Family, colleagues, and students gathered on Sunday, May 15 to remember and celebrate the life of Alan Marlatt, who passed away on March 14, 2011. The memorial service was held at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, and brought together family, friends, colleagues, and former students from all over the country.
From Roger Roffman (UW Innovative Programs Research Group) in Addiction.
This blog has collected comments from many colleagues and former students; you may wish to re-read the collection of articles and tributes that followed the announcement of Alan's death, or add your own note of remembrance in the comment section of the post linked here.
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute epidemiologist Caleb Banta-Green presented the latest drug abuse trends for Seattle/King County at the national meeting of the Community Epidemiology Work Group in Seattle, June 8-10.
The 2010 data, profiled in an article today in the Seattle Timesby reporter Carol Ostrom, shows that deaths from prescription drug overdoses decreased in the last year for the first time in the past decade. Though the drop was significant (161 deaths in 2009 to 130 in 2010), deaths from prescription drugs have largely displaced illegal drugs when it comes to overdose deaths over the last 14 years.
Deaths from illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, continue to play a major role in mortality rates in the region, however, with cocaine contributing to 46 deaths in 2010, and heroin to 50. Meanwhile, alcohol contributed to the loss of 62 lives.
Sales of prescription drugs have leveled off in the last three years, but Banta-Green is cautious about drawing conclusions. For example: the statistics showing that prescriptions for opiates are going down may be good or bad. It would be good if prescribers are making sure patients don't get drugs from multiple sources and are careful not to prescribe to patients who don't need them or might sell or give them to others.
These journals were recently received by the ADAI Library. Click on links to connect to tables of contents.
Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment10(2) Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research 35(6), 35(6 suppl) American Journal of Public Health101(6) Journal of Addiction Medicine 5(2) Journal of Dual Diagnosis 7(1-2) Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery6(1-2) Nicotine & Tobacco Research13(5) Substance Abuse32(2)
A new report by a group of current and former world leaders for the Global Commission on Drug Policy recommends that the United States and other governments end the criminalization of drug use. The report concludes that the war on drugs has been a failure and recommends decriminalizing the use of drugs to undermine the power of organized crime. The group urges governments to experiment with new ways to legalize and regulate marijuana to cut drug cartel profits. The report comes from the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes past presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, the current prime minister of Greece and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The report is available in English and Spanish. (.pdf)
In related news, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine explores the link between the increase in the U.S. prison population and the war on drugs mentality, and the failure to treat addiction and mental illness as medical conditions.