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CA Supreme Court allows Cities, Counties to Ban Marijuana Dispensaries

  The supreme court of the state of California has ruled that the state’s cities and counties rightfully have the power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their respective territories. The state’s highest court made this ruling in a unanimous fashion less than two decades after California first adopted the bill permitting medical marijuana. The court said neither that bill, Proposition 215, nor any “companion measure” prevents local governments from passing their own legislation to outlaw storefront dispensaries. Justice Martin Baxter explained why the court made its ruling, saying, “While some counties and cities might consider themselves well-suited to accommodating medical marijuana dispensaries, conditions in other communities might lead to the reasonable decision that such facilities within their borders, even if carefully sited, well managed, and closely monitored, would present unacceptable local … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Substance Abuse

Fewer States Uphold Commercial Host Liability Laws

Fewer States Uphold Commercial Host Liability Laws

  A new legal review study from the Alcohol Policy Consultations and Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that fewer states are adhering to commercial host liability policies. Their study suggests that this declining number of states presents a public health concern because these are areas that underage or intoxicated individuals get served alcohol, and oftentimes proceed to engage in reckless and dangerous behaviors. Commercial host liability is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News

Arizona has Higher Rates of Teen Substance Abuse than National Average

Around the country, there are millions of teenagers who binge drink or abuse drugs. However, there are some states that seem to be more affected by this problem than others. Reports from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that Arizona has a higher rate of teen substance abuse than national averages in almost every area surveyed (Padilla).  In order to combat this, some schools are now implementing support groups for teens who are struggling with substance abuse. When it comes to marijuana, inhalants, cocaine, and pain pills, the rates of teen substance abuse in Arizona are higher than national averages. The average for teenagers who have used marijuana is 40%, as compared to 43% in Arizona.  Additionally, of the Arizona students … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Mental Illness, Research, Substance Abuse

Mindfulness Meditation and Addiction

Mindfulness Meditation and Addiction

  New research suggests that mindfulness meditation helps people to reduce tobacco use and manage stress, according to scientists Michael Posner and Yi-Yuan Tang. It has long been established that addiction to drugs, alcohol, and even cigarettes involves a specific area of the brain related to self-control. This area, which is located in the fronto-median cortex, has been studied by researchers using brain scans and other brain imaging methods. In a recent study conducted by scientists at … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Latest News, Recovery, Research, Spirituality

Pope Francis Takes Firm Stance against Drug Legalization

  Pope Francis took the opportunity to speak out against the legalization of drugs while on a landmark trip to Brazil in July. During Francis’ first trip to back to South America, where he is from, the Pope urged regional leaders to take a firm stance against drug legalization plans in Latin America. Pope Francis denounced the illegal drug trade as well, condemning drug dealers and drug traffickers. “How many dealers of death there are that follow the logic of money and power at any cost! The scourge of drug trafficking, that favors violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage,” he said. He also urged people to overcome the roots of the drug epidemic while on the third day of his … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Recovery, Spirituality

Russia’s Anti-Alcohol Policies Good for Public, Hurts Breweries

  In recent years, Russian lawmakers have enacted legislation intended to discourage alcohol use among citizens. Although these new policies benefit the people of Russia,  they are hurting beer makers in the country. Russia has one of the highest rates of alcoholism in the world, so concerted efforts to get people to cut back on drinking are a good idea from a public health standpoint. Perhaps the United States, who invests heavily in anti-smoking campaigns, should consider following suit since we have high rates of alcohol abuse as well. The timing of the Russian legislation has caught breweries off-guard. Between 2005 and 2007  beer sales in Russia soared 30 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. When brewers such as Heineken, Anheuser-Busch and Carlsberg noticed, they seized the opportunity to invest in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Substance Abuse

Should Physicians Screen Every Patient for Alcohol Misuse?

Should Physicians Screen Every Patient for Alcohol Misuse?

  Risky drinking can cause problems for individuals in both their personal and professional lives, as well as potentially lead to the development of alcohol dependence or alcoholism. This kind of drinking is also responsible certain preventable illnesses and deaths. In a recently concluded analysis of studies concerning risky drinking and intervention methods, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force determined that primary care physicians should screen their adult patients for alcohol misuse, as well as provide … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Recovery, Research, Treatment

“That 70’s Show” Star, Lisa Robin Kelly Dies at 43 in California Rehab

  Lisa Robin Kelly, who starred in the hit comedy series “That 70’s Show,” passed away on August 14, 2013, while staying in a California drug and alcohol rehab facility after battling with alcoholism for several years. She was determined to turn her life around in rehab after being arrested several times in the last few years for DUIs and other charges, but at only 43 years old, the actress reportedly died from a cardiac arrest in her sleep at the rehab facility, although the certainty of her cause of death has not been officially released to the public. In a report by The Daily Beast, Lisa Robin Kelly’s agent, Craig Wyckoff, said that he “…spoke to her on Monday, and she was hopeful and confident, looking forward to putting this part … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Celebrity News, Latest News, Substance Abuse

Can Kids Be Too Religious? Obsessive Behavior May Signify Mental Illness

  One of the roles of parents is to encourage healthy, positive activities in the lives of their children.  Many parents of religious children will encourage their children to partake in religious activity, whether as part of family tradition or because they believe that it brings comfort and improves the overall well-being of the child.  Unfortunately, not all religious activity is healthy, as hyper-religiosity may be a sign of a deeper mental illness issue.  “[Hyper-religiosity] looks positive but could be negative,” says Stephanie Mihalas, a UCLA professor and licensed clinical psychologist (Russo). According to Dr. Patrick Fagan of the Heritage Foundation, practicing religion promotes the well-being of individuals, families, and even the community.  Religion can be a positive force in the lives of both children and adults, according to Dr. Bill Hathaway, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conditions and Disorders, Latest News, Research, Spirituality

Women More Likely to Develop Mental Health Problems, According to Study

Women More Likely to Develop Mental Health Problems, According to Study

  Women are more likely to develop mental health problems, according to a study by Professor Daniel Freeman of Oxford University. The findings of the study, which is based on data from other epidemiological studies from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, present significant ramifications for public health. According to Freeman’s study, women are almost 75% more likely than their male counterparts to report recent difficulties with depression and about 60% are more … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conditions and Disorders, Latest News, Research