Thursday, September 13, 2012

Translation of Transform's 'Blueprint for Regulation' published

Transform is pleased to announce that our groundbreaking 2009 publication 'After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation' has been translated and republished in German, joining existing translations in Spanish (pdf) and Italian (print). The German version is available for download as a pdf, and in hard copy.

We are extremely greatful to our colleagues at Akzept for publishing this new German edition, in particular Prof Dr Heino Stöver for all his work with the translation and production. Please alert any German-speaking contacts who may be interested, or contact Transform with suggestions for potential audiences or individuals to send print copies.

Below the text of the new foreword from Transform

It is a delight to be writing the foreword to the German translation of “Blueprint”. Little did we know when we launched the book that it would have the international resonance that it has. This is the third translation since the UK launch in 2009, adding to the Spanish and Italian versions. The e‐book version has been downloaded more than 350,000 times, it has received the endorsement by the editor of the British Medical Journal, has been widely referenced in a range of publications and journals, and we have been invited to speak about it in countries across Europe and as far afield as Mexico and Thailand. Over 5000 print copies have been disseminated to policy makers, opinion formers, academics and activists around the world, and other language versions are in the pipeline.

The War on Drugs is a disaster by any objective measure. However, to change an emotive and deeply entrenched 50 year‐old global policy, it will not be enough to demonstrate that the current approach is failing. We must also show the world what the alternative could look like. One of the key aims of the book is to fill a gap in the drug policy reform debate about how post‐prohibition models of regulation could practically function. In the two years since publication it has usefully achieved this goal. And, whilst it never sought to answer all the questions, it has at least provided a much firmer foundation for debate around the feasibility of drug regulation in a post‐prohibition world.

And this is not just a utopian dream ‐ a number of developments have taken place in the last year that will make “Blueprint” a practical political tool. 2011 saw the publication of the report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Amongst the distinguished grouping of commissioners are the former General Secretary of the United Nations and six former heads of state. Along with a range of pragmatic recommendations in the report was a clear call to “Encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens”. And since the Global Commission report the debate has leapt onto the political agenda, with a number of sitting heads of state in Latin American countries publicly calling for a meaningful debate on alternatives to prohibition, including models of legal drug market regulation. President Santos of Colombia called for a review of global drug policy, asking that “all options be put on the table”. President Obama announced that legalisation look at “where the drug laws are doing more harm than good”. And the President of Guatemala called for legalisation and regulation to undermine the criminal gangs in Central America. In 2012 the Organisation of American States will conduct a review of drug policy in the Americas, and this book could be used to model one of the policy options.

The approach taken in “Blueprint” has been to present the options for regulation in a clear, rational, pragmatic and non confrontational way in order to achieve the goals that everyone can agree upon – the desire for a safer, healthier society. In doing so we have effectively challenged some of the common myths about legalisation and regulation. Our experience has been that the book facilitates engagement even with those who take issue with the detail of the proposed models – from the most ardent “drug warriors” to the most passionate free market libertarians (interestingly it has been the latter that have been most vocally critical). Such disagreement and debate still represents progress as it indicates how we are now debating principles and detail of effective regulation rather than whether or not regulation is needed.

Germany has historically been a world leader in implementing harm reduction in dealing with drug use, a country prepared to put aside ideology and instead operate a pragmatic approach to dealing with the reality of drug use and misuse. Germany could, if it chooses take the next step and put legal regulation firmly on the international agenda and link the debate in Latin America with the one taking place in Europe. At a time when we are all experiencing the worst economic recession of modern times, Germany could use the opportunity to challenge the drug war as a significant waste of dwindling financial resources.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Alcohol and Drug Rehabs - The Portal to a New Life

There are many different forms of addiction like surfing the net, sex, food and many others. Out of all, alcohol and drug addiction are the most dangerous one that can even take the life of an individual. People of any age group can be a victim of this life-taking addiction. To help all those people, who have become a patient of the addition of any health hazardous substances, plenty alcohol and drug rehab centers are established all across the globe. Many people take alcohol and drugs in excess to come over with their daily problems, some big tragedy of their lives, depression and loneliness. On their way of becoming an alcoholic and addicts, a person usually forgets that consuming such harmful substance is not a solution to the problems. Rather, it adds to the problems of the person as well as his family members.

