- Children's ADD Drugs Don't Work Long-Term [New York Times]
- Caffeine Alters Estrogen Levels in Younger Women [New York Times]
- Drug-Related Homicide Spike Terrorizes Philly [Daily Beast]
- Colorado Police Say "Legislative Immunity" Got Lawmaker Out of DUI [Fox News]
- Etta James Funeral: "She Turned Her Pain Into Power" [Sacramento Bee]
- Student Receives Free Cocaine With Amazon Textbook Order [Digital Journal]
Fashion Designer Jean Paul Gaultier has caused controversy for arguably glamorizing addiction by featuring Amy Winehouse look-a-likes and designs in his Paris Fashion Week show. The Winehouse family was angered at the images of their late daughter that featured on the runway. “The family was upset to see those pictures. We’re still grieving for her loss, and we’ve had a difficult week with the six-month anniversary of Amy’s death,” Mitch Winehouse (Amy’s father) tells The Sun. “It portrays a view of Amy when she was not at her best, and glamorizes some of the more upsetting times in her life.” The troubled singer, who notoriously struggled with addiction, passed away last July from accidental alcohol poisoning. Gaultier insists he had no intention of being insensitive, but that his designs pay tribute to the late singer’s original style. “She was an icon of fashion and truly, the sense of how she mixed the clothes—it was great,” he says. “It is very joyous.”
The 911 call that preceded Demi Moore's Monday night hospitalization has been released [below], seemingly confirming that substance abuse was the cause. A panicky, shaking female voice informs the operator, "She smoked...something...It's not marijuana but it's similar to incense." Amid confusion over Moore's age (49), which frustrates the operator, the unidentified caller says the star "seems to be having convulsions of some sort," later describing her as "semi conscious" and "burning up," with breathing that's "not so normal." The description given of the drug will invite speculation that it could have been a synthetic marijuana substitute such as "K2" or "spice," which are often sold as "incense." The claim of Demi Moore's publicist that mere "exhaustion" was to blame for her client's ambulance ride now looks far-fetched.
A remote First Nations reserve in northern Ontario has declared a state of emergency over alarmingly high rates of prescription drug abuse. Cat Lake—which has a population of 480 and is only accessible by aircraft—reports 150 registered prescription drug addicts and 120 suspected addicts who aren't registered. “These people have no access to treatment whatsoever and the wait lists are 40 days to six months,” says community spokesman Russell Wesley. “[Addicts seeking help] are not able to access programs because there is nothing available locally and wait lists are way too long to access outside the community.” Wesley adds that the Canadian government has been slow to respond to community requests, such as a proposed drug treatment program for opiate dependency. But Steve Outhouse, spokesperson for Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, says the government has already earmarked $700,000 to fund community-based drug programs for First Nations communities. Susan Russell, Health Canada's acting regional director for First Nations and Inuit Health, says two community wellness workers have been made available to Cat Lake.
First it was ecstasy and then ketamine, but a new designer club drug available for sale online is becoming hugely popular on UK dance floors and could soon invade the US. "Roflcoptr"—short for “Rolling On the Floor Laughing Crapping Our Pants Totally Ruined”—is largely based in the chemical methoxetamine, and takes the form of a white powder which the user snorts. Like other club drugs, the effects include a state of euphoria and some hallucinogenic properties. Roflcoptr is particularly taking off in UK party cities like London and Manchester, but its long-term side-effects are unknown. “People are playing Russian roulette when they take something like this, because there’s been no research on its effect,” says University College London psychopharmacologist Dr. Valerie Curran. The typical price of Roflcoptr ranges from $190-255 for 10 grams. While it's legal to possess the drug in the UK, it’s illegal to advertise it as safe for people to take. The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists the undesirable effects of Roflcoptr as withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, tremors and sweating.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has recently prompted fears that the government and service providers will be able to censor content and even shut down websites that break sweeping conditions. Last week Wikipedia voluntarily went off line for 24 hours, accompanied by "black out" protests from dozens of other major sites, including Google. But some contend that SOPA can reduce risks to public health. In recent years obtaining prescription drugs including opiate painkillers illegally from online overseas pharmacies has become ever easier. “Kids today are very creative and have access to a wide array of illicit drugs.” says Dr. Kevin Hill, an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Not only do they know how to get drugs locally, they’re very technologically savvy and that can create a problem with more dangerous medications flooding into communities.” Section 105 of SOPA act would give service providers free reign to close down online pharmacies that are deemed to pose a risk to public health. But while many SOPA advocates will argue this virtue, few will concede that many online pharmacies provide an important service, offering essential prescription drugs far below US market price, thereby granting access to millions of uninsured, low income Americans.