Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Dependent on Prescription Drugs, Even Before Birth –

April 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Dependent on Prescription Drugs, Even Before Birth –

A great story that shows the good, bad and the ugly of prescription drug addiction and how devastating it can be to young mothers!


Updated: Neighbors, planning board members blast selectmen over methadone clinic – Daniel Dunkle – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette

November 19, 2010 2 comments

Updated: Neighbors, planning board members blast selectmen over methadone clinic – Daniel Dunkle – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette.

Warren — A group of about 30 residents, several of them planning board members, voiced concerns, criticisms and questions about a proposed town methadone clinic Nov. 17 during a selectmen’s meeting at the town office.

The methadone clinic has been proposed at the former school, sometimes called the “old brick school” at 44 School St. next to the Warren Baptist Church.

For the most part the questions and concerns raised in the often heated meeting were not about the clinic itself, but the way town officials have handled the issue.

Several members of the public voiced concerns about the lack of public input in the process, the potential impact on the residential neighborhood, and the amount of traffic that would be caused by hundreds of methadone clinic patients.

Town Manager Grant Watmough and the selectmen have so far refused to reveal much information about the proposal, and selectmen argued at the meeting that they could not legally speak to the issue because it was discussed in a closed-door meeting.

Vixen Land Holdings LLC has a purchase-and-sale agreement on the building, according to Watmough, and the company has been represented at a planning board meeting and in negotiations with selectmen by local businessman Bob Emery.

The Warren Planning Board voted unanimously Nov. 4 to approve a site plan for professional and business offices in the school building. However, planning board Chairman Peter Krakoff said Nov. 17 that a methadone clinic was never discussed during the planning board meeting in which the school was approved for business offices.

Emery has not returned phone calls.

“This leads into what the planning board was presented, which was not a methadone clinic,” planning board member Michael York said. “Which was not a clinic at all. It was professional buildings. …I gotta tell ya, if what I’ve heard is true, I’m thoroughly disgusted, absolutely thoroughly disgusted at how this business has gone down.”

Selectmen repeatedly argued that they could not legally say anything to the planning board about what they discussed with Emery in a closed-door meeting.

“What we like is for people to come before us with an honest interpretation of what their business plans are, not under something else,” York said.

Code Enforcement Officer Bill O’Donnell argued that under the town’s land use ordinance professional offices can include offices for doctors, psychologists and counselors. He noted that doesn’t include personal services.

“According to our land use ordinance, that clinic is legally allowed to be there,” he said. “…In that building will be a doctor, a pharmacist, a nurse, administering a drug that is not a narcotic. It is an inhibitor.”

“You’re a pretty smart guy about that, but that’s what killed my brother last year,” Main Street resident Rob Graham said.

Krakoff argued that dispensing methadone falls under personal services and is prohibited.

“I’ve been on the planning board where we’ve had a gravel pit, that we had 20 times more warning on somebody putting a gravel pit in than a methadone clinic, in the downtown of Warren, that nobody finds out about until it’s a done deal,” York said. “Wow!”

Main Street resident Jill Luks argued the location is wrong because it is too close to the church, residents and a daycare center down the street. She asked selectmen to call a special town meeting so that a moratorium could be placed on this facility or any similar facility, so the town can discuss and plan for where methadone clinics should be located.

York asked if the selectmen have the ability to stop this project and have a moratorium.

Watmough said a town meeting or moratorium could only regulate any future methadone clinic proposal.

In answering questions posed by Krakoff at the meeting, Watmough said the selectmen went into a closed-door executive session Oct. 6 to negotiate with the potential buyer of the school. The people in that closed-door meeting included Emery, O’Donnell, Watmough, the town selectmen, a representative from CRC Health Group and a realtor.

Selectmen decided the same day to sign the purchase-and-sale agreement, and the document was drawn up the next day, according to Watmough.

The planning board was presented with plans for business offices Nov. 4, after the selectmen learned about the project in the executive session. O’Donnell also attended the Nov. 4 planning board meeting.

“How can your planning board operate if the information coming before us is not the true information?” York asked.

“How do we know what you were going to get for information?” asked Select Board Chairman Wayne Luce in response.

