UK: Private School Students Self Medicate at Alarming Rates!

Head of private school warns about the ‘rising tide’ of drug abuse in schools including pupils hooked on the highly addictive tranquilliser Xanax

  • Head of King’s College School, Wimbledon says drugs are cheaper than tobacco
  • Andrew Halls says pupils have asked teachers to help break ‘dangerous’ habit
  • Students are tested for drugs and are offered counselling if results are positive

By David Churchill For The Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 26 March 2018

There is a ‘rising tide’ of drug abuse in schools as tranquillisers and ‘new psychoactive substances’ become more readily available, the head of a leading private school has warned.

Andrew Halls, head of King’s College School in Wimbledon, South-West London, says substances such as Xanax, a highly addictive tranquilliser, have become cheaper than tobacco and easier to get hold of than alcohol.

In a strongly worded letter to parents he revealed a number of his pupils have asked teachers to help break a ‘dangerous habit’.

Mr Halls said that in more than one case they have had to deal with children ‘so affected by the impact of drugs on their lives that remaining had become impossible for them’.

King’s pupils are given drugs tests if suspected of taking substances and offered counselling if they test positive. If they fail subsequent tests, they could be expelled.

Andrew Halls, head of King’s College School in Wimbledon, South-West London, says substances such as Xanax, a highly addictive tranquilliser, have become cheaper than tobacco and easier to get hold of than alcohol

It is not the first time Mr Halls has raised concerns about drug-taking in schools.

At a meeting of head teachers earlier this month, he said that ‘every single head around the table felt that drug abuse by young people was a central concern for schools and parents’.

He was joined by Helen Pike, master of Magdalen College School, Oxford, who promised to send parents a letter warning of the risks of Modafinil, a ‘smart drug’ taken to improve alertness during exams.

Figures show a sharp rise in numbers of children admitting to taking drugs, with 37 per cent of 15-year-olds saying they had over the previous 12 months in 2016 – compared with 24 per cent in 2015.

Xanax, used to treat anxiety disorders, has become a particular concern among youth workers after it was reported this month that children were able to buy the pills illegally via dealers on Facebook and Instagram for as little as 89p.

Drugs charity Addaction warned children as young as 13 were buying them online. Neil Coles of the charity said: ‘There’s a lot of use in grammar schools, a lot in those high-pressure environments.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5542937/London-private-school-headteacher-warns-increasing-risk-Xanax-drug-abuse.html#ixzz5B0nr8EbF
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USA: Weed Lethal, for different reasons?

Jeff Sessions Has Found A Way To Make Marijuana Lethal

By James McClure |  Mar 27, 2018  |

Nobody has ever died of a marijuana overdose – even the DEA admits that. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions can make marijuana lethal by enforcing capital punishment for drug traffickers (which Sessions is already threatening to do).

Under federal law, there is a provision allowing capital punishment in drug trafficking cases that involve “extremely large quantities of drugs,” regardless of whether any violent crimes took place as part of the illegal trade. According to the law, you could face the death penalty if you get caught with 60 kilograms of heroin, 24 kilograms of fentanyl or a mere 600 grams of LSD.

For marijuana, the amount that would trigger capital punishment is 60,000 kilograms. That might seem like a lot, but keep in mind that some legal states allow licensed cultivators to grow over 60,000 plants. So the 60,000 kg threshold isn’t unrealistic for them to cross.

But while state-licensed growers are susceptible to capital punishment, they probably won’t be given the death penalty, according to Tamar Todd – Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance.

“The Supreme Court has never upheld the death penalty for a crime that did not involve death,” Todd recently told Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post.

For more Deadly Dope

Weed never killed anyone – Really???

Study Claims to Find First Two Deaths Caused by Marijuana

A recent German study claims to have documented the first known deaths resulting from marijuana use.

