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Pill Testing & National Drug Strategy

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While drug legalisation/decriminalisation activists attempt to build the myth that normal amounts of MDMA are not life-threatening, just the opposite is the truth.  According to our own Australian coroners’ reports our ecstasy deaths are mostly not due to unknown impurities but due to MDMA either by itself or in combination with other drugs

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While drug legalisation/decriminalisation activists attempt to build the myth that normal amounts of MDMA are not life-threatening, just the opposite is the truth.  According to our own Australian coroners’ reports our ecstasy deaths are mostly not due to unknown impurities but due to MDMA either by itself or in combination with other drugs

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Understanding this distinction is important because ice is the stronger and more addictive form of methamphetamine, and so has the potential to cause greater harm for people who use it.

There are currently no medications available that are approved for treating withdrawal or dependence on methamphetamines, and so people who are trying to stop are solely relying on psychotherapy to get through the difficulties associated with what is in fact a change to their brain. 

Rewiring the Brain                                                                                      

However, what the above doesn’t mention, is that illicit drugs, specifically the Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) are like ‘nuclear devices’ to both brain and cell anatomy and rewiring/recalibrating the brain/body for long term best outcomes, is done better without using chemical substitute treatments.

Tsunami of Dopamine encodes false memories, not only into the limbic system, but also molecular machinery.

This makes in very difficult to form new nerve cells to create new memories beyond that ‘wow’ memory, to the point of arresting development of the whole person – If they keep using drugs, the individual gets stuck at the age of uptake – can’t mature – Can’t grow up!

The way to get unstuck and form new memory/growth capacity is to stop using all drugs – not substituting – and engage in new learned behaviours and relationships.  This enables both brain nerve and molecular machinery to form new processes.

We understand from some of the latest research that the granule cells in the brain, over 60 Billion, can be encoded by reward responses, not just the anticipated rewards either. Unexpected rewards in recent experiments, saw increases in reward response, thus driving greater ‘cellular need’ for reward. 

However, the capacity to encode those cells to ‘delay’ reward was only achieved through active learning processes. Again, even at a cellular level, we were designed to explore and find best outcome/reward, or we can ‘short circuit’ our human computer by stimulating it with non-instructing chemical ‘tutors’ that diminish our capacity to make wiser, long term decisions. 1

Dalgarno Institute 

1 Cerebellar granule cells encode the expectation of reward  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v544/n7648/full/nature21726.html

 

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There’s a figure that is often quoted by vaping enthusiasts: e-cigarettes are 5 per cent as harmful as traditional combustible cigarettes. That figure comes from Public Health England.

But according to Dr Sarah White, director of Quit Victoria (part of the Cancer Council), this is a “spurious made up figure”. She says the constant quoting of Public Health England is disingenuous. Most scientific studies find the risks outweigh the benefits.

“I have a box full of the position statements and evidence reports that are anti-e-cigarettes. The pile of paper is about 20 centimetres high, and there’s another one that’s pro, and it’s about 4 centimetres high. And all the stuff from the pro camp is all England with one exception, which is Canada.”

Most reports conclude the chemicals in the vapour inhaled from e-cigarettes probably have negative health impacts. The long-term effects of these health impacts won’t be known for many years.

The other major risk is that it will lead non-smokers, especially young non-smokers, to take up vaping, and that this could be a gateway to traditional cigarette smoking.

Dr White is critical of the British government’s bullish approach, calling it a “massive natural experiment”.

“I think they came to it with a concept that was coming from the right place and was a really good idea, but instead of testing it they kind of threw themselves in. And I think they’ve actually got themselves into a position where there was a lot of criticism from around the world and they’re just digging in now.

“When you look at the data, the number of people making quit attempts in the UK is dropping. The number of people using gum, patches, lozenges, all those sorts of things, is dropping. The number of people accessing stop smoking services is dropping. And we know that the most common form of use for e-cigarettes is to continue to use them along with cigarettes.

“We know that there’s just no safe level of cigarette smoking. So if we have what’s called dual use, we know that there’s no health benefit there.”

She warned Australia against following suit, because as the market grows, its lobbying power also grows. That would make it difficult to reverse – as has been seen with governments’ decades-long effort to regulate the sale of tobacco.

“If you let the genie out of the bottle, it’s going to be nigh on impossible to put it back in,” Dr White says.

Most health bodies in Australia agree with Dr White that caution and more research are needed. That includes the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the National Heart Foundation, and the government’s own health research body, the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Those who argue in favour tend to be tobacco companies, tobacco retailers, political libertarians, a handful of individual doctors – by far the most prominent being Sydney smoking cessation specialist Dr Colin Mendelsohn – and, of course, vapers like Margaretha and Adrian.

News Corp publications have also run many pro-vaping stories, most of which quote Dr Mendelsohn. News Corp denies this has anything to do with Rupert Murdoch once being on the board of Philip Morris, or the fact that his lead director, Peter L. Barnes, spent most of his career at Philip Morris. Read this 2014 piece by The New Daily’s Michael Pascoe to learn more about News Corp’s longstanding support of big tobacco.

So far the Australian government has listened to expert bodies rather than big tobacco, vapers, libertarians and News Corp.

In a statement to The New Daily, a spokesperson for Health Minister Greg Hunt said: “The overwhelming medical advice and evidence is that it [e-cigarette use] is likely to lead to the uptake of smoking and we cannot support that.

“This is the view of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia’s chief medical officer, chief health officers from all Australian states and territories and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“The Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of GPs are also concerned and have presented clear evidence highlighting this.”

But this will not stop big tobacco – with the support of Liberal MPs like Tim Wilson, Eric Abetz and Trent Zimmerman – from lobbying energetically for a relaxation of the laws. Only last month, they appeared to gain a small victory, when Mr Hunt agreed to set up an independent inquiry into the health risks and benefits of e-cigarettes.

Regardless of whether or not e-cigarettes are a lifeline for smokers who can’t quit any other way, one thing is clear: big tobacco isn’t in it for the health benefits. It wants a piece of the action because it has sniffed a new opportunity to rake in billions off people’s addiction to nicotine. For that reason, most health experts agree that their nice-sounding words must be rigorously scrutinised.

In his submission to the parliamentary inquiry earlier this year, Renee Bittoun, a smoking cessation specialist at the University of Sydney, put it in no uncertain terms.

“It is naïve to believe that the tobacco industry, given its past history, will not endeavour to expand its market and sale of this highly addictive substance. In particular, the seductive and alluring marketing to gain an adolescent consumer who may become a life-long nicotine addict is reprehensible. No health worker should be complicit in this.”

Watch The News in 90 Seconds View Full Video

For complete story Big Tobacco Hopes to Get YOU HOOKED!

For more DATA on E-Cigarettes and Vaping

NIDA: E-Cigarettes

The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides this fact sheet about e-cigarettes, which includes their effects on teens, how teens are using them, the link between e-cigarette use and traditional cigarette use, and information about nicotine addiction.

Go to NIDA's website

CDC: Electronic Cigarettes

The Centers for Disease Control maintains a hub of information about e-cigarettes, how they affect youth, and resources for concerned advocates to use, including fact sheets and infographics.

View the Hub

 

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