O’Donnell said York was not at the meeting on the school building. York said that was right, but noted that he had been in contact with the other planning board members on the issue.

Ed LaFlamme of the Warren Sanitary District spoke up at the meeting, stating that he had been asked to sign off on Vixen Land Holdings’ site plan review application for the town’s sewer system. He said at the meeting that he was told it was business offices and he was not informed that it was going to do medical work. He said from a sewerage standpoint, that changed the project. He said he would consult the Warren Sanitary District board about the issue and with its approval send a letter to the town withdrawing his approval of the project.

Town officials said Nov. 17 that letter may be grounds for sending the project back to the planning board.

Jennifer Carter of the Warren Baptist Church said those proposing the methadone clinic met with about seven church members recently, saying that as good neighbors, they wanted to talk about their operation. She said they started by saying the clinic would offer alcohol and drug counseling, and then added they would be dispensing methadone. She said the meeting included Emery and the people who wanted to lease the school building.

“This was totally a shock to us,” Carter said. “We had no clue what this was about. So we had no opportunity to even sort of gather our thoughts together as a group.”

She raised a number of concerns about the place proposed for the clinic. She said there are signs that it is a drug-free zone right on the corner of the church lot.

“I know it’s no longer a school, but the church is there,” she said. “We have a lot of children, a lot of functions. How would that impact the church?”

“What about the people on Main Street whose backyards abut this property?” she asked.

York argued that it was a done deal because there is a signed purchase-and-sale agreement.

“It’s not done,” Watmough said.

The issue was not on the agenda for Wednesday night’s meeting. The select board fielded the questions and concerns during the public participation portion of the meeting.

Selectmen voted 5-0 to hold another public information meeting on the issue as soon as possible.

In addition, Selectman Christine Wakely made a lengthy motion stating selectmen would obtain and have available information on the purchase-and-sale agreement and information on what would be involved in getting out of the contract and the penalties for getting out of the contract at the information meeting. Selectmen passed the motion by a vote of 5-0.

At the beginning of the meeting, Graham said Watmough was knowingly deceptive about the planned methadone clinic. He said he heard a rumor that a clinic was being proposed for the school property and he went to the town office to ask about it. He said Watmough told him he had heard the same rumor.

Graham said he told Watmough a methadone clinic would draw as many as 250 addicts on a daily basis. He said the town manager told him he thought that was an exaggerated number.

Graham said he then went to Emery’s business, and Emery told him yes, it was a methadone clinic and the number of clients was 253.

The resident said he called the town manager to confront him about this information and Watmough called him back and acknowledged there had been a closed-door meeting.

“The trust and community well being of the fair and honest citizens of the town of Warren is placed in you, the selectmen,” Graham said. “There is no room for dishonesty in our town office.”

In a room full of residents, Graham then asked selectmen to fire Watmough.

Wakely responded, saying, “I don’t think that you have all of the facts that you need to make some of the statements that you have.”

Luce said he hasn’t heard Watmough’s side of the story, but agreed with Wakely that the selectmen and town officials were bound by the restrictions of the closed-door meeting they had.

Selectman Arnold D. Hill said he thought the board should sit down and discuss the issue with the town manager.

“I totally disagree with him,” Watmough said on the phone Nov. 18 when asked about Graham’s statements. “Other than that, no comment.”

“I am surprised the planning board didn’t do a more thorough review of the proposal,” Watmough said in a phone interview Nov. 18. He noted that he has served on a planning board himself in Union in the past.

“If someone came in with a vague application, we would try to get specifics,” he said.

O’Donnell confirmed in a phone interview Nov. 18 that he had been in both the Oct. 6 closed-door meeting and the Nov. 4 planning board meeting.

He contends that he could not inform the planning board during that meeting that the proposal was a methadone clinic because it would involve revealing information from a closed-door meeting.

Asked if he could have guided the planning board to ask specific questions of the applicant, he said, “That would be like a lawyer leading the witness. What is said in executive session stays in executive session.”

