Treating depression among teens can curb drug abuse according to a new study. Published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, researchers from Duke University found that of 192 teens who successfully received depression treatment, only 10% later abused drugs, compared to 25% whose treatment was unsuccessful. “It turned out that whatever they responded to—cognitive-behavioral therapy, Prozac, both treatments, or a placebo—if they did respond within 12 weeks they were less likely to develop a drug-use disorder,” says Dr. John Curry, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. Researchers believe that mood regulation from the medications, life skills taken from the therapy, and receiving support from others all played a big part in later decisions to stay drug-free. The teens were required to have five symptoms of major depression to be considered for the study, such as: depressed mood; worthlessness; loss of interest; poor concentration; disruptions in appetite, sleep or energy; and suicidal thoughts. Surprisingly though, alcohol use among the participants was unchanged by depression treatment. “It does point out that alcohol use disorders are very prevalent during that particular age period," says Curry, "and there’s a need for a lot of prevention and education for college students to avoid getting into heavy drinking and then the beginnings of an alcohol disorder. I think that is definitely a take-home message.”
- Canada Plans to Ban Bath Salts After US Incident [CTV]
- US Drug Recalls Common, Not Well Publicized, Study Finds [FOX]
- Drug Addicts Need a Clean Break [The Guardian]
- Military Veterans say Pot Eases PTSD [USA Today]
- Remembering a Jazzman Who Overcame Heroin and Prison [New York Times]
- Hip-Hop Mogul James Rosemond Convicted as a Cocaine Kingpin [The Wrap]
- Packer's Stolen Super Bowl Ring Found in Drug Bust [NFL]
Sir Paul McCartney says he turned to alcohol in the '70s to cope with the demise of The Beatles—and as a result, he went through a creative dry spell. The singer/songwriter began to abuse booze during the band's last years. "The Beatles, towards the end, was very constricting," he says. "You were in a corporate world suddenly. It's not what you get into music for…and it got very heavy… So I think I was just trying to escape in my own mind." Even though The Beatles are thought to have touted drugs in many of their song lyrics, such as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD), McCartney claims he and John Lennon were "very straight when we wrote, and it was normally in the middle of the day when you had your wits about you." But after the band broke up, he began drinking in the studio. "I'd be getting like 'Heeyyyy, nice and fuzzy' and it's not a good thing to write," he says. Evidently he was able to regain his creativity; he went on to sell over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and to be named "The Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All Time" by the Guinness Book of World Records. McCartney, who turns 70 in a few weeks, says he's long since given up his booze habit—although he continued to get high with a little help from his friend, marijuana, well in to the 21st century. "I smoked my fair share," he recently told Rolling Stone. But he vowed to give up pot for the sake of his 8-year-old daughter, Beatrice. McCartney was in top form last night at Buckingham Palace, performing for British royalty alongside the likes of Elton John and Tom Jones in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
It seems like no one is safe in Mexico—even in rehab. Eleven people were killed and eight others injured after a group of heavily-armed gunmen attacked a drug rehab center in the northern city of Torreon. After opening fire in the facility, the gunmen then fled the scene in two pick-up trucks. The motives for the attack remain unclear, but Mexican authorities suspect that it was carried out by drug cartel hit-men targeting rivals who were selling drugs at the facility under the pretext of seeking treatment for drug addiction. Most of the rehab attacks are launched by rival drug gangs to kill opponents hiding in rehab centers or undergoing treatment for addiction. Cartels also often prey on recovering addicts at such facilities, using their addictions to force them into their ranks—and making them potential targets for rival gangs. Rehab murders are sadly far from uncommon in Mexico. At least 13 people were killed in a similar drug rehab attack in Torreon last June, while 18 people were murdered at a drug clinic in Ciudad Juarez back in 2009. Altogether, more than 60 people have been killed in such shootings in recent years.
As if Demi Moore needs one more thing to contend with in the wake of her separation from Ashton Kutcher and recent stint in rehab, her daughter, Scout Willis, was arrested on booze charges in NYC on Monday. The 20-year-old youngest daughter of Demi and Bruce Willis was reportedly nabbed by transit cops for holding an open 8-oz beer container—and when questioned, she pulled out a fake ID and then a real one, saying "My name is Scout Willis. The first ID isn't mine. My friend gave it to me." Willis, who attends Brown University, was charged with criminal impersonation and breaking the open container law, both misdemeanors. She was released without bail on Tuesday and will appear in court on July 31st, facing the relatively minor charges of 5 days in jail or a 25$ fine if found guilty. A few months ago, the celebrity scion tweeted that she hated her parents and had tried MDMA—she later said the tweets were part of a "hoax."
Californians are heading to the polls today to cast their votes on the highly controversial Proposition 29—a measure that would add a $1 tax to each pack of cigarettes sold in the state. The millions of dollars a year generated would be put towards research on cancer and other diseases related to smoking, as well as smoking cessation and prevention programs in California. Millions of dollars have been poured into both supporting and opposing the measure—with the tobacco industry forking over a hefty $47 million on advertisements opposing the proposition, and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg paying out of his own pocket to support the bill. Those against say it will do nothing to solve the state’s budget crisis and will be bad for business. Those in favor believe the bill could kill two birds with one stone—both reducing smoking and supporting medical research.
Judging by the mood near the polls at the California state capitol in Sacramento, it seems voters are fairly evenly split; of those who speak with The Fix, half are in favor. “I voted yes on 29,” one Sacramento man tells us. “Anything to get people to smoke less, I’m on board with.” But a 27-year-old woman who works near the state’s capitol thinks the bill is a big scam: “As a smoker I don’t believe it’s the government's job to try and manipulate us to quit smoking,” she argues. “For now, I will smoke regardless of what happens with 29, and the extra cost will be annoying.” Whichever way the vote falls, the controversy won't end with the result.