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Legal and Political Issues

Substance abuse-related legislative measures and political issues, policy changes and more.
  1. Workplace Issues (165)

FTC Shuts Down Bogus Alcoholism Cure Scheme
The Federal Trade Commission has shut down several websites that were not only selling a fake alcoholism cure, they were extorting their own customers by threatening to reveal their drinking problems.

Mug Shot Program Promotes Prevention
By using mug shots of real drug users over a period of time, the program shows stark evidence of the effect of drugs on the appearance of hardcore drug users.

Fake Pot Refuses to Go Away
It's business as usual in the fake weed market, in spite of a government crack down.

Ecstasy Safety Campaign Draws Fire
A campaign to teach young ravers in Los Angeles how to reduce health risks when they use the illegal drug Ecstasy has drawn criticism from substance abuse professionals who call the effort misguided.

Arrestees Show High Rate of Drug Use
Up to 83% of people arrested in major cities across the United States test positive for drug use and almost one-third of all arrestees test positive for the presence of multiple substances.

85% of Prison Inmates Need Substance Abuse Treatment
Of the estimated 2.3 million inmates currently incarcerated in U.S. prisons, 1.9 million could benefit from alcohol and drug treatment, which could ultimately save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Raising Taxes Lowers Drinking Rates
With the health effects of excessive alcohol consumption costing society millions in additional healthcare expenses, one tool lawmakers have to reduce drinking rates is to increase the price of alcoholic beverages by raising taxes, research shows.

Group Hopes to Link Accreditation to Addiction Screening
For years alcohol and drug treatment advocates have tried to get hospitals and primary healthcare providers to screen all of their patients for alcohol and drug problems.

California's Proposition 36 Gets Mixed Reviews
The program, which was designed to provide treatment as an alternative to incarceration for nonviolent adult drug offenders, has been hampered by a lack of funding, high dropout rates and a statewide increase in drug-related arrest.

Anti-Drinking Campaign Ads May Backfire
Anti-drinking advertising campaigns that show young people in drunken incidents, being thrown out of club, being helped home or passing out in public could be "catastrophically misconceived" according to researchers in the United Kingdom.

Booze Ads Dwarf 'Responsibility' Advertising
Underage youth are 239 times more likely to view advertisements selling alcohol than a "responsibility" ad designed to educate about the dangers of underage drinking, according to a new report by Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University.

Housing for Alcoholics Saves Tax Dollars
At first glance, Seattle's project to provide subsidized apartments for homeless alcoholics to give them a safe place to drink appears to be a colossal waste of the taxpayers' money, but the reality is it is saving the city millions a year in other social services costs.

Bars, Not Liquor Stores, Linked to Heavy Drinking
Traditionally, the number of liquor stores in a community is a sign of excessive alcohol consumption, but a new California study found that bars and nightclubs, not package stores, are linked to heavy drinking in adults who live in the neighborhood.

Youth Not Targeted by Ads, Study Reports
Despite other studies to the contrary, new research at Penn State University found that alcohol beverage ads in magazine are not targeted at underage drinkers, but at the young adult market instead.

Another Study Shows That 'Drug Court' Works
A study by the Center for Court Innovation of New York's drug court system shows that offenders who are sent to court-order treatment programs, rather than jail or prison, are much less likely to commit future crimes.

New Law Protects Home Buyers from Meth Labs
A new Oklahoma law will protect unspecting home buyers from purchasing a home where a methamphetamine lab has been in operation -- forcing the seller of the property to clean up any contamination before the sale.

Treatment in Correctional Facilities
Only 40 percent of the nation's 7,564 adult and juvenile facilities offer substance abuse treatment to inmates and residents.

Checkpoints Okay for Drunks, Not Drugs
The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that police can continue to use checkpoint roadblocks to prevent drunk driving, but cannot search for illegal drugs.

A.A. in Cyberspace - The Future
A revealing insight into the future of online recovery given by Dennis M. at the A.A. International Convention in Minneapolis, Saturday, July 1, 2000.

A Call for Unity
Those with different approaches to recovery are so busy jousting with each other, they sometimes forget they are actually fighting side-by-side to slay the same dragon.

'Sniffer' a Violation of Privacy?
A new electronic device designed to help law enforcement officers keep drunk drivers off the road, faces possible Fourth Amendment challenge.

The White Face of 12 Step Groups
The sooner we let go of the myth of perpetual powerlessness, the sooner our groups will reflect true diversity.

Treatment Spending Shrinks
Taxpayers are paying more and private insurance companies are paying less for mental health and substance abuse treatment in the United States.

Tough Year for Drunk Drivers
The Year 2000 was generally a tough year for drunk drivers and important one for those who advocate stiff restrictions and greater penalties.

Super Bowl Booze Ads Target Kids
The beer commercials shown during the Super Bowl have prompted protests because some groups say they target underaged drinkers.

Researchers Question 'Healthy' Drinking Benefits
Studies which have reported that people who drink alcohol moderately have fewer heart attacks than those who abstain may have been flawed because the abstainers used in most of those studies were people who quit drinking for health or age reasons, according to an international team of researchers.

Raising Alcohol Tax to Reduce Drinking Can Backfire
Researchers have found that increasing the prices of alcohol beverages to reduce alcohol consumption may actually have the opposite effect, since drinkers who were buying the more expensive brands will switch to cheaper drinkers, and because they are cheaper than what they were paying originally, buy and drink more.