Alcoholic and addicts choose such way of living because they feel comfortable and satisfied for a time being completely lost in their own lives. Generally, young aggressive people who have an ideology of trying forbidden things become addicts. They end up listing their name among the addicted persons. Thank God, we have an alcohol and drug rehab located throughout the world to offer the treatment to alcoholism and drug addicts. These rehab centers are hold specialization in their work and help individuals in coming out of their addiction soon.

Every individual patient has different treatment need depending on their case condition. Accordingly, various rehab centers are engaged in offering treatment programs designed by experienced health experts. They focus on helping drug addicts and alcoholics to set free from their bad habits and given them many groups or individual counseling session along with the treatment.

Victims of drug and alcohol addiction can recover quickly only if they agree the fact that they are certainly under the influence of drugs and alcohol and need to undergo some recovery treatment. The chances of quick recovery of such people are much more in comparison to the others, who refuse recovery medication because they believe that their body do not require any treatment. It is a myth, they are living with that need to be broken soon by their family and friends. Such people should be soon taken to alcohol and drug rehab centers so that continuous medication, check up and follow-up can be provided in time.

Treatment for the recovery of any kind of addiction cannot work alone work alone. Support, care and attention of family is also important for the recovery of drug users and alcoholics. At times, it is found that relapses may take place because of the missing support of the family. Such relapses do not mean that the patient is not responding well to the treatment, it is just that he is in need of extra care and attention from his family that can give them a chance to live a new life.

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a severe and growing problem in the United States. Abuse of prescription drugs has surpassed that of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, leading to new drug addictions for millions of Americans each year. The most critical problem is that users are generally under the impression that such drugs are "safe" because they are medically approved for use. However, most of these drugs are made from dangerous and addictive substances such as opiates, and even under supervised medical care addiction can occur. But while there may be drug addiction treatment centers readily available in every state, the best defense against prescription drug addiction is a good offense in the form of education.

The demographics of people who abuse and become addicted to prescribed drugs are surprisingly diverse. Affluent people, the very poor, the educated and uneducated, professionals and laborers alike all fall victim to this disease. According to 2004 research by the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, an estimated 20% of adult Americans have abused these drugs at some point in their life. In fact, abuse of painkillers and sedatives is highest among the elderly, who are prescribed more of these drugs than any other age group. Even under a physician's care it is possible to become addicted to such medications and many elderly may not even realize they have become addicted.

The second largest age group of prescription substance abusers - and the fastest growing - is among teens. Prescribed drugs are easy for most teens to obtain and are often marketed under the guise that these drugs are safe alternatives to other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin. In fact, this popularity of prescription drug use among teens has helped push prescription drugs to become the 2nd most widely abused drugs in the country behind marijuana. Painkiller abuse by teens is especially dangerous considering that the human brain is still developing and can be profoundly and permanently affected by even moderate drug use.

The mental and physical health risks associated with prescription drug addiction are substantial. For example, a 2004 study on deaths caused by poisoning in the United States indicated that nearly all were caused by drugs, and most were specifically related to prescription drug abuse. (According to, a US-Government-backed website dedicated to eradicating illicit drug use.) This is attributed to the fact that these drugs are highly addictive, cause tolerance and dependence to develop rapidly, and have severe physiological consequences such as heart failure, pulmonary disorders, seizures, stroke, suicidal or homicidal tendencies and psychotic episodes.

Despite the severity of most prescription drug addiction problems, treatment is easy to obtain and can be very effective. Severe problems can be addressed in an inpatient treatment center, while less severe problems or recent relapses can be treated in an outpatient treatment program. While each might have varying levels of treatment, both make use of individual and group therapies as part of a lifelong strategy of Relapse Prevention to address denial management and the treatment of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS.

