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Jane Says

9/28/12 1:46pm

Debunking the Myth of the "Normie"

Reader's question: Do you think there are ways in which recovering addicts are at an advantage, compared to your average "normie"?

[Jane is now exclusively answering your questions about addiction, recovery and the like.  Send your questions to janevelezmitchell@thefix.com.]

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By The Fix staff

crystal meth

9/28/12 12:40pm

Video: Breaking Bad Producer Shows Meth-Savvy

Parents everywhere may soon have Vince Gilligan to thank for a new type of crystal meth hitting the streets. The executive producer of AMC's Breaking Bad stopped by The Colbert Report last night to talk about the show and its final eight episodes, which will air this summer. As of now, Gilligan has no idea how the last season of the show—which has inspired some controversial "meth candy"—will pan out for the characters. "It's probably not gonna end well," he says with a laugh. "My writers, as we speak, are back in Los Angeles now. Hopefully they haven't left for the day and are working on answering that very question now." Gilligan also speaks about the crash course in meth culture and street names for the drug he needed to learn for the show—prompting a hilarious "meth-off" between him and Colbert. The host concludes by asking the question on everyone's mind: is there really blue crystal meth on the market? "Well, there is now," says Gilligan.

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By McCarton Ackerman

Effects of marijuana

9/28/12 11:57am

Marijuana-Like Brain Chemical May Fight Autism

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Our brains make their own version of the
pot-molecule THC. Trippy! Photo via

Marijuana-like chemicals in the brain may help reduce some of the behavioral issues related to autism, a new study suggests. Researchers led by Daniele Piomelli of UC Irvine and Olivier Manzoni of INSERM, the French national research agency, treated mice that exhibited symptoms of fragile X syndrome, the most common known genetic cause of autism. The mice were given a class of chemicals called endocannabinoid transmitters, which occur naturally in the brain. These transmitters facilitate the efficient transport of electrical signals at synapses, which is severely limited in people with fragile X syndrome. According to Piomelli, this is the first study to identify the role of naturally-occuring endocannabinoids, which share a similar chemical structure with THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana: "What we hope is to one day increase the ability of people with fragile X syndrome to socialize and engage in normal cognitive functions," he says. The researchers involved don't advocate giving marijuana to children with autism, but are rather focusing on ways to boost levels of this marijuana-like chemical that occurs naturally in the brain. "It would be either an oral or injected drug but that’s at the very end stage of drug discovery, and we are at the very early stage of drug discovery," says Kwang Mook Jung, another professor at UC Irvine involved in the study. But some parents have already spoken out about the benefits of giving actual marijuana to their autistic offspring, claiming it improves their sociability while lowering anxiety and negative behaviors. Research on the effects of marijuana on autistic children is limited.

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By McCarton Ackerman

Synthetic drugs

9/28/12 10:36am

Was Dead Sons of Anarchy Star on "Smiles"?

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Johnny Lewis was 28 years old. Photo via

The synthetic drug “smiles” may have played a role in the death of Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis, investigators are speculating. Lewis was found dead Wednesday morning after he apparently beat and strangled an 81-year-old woman to death and "dismembered" her cat. Details are still unclear, but authorities believe the woman may have rented a room from the actor. Following the attack, the 28-year-old reportedly climbed a wall and fell to his death, after getting into another fight with a painter in front of his neighbor's home. His death follows a year of troubles, during which he pleaded no contest to first-degree burglary and served a 291-days, as well as another six weeks in jail for assault with a deadly weapon. “We still don't have a motive, whether this was just the random act of somebody acting crazy or whether there was some type of altercation or dispute," says LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. The neighbor reports that Lewis showed “superhuman” strength during the fight, and was not hurt by the blows, saying it look like he was “hitting him with a fly swatter.” Now, investigators believe that Lewis may have been on the synthetic drug C2-1, known as “smiles,” which was linked to the deaths of two teenagers in North Dakota this summer. “New drugs come out all the time,” says Smith. “That's of course one of the things that our detectives are going to look into... We don't have any hard evidence that he was on anything.” That's an important point to remember, given the rush to blame bath salts—incorrectly—for the face eating "zombie" incident earlier this year. A toxicology report on Lewis is due in the next few weeks. 

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By Valerie Tejeda

headlines

9/28/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: September 28, 2012

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For oral use only. Photo via

By Bryan Le

clean on screen

9/27/12 5:13pm

Can Sherlock Holmes Solve Sobriety?

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Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as addicted
Holmes and his sober coach. Photo via

Detective Sherlock Holmes is getting a modern-day remake this fall, and this time he's a recovering addict. In the new CBS show Elementary, created by Robert Doherty, Jonny Lee Miller plays the sobering-up Sherlock, who, freshly out of rehab, now lives in NYC. He's been released into the care of the modern-day Watson, this time re-imagined as a female surgeon-turned-sober companion played by Lucy Liu. Despite having lapsed in and out of recovery and ultimately destroyed his detecting career in London, there's additional incentive for Holmes to get sober this time: Watson has been hired by Holmes' rich father in a last-ditch effort to help his son get better, threatening to cut Sherlock off from the Holmes family fortune—which includes a luxury Brooklyn apartment—if he doesn't sober up. To keep himself busy and "of service," Sherlock restarts his career as a consulting detective, reporting to New York police Capt. Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn), who worked with Sherlock in London and is well aware of his demons. The newer, more baby-faced and emotionally pained Sherlock is a stark contrast from the strong and independent old Sherlock many are accustomed to, but early previews for the show have been overwhelmingly positive.

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By McCarton Ackerman

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