Methamphetamine

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High School Seniors Are Using Lots of LSD This Year

Jacob Sullum pokes numerous holes in the drug czar’s recent claims of dramatic drug war progress. This in particular jumped out at me:

…if Walters wants to take credit for every drop in drug use that occurs on his watch, he'll have to take the blame for the enormous increases in past-month LSD use among high school seniors and  past-month methamphetamine use among sophomores, both of which nearly doubled between 2007 and 2008 (hitting a whopping 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively).

Be careful out there, kids! Thanks to the total failure of the war on drugs, you are up to your asses in acid and meth, but seriously, do not mix them. It will suck. You’ll get arrested (and probably tasered, too).

See, contrary to the drug czar’s wild accusations, those of us who want to end the drug war have no interest in seeing young people make poor choices. And the fact that America’s high schools are overflowing with acid and speed ought to help illustrate why closing the black market is actually a perfectly rational approach to keeping powerful drugs away from our kids.

Methamphetamine: Graphic Montana Scare Campaign May Not Work After All, Study Finds

The Montana Meth Project, an anti-methamphetamine campaign based around scary images of the perils of meth use, has been widely touted as a successful public health intervention. Its images showing the extreme consequences of using the popular stimulant "just once" have been touted by supporters as highly effective at deterring teen meth use, and it has even garnered state and federal funding and been adopted by other states based on those claims.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/methcrystals.jpg
methamphetamine crystals
Not so fast, said the authors of a new study released this week. In Drugs, Money, and Graphic Ads: A Critical Review of the Montana Meth Project, published this month in the journal Prevention Science, researchers found that the ad campaign produced a number of negative consequences and challenged its impact on meth use rates in the state.

According to the study, teens who had been exposed to six months of the project's graphic ads were three times as likely to say they did not believe meth use was a risky behavior and four times more likely to strongly approve of regular meth use. Half of the teens said the ads exaggerated the dangers of meth use.

The Montana Meth Campaign and its proponents overlooked such unflattering results when presenting findings to the media and policymakers, the researchers said. Instead, the campaign portrayed its results in the most positive light possible.

The researchers also scoffed at claims the program had reduced meth use. "Meth use had been declining for at least six years before the ad campaign commenced, which suggests that factors other than the graphic ads cause reductions in meth use. Another issue is that the launch of the ad campaign coincided with restrictions on the sale of cold and flu medicines commonly used in the production of meth. This means that drug use could be declining due to decreased production of meth, rather than being the result of the ad campaign," said review author David Erceg-Hurn in a Society for Prevention Research news release Thursday.

Ereceg-Hurn also attacked the theoretical underpinnings of the campaign. "The idea behind the ad campaign is that teenagers take meth because they believe it is socially acceptable, and not risky, and the ads are meant to alter these perceptions," he said. "However, this theory is flawed because the Meth Project's own data shows that 98% of teenagers strongly disapproved of meth use and 97% thought using meth was risky before the campaign started," Erceg-Hurn said.

Spending government funds on Meth Project-style campaigns is a waste of money, Erceg-Hurn concluded. Or, in more diplomatic terms: "Based on current evidence, continued public funding and rollout of Montana-style anti-methamphetamine graphic ad campaign programs is inadvisable."

Southeast Asia: Thai Government in New Drug Crackdown

The government of Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat announced a new anti-drug offensive last week aimed at a resurgent methamphetamine market and an enduring market in opium and heroin. Somchai said the new 90-day offensive could be seen as a continuation of the 2003 anti-drug campaign led by then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/thailandembassyprotest.jpg
2003 protest at Thai embassy, DRCNet's David Guard in foreground
A Thai government commission investigating Thaksin's war "to make Thailand drug-free" found that nearly 3,000 people were killed, many of them not involved in the drug trade. While no criminal convictions have been handed down, it is widely assumed that most of those killed were executed by police anti-drug death squads.

Somchai said his government would take measures to prevent more killings, but like his predecessor, tried to pin the killings on "slayings among suspected drug dealers," not the extrajudicial execution of drug dealers. That isn't exactly building confidence among Thai drug users and sellers or among the human rights community, which strongly criticized Thailand over the 2003 murder spree.