Whatever your situation may be and wherever you are, you've come to the right place. Use the links below for more information or to call us right now for a free, confidential and no-obligation consultation to see how we can help you or someone you care about fight the disease of prescription drug addiction.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Dangerous Effects Of Emotional Stress

Many and unpredictable are the dangers of emotional stress. As a matter of fact, it is very hard to control the effects and consequences of an emotionally trying time. What happens is that many people decide to harm themselves soon after an emotionally stressful period in their lives or hurting themselves physically in some way after they have recovered from an emotional crisis, such as losing a loved one. This form of emotional stress can be more dangerous and imperceptible than physical stress. In the first case, the symptoms are varied and individualized to the specifics of the patient, in the latter situation physical stress signs are more perceivable and homogeneous.

Physical stress is normally visible in such a way that can be controlled by a physician. In some extreme cases, patients, for instance, could have an accelerated heart rate or even loss of some physical faculties. Other times stress can cause people to urinate or use the facilities more frequently or be restless. The signs are evident and are, in general, widespread among many different kinds of patients, and consequently physical stress is the body's method of developing a coping device to manage with unexpected, apparent danger.

On the other hand, emotional stress is frequently unexplainable because of the way it affects our bodies through our mental state. It influences our mentality so much that our physical state could really become unresponsive the minute it manifests itself; Some people could even resort to suicide when dealing with emotional stress, while it can cause others to merely contemplate eating a bucket of ice cream. The input to emotional tension often reflects the patient's individuality on the outside, making it difficult to establish a customized cure for every person.

When a person experiences symptoms of stress, it is important to realize that the diversity is as important as the symptoms themselves. One needs to be sure of the variations it takes in the body and the way in which it affects the various systems in a multiplicity of ways. This information can be used to further clarify our symptoms to a physician and help confirm what is needed in terms of treatment or support. Properly identifying what causes our stress can lead to an identification of our crazed, which can lead to an identification of a coping means that is healthy for our bodies.

Summarizing Emotional stress is dangerous for the reason that it is unpredictable in terms of bodily effects and symptoms. Some medical professionals find it troublesome as they are unsure of what the body is going through and cannot aggressively follow a diagnosis based on some possible information. The advice here is to consult a physician if the problems of emotional stress persist.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Drug Rehab,,? Why Can't I Just Do Drug And Go Home

We frequently hear the question when someone addicted to alcohol or drugs is faced with a lengthy drug rehab program: Why can’t I just do drug detox? The answer is painfully simple: to find and solve the problems that drew you into addiction in the first place, and learn how to avoid those pitfalls in the future, you must do a drug rehab program.

If the first real step towards recovery is the decision to handle your addiction once and for all, then drug detox is the second vital step. Almost all drug rehab programs begin with drug detox, when the addict goes through withdrawal. After that, they won’t feel such a burning physical need for their next drink or drug fix, and they won’t collapse or have seizures from the withdrawal symptoms.

To many addicts, this sounds like all they need – after detox, they’ll be cured! No need for three or four or more months of drug rehab!

It’s true that a drug detox can help relieve the often terrible withdrawal symptoms caused by coming off alcohol or drugs. The damage done to your brain and body by alcohol or drugs can be significant, and is usually, if not always, accompanied by some degree of malnutrition and dehydration. A good drug detox includes nutritional work to help boost the effectiveness of your detox. And finally, because detox can be quite an emotional experience, counselors should be there to provide needed support.

All these needs are addressed during a proper drug detox, which can take on average a week or so depending on the person and their addiction. After drug detox you can continue on your road to recovery in drug rehab without the addictive substances that brought you there. Your mind is clearer than it’s been in a long time. Your emotions are freed up, and your reactions to people and life begin to make sense again, rather than being drug-centered. A great drug detox even before drug rehab can provide a big boost to one’s self-worth, vitality and hope for the future.

Drug detox is far from the cure – but it’s a great preview of how life can eventually be. However, nothing has been done yet to address the psychological and emotional factors that led you into your addiction and kept it alive like an evil twin, like a dark shadow on your life. That will be your voyage of discovery in drug rehab – and as you can imagine, it can take a while.

A good drug rehab program will provide new understanding about yourself and your relationships with others and your environment. It will offer you the tools you need to repair the damage your addiction has caused, and prevent it from happening again.

