Archive for May, 2012
To address the growing problem of drug abuse in Vermillion, a survey was conducted by school boards to gather the community’s opinion with regards to drug testing programs.
Local Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin said that parents have, so far, approved of the drug testing initiative for students.
The survey simply asks respondents if they are in favor of drug testing students in Vermillion. “It has shown, so far, that parents are in favor of drug testing all students. We’ve got a controversial issue and we need to explore it,” Pempin said. “We are not saying we are going to do it at this point, but we are discussing it.”
The proposal includes provisions for drug testing students who participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities as well as those who want to have their own parking rights in the campus. It is estimated that the program will cost anywhere around $4,000 to $28,000 and a decision will be made by the district school board this summer with regards to the said initiative.
Vermillion Police Chief Christopher Hartung has given his full support in drug testing local students in Vermillion. “I would tell parents to do it. You don’t know what your kids are doing. No one knows what your kids are doing but your kids. There’s no good drug, no good alcohol, no good buzz. It’s all bad. The only thing that comes from it is funerals, hospitals and STDs.”
Pempin hopes that drug testing kids will help control the situation and can make students think twice before engaging in drug activities. The thought that there is an existing drug testing program in their schools could deter kids from taking drugs to avoid the consequences if found positive for drug use. Pempin said: “They can say, ‘No I can’t do that. There’s a possibility I could be tested and I’m not going to take that chance.”
Yes, medical marijuana has been legally accepted in 16 states in the United States, but the substance is still not welcome in school campuses as marijuana remains an illicit and illegal drug under federal laws.
If colleges were to allow the use of medical marijuana in campus, their federal funding will be compromised and they could face harsh consequences brought about by the violation.
This is why students prescribed with medical marijuana make sure that when they need their dose of pot, they light up outside their schools or in their vehicles to avoid challenging any campus rules on drug use.
University officials say they understand medical marijuana patients, but they just could not afford to risk losing the money from the government that helps them run the schools. Stephen Nelson from the University of Southern Maine estimates around $60 million comes from the Title 4 financial aid. This amount could be taken from the schools should they allow marijuana use in campuses.
“It’s not a question of right or wrong, ethical or not ethical, any of that. Right now, we just can’t run the risk of losing federal dollars,” Nelson said.
University of Colorado staff Jill Creighton shares the same sentiments as Nelson. “Some student codes of conduct are much more lax about marijuana use in general, but the assumption is if we were to allow medical marijuana on our campuses, we would then be jeopardizing our Title 4 funding.”
For medical marijuana advocates, using marijuana inside campuses should be treated no different when students bring in prescribed medications such as Vicodin, morphine, or Percocet for their own medical conditions.
Anybody can be a victim of alcohol abuse, and the consequences are serious. Individuals who get caught up in the web of alcohol addiction not only destroy themselves but they also negatively affect family relationships, working behaviors, and other aspects in the community where they are in.
Alcoholism is the term used to identify alcohol dependence. Alcoholics often feel tired, depressed and irritable for no specific cause at all. Also, too much alcohol intake can damage the liver and other major organs in the body.
This is why anti-alcoholism initiatives should start at home and with the family. Family members and friends should be quick to identify the symptoms that indicate alcohol problems. Some of these signs include the dependency of an individual’s actions to alcohol that could lead to irresponsibility both in family and work obligations, encounters with law enforcement for alcohol-related incidents, and turning to alcohol despite having enough social and health problems.
Community groups may help by doing their share in implementing guidelines and measures that control alcohol abuse. Concerned citizens could assist law enforcement authorities in monitoring and disseminating information about the dangers of alcohol abuse in the area. Authorities and community leaders should solicit the support of alcohol retailers to control the improper distribution of alcoholic beverages especially to minors.
For those who sincerely want to help, volunteers are very welcome to join and share their time with organizations and cause-oriented groups that aim to control alcoholism and underage drinking.
The current United States administration is aiming to solve the problem of drug abuse using an alternative approach — to deal with addiction as a disease that can be treated and prevented with the right measures.
National drug control policy director Gil Kerlikowske said that the present government is working with the international community to effectively combat the problem of substance abuse, but without the need to incorporate strong law enforcement actions.
Kerlikowske explained that medical advancements have proven that drug abuse is a chronic disease of the brain that can be treated or prevented. In fact, the anti-drug abuse czar is encouraging other countries to choose programs that will help addicts to recover and revise drug laws that are not very effective in breaking the addiction cycle.
“It’s very clear we can’t arrest our way out of this problem,” Kerlikowske said. “The availability of quality treatment and the engagement of the public health sector and primary care physicians in drug issues are very critical.”
The former police chief is taking his tour around different countries like Sweden, Britain, and Russia to see how other nations deal with drug abuse and whether there are points that the United States can adopt from these countries to enhance their own efforts against drug addiction.
“…it should be noted that about 85 percent of all drug treatment research is conducted or funded in the United States…so we’re also happy to share with other countries what we have learned,” Kerlikowske said.
Officials in the US claimed that drug use has dropped significantly in the last 30 years, yet there are still more than 20 million Americans that need treatment to be able to recover from their addictions. As of today, only 4 million victims of drug abuse have access to treatment facilities and other programs that deal with their conditions.