Hit by a surge of heroin abuse during the 1980s, Portugal’s government first reacted with repression that, as everywhere else on the planet, did little to stanch rising drug abuse, crime, and infection. Gradually, a network of medical professionals across the country adopted harm-reduction measures that would provide a striking record of proven success. After two decades of this ad hoc trial, in 2001 Portugal decriminalized the possession of all illegal drugs, replacing incarceration with counseling and producing a sustained drop in HIV and hepatitis infections.
It is big corporations, not small independent producers, who will reap the benefits of cannabis legalization in Canada – but what will that mean for musicians and artists?
I cuts across the class divide
People in Tasmania’s drug trade say it has never been easier to access illicit drugs, with end-to-end encrypted messaging services and the dark web helping users and sellers organise deals.
Data suggests the proportion of Tasmanian drug users taking ice over less concentrated forms of methamphetamine, like speed, has risen dramatically.
And a top investigator warns technology is making ice more available than ever before.
“Cannabis has hit the headlines recently due to legalisation in many States across the US, however, prior to the legalisation, it was only illegal for a few short decades and was prescribed in many western countries up until the 1970s.” That triggered a huge Global Criminal Industry bigger than Prohibition. ( OD )
A freshly published report from the EU drugs agency EMCDDA has used this inventive method to determine the patterns of drug use in 56 cities in 19 European countries, namely looking for concentrations of amphetamine, cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), and methamphetamine in a city’s wasteway. This data, combined with the area’s population and the flow of water, can provide researchers with some clues about a population’s drugs habits.
- Marijuana has been legal for medicinal purposes in California since 1996
- New Year’s Day marked the first time it was able to be bought and sold for recreational use
- Confusion over licensing laws has left dispensaries around the state in limbo
If only we had a forward-looking federal government to research uses for more illegal drugs.
At least 15.3 million people have drug use disorders As of 2014 there were 230 million drug users worldwide Americans use around two-thirds of illegal drugs worldwide Injecting drug use is reported in 148 countries Of those 120 report HIV infection among this populationSources: WHO, Michael’s house
By James Moylan The 3.6 million dollar study testing the sewage in our capital cities for illegal drugs is simply more disinformation and bullshit. Let’s revisit the results from this study and consider them rationally. The study indicates that in Australia the use of alcohol is equivalent to 1.2 drinks PER PERSON per day. Yet…
New figures put North America’s legal marijuana green rush above the dot-com boom in terms of industry growth.
A record number of Australians are addicted to amphetamines like ice, with half of those seeking help for addiction using the drug, according to a report by a drug rehabilitation organisation.
Awareness of social factors, such as society’s perpetuation of masculinity, are critical to understanding the interconnections between trauma, disadvantage and substance abuse in young men.
Since 1996, 24 US states and the District of Columbia (DC) have approved medical use of marijuana. In the states of Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and DC recreational use is also legal. These moves towards permissiveness, even where possession of the drug is restricted to …
The illegal drug market is the purest, most deadly form of capitalism — prioritising profit above all else.
A US study of teenage twins released this week found that smoking marijuana does not lower intelligence.
Researchers are quietly testing MDMA’s potential to be a legal prescription drug.
Sean Penn, who tracked down the fugitive kingpin, sent questions; Chapo videotaped his responses in his first-ever interview.
For thousands of years, drugs have been a fundamental part of culture, society, and the human experience. Even as we zip into the current age of technological growth and boundless information, a surprising amount of the world is still viewed through a mind-altered haze. Statistics on the world’s drug use provides interesting insight into how we view these habits and how we try to tackle abuse of these substances.
Society’s puritanical blindness to the near-universal drive to get intoxicated has come at the cost of young people’s lives. It doesn’t need to be like this.
Many Islamic State recruits have been far from devout Muslims, despite claiming that their victims’ lives are decadent and obscene.
What is the most dangerous drug in the world? This sounds like a relatively simple question: Surely it’s the one most likely to kill you, right? As it turns out, it depends on a multitude of things, from the individual risk to the owner to the wider risk to society – and perception plays a large part.
There is a strong consensus that drugs across the board should be decriminalized.
Saudi prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz and four others were detained by Beirut airport officials while attempting to smuggle about two tons of Captagon pills and some cocaine packed in 40 suitcases. In the largest drug bust in the history of the Beirut …
While we all enjoy the Aussie wit unleashed by helicopter ‘misjudgements’ and raw onion eating gaffes, our obsession with gotcha moments often overshadows the good work that politicians do. Greens leader Richard di Natale decided to take a few weeks off over the winter break and take his family to Portugal for a holiday. While…
It’s time to End the Drug War!
Heroin has spread beyond inner-city neighborhoods to middle-class suburbs, threatening a larger section of Americans than ever before. Cheaper prices, increased supplies from Mexico and doctors who are too willing to prescribe high-strength painkillers are all reportedly contributing to the increase in addiction and overdose deaths, leading officials in one state to take drastic steps. RT’s Ameera David reports, followed by analysis from drug expert Sanho Tree.