In July, Turning Tide methadone clinic President and Program Director Angel Fuller-McMahan said Turning Tide in Rockland had 278 patients altogether. Fuller-McMahan said at that time methadone clinics typically begin to make a profit at about 300 patients (in the case of clinics that are for-profit rather than nonprofit). The clinic was licensed to have up to 500 patients.

Guy Cousins, director of the Maine Office of Substance Abuse, said he has been contacted by CRC Health Group, which is interested in the former school in Warren. He said he has been contacted by a number of organizations looking to fill the void left after the Turning Tide methadone clinic in Rockland was closed.

He said CRC had some conversations with the Turning Tide clinic in Rockland, but is acting independently of Turning Tide in this project.

He noted that with no clear resolution for Turning Tide’s ongoing issues, CRC decided to look for a place that was less problematic.

He said it is unlikely that the state would approve having two methadone clinics that close together in one area. At this point it appears there will either be a methadone clinic in Warren or in Rockland.

Cousins said the school building is in fine shape and large enough to accommodate the operation. He added that based on the information he has, CRC has a clear vision, noting that it would provide counseling as well as methadone treatment.

For more information on CRC Health Group, visit

Updated: Warren Sanitary District withdraws approval in light of methadone proposal – Daniel Dunkle – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Updated: Warren Sanitary District withdraws approval in light of methadone proposal – Daniel Dunkle – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette.

Updated: Warren Sanitary District withdraws approval in light of methadone proposal

Officials cite ‘erroneous or incomplete information’

By Daniel Dunkle | Nov 18, 2010

(Photo by: Daniel Dunkle) This former elementary school in Warren may soon be home to a methadone clinic.

Warren — The Warren Sanitary District issued a letter Nov. 18 withdrawing approval of the site plan for business offices at the former elementary school in light of new information that the project is really a methadone clinic.

“In regards to the proposed project at the town-owned building on School Street, the Sanitary District’s prior approval was based on erroneous or incomplete information,” Warren Sanitary District Executive Director Edmund LaFlamme wrote in the letter addressed to Planning Board Chairman Peter Krakoff.

“The developer represented that the building was going to be used for professional offices similar to a real estate office,” LaFlamme continued. “We now understand that a methadone clinic is proposed for the building.”

The methadone clinic has been proposed at the former school, sometimes called the “old brick school” at 44 School St. next to the Warren Baptist Church.

Vixen Land Holdings LLC has a purchase-and-sale agreement on the building, according to Town Manager Grant Watmough, and the company has been represented at a planning board meeting and in negotiations with selectmen by local businessman Bob Emery.

The Warren Planning Board voted unanimously Nov. 4 to approve a site plan for professional and business offices in the school building.

However, Krakoff said Nov. 17 that a methadone clinic was never discussed during the planning board meeting in which the school was approved for business offices.

“From a wastewater treatment perspective, any type of medical office/clinic presents a very different use,” LaFlamme wrote in his letter. “Under the Sanitary District’s rules and regulations, any use with the potential for any type of medical waste may require engineering review and pre-treatment.”

“With this in mind,” he continued, “the Sanitary District must respectfully rescind its prior approval of the use of this building. The Sanitary District will certainly reconsider its decision in the event it receives accurate information concerning the proposed use for the building and subject to the findings and conclusions of any necessary engineering review of that use.”

LaFlamme had previously signed the site plan review application filed by Vixen Land Holdings, LLC concerning the former school building. In the application submitted to the town, Vixen listed the title of its proposed development as “rental office units, former school.” The company listed “business and professional offices” as the proposed use of the property.

While Krakoff contends that a methadone clinic does not meet the definition of business and professional offices, town Code Enforcement Officer Bill O’Donnell has said a clinic is legally allowed under the land use ordinance.

On Oct. 7, LaFlamme and three other town officials signed off on the site plan review application. The others were Fire Chief Edward Grinnell, Road Commissioner Grant Watmough and O’Donnell.

A meeting has been scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday at the Masonic Hall in Warren for “citizens concerned about the methadone clinic and opposed to secrecy in government.”


Methadone clinic proposed for former Warren school – Daniel Dunkle – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Methadone clinic proposed for former Warren school – Daniel Dunkle – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette.

Warren — A methadone clinic has been proposed for the former school building on School Street, according to town sources.

