Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Prison sex


 Why We Let Prison Rape Go On.


ORANGE, Conn. — IT’S been called “America’s most ‘open’ secret”: 
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, around 80,000 women and men a year are sexually abused in American correctional facilities. 
That number is almost certainly subject to under-reporting, through shame or a victim’s fear of retaliation. Overall, only 35 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to the police in 2010, and the rate of reporting in prisons is undoubtedly lower still.
To tackle the problem, Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003. 
The way to eliminate sexual assault, lawmakers determined, was to make Department of Justice funding for correctional facilities conditional on states’ adoption of zero-tolerance policies toward sexual abuse of inmates.
Inmates would be screened to identify possible predators and victims. Prison procedures would ensure investigation of complaints by outside law enforcement. Correctional officers would be instructed about behavior that constitutes sexual abuse. And abusers, whether inmates or guards, would be punished effectively.




Credit Ben Jones




But only two states — New Hampshire and New Jersey — have fully complied
with the act. Forty-seven states and territories have promised that they will do so. Using Justice Department data, the American Civil Liberties Union estimated that from 2003 to 2012, when the law’s standards were finalized, nearly two million inmates were sexually assaulted.

Six Republican governors have neglected or refused to comply, complaining of cost and other factors. Rick Perry, then the governor of Texas, wrote to the Justice Department last year stating that 40 percent of the correctional officers in male facilities in Texas were women, so that “cross-gender viewing” (like witnessing inmates in the shower, which contravenes the legal guidelines) could not be avoided. The mandated measures, he said, would levy “an unacceptable cost” on Texas, which has one of the highest rates of prison sexual assault.

For its noncompliance, Texas is likely to lose just 5 percent of federal funding for its state prisons, or about $800,000. It will still receive $15.2 million in federal grants even as inmates continue to be sexually assaulted. If Congress passes an amendment that Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, proposed last year, the financial penalty for noncompliance will be removed altogether.
Ultimately, prisons protect rape culture to protect themselves. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about half of prison sexual assault complaints in 2011 were filed against staff. (These reports weren’t all claims of forcible rape; it is considered statutory sexual assault for a guard to have sexual contact with an inmate.)
The Justice Department estimates that the total bill to society for prison rape and sexual abuse is as high as $51.9 billion per year, including the costs of victims’ compensation and increased recidivism. If states refuse to implement the law when the fiscal benefit is so obvious, something larger is at stake.

According to Allen Beck, senior statistical adviser at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “institutional culture and facility leadership may be key factors in determining the level of victimization.” 
Rape persists, in other words, because it’s the cultural wallpaper of American correctional facilities. We preserve the abuse because we’re down with perps getting punished in the worst ways.
Compliance does not even cost that much. 
The Justice Department estimates that full nationwide compliance would cost $468.5 million per year, through 2026. Even that much is less than one percent of states’ spending on corrections. Putting aside the cruelty and pain inflicted, prison rape costs far more than the implementation of the law designed to stop it.




Chandra Bozelko is the author of the poetry collection “Up the River: An Anthology.”

A version of this op-ed appears in print on April 18, 2015, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Why We Let Prison Rape Go On. 


 Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/opinion/why-we-let-prison-rape-go-on.html?emc=edit_th_20150418&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=59725256&_r=0

Abuse of Attention Deficit Pills - Adderall, Vyvanse and Concerta

 
Workers Seeking Productivity in a Pill Are Abusing A.D.H.D. Drugs


By ALAN SCHWARZ

Interviews with users and treatment experts suggest a growing number of young American workers are taking stimulants to enhance concentration and stamina at work.

The so-called "smart" pills are versions of the drug Adderall, an amphetamine-based stimulant prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that many college students have long used illicitly while studying. Now, experts say, stimulant abuse is graduating into the work force.

Reliable data to quantify how many American workers misuse stimulants does not exist, several experts said.

But in interviews, dozens of people in a wide spectrum of professions said they and co-workers misused stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse and Concerta to improve work performance. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing their jobs or access to the medication.

Doctors and medical ethicists expressed concern for misusers’ health, as stimulants can cause anxiety, addiction and hallucinations when taken in high doses. 

Doctors also worried about added pressure in the workplace — where the use by fellow workers pressures more to join the trend.

“You’d see addiction in students, but it was pretty rare to see it in an adult,” said Dr. Kimberly Dennis, the medical director of Timberline Knolls, a substance-abuse treatment facility for women outside Chicago.

“We are definitely seeing more than one year ago, more than two years ago, especially in the age range of 25 to 45,” she said.

Elizabeth, a Long Island native in her late 20s, said that to not take Adderall while competitors did would be like playing tennis with a wood racket (the Lance Armstrong defense).

