Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Snippets - Various Good News Articles

Good News - Drug Use Drops

Latest figures from The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that Australians are reducing their drug intake. Tobacco, alcohol, cannabis and methamphetamine usage rates has dropped from 2004 to 2007. The worry is that the government or opposition is going to take the credit for it or that it will be used as evidence that the “tough on drugs” approach is working. We will wait and see.

Rehab At Risk

A pharmacotheraphy program for a drug rehab in Wodonga may be closing because the Federal Government has not approved more funding yet. The closing of any medical based rehab is a concern especially in a small community like Wadonga. If the government shut down those evil rehabs based on the Swedish model which use abstinence & religion instead of medicine and science, they could fund many real clinics like that at Wadonga. The Wodonga clinic is funded until June.

More Evidence That Addicts Don’t Choose to be Addicts

Reuters: Scientists in China have identified about 400 genes that appear to make some people more easily addicted to drugs, opening the way for more effective therapies and addiction control. Experts believe genetic factors account for up to 60 per cent of a person's vulnerability to drug addiction, with environmental factors accounting for the remainder. The researchers focused on four addictive substances - cocaine, opiate, alcohol and nicotine - and mapped out five main routes, or "molecular pathways'', that lead to addiction, they wrote in the journal PLoS Computational Biology. 

Ecstasy Helps War Trauma Victims

A medical team in Israel is running trials of the drug ecstasy as a treatment for post-traumatic disorders in soldiers. The doctors believe that MDMA, the active drug in ecstasy has both calming and stimulating effects that can help patients not only overcome trauma but also dominate it. The doctors are also convinced that psychotheraphy is crucial in curing patients and that ecstasy can help them to recover. Ecstasy has recently been found to be a lot less dangerous than first thought and joins the growing list of illegal drugs being used for positive outcomes.

Sweden’s Drug Policy Dealt Another Blow

Sweden’s Zero Tolerance drug policy has recently been singled out as breaching human rights and their claims of success have been refuted with continuing evidence showing their figures are deeply flawed. Former PM, John Howard was pushing for Australia to adapt the abstinence only and moral based Swedish model and cited many statistics including their low rate of marijuana smokers. According to a new police report, Swedish authorities have seriously underestimated the size of the country's cannabis market. Around 25-30 tonnes of cannabis are sold in Sweden every year, rather than the 3 tonnes previously estimated.

Dutch Police Union Chairman: Legalise Cannabis

According to NPB Hans van Duijn, the chairman of the Dutch police union, most senior police including himself support the legalisation of cannabis. The Netherlands already allow the sale of cannabis in selected “coffee shops” but technically, it is still illegal. Pressure from the UN and the US is the reason stopping full legalisation and Hans van Duijn says Dutch politicians are reluctant to look at the possibilities of legalising soft drugs. He also wants prescription heroin to become law. At the moment it has to be classed as a scientific trial and renewed every three years to bypass the UN’s antiquated drug policies.

“Drug crimes take up a great deal of the police's time and energy and other crime issues suffer from it”

-NPB Hans van Duijn, the chairman of the Dutch police union

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