While researchers studied 15 people whose deaths were allegedly linked to marijuana use, 13 of those deaths were confirmed to be caused by other factors. Researchers said, however, that the drug was to blame in two isolated cases of two seemingly healthy people, one 23 years old and another 28. Autopsies found that younger had a serious undetected heart problem, suggesting that people with cardiological issues should be aware of marijuana risks, and the older had a history of alcohol and drug use.

“To our knowledge, these are the first cases of suspected fatal cannabis intoxications where full post-mortem investigations… were carried out,” researchers said in the study, published in Forensic Science International this month. “After exclusion of other causes of death we assume that the young men experienced fatal cardiovascular complications evoked by smoking cannabis.”

The new study cuts against many others showing pot use does not have serious medical repercussions. The German Association for Drugs and Addiction criticized the study on Wednesday, The Local reports.

“Cannabis does not paralyze the breathing or the heart,” said Jost Leune, who heads the group. He said the dangers of marijuana are “exaggerated” and that “deaths due to cannabis use are usually accidents that are not caused by the substance, but to the circumstances of use.”

http://time.com/10372/marijuana-deaths-german-study/

Cannabis ‘kills 30,000 a year’

by JENNY HOPE, Daily Mail

More than 30,000 cannabis smokers could die every year, doctors warn today.

Medical experts blame the Home Secretary for creating confusion about the risks posed by the drug – leading young people wrongly to believe it is harmless.

They claim David Blunkett’s decision to reclassify cannabis as a class C drug – putting it on a level with anabolic steroids and prescription painkillers – sent out the wrong message and played down the devastating health effects of its regular use.

Professor John Henry, a leading authority on the drug, said the change – due to take place this summer – had undermined doctors’ efforts to highlight the risks.

He said: “Cannabis is as dangerous as cigarette smoking – in fact, it may be even worse – and downgrading its legal status has simply confused people.

“We have a clear public message about cigarette smoking. Every year, the number of smokers gets smaller and the message on packets about the dangers gets bigger.

“At present, there is no battle against cannabis and no clear public health message.”

In today’s issue of the British Medical Journal, Prof Henry and other doctors from Imperial College, and St Mary’s Hospital, both in London, say cannabis could be a major contributor to UK deaths.

Researchers calculate that if 120,000 deaths are caused among 13million smokers, the corresponding figure among 3.2million cannabis smokers would be 30,000.

The drug can cause cancer, lung disease and abnormalities associated with serious mental illness.

Users are up to six times more likely to develop schizophrenia.

The British Lung Foundation says smoking three joints a day can cause the same damage to the airways as a pack of 20 cigarettes.

Prof Henry added: “Even if the number of deaths turned out to be only a fraction of the 30,000 we believe possible, cannabis smoking would still be described as a major health hazard.

“If we add in the likely mental health burden to that of medical illnesses and premature death, the potential effects of cannabis cannot be ignored.”

Dr William Oldfield, from St Mary’s Hospital and one of the authors of the article, said: “Cannabis and nicotine cigarettes have a different mode of inhalation. The puff taken by cannabis smokers is two-thirds larger, they inhale a third more and hold down the smoke four times longer.

“All these factors could contribute to illnesses of the heart and respiratory system, particularly as the chemicals in cannabis smoke are retained in the body to a much higher degree.”

He said the cannabis used today – especially that bought in the Netherlands – was up to 40 times stronger than that used by Flower Power hippies in the 1960s.

The level of active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has increased from around 0.5 per cent 20 years ago to almost five per cent today. THC affects the heart and blood vessels and many sudden deaths have been attributed to cannabis smoking.

In Britain, about eight million people admit to smoking cannabis, with at least one-third of youngsters claiming to have used it at some time. They include Prince Harry, who admitted smoking the drug while a pupil at Eton.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-179264/Cannabis-kills-30-000-year.html (cited 26/9/14)

 

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USA: Coerced Rehab Works – People telling you otherwise want people to ‘die with their rights on’!

Allowing drug addicts to ‘die with the rights on’ is the real ‘disease’ in the drug crisis!

