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Archive for January, 2010

Officials in Suffolk County on Long Island, NY will announce a new public health initiative next week. This initiative will dispense Suboxone, a treatment for opiate addiction, at a clinic in the county. While patients are on the drug, they will receive long-term counseling.

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A few weeks ago, I remember turning on the news to hear the story of a bus driver down in Almond, NY who was drunk on the job. For those that don’t know, Almond is less then an hour south of Geneseo, NY. I watched the video of the children trying to figure out what was wrong, and then trying to convince the woman to stop before they all fled out of the back emergency door.

This news article talks about the punishment the bus driver received. If I was a member of this community, I would be furious. I still am outraged that this could happen. Many people have the perception that it is a lowly profession, but from what I’ve heard its actually a rather difficult position to obtain and maintain.

This is an excellent example of how one person’s substance abuse can drastically effect the lives of others. These children have a horrible memory of this ordeal, and much worse could have happened. The bus driver could have easily gotten into an accident (as I recall she missed a turn and then went into reverse to make up for it) and not only injured all her passengers, but injured many others as well–imagine if she collided with another bus!

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A huge number of celebrities have died from drug abuse, and with prescription drug abuse on the rise we will inevitably see an increase in the number of stars who died too soon.

Artist Jason Mecier makes portraits of celebrities out of a variety of ‘junk’ items, and recently he has revealed portraits of Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger, as well as Courtney Love and Kelly Osbourne–two admitted drug users who have struggled with the disease and managed to escape death so far.

Check out his portraits here. Hopefully more stars will start making better choices with their powerful ability to serve as role models for youth.

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The community in the Tohono O’odham Nation reservation has had to alter many aspects of their lives because of drug smuggling. A New York Times article describes how the tribe is suffering from the occupation of border patrol officials trying to reduce drug smuggling (as well as human trafficking) along a 75-mile stretch of U.S. and Mexican border.

Many members of the tribe have had family members get involved in the drug trade because, they say, there simply are not enough legal jobs available. They also get involved out of fear of the consequences to saying no to members of drug cartels. Hundreds have gone to prison for their involvement.

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Boston University released a study last year that revealed approximately 10,000 children who ride the buses of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to school are exposed to alcohol advertisements on a daily basis.

A news article stated that Massachusetts already has laws that ban cigarettes, violence and nudity in advertisements on public property. ‘MBTA guidelines are inconsistent if they do not exclude underage exposure to alcohol ads’ – Michael Siegel, professor at BU’s School of Public Health

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There are a lot of interesting things happening in Colorado lately, as evidenced by my posts about using an iPhone app to discourage drunk driving and educating the public about date rape drugs. And just last week I wrote about the phenomenon of Medical Marijuana Millionaires. Now, I want to share an article about the difficulties that medical marijuana users are facing in the work place.

The article shares the stories of three state residents who had to meet with HR about their medical marijuana use. One of these employees came out in a published letter to the local newspaper, another after an accident they had while on duty, and the third after using marijuana at work.

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After a series of incidents recently in which both men and women reported issues with memory loss, the Denver Post reports that organizations in the Aspen area are taking steps to educate residents about the date rape drug. They are not willing to assume that these individuals just over-indulged and instead want to make sure people are being careful.

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