Take Illinois Drug Class Before Piloting Boat

by Mike Miller May 20, 2013

Do you think drugs and piloting a boat are a good idea? The same principle could be used for pilots of airplanes too. There is not enough publicity about the dangers of drugs and boating. There are hundreds of tragedies each year that could have been avoided with a Illinois drug class: http://www.onlinedrugclass.com/Online-Drug-Education-Classes/Illinois

Fifty-one-year-old David Hatyina with the grieving mother crying in the courtroom, pled guilty to aggravated DUI . He had cocaine in his system and was over the legal alcohol limit when his speedboat struck and killed 11-year-old Tony Borcia. As reported in www.chicagotribune.com.

Hatyina faces three to 14 years in prison. He has ruined the lives of many people, including his own.

The day of the crash, Tony and three siblings were getting inner tube rides from behind a pontoon boat driven by their father. Tony had fallen off the tube, as he bobbed in the water waiting to be picked up, the speedboat struck him, despite his family's frantic efforts to get its drivers to stop. Tony died instantly.

Hatyina's blood alcohol level hours after the crash were measured at 0.052 but that a toxicologist estimated it to be 0.09 to 0.128, over the legal limit, at the time of the accident. The toxicology report also showed cocaine in his blood.

Could an online drug class mandated by the state before granting a person a boating license have prevented this tragedy? Maybe yes, maybe no. The truth is, it certainly could not have hurt.

Does Justin Bieber Need 8-Hour Online Drug Class?

by Mike Miller May 18, 2013

Looks like adorable, little Justin Bieber is all grown up. Perhaps he is taking his break-up with Selena Gomez hard, but it looks like The Biebs is starting to experiment with drugs. Back on March 29th numerous photos came out with Bieber and his pals smoking marijuana.

Justin Bieber's friends have reportedly taken over his Calabasas home to throw an alcohol and pot party while the singer was out of town last week. As reported in news.softpedia.com.

Some 40 girls and several of the singers' male friends have been invited to the even, a party still raging at 2 AM.

There are numerous snapshots on the Internet taken as the party was just about to end. They reveal a bong, beer bottles and liquor lying all around Bieber's mansion. An unidentified guest sits in front of a portrait of Bob Marley, the same piece that shows up in the backdrop of one of Lil Twist's recent Instagram photos.

The 20-year-old rapper is believed to have set up the drug-filled bash and there are photos of him and Bieber smoking marijuana back in January. Bieber, 18, has since apologized to fans for his behavior, expressing how much their opinion means to him in a series of Twitter posts.

It is evident Bieber and his pals need a good 8 hour drug class.

Can New Treatment Keep You Out of a Drug School?

by Mike Miller May 16, 2013

Is a cure to drug addiction so simple that all that needs to happen is to have the addiction “turned off” in the brain? That is what some American researchers are claiming.

A study in rats has found that stimulating a key part of the brain reduces compulsive cocaine-seeking and suggests the possibility of changing addictive behavior generally. As reported in www.ghanaweb.com.

The study, published in Nature, was conducted by scientists at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California, San Francisco.

One thing this study does offer is a new direction of research for the treatment of cocaine and possibly other addictions. Despite drug education and drug classes, the problem with chemical substance abuse and addiction seems to be getting worse all over the world.

Compulsive drug-taking, despite negative health and social consequences, has been the most difficult challenge in human drug addiction. In this study, researchers used an animal model of cocaine addiction, in which some rats exhibited addictive behavior by pushing levers to get cocaine even when followed by a mild electric shock to the foot. Other rats did not exhibit addictive behavior.

This is the first study to show a cause-and-effect relationship between cocaine-induced brain deficits in the prefrontal cortex and compulsive cocaine-seeking. The results seem to provide evidence for a cocaine-induced deficit within a brain region that is involved in disorders characterized by poor impulse control, including addiction.

What do you think? Could a solution be this simple. It would be nice to eradicate addictive behavior. I just don’t see that happening. We need to continue to educate our youth and parents with drug classes and provide counseling and support for addicts to help them overcome their problem.

Drug Classes Needed for Arizona DUI Recipients

by Mike Miller May 14, 2013

There are many people who believe that driving under the influence (DUI) occur only because someone was drunk on alcohol. Of course, “under the influence” can mean any drug, including alcohol.

One area that has seen the percentage of drivers under the influence of drugs other than alcohol is Phoenix, Arizona. As reported in www.ahwatukee.com.

DUI is the act of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs including illegal drugs, medical marijuana and prescription medication.