It is my opinion that involuntary treatment must have a prominent place in the treatment of addictive disorders. Generations in the future will look back on our response to the addiction epidemic and say, “What were they thinking”? Allowing addicted individuals to “die with their rights on” is the true iatrogenic disease of our time. Lawyers and advocates lobby for individual rights while individuals are dying by the thousands.

We as a society are allowing patients with “diseases of their brains” to make poor decisions with the very same brains that are diseased in order to protect their free will. We know forced treatment and contingent treatment works especially while the individual is recovering from short- and long-term drug effects.

Most aggressive patients are playing out a script of violence that has happened over and over in their lives. If you know the script, you are way ahead of the game when planning treatment options. The dance of aggression is specific to each patient and the drug is merely a catalyst that speeds up or disinhibits the process. Most drugs of abuse increase aggressive behavior, including THC intoxication and withdrawal, which is commonly present in the patients we evaluate who have been charged with serious crimes of violence.

Are some drug related crimes ever considered in an insanity defense or not? Why? Some examples of drug-related paranoid psychotic homicides include the Manson family. What makes one murderer, who committed their crime under-the-influence, not guilty by reason of insanity and another guilty with mitigating factors?

Most state statutes and federal law look down on insanity pleas that are associated with chronic substance use. Exceptions can include “involuntary intoxication” that is out of the defendants control. The horrific story of the Manson family and routine heavy LSD and alcohol use is one example. The Manson Girls and Tex could not sell an insanity defense because of their chronic voluntary use. If the murders had occurred after a single or first use of LSD, they might have had a chance at insanity as a defense. Historically, voluntary intoxication has been frowned upon by most cultures since recorded history.

Lord Chief Justice Matthew Hale in 1736 wrote, “ A person who commits an offense while he or she is afflicted with dementia affectata (intoxication), shall have no privilege by the voluntary contracted madness, but shall have the same judgment as if he were in his right senses.” This dictum has become know as the voluntary intoxication exclusion.

Narcan is no substitute for a good psychiatric assessment to include a suicide risk assessment. Narcan wakes the patient up to the same reality they were experiencing before they overdosed. A psychiatric assessment and suicide risk assessment gives the treatment team the tools they need to design a program of resilience and recovery.

John Thompson, MD – Professor, Chair, and Director, Division of Forensic Neuropsychiatry
Founding Director, Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry; Tulane University School of Medicine

For complete article https://www.rivermendhealth.com/resources/qa-john-thompson-md-forensic-psychiatry/#article

 

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Global: Incarceration – Structure – Exercise – Sober

I Abused Drugs for 10 Years. Exercise Helped Me Get and Stay Sober

It was July 2009. Dana was 25, and had been abusing a variety of drugs for the past 10 years. “During those years, I lost a boyfriend to suicide and watched several friends overdose,” she says. Her parents did everything they could think of to try to help, including sending her through three rounds of expensive rehab. “I was hopeless and truly didn’t see a way out.”

Dana was arrested the day of the accident and sent to county jail for a year, then to state prison for four years. “I had lots of time to think,” she says. “I knew the only way I could try to make amends for what I had done was to commit to a sober lifestyle—and vow that someday I’d help other people, as well.”

To give her life structure and discipline, she began meditating and doing hour-long workouts. With no gym and little space in her jail cell, she did pushups and burpees and crunches on the floor and created imaginative new ways to get fit.

“Before I was incarcerated, I had worked part-time in a health club, so I knew how to do a lot of exercises—and my parents gave me subscriptions to fitness magazines so I could find new exercise routines that didn’t require equipment,” she says. “I’d jump rope with an imaginary rope, or I’d throw a whole deck of cards on the floor and do squats to pick them up.”

The physical activity brought her out of the murky mental state she’d been living in while she was addicted. “I began to think more clearly, and while many of my thoughts were extremely painful, I also started to regain a sense of self-worth and self-control—things that had been missing from my life for years.”

