Greetings everyone. This weekly ATOD & Advocacy Update will go on hiatus for two weeks. We will be back on Friday, May 30th. Thank you!
Raising a glass to the booming alcohol industry
Marc Sorini got his first taste of life as an alcohol lawyer two decades ago as a young attorney working for the California winery that makes the wine known as “Two-Buck Chuck.” Sorini, now head of McDermott Will & Emery’s alcohol regulatory and distribution group in Washington, was part of the legal team for Bronco Wine Co., which produces Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw label — commonly known as Two-Buck Chuck. The winery was facing off against regulators who claimed the brand name of a wine, Rutherford Vineyards, was misleading because it did not reflect the region where the grapes were grown. Click here to continue reading.
Heroin’s New Hometown - On Staten Island, Rising Tide of Heroin Takes Hold
The obituaries have a certain sameness to them: full of praise and regret for lives cut short, marked by telltale details and omissions. The deaths occurred at home, or at a friend’s house elsewhere on Staten Island. The mourned were often young and white, and although how they died was never mentioned, nearly everyone knew or suspected the cause. Click here to continue reading.
We Need Al Capone Drug Laws
AFTER a ruinous 30-year experiment in harsh sentences for narcotics trafficking resulting in mass incarceration, policy makers are having second thoughts. Many states, including Texas, have reformed their laws to shorten sentences. Congress is giving serious consideration to the Smarter Sentencing Act, which would do the same. The United States Sentencing Commission has just adopted a proposal to revise federal guidelines. Click here to continue reading.
Hallucinating Away a Heroin Addiction
This junkie is about to begin a three-day, neo-African, sometimes-terrifying, ritualistic trip. Can it help her get clean?
It’s been 56 hours since Grace Bergere’s last shot of heroin—too long.
Curled into a fetal position on an outdoor, candle-lit matt in Costa Rica, the 18-year-old trembles in fear. A petrified grimace wrinkles the white clay adorning her face. Her rail thin body, wrapped in a ceremonial red sheet, looks paralyzed at points—then, without warning, her limbs thrash in revolt, as she tries to keep the demons haunting her at bay. But it’s too late. The demons are just getting started. Click here to continue reading.
Enlisting dentists to fight meth
Methamphetamine addiction is the new crack epidemic—a scourge that rips up communities, especially rural ones, and has frustrated many attempts to slow it down. Now a new project from the Tufts School of Dental Medicine suggests that an important weapon in the fight could be dentists. The idea, as explained in a recent issue of the Tufts Dental Medicine Magazine, was developed by Jennifer Towers after a vacation trip to the small Idaho town of Coeur d’Alene. Towers, the dental school’s director of research affairs, saw lots of young Idahoans with really bad teeth, a side effect of rampant addiction to methamphetamine. The drug can cause teeth gnashing so intense it leads to cracked enamel and, eventually, a grotesque state of tooth decay known as “meth mouth.” Click here to continue reading.
9 Myths about Alcohol, Busted
It's the world's most used drug, and the drug that most frequently sends users to the emergency room, and yet less than 60 percent of heavy drinkers recognize that their habits put them at high risk, according to the 2014 Global Drug Survey.
Whether it's because of alcohol's celebratory feel or -- in moderation -- its health benefits or simply its ubiquity in social gatherings, many drinkers just don't take their drinking seriously. We asked Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., deputy director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), to help set the record straight. Click here to continue reading.
Taking Aim at 12-Step Programs - ‘The Sober Truth’: Seeing Bad Science in Rehab
Did you know that the most widely accepted treatments for alcohol and drug addiction — Alcoholics Anonymous and similar 12-step programs — rest on the flimsiest of scientific evidence? I didn’t. That and more are what the psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes and Zachary Dodes (father and son) claim in this polemical and deeply flawed book about the nature and treatment of addiction. Click here to continue reading.
Police Access to Prescription-Drug Records Gets Tougher
Courts, Legislators Begin to Restrict Warrantless Access to Users' Records.
For years, police across the country have had little trouble gaining records of prescription drugs used by individuals they suspect of committing a crime. But some courts and legislators are starting to restrict the data, citing privacy concerns. Click here to continue reading.
10 Percent of Older Teens Had Major Depressive Episode in Past Year
A new government report finds 10 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds had a major depressive episode in the past year. Almost 20 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 25, had any mental illness in the past year. Click here to continue reading.
DEA to boost marijuana supply for research
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is approving a massive increase in the amount of marijuana that government researchers can use for studies due to a growing interest in medical marijuana. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will now have access to 650 kilograms of pot, after the DEA announced Friday in the Federal Register it is raising the production quota from 21 kilograms. Click here to continue reading.
Less Than Half of College Students Say Misuse of Prescription Stimulants is “Cheating”
Only 41 percent of college students say misusing prescription stimulants for academic purposes should be considered cheating, according to a survey at an unnamed Ivy League institution. The survey found 18 percent of students said they misused stimulant drugs in an attempt to gain an academic advantage at least once in college. Of students who used stimulant drugs, 24 percent said they had done so eight or more times, Inside Higher Ed reports. While 33 percent of students did not think using drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin was cheating, 25 percent were unsure, and 41 percent considered it cheating. The study included 616 college students without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who completed an anonymous online questionnaire. More students who played a varsity sport and were affiliated with a Greek house said they misused stimulants, compared with students affiliated with only one or neither. The findings were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting.
The Surprising History of Making Alcohol a Powdered Substance
A startup is seeking approval to sell alcohol in tiny inconspicuous packets. But the science is decades old. Click here to continue reading.
The Missing Factor
Last week, the Obama administration released an important report, “Not Alone,” addressing the daunting problem of sexual assault on college campuses. The report was accompanied by an extensive set of helpful questions and answers to guide colleges and universities in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law that provides the legal framework for oversight of how colleges and universities assure that all students are free from sexual harassment and assault. It was also accompanied by an advance summary of a systematic review of the literature on primary prevention strategies for reducing sexual violence conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Click here to continue reading.