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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

dudley do wrong

3/24/14 1:00pm

Dudley Do Wrong Faces Cocaine Trafficking Charges


Albert Michelin in 2004. Photo via

Albert Michelin, a 23-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, remains behind bars after being charged with one count of trafficking cocaine and two counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. After making a brief appearance in Moncton provincial court at the beginning of March, his lawyer temporarily waived his right once again to a bail hearing. It seems that Dudley Do Wrong does not believe that he can stay out of trouble if released at this point into the general public.

This is the fifth time Michelin's bail hearing has resulted in such a pass; he has been in custody since November 29, 2013. The former Canadian Mountie was arrested in Moncton following an 11-month investigation by the RCMP's federal operations unit in Nova Scotia. "These are very serious charges, and all the more serious because they involve an RCMP member," according to a statement issued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police press team in January.

Michelin was suspended with pay at the time of his arrest due to unrelated code of conduct investigations, but has since resigned according to RCMP officials. During his time with the RCMP, Michelin had been stationed as a constable in Tobique First Nation after previously serving in Labrador for 18 years. Although he has not entered any pleas, Michelin has elected to be tried by judge alone.

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By John Lavitt

your pee please

3/24/14 10:30am

Michigan Senate Approves Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients



Michigan could become the latest state to approve the drug testing of welfare recipients. The state Senate approved the second of two bills which would allocate $500,000 for the Department of Human Services (DHS) to create pilot testing programs in at least three counties.

The proposed plan calls for DHS to use a substance abuse screening tool on select welfare recipients. Those suspected of using illegal substances would then be required to take a drug test. A positive test would result in the recipient being referred to a regional substance abuse agency for intervention, with a second positive test or refusal to participate resulting in the recipient having their benefits taken away for at least six months.

"The vote you are about to take is not a vote against the poor of this state. This vote is for the children," said Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge). "Children are starving. They're hungry in this state. We have to feed them at school because their parents are abusing drugs at home."

All eleven Democrats at the hearing opposed the testing out of fear that it stigmatized welfare recipients, whose rate of drug use is no different than that of the general population. "I'm continually frustrated by the priorities of this Legislature, in particular the ongoing attacks on low-income families," said State Sen. Vincent Gregory (D-Southfield). "Michigan gives businesses nearly 40 billion in tax handouts, yet those companies are not required to be drug tested, let alone to create the jobs they promised."

Democratic senators did successfully add two amendments to the bill that would allow guardians to receive benefits for children if their parents were kicked off welfare, as well as protecting certified medical marijuana patients from punishment. Nine states currently test welfare recipients for drugs, but current data suggests that the programs actually cost more money than they save since only a small percentage of welfare users end up testing positive.

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By McCarton Ackerman

love hormone

3/24/14 8:30am

'Love Hormone' Linked To Alcohol And Drug Addiction


The language of love. Photo via

Are love and addiction one and the same? New research indicates that poor development of oxytocin, otherwise known as the love hormone, could be associated with a lack of resistance to addictive behaviors, and consequently drug and alcohol addiction. Oxytocin is called the love hormone because of the role it plays in enhancing social interactions, maternal behaviors, and partnership.

Dr Femke Buisman-Pijlman of the University of Adelaide said that oxytocin systems fully finish developing at the age of three, which means that numerous factors could affect this process. A lack of oxytocin will ultimately increase the pleasure of drugs and overall feelings of stress.

“We know that newborn babies already have levels of oxytocin in their bodies, and this helps to create the all-important bond between a mother and her child,” Buisman-Pijlman said. “But our oxytocin systems aren’t fully developed when we’re born — they don’t finish developing until the age of three, which means our systems are potentially subject to a range of influences both external and internal.”

Buisman-Pijlman said her findings indicate that adversity in childhood ultimately contributes to poor oxytocin development. This adversity can range from disturbed parental bonding or abuse, severe illnesses or even a difficult birth. She believes that, “Understanding what occurs with the oxytocin system during the first few years of life could help us to unravel this aspect of addictive behavior and use that knowledge for treatment and prevention.”

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By McCarton Ackerman


3/24/14 7:00am

Morning Roundup: March 24, 2014


Back to the old days. Photo via

By Shawn Dwyer

walter white wannabe

3/21/14 7:30pm

‘Breaking Bad’ Teacher Punished For Cocaine Lab


There can be only one. Photo via

Macphallen Kuwale from Cardiff, Wales may have been trying too hard to mimic Walter White, the mild-mannered teacher turned criminal mastermind from the hit AMC series Breaking Bad.

Kuwale was recently banned from teaching in classrooms for the rest of his life after a General Teaching Council determined he that was a danger to pupils. "Mr. Kuwale presents a significant and ongoing risk to the standards of the professions,” said Steve Powell, chairman of the council. “His involvement in the illegal drugs trade is evidence of deep-seated attitudinal problems. We cannot be satisfied that there is no risk of repetition. The proportionate sanction is indefinite prohibition order."

The Malawi-born teacher and father of two was busted in 2012 when police raided his home, finding the $1.5 million laboratory and approximately $1,300 worth of cocaine. Included in the high-end lab were cutting agents as well as a pressing machine that makes cocaine appear to be a higher grade.

At the time, Kuwale said that he never dealt drugs and that he was holding onto the substance for a friend. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by Cardiff Crown Court before the council decided to permanently strike him from the teachers' register.

"The well-being of pupils must be protected and the reputation of the profession maintained," Powell said.

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By Shawn Dwyer

jokes on booze

3/21/14 5:30pm

Does Being Drunk Make You Funnier?


Not as funny as you think you are.

A few years ago Joel Warner and Peter McGraw, co authors of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, set out to discover whether alcohol made people funnier. The duo invited members of the creative team behind E*Trade's talking baby ads out for a few scientific drinks.

The experiment was simple: each subject would come up with a joke, then drink, then come up with another. The subjects would rate their own jokes on a scale from "slightly amusing" to "hilarious," and the same jokes would also be judged by a sober online panel. The humor scores of the jokes would then be compared to how drunk the subjects were at the time, ranging from "sober" to "shit-faced."

McGraw was well-aware of how unscientific his "study" was and readily admitted it "will never make its way into a peer-reviewed journal."

The theory being tested is called the benign violation theory, which states that humor happens when something "wrong, unsettling, or threatening" overlaps with a safe, non-threatening context, like when a person falls down a flight of stairs but remains unhurt.

A similar study was undertaken in 1985, where increasingly inebriated groups of young men rated different types of humor, which found that the drunker the subjects were, the more they preferred blunt, violating humor over subtle humor. Warner and McGraw's experiment yielded similar results; too many drinks and the subjects lost their perspective on what was too violating and jokes become unfunny as a result.

“Drinking reduces inhibition,” McGraw said. “But it opens the door to failure, with failure likely to be on the side of going too far.”

One of the final, drunkest jokes created was a Venn diagram with "cancer" in one circle and "unpoppable pimple" in the other, which the subject found hilarious while the sober online panel did not.

“As people became more intoxicated, they thought they were funnier, but a sober audience didn’t see it that way,” Warner said.

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By Bryan Le


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