Planning Board Chairman Peter Krakoff confirmed Nov. 17 that he heard about the proposal in discussions with Town Manager Grant Watmough and Code Enforcement Officer Bill O’Donnell.

The Warren Planning Board voted unanimously Nov. 4 to approve a site plan for professional and business office rentals at the former school building, according to meeting minutes. Vixen Land Holdings LLC has a purchase-and-sale agreement on the building, according to Watmough, and was represented at the planning board meeting by local businessman Bob Emery.

Krakoff said a methadone clinic was never discussed during the planning board meeting in which the school was approved for business offices.

He said that had the planning board been told the project involved something with as much potential impact as a methadone clinic, he is confident the board would have considered holding public hearings on the project.

Krakoff further argued that if someone wants to put a methadone clinic in that building, they would have to come back to the planning board for a change of use.

“I’m just saying what we permitted is different from a clinic,” he said. He acknowledged the board would have asked a totally different set of questions for a methadone clinic before approving the project than it would for professional and business offices.

However, he said there are others who disagree with his view on this.

The school, sometimes called the “old brick school,” which also served in the past as a superintendent’s office, is located at 44 School St., next to the Baptist church.

Watmough said Nov. 17 that an “entity” talked to members of the Baptist church about a proposal for the school. He said Emery is looking for tenants for the building and a potential tenant was talking to abutters.

Watmough would not confirm that a methadone clinic has been proposed for the school building.

However, he said he believes it is a true statement that the property has all of the permits necessary from the town to open a methadone clinic there.

Both Watmough and Krakoff point out that the town’s ordinances are silent on the topic of medical or methadone clinics.

Krakoff argued, however, that that doesn’t speak to whether or not methadone clinics fall under the category of professional and business offices.

Watmough said he could not provide any information on the issue, arguing it was outside his role in the process.

“We’re selling the building,” he said, to describe his role.

Emery, who owns Emery’s Construction, could not be reached for comment. Nor could the State Office of Substance Abuse.

Main Street resident Rob Graham said he lives across the street from the school. He said he heard a rumor about the methadone clinic and contacted Watmough. Unable to get any information at the town office, Graham contacted Emery.

He said Emery told him it would be a methadone clinic and gave him the company name CRC Healthgroup Outpatient Treatment Program in Chadds Ford, Pa.

Graham also said people involved with the proposed clinic met with some church members.

Graham criticized the town manager for failing to give him answers to his questions about this project.

“What we heard in an executive session stays in executive session,” said Chairman Wayne Luce of the Warren Board of Selectmen. He said selectmen met behind closed doors with Emery and a potential tenant from a health group.

He argued that selectmen had no say over the use of the building and that it was the planning board that approved it.

Krakoff said he believes the selectmen’s closed-door meeting was held after the planning board meeting in which the approval was given for business offices.

He said he also understands that town officials contacted the Maine Municipal Association to see if methadone clinics are allowed under the town’s ordinance and MMA said yes. However, he contends, that still doesn’t mean methadone clinics fall under business and professional offices.

Watmough said the price of the building in the purchase-and-sale agreement with Vixen was not being released to the public yet because the sale was not final. He noted that another party has also expressed interest in the building.

According to planning board meeting minutes, Emery told the planning board he plans to renovate the building as an office complex and rent out space for professionals such as doctors or accountants. Under the site plan, the offices will only be open during regular business hours.

Emery told the planning board some potential tenants have showed interest, but none has committed to locating there so far.

It was not decided at the meeting whether the building will still be accessible from Main Street or just from School Street off Route 90.

In the application for the site plan, Emery estimated the project would take seven months to complete.

As part of the purchase-and-sale agreement, Vixen has up to six months to secure all of the necessary permits for the project, according to Watmough. He said the company will be testing the building and its materials in part because it has some asbestos floor tiles. The building is owned by the town.

Watmough said the sale does not have to go back to town voters. The town manager explained that a number of options for the school have already been presented to voters and they chose to sell the building.


An alternative to the war on drugs

August 1, 2010 Leave a comment

An alternative to the war on drugs — Rolles 341: c3360 — BMJ.

