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Latest news: 10-08-2010

Nearly $16.8 million awarded to help children affected by meth

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will award a total of up to $16.8 million for the next four years in grants to expand and enhance services to help provide greater support to children affected by methamphetamine use in their families. The program will focus primarily on the children (0-17 years old) of parents who use or abuse methamphetamine who are enrolled in a Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC). Grantees must identify a Service Coordinator with the role of establishing and identifying linkages for necessary services to promote the well-being of the child.

Full story, SAMHSA

No county in Texas exempt in meth lab resurgence

TX - Law-enforcement officials say methamphetamine use across the Big Country is as bad as it has ever been, and they also are seeing a resurgence of meth labs. “The majority of our calls for service involve methamphetamine,” said Billy Schat, commander of the West Central Texas Interlocal Crime Task Force. “I can assure you that each of the 13 counties we serve has a meth problem — no one is exempt.” The vast majority of drug evidence — about 95 percent — turned over to the Department of Public Safety Crime Lab in Abilene is methamphetamine, said Artie Waller, regional manager of the lab.

Full story,The Abilene Reporter-News

Studying addiction in a virtual meth house

CA - Just as catching a whiff of fresh coffee beans can trigger cravings for my own addictive habit of choice, many environmental cues can create a very real physical response in drug addicts. Studying cravings is an important part of designing treatments for addictions, and scientists have long studied the way in which cues like videos and drug paraphernalia trigger those cravings. Now, one group of researchers are trying to find out if cues in virtual environments like Second Life can produce real drug cravings in addicts as well. And if so, are those cravings neurologically similar to ones resulting from cues in a person's real environment? Researchers at UCLA think so, and have designed a 3D meth apartment on Second Life to study those cravings in the hopes of developing and testing new treatments for meth addiction. (Of course, how the power of scent triggers cravings is not [yet] being studied here.)

Full story, Cnet News

'Methland' author talks about small-town America

CT - Nick Reding sat in the plush Branford College Master’s house Thursday night and spoke about the devastation wrought by crystal methamphetamine on a small, down-at-the-heels town. Reding talked about his nonfiction book “Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town.” To write it, he spent four years observing the town of Oelwein, Iowa, where a weak economy pressured struggling community members to fall back on meth production to make ends meet. Reding spoke about investigative journalism and the process of reporting and writing the book.

Full story, Yale Daily News

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