“It is necessary — necessary for survival of the best and the smartest and highest-achieving people,” Elizabeth said. She spoke on the condition that she be identified only by her middle name.

Most users who were interviewed said they got pills by feigning symptoms of A.D.H.D., a disorder marked by severe impulsivity and inattention, to physicians who casually write prescriptions without proper evaluations. Others got them from friends or dealers.

Obtaining or distributing stimulants without a prescription is a federal crime, but the starkest risks of abuse appear to be overdose and addiction.

A 2013 report by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that emergency room visits related to non-medical use of prescription stimulants among adults 18 to 34 tripled from 2005 to 2011, to almost 23,000.


The agency also reported that from 2010 to 2012, people entering substance rehabilitation centers cited stimulants as their primary substance of abuse 15 percent more often than in the previous three-year period.

Just how stimulants like Adderall might improve work performance, and to what extent, remains a matter of scientific debate.

But many young workers insist that using the drugs to increase productivity is on the rise — and that these are drugs used not to get high, but to get hired.

“Given the increase in rates of abuse in college students over the last decade, it is essential that we understand the outcomes as they leave college and assume adult roles,” Dr. Wilson Compton, the deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in an interview.


After founding her own health technology company, Elizabeth soon decided that working hard was not enough; she had to work harder, longer. Sleep went from an indulgence to an obstacle.

So she went to a psychiatrist and complained that she could not concentrate on work. She received a diagnosis of A.D.H.D. and a prescription for Adderall in about 10 minutes, she said.

“Friends of mine in finance, on Wall Street, were traders and had to start at 5 in the morning on top of their games — most of them were taking Adderall,” Elizabeth said. “You can’t be the one who is the sluggish one.”


Researchers in the field are quick to caution that, despite stimulants’ reputation as “smart pills,” few studies suggest that they improve a person’s ability to learn or understand. But they often improve attention and motivation, particularly for tedious tasks, which can increase productivity — or at least the appearance of it.

Some industries have banned the use of stimulants for reasons of safety or fairness. The Federal Aviation Administration forbids pilots to use the medications under any circumstances. Major League Baseball players and other athletes had long abused amphetamines to increase focus and endure exhausting travel schedules, but the drugs are now considered performance-enhancers allowed only with a confirmed A.D.H.D. diagnosis.

Interviews with people who have misused the pills showed them to be a diverse group. A dentist in eastern Pennsylvania prescribed herself Adderall and other stimulants for years...

One house wife said she had abused Adderall as a stay-at-home mother of three for years.

While many studies have assessed the prevalence of misuse among college students, no doctor or researcher contacted for this article could cite a formal assessment of misuse among adults to improve job performance.

But Dr. Anjan K. Chatterjee, the chairman of neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and an expert in the field of cognitive enhancement, said that even without conclusive data, misuse was undoubtedly rising. “Kids who have been using it in high school and college, this is normalized for them,” Dr. Chatterjee said. “It’s not a big deal as they enter the work force.”

The number of stimulant misusers who become addicted is unclear. 

But supply has risen sharply: 
About 2.6 million American adults received A.D.H.D. medication in 2012, a rise of 53 percent in only four years, according to Express Scripts, the nation’s largest prescription-drug manager. Use among adults 26 to 34 almost doubled.

Most experts say a proper evaluation for the disorder typically requires an extensive inquiry into a patient’s history of impulsivity and inattention. Yet misusers routinely described brief chats with doctors to get a prescription.

Two lawyers in Houston said wearing a suit to their medical appointments guaranteed no scrutiny. Those lawyers said they and dozens of young colleagues at their firms had casually traded and used pills to work into the night and billed hundreds of extra hours a year in the race for partnerships.

One said he had originally taken 20 milligrams of Adderall a day, moving up to 100 milligrams — almost double the highest dose recommended by the Food and Drug Administration — by getting prescriptions from multiple doctors, a felony in Texas. His productivity thrilled his unquestioning bosses and clients.

Then came the downside: rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating and acute anxiety due to sleep loss. These overwhelmed any positive effects on his work performance, he said, and transformed his personality to the point that his wife divorced him. After he lost his job, he spent six weeks at a drug treatment center.

In her New York apartment, where floor-to-ceiling white boards were scribbled with nascent projects, Elizabeth considered what her generation appears willing to swallow for success.

“It’s like this at most of the companies I know with driven young people — there’s a certain expectation of performance,” she said, banging away on that PowerPoint presentation as her own pills kicked in.

“And if you don’t meet it,  someone else will.”





Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/us/workers-seeking-productivity-in-a-pill-are-abusing-adhd-drugs.html?ref=todayspaper