is being replaced by an intolerant controlling law enforcement state. 

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DSM-5: Psychiatry's Contested Bible | The Fix

DSM-5: Psychiatry's Contested Bible | The Fix | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it

The new 1,000-page psychiatrists' Big Book will redefine addiction. Critics are already demanding a boycott. The Fix guides you through the highlights.

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Drug Testing WElfare Benefit Claimants

Drug Testing WElfare Benefit Claimants | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it

NZ Welfare beneficiaries who use alcohol and drugs are likely to be targeted under a new, tougher regime if recommendations by the Welfare Working Group are introduced.


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VIDEO: 10mins DRACONIAN: Love and Death with the War on Drugs

A powerful and disturbing short documentary of the war on drugs (a war on drug users)


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Sharp rise in drug and alcohol use in arrested people - study (NZ)

Sharp rise in drug and alcohol use in arrested people - study (NZ) | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it
A large number of people detained by police are drunk or on drugs at the time of their arrest, a new report shows.

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Alcohol not a drug? How the drinks industry influences perception & policy

Alcohol not a drug? How the drinks industry influences perception & policy | Normalisation of drugs | Scoop.it

The European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing recently published a report called the Seven Key Messages of the Alcohol Industry, which summarizes the sorts of messages the industry uses to try and influence alcohol policy:

1. Consuming alcohol is normal, common, healthy and very responsible.

2. The damage done by alcohol is caused by a small group of deviants who cannot handle alcohol.

3. Normal adult non-drinkers do not, in fact, exist.

4. Ignore the fact that alcohol is a harmful and addictive chemical substance (ethanol) for the body.

5. Alcohol problems can only be solved when all parties work together.

6. Alcohol marketing is not harmful. It is simply intended to assist the consumer in selecting a certain product or brand.

7. Education about responsible use is the best method to protect society from alcohol problems.


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