"The prime minister says that this time around killings will not be tolerated, but the government said the same thing last time," said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, in a Wednesday news release warning that more abuses could lie ahead. "Somchai's credibility is at stake here."

After Thaksin was deposed last year, the government of General Surayud Chulanont appointed a special committee chaired by former Attorney General Khanit na Nakhon to investigate the extrajudicial killings that took place in 2003 as part of the "war on drugs." After five months of inquiries, the committee provided findings that 2,819 people had been killed between February-April 2003.

Many of those killed had been blacklisted by police or local authorities as suspected drug dealers. Police officers were suspected to have been involved in many of the attacks, particularly as many were killed soon after being summoned to police stations for questioning. For example, a 42-year-old grocery shop owner, Somjit Khayandee, was shot dead execution style in her house in Petchburi province on February 20, 2003, three days after she had been summoned to the police station. Local police told Somjit's relatives that her name was on their blacklist.

Police and other anti-drugs units in Thailand have sweeping powers and rarely face punishment for abuses and misconduct. The sense that officials will not be held accountable for their actions is so strong that abusive officials have sought promotion, fame, and financial rewards from the suffering of their victims.

"Many of the same people suspected of killings and other abuses in the last 'war on drugs' remain in positions of authority," Adams said. "The government should prosecute and discipline those involved in previous abuses and institute reforms before asking the police to mount another campaign. Otherwise, more people are likely to be killed."

While Thai authorities said they were going to concentrate on drug dealers, they also said drug users caught up in the net would participate in rehabilitation programs at military bases or be sent to prison. But given Thailand's poor record with respect to coerced drug treatment, that is not good news. Since 2003, thousands of people have been coerced into rehabilitation centers run by security forces without a clinical assessment that they are indeed drug dependent. Many have been held for extended periods of time -- usually 45 days -- in prison-based facilities, even if they are later referred to outpatient treatment. "Rehabilitation" is often provided by security personnel, with military drills a mainstay of the "treatment" provided.

Such coerced treatment has the effect of driving drug users away from seeking treatment or even government-sponsored health care services, Human Rights Watch said. With an estimated 40-50 percent of drug users in Thailand HIV-positive, this may keep drug users from accessing lifesaving HIV-prevention services and treatment.

"Forcing drug users into badly designed rehabilitation programs is incompatible with international standards requiring fully informed consent to treatment," Adams said. "Furthermore, fear of prosecution and harsh treatment will drive them away from seeking health care services that are theirs by right and that could actually help them."

Thailand's latest war on drugs is looking a lot like a war on drug users. That's a shocker.

2008 Global Conference On Methamphetamine - Presentations Now Available For Download

The 2008 Global Conference on Methamphetamine (held September 15 & 16, 2008 in Prague) was a collaboration of the Czech Republic, City of Prague, Centre for Addictology at Charles University, Network Environmental Systems, Podane Ruce, Cranstoun Drug, Harm Reduction Coalition, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, & The Thorne Group. Presentations are now available for download at www.globalmethconference.com.
Location: 
Prague
Czech Republic

Drug War Follies: Iowa Anti-Meth Pseudoephedrine Law Snags Nasal Congestion Sufferer

As part of its effort to wipe out methamphetamine, and especially home-cooked meth, the state of Iowa enacted a law limiting the amount of pseudoephedrine people could purchase in a 24-hour period or in a month. The idea was to crack down on people who used the ingredient in popular cold and allergy medications to make their own meth.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/sudafed.gif
sinus sufferers beware -- of the cops!
But the law of unintended consequences struck again this month -- or in the case of loal sheriffs, perhaps intended consequences -- this time landing squarely on the head of a Mason City man who knows nothing about meth, but knows a lot about suffering from chronic nasal congestion. Gary Schinagel, 47, a senior investment associate at Principal Financial Group in Mason City, was arrested for the illegal purchase of pseudoephedrine after buying generic cold medicines to treat his condition.

Schinagel told the Mason City Globe Gazette his through-the-looking-glass encounter with the drug war began when his niece called him and told him he had been listed in a newspaper article as one of the uncaught miscreants in a roundup of violators of the cold medicine law. Schinagel went to the sheriff's office thinking he could clear up the "mistake," but was instead arrested.

