Substance Abuse

Yesterday, Connecticut lawmakers gave final approval to a bill (SB 1014) that will make the possession by an adult of up to one-half ounce of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia a civil infraction, punishable by a $150 fine. Violators will no longer be subject to jail time and will not receive a criminal record. Currently, it is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine. 

Gov. Quinn is proposing drastic cuts in human services in his state of Illinois. Both prevention and treatment services for drug and alcohol abuse are on the chopping block.

News comes today that all prevention services aimed at youth to prevent the use of alcohol and drugs could be eliminated. One Illinois newspaper quotes the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO, “we are looking at 32,000 youth that may not receive prevention services, which increases the risk that use will occur."


Rick Scott ran for governor with a seven-point plan—one of those points was a proposal to test welfare recipients for drug use. That may have helped get him elected. After the election, Scott told a Sun Sentinel reporter he is sticking to plans to push for mandatory drug-testing for Florida’s 3.1 million welfare recipients. 

With the recent federal policy change allowing use of federal funds for needle exchange programs, there is renewed focus on cost-effective public health syringe services programs to prevent HIV and hepatitis C infections and to reduce disparities. State law modifications to allow syringe services programs are described.

E-Newsletter Issue #53: August 5, 2010

Kentucky pharmacies filled nearly 700,000 prescriptions written by prescribers in its seven border states last year.

That doesn’t even count the prescriptions written in nonborder states, including more than 9,000 written in Michigan, according to Dave Hopkins, project manager for the state’s prescription drug database, the Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting, or KASPER.


According to a report released today by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), substance abuse treatment admissions for prescription pain relievers have increasd by 400 percent in the last decade.  

As the costs of prosecuting and incarcerating marijuana users continues to escalate, several states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug. while some consider legalization.  Supporters argue that the money saved could be better used to investigate more serious crimes and to provide drug treatment options.  Opponents argue that such efforts would lead to increased drug use.

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive, synthetically produced, central nervous system stimulant that, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is the most common synthetic drug manufactured in the United States. The recent, rapid growth of methamphetamine users in the United States largely is due to the ability to produce it using conventional, easily  accessible chemicals and supplies.

On May 11, President Obama announced a new approach to "confronting the complex challenge of drug abuse and its consequences."   The new National Drug Control Strategy calls for reducing the rate of youth drug use by 15 percent over the next five years and for similar reductions in chronic drug use, drug abuse deaths and drugged driving.

State prescription drug monitoring programs are used to control drug misuse that cause the epidemic of accidental deaths. CSG's interstate compact will enable efficient data sharing between states for public health and law enforcement purposes.