Addiction Treatment

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New Orleans awash in drugs, addicts more alone than ever

Localização: 
New Orleans, LA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Los Angeles Times
URL: 
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-detox8apr08,1,1123679.story?coll=la-news-a_section

House Judiciary Committee Passes Second Chance Act

[Courtesy of FedCURE, www.FedCURE.org]

Just a week after the re-introduction of the bill, today members of the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 1593, the Second Chance Act of 2007. The bill will now be sent to the House floor for consideration, which sponsors say will take place in mid-April. During the mark-up of the bill, members voted down several amendments that would have jeopardized the bipartisan support for the bill.

The Second Chance Act would authorize a $65 million re-entry grant program administered through the Department of Justice for state and county re-entry initiatives, and a $15 million re-entry program for community and faith-based organizations to deliver mentoring and transitional services. The bill also retains a number of drug treatment provisions that were added to the legislation last session. Last week, the Second Chance Act was reintroduced by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Chris Cannon (R-UT) and has a growing list of bipartisan co-sponsors. The Senate plans to reintroduce their version of the bill later this week.

For more information on the Second Chance Act click here or contact Sara Paterni at [email protected].

http://www.oregonmeasure11.com/archives/2007/03/28/house-judiciary-commi...

Localização: 
Washington, DC
United States

Lou Dobbs Sucks Live

I don't have cable, so the only way to catch the latest edition of Lou Dobbs' appalling series "The War Within" was to attend a live filming at George Washington University. The value of actually being there was limited, although it was comforting knowing I could disrupt the live broadcast if I felt I had to.

To be fair, tonight's episode was a bit less offensive than previous installments. The focus was on addiction, and despite periodic outlandish Dobbsisms about "winning the drug war" and so forth, there were many valid concerns raised. Still, for a show that promises "News, Debate, Opinion," Lou Dobbs entirely failed to provide any debate. He brought out recovering addicts and school administrators, but his primary expert guests were Nora Volkow (NIDA), Joseph Califano (CASA), and Terry Klein (SAMHSA). As far as I can tell, these people completely agree on everything from public health policy to pizza toppings.

Having just discovered that the drug war isn't working, Dobbs would do well to consult some of the experts who've been predicting failure for decades. Califano offered the startling statistic that the U.S. has 4% of the world's population, but consumes 2/3 of the world's drugs. It is of course mind-boggling to contemplate how such an observation doesn’t lead to an immediate referendum on the policies that have gotten us here.

Thus, Lou Dobbs has become a curious and increasingly common character in the drug policy discussion. He can see that nothing's changed. He wants to talk about "how to win," yet he insists on having that conversation with people who haven’t had an original idea about drug policy in their wildest dreams. Bizarrely, he interrupts the discussion of treatment to complain that our interdiction efforts are ineffective and under-funded, quickly snuffing out my faint hope that Dobbs' newfound interest in treatment would lead him to question the value of buying more helicopters to chase speedboats across the Gulf of Mexico.

Dobbs' insistence that the drug war is failing stands in stark contrast to recent ONDCP propaganda about how "America's drug problem is getting smaller," thus it's interesting to consider how a John Walters appearance on the "The War Within" would play out. If Walters could get over any potential objections to the premise of the program, he and Dobbs might have a blast plotting how to double our drug war losses.

Lou Dobbs, self-proclaimed champion of the middle-class, seems to think the solution to drug abuse is inside the wallets of American taxpayers. Guess he's got a "war within" going on right up there in his giant, ignorant head.

