UK Protects their Population by Setting Standards for Drugged Driving

drugged drivingEveryone knows that there are legal limits for driving while drunk. But now some nations and US states are working hard to determine what the legal driving limits for drug use should be. After all, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has documented the fact that many drugs of abuse make it harder or even impossible for a person to continue to drive competently after use.

In the NHTSA documentation for marijuana, the agency describes the effects of using marijuana before driving: “The short term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficultly in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. Heavy users may have increased difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment.”

When a person takes the club drug Ecstasy (MDMA), the NHTSA noted these impairments occurred in some drivers: “Speeding, jumping red lights, hallucinations/delusions, and a sense of detachment in five impaired driving cases.” Continue reading

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Clubbing and Drug Abuse

drug use in nightclubsDo you have a son or daughter or maybe a friend who spends a lot of time going to nightclubs or dance clubs? Then the chances are very good that they are using drugs as well. Probably a combination of drugs which increases their risk of harm or even death.


The drugs used at these clubs, similar events like music festivals and especially Spring Break trips include:
• Alcohol
• Marijuana
• Ecstasy
• Methamphetamine
• Ketamine
• Cocaine
• And the many different new synthetic drugs on the market.

What makes things even worse is that many young people abuse multiple drugs – either all at once or in rapid succession so that all the drugs are active in their bodies at one time. This is an extremely risky habit that results in death far too often. Continue reading

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What Can We Learn from the UK Reclassification of Marijuana?

young adult smoking marijuanaFrom 2004 to 2009, the Labour government in the UK reclassified marijuana into a lower level of legal penalties. If we looked at the result of this action, could we possibly predict what might happen in the US as a result of increasing medical and recreational use of this drug?

• According to a recent report from the Daily Mail, there was a 25% increase in the use of this drug and a sharp increase in crime.
• Researchers at Newcastle University found that occasional use of marijuana increased 25% and regular consumption increased 8%.

That’s not the only indicator that marijuana use is likely to increase in the US as penalties are lowered.

• A survey done of US high school students showed that among the students who had used marijuana at least once, 65% would be more likely to use pot if penalties were eliminated.
• Among teenaged heavy users, 78% said they would be more likely to use it.
• Even among those teens who had never used marijuana, 16% said they would be more likely to use the drug. Continue reading

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10 Tips to Keep Kids Off Drugs this Summer

summerSummer is officially here, and the relief and freedom felt by most teenagers across the United States is accompanied by the concern and worry that many parents are experiencing about their children’s well being. Now that your kids are out of school, how can you be sure that they will stay out of trouble? How do you know that they won’t get involved with drugs? There are things that you can do to help them stay safe and enjoy a drug-free summer, and Narconon is sharing 10 tips that you can use now:  Continue reading

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Redefining What Makes an Impaired Driver

impaired driversFor as long as there have been cars, there have been drunk drivers. But now there are not only drunk drivers, there are enough people impaired on other drugs that our law enforcement systems need to catch up with this new phenomenon.

Certainly there have been drug-impaired drivers for many years. Even as far back as the 1960s, there were Miltowns (sedatives) and sleeping pills abused by many people. But now, as medical or recreational marijuana are legalized (more than 20 states allow medical marijuana use now), the laws have had to catch up with those who might drive after smoking pot.

Colorado tried to set a standard for the concentration of THC in a driver’s bloodstream that would make him an impaired driver. Washington then adopted this standard for impaired driving in their state. Both states set the standard at 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. While this was a noble attempt, in fact the research supporting this standard was not yet complete and the standard has been challenged. Continue reading

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The Right Legislation Can Help Reduce Drug Deaths

prescription pill bottlesThere’s no one solution to drug abuse and addiction. Solving this problem in our society will take many different actions, as wrote in a post last week. This week I came across some information on how the right legislation can help in the effort to reduce the number of people who lose their lives to overdoses of drugs.

It was in a story about a law change in Florida. Florida was notorious for having “pill mills” – businesses that had a doctor on the premises who would write you a prescription for painkillers or other drugs without asking questions. Until this law was changed, the situation in Florida was pretty far out of control. There were stories about parking lots full out-of-state plates and crowds of people standing on the sidewalks outside these businesses, waiting for their prescriptions. Continue reading

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Newborn Babies – Some of Our Youngest Addicts

newborn baby with motherThese are children who never reached out for a joint, a needle or a crack pipe. Their drugs came from a different source – their mothers’ blood, carried through the placenta and umbilical cord to the tiny, growing body.

But still, these are children who must go through similar withdrawal symptoms to their mothers. They are often inconsolable, crying endlessly. They may suffer seizures and cramps and kick their arms and legs in pain. When the mothers’ drug was an opiate, the babies may be weaned off the drugs in their bodies by being given tiny doses of methadone or morphine. The dose is gradually reduced until they are clean but it still is an uncomfortable process. Continue reading

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Marijuana Edibles Pose Threats to Colorado Adults and Children Alike

marijuana gummy bearsAbout a month ago, I posted a blog about a New York Times reporter who traveled to Denver to take a look at the legal recreational marijuana industry there. She thought she would try one of the marijuana edibles – brownies, cookies, gummy bears, drinks, and more – since she was reporting on the industry.

She took a nibble of her candy bar and when nothing happened for awhile, took another nibble. An hour or so later, she experienced a full-on panic attack, complete with paranoia and paralysis. It lasted all night.

She had unintentionally overdosed on THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary intoxicating ingredient of marijuana. The next day, she learned that for a newcomer, that candy bar should have been cut into sixteen pieces. Continue reading

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The Third Legal Drug

marijuana and jointIf you have any concerns about the spread of marijuana use across our country, that’s probably a good idea. One of our experts on the effects of this drug states feels that this use of marijuana constitutes a huge social experiment with great risk involved.

The expert is Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s part of the National Institutes of Health. In a Washington Post article, she makes some good points.

She notes that the greatest number of drug-related deaths result from alcohol and tobacco. She continued on to say that these deaths occurred in such numbers “not because they are more dangerous or addictive. Not at all — they are less dangerous. It’s because they are legal. . . . The legalization process generates a much greater exposure of people and hence of negative consequences that will emerge. And that’s why I always say, ‘Can we as a country afford to have a third legal drug.” Continue reading

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The Battle to Reduce Alcohol Use by Underage Drinkers

Despite laws, despite the fact that many parents warn their children against using alcohol when they are underage, the vast majority of our adolescents drink alcohol. You can see exactly how many in this chart from the Surgeon General’s 2007 Call to Action to end underage drinking. You can see how early drinking starts.

Alcohol use by youth

Here’s a fact that many parents may not know: Half of the money spent on alcohol in this country is spent by underage drinkers or those who drink to excess. This is according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Children. Underage drinking accounts for 20% of the alcohol sold and excessive drinking accounts for another 30%.

Young people who binge drink even have their definite preferences of what to drink, as reported in the Washington Post. Take a look. Continue reading

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