There is no doubt that part of the reason for this increase is that more people are abusing illegal and prescription drugs.

A reason more DUI arrests are made for drugs other than booze is that Arizona has several hundred officers trained to recognize the symptoms of drug impairment. Officers are better trained now to pinpoint someone impaired by a substance other than alcohol, compared to only a few decades ago.

A significant factor contributing to the increase in total DUI arrests in Phoenix in 2011 was due to driving under the influence of drugs, which included arrests for driving under the influence of medical marijuana, illegal drugs, and prescription medications, even if the pills were dispensed legally.

Can it be that people driving loaded on marijuana or prescription medications believe they are not violating the law? Ignorance of the law is no excuse!

I feel that mandatory drug classes for all kids in middle school and high school certainly will help the situation. How do you feel?

Drug Education Can Only Go So Far When Mental Illness is Involved

by Mike Miller May 12, 2013

Battling drug addiction is hard for any individual. Most of us are helped by drug classes, counseling and joining social networks of other addicts attempting to stay sober. For addicts battling mental illness, the battle against addiction can seem impossible.

Sometimes seen as "self-medication," drugs and alcohol can worsen mental illness but treating substance abuse is not always given the high priority it deserves. As reported in www.lowellsun.com.

The truth is you cannot solve either addiction issues or mental illness by themselves – both issues must be tackled together.

The worrisome combination of mental illness and substance abuse is especially disturbing because there is scant attention being spent on addressing those who suffer from both addiction and mental illness.

Throw into this dangerous mix that both addicts and those who suffer mental illness are prone to violence and the firestorm rages.

Do you believe there is more substance abuse now? It may begin with mental illness that goes untreated. The patient decides to medicate himself and addiction issues become part of the problem.

I am not sure how drug classes fit into this mix. Perhaps if more effort is placed on education through drug classes, mentally ill people might seek professional remedies rather than self-medicating. Would you agree?

Is Pursuing Drug Cases a Waste a Police Time?

by Mike Miller May 10, 2013

For the second time this month I have read about law enforcement officials commenting they will not pursue certain offenders because they feel it is a waste of their time and the laws are nearly impossible to enforce.

First, was a sheriff in Weld County, Colorado who said he will not enforce the state’s new gun legislation because it would be impossible. Could it be that he is a sheriff in one of the most politically conservative districts in the United States? As reported in www.telegraph.co.uk.

Now comes a British official who admits she will not go after drug criminals because it is a waste of police time.

Former Labor minister Vera Baird, who is in charge of the North Umbria police force for five years, will not prioritize drug users, with her office justifying the move on the grounds that combating low-level drug use would mean taking officers off the streets. How would you feel about that? How would you feel if you were a parent with a middle school or high school-age child?

I would be ticked off. Doesn’t she realize drugs are the gateway to other crimes? Don’t you agree that Baird is ignoring significant concerns among local people?

While she plans to have police deal with major organized crime, including dealers, by not enforcing laws sends out the wrong message to kids. She needs to take a drug class to realize the damage drugs due to children and those who are older.

Legalized Marijuana Creates Need for Colorado Drug Prevention Courses

by Mike Miller May 8, 2013

There is no doubt the entire country is watching to see if Colorado crashes and burns. As one of two states to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes (Washington is the other) Colorado is in for a world of hurt when it comes to regulating the use of this drug which is still illegal under federal law.

One of the first places Colorado is addressing is driving under the influence of marijuana. Just how stoned is too stoned to drive? As reported in www.huffingtonpost.com.

Well, A bill that sets a legal limit for THC in a motorist's bloodstream passed in the Colorado House in April.

Now, drivers caught with 5 nanograms THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces the "high" sensation, in their blood would be considered to be driving under the influence of marijuana and could be ticketed similarly to a person who was considered to be too drunk to drive.

Why do legislators think that we are only now pursuing DUI cases against those high on weed? This bill will send a very strong message that no longer can you get behind the wheel after smoking marijuana, but that message should have been out there long ago. This is not a recent problem with legalized marijuana. Stoned drivers are almost on par with drunken drivers.

Tim will tell if this bill comes to fruition. This is the fourth time in three years that the state House has supported a marijuana DUI bill, however all previous attempts have failed in the Senate in years past. With increased drug classes and more police attention to stoned drivers, hopefully marijuana use will begin to ebb.

Rand Paul Knows Need for Drug Classes

by Mike Miller May 6, 2013

Love him or hate him, at least Rand Paul says what is on his mind. Unlike many politicians who preach only what their party leaders tell them to, Rand certainly beats to the drum of his own drummer, and for that I respect him.

