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Drug War

2/14/13 12:13pm

Chicago Names New "Public Enemy No. 1"

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The new Al Capone? Photo via

Chicago hasn't referred to anyone as Public Enemy No. 1 since the Prohibition era, but they've now bestowed that title on Mexico's drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Guzman is the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which the Chicago Crime Commission and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says supplies the bulk of narcotics that are sold in the city. "Not since the Chicago Crime Commission's first Public Enemy No. 1 has any criminal deserved this title more than Joaquin Guzman," wrote J.R. Davis, President of the Chicago Crime Commission. The last person to receive the public enemy moniker was Al Capone back in 1930, when he based his alcohol bootlegging and other criminal enterprises out of Chicago and his 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre left 84 people dead. However, some believe that Guzman is far more detrimental to the city than Capone ever was. "If I was to put those two guys in a ring, El Chapo would eat that guy (Capone) alive," said Jack Riley, the DEA's top Chicago official. Riley said that Chicago is one of the most important cities for the Sinaloa cartel, both as an end destination for drugs and a hub to distribute them throughout the country. While Guzman is not directly linked to murders in the city, drug trafficking often leads to turf wars between street gangs that can lead to increased homicide rates. Guzman has been indicted on federal trafficking charges in Chicago and a $5 million reward has been offered for his capture, in which case he would be extradited to the U.S. and stand trial.

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By McCarton Ackerman

internet Addiction

2/14/13 10:57am

UK Makes Social Media Addiction Official

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More and more people get high on "likes".
Photo via

If you are dying for "likes," you may be suffering from an addiction to social media, which is now recognized as an official condition in the UK. Researchers at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London began intensely studying social media addiction following the release of a 2012 study which claimed that sites like Facebook and Twitter can be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. While digging a little deeper, the researchers discovered that “likes” and “retweets” can provide users with a burst of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which in turn can become addictive. Richard Graham, consulting psychiatrist at the clinic in London, says that he has treated nearly 100 social media addicted patients a year. “They start to miss or avoid doing the necessary things in life, even at a fundamental level of self-care,” says Graham. “They delay eating or avoid eating or drinking, delay sleep, miss meetings or delay getting into work or college.” The clinic treats patients of all ages—ranging from children to 35-year-old adults, including at least one professional soccer player.

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By Valerie Tejeda

headlines

2/14/13 5:00am

Morning Roundup: February 14, 2013

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Wake up in the mornin' smellin' like...
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By Bryan Le

jane says

2/13/13 5:21pm

Are We Overmedicating Our Kids?

Reader's Question: There is a lot of scary stuff in the news lately surrounding ADHD medications. Should I consider taking my kid off meds even though his schoolwork might suffer?

 

[Jane is now exclusively answering your questions about addiction, recovery and the like. Send your questions to janevelezmitchell@thefix.com]

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By Jane Velez-Mitchell

legalization of Marijuana

2/13/13 4:20pm

Bill Maher Is "Gay for Marijuana"

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Maher just wants his love recognized by
the law. Photo via

On last night's Conan, comedian and talk show host Bill Maher called out President Obama for his lack of support for pot (video below). While Maher and host Conan O'Brien discussed the State of the Union address (which had yet to air when the show was being taped), they referred back to the President's second inaugural address, which has been widely hailed as a liberal speech. But although Obama has expressed his support for the LGBT community by endorsing gay marriage, Maher called him a "centrist" and berated him for neglecting to endorse love between man and marijuana. “Well, Mr. President, I’m gay for marijuana," said Maher. "I want to be treated equally under the law. We met in high school and we’ve been together ever since.” O'Brien responded: "You guys have been going at it hot and heavy,” to which Maher replied: “I know, sometimes we forget each other’s sentences.” Obama did not mention marijuana or drug policy during last night's address.

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By Ben Feuerherd

myth busters

2/13/13 3:17pm

The Beer Belly Is a Myth, Says the Beer Industry

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A rare photo of the mythical beer belly.
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Beer drinkers who've watched their six packs blossom into kegs only have themselves to blame, because beer bellies are a "myth," according to new research—backed by the alcohol industry. “Unfortunately beer has this image as a high-calorie, high-fat drink,” says nutritionist Dr. Kathryn O'Sullivan. “It is very unfair.” In Beer & calories; a scientific review, O'Sullivan reviews beer industry-sponsored research comparing beer with other beverages. Her report claims there is no scientific evidence that beer causes weight gain, even touting the beverage as a "sensible" diet drink. Beer contains vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and minerals that fight osteoporosis; it also contains fewer calories per 100ml than wine, spirits and orange juice, says the report. So health-conscious daily drinkers take note: Swapping two large glasses of wine with two daily beers can save you 58,240 calories per year. This isn't the first time alcohol companies have used health claims to promote their products: Last year, a Heineken exec called beer “everything healthy.” But anyone seeking to weigh the health pros and cons of drinking beer or other beverages would be well advised to get a second opinion. Alcohol is proven to hinder the body's absorption of vitamins and minerals, which makes it more difficult to burn fat. And the intoxicating effects of booze are known to cause cravings for high-calorie, high-sodium snacks—as well as for more booze.

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By Bryan Le

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