Canadian Province May Cease Hair Testing for Drugs

Questions about the reliability of hair follicle tests for determining alcohol and drug use are causing the Canadian province of Ontario to reconsider whether or not these should be used in cases dealing with at-risk children and mothers suspected of using illicit drugs or excessive alcohol. Interestingly, one of the primary critics of the tests is the manager of the laboratory that conducts the tests for a prominent Ontario hospital. The question now before decision-makers is whether to allow data from a number of studies to influence whether or not they continue using the hair follicle procedure. In principle, testing...

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Calderdale Council Investing Millions in Addiction Recovery

Calderdale Council spends roughly £3.4 million per year to treat nearly 1,500 people suffering from some level of alcohol or drug misuse. That is a lot of money for a council with jurisdiction over a population of 200,000 people. Yet the council does not see the money as being ‘spent’; it prefers to look at it as an investment. Council representatives say they are actually saving money in the long run. Drug and alcohol prevention and abuse programmes are the biggest expenditure within the Calderdale health budget. The money goes to support a number of drug and alcohol addiction recovery...

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Important Conference to Anchor Alcohol Awareness Week

Alcohol Concern sponsors an annual Alcohol Awareness Week every year as part of its efforts to educate and prevent alcohol abuse and dependence. This year’s (2014) observance runs from November 17 through 23, and will feature an important conference that the charity has entitled ‘Facing our Alcohol Problem- Taking Back our Health and High Streets’. The conference will feature a number of MPs, including minister of state for crime prevention Lynne Featherstone and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham. The two will discuss the impact of alcohol abuse on the public health as well as violent crime. Featherstone will focus on...

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Popular 1980s Actor Latest to Reveal Addiction Issues

Back in the 1980s, actor Jan Michael Vincent had the distinction of being the highest-paid actor on television. At USD $40,000 per episode, he was paid to keep fans tuning in every week to the popular Airwolf series that ran for four seasons. Now the 41-year-old actor is broke, ill, and struggling with alcoholism. Vincent’s rugged good looks and charm earned him a critically acclaimed role in the 1978 cult classic Big Wednesday. From there he continued to land attractive rules until being given the part of Stringfellow Hawke on the Airwolf series. By the time the show was cancelled...

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Addiction Roadshow to Kick Off In Cambridge

The Belfry Hotel in Cambourne is the site of the first in a series of roadshows dealing with drug and alcohol addiction that will be presented throughout Britain. The show will also be presented in Oxford, Leicester, and Birmingham, as well as other locales. Presenters will be discussing their own addiction issues as well as new and various treatment methods now being used by the recovery community. One of the keynote speakers at the weekend event is Ian Young, a former addict and the founder of the roadshow. The 43-year-old Cambridge native was an addict for 13 years before entering...

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Former Scottish Drug Official: Don’t Legalise Cannabis

The former director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency has weighed in on the debate over legalising cannabis in Scotland. Graeme Pearson, who is now a Labour member of the Scottish Parliament, told RIA Novosti that Scotland’s history of alcohol and drug abuse problems makes it clear they could not handle the potential negative effects of allowing use of the drug recreationally. Pearson told the Russian news outlet that drug abuse and addiction in Scotland has led to enough death and violence over the years that it does not make sense to legalise a drug that could...

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Are Drug and Abuse Issues Really Treated As Criminal Matters?

It is no secret that the Government is split over how to best approach the alcohol and drug abuse problem in Britain. Within the debate is a group of leaders calling for the decriminalisation of most drugs in an effort to treat addiction as a health problem rather than a criminal matter. Yet a letter written by the executive director of the Changing Lives charity suggests that, practically speaking, there really is no debate here. Ollie Batchelor maintains that the common practice all across Britain is to treat all but the most serious offenders as patients with health problems rather...

