Saturday, September 09, 2006

News of the Day 9-08-06

Okay, I lied below. Too many good stories. The boy will just have to understand that I have faithful readers who need stoking, too. . . . Reuters Health alerts us to the survey results of the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services on illegal drug use. Good news: young Americans continue to decrease their participation. Bad news: as an AZ story noted a few days ago, Baby Boomers are spiking that downward curve back up. Says one federal drug official, "Could kids be rejecting drugs because it's some lame thing that old people do?" (Given my son's refusal to listen to the Grass Roots, uh . . . .) But alcohol use is still bad, all ages . . . . Speaking of which, a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism study in Pediatrics demonstrates pretty conclusively that the earlier in your life you become an alcoholic, the harder it is to quit, apparently due to greater severity levels and reluctance to get help. . . . Riding to the rescue if he gets elected will be AR Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson, who's setting a goal of 50% reduction in drug use in the state in his first term, to be achieved mainly through drug courts. "We cannot solve this with enforcement alone," he says, joining other "Nixon Goes to China" Republican candidates in MD and CA to emphasize treatment more vocally. . . . One reason for the increasingly desperate search for alternatives, of course, is the pressure drug enforcement places on prisons and jails. Case in point: Alaska (what's its initial again? isn't that Alabama's?). Rising populations are meeting declining staff in a big way there, leading to a state correctional officers' grievance. Oddly, the article doesn't leave one optimistic about the outcome.

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