Tuesday, October 17, 2006
News of the Day 10-17-06
A couple of items on drug use that raise serious questions for our attention. The first reports the increased abuse of caffeine pills by young people, despite real health debits and emergency room visits. Which raises this question--could these pills eventually end up similar to marijuana in health impact and "starter drug"? And, if they do, what will we do? Try to outlaw them, when coffee/tea/soda/chocolate remain legal? Or maintain yet another law de-legitimatizing double standard? (Notice I have no illusion (or need, actually) of discussing decriminalizing pot. It's a non-starter, anyway.) . The other is a Science Daily story on how cocaine addiction alters the brain's perceptions of reward. This is actually one of the scarier stories I've read lately, but it is great at describing what scientists are finding when they look at MRIs of addicts and how they "think." Anyone wanting to know why relapse is so frequent should read this. Just don't have the lights down too low. . . . Three stories on meth out Westh (sorry). Here, AZ wants to exclude meth from a past initiative forbidding incarceration of first-time possessors. Here, CO is hearing that its similar proposed initiative this November for pot smokers will lead to meth addiction. And here, the feds laud MT for its meth prevention campaign, apparently a good model for other states to check out. . . but, if it's effective, could MT kids then safely smoke pot?