Posts Tagged Drug Abuse
Saturday, July 21, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] For years Americans have been told that marijuana should remain illegal because it is the ultimate “gateway” drug – that is, the drug that most often leads to the abuse of other, more potent drugs.
Not so, according to a new study which says alcohol – not marijuana – is the true gateway drug.
Of three drugs or drug-containing substances – alcohol, tobacco and marijuana – the study found that the former, not the latter, led to more drug use.
In examining a nationally representative sample obtained from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, the study concluded: “Results from the Guttman scale indicated that alcohol represented the ‘gateway’ drug, leading to the use of tobacco, marijuana, and other illicit substances. Moreover, students who used alcohol exhibited a significantly greater likelihood of using both licit and illicit drugs.”
That said, the study concluded “that alcohol should receive primary attention in school-based substance abuse prevention programming, as the use of other substances could be impacted by delaying or preventing alcohol use.
“Therefore, it seems prudent for school and public health officials to focus prevention efforts, policies, and monies, on addressing adolescent alcohol use,” said the study.
Earlier studies point to similar results.
Longstanding tie between alcohol consumption and drug abuse
As early as 1985, for example, a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence concluded “that students do not use illicit drugs unless they also use alcohol.”
“Since alcohol serves as the gateway to all other drug use, prevention approaches that control and limit alcohol use among adolescents may be warranted,” authors John W. Welte and Grace M. Barnes, both of New York State University at Buffalo, wrote.
July 18, 2012
Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts.
Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal’s decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.
“There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.
The Quiet Epidemic: prescription drug abuse destroys millions of lives
The Baltimore Sun
There isn’t much attention paid to prescription drug abuse, except perhaps when a Hollywood star dies from an overdose. However, it is estimated that nearly one in five Americans has used prescription drugs for nonmedicinal reasons, and 15 percent may be abusing prescription drugs. This silent epidemic has become the leading cause of addiction.
This week, the Maryland Chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the University of Maryland Medical Center sponsored the annual Tuerk Conference, a gathering of 1,200 health professionals working in the field of addictions to focus on treatment and prevention of prescription drug abuse. Confronting and debunking the common myth that prescription drugs are less deadly and less addictive was one of the items on the agenda.
The dangers of prescription drug abuse are growing at an exponential rate. Between 1992 and 2002, the number of prescriptions written increased by 61 percent, but the number of prescriptions written for opiates increased by almost 400 percent. Opiates reflect three-quarters of all prescription drugs abused. Actor Heath Ledger had Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin (oxycodone), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam) in his bloodstream when he died. All are legal opiates.
According to a report this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers jumped 65 percent from 1999 to 2006. One-third of new addicts report that their first drug experience was with prescription drugs.