While Joan Rivers was only joking when she recently told The Daily Telegraph that she’s had 739 surgical procedures, that doesn’t mean that plastic surgery addiction, which can be a byproduct of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), isn't real. New York board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sydney Coleman has been quoted saying that “BDD affects both men and women and “manifests as a preoccupation with an imagined physical defect or an exaggerated concern about a minimal defect…[which] can lead the patient to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist in an attempt to try to change the perceived defect.” And one study suggests that as many as one third of those who have nose jobs have symptoms of BDD.
Heidi Montag, who two years ago had 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day, told Good Morning America that she couldn’t be addicted to plastic surgery because, "If you're addicted to something, you have to do it all the time, not once every couple years, if even.” Experts agree that while the behavior isn’t an addiction in the classic sense, it bears remarkable similarities to other addictions. "The pleasure you get from having people think you're beautiful isn't quite the same as an intoxication from a substance, but it's similar enough that I'm willing to consider this a potentially addictive behavior," says Tom Hovarth, a psychologist who operates an addiction treatment center in La Jolla.
"Two of the defining features of an addiction are tolerance and withdraw," says Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, a marriage and family therapist who specializes in addiction and is a consultant to the Caron Treatment Centers. "As it applies to behavioral addictions, tolerance means the person needs to engage in more and more of the behavior to get the same baseline level of satisfaction. Withdraw means that they experience emotional angst when they even consider the thought of not being able to access their surgeons or dermatologists. The line starts to appear on their forehead and they become filled with anxiety and can't get to the dermatologist fast enough to 'fix' the situation." Ultimately, Hokemeyer says, people in this situation are fighting a losing battle. "There's not enough Botox in the world," he says, "to fix the cracks in people's hearts and souls."
Smokers haveoorer dental health and more oral health problems than ex-smokers, or people who have never smoked—and yet they delay going to the dentist, according to a report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report is based on a 2008 survey of more than 16,000 adults aged 18-64. It shows that over a third of smokers—more than twice the percentage of people who never smoked—had three or more dental problems. Such problems include anything from stained teeth to toothache, jaw pain, or infected gums. Almost 20% of smokers had avoided going to the dentist for over five years—again, twice the percentage of former smokers and never-smokers—and the main reason, apparently, was cost: more than half the smokers said they couldn’t afford it and had no dental insurance. Other CDC surveys report that smoking rates are higher among low-income people. A 2010 report found 31% of people below the federal poverty level and 28.5% among those with less than a high-school education smoked—compared with just 5.6% among those with graduate degrees. This week’s report emphasized, “The evidence for an association between tobacco use and oral diseases has been clearly shown in every Surgeon General’s report on tobacco since 1964.” Smoking is a risk factor for oral cancers, gum diseases and cavities.
An Idaho nurse who used her job to facilitate her own prescription drug abuse for years—and spent a brief spell in jail—has now got her nursing license back. And she's speaking publicly about her second chance. Mother-of-two Dedra Butler, from Idaho Falls, graduated from teenage alcohol and marijuana use to abusing painkillers and Valium in her 20s. As a nurse, she found it easy to obtain her drugs: "I decided to use [my doctor's] DEA number and start calling in my own pills.” At that time, Butler felt she had her drug use under control: "I'm a nurse. I knew what was wrong with me... I was in denial,” she says. Years later, realizing she was a full-blown addict, she considered suicide. But a "higher power spiritual event" prompted her to go to the hospital instead, she recalls—and to turn herself in. Because of her cooperation, she spent only seven days in jail and had her nursing license revoked. And her children weren't taken from her, as she feared. Today, coming up to three years clean and due to get married in the summer, Butler has had her nursing license reinstated—just as long as she sticks to the five-year recovery plan stipulated by her employers. “I am a completely different person,” she says. “A person has to ultimately say to themselves in their heart, ‘I'm done. I've had enough, and I'll do what it takes to get better.’”
Police in Mexico city have arrested Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, 33, an infamous, high-ranking enforcer in Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman's powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. Behind the mirrored walls of Torres Marrufo's basement gym police discovered a secret room; inside was a cache of guns from the discredited US "Fast and Furious" program and a number of other powerful high-grade weapons, such as an anti-aircraft machine gun. "We have seized the most important cache of weapons in the history of Ciudad Juarez," claims Chihuahua state Gov. Cesar Duarte. Torres Marrufo was wanted for a long list of cartel-related crimes including murder, extortion, kidnapping and sale and drug distribution—he also allegedly masterminded the 2009 massacre of 18 people at a Ciudad Juarez drug clinic. Cartels 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.
Barry Bonds has finally got his batting privileges back. Following his conviction for felony obstruction of justice for lying under oath before a grand jury at his 2003 hearings on steroid use, he wasn't permitted to handle any "firearm, ammunition, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon.” Baseball bats fall into the “destructive device or other dangerous weapon” category. Which is rather unfortunate for someone who enjoys baseball—although in Bonds' hands more than anyone's, a bat could truly be said to have destructive potential. The 47-year-old former San Francisco Giants star appealed to a federal judge and got baseball bats exempted from his restrictions. Bonds denied 2003 charges that he used anabolic steroids while training with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, saying he didn't know the creams and injections being given to him were anything more than legitimate supplements. He was then charged with perjury and obstruction of justice and convicted in April 2011. Though many years retired, Bonds still holds the all-time Major League Baseball record of 762 home runs.
Details from a police report on Arlington city council member and deputy mayor pro tem Mel LeBlanc were released Monday, revealing that the Texas pol obtained obtained marijuana and meth from prostitutes over the past several years. The cops began investigating LeBlanc since July 2011, when his doubtless long-suffering wife, Candy, called 911 to report that she thought her husband was on drugs—even though he'd released from rehab just two weeks earlier. Candy handed over a bag of crystal meth she found in their home, and revealed that LeBlanc had admitted to being on K2—a synthetic substance that mimics weed—on the day she'd called for help. Police also found a glass pipe inside the politician's house. In a recent interview, LeBlanc admitted to getting drugs from prostitutes, but denied relapsing after returning from rehab. He said he didn't know where the meth found in his home came from. A grand jury decided not to prosecute him for drug possession in December.