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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Web site] Count the Costs: 50 Years on the War on Drugs

Stumbled on this Web site today through Facebook.

While I am still a bit wary of legalizing drugs, I am beginning to see substance abuse as more a public health issue rather than a criminal issue.
At the very least,  the current war on drugs needs re-examination.

Count the Costs: 50 Years on the War on Drugs includes related reports in the areas of public health, environment, human rights, crime, and economics.

There is a growing recognition around the world that the prohibition of drugs is a counterproductive failure. However, a major barrier to drug law reform has been a widespread fear of the unknown – just what could a post-prohibition regime look like?

For the first time, ‘After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation’ answers that question by proposing specific models of regulation for each main type and preparation of prohibited drug, coupled with the principles and rationale for doing so.There is a growing recognition around the world that the prohibition of drugs is a counterproductive failure. However, a major barrier to drug law reform has been a widespread fear of the unknown – just what could a post-prohibition regime look like?


For the first time, ‘After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation’ answers that question by proposing specific models of regulation for each main type and preparation of prohibited drug, coupled with the principles and rationale for doing so.

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September 28, 2012 - Posted by | Public Health | , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. I heard Eugene Jarecki Film-maker( The House I live In) on NPR today, on the subject of the “war on drugs” its extraordinary costs, and its near total failure(s) to address or solve the drug usage and addiction problems in the USA,
    Because I am a practicing physician, who has worked prisons and drug clinics and underserved areas in the US and overseas, for a half a century ,I thought it would be interesting to note that there is recent genetic research indicating two facts;

    1 there is a genetic defect that predisposes the carrier towards addiction and alcohol abuse.

    As with all such genetic predispositions it is not absolute, but alters the odds heavily.

    2 The brighter the child, the more likely they are to “experiment” with substances and, if they have the gene defect, they are hooked, almost from that first moment.

    Both of my parents had major troubles with alcohol and/or opioids, as did all of their siblings. All were more than bright.
    Almost all died badly. with their lives in shambles of some sort or the other
    Looking at my parents’ and my aunts and uncles’ misadventures and ruined lives, I decided to skip the experience entirely,so no one has ever seen me drunk or stoned

    Unresearched, but pretty obvious to me, as I have gone through this physician’s life, is that those of us who have the defect tend to hang out with and have babies with our “genetic cousins” so the defect carries forward in time.
    We also try to reach out and help our genetic relatives,or so it seems

    In my own practice. I try to teach this set of facts and leanings to a clinic full of opioid addicts, in a Suboxone outpatient drug diversion Program, a very expensive program paid for by Medicaid, but which costs a boatload less money than throwing them all in jail and keeping them there ( many have criminal records already)

    I cannot claim to cure them all, or even a majority, but there is a lot of head nodding going on as I present them with the facts as I understand them
    Some “graduate” and get clean and stay that way

    It is graceful moment for an irreligious old man

    Understanding oneself is the first step in changing one’s behavior

    T M Bennett MD MPH

    Comment by T M Bennett MD | October 7, 2012 | Reply

  2. Thank you very much Dr. Bennett for taking the time to comment about your real life experience and how you are treating people.
    Very much appreciated, including your insights about genetic predispositions and how “genetic cousins” seek each other. This is new to me.
    Do you have a Web site or names of resources about the Suboxone outpatient drug diversion program?
    I would like to learn about this.
    Again, Doctor, thank you for taking your time to reply to this post.

    Comment by Janice Flahiff | October 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Suboxone is a patented drug, made up of two “off patent” drugs, Buprenorphine (8mg) and Naltrexone) 2 mg Buprenorphine is a mld opioid and tends to stifle or quell cravings, whereas Naltrexone is a Brain mu receptor blocker and will precipitate an acute withdrawal if the user takes or has taken any other opioid.
      There is a listed nationwide network of Suboxone clinics,and a special course that a provider must take to obtain DEA licensing to prescribe the drug.
      From there it is a matter of will and skill.
      Have you seen the recent Wall Street Journal’s article on the costs to society of “prescription drugs” ( opioids for the most part)
      In New Hampshire the majority of untimely deaths in under 45 year olds is no longer automobile accidents, it is opioid overdose.
      An Oxycontin tablet is worth $1 per milligram on the street, and lesser opioids carry much the same pricing.
      So called “Pain Clinics” have fostered a tidal wave of such drugs reaching the streets.
      The Methadone Clinics are not far behind.
      All of these clinics are owned and run by “entrepreneurs”,in this area and they are all millionaires, almost without exception.
      Methadone clinics are so lucrative that Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital is trying very hard to corrupt the playground rules and force a Methadone clinic down the throat f the town of Warrren Maine
      You can google all or most of the above and derive your own conclusions.
      Certainly it is not “Rocket Science” to observe that we are avery long ways from winning the “War on Drugs” despite billions ( mis) spent and that prisons are not a useful leaning experience for any but the violent
      T M Bennett MDMPH

      Comment by T M Bennett MD | October 8, 2012 | Reply


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