Localização: 
United States

Two Job Opportunities at Washington,DC-Based PreventionWorks

PreventionWorks, a needle exchange/harm reduction program operating in the District of Columbia, has recently applied for funding for a new program they are calling FOCUS. This will be an HIV treatment adherence support program for low-income residents of the District of Columbia who are current or former drug users, are in care for HIV infection, and struggling to focus on their HIV care and/or treatment regimen. Though funding has not been secured, the recruiting of strong candidates -- people with solid backgrounds in HIV and substance use, and who know District resources -- to staff the program has begun. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Paola Barahona, PreventionWorks executive director, by e-mail ([email protected]), fax (202-797-3553), or mail (PreventionWorks, 1407 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009). Job 1: FOCUS Consultant Clinical Director The FOCUS Clinical Director will work 20 hours per week and will provide the leadership for the FOCUS program. The Clinical Director will supervise the two full-time Care Coordinators who will each carry a caseload of 20-25. The Clinical Supervisor will not carry a caseload. Instead, the Clinical Supervisor will conduct all of the support group meetings, will provide coverage during drop-in hours, and will provide individual counseling with clients as needed. Meetings will be an important part of this job, as the Clinical Director will attend the PreventionWorks weekly meeting, will conduct a weekly team meeting with the Care Coordinators, and will meet privately with the Executive Director weekly (or as needed). The FOCUS Clinical Director will be supervised by the PreventionWorks Executive Director. Performance goals will be outlined with the Executive Director at the beginning of the assignment. These will serve as the primary means of performance evaluation during semi-annual performance evaluation meetings. The FOCUS Clinical Director will work at least one evening per week and on Saturday afternoon. Aside from meetings, support groups, and drop-in hours, the schedule will be flexible. Requirements for the FOCUS Clinical Director include a bachelor's degree (master's degree preferred), certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor (CAC, LCPC, or LCSW), documented experience in HIV care and treatment and substance use issues, experience leading support groups and providing individual therapy, belief in and commitment to harm reduction approach regarding substance use, prior case management experience, prior supervisory experience, and a clean driving record. Additional desired qualifications include being bilingual (English/Spanish), having life experience with substance use and/or HIV treatment adherence, and having a familiarity with and connections to a wide variety of services in DC to which clients could be referred and from which clients could be recruited. Job 2: FOCUS Care Coordinators (2) Two Care Coordinators will be hired by the FOCUS Director to work with clients and help them adhere to their HIV medication regimens. The Care Coordinators will each work 40 hours per week (some evening and weekend coverage will be required) and carry a caseload of twenty to twenty-five clients. The Care Coordinators will work with clients to develop an individual treatment adherence plan and help clients stick to their plan. This position will require accompanying clients to medical appointments, meeting with clients individually on a weekly basis, calling and emailing clients to remind them about appointments and taking their medications, referring clients to a wide range of services that are geographically convenient and will meet the client's needs, staffing drop-in hours, and providing any additional support that clients require to help them adhere to their treatment regimen. The Care Coordinators will be supervised by the FOCUS Director. Performance goals will be outlined by each Coordinator with the Director at the beginning of the assignment. These will serve as the primary means of performance evaluation during semi-annual performance evaluation meetings. In addition, the Director will observe services and provide feedback to each Care Coordinator on a scheduled and/or spontaneous basis. The Care Coordinators will work at least one evening per week and on alternate Saturday afternoons. Aside from meetings and drop-in hours, the Care Coordinator's schedule will be flexible to allow each Coordinator to meet the needs of his/her individual clients. Requirements for the FOCUS Care Coordinator include an associate's degree (bachelor's degree preferred), experience with addictions counseling (CAC, BSW, LGSW preferred, but life experience could be substituted for these degrees), documented experience in HIV care and treatment and substance use issues, belief in and commitment to harm reduction approaches regarding substance use, prior case management experience, and a clean driving record. Additional desired qualifications include being bilingual (English/Spanish), having life experience with substance use and/or HIV treatment adherence, and having familiarity with and connections to a wide variety of services in DC to which clients could be referred and from which clients could be recruited.
Localização: 
Washington, DC
United States

The Truth About Marijuana Use in the UK

As Phil notes below, there's a new wave of reefer madness taking hold in England. The Independent's reporting is hysterical in both senses of the word, so much so that the ONDCP blog wasted no time in picking up the story.

We're told that marijuana addiction among teenagers has skyrocketed, that marijuana is 25 times stronger than it was generation ago, and that marijuana just might cause schizophrenia. And the underlying implication of all this is that the effort to legalize marijuana, culminating in the UK's 2004 reclassification decriminalizing simple possession, has somehow caused all of these horrible problems.

