We may associate the practice of "huffing" common chemicals such as cleaning products with foolhardy kids, but new research shows that nearly half of the those admitted for treatment for inhalant abuse are over 18 years old. The study—carried out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—records that 52% of people seeking care for abusing inhalants are aged 18-29, while 32% are 30-44, and as many as 16% were 45 and older. Inhaling chemicals may be an easy way to get a quick high, but inhaling these vapors can cause permanent lung and brain damage. Abusing inhalants often evolves into a potentially fatal addiction. In the past year, 1.1 million adults huffed chemicals, which means the practice is more popular than using drugs such as crack, LSD, and heroin.
- Mexico's Drug War Bloodies Areas Thought Safe [New York Times]
- New Drug Combo Shows Promise In Treating Hep C [USA Today]
- NJ Prescription Drug Tracking Program Initiated [NJ.com]
- Utah Family Suing County Jail After Overdose Death [Daily Herald]
- Ex-Ohio State Quarterback Busted For Violation Probation, Testing Positive For Coke [Wall Street Journal]
- California Supreme Court Review Lower Court MMJ Rulings [Mercury News]
- Lacrosse Players Most Likely College Athletes To Use Drugs [Bloomberg News]
Drug addicts and alcoholics in treatment who also want to quit smoking are getting some extra help in Ontario, Canada. Health Minister Deb Matthews marked “Weedless Wednesday” yesterday by announcing that 23,000 people in treatment across the province will receive free nicotine replacement therapy and counseling, if they want it. The three-year program will cost taxpayers $4.5 million. “The issue is that we’ve been doing smoking cessation one piece at a time...and we have some very good pieces. What we don’t have is a system where every Ontarian has free access 24-7,” says Michael Perley of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco. According to addictions program director Dr. Peter Selby, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, nicotine replacement therapy doubles quitters' success rates. The smoking rate for drug and alcohol addicts in Ontario is 38%—twice the rate of the general population.
They're known as "Stans," after the character from the Eminem song. But the people behind fan site Britney Addiction maintain they're addicts, not stalkers. “The whole concept of the site is that Britney Spears is addicting and her fans will support her endlessly,” contributor Alex Mercuri tells The Fix. He admits, “Outside people would look at us like obsessed psychos.” The site's owner, Nigel Johnson, clarifies: “I think the difference between a fan and an addict is that the addict needs to feed off Britney-related stuff everyday and has her constantly on his or her mind. Britney never disappears from your thoughts and beliefs. You want and need to be able to collect all the merchandise.”
Britney Addiction, which is run from Oxfordshire, England, attracts cravers of news, photos and chat relating to their idol. “Us addicts get each other,” says US-based Mercuri. “It is a healthy addiction such as one might find with chocolate. Only one that tries it will understand its zing." But why Britney? "Something about her just captures everyone, even haters devote time talking about her more in-depth than...other artists.” Johnson has gone to some lengths for his obsession: “I got my Britney signature tattooed to me for dedication and because the actual writing is fantastic art. I would love to have the cover of the In The Zone album tattooed on my back. I love her until the world ends.” For obvious reasons, Spears’ management team supports the habits of Britney "addicts"—they promoted the site several times during the troubled star's Femme Fatale tour.
A government survey concludes HIV/AIDS infections as a result of risky sexual activity and drug use are slightly in decline. The nationwide study, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics surveyed 23,000 individuals about intravenous drug use and "high-risk sexual" activity. It found that 10% of men and 8% of women—representing a population of 11.4 million—engaged in at least one infection risk act between 2006 and 2010. That's down from 13% and 11% respectively in a 2002 study. The most significant finding was the decline in IV drug use: less than 1% of those surveyed reported injecting illicit drugs. Prostitution also seems to have declined: only 1.3% of men and 0.7% of women reported having sex for money. Gay sex—included in the "risky" category by the study—remained steady at a reported 2.1%. In general, safer sexual practice, such as condom use, is on the increase.