A wonderful essay on the failure of our drug war policies and why they must end brought to us by the British Medical Journal.


An alternative to the war on drugs

Stephen Rolles, senior policy analyst

1 Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Bristol BS5 0HE <!–[CDATA[–>
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Stephen Rolles argues that we need to end the criminalisation of drugs and instead set up regulatory models that will control drug markets and reduce the health and social harms caused by current policy

Consensus is growing within the drugs field and beyond that the prohibition on production, supply, and use of certain drugs has not only failed to deliver its intended goals but has been counterproductive. Evidence is mounting that this policy has not only exacerbated many public health problems, such as adulterated drugs1 and the spread of HIV and hepatitis B and C infection among injecting drug users, but has created a much larger set of secondary harms associated with the criminal market. These now include vast networks of organised crime, endemic violence related to the drug market,2 corruption of law enforcement and governments, militarised crop eradication programmes (environmental damage, food insecurity, and human displacement), and funding for terrorism and insurgency.3 4

These conclusions have been reached by a succession of committees and reports including, in the United Kingdom alone, the Police Foundation,5 the Home Affairs Select Committee,6 The prime minister’s Strategy Unit,7 the Royal Society of Arts,8 and the UK Drug Policy Consortium.9 The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime has also acknowledged the many “unintended negative consequences” of drug enforcement,10 increasingly shifting its public rhetoric away from its former aspirational goals of a “drug free world,” towards “containment” of the problem at current levels.

Problems of prohibition

Despite this emerging consensus on the nature of the problem, the debate about how policy can evolve to respond to it remains driven more by populist politics and tabloid headlines than by rational analysis or public health principles.

The criminalisation of drugs has, historically, been presented as an emergency response to an imminent threat rather than an evidence based health or social policy intervention.11 Prohibitionist rhetoric frames drugs as menacing not just to health but also to our children, national security, and the moral fabric of society itself. The prohibition model is positioned as a response to such threats,12 13 and is often misappropriated into populist political narratives such as “crackdowns” on crime, immigration, and, more recently, the war on terror.

This conceptualisation has resulted in the punitive enforcement of drug policy becoming largely immune from meaningful scrutiny.14 A curiously self justifying logic now prevails in which the harms of prohibition—such as drug related organised crime and deaths from contaminated heroin—are conflated with the harms of drug use. These policy related harms then bolster the apparent menace of drugs and justify the continuation, or intensification, of prohibition. This has helped create a high level policy environment that routinely ignores or actively suppresses critical scientific engagement and is uniquely divorced from most public health and social policy norms, such as evaluation of interventions using established indicators of health and wellbeing.

Emerging change

Despite this hostile ideological environment, two distinct policy trends have emerged in recent decades: harm reduction15 and decriminalisation of personal possession and use. Although both are nominally permitted within existing international legal frameworks, they pose serious practical and intellectual challenges to the overarching status quo. Both have been driven by pragmatic necessity: harm reduction emerging in the mid-1980s in response to the epidemic of HIV among injecting drug users, and decriminalisation in response to resource pressures on overburdened criminal justice systems (and, to a lesser extent, concerns over the rights of users). Both policies have proved their effectiveness. Harm reduction is now used in policy or practice in 93 countries,16 and several countries in mainland Europe,17 18 and central and Latin America have decriminalised all drugs, with others, including states in Australia and the United States, decriminalising cannabis.19

Decriminalisation has shown that less punitive approaches do not necessarily lead to increased use. In Portugal, for example, use among school age young people has fallen since all drugs were decriminalised in 2001.20 More broadly, an extensive World Health Organization study concluded: “Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly and is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones.”21

Similarly US states that have decriminalised cannabis do not have higher levels of use than those without. More importantly, the Netherlands, where cannabis is available from licensed premises, does not have significantly different levels of use from its prohibitionist neighbours.19

New approach

Although these emerging policy trends are important, they can be seen primarily as symptomatic responses to mitigate the harms created by the prohibitionist policy environment. Neither directly tackles the public health or wider social harms created or exacerbated by the illegal production and supply of drugs.

