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Civil Rights
Defining Ourselves
Mental Illness
Same Sex Marriage

Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Chemical Dependence Treatment Program Admissions by Drug Type, 2007-2015

In the past seven years, fewer New Yorkers are seeking treatment for chemical substance abuse, especially alcohol and marijuana abuse, but treatment for heroin and opoid abuse has increased.

NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) certified chemical dependence treatment programs report admissions of people served in programs throughout NYS. This dataset includes the number of admissions to NYS OASAS certified treatment programs aggregated by primary substance of abuse group.

Data Source: https://data.ny.gov/Human-Services/Chemical-Dependence-Treatment-Program-Admissions-B/ngbt-9rwf

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

"Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage."

"After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them. (The full references to all the studies I am discussing are in the book.)"

"When I first learned about this, I was puzzled. How can this be? This new theory is such a radical assault on what we have been told that it felt like it could not be true. But the more scientists I interviewed, and the more I looked at their studies, the more I discovered things that don’t seem to make sense — unless you take account of this new approach."

U.S. to end policy that let legal pot flourish, sources say

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. Sessions will instead let federal prosecutors where pot is legal decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana law, the people said. The people familiar with the plan spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it before an announcement expected Thursday."

"The move by President Donald Trump’s attorney general likely will add to confusion about whether it’s OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where pot is legal, since long-standing federal law prohibits it. It comes days after pot shops opened in California, launching what is expected to become the world’s largest market for legal recreational marijuana and as polls show a solid majority of Americans believe the drug should be legal."

"While Sessions has been carrying out a Justice Department agenda that follows Trump’s top priorities on such issues as immigration and opioids, the changes to pot policy reflect his own concerns. Trump’s personal views on marijuana remain largely unknown. Sessions, who has assailed marijuana as comparable to heroin and has blamed it for spikes in violence, had been expected to ramp up enforcement. Pot advocates argue that legalizing the drug eliminates the need for a black market and would likely reduce violence, since criminals would no longer control the marijuana trade."

Majority of N.Y. voters support legalizing and taxing pot: poll

"New Yorkers are high on legalizing weed as a cure for the state’s budget woes, a new poll Monday revealed."

"Sixty two percent of New York voters said they supported making marijuana use legal for people 21 and older, with only 28% opposed, according to the poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance."

"The poll, conducted by Emerson College, also found that legalizing and taxing marijuana was, by far, the most popular way to erase New York’s looming budget deficit, with 60% of voters supporting it."

"Between 15% and 27% of voters supported other deficit-reducing options, such as increasing sales or income taxes, increasing tolls, or cutting support for public education."

Opioid crisis arrives on auto industry’s doorstep

"Automakers have programs to help workers with addictions and mental-health disorders, but the programs aren't necessarily equipped to handle the long recovery times that opioids require. And workers who fear for their job security are often reluctant to seek help, especially if they've lapsed more than once. Among the efforts to break the cycle of drug abuse is Soberfest, with the ballfields and picnic tables flanked by booths for community organizations such as Odyssey House, Serenity House and the Brighton Center for Recovery, where local native Eminem once checked himself in."

1950s Experiment Asked Artist To Take LSD And Draw The Same Portrait 9 Times, And Each Portrait Got Crazier

"In the 1950s the US government did a lot of experiments with psychotomimetic drugs (in fact, as anybody who's seen or read 'The Men Who Stare At Goats' will know, the US government used to do all sorts of weird and wonderful experiments). One of these experiments included feeding human test subjects measured quantities of LSD and then monitoring their ensuing behavior. In one particular experiment, Oscar Janiger, a University of California-Irvine psychiatrist known for his work on acid, gave an artist an activity box full of crayons and asked him to drawing his experiences on LSD. And as you can see from these 9 illuminating images, the results are just as trippy as you'd expect. Things start out normally enough, but it doesn't take long before the artist's perception of reality starts to warp, and his drawings (which were recently uploaded by somebody called juraganyeri) capture in fascinating detail the various stages of his hallucinogenic journey, from the beginning of his trip right through to his comedown. See for yourself below, and please, don't try this at home."

Most Drugs Are Still Safe To Use Years After Their Expiration Date

"What if the system is destroying drugs that are technically "expired" but could still be safely used?"

"In his lab, Gerona ran tests on the decades-old drugs, including some now defunct brands such as the diet pills Obocell (once pitched to doctors with a portly figurine called "Mr. Obocell") and Bamadex. Overall, the bottles contained 14 different compounds, including antihistamines, pain relievers and stimulants. All the drugs tested were in their original sealed containers."

"The findings surprised both researchers: A dozen of the 14 compounds were still as potent as they were when they were manufactured, some at almost 100 percent of their labeled concentrations."

America’s Other Drug Problem

"Every week in Des Moines, Iowa, the employees of a small nonprofit collect bins of unexpired prescription drugs tossed out by nursing homes after residents died, moved out or no longer needed them. The drugs are given to patients who couldn’t otherwise afford them.

But travel 1,000 miles east to Long Island, New York, and you’ll find nursing homes flushing similar leftover drugs down the toilet, alarming state environmental regulators worried they’ll further contaminate the water supply."

"In Baltimore, Maryland, a massive incinerator burns up tons of the drugs each year — for a fee — from nursing homes across the Eastern seaboard."

"If you want to know why the nation’s health care costs are among the highest in the world, a good place to start is with what we throw away. Across the country, nursing homes routinely toss large quantities of perfectly good prescription medication: tablets for diabetes, syringes of blood thinners, pricey pills for psychosis and seizures."

Drugmaker Behind Vivitrol Tries To Cash In On The Opioid Epidemic, One State Law At A Time

"Two years ago, a mental health advocate named Steve McCaffrey stood at a lectern in the Indiana statehouse, testifying in favor of an addiction treatment bill. After years of rising overdose rates, lawmakers in the health committee were taking action to combat the opioid epidemic. And they often turned to McCaffrey, who leads Mental Health America of Indiana, to advise them.

His brief testimony appeared straightforward. "We rise in support, urge your adoption," said McCaffrey. He said the legislation would move the state "toward evidence-based treatment."

But the bill wouldn't do that. Instead, it would cement rules making it harder to access certain addiction medications — medications that many patients rely on. The goal was to steer doctors toward a specific brand-name drug: Vivitrol.

The drug is a monthly shot used to treat alcohol and opioid addiction and one of a handful of FDA-approved treatments for addiction to opioids such as pain relievers, heroin and fentanyl."

Over the past few months I’ve posted several graphics and charts about heroin abuse in our state. I thought it would be good to put together a brief synopsis, of the various graphs and maps I’ve done.

Heroin abuse doesn’t effect all counties equally, indeed some counties are particularly hard hit.

3 Yr Average For Visits To ER For Opioid Overdoses Per 10k Population

[Full Screen] or [KML]

Overall in the past decade, heroin deaths are up dramatically across the state.

Heroin and Opiods Deaths, 2003-2014

Indeed, heroin is the fastest growing reason people are checking themselves into drug rehab facilties in our state.

Chemical Dependence Treatment Program Admissions by Drug Type, 2007-2015

The growth of heroin has displaced the abuse of cocaine and crack in our state.

Services Delivered for Cocaine Users in New York State

Despite common myth, drug possession arrests nationally follow closely the racial breakdown, at least in 2015.

Race of those Arrested for Crimes (2015)