I know what you’re thinking. “Just what we need…another drug.” But really, “drugs” in the general sense, are everywhere. Food is a drug. Sex is a drug. Learning or working can be drugs. We are surrounded by ways to cope with our day to day, or with our deepest, darkest nightmares. If you don’t know of healthy ways to deal with those elements of life – which many people don’t have the tools to do – drugs become a very viable resource. (PS reach out to us if you are having challenges – we can help!)
So this new ritualistic amazonian substance, Ayahuasca (pictured below) is a Peruvian psychedelic drug. Originally intended to serve as a spiritual experience taken only by the Shaman, Americans have changed its usability:
“Traditionally, the shaman drinks [ayahuasca], he accesses other realms of reality to find out where the dissonance is, that if the shaman corrects, will eliminate the [symptoms] — could be physical, could be emotional, could be bad luck,” Gorman explains. “[Then] we Americans come, and we said we insist on drinking the damn stuff — we want our lives changed and we want that experience, so that certainly set things right on its head.”
Here are some “need to knows” about Ayahuasca:
- It helps alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts and paralyzing anxiety.
- Veterans use it to deal with their PTSD symptoms.
- Lindsay Lohan has used it as a healing tool.
- People have died from using it.
- It is not approved to be used in the U.S.
- Groups are promoting safe use awareness and education tools in the amazon.
Our brand new Facebook group is intended to provide support, resources, education, news and beyond for siblings who have lost a sibling to a drug overdose. This is a place where you can bring up any feelings, thoughts or questions you may have. Feel free to suggest the group to anyone who might need us. The target age of the group is the 25-40 population but we would never turn away someone younger who wanted to be a part of the group.
One of the most common question we get asked is, “why can’t the DEA just shut down the heroin trade?” Well, it’s not as simple as you might think. In an industry that profits $400 billion per year on a global scale, international crime organizations are technologically advanced, incredibly savvy and are primarily interested in two things: money and power.
Find out more here: http://www.thefix.com/content/dissecting-confounding-nexus-drugs-and-terror
Let’s go back, way back to the 1980’s when when the Reagan Administration began implementing divided sentencing for cocaine possession and crack cocaine possession. Many people are unaware of the major differences between the two drugs, and the truth of the matter is…there’s not very much difference aside for two chemicals: baking soda and water (which creates the rock). Crack cocaine is the smokable version of cocaine.
I bet you are asking yourself, “I always thought crack cocaine was worse.” One of the reasons for that mindset probably has to do with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 which basically perpetuated the myth. This law solidified that penalty for crack cocaine over cocaine charges included a minimum of a 5 year prison sentence and a 100:1 weight ratio. At the time cocaine was much more expensive which meant primarily used by white individuals while crack cocaine was primarily used by African Americans. This law created what we know today as a major racial disparity in sentencing. According to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine has contributed to the imprisonment of African Americans at six times the rate of whites and to the United States’ position as the world’s leader in incarcerations.”
As you can imagine, this new law equalizes the disparity which is a huge win for continued civil rights of all Americans. “The California Fair Sentencing Act takes a brick out of the wall of the failed 1980’s drug war era laws that have devastated communities of color, especially Black and Latino men,” said Lynne Lyman, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, “we are actively dismantling institutional racism. I hope California’s action gives momentum to the remaining 11 states that still retain this unjust and irrational racial disparity in their penal codes,” Lyman concluded. Read the full story here: http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2014/09/governor-jerry-brown-signs-california-fair-sentencing-act-eliminate-disparities-crack-a
Raum Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor has publicly recommended that the city amend their drug policies. Many say this is a political maneuver but many from across the systems affected see its value. Where do you stand? Read the Chicago Tribune article featuring comments about stigma by our Executive Director: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-heroin-penalties-suburbs-reaction-met-20140926-story.html#page=1.