The logic of both, however, ultimately leads us to confront the inevitable choice: non-medical drug markets can remain in the hands of unregulated criminal profiteers or they can be controlled and regulated by appropriate government authorities. There is no third option under which drugs do not exist. The choice needs to be based on an evaluation of which option will deliver the best outcomes in terms of minimising the harms, both domestic and international, associated with drug production, supply, and use. This does not preclude reducing demand as a legitimate long term policy goal, rather it accepts that policy must also deal with the reality of current high levels of demand.

A historical stumbling block in this debate has been that the eloquent and detailed critiques of the drug war have not been matched by a vision for its replacement. Unless a credible public health led model of drug market regulation is proposed, myths and misrepresentations will inevitably fill the void. So what would such a model look like?

Transform’s blueprint for regulation22 attempts to answer this question by offering different options for controls over products (dose, preparation, price, and packaging), vendors (licensing, vetting and training requirements, marketing and promotions), outlets (location, outlet density, appearance), who has access (age controls, licensed buyers, club membership schemes), and where and when drugs can be consumed. It then explores options for different drugs in different populations and suggests the regulatory models that may deliver the best outcomes (box). Lessons are drawn from successes and failings with alcohol and tobacco regulation in the UK and beyond, as well as controls over medicinal drugs and other risky products and activities that are regulated by government.

Five basic models for regulating drug availability22

  • Medical prescription model or supervised venues—For highest risk drugs (injected drugs including heroin and more potent stimulants such as methamphetamine) and problematic users
  • Specialist pharmacist retail model—combined with named/licensed user access and rationing of volume of sales for moderate risk drugs such as amphetamine, powder cocaine, and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy)
  • Licensed retailing—including tiers of regulation appropriate to product risk and local needs. Used for lower risk drugs and preparations such as lower strength stimulant based drinks
  • Licensed premises for sale and consumption—similar to licensed alcohol venues and Dutch cannabis “coffee shops,” potentially also for smoking opium or poppy tea
  • Unlicensed sales—minimal regulation for the least risky products, such as caffeine drinks and coca tea.

Such a risk guided regulatory approach is the norm for almost all other arenas of public policy, and in this respect it is prohibition, not regulation, that can be viewed as the anomalous and radical policy option.

Moves towards legal regulation of drug markets depend on negotiating the substantial institutional and political obstacles presented by the international drug control system (the UN drug conventions). They would also need to be phased in cautiously over several years, with close evaluation and monitoring of effects and any unintended negative consequences.

Rather than a universal model, a flexible range of regulatory tools would be available with the more restrictive controls used for more risky products and less restrictive controls for lower risk products. Such differential application of regulatory controls could additionally help create a risk-availability gradient. This holds the potential to not only reduce harms associated with illicit supply and current patterns of consumption but, in the longer term, to progressively encourage use of safer products, behaviours, and environments. Understanding of such processes is emerging from “route transition” interventions aimed at encouraging injecting users to move to lower risk non-injecting modes of administration by, for example, providing foil for smoking.23 This process is the opposite of what has happened under prohibition, where a profit driven dynamic has tended to tilt the market towards ever more potent (but profitable) drugs and drug preparations, as well as encouraging riskier behaviours in high risk environments.

The oversight and enforcement of new regulations would largely fall within the remit of existing public health, regulatory, and enforcement agencies. Activities that take place outside the regulatory framework would naturally remain prohibited and subject to civil or criminal sanctions.

Regulation is no silver bullet. In the short term it can only seek to reduce the problems that stem from prohibition and the illicit trade it has created. It cannot tackle the underlying drivers of problematic drug use such as inequality and social deprivation. But by promoting a more pragmatic public health model and freeing up resources for evidence based social policy and public health based interventions it would create a more conducive environment for doing so. The costs of developing and implementing a new regulatory infrastructure would represent only a fraction of the ever increasing resources currently directed into efforts to control supply. There would also be potential for translating a proportion of existing criminal profits into legitimate tax revenue.

Different social environments will require different approaches in response to the specific challenges they face. Transform’s blueprint does not seek to provide all the answers but to move the debate beyond whether we should end the war on drugs to what the world could look like after the war on drugs. It is a debate that the medical and public health sectors have failed to engage with for far too long.

Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3360

Contributors and sources: SR is the author of After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation. The book is published by Transform Drug Policy Foundation, which actively campaigns for drug policy and law reform, and is available free online (

Competing interests: The author has completed the unified competing interest form at (available on request from him) and declares (1) the writing and production of SR’s book, including a contribution to his salary, were funded by the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust and the Glass House Trust; (2) no financial relationships with commercial entities that might have an interest in the submitted work; (3) no spouses, partners, or children with relationships with commercial entities that might have an interest in the submitted work; and (4) no non-financial interests that may be relevant to the submitted work.

Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.


  1. Cole C, Jones L, McVeigh J, Kicman A, Qutub Syed Q, Bellis M. A guide to the adulterants, bulking agents and other contaminants found in illicit drugs. Centre for Public Health, John Moores University, 2010.
  2. Werb D, Rowell G, Kerr T, Guyatt G, Montaner J, Wood E. Effect of drug law enforcement on drug-related violence: evidence from a scientific review. International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, 2010.
  3. Felbab-Brown V. Shooting up: counter-insurgency and the war on drugs. Brookings Institution Press, 2009.
  4. Barrett D, Lines L, Schleifer R, Elliot R, Bewley-Taylor D. Recalibrating the regime. Beckley Foundation. International Harm Reduction Association, 2008.
  5. Police Foundation. Drugs and the law: report of the independent inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Police Foundation, 1999.
  6. Home Affairs Select Committee. The government’s drugs policy: is it working? Stationery Office, 2002.
  7. Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Strategy Unit drugs report. 2003.
  8. Royal Society of Arts Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy. Drugs—facing facts. RSA, 2007.
  9. Reuter P, Stevens A. An analysis of UK drug policy. UK Drug Policy Commission, 2007.
  10. Costa A. Making drug control “fit for purpose”: Building on the UNGASS decade. UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 2008.
  11. Barrett D. Security, development and human rights: Normative, legal and policy challenges for the international drug control system. Int J Drug Policy 2010;21:140-4.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
  12. United Nations. United Nations convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. 1988.
  13. Brown G. Prime minister’s questions. Hansard 2010 Mar 24.
  14. Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs. Informing America’s policy on illegal drugs: what we don’t know keeps hurting us. National Research Council, National Academy Press, 2001.
  15. International Harm Reduction Association. What is harm reduction? A position statement. 2010.
  16. Cook C, ed. The global state of harm reduction 2010: key issues for broadening the response.
  17. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Illicit drug use in the EU: legislative approaches. EU, 2005.
  18. Blickman T, Jelsma M. Drug policy reform in practice. Transnational Institute, 2009.
  19. Room R, Hall W, Reuter P, Fischer B, Lenton S. Global cannabis commission report. Beckley Foundation, 2009.
  20. Hughes C, Stevens A . What can we learn from the Portuguese decriminalisation of illicit drugs?. Br J Criminology (forthcoming).
  21. Degenhard L, Chiu W-T, Sampson N, Kessler RC, Anthony JC, Angermeyer M, et al. Toward a global view of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine use: findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. PLoS Med 2008;5:e141.[CrossRef][Medline]
  22. Rolles S. After the war on drugs: blueprint for regulation. Transform Drug Policy Foundation, 2009.
  23. Bridge J. Route transition interventions: Potential public health gains from reducing or preventing injecting. Int J Drug Policy 2010;21:125-8.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]

(Accepted 3 June 2010)

WGME 13 Maine News

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

WGME 13 Maine News.

Sad story of a sister trying to help her brother, but he died anyway.  She is now in jail for his death because she gave him medication to help him with withdrawals.

I wonder if anyone that knows the agony of withdrawal would be able to sit by and watch someone they love suffer without trying to help?  And who is really to blame?  Him, her–or ADDICTION???

Yokels breeding intolerance | Andrew Hanon | Columnists | News | Edmonton Sun

July 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Yokels breeding intolerance | Andrew Hanon | Columnists | News | Edmonton Sun.

Very good comparison between crazed nimbyist lynch mobs and common sense communication and teamwork done by a grassroots protest.