Interestingly, The Independent's multiple articles yesterday reached their conclusions without mentioning usage rates. Here's why: marijuana use in the UK is going down. From The Observer in October, 2006:
According to a report by the Central Narcotics Office, after more than a decade of rapid growth, seizures of cannabis resin in Europe dropped by a fifth last year, to 831 tonnes.


The apparent trend is reinforced by British figures which show that the popularity of cannabis in the UK has plummeted, with 600,000 fewer people smoking or eating marijuana than three years ago.
The failure to address this relevant, yet contradictory fact is a hallmark of alarmist pseudo-scientific drug war reporting. Instead we get this:
Today record numbers of young people are in treatment programmes for skunk [high-grade marijuana] abuse and hospital admissions due to the drug are at their highest ever.
We know that rumors of more potent pot are both wildly exaggerated and largely irrelevant since users adjust their doses to achieve the desired effect regardless of potency. We also know that potency has increased notably (3-4 times, not 25) and that increased potency has much to do with prohibition, which creates a financial incentive for growers to maximize their risk/reward ratio since punishment is determined by weight rather than THC content.

So if it isn't the potency, then what's driving the spike in marijuana treatment in the UK? I think the answer is that reduced stigma and a new policy of not arresting casual users have resulted in more people seeking help. It makes vastly more sense than arguing that marijuana suddenly turned into crack laced with heroin the moment they decriminalized it.

I can't prove my theory anymore than addiction "experts" can prove that marijuana had almost no THC in the '60's. But it makes intuitive sense. Wouldn't you expect more people to seek treatment once the risk of arrest is removed?

After decriminalizing marijuana, the British are seeing lower usage rates and more people seeking treatment. Let's talk about that.

Localização: 
United States

The Sentencing Project Releases New Report: Changing Direction? State Sentencing Reforms 2004-2006

[Courtesy of the Sentencing Project] Dear Friend: The Sentencing Project has released a new study reporting growing momentum for sentencing reform designed to limit prison population growth and reduce ballooning corrections budgets in the United States. Changing Direction? State Sentencing Reforms 2004-2006 finds that at least 22 states have enacted sentencing reforms in the past three years. The report further identifies that the most popular approach for reducing prison crowding -- implemented by 13 states -- was the diversion of low-level drug offenders from prison to drug treatment programs. Additional policy changes included: -Expansion of alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. -Parole and probation reforms designed either to reduce time served in prison or to provide supervision options to reduce the number of revocations to prison. -Broader sentencing reform, such as modifying controversial mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Changing Direction? State Sentencing Reforms 2004-2006 argues that in order to build on these positive legislative developments, lawmakers must continue to enact evidence-based criminal justice policies. Recommendations of The Sentencing Project urge that policymakers: -Expand the use of drug treatment as a sentencing option. -Utilize intermediate sanctions for technical violations of parole and probation. -Repeal mandatory minimum sentences. -Reconsider sentence lengths. Follow this link to download a copy of the report, http://sentencingproject.org/Admin/Documents/publications/sentencingrefo... The Sentencing Project 514 10th St, NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20004
Localização: 
Washington, DC
United States

JFAC reacts after Idaho drug treatment programs called 'illegal'

Localização: 
Boise, ID
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Times-News (ID)
URL: 
http://www.magicvalley.com/articles/2007/03/08/ap-state-id/d8no3avo1.txt

Op-Ed: U.S. drug czar lacks credibility

Localização: 
Canada
Publication/Source: 
Edmonton Sun (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/2007/03/02/3685039-sun.html

Mexican drug gains U.S. following

Localização: 
Boston, MA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Reuters
URL: 
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=inDepthNews&storyID=2007-02-28T130642Z_01_N24424552_RTRUKOC_0_US-DRUGS-SALVIA.xml&WTmodLoc=NewsHome-C3-inDepthNews-2

Changes could cut drug program's funds

Localização: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Union (CA)
URL: 
http://www.theunion.com/article/20070221/NEWS/102210213

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