Summaries of two opinion pieces and an editorial related to the ban on the use of federal funding for needle exchange and recent congressional action appear below. Washington Post Columnist Michael Gerson discusses Washington, D.C.'s "largest needle-exchange program, " PreventionWorks, and the "controversy" surrounding the program and others. Gerson writes that the recently passed House bill that includes an "amendment banning exchanges â within 1, 000 feet of places where children gather ... would effectively put programs like PreventionWorks out of business, " if approved by the Senate. He continues, "This restriction might make sense if needle exchange programs increased the number of addicts.
In a finding that challenges the increasingly popular belief that smoking marijuana is less harmful to health than smoking tobacco, researchers in Canada are reporting that smoking marijuana, like smoking tobacco, has toxic effects on cells. Their study is scheduled for the Aug. 17 issue of ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal. Rebecca Maertens and colleagues note that people often view marijuana as a "natural" product and less harmful than tobacco. As public attitudes toward marijuana change and legal restrictions ease in some countries, use of marijuana is increasing. Scientists know that marijuana smoke has adverse effects on the lungs.
Minnesota's only storefront needle exchange drop-in center, called Access Works! , "fell victim to economic hard times and federal anti-drug policies" and ended its program last week after 13 years, the Minnesota Independent reports. The program "traded used needles for clean ones, conducted HIV and Hepatitis C testing, taught overdose prevention, held support groups and connected users with chemical dependency treatment experts, " according to the Independent. Federal funding cannot be used to administer needles for such programs, Lauri Wollner, executive director of the program said. She added, "The federal ban has had a long-term impact.
People who inject drugs may be less likely to inject buprenorphine-naloxone than other opioid substitutes, according to the results of a recent study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Buprenorphine is used to treat heroin dependence. It is longer-acting than methadone, which is the most common treatment in Australia, so fewer doses are required and overdose is less likely; but problems with injecting of buprenorphine have been documented in Australia and other countries, with major injection-related complications of concern. An alternative form of the medication - buprenorphine-naloxone - was developed to deter injection. If injected by a person who is opioid-dependent, buprenorphine-naloxone can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Heavy drinkers of beer and spirits face a much higher risk of developing cancer than the population at large, says a group of Montreal epidemiologists and cancer researchers. Their findings show that people in the highest consumption category increased their risk of developing oesophageal cancer sevenfold, colon cancer by 80% and even lung cancer by 50%. In all, the researchers found statistically significant relationships between heavy consumption of beer and spririts and six different cancers. Moderate drinking (i.e. less than daily) and wine consumption did not show the same effects, however. The research was conducted by Dr. Andrea Benedetti of McGill University, Dr.
Whether it's highlighted in major news headlines about Argentinean affairs and Ponzi schemes, or in personal battles with obesity and drug addiction, individuals regularly succumb to greed, lust and self-destructive behaviors. New research from the Kellogg School of Management examines why this is the case, and demonstrates that individuals believe they have more restraint than they actually possess - ultimately leading to poor decision-making. The study, led by Loran Nordgren, senior lecturer of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, examined how an individual's belief in his/her ability to control impulses such as greed, drug craving and sexual arousal influenced responses to temptation.