- Cocaine, Xanax Found in Whitney Houston’s System [The Washington Post]
Although Whitney Houston’s final cause of death was determined to be drowning, the speculation about possible drug use in the days leading up to her death proved warranted when results from the toxicology report came back yesterday: Cocaine, Xanax and several other prescription drugs were found in Houston’s system. The coroner’s report claims that heart disease also contributed to the singer's death.
- Wes Bentley Opens Up About Drug Use [Reuters]
Actor Wes Bentley has his highest-profile role in a decade with today’s opening of The Hunger Games—and he’s revealed it’s only now that he’s ready to return to the spotlight, following several years of drug addiction that culminated in a 2008 heroin bust. Now sober since 2009, Bentley claims that he “didn’t handle [fame] particularly well… and I was already prone to vices.” Given that the movie is a guaranteed smash, he’d better be prepared for fame the second time around.
Eighties R&B crooner El DeBarge has been out of the spotlight for a while now—and it looks like he might just stay that way, since police say a recent drug run-in with the law won’t result in any charges. DeBarge was arrested Tuesday for possession with intent to sell after police witnessed him allegedly selling rock cocaine to another man on the street—but, luckily for DeBarge, there wasn’t enough evidence against him, and so the charge has been dropped.
It’s pretty much assumed that when a celebrity is hospitalized or arrested following a bout with “dehydration,” that excuse is suspect—and Jezebel has the whole dirty history of celebrities confusing thirst with drug-induced delirium. Some celebs partial to this excuse? Britney Spears, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Brandy, Owen Wilson, Dave Chappelle, Amy Winehouse and Kelly Rowland. Somebody get these stars a Gatorade!
- George Clooney to Launch Tequila Line [Huffington Post]
The trend of celebrities lending their names to lines of top-shelf drinks and wines is pretty well-established by now—and now there’s a new A-lister jumping on board: George Clooney, who plans to debut a tequila called Casamigos with his restaurateur buddy Rande Gerber, who is also Cindy Crawford's husband. “The product speaks for itself,” said Gerber—although a little product-placement in the next Ocean's 11 movie probably can't hurt, either.
Evidently, some hard-drinking women who are trying to stay baby-free have a difficult time keeping something elementary in mind: After taking a birth-control pill, try not to throw it up. If you do, warns Dr. Karen Prokai, it's the same as skipping the dose—a concept that Canadian college students spoken to by news website OpenFile seem to have trouble grasping. "I puke all the time and have sex with my boyfriend after," said one student. "I don't really puke when I'm hungover, but I puke a lot when I'm drunk," said another. She added: "And ever since I started University, I pretty much have sex every weekend when I'm drunk."
When students were told that their gastric gymnastics and mattress marathons could leave them in the family way, they were surprised to have never made the connection. “That’s a huge disclaimer that should be on [birth control],” one college boyfriend said. “Especially at our age, because there’s so many people going out, puking and having sex. It’s the reality.” But even those who don't live in a such a wild world could stand to learn a lesson about birth control and alcohol: Namely, also use a condom. “Our motto is just don’t trust [the pill] 100 percent," said pharmacy technician Jessica Wood. "There’s always that chance—it’s not foolproof.”
Given that Katy Perry scored a #1 single with “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” a song celebrating the joys of getting blackout drunk, it’s surprising she hasn’t taken more heat already for promoting her message of bad decision-making—which makes this parody video, courtesy of VH1 personality Stevie Ryan, particularly timely. Entitled “Sexy Mistake,” the video sends up Perry’s “Last Friday Night” clip with lyrics like, “Chug down anything you’re handed/Leave your drink unattended,” and “Let’s mix tequila and oxycodone/And have sex without a condom.” (The rhyme's a bit off there, but still.) And the chorus ties together everything with a nice, sloppy bow: “Bad decisions are fun to make/Bad decisions are great/There’s no consequence to any action/So let’s make a sexy mistake.” All of which raises the question: At what point does free-spirit partying cross the line into stupid and dangerous debauchery?
Reese Witherspoon and William Shatner weren't the only ones who blew out birthday candles last night: March 22, 2012, also marked the 40-year anniversary of the campaign to legalize pot in the US. On the same day in 1972, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended that Congress no longer make the use and possession of pot a criminal offense, claiming that criminal law was too harsh a method to apply in discouraging citizens from toking up. The commission also said that marijuana did not meet the criteria of a Schedule I controlled substance, which is defined as a prohibitive substance without any therapeutic value. "The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance," noted the commission.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, then-President Richard Nixon dismissed the report and continued his "all-out war" on drugs, with 21.5 million Americans having been arrested under marijuana laws since that time. But 40 years later, public opinion on legalization has shifted radically: More than half of Americans say that pot should be legalized and regulated for adults, while 80% say it should be available as a therapy when recommended by a physician.
Dr. Drew has some tough talk for Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. The addiction specialist and host of the Dr. Drew show on HLN recently gave an exclusive interview about the drama-causing Jersey Shore star, who has entered rehab for prescription medication, calling him a "drug addict" and "severely addicted." And while The Sitch says his goal is to get well in time to film the upcoming sixth season of the hit MTV show, Dr. Drew said in no uncertain terms that he wouldn't recommend it: "I'm sure they're going to want him to get back to work in a month," he said to his Celebrity Rehab co-host Bob Forrest, Radar Online Managing Editor Jen Heger and Fix Executive Editor Anna David on the Wednesday evening broadcast of his show. "This guy should take a year off…I can't tell you how often I've treated a celebrity. We have them for 30 days...and I'm saying, 'Please, take a year off.' 'No, but I have a tour. I have a record—I have recording. I have—whatever.'" Later in the same segment, Pinsky said, "They make a lot of money for themselves and other people, and they don't want to lose their career[s]. I understand that, but they're going to lose their lives if they don't take care of [their] addiction[s]." The former Celebrity Rehab host made headlines earlier this month with claims that Angelina Jolie is suffering from the "stigmata of malnutrition." Sorrentino is currently in treatment at the Cirque Lodge in Utah—the same place that Demi Moore checked into last month for both anorexia and her addiction to prescription meds.
According to a new FDA report, those who can’t seem to kick the smokes might do well to switch to tobacco “dissolvables”—finely milled tobacco pressed into various shapes, which users suck on like hard candy. The report, issued by the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, claims that these new nicotine-delivery systems could be beneficial in some respects: “Based on understanding of the delivery of toxins to cigarette smokers, exclusive use of [dissolvable tobacco products] should be less hazardous than regular smoking of cigarettes now marketed in the United States.”
On the other hand, the FDA panel worries that having these safer tobacco products on the market could undermine the progress that’s been made in convincing the general public of the deadliness inherent in smoking. But for nicotine addicts who are interested in harm reduction—or who are just finding it more and more difficult to find someplace where they can light up—R.J. Reynolds’ is test-marketing dissolvables including Camel Orbs, Camel Strips and Camel Sticks in mint and other flavors. There’s even a “Variety Pack.” If that sounds like kids’ stuff, you’re right: The FDA has expressed concern that candy-reminiscent dissolvable tobacco products could prove especially attractive to kids and young adults.