Friday, December 25, 2009

Harm Reduction Psychotherapy on One Hour at a Time Radio - 12/28/09

One Hour At A Time with Mary Woods and Guest Host Dr. Mark Green will present Dr. Andrew Tatarsky on Monday December 28th 2009 at 3PM Eastern, Noon Pacific.

Click here to listen to the show Monday 3pm (Noon PST)

If you can't listen to the live show, you can click here and download the recording.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New interactive web application for problem drinkers

We are pleased to announce the availability of a new, evidence-based, web application, is a comprehensive, interactive, and personalized program, designed to help heavy drinkers successfully change their drinking. The elements of the program are listed below.

This is a subscription-based training program. Users can unsubscribe at any time.

Dr. Reid Hester, Director of the Research Division of Behavior Therapy Associates ( developed ModerateDrinking with funding from NIAAA. As part of this grant he conducted a randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of the program (in combination with participation in Moderation Management). The study demonstrated that the program is effective in helping heavy drinkers change their drinking. An abstract of one of the papers reporting the results are available here.

A video demo of the program is available at

The elements of the program include:

  • Building motivation and self-confidence
  • Setting drink goals/limits
  • "Doing a 30"
  • Self-monitoring drinking (with personalized feedback relative to each user's self-determined goals)
  • Controling your drinking rate
  • Personal drinking rules
  • Self-monitoring urges to drink (w/ personalized feedback)
  • Identifying and managing triggers
  • Developing alternatives to drinking
  • General problem solving
  • Dealing with lapses and/or relapses
  • Considering abstinence as an option
  • Self-monitoring your mood (w/feedback relative to baseline)

These elements are the components of the MM program, both as it was originally designed and as it has evolved in the years since.

Our members have already enthusiastically used this software, as part of Reid Hester's original study. Perhaps others here will be interested in suggesting it to clients.

Ana Kosok, Ed D
Executive Director, Moderation Management

Monday, December 14, 2009

Congress Poised to Repeal Decades-Old National Syringe Funding Ban and Allow Washington, DC to Establish a Medical Marijuana Program

States Could be Using Federal Money to Distribute Sterile Syringes to Reduce HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C by Next Year; Washington, DC Could Join 13 States in Allowing Patients to Grow and Use Marijuana for Medical Use

Reforms Part of Growing Momentum in Support of Ending the Failed War on Drugs

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Contact: Bill Piper 202-669-6430 or Tony Newman 646-335-5384

As part of an end-of-year spending package widely expected to pass Congress, Democrats are making major changes to U.S. drug policy. The legislation will be voted on in the House of Representatives Thursday or Friday. Among other things, the omnibus bill would repeal the decades-old policy prohibiting cities and states from using their share of HIV/AIDS prevention money on syringe exchange programs which reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other infectious diseases. The lifting of the ban is because of strong leadership by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Congressman David Obey (D-WI), Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and others.

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans will get HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C if Congress does not repeal the federal syringe funding ban,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The science is overwhelming that syringe exchange programs reduce the spread of infectious diseases without increasing drug use. We will make sure the American people know which members of Congress stand in the way of repealing the ban and saving lives.”

The legislation not only overturns the decades-old syringe funding ban but eliminates troubling provisions the House passed earlier this year. While some advocates remain concerned about some of the restrictions on syringe exchange funding in the bill, they are excited that federal money could soon start flowing to syringe exchange programs around the country. The lifting of the ban is a huge victory for HIV/AIDS prevention and drug policy reform.

The omnibus bill would also repeal a provision that overturned a 1998 medical marijuana law approved by Washington, DC voters. The city would now be free to set its own medical marijuana policies.

“Congress is close to making good on President Obama’s promise to stop the federal government from undermining local efforts to provide relief to cancer, HIV/AIDS and other patients who need medical marijuana,” said Naomi Long, the DC Metro director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “DC voters overwhelmingly voted to legalize marijuana for medical use and Congress should have never stood in the way of implementing the will of the people.”

The reforms in the end-of-year spending bill are part of a national trend towards major drug policy reform. In April, New York State repealed the Rockefeller Drug Laws, thus eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing for low-level, nonviolent drug law offenses. In November, Maine citizens voted to establish compassion centers to distribute marijuana to patients. New Jersey stands poised this month to reform both its harsh mandatory minimum penalties for nonviolent drug law offenses and legalize marijuana for medical use. 13 states have already legalized marijuana for medical use; dozens have already overhauled their harsh sentencing laws to reduce incarceration and make treatment more available.

On the campaign trail, President Obama called for treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue and advocates say he is beginning to follow through on his pledges. Administration officials have endorsed syringe exchange programs, called for federal sentencing reform, and taken steps towards reorienting U.S. drug policy towards a more demand-reduction approach. In March the Justice Department said it would no longer arrest and prosecute people using, growing or distributing marijuana as long as they are following their state’s medical marijuana law, ending a brutal Bush Administration policy.

“It’s too soon to say that America’s long national nightmare – the war on drugs – is really over,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “But yesterday’s action on Capitol Hill provides unprecedented evidence that Congress is at last coming to its senses when it comes to national drug control policy.”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Czech govt defines rules of hallucinogenic plants growing

December 12 2009

Prague - The Czech government today approved the list of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms, including hemp, coca, mescaline cactus and magic mushrooms, and decided that people would be allowed to grow up to five pieces of such plants and keep 40 magic mushrooms at home, a CTK source said.

The cabinet was today also expected to discuss artificial drugs and a permitted amount of these drugs in people's possession.

However, it postponed the debate for two weeks, the source said.

The new Penal Code, which will take effect on January 1, is designed to specify the government's directive. It contains a special provision on the growth of hemp and magic mushrooms.

The government today also approved a directive on the use of anabolics and the list of diseases that will be considered congenial, according to the criminal law.

The law distinguishes between the possession of marijuana and hashish for people's personal needs, for which they will face up to one year in prison, from the possession of other drugs for which they can receive up to two years in prison.

According to the Justice Ministry's proposal that the government did not approve today, the possession of over 15 grammes of dried marijuana or over two grammes of methamphetamine (pervitine), cocaine and heroin will be punishable.

The tolerated amount of drugs in people's possession is at present defined by police internal directives. No one thus knows precisely what amount is considered an amount "larger than a small amount of drug," the possession of which is punishable by the law.

If the government approves the ministry's proposal without changes in two weeks, people will be able to have four pills of ecstasy in their possession and up to five grammes of hashish.

Author: ČTK