"It is a sinking feeling to be placed under arrest," said Schinagel. "I'm not a stick-in-the-mud but I've tried all my life to abide by the law and not cross any lines I shouldn't cross. I've tried all my life to avoid situations like I find myself in now. And I still don't know which line I crossed," he said, wondering if he had purchased too many pills in one day or in one month.

He had to call his bank to get the $1,000 bail bond needed to get him out of jail. "It was embarrassing," he said. "The woman at the bank recognized my voice. I sang in the choir with her."

No word yet on apologies from the cops or when his charges will be dropped. In the meantime, Schinagel is taking cold pills that don't contain pseudoephedrine. They don't work as well, he said, and he has to buy more boxes. One more example of collateral damage in the drug war.

But Schinagel is more understanding than the police who arrested him after he came to the station to straighten out the mess. "Laws are made because there are some bad people out there and it's too bad that sometimes innocent victims get caught up in it," he said. "I understand the law -- but I will say there are some quirks in it."

Nasal Congestion Sufferer Arrested for Buying Too Much Cold Medicine

The drug war’s mindless persecution of sick people goes beyond medical marijuana:

MASON CITY — Gary Schinagel has suffered from chronic nasal congestion from the time he was a youngster.

When he was a child growing up in Sheffield his family doctor told him, “Gary, this is something you’ll be dealing with all your life.”

Little did he know.

Last Wednesday, Schinagel, 47, a senior investment associate at Principal Financial Group in Mason City, was arrested for the illegal purchase of pseudoephedrine. [Globe Gazette]

Arrested for buying cold medicine. It’s happened before, too. Can you even imagine how many cold sufferers have declined to purchase cold medicine for fear of having their door kicked in by the cops?

If you don’t know about things like this, you don’t fully understand what the drug war does. The real drug war consists of the accumulation of every mindblowingly absurd outcome our policies have produced. It’s not just a game of cops and robbers. It’s a philosophy that corrupts our consciousness, permeates our policymaking, and eventually results in completely normal and innocent people being arrested all the time for some of the stupidest reasons one could possibly imagine.

Also: On a very related note, this weekend CVS wouldn't sell Radley Balko the medicine he needed.

Press Release: First Global Conference on Methamphetamine in Prague, Czech Republic, Sept. 15-16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Info: Luciano Colonna September 10, 2008 +00 (1) 801 635 7736 (USA); luciano.colonna@globalmeth.com FIRST GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON METHAMPHETAMINE TO ADDRESS 65 BILLION DOLLAR MARKET IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC, SEPTEMBER 15-16, 2008 Experts >From 22 Nations Will Gather to Examine the Intersection between Methamphetamine, Public Health, Law Enforcement, and Civil Society. PRAGUE, Czech Republic, September 9 ­­­­-- While illicit production and use of synthetic drugs has stabilized in North America and Europe, it is on the rise in much of Asia and the Middle East, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said Tuesday. The global market for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), worth an estimated 65 billion dollars in wholesale and retail sales combined, has stabilized or shown signs of decline in North America, Europe and Oceania but the problem has shifted to new markets over the past few years, the office said. According to Luciano Colonna, Chairman of the 2008 Global Conference on Methamphetamine, the use of ATS also continues to be used at an alarming rate in many parts of Eastern and Central Europe, the Russian Federation, and South Africa, with 36 million using ATS at least once on 2008. Colonna said that ATS are now more popular than heroin and cocaine combined. The First Global Conference on Methamphetamine will provide an arena for the world’s foremost scientists, leaders and professionals working on issues of drug use to come together to discuss a wide variety of topics centering on methamphetamine. The Conference will take place in Prague’s City Hall on Monday & Tuesday (September 15-16 2008). As the first event to gather global experts from a wide diversity of fields, the conference is assured to be an unparalleled event. Confirmed speakers from USA, China, Australia, Thailand, Russia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel, Poland, Iran, Slovakia Ukraine, Czech Republic, Great Britain and the United Nations will address the conference theme of “Science, Strategy and Response.” Representatives from international agencies, civil society, academia, science, law enforcement and others will have the unique opportunity to discuss key issues including: Treatment, HIV, Trafficking, Production, Environmental Impact, Law Enforcement, Policy, Current Research, Regional Updates, and Innovative Global Approaches. As nations struggle to develop appropriate responses to methamphetamine, it is crucial that the most current scientific research, information, and best practices be available to those seeking to implement solutions. The primary goal of the First Global Conference on Methamphetamine is to provide a context for this important work to take place. FOR MEDIA: A press conference will take place at the conference site at 10 AM, Monday (September 15, 2008. The major sessions of the conference are open to reporters. Site visits, photo opportunities and interviews can be arranged. For journalists not traveling to Prague, interviews and briefings with key spokespeople and presenters can be arranged on request. Sponsors and Partners include: The Czech Republic, Charles University, the City of Prague, Network Environmental Systems, Podane Ruce, Cranstoun Drug Services, Sananim, Institute Scan, Systems, Inc, and The Thorne Group. Website: www.globalmethamphetamine.com Contact: Luciano Colonna Chair, Executive Program Committee - 2008 Global Conference On Methamphetamine +00 (1) 801 635 7736 (USA); luciano.colonna@globalmeth.com Contact: Andy Lawson, Lawson Communications +420 775 035 757 (Europe); andyl@lawson-communications.com ###
Location: 
Prague
Czech Republic

