The Fix is preparing to review a new batch of five rehabs, chiefly in Southern California and Florida—and we need your help to do so. If you've spent time in treatment at the following facilities, The Fix wants to hear about your experience, via our handy Rehab Review survey:
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People may think AA meetings aren't necessary in prison because there's no alcohol. But on that account they're wrong: prisoners are adept at making their own hooch and some guards will smuggle in real liquor, for the right price. But even beyond helping people to stay sober, AA meetings can provide an important source of emotional support for recovering alcoholics in prison. "The meetings take place in the prison's psychology department at schedule times," one prisoner tells The Fix. "No staff members are present but they are on duty in the building." AA meetings often begin with the group reciting the Serenity Prayer in unison. Then, one person may read a section from the Big Book and go over the 12 Steps, followed by a reading from a book of quotations. "From there the meeting is open, we can discuss whatever we want to bring up and everyone in the circle has an opportunity to respond, give advice or relate to what is being talked about or decline if they want," says the prisoner. "Everyone announces themselves as 'I'm Mr. So-and-So, and I'm an alcoholic.'" Unlike what you may suspect, no one is forced to go to AA—meetings are attended and run by volunteers. In some cases, AA members from outside are permitted to visit prisons to facilitate meetings and share their stories.
All over the world, AA meetings may vary in format, size and demographic—but they all gather around the same basic principle, which is to "stay sober and help others alcoholics to achieve sobriety," according to the official "AA Preamble." In prison, it's no different. "It is mostly a positive group of guys trying to change their lives and spread a positive message," the prisoner says. "You see dudes getting real emotional and even crying when discussing their problems or past lives. These are big bad dudes and known killers just breaking down like babies. The concept of an alcoholic helping another alcoholic is noble—especially in here with all the racist, criminal and convict attitudes. But we try to help each other as much as we can. We understand where each other are coming from."
Move over Mary J, hip hop has a new hot drug and its name is "Molly". The drug is not new—it's a pure form of MDMA, widely known as the active ingredient in ecstasy, which earned its reputation as a popular drug at raves and electronic music venues. But it made a sudden rise in hip hop in 2012 and according to rapper French Montana, “everybody on Molly now." Rap artists like Kanye West, Rick Ross, and Juicy J have paid lyrical testament to Molly, but its surge on the scene is most often attributed to newcomer rapper Trinidad James, who included the line "pop a Molly, I'm sweatin'" in his hit single, "All Gold Everything." "All the people are like, 'I don't know what it is, but every time I hear the song, I just wanna do it,' " says James. "That's a terrible excuse, but go 'head, get high, go 'head. Blame Trinidad, blame it on me." While he admits to using the drug recreationally, James claims it's not a habit. “I might go months without doin' anything and then I'll be like, you know, when I'm in L.A., I wanna party with these people," he says. "I feel like I can't get turnt up fast enough, I'm just gonna do this.”
Marijuana, crack/cocaine and booze have dominated in rap lyrics for decades, but many artists are now welcoming Molly to the scene. “Back then, some people were just keeping it on the low and doin' it how they want to do it," says Juicy J. "This year everybody's like, 'Fuck that shit, yeah I'm on Molly.'" And the drug may be making its way into the mainstream music scene as well: Madonna made a controversial Molly reference at a concert back in March this year. But not everyone in the musical community is singing the drug's praises. Snoop Dogg (er, Lion) is known for his love of marijuana, but he's cautious about Molly, and wants young people to be careful. "As an old player, I respect the youngsters," he says. "So whatever they do, I just want them to be careful at what they do so they won't be mixin' and matchin' nothin' that's harmful that they may not be able to come back from."
Many Latin American countries are considering the possibility of legalization, but newly elected Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto says that the country will continue fighting its war on drugs. In a recent interview, Nieto said that despite the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Washington and Colorado, he remains personally opposed to legalization and it will not have any impact on the drug war policy in the country. “The short answer is no,” he says. "My government will continue mounting a real fight against the trafficking of marijuana and all other drugs. (We) in no way will abandon the fight." However, Peña Nieto plans to deviate from the methods of his predecessor Felipe Calderon, whose legacy includes an estimated 63,000 drug war-related deaths during his six-year term. Instead, the new president has promised to focus on reducing violence in Mexico rather than capturing top drug lords. Many consider this a sign that drug gangs will be left alone as long as they don't attack civilians. He also hopes to establish drug prevention programs and to create a united front against organized crime through better coordination among local, state and federal police forces, while overhauling Mexico’s currently corruption-riddled justice system. He has created a Pact for Mexico, which lists five themes and 95 promises that he plans to complete during his six-year term; however, some experts say it is lacking in details and doesn't actually stray far from the goals laid out previously by Calderon.
Following a recent hospitalization, the ex-wife of Charlie Sheen has checked back into treatment for the 19th time after reportedly admitting an addiction to Adderall. Socialite and part-time actress Brooke Mueller was rushed to the hospital on Friday, and her attorney Allie Gordon Weinstein denied rumors of an overdose, claiming that she was diagnosed at the hospital with exhaustion and dehydration. However, Mueller is allegedly telling friends that after receiving a prescription for psycho-stimulant drug Adderall, she began abusing it and ultimately took a dangerous amount, leading to her hospitalization. "Brooke was uncomfortable with the way Adderall was making her behave," said Brooke's second attorney, Yale Galanter. "[She] continues her lifelong battle with drug addiction by taking these steps herself to prevent a further drug relapse." Galanter insists that her client did not have any illegal drugs in her system at the time of the hospital visit, but Mueller still may face jail time since she did test positive for alcohol. This is a direct violation of the terms of her one-year probation stemming from a felony drug possession charge last May; however, it's unlikely prosecutors will attempt to pursue criminal charges since the alcohol level in her blood was reportedly low.
Young adults who binge eat are more prone to using illicit drugs, a new study suggests. Researchers tracked the eating patterns of around 17,000 boys and girls, aged between nine and 16 when the study began, for a decade. They found that those who overate often were also more likely to experiment with marijuana and other illegal substances. "Previous research has demonstrated a link between overeating and binge eating and other health concerns, so most of the results were as we expected," says Kendrin Sonneville, a registered dietician at Children's Hospital Boston. She adds that although "it may seem that overeating and binge eating would only be a concern for individuals who are obese, this study shows that these behaviors are problematic for all kids. No matter what they weighed, teens who reported binge eating were more likely to start using drugs and to become depressed than those who did not binge eat." Emotional factors in common may be behind this link: "Most people might not make that connection between binge eating and drug use, but people often use food to address emotional states the same way they might use drugs," says registered dietician Lona Sandon. "They may be engaging in binge eating for a way to somehow improve their mood or...cover up negative emotions. That may be the same reason they also then turn to marijuana or some other drug." Perhaps surprisingly in the light of the other findings, binge eating wasn't found to be connected to binge drinking. “Based on the findings of this study alone, we can't explain why adolescents who overeat or binge aren't at higher risk for binge drinking," says Sonneville.