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Nixon’s ‘War on Drugs’ began 40 years ago,and the battle is still raging

Four decades ago, on 17 July 1971, President Richard Nixon declared what has come to be called the “war on drugs“. Nixon told Congress that drug addiction had “assumed the dimensions of a national emergency”, and asked Capitol Hill for an initial $84m (£52m) for “emergency measures”.    “Our president has said very clearly that this is the time for a deep analysis of what has happened over the past 40 years, and to learn the lessons of the mistakes that have been made,” Rodríguez said in an interview with the Observer last week. “And we have to evaluate every alternative, without excluding any possibility – from complete legalisation to a second, different, war on drugs.”

Here is someone who  looks deep into the neuroscience of addiction,  shedding some light in areas you might not have thought about.  David J. Linden is an American professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the author of The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God. [1] The book The Accidental Mind is an attempt to explain the human brain to intelligent lay reader.   CLICK HERE FOR THE NPR INTERVIEW WITH LINDEN   If your interested in David’s latest book,  The Compass of Pleasure, you can go to his blog and learn more.

Gabor Maté, is an influential physician who knows what it means to think outside the box.  His efforts have provided leadership in harm reduction and uncovering the mystery of addiction.  Harm reduction is controversial.  It is a theory of practice in dealing with addiction that is hard to swallow for mainstream America, but in some circles, it is viewed as necessary.  Gabor makes sense out of it.  he has committed his practice to working in the trenches with the worst the world of addiction has to offer, primarily in Vancouver.  He does it in a way that only the context of raw addictive behavior gives it unmistakeable clarity.   In 2009, Maté published In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, a book that describes his realty of working in a Vancouver skid row addiction clinic.  The Fifth Estate is a Canadian CBC news show that did a focused film series on Maté, his colleagues and several drug addicted patients.  It included an episode about Maté’s clinic called Staying Alive.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The truth about prescription medication addiction Blogs.   Every 19 minutes someone dies because of misuse of prescription medications. Sometimes it is because they take too much. Many times it is because they forget or ignore the warning their doctor gave about combining the medications with alcohol. And tens of thousands of people die every year as a result.  Click on the link above to view the article

With professionals like Nora Volkow bringing addiction science into mainstream visibility, how can we go wrong?  She is a revolutionary!  With blood ties to the infamous Leon Trotsky, this boldness is a trait we  need to overcome obstacles that keep us from pushing through the big roadblocks to solving an insidious problem.   She is a medical doctor with residency in psychiatry and passion for addiction science.  Nora is committed to unlocking the mystery of addiction.  In 2003, She was appointed the Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, NIDA.    Nora Volkow is a rock star.  She attracts a lot of attention and many hope that she will make a huge difference in one of the biggest public health concerns the U.S. has known.  25 million Americans deal with addiction.  She  recently  received an  Award in Psychiatry by Baylor College of Medicine.   The New York Times calls her a General in the Drug War.   That’s about as mainstream as it gets,  as the scourge of addiction moves closer to achieving the coveted title of a genuine medical problem; enabling the help so many addicts have been with out.  Go Nora!

Screen shot 2013-01-09 at 9.41.24 AMThe debate over decriminalization or legalization continues to heat up as states decide on what they want to do and families continue to object to their loved ones being criminalized over the use of marijuana and other illegal drugs.  It is a question that needs the right answer but still is a long way off.   View this CNN piece by David Nathan, Board certified psychiatrist and director of Continuing Medical Education for Princeton Health Care  Why Marijuana Should be Legal for Adults –

It is often said that addiction or alcoholism will end in jails, mental institutions or death.     State of mental health funding in 2011. 

30,000 drug overdose deaths a year,

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May 2013