Chronicle Book Review: "On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine," by Nicolas Rasmussen (2008, New York University Press, 352 pp, $29.95 HB)

Phillip S. Smith, Writer/Editor

Almost everybody knows about methamphetamine, that demon drug, that pharmacological equivalent of plutonium, stereotypically favored by toothless, uneducated white guys tweaking in trailer parks out in the sticks. Many fewer people are aware of Desoxyn, which is widely prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). And even fewer are aware that Desoxyn is nothing other than pharmaceutical grade methamphetamine legally prescribed by doctors across the land.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/rasmussen.jpg
How can the same substance be both demon drug and miracle cure? Science historian Nicolas Rasmussen of the University of New South Wales in Sydney provides some answers to that question -- and much more -- in "On Speed." What Rasmussen is really interested in is the interaction between the pharmaceutical industry, the medical profession, and broader social forces afoot in Western culture, and amphetamines make a fascinating, if surprising, vehicle for his meditations.

As Rasmussen tells us, amphetamine was first tested on a human on June 3, 1929, when Los Angeles chemist Gordon Alles injected himself with his new concoction. As Rasmussen's reproduction of Alles' testing notes put it early in the experience, "Feeling of well-being." Later, he reported "a rather sleepless night" where his "mind seemed to race from one subject to another." Still, Alles reported feeling fairly well the next morning.

Pharmaceutical companies had a new product. Now, they had to figure out something to use it for. First off the mark was the Benzedrine inhaler, marketed for relief of nasal congestion. But by the 1940s, amphetamine tablets by the millions were being used by soldiers on all sides of World War II as energy- and morale-enhancers. Within a few more years, amphetamines were being widely prescribed for an ever-increasing array of "diseases," including obesity and neurotic depression. By the late 1960s some 5 million Americans were gobbling down amphetamines under a doctor's supervision, and another 2 or 3 million were using them as "thrill pills" outside the bounds of medical practice.

While Rasmussen provides lots of detail on the marketing strategies of various pharmaceutical companies, the needs of doctors to deal with patients complaining of low grade depression, malaise, lack of energy, and obesity, and the increasing clamor of Americans for pills that would make them feel more energetic, gregarious, and productive -- oh, what All-American desires! -- what is most fascinating for students of American drug policy is the way his narrative lays the blame for the creation of subsequent amphetamine abuse problems squarely at the feet of market-hungry pill makers, pill-pushing doctors, and, of course, the American military, which exposed millions of GIs to the pleasures -- and dangers -- of speed. But at some point, he argues, the "push" from drug companies and doctors was complemented by a "pull" from consumers who developed a liking for the drug and its stimulant effects.

