Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Junkies Unite For YOUR Civil Rights.

"Unai Unai" says some "graffitists’ in the streets of Miami, Florida. Is a Latin way of saying Unite Unite, as we begin to see graffiti saying "Junkies Unite 4 ur civil, constitutional and patients' rights". There was a song in Spanish that went Unai Unai, meaning the United States, but I do not remember how the rest of it goes. Moms United to End the War on Drugs - A New PATH

What is it about governments who without evidence of harm or victims decide to take on a population of their own citizens and establish that they are criminals? One of the most damaging aspects of the war on drugs is the spread of governments endorsed misinformation about drugs.

The government has taken the position of misinformation so far and their political repression and oppression keeps many from speaking favorably about what they think should be done. This
repression reminds me of dictatorial relationship between the government and oppositions in Latin American Countries where the left (as well as the right did decades ago) suppressed free thinking and democratic ideas.

The War on Drugs has amongst many of its historic events, many issues of racism. These articles
sponsor by Florida International University " The War On Drugs Is Nothing But Institutionalized Racism" by a Dylan Ratigan

discusses some of the current statistics. But its history goes back to the 1st Anti-Drug laws in the
United States.

Hidden between the pages of history of the anti-drug laws, is the fact that the early anti-drug laws where based on racism and they were not concern about anyone’s wellbeing or health. You would think that legislators might have learned this by now. Here is the beginning of another article written by a Federal Judge:

The first anti-drug law in our country was a local law in San Francisco passed in 1875. It outlawed the smoking of opium and was directed at the Chinese because opium smoking was a peculiarly Chinese habit. It was believed that Chinese men were luring white women to have sex in opium dens. In 1909 Congress made opium smoking a federal offense by enacting the Anti-Opium Act. It reinforced Chinese racism by carving out an exception for drinking and injecting tinctures of opiates that were popular among whites.

The Drug Policy Foundation has also noted the inequality as to the Race and the War on Drugs.

When we base our models and ideas for policies, legislation, regulations and laws on misinformation propaganda and prejudices the outcomes are a similar product. Most of us have heard the long-standing notion "Garbage In, Garbage Out".  Meaning if you input bad data into a computer nothing else can come out but a bad product or outcome. It is logical. 

I assert that we are making extremely bad policy decisions because they are based on bad information.  Most European countries (even our enemies like Iran) have decided to go their own way and treat their persons with substance use problems with much more humanity than we do. Their results, and more in Hollan than any other country in the world, are convivial to the persons with the problem and applaudable to the government for being more tolerant than in the United States.  Hollan seems to have learned from their experience with the most intolerating government of Nazi facism back in the 1940s.

The reason we continuo to have a major drug problem in the United States is because we have not come up with good solutions. Ours are stubbernly narrowminded. Susan Sarandon says in her writings. “The war on drugs is ridiculous, because you’re only getting—you’re spending a huge amount of money. It’s completely racist. You’re picking up everybody at the lower level because mandatory minimum drug laws let you trade in to get off, so if you don’t have anyone to trade in, if you’re at the bottom, you’re going to jail,” read the whole piece.
Susan Sarandon Says War on Drugs is RACIST

I heard that Obama has promised or spoke about declaring the War on Drugs over. I have not found any information on this except people wanting it to happen. I have yet to see an article confirming Barak Obamas commitment to end the War on Drugs.

We need to say it loud.

OBAMA PLEASE STOP THIS DAMN WAR ON DRUGS, it is hurting most people including our communities and innocent persons.  And persons that are in the "grip of addiction" all it does is provide irreversable harm in terms of felony convictions that can never be errase from the record and contnues to hunt them when they try to recover.  Most people under these conditions do nothing other than resign themselves to this bad policies and laws and make their lives bad.

If their is a poduct that is well documented is the racism behind this war on drugs, but legislators continuo to turn a deaf ear and blind eyes to these facts. They think that by being hard on addicts and on everyone involve eventually this war will be won. Yet the evidence is that it is getting worse not better.  The evidence of the last 30 decades at least tell us so.

We can not get worse by being more humani to persons with substance use disorder. Treatment effective treatment is no doubt a much better alternative than prisons.

From Facebook On Stigma of Methadone Recovery by patients.

Whether the public or other people in recovery like it or not methadone treatment is not only the preferred methodology of choice of persons with Opiate Dependent Disorder, but it has been substantially better scientifically research than any other treatment available. Abstinence based treatment of 12 Step Programs have avoided been studied for a substantial amount of time. Not until third party payers including the federal government began to demand Evidence Based Treatment (which they started back in 197X with the Chief of Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration). Nevertheless Methadone patients have suffered more Stigma, Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry, Inequity, Injustice and Intolerance than any of the groups in recovery, and harm reduction approach.