“Fitness was an escape from the chaos and violence of prison, as well,” Dana says. And she became known to her fellow offenders as an expert on the topic. “Other women would come to me to ask how to do squats or crunches,” she says. “The ones who wanted to be healthy and stay out of trouble gravitated to me—which meant my social network remained safe and positive.”

For complete story http://www.health.com/fitness/working-out-saved-my-life-addiction

 

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CANADA: Why the Hurry Trudeau? Bad Policy – Bad Outcomes!!

Trudeau ignoring huge marijuana problems in rush to fulfil campaign promise

SUSAN MARTINUK Published on: April 2, 2018

The legalization of marijuana has implications. POSTMEDIA NEWS

When Justin Trudeau promised to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, he no doubt felt it would be one of his easiest and most rewarding tasks as Canada’s new and uber-cool prime minister. He vowed to make it a priority and change the laws within two years.

Fast-forward to last month, almost 2 1/2 years later, and Bill C-45, to legalize cannabis, faced an unexpected pushback from a Senate that threatened to send it packing. Trudeau took this chance to warn his supposedly independent senators that their job description didn’t call for them to defeat bills proposed by the very government that had bestowed upon them their most honourable appointments.

Trudeau’s determination to push the bill through clearly exposes the problem with Bill C-45: It’s a watershed moment that covers public policy, health care and Canadian law. Yet, the Liberals refuse to see it as anything more than an election promise that must be in place by August; details be damned. Why else would they ignore the warnings of Americans who have already dealt with this?

When representatives from Colorado and Washington state testified before a parliamentary committee, their most ardent recommendations were to “slow down.” “Don’t rush the process.” “Take your time — even when the public is clamouring for access.”

A University of Denver law professor warned MPs that the black market doesn’t go away after legalization — it still controls 30 per cent of sales in Colorado. Another witness from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said the illegal production of marijuana increased “20-fold” after legalization. Sellers stand in front of legal venues and offer cut rates to customers. Edibles (such as gummies and lollipops) are openly distributed and have increased ER visits for children who have accidentally consumed them. Police find it difficult to prove impaired driving as it requires a trip to the hospital and a blood test.

As a result, Bill C-45 is sloppy, devoid of details and filled with gaping holes. It does little but reflect our PM’s empty dreams and some very funky smoke.

For complete article http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/susan-martinuk-trudeau-ignoring-huge-marijuana-problems-in-rush-to-fulfil-campaign-promise

 

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Global: Opioid Catatonia Crisis!

OPIOID HELL: The zombies of a USA city with a hopeless addiction that’s set to come to UK

A CITY ravaged by an opioid epidemic last night gave a chilling warning to the UK in the wake of reports about the painkiller time bomb now facing Britain. East Liverpool, which sits on the Ohio River, has suffered a virtual Apocalypse, with overdosed bodies in ditches and others left abandoned in the street.

By GREG WOODFIELD PUBLISHED: Mar 19, 2018

More than 100 comatose opioid addicts have been tossed out of moving cars at the entrance to the city hospital in the hope they will get emergency treatment.

Brian Allen, the city’s safety director, warned UK police and health chiefs: “Wake up to the perils of opioids right now, or they will destroy your communities.

“Britain has got to be aggressive in the way it tackles this addiction threat.”

He blamed doctors for over prescribing opioid drugs, such as tramadol, and the synthetic painkiller fentanyl.

“Our epidemic totally caught us by surprise,” Mr Allen said. “I was like the rest of the population that didn’t understand how far-reaching this went and how it impacts every race and every income level.

“When we had crack cocaine it was more the lower income, it didn’t affect the higher income. You could target it. This you can’t target, it is everywhere, it can be a very middle class thing.”

Latest figures reveal that nearly 24 million opioids were handed out in Britain last year, 10 million more than in 2007.