As Rasmussen notes, a thrill-seeking speed subculture emerged almost immediately, beginning with University of Minnesota students in the 1930s who were given Benzedrine inhalers in clinical trials, decided they liked them, and took them home to party and study with. By the late 1940s, some of those millions of GIs exposed to amphetamines during the war had continued using speed and were bringing awareness of it to the general population. By the 1950s, Beat writers like Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs were enshrining it in a nascent counterculture, and by the 1960s, as legal amphetamine production reached record highs, speed abuse was identified as a serious problem, not only by doctors, researchers, law enforcement, and fear-mongering politicians, but also by the counterculture itself.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the federal government intervened, severely crimping the speed supply and -- voilà! -- the illicit speed industry took off. As Rasmussen puts it: "Naturally, once the national supply of pharmaceutical amphetamine was sharply cut by federal action after 1971, demand for home-made speed grew, driving down quality and strengthening the position of the motorcycle gangs. Making a popular drug illegal, without reducing demand, only spurred the development of organized crime to supply consumers -- with inferior and often dangerous products. It was the same with alcohol in the days of Prohibition."

In other words, meet the progenitors of today's meth lab cookers, thanks to prohibitionist actions. And although I don't recall Rasmussen mentioning it, the restrictions on legal amphetamine production came shortly before the reemergence of cocaine as a popular recreational drug in the late 1970s and 1980s. Ironically, amphetamine's trajectory from miracle cure to demon drug mirrored cocaine's earlier but similar trajectory. For some, amphetamines had replaced cocaine; now, perhaps, cocaine was replacing amphetamine.

These days, methamphetamine is a demon drug, but its close relatives in the amphetamine family, amphetamine-type stimulants differing from meth by only the addition or subtraction of an atom or two from the basic amphetamine molecule, are once again wildly popular at the doctor's office and on the street. The roughly 2.5 billion tablets of amphetamine-type stimulants such as Ritalin (for ADD and ADHD), Preludin (obesity), and Redux (ditto) now being prescribed annually is the same amount of speed being produced medically as at the height of the "amphetamine epidemic" of the 1960s. Ten million Americans are gobbling speed as you read these words, more than did so at the height of the "epidemic."

With widespread use of amphetamine-type stimulants, we can expect an increase in unhappy side effects, Rasmussen predicts, ranging from dependence to amphetamine psychosis, as well as the subsequent development of a market for "downers." In the past heroin and barbiturates played that role; now, he suggests, prescription pain pills will fill the need.

What is needed is not only more law enforcement to deal with the illegal meth trade, but harm reduction measures for amphetamine users and means to reduce demand, Rasmussen concludes. And more control over the pharmaceutical industry, including stronger restrictions on marketing and promotion, as well as tighter controls on the role of pharmaceutical companies in doing medical research for marketing purposes.

"On Speed" is a fascinating book for students of drug policy and drug use in the broader social, economic, and political context of the West, and the United States in particular. It is most helpful in aiding one to think clearly and broadly about how patterns of drug use emerge, the institutional factors behind them, and the way we respond to them. And it is a clarion call for reform of the US pharmaceutical industry, as well as a riveting social history of speed.

Press Release: First Global Conference On Methamphetamine To Feature 80 Speakers From 16 Countries