These exist even though the research data is on Methadone for its safety and effectiveness if anyone cares to read at least the review of the scientific literature. You will find perhaps no scientifically based practitioner that would go against methadone as an effective and safe treatment approach. But when it comes to clinicians who perhaps have not read a scientific journal since they left college or know little about the science they assert they believe in, you will find few if any who would agree that methadone is the most effective methodology against illicit opiates.

Stigma Essay
by Tamara Meyer (Notes) on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 9:08pm

Facing Stigma in the MMT Community

There is a tremendous weight put on recovering addicts who choose to use Methadone as a means of sobriety and it is suffocating. The media, society, friends and even sometimes our own families buy into the misinformation and make it harder on those of us fighting the demon that is addiction. They believe what the media is telling them. They believe we are just trading one drug for another. We are still getting high. We are not truly in recovery. We are labeled and our integrity is questioned. Utilizing Methadone as a means to recover from debilitating addiction is looked upon with scorn from the outside world.

The stigma surrounding our treatment is a huge obstacle getting in the way of our recovery. It’s a roadblock for those who would be utilizing Methadone Maintenance Treatment but don’t because all they get from conventional news sources is the stigma that is force fed in abundance. Imagine how many addicts would be that much closer to ending the cycle of addiction if they had both sides of the story? How many people in MMT would be that much more successful in their recovery if they had the support of their community? A lot of addicts in recovery leave MMT prematurely and end up relapsing because they too believe that Methadone is not recovery.

Despite the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that supports the fact that Methadone works successfully in the treatment of opiate addiction, many still don’t believe in its legitimacy. Nobody, not even most health care professionals themselves, believe that Methadone can be used as a tool to help heal an addict in recovery. There are MANY Methadone patients who will attest to the healing they gain from MMT, but nobody ever takes us seriously. That in of itself hinders us in our quest in gaining full acceptance on our road to full recovery. We need the help and acceptance of our community if we are to be totally successful in recovery.

What needs to be reversed is the moralization of addiction. There is a hardcore belief out there that addiction is a behavior problem, and not a legitimate disease. The belief that addiction is a “choice” is almost a national anthem. “Methadone is a crutch, and you’re just trading one drug for another” is another one we in treatment hear A LOT. “Methadone just prolongs addiction, and patients need to stop as soon as possible.” That’s another social stigma that is the total opposite of the truth. Many patients do better thelonger they remain in treatment. MMT is about much more than the medication. We are offered tons of support in the form of counseling and group therapy. In treatment we get help from our peers, nurses, and constant reassurance on our journey through recovery. The rule of thumb with MMT is you get out of it what you put into it. Like the old Al Anon adage: “It works if you work it, you’re worth it!”

The stigmas surrounding MMT is doing much more than make it hard on us patients and potential patients. It stops treatment from being offered outside of clinic settings, such as in jails, where it would probably do a lot of good. It would help curb a lot of inter jail drug dealing and use. It stops doctors from being able to prescribe Methadone in an office based setting like Suboxone is. Stigma has lead to children being taken from the family home of parents in MMT. Stigma is responsible for the way the clinic itself operates. By the laws enforcing dose restrictions, the supervised urine screens, restricting the amount of time patients stay in treatment and the moratorium on the formation of new clinics.

We as patients need to help reverse the stigma. To do that, we need to speak out and need not to be secretive and embarrassed about our success with MMT. Stop reinforcing the stigma by being bad patients and taking advantage of this life saving treatment modality, which just reinforces misinformation. Those who use MMT for other things besides recovery are just feeding the stigma surrounding us. We need to be mindful and realize that words do matter, and how we present ourselves to the world does reflect back on our treatment. We as patients can help put a new face on addiction treatment, and who is affected. We are your Brother, Sister, Mother, Father, Daughter, Son, Best Friend and maybe even your Accountant…

From Substance Matter: Oxytocin Shown to Block Alcohol Withdrawal

Oxytocin Shown to Block Alcohol Withdrawal

In a small, randomized, double-blind clinical trial, intranasal oxytocin blocked the effects of alcohol withdrawal on a population presenting to a hospital-based detoxification unit. Results from the study were published in the March edition of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research and are the first to confirm results obtained in other studies using non-human subjects.

In the study, participants (n=11) were given either lorazepam and oxytocin (n=7), or lorazepam and placebo (n=4), over three days of inpatient detox. They were then administered several standardized alcohol withdrawal measurements (CIWA, AWSC, ACVAS, POMS) and compared the two groups. Across the board, patients who were administered intranasal oxytocin scored significantly lower on withdrawal measures, while reporting significantly less craving and significantly better mood.
While the limitations of the study (small size) are clear, these findings are impressive and will lead to further research. In recent years, oxytocin has shown promise in the treatment of multiple disorders. Certainly, this research will add another voice to the chorus of oxytocin advocates.

I hope that one day that the blogger of Substance Matter spend a little time on Ibogain and the fact that this West African hallucigenic also blocks withdrawl from alcohol and opiates.