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recovering celebs

7/25/14 1:00pm

Kesha Displays New Outlook After Rehab For Eating Disorder



After nearly dying from anorexia and bulimia, Kesha says she is fully recovered and has a new lease on life after entering rehab earlier this year.

Speaking last week on Good Morning America, the singer said that she has “let color into my life again.” She also briefly touched on her two-month stint at a treatment facility outside of Chicago, which she said was largely due to criticism of her physique and pressure from her team to lose weight.

Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert, revealed to People magazine that by the time her daughter entered rehab “her blood pressure and sodium were so low they’d never seen that, except with someone who’d had a heart attack or stroke. They said it was a miracle she hadn’t dropped dead onstage.” The singer said she has learned to not listen to her critics by “blocking out negativity and not letting hateful messages get to me. I’ve received some pretty hateful things.”

Although she has remained mum on the specific details of her condition, Kesha personally confirmed rehab rumors to People magazine last January. “I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself but I’ve found it hard to practice," she said. "I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder…to learn to love myself again, exactly as I am.”

Once she finished her stint of treatment, Kesha decided she still needed more help with her eating disorder and stayed for another 30 days. After completing rehab last March, she dropped the dollar sign from her name and changed her Twitter handle from @keshasuxx to @KeshaRose.

The singer-songwriter has battled weight issues throughout her life. She told Seventeen magazine last January about the struggles she endured early in her career. "I remember every person who told me I couldn't do something or that I was ugly or too fat," she said. "People in the music business were like, 'You're never going to make it.' I see them now and I'm like, 'Ha!'”

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By McCarton Ackerman

drug use climbing

7/25/14 10:30am

Number of Drug Users In United Kingdom Jumps To 2.7 Million



The number of adults using illicit drugs throughout the United Kingdom has jumped nearly 10% in the last year, bringing the total number of drug users in the region to an eye-opening 2.7 million.

Using interviews with 36,000 people for their data, the crime survey figures show that an additional 230,000 residents have begun using illicit substances over the last 12 months. Nearly 80% of the increase, or 180,000 users overall, came from teenagers and young adults aged 16 to 24. This portion of the population makes up 1.1 million of the total number of drug users in the UK.

One million of these adults have used class A drugs over the last 12 months, which include cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. Mephedrone use also increased slightly during this time. Approximately two million people aged 16 to 59 have consumed cannabis over the past year, but those figures remained relatively stable. And while the use of legal highs was not recorded for this particular survey, it has been documented in other reports that the use of these substances have also sharply increased.

However, these new findings are surprising given that drug use had been declining overall in the last decade throughout the UK, down from a peak of 3.48 million in 2002 and 2003. Drug-related deaths also dropped over the last few years.

“The National Crime Agency and Border Force are involved in targeted operations across the world and at our borders to disrupt organized crime and stop drugs reaching the UK,” said Norman Baker, the crime prevention minister. “We will continue to monitor our response to established drugs and I have commissioned a review to see if we can better tackle the challenge of new psychoactive substances, which will report shortly."

This crime survey also showed that specific demographics were prone to drug use. One-third of gay or bisexual men admitted to using illicit substances in the past year, compared to 23% of gay or bisexual women and 11% of heterosexual men. Adults from Asian backgrounds recorded the lowest levels of drug use.

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By McCarton Ackerman

new research

7/25/14 8:30am

Brain Atrophy in Schizophrenics Linked to Antipsychotic Drugs



Researchers in Europe have confirmed a link between antipsychotic medication and a small but measurable decrease in brain volume in patients with schizophrenia.

While all individuals experience a degree of loss in brain volume—commonly known as atrophy—due to age, previous studies have noted that those suffering from schizophrenia lose brain volume at a faster rate than healthy individuals. No definitive reason has been previously given for this accelerated loss, but researchers from the University of Oulu, Finland and the University of Cambridge have confirmed speculations that anti-psychotic medication used by schizophrenic patients is associated with declines in brain volume.

Their findings, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, identified the rate of decrease by comparing the brain scans of 33 patients with schizophrenia with 71 healthy individuals over a nine-year period. The former were discovered to have lost brain volume at a rate of 0.7% each year, while the latter lost just 0.5% per year. The study also confirmed that the rate of loss was greater when higher doses of antipsychotic medication were used.

Why the medication was causing the greater rate of atrophy remains unclear, as does whether older types of medication might causes greater volume decreases than newer brands, though similar decline rates were found with both classes of antipsychotic medication. Researchers also stressed that the loss of brain volume had no effect on the participants during the entire nine-year period covered in the study.

“Patients should not stop their medication on the basis of this research,” said Dr. Graham Murray, from the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Psychiatry at University of Cambridge. Dr. Graham added that more research will be needed to determine whether the brain volume loss will have any long-term effects on schizophrenic patients.

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By Paul Gaita


7/25/14 7:00am

Morning Roundup: July 25, 2014


The petitions are in. Photo via

By Shawn Dwyer

all in the family

7/24/14 7:30pm

Grandma-Grandson Duo Busted For Running Drug Ring


Drug kingpin. Photo via

A Connecticut grandmother and grandson have been spending plenty of quality time together over the last few months, but it was unfortunately in the form of running a drug ring out of their home.

Elaine Coffey, 65, and her grandson Nicholas Coffey, 24, were charged with possession of heroin with the intent to sell, narcotics possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police received calls from concerned neighbors in the town of Plainfield over “an abundance of short-term traffic” near their home over the last month, while other callers reported that Nicholas was selling drugs inside the house.

Undercover investigators eventually picked up drugs from him and a second woman, 34-year-old Jody Read, inside of his car before making the arrest. She was also charged with identical offenses. Bond was set at $20,000 for all three offenders.

However, Elaine is hardly the oldest drug-dealing grandma in recent years. Eighty-year-old Roza Shusterman was arrested in 2002 for selling prescription drugs out of her home in Brooklyn, NY. She pleaded guilty in January 2013 to felony drug sales of prescription pills and a misdemeanor drug possession charge before dying from heart failure one month later.

In 2012, Darlene Mayes, 73, earned the sobriquet “Ganja Grandma” after it was found that she was responsible for a drug ring that distributed 40% of the marijuana around the city of Tulsa, Okla. Police raided her home in April 2012 and found four pounds of pot, $276,000 in cash, and two weapons. She also admitted to having several dealers work for her, including her son, Jerry, who was arrested on drug charges.

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By McCarton Ackerman

up in smoke

7/24/14 5:30pm

Tobacco Company Ordered to Pay $23.6 Billion in Damages to Smoker’s Widow



Last Friday, a Florida jury awarded $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer, which are to be paid by tobacco company R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

The punitive damages are the largest of any individual case stemming from the original class action lawsuit, according to Cynthia Robinson’s attorneys. The damages were awarded in addition to $16.8 million in compensatory damages to Robinson after a four-week trial.

“The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes,” said Christopher Chestnut, one of Robinson’s attorneys.

Robinson had individually sued the tobacco company in 2008 on behalf of her late husband, Michael Johnson Sr. The lawsuit’s objective was to stop tobacco companies from targeting youth with their advertising, according to Willie Gary, another one of Robinson’s attorneys.

“If we don’t get a dime, that’s OK, if we can make a difference and save some lives,” Gary said.

But Reynolds won’t go down without a fight. The company’s vice president and assistant general counsel Jeffery Raborn called the damages awarded to Robinson “grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law” and said Reynolds is planning to file post-trial motions with the trial court.

“This verdict goes far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented,” Raborn said.

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By Victoria Kim


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