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 13, 2008 Contact: Luciano Colonna Chair, Executive Program Committee +00 (1) 801 635 7736 (USA / UTC – 6 hours) luciano.colonna@globalmeth.com ` First Global Conference On Methamphetamine To Feature 80 Speakers From 16 Countries Full Program Agenda Available for Conference September 15 - 16, 2008, Prague, Czech Republic PRAGUE, Czech Republic, August 11 ­­­­-- The Global Conference On Methamphetamine today announced the program for the 2008 Global Conference on Methamphetamine. The conference will take place September 15-16, 2008, in Prague, Czech Republic. The full conference program is available online at http://www.globalmethconference.com/prague-08/programme-and-abstracts.php The program committee has created an exciting program full of new and cutting-edge topics that is relevant and engaging for the international community. The two-day conference will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Louisa Degenhardt, of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. The conference includes two days of presentations, panels and discussions. There will also be methamphetamine laboratory displays and demonstrations. This following is just a small sample of the presentations that will be given at GCM 2008. Ivan Langer, Minster of the Interior of the Czech Republic, will speak on the Intersection of Policy and Research; Jeremy Douglas and Matthew Nice of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will present UNODC’s 2008 Global Amphetamine Type Stimulant Situation Assessment; Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance will present The Questions That Never – Or Almost Never – Get Asked About Methamphetamine; with Mike Sabin of New Zealand’s MethCon Group countering with his presentation Don’t Throw The Baby Out With the Bath Water. Also featured will be Network Environmental Systems' Methamphetamine Laboratory Display & Presentation. For the full program, visit the Global Conference on Methamphetamine Web site at http://www.globalmethconference.com Highlights of the Conference: New Methamphetamine Epidemic in Thailand Apinun Aramrattana, Research Institute of Health Sciences at Chiang Mai University Methamphetamine Abuse in China Lin Lu, Director, National Institute on Drug Dependence at Peking University The Methamphetamine Epidemic in the US: Speed, Crank, Crystal, Ice and Tina and the Public Health Consequences Richard Rawson, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs Methamphetamine: Clandestine Laboratory Update Robert Pennal, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, California Department of Justice Dramatic Increase in Methamphetamine Related Drug Treatment Admissions in Cape Town Andreas Plüddemann, South African Medical Research Council A Global Overview of Youth Methamphetamine Use: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed? Caitlin Padgett, Youth R.I.S.E. Social Aspects of Methamphetamine Injection in Russia Olga Borodkina, St. Petersburg State University Safety First: Prevention Education For Methamphetamine and Other Drugs Marsha Rosenbaum, Drug Policy Alliance Amphetamine Type Stimulant Injection in the Republic of Georgia David Otiashvili, Addiction Research Center, Union Alternative Georgia Methamphetamine in the Czech Republic: EU Pervitin Deviance or Laboratory of EU Drug Future? Tomáš Zábranský, Center for Addictology, Charles University in Prague, Speaking to Be Heard: Outreach to Gay Men in San Francisco Who Do Meth Michael Siever, The Stonewall Project, SF AIDS Foundation Quite a Lot of Smoke But Very Limited Fire - The Use of Methamphetamine in the European Union Danica Klempova1 & Chloe Carpentier, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction According to estimates by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO): More individuals worldwide now use stimulants than opiates and cocaine combined. Methamphetamine is the most widely used illicit drug in the world except for cannabis. Over 26 million individuals used amphetamine-type stimulants in 2007. Established trends show methamphetamine use to be widespread in North American, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand; while India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Western Europe represent emerging markets or areas of perceived risk. Yet the development of appropriate and effective responses to stimulants lags. In most cases, treatment and prevention are inappropriately modeled on opiate and alcohol treatment, ignoring both the physical properties of the drug itself, and the fact that methamphetamine use patterns vary widely, and effective responses must be tailored to the unique needs of regions, cultures, and individual users. A lack of infrastructure, of funding, and of experts trained specifically in methamphetamine response compounds the problem. As nations struggle to develop appropriate responses to methamphetamine, it is crucial that the most current scientific research, information, and best practices be available to those seeking to implement solutions. The primary goal of the First Global Conference on Methamphetamine is to provide a context for this important work to take place. FOR MEDIA: The major sessions of the conference are open to reporters. Site visits, photo opportunities and interviews can be arranged. For journalists not traveling to Prague, interviews and briefings with key spokespeople and presenters can be arranged on request. Sponsors and Partners include: The Czech Republic, Charles University, City of Prague, Network Environmental Systems, Marathon Oil Company, Podane Ruce, Cranstoun Drug Services, Sananim, Institute Scan, and The Thorne Group. Website: www.globalmethamphetamine.com http://www.globalmethconference.com. Contact: Luciano Colonna Chair, Executive Program Committee - 2008 Global Conference On Methamphetamine +00 (1) 801 635 7736 (USA); luciano.colonna@globalmeth.com ###
Location: 
Prague
Czech Republic

Press Release: First Global Conference on Methamphetamine to Feature 80 Speakers from 16 Countries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 13, 2008

Contact: Luciano Colonna, Chair, Executive Program Committee

First Global Conference on Methamphetamine to Feature 80 Speakers from 16 Countries
Full Program Agenda Available for Conference September 15-16, 2008, Prague, Czech Republic

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, August 11 -- The Global Conference On Methamphetamine today announced the program for the 2008 Global Conference on Methamphetamine. The conference will take place September 15-16, 2008, in Prague, Czech Republic. The full conference program is available online here.

