Alcoholic images may bring out inner racial bias, according to new research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. University of Missouri researcher Bruce Bartholow has previously conducted studies on how alcohol can ignite inner racism; now he's demonstrated that even just looking at photos of alcohol can have the same effect. Study participants were asked to view a series of magazine ads for either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. After viewing the ads, the participants took a computerized association test in which pictures of black and white men's faces were briefly shown, followed immediately by a picture of a handgun or a tool. While racial bias was present in both groups, those who viewed the liquor ads were more likely to associate guns with African American faces. Why? Bartholow believes that just looking at alcohol allows people to loosen up subconsciously. "In a bar where people are drinking, talk gets looser and people say things they normally wouldn't say," he explains. "What seems acceptable in that environment might not be at work or church. Possibly what's happening here is people are loosening their standards and allowing automatic beliefs about groups that they try hard to control in other situations."
Some viewers have taken umbrage with the smoke-filled offices and scotch-fueled meetings depicted on Mad Men, saying it makes them want to inhale and imbibe—but the show’s star, Jon Hamm, isn’t too concerned. “I have read that watching the show makes some people at home want to smoke and drink,” he said. “I think, well, knock yourself out." That seems to be Don Draper’s secret.
To say that it’s been a tough few months for Bobby Brown would be a massive understatement, but he’s now got one more challenge to add to his growing list of obstacles. The R&B singer and ex-husband of Whitney Houston was picked up for DUI in Reseda, California, blowing a BAC of .12 in the middle of the day.
Actor Chris Klein has been out of the spotlight for a minute—especially since checking himself into rehab and getting sober in 2010—but with his upcoming return to film in American Reunion, he’s talking about the disease that he says almost took his life. “I would have died,” he said. “I think about that every single day.” Given Natasha Lyonne’s well-publicized struggles with addiction, we’re beginning to wonder if there was an American Pie curse.
- Dennis Rodman: Too Drunk to Pay Child Support? [New York Daily News]
Eccentric basketball player and reality television personality Dennis Rodman owes nearly $900,000 in child support to his wife Michelle Rodman—and his finance manager is speaking out about why the money remains unpaid. “"In all honesty, Dennis, although a very sweet person, is an alcoholic,” she said. “"He is often unable to obtain work because of the sickness. And his sickness is getting increasingly worse."
- Lindsay Lohan to Guest Star on Glee [LA Times]
After being the butt of several jokes on the show about her trips to rehab and suspect mental health, Lindsay Lohan has booked a guest starring spot on Glee—and while no details about her role are available yet, speculation is running high that she’ll play a judge during Nationals in the show’s finale. The question on everyone’s mind, though: Will she go blonde or red?
US governors are banding together to fight a common enemy: prescription drug abuse. The National Governors Association has created the Prescription Drug Academy policy organization—co-chaired by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R0—to study the prescription drug abuse epidemic and develop best practice for state governments to combat the scourge. During the program's first year, the group will develop policies and procedures in Colorado, Alabama, plus five other states to be chosen by an independent panel in a competitive bidding process; seven more states will be added in the second year. A National Governors Association policy team will conduct field visits to all seven initial states and work with governors' offices and state health and criminal justice officials to tackle problems including addiction itself, pharmacy robberies, pill mills and doctor shopping. Findings and case studies from all the states will be included on Governors Association web page. "The abuse of prescription drugs is growing and can now be seen in communities of all sizes throughout our country," says Hickenlooper. "This is a serious problem that is claiming far too many victims. We look forward to working with Gov. Bentley and the National Governors Association to create strategies that will help states deal with this issue."
Selling synthetic marijuana has been banned in the state of New York. The ban, which came into force yesterday, calls for the distribution and sales of "Spice", "K2", and "Mr. Nice Guy" to stop immediately. Tobacco stores, smoke shops and convenience stores, will be issued details of the order by local officials, and will be checked routinely for compliance. According to New York Health Commissioner Nirav Shah, calls to local poison control centers related to synthetic marijuana have climbed from zero incidents in 2009 to 112 in just the first few months of 2012. Over half of these calls involve people under the age of 19. Synthetic pot products are mixtures of chemicals that mimic THC; they've been linked to severe adverse reactions including kidney failure and even death. “New York did the right thing enacting a state ban on this noxious product," says US Senator Charles Schumer. "We are working very hard to establish a federal ban so that kids seeking out these dangerous drugs can't simply hop in a car and cross state borders to get a deadly high." Those who violate the ban will be referred to the state's attorney general for prosecution.
- "Wal-Mart of Weed" weGrow Opens In Washington DC [CBS]
- "I Took Just as Much Cocaine as Whitney, It's a Miracle I Am Not Dead": Elton John's Startling Confession [Daily Mail]
- Chris Klein Nearly Died From Alcoholism [AZ Central]
- Georgia's Bacarri Rambo Blames Marijuana Brownie for Failed Drug Test [USA Today]
- Police: White Powder in UVa Hazmat Scare Turns Out to Be Cocaine [The Daily Progress]
- Drunk 'Bohemian Rhapsody': Arrested Man Sings Entire Song in Cop Car [VIDEO] [Spinner]
Doctors might not make house calls anymore, but one addiction recovery program does. Palm Beach-based Addiction Reach Home offers “concierge”-style treatment, delivering what patients want and need to their own homes at times to suit them. But can an addict focus on recovery amid all their domestic distractions—including the people and stresses that might have led them to addiction in the first place? Sue Merklin, founder and CEO of Addiction Reach, thinks so, arguing that in-home treatment addresses some of the weaknesses of inpatient recovery. "[Patients] are thrown back into the same situation with the same issues they had to face before they left, and sometimes its hard to manage without the support system they had as inpatients,” she tells The Fix. “But our treatment providers will be available three months, six months, nine months from now.”
Specialists also do family counseling to create a supportive home environment. But in-home recovery isn't for everyone. Those who aren't fully motivated, or who need an intervention, won't benefit—Addiction Reach recommends suitable inpatient treatment in such cases. In-home recovery isn't marketed as a replacement for inpatient programs, but an alternative; it can't replicate a facility which offers a month of recovery with no distractions. So who is it for? “People that are committed to recovery and somewhat functional,” says Merklin. “Working moms with smaller children, anyone who cannot leave for 30 to 60 days: people in business, high profile peoples, lawyers, doctors, judges,” who would otherwise forgo treatment for fear of disruption and stigma. And in-home treatment costs less. Merklin says there aren't set prices because of the highly individualized “concierge” model, but claims that bypassing real estate costs makes it much cheaper than $20,000-$90,000 inpatient rehabs.