- Virgin Mogul Richard Branson Pleads For Drug Reform [BBC]
- Study: Many Continue to Smoke After Being Diagnosed With Cancer [Digital Journal]
- Ex-Airport Director Pleads Guilty To DWI [WSJ]
- Man Busted Smoking Pot on Jet Blue Flight [Huffington Post]
- Queens Man Defecates 55 Heroin Filled Condoms At Dulles Airport [WTOP]
- San Fran Once Again Begins Issuing MMJ Dispensary Permits [SFWeekly]
- Goodbye to Adderall: A Writer's Breakup With His Drug of Choice [New York Observer]
- 100 Years of the War on Drugs [BBC]
TV addiction expert Dr. Drew has already announced details of his new VH1 series, Rehab With Dr. Drew, which follows a similar trajectory to Celebrity Rehab but—plot twist!—this time, the people aren’t famous. Now, the show has begun casting, with a website set up to recruit active addicts looking for a way out. “If you are ready to fight to take your life back into your own hands, I’m hoping to find you!” says executive casting director Doron Ofir. “Your story can be someone else’s hope.” The application looks exhaustive, with questions like, “How do you party?” “What is the most extreme thing you have done to feed your addiction?”, and, most tellingly, “Finish this line: The party doesn’t end until...” In this case, that sentence could probably be finished, “...I get sober on national television.”
A cheap and easy method of cooking small quantities of meth—known as "shake-and-bake" or the "one pot" method—is costing taxpayers millions of dollars and contributing to the closures of some burn units. An Associated Press survey, gathering findings from key hospitals in the most active meth states, shows up to a third of patients in some burn units picked their injuries from making meth, and most were uninsured. Research by doctors at a burn center in Kalamazoo, MI, found treatment for meth burns costs $6,000 a day on average, with an average hospital stay costing $130,000—60% higher than for other burn patients. Seven burn units across the US have shut down in the last six years due to the cost of treating uninsured patients, many connected to meth. “I don’t think a lot of these patients will be able to re-enter society. They’ll need rehab therapy and occupational therapy, which is very expensive,” says Dr. Lucy Wibbenmeyer of the University of Iowa burn center. Shake-and-bake meth is made by combining raw, unstable ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle. Even small errors like removing the cap too soon can lead to explosions that cause permanent disfigurement, blindness or even death. In 2010, 80% of labs busted by the DEA were using this method.
Barbie's squeaky-clean image has bitten the dust after a debauched new photo shoot with Scream 4 actress Emma Roberts, niece of Julia, involving alcohol, drugs and violence. The shots were taken by Hollywood photographer Tyler Shields, well known for provocative portraits like a black-eyed Heather Morris from Glee and a meat-chewing Mischa Barton. His latest work shows 20-year-old Roberts—who's just returned from the Sundance festival in Utah, where she was promoting her new film Celeste and Jesse Forever—peering through walls as Barbie lays out lines of coke, sports a drunken nosebleed and beheads her longtime lover, Ken. No toy store has yet requested to use the snaps for publicity purposes.
Former pro wrestler Andre Davis was sentenced to 32 years in prison in Ohio yesterday for having sex with a dozen women and either failing to disclose that he was HIV positive or lying about it. Davis blames sex addiction for his promiscuity and claims he didn’t disclose his HIV test results because he didn’t want his family to know. “Sex addiction is probably the worst addiction you could ever have. Drugs and alcohol are terrible, but sex is something everybody wants," said Davis at the trial. "I never did a drug in my life, I’m a social drinker, but those things mean nothing to me—sex was it.” His attorney, Greg Cohen, says an appeal will be filed. The judge cited medical privacy laws in refusing Cohen's request to bring up whether any of the women concerned were actually infected with HIV. Davis wrestled on the independent circuit under the names "Gangsta of Love" and "Sweet Sexy Sensation." He tried out for World Wrestling Entertainment in July 2009, but wasn't hired because of his failure to pass a physical and his positive HIV test.
New analysis of a CDC report on US alcohol consumption found that the Midwest remains America's "wettest" region; people there drink more alcohol more often than elsewhere. The Midwest binge drinking rate stands at 20%, and the epicenter of the "binge belt" seems to be Wisconsin, at 21.6%—compared with a national average of 15%. In 2006 there were 446 alcohol-related driving deaths in Illinois alone, and from 2007-2008 in Minnesota there were four binge drinking-related student deaths. But while the Midwest is home to the nation's thirstiest drunks, there are signs that at least the problem isn't growing: binge rates in Illinois (17.8%) and Chicago (17.2%) have held pretty much steady. Binge drinking is defined as drinking four or more drinks in a session for a woman, or five or more drinks for a man. Around 38 million Americans binge drink, and the CDC report notes noted that the practice causes of 80,000 deaths annually in the US. It also costs taxpayers an estimated $223.5 billion a year—that's about $746 per person, or $1.90 per drink.