Mr Allen warned: “When the doctor shuts off the supply those same people still need their hit. They have become addicts.”

“They find a way to get more of the same pills illegally or turn to buying fentanyl off the internet or from dealers. That’s how it started for us. That’s the danger for the UK.”

Fentanyl, which can be 100 times stronger than heroin, killed 60 people in the UK in eight months last year.

Its opioid cousin carfentanil is 5,000 times stronger than heroin.

The epidemic cutting through American communities saw 42,249 people killed by overdose in 2016.

Extra strength opioids were the cause of 42,249 deaths by overdose in America last year

Ohio is one of the worst hit. Paramedics regularly turn up at homes where couples have both overdosed from fentanyl and are frothing at the mouth while they turn blue.

For complete story https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/933478/opioid-addiction-zombies-USA-fentanyl-coming-UK-painkillers

 

 

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USA: S.A.M Announces Centre For Marijuana Resources

SAM Announces Online Center for Marijuana Resources
Resource Center for Public Health and Public Safety Clinicians and Practitioners Includes Library and Search Tool
Since legalization has been passed in several states, and marijuana normalization has increased, clinicians and practitioners have been faced with numerous challenges. To respond to these needs, today SAM has announced a new onlineCenter for Marijuana Resources for Public Health and Public Safety Clinicians and Practitioners.
This Resource Center provides clinicians and practitioners in all fields of public health and safety the ability to look up academic references and media articles to find information on a range of issues. The  Resource Library has the latest PowerPoints and videos from clinicians and scientists on a range of subjects. The Resource Tool is a continually-updated search engine for articles related to various topics

This is just the beginning. We will soon be adding information such as:

How do I know if my patients have a marijuana use disorder?
Where can I refer people to help?
What are the signs of a co-occurring disorder?

Is marijuana addiction real? What does it look like?

What are some brief interventions that have proven to be effective?

What are the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke?

Starting today, SAM staff will continue to update the center. If you would like to send us a resource to be considered for inclusion, please email us at info@learnaboutsam.org. 

 

We could not do this work without you!

 

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USA: Wafting Weed Second-hand Smoke, may not be good for you? REALLY!

Are There Risks From Secondhand Marijuana Smoke? Early Science Says Yes

March 19, 2018

The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco.

“People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up,” says Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. “And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, ‘Hey, they can’t smoke in AT&T Park! I’m sure that’s not allowed.’ And then I realized that it was all marijuana.”.

He started thinking: San Franciscans would never tolerate those levels of cigarette smoke in a public place anymore. So why were they OK with smoke from burning pot? Did people just assume that cannabis smoke isn’t harmful the way tobacco smoke is?

So far, Springer and his colleagues have published research demonstrating that secondhand smoke makes it harder for the rats’ arteries to expand and allow a healthy flow of blood.

With tobacco products, this effect lasts about 30 minutes, and then the arteries recover their normal function. But if it happens over and over — as when a person is smoking cigarette after cigarette, for example — the arterial walls can become permanently damaged, and that damage can cause blood clots, heart attack or stroke.

Springer demonstrated that, at least in rats, the same physiological effect occurs after inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana. And, the arteries take 90 minutes to recover compared to the 30 minutes with cigarette smoke. Springer’s discovery about the effect on blood vessels describes just one harmful impact for nonsmokers who are exposed to marijuana. Statewide sampling surveys of cannabis products sold in marijuana dispensaries have shown that cannabis products may contain dangerous bacteria or mold, or residues from pesticides and solvents.

But even if the cannabis tests clean, Springer says, smoke itself is bad for the lungs, heart and blood vessels. Other researchers are exploring the possible relationship between marijuana smoke and long-term cancer risk.

Certainly, living with a smoker is worse for your health than just going to a smoky concert hall. But, Springer says, the less you inhale any kind of smoke, the better.

“We in the public health community have been telling them for decades to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke from tobacco,” Springer says. “We have not been telling them to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana, and that’s not because it’s not bad for you — it’s because we just haven’t known. The experiments haven’t been done.”