Alcohol Advertising Increases Youth Drinking
Young adults who view more alcohol advertisements than average also reported drinking more alcohol than average in a study of 1,872 young people conducted by the University of Connecticut. Researchers also found a direct relationship between advertising dollars spent and an increase in youth drinking levels.

Home-Poured Drinks Not 'Standard' Servings
Safe drinking guidelines are based on a standard drink containing 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol, but when people drink at home they usually pour larger than standard-sized drinks, according to researchers at the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute.

Society Saves Big When Addicts Get Treatment
A research study conducted at UCLA found that the cost of substance abuse treatment is offset by direct monetary benefits to society, including reduced costs of crime and increased employment earnings.

Study Says Rapid-Detox Method Does Not Work, Dangerous
A rapid heroin detoxification method that uses general anesthesia offers no benefit compared to other methods and can cause potentially life-threatening effects, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Malt Liquor Consumers Drink More and More Often
A new study found that malt liquor beer drinkers are more likely to be homeless, unemployed, receive public assistance, and tend to drink more alcohol, more often, than other types of drinkers.

Unsafe Syringes a Major Health Risk Factor
Nearly half of injection drug users disposed of their used syringes safely, yet only 28 percent acquired their needles from safe sources, according to a study of injection drug users in Baltimore.

Detoxification in Jails Falls Short
Very few jails in the United States continue methadone treatments for opiate-dependent inmates, and half fail to follow standard methadone detoxification protocols.

ERs Need to Better Assess Substance Abuse
Emergency department patients with unmet substance abuse treatment need generate much higher hospital and emergency department charges than patients without such need.

Alcohol Ads Outnumber Responsibility Ads 226-1
Alcohol industry responsibility advertising on television declined substantially in 2002 from 2001, while alcohol product advertising increased significantly over the same period.

Rise in Alcohol Abuse 'Dangerous Trend'
In reaction to a report by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that alcohol abuse is on the rise among U.S. adults, the Caron Foundation warns that alcohol abuse can be as devastating as clinically defined alcoholism.

Treatment Admissions Up for Opiates, Meth
The proportion of admissions to substance abuse treatment for abuse of narcotic prescription medications, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine has increased in the past ten years, while admissions to treatment for cocaine abuse declined.

Holding Health Plans Accountable
A tool that 90 percent of the nation's health plans already use to assess their performance in treating asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure now includes new measures for how well plans do in treating patients who have been diagnosed with alcoholism and other drug disorders.

Laws Don't Stop Bars from Serving Drunks
A new study confirms that alcohol sales to obviously intoxicated patrons nonetheless continues at a high rate in both on- and off-premise establishments.

Alcohol Diagnoses Missed in Hospital Patients
Many people admitted to hospitals in the U.S. have alcohol use disorders that go undetected, according to a new study by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Treatment Cost Efffective for Offenders
A recent University of Miami study shows that within criminal justice settings, treatment for substance abuse may not only reduce reincarceration rates, but it may also be cost-effective.

New Guide to Help Clergy With Counseling
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a new guide that will provide clergy with the basic information and skills needed to help addicted individuals and their families.

Substance Abuse Patients Pay More
A survey of 434 managed care plans in 60 market areas found that patients receiving substance abuse and mental health services often had to make a higher copayment or pay a higher share of allowed charges than did patients receiving general medical care.

'Dog-on-a-Chip' Could Replace Drug-Sniffing Canines
Police dogs across the country could soon be out of work, replaced by an electronic "dog-on-a-chip" that sniffs out cocaine and other narcotics.

Only 21 Percent Get Treatment for Alcohol Only
Nearly half of all 1.1 million people receiving treatment for drug or alcohol addiction were in treatment for both drug and alcohol abuse according to the 2002 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.

Treatment Insurance Coverage Falls Short
Employer-based health insurance plans often don't provide the treatment for alcoholism and other drug addictions that is mandated by state law, a new analysis has found.

Youth Anti-Drug Ads Are Working
The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study reports that the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign affects teen attitudes on drug use by making teens less likely to try or use drugs.

Drug Injection Facility Sees Potential Problems
Health Canada guidelines and possible police surveillance may end up scaring away the very people North America's first sanctioned safer injecting facility is intended to help.

Deception In Reporting About Alcohol's Benefits
Most individuals, even health professionals, do not take the time to check out the accuracy of the reports, so they go unchallenged, June Russel says. Often it is not revealed that the study was funded by the alcohol industry.

Household Survey - 22 Million Substance Abusers
In 2002, an estimated 22 million Americans suffered from substance dependence or abuse due to drugs, alcohol or both, according to the newest results of the Household Survey released by SAMSHA.

Internet Boosts Sale of Illegal Drugs, Study Shows
Web sites based outside the United States that sell illegal drugs on the Internet pose a significant public health risk and a real problem for law enforcement officials.

Faith-Based Groups Help Ex-Offenders
Faith-based groups play an informal but significant role in helping released offenders rebuild their lives, but could be more effective if communications were improved with existing social service agencies.

California's Proposition 36 Shows Results
In the first release of findings from an evaluation of California's Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, UCLA researchers report that the law enacted by voters as Proposition 36 placed more than 30,000 drug offenders in treatment during its first year.

60 Year Sentence!
North Carolina finally took repeat DUI offender Melissa Marvin off the road, but it's a bit too late for four New Jersey teens.

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