Civil rights lawyers are taking the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. to court over what they are calling unconstitutional “debtors prisons.” Claiming that city officials routinely burden low-income individuals with outrageous fines before proceeding to throw them in jail for failure to pay these penalties, the group of attorneys is targeting the largely African-American city’s second largest source of income. RT’s Marina Portnaya has more.
Ice drug epidemic giving regional NSW towns an unwanted reputation
Like many other parts of Australia, regional towns in New South Wales are in the grip of an ice epidemic.
In the town of Wellington, in the state’s central west, the problem is so bad the place has been dubbed “Little Antarctica”.
It is because there is so much ice – or methamphetamine – available, 29-year-old former addict Joshua Toomey explained.
“Don’t kid yourself that it’s not there. It’s there and it’s knocking people around,” he said.
“People who use [ice] for six years, it’s like they’ve been using [the drug] for 20.
“It’s heartbreaking. I go home and I see strong women and strong men who’ve been robbed of life, who’ve been robbed of potentially living a healthy life because of this dirty drug ice.
“You’d be surprised how easy it is to get, there could be four or five dealers who live five to 10 minutes apart from each other.”
It is a story Norm Anderson knows all about. Mr Anderson runs the Orana Haven Drug and Alcohol Rehab unit, about 40 kilometres south of Brewarrina.
He has clients from Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Coonamble, Moree and Wellington.
In the last 12 months, we’ve noticed for the first time amphetamines is catching alcohol as the primary drug of choiceJoe Coyte, CEO of The Glen Drug and Alcohol Centre
“The residents coming in here all the time refer to it as ‘Little Antarctica’ because of the ice problem there,” he said.
“The anecdotal evidence that they’re telling us is that every third house is nearly a dealer’s house there.
He said ice was having a devastating impact.
“It’s not only a problem for the actual person using it, it’s the whole family and the community problem,” Mr Anderson said.
“We have small communities up here … families go and do their shopping and they have to leave a couple of people home in the house otherwise the house will get broken into and their groceries will get taken.”
Ice taking over alcohol as drug of choice
The CEO of The Glen Drug and Alcohol Centre, Joe Coyte, said ice was overtaking alcohol as the biggest problem for his clients, who come from all over the state.
“In the last 12 months, we’ve noticed for the first time amphetamines is catching alcohol as the primary drug of choice,” he said.
The treatment program runs 12 weeks and includes group counselling and lots of activities. But the service is worried about its future.
Funding cuts forced the closure of its 30-bed facility in the Hunter Valley and now they are struggling to keep up with demand.
It gets between 10 and 15 requests a week, but only one or two will be accepted.
“That means a lot of people are putting their hand up for help for their addictions and if you can’t get them in now, they might not be there next week,” Mr Coyte said.
“They might not be willing to take that step, so for me that’s a really sad thing.”
Sean Gordon is the CEO of the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council on the Central Coast, but his hometown of Brewarinna is nearly 800 kilometres away.
“Ice is in Brewarrina, in Bourke, Walgett [and] Godooga unfortunately. I’ve just recently come back from out there, the way it is affecting my people and my family out there is just unbelievable,” he said.
Mr Gordon said prevention programs and treatment centres like The Glen need more support.
“Social return on investment – in regards to The Glen – would be getting $1 in comparison to say a Wellington jail, where the State Government are funding potentially $10,” he said.
“The sad reality is that a lot of these guys coming through The Glen are actually coming out of jails; and they’re coming to The Glen to be rehabilitated after spending time in jail.
“They’re getting access to the drugs in prisons right now. The sad reality is to go from a prison then to a drug and alcohol rehab place, tells me that the current system is wrong.”
Beating ice and the road to recovery
Ed Daley from Wellington is five weeks into his rehab program at The Glen, and said ice was easy to get back home.
“It’s just rife, it’s everywhere. On the street I lived there were sometimes half a dozen dealers. I didn’t even have to turn a corner,” he said.
He said his ice use had caused him all sorts of trouble.
“I’ve been in scuffles with four people at a time, where I’ve been hit with machetes, and kinged (king hit) from the side,” he said.
“[I] fought seven [people] at a time, where I’ve been hit with something hanging off a chain that nearly knocked my eye out.”
Mr Daley and his partner have just had their second baby, a little boy, and he said he did not want to go back to Wellington. He wants to start fresh somewhere else.
“The percentages will tell me I’m going to stuff up again if I go back there, I’d rather be a big chance of not doing in, than doing it,” he said.
He hopes to achieve the same success as his cousin Joshua Toomey, who has beaten ice and has gone on to become chairman of the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council on the Central Coast.
Mr Toomey said it was a hard road but The Glen treatment centre saved his life.
“I have a great history with The Glen, The Glen is a special place for me,” he said.
“It’s where I was reborn, It’s where I was given a second, I wouldn’t say a second chance, I’d say a brand new life.”