The program committee has created an exciting program full of new and cutting-edge topics that is relevant and engaging for the international community. The two-day conference will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Louisa Degenhardt, of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. The conference includes two days of presentations, panels and discussions. There will also be methamphetamine laboratory displays and demonstrations.

This following is just a small sample of the presentations that will be given at GCM 2008. Ivan Langer, Minster of the Interior of the Czech Republic, will speak on the Intersection of Policy and Research; Jeremy Douglas and Matthew Nice of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will present UNODC's 2008 Global Amphetamine Type Stimulant Situation Assessment; Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance will present The Questions That Never -- Or Almost Never -- Get Asked About Methamphetamine; with Mike Sabin of New Zealand's MethCon Group countering with his presentation Don't Throw The Baby Out With the Bath Water. Also featured will be Network Environmental Systems' Methamphetamine Laboratory Display & Presentation. For the full program, visit the Global Conference on Methamphetamine web site at http://www.globalmethconference.com online.

Highlights of the Conference:

New Methamphetamine Epidemic in Thailand
Apinun Aramrattana, Research Institute of Health Sciences at Chiang Mai University

Methamphetamine Abuse in China
Lin Lu, Director, National Institute on Drug Dependence at Peking University

The Methamphetamine Epidemic in the US: Speed, Crank, Crystal, Ice and Tina and the Public Health Consequences
Richard Rawson, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs

Methamphetamine: Clandestine Laboratory Update
Robert Pennal, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, California Department of Justice

Dramatic Increase in Methamphetamine Related Drug Treatment Admissions in Cape Town
Andreas Plüddemann, South African Medical Research Council

A Global Overview of Youth Methamphetamine Use: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed?
Caitlin Padgett, Youth R.I.S.E.

Social Aspects of Methamphetamine Injection in Russia
Olga Borodkina, St. Petersburg State University

Safety First: Prevention Education For Methamphetamine and Other Drugs
Marsha Rosenbaum, Drug Policy Alliance

Amphetamine Type Stimulant Injection in the Republic of Georgia
David Otiashvili, Addiction Research Center, Union Alternative Georgia

Methamphetamine in the Czech Republic: EU Pervitin Deviance or Laboratory of EU Drug Future?
Tomáš Zábranský, Center for Addictology, Charles University in Prague,

Speaking to Be Heard: Outreach to Gay Men in San Francisco Who Do Meth
Michael Siever, The Stonewall Project, SF AIDS Foundation

Quite a Lot of Smoke But Very Limited Fire -- The Use of Methamphetamine in the European Union
Danica Klempova1 & Chloe Carpentier, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

According to estimates by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO): More individuals worldwide now use stimulants than opiates and cocaine combined. Methamphetamine is the most widely used illicit drug in the world except for cannabis. Over 26 million individuals used amphetamine-type stimulants in 2007.

Established trends show methamphetamine use to be widespread in North American, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand; while India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Western Europe represent emerging markets or areas of perceived risk. Yet the development of appropriate and effective responses to stimulants lags. In most cases, treatment and prevention are inappropriately modeled on opiate and alcohol treatment, ignoring both the physical properties of the drug itself, and the fact that methamphetamine use patterns vary widely, and effective responses must be tailored to the unique needs of regions, cultures, and individual users. A lack of infrastructure, of funding, and of experts trained specifically in methamphetamine response compounds the problem.

As nations struggle to develop appropriate responses to methamphetamine, it is crucial that the most current scientific research, information, and best practices be available to those seeking to implement solutions. The primary goal of the First Global Conference on Methamphetamine is to provide a context for this important work to take place.

FOR MEDIA: The major sessions of the conference are open to reporters. Site visits, photo opportunities and interviews can be arranged. For journalists not traveling to Prague, interviews and briefings with key spokespeople and presenters can be arranged on request.

Sponsors and Partners include: The Czech Republic, Charles University, City of Prague, Network Environmental Systems, Marathon Oil Company, Podane Ruce, Cranstoun Drug Services, Sananim, Institute Scan, and The Thorne Group.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School