Paul, the polarizing junior senator from Kentucky, has reignited the debate surrounding marijuana. He is on record with his belief that kids who smoke marijuana should not be sent to jail. A self-proclaimed libertarian and "constitutional conservative," Paul introduced a bill last week that would allow judges greater flexibility in assigning minimum sentences for drug offenders. As reported in www.policymic.com.

Paul doesn't support the legalization of marijuana, but thinks the current mandatory minimum sentences don’t fit the crime. Paul encourages people to abstain from drug use, including marijuana, but doesn't believe people should be labeled as criminals for petty offenses. Paul argues that citizens in their teens and twenties make a lot of mistakes, including drug usage, and that a poor decision shouldn't ruin their lives. I agree wholeheartedly.

The senator used Presidents George W. Bush and President Obama as examples of the overzealous drug laws that can destroy the potential of many of the millennial generation. Paul insists the presidents "got lucky" by not having to go jail for their drug use thanks to high-powered attorneys, but that poor inner-city kids do not have the same good fortune.

Marijuana is the most widely used narcotic with approximately 18 million users in the United States in 2011. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, "More teenagers are now current smokers of marijuana than of cigarettes." Marijuana usage has been on the rise since 2007, with Colorado becoming the first state to fully legalize the controversial substance.

What do you think? I support more drug classes and education.

Hong Kong Understands Need for Drug Awareness Classes

by Mike Miller May 4, 2013

As the educational director for both in-class and online drug classes I like to see communities get involved to help keep our kids off of drugs. It is also interesting to see how drug education is handled in other countries. This blog will look at one program in Hong Kong.

One such program is Life Education Activity Program (LEAP) which highly advocates that education is the key to ensuring that more young people are fully aware of the dangers involved in drug. As reported in www.scmp.com.

LEAP is the leading drug prevention education organization in Hong Kong, helping young people establish a healthy lifestyle and become aware of the dangers of drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol. For the past 19 years, it has taken its internationally recognized health awareness and drug prevention programs to both the local and international schools.

Teenagers have to take responsibility for their actions. They have to realize the damage they will do to themselves by taking drugs. What I really like is that they target primary and secondary schools. Helping young people to make responsible choices is precisely what LEAP has been doing.

I have always believed that young people need to be better informed about the effects drugs can have on their lives from an early age.

Parents are Key Too

LEAP also recognizes the vital role parents play and will reach more than 90,000 students next year when it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

At the same time, LEAP has been awarded a grant by the Beat Drugs Fund, which allows it to offer a free parent program that will benefit 12,500 parents to help foster drug-free families for three years.

This parent program will help equip parents with the knowledge on improving parental skills, and also on detecting signs of drug abuse among their children.

Only by knowing the dangers of drugs could parents be in a position to help the positive development of their children, and to help prevent drug abuse in the family.

I am encouraged by the government's decision to make more resources available for promoting awareness among parents of the drug problem. Drug education is the key to keeping kids from ever experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

US Needs Drug Education More Than Gun Laws

by Mike Miller May 2, 2013

All the recent hoopla is about gun laws. People are worried there are too many guns, too dangerous of weapons, and it is too easy to obtain a weapon. They wants laws created to limit all of these. I am neither in favor or against these laws. If criminals want a gun, I am sure they are readily available – probably a lot easier than a law-abiding citizen obtaining one legally.

Am I the only one who thinks drugs are more dangerous than guns? I think congress needs to put its two cents in on getting laws changed to make prescription medication abuse from happening. They could mandate all physicians consult a prescription database to make sure their patients are not receiving the same medications from another physician. As reported in bdtonline.com.

Congress can help force changes in the classification of some drugs. Hydrocodone is a perfect example. The Safe Prescribing Act of 2013, a bipartisan measure that seeks to re-classify hydrocodone combination products as schedule II controlled substances, is a step in the right direction when it comes to fighting the deadly scourge of prescription drug abuse. It merits full support and passage by Congress.

Hydrocodone combination products are currently classified as schedule III drugs — making their distribution more widely accessible and easier to be abused. Under the proposed new rules, a written prescription would be required in order to receive hydrocodone painkillers except in cases of emergency. Pharmacists would require patients to present an original prescription for refills, and traffickers would be subject to harsher fines and penalties.

How can this be a bad thing? All lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — should support this well-intended and critically needed measure in both the House and Senate. Reclassifying hydrocodone from a schedule III to a schedule II narcotic will help. And anything that can help stem the deadly tide of prescription drug abuse should be done as quickly as possible.