Antismoking campaigners say we can’t afford to wait until the research is complete. Recreational pot is already a reality.

Cynthia Hallett is the president of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, based in Berkeley, Calif. The organization was established in 1976, before there was a lot known about the health effects of secondhand smoke from tobacco..

Hallett says some of the arguments being made in support of cannabis remind her of the arguments made on behalf of tobacco decades ago.

“I’m seeing a parallel between this argument that, ‘Gee, we just don’t have a lot of science and so, therefore, let’s wait and see,’ ” Hallett says. “The tobacco companies used to say the same thing about tobacco cigarettes.”

In California, smoking cannabis is prohibited anywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited — including schools, airplanes and most workplaces. Hallett is worried that the legalization of pot could be used to erode those rules.

It starts with the premise of decriminalization, she says, and then, over time, there’s “a chipping away at strong policies.”

“This is the first time that I have heard secondhand smoke in reference to cannabis,” admits Lee Crow, a patient-services clerk at Magnolia. “I’ve tried to be courteous — just common courtesy, like with anything.”

The dispensary’s director of clinical services, Barbara Blaser, admits she thinks a lot about secondhand smoke from cigarettes, but not pot.

“Both of my parents died of lung cancer!” she says. “I will stop a stranger and say, ‘You shouldn’t be smoking. My dad died of that!’ “

California’s Proposition 64, approved by state voters in 2016, requires that some of the state tax revenue from the sale of marijuana to be distributed to cannabis researchers. In addition, the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is examining workplace hazards that are specific to the cannabis industry.

This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership, local member stations and Kaiser Health News.

For complete story https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/19/592873218/are-there-risks-from-secondhand-marijuana-smoke-early-science-says-yes

 

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Northern Ireland: Drug Court Experiment to Commence

Drugs courts: Justice system that aims to rehabilitate

By Robbie Meredith BBC News NI Education Correspondent – 16 March 2018

A new pilot project to introduce American-style ‘drug courts’ to Northern Ireland is being developed.

They are courts aimed at keeping drug users out of prison and getting them into treatment.

A senior American judge is in Belfast to advise local judges, politicians and others working in the criminal justice system about how they operate. Gregory Jackson was appointed to the District of Columbia Superior Court in 2005 by then President George W Bush.

Judge Jackson said drug courts were not about punishment.

“If you successfully complete the programme, you’re done – you’re out of the criminal justice system,” he said.

Drug users and even some small-scale dealers are offered a way to escape prison and a conviction

“We average on any given day between 75 to 125 people participating in the drug court programme.

“Our graduation rate is around 50% to 60%.”

Impressive statistics

That means that over half of those who begin the treatment programme complete it.

And they literally graduate, with special ceremonies held in courthouses to recognise their achievement.

The statistics are impressive.

Drug courts in the USA have been shown to reduce crime by 45% in comparison with other sentencing options.

According to Judge Jackson, they also save the public purse between $3,000 and $13,000 dollars per person.

Yet he admits that getting the public and politicians to recognise that they are not a ‘soft option’ has taken time. For complete article http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43423007

More resources to Check out

H.O.P.E. Process - State of the Art of HOPE Probation

Drug Court Impact (USA) DrugCourtsImpact2012

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USA: States That Stay Sane – Resisting Stoner Syndrome

Prediction: Here Are the 5 States That Will Legalize Marijuana Last

By Joseph Misulonas |  March 2018  |

Every year, it seems like more and more states legalize marijuana. California implemented their recreational law this year, and Vermont and Massachusetts will follow later this year. And while there will probably be a few more states that add their name to the list this November, there are some states that may never change their laws.

Here are the five states that will likely legalize marijuana last:

For MORE – THE STILL SANE STATES! htps://www.civilized.life/articles/states-legalize-marijuana-last/?utm_source=notifications

 

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