We read recently where someone said that alcohol and drugs don’t make anyone happy, they simply mask the problems that make you unhappy. The road to full self-recovery only begins with drug detox: it ends with however much time it takes later with a successful drug rehab program.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Drug Free Rehab vs Medication As A Drug Rehab

Drug Free Rehab vs Medication As A Drug Rehab
I do not understand western medicine’s fascination with medication. It seems these days that everyone is searching for a pill that will be the answer to all of their ailments. Take this pill for that. Take that pill for this. Research which drug will cure this or aid with that. It simply goes on and on. We have become a medicated nation.

I am baffled by this when we see the consequences of drug addiction in our communities. We think our problems with addiction will be solved if only we can get a handle on the meth problem or the heroin problem or the marijuana problem. We can’t see that many of the medications that are being handed by our doctors and pharmacies can be just has destructive as so-called street drugs. What’s frightening to me is that we are trying to solve the drug addiction problem in our country by creating new drugs that these drug addicts can take to cure their drug addiction.

Does this faulty thinking make any sense? Are more drugs truly the only way to handle a drug addict’s drug problem? Why can’t we provide those suffering from addiction with a comprehensive drug free rehab program? Yes, I said it. Drug-free. This means skip the methadone clinic. Skip the Subaxone. Skip the anti-depressants. Skip the quick fix.

The cover story for the July 16, 2007 issue of Time Magazine delves into the nature of addiction and how “new brain research is helping us understand why we get hooked.” The researchers involved use addicts’ brains to “design new drugs that are showing promise in cutting off the craving that drives an addict irresistibly toward relapse.” Great! Right? If an addict just didn’t crave the drug, he would be fine.Partially, yes. But there is so much more to what causes an individual to get hooked on drugs. There are always underlying issues that the once sober individual is trying to escape. Giving an addict a drug to stop the craving only addresses a part of the problem. There must be drug free ways to reduce the cravings an addict experiences and provide a complete drug free rehab for the drug addict.

Holistic approaches to drug addiction have been developed and have been proven to work. Truly addresses the cravings an addict experiences by cleansing the body of drug residues in a drug free setting, using vitamins and a sauna program at its base. The end result is that the cravings for drugs have disappeared. However, the program also addresses the underlying causes for the addiction in the first place. None of these wonder drugs for addiction deal with the root causes, which in all honesty, makes me question the motivation behind developing these types of drugs.

Who profits from these wonder drugs? Is it the drug addict who now has to support his new habit? What happens to this addict when he can’t afford to get his medication? Will he return to using the bad street drugs and find himself caught in the trap of addiction all over again? These drugs to cure addiction are new. That means long term side effects are unknown. What will they be? What side effects will the addict have to deal with?

We have already seen what happens to those on methadone. We have seen that Ritalin, a methamphetamine, causes serious problems for our children. And yet, we keep pushing this idea that medication is the answer to addiction. When will see that drug free rehab is truly the only solution to our drug addiction problems?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dangerous Are Painkillers

Let’s first learn how painkillers work inside the body.

When you pop a pill to stop that pain, what it does primarily is to deaden the nerves so that they cannot transmit pain signals to the brain. Therefore you do not feel the pain after you swallow a painkiller. The minimum time it takes to work is at least 30-40 minutes after you’ve taken it.

While almost every painkiller has some kind of proven side effect, Paracetamol is voted by experts as being the safest and the only one that can be taken without medical supervision. This painkiller can be given even to a new born baby without the danger of any side effects. And that is the only one that you should pop when you are in pain.

While a (containing aspirin) can lead to blood thinning, peptic ulcers and even Reyes Syndrome (organ seizure) in children alone with precipitating asthma in patients, I can cause liver and kidney damage and even bleeding in the stomach.

Some like are the most dangerous because they can cause toxic liver failure among others. Most developed countries have banned them but in some countries it’s a different story.

Another common painkiller like Ibuprofen is to be avoided during pregnancy because it can cause intestinal bleeding, skin reactions and also peptic ulcers. Pain is a day to day problem and it’s a good thing because it’s a kind of warning mechanism that the body uses to tell you that all is not well inside you. That’s when you should see a doctor to find out the reason for the pain.

And from what sales of OTC drugs show, you are clearly not alone in trying to play doctor. It’s a fallacy that only the uneducated misuse painkillers.