Substance.com

Meet the Hip, Young Talking Head Trying to Stop Legal Pot

“Alcohol [is] legal because of its cultural significance. However, I think if you surveyed every public health researcher and asked if they could go back in time and prevent alcohol from being normalized 10 centuries ago… you might be surprised at how many would want to do that.”

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The NYPD Arrest Slowdown: A Model to Be Lauded?

“Why are you still there?” I get asked all the time. Sometimes I wonder the same thing.

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There's A Better Way for American Doctors to Deal With Painkiller Misuse

When a patient recently came into the St. Paul, Minn., office of Dr. Mark Willenbring, the doctor already knew his history. Diagnosed in his 20s with a chronically painful disorder, James (not his real name) had done well on opioid painkiller Oxycontin for almost a decade.

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Humiliating People With Addiction Is Not Treatment

When I walked into a certain tin warehouse in North Miami Beach in 2006, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d gotten myself into. I was new to Florida, needed a job and this one paid well. So I figured it was a start.

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The Highs of Journalism: 5 News Reporters Who Got Buzzed on Camera

TV news reporters typically do their best to act like they are serious people doing a serious job, at least when on camera. But sometimes the mask drops a bit, or the make-up is too thick, revealing—to the sadistic amusement of the viewer—the person behind the persona. This may occur when reporters are reporting on drugs or when reporters on drugs are reporting. Or, best of all, both.

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Lose That "Addict" Identity--There Are Better Options

Last year Meghan Ralston, of the Drug Policy Alliance, memorably wrote—in a piece titled, “I’m Breaking Up With the Word ‘Addict’…”—about her former, heavy substance-using self and her new, sober self. (“Sober,” of course, doesn’t mean “abstinent.”) Only, she pointed out, that’s the same self and she’s the same person, for better or worse:

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Will 2015 Be the Year of Harm Reduction?

The past couple of years have been game-changers for harm reduction. The movement to reclaim the health and dignity of people who use drugs has celebrated the rapid passage of overdose prevention and syringe decriminalization laws, expanded access to the life-saving overdose reversal drug naloxone, and welcomed endorsements from such prominent, previously skeptical agencies as the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control.

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5 Addictions You Are Permitted to Have Among Polite Society in America

Do you have an addiction? It’s not unlikely. Human beings are wired to seek pleasure. And most of us—if not all of us—are hooked on something. For some of us, it’s drugs or alcohol. Scary! If so, you’re probably pretty familiar with shame, secrecy or guilt, what with the media shrieking about Lindsay Lohan’s coke problem and celebrity DUIs and the latest designer drug to shield your kids from, at all costs.

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10 Big Ways the War on Drugs Lost Some Steam in 2014

2014 was an eventful year for the international drug war. Given that it consists mainly of violence, corruption, impoverishment, incarceration, addiction and other social harms, that is hardly good news, although a cynic might say that it makes for good drama.

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Islamic World Takes Same Drugs We Do: It Just Has Different Rules About Them

Every society has its own views about drugs. For example, there once was a land—and not in a fairytale—where you could take all the narcotics you wanted but drinking a cup of coffee or smoking a cigarette carried the death penalty. That’s hard for us to conceive of in the US, where many Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are fueled by coffee and cigarettes—neither nicotine nor caffeine is considered a relapse, even though they are drugs. The reality is that throughout history, substances have been demonized not due to any inherent property, intoxicating or otherwise, but, rather, due to social values. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Islamic societies—we’ll look at the Arab Nation, Turkey and Iran—and their richly diverse views of intoxicants over the centuries.

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