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Jimmy White’s Crack Addiction Should Cause Concern for Sports Stars

When you think of drug and alcohol addiction, does your mind even consider world-class sports stars as being involved? Probably not. We just assume world-class sports stars know enough to keep dangerous chemicals out of their bodies. We assume that they know enough to realise that mind-altering substances affect one’s performance. Yet former snooker champion Jimmy White is proof that even sports personalities take drugs. This should be a cause for concern among amateur athletes looking to go professional. White has decided to be open and honest about his crack addiction in his autobiography entitled Second Wind. The snooker player,...

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Addiction Linked Mike Tyson and the Late Robin Williams

Former heavyweight boxing champion and perennial troublemaker Mike Tyson always has something interesting to say when he does an interview. However, it’s hard to believe anyone was prepared for what he told shock jock Howard Stern recently. According to Tyson, he and late comedian Robin Williams were linked together through their addictions. Tyson says the two shared the same drug dealer without even knowing it. Tyson told Stern that the first time he met Williams, the actor and comedian began talking about his dealer. Tyson quickly figured out Williams was referring to the same dealer he used, causing him to...

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KISS’ Gene Simmons: Drugs and Alcohol Don’t Mix

Legendary rocker and KISS front man Gene Simmons is, by all accounts, a personal and commercial success. Not only is he a member of one of the most successful American rock bands in history, he is also an author, actor, record producer, songwriter and TV personality. And according to the man himself, he has never been high or drunk. KISS fans might find that hard to believe, but Simmons insists he learned early on that ‘drugs and alcohol don’t mix’ with success. In a recent interview, Simmons told the Naperville Sun that using drugs and alcohol is one way to...

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Can Psychedelic Drugs Help to Combat Addiction?

Not many people realise that LSD has been around since the 1930s. It was manufactured and distributed in the 1940s and 50s as a drug with therapeutic uses for certain psychiatric conditions. Not until LSD became a recreational drug in the 1960s was it outlawed in the US and Europe. Now, new research hearkening back to the last century is making the case that psychedelic drugs similar to LSD might be helpful in combating addiction. One of the most promising drugs is known as Psilocybin. This drug is the same compound that gives magic mushrooms their psychedelic effect. It is...

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Steven Tyler: Don’t Forsake AA Meetings

Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler was spending some time at his home in Maui, between concert dates, when he decided to contact the local Drug Court to find out when the next graduation ceremony would be. True to character, Tyler said he would be there to address the graduates on their special night. It is something that Tyler has been doing regularly for several years. As he often does, Tyler took the occasion of the Maui Drug Court graduation to tell graduates and their families his own personal story. He encouraged them to not forsake AA meetings and other scheduled...

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Russia’s Love Affair with Spice Symptomatic of Legal High Problem

By some accounts, Government policy makers are not taking the threat of legal highs, also known as the psychoactive substances (NPS), seriously enough. If that is true, we can probably make the case that the public does not see the threat either. So perhaps we need to step back and look at another country that is not so close to home. Russia provides a perfect example. Drug users in Russia have fallen in love with a cannabis substitute known as Spice. This product is an herbal concoction mixed with certain chemicals to create a flaky powder that can be smoked....

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Drug and Alcohol Education Programme to Visit Derbyshire Schools

A new drug and alcohol education programme designed to be implemented in 10 regions across the UK will include Derbyshire on its list of target areas. The programme, put together by the Adaction charity, intends to visit every secondary school in the county. The Amy Winehouse foundation will be joining Adaction in the effort. Mitch Winehouse, the father of the late pop singer, told the Burton Mail that secondary school drug and alcohol education is something that is not as common as it should be. He hopes his foundation’s involvement with the Adaction project will yield positive results. The Derbyshire...

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Unfortunate Crime Highlights Consequences of Drug Use

A recent and unfortunate theft committed by a former drug addict is shining the light on one of the consequences of drug use that we rarely talk about: crime. The theft was perpetrated by a 25-year-old Devon man who said he committed the crime in order to pay off some of his old drug dealing debts. He claimed he was bullied into the act by a group of people to whom he owed money. What makes this crime so unfortunate is the fact that the man had been given a second chance. After completing a drug rehabilitation programme, he was...

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