- Coast Guard Unloads Two-Ton Cocaine Seizure [Miami Herald]
- Naloxone: A Lifesaving Drug Out of Reach [New York Times]
- Peer Social Networks Influence Onset of Teen Boozing [Science Daily]
- Local Governments Tap Alcohol Sales for Revenue [CBS News]
- Woman Sent to Prison for Giving Her Daughter Xanax [North Platte Telegraph]
- Pa. Sister Burglarized Homes While in Drug Treatment [Houston Chronicle]
- 2.5 Pounds of Pot Sent to Home of Cincinnati Bengals Player [CNN]
Mexican president Felipe Calderon, faced with a scorched-earth war on and among drug cartels, is carefully campaigning for the US to consider legalizing drugs. Doing so might reduce the “astronomical profits” that the cartels rake in. His comments on Tuesday were the second time he's suggested that the US address the problem, citing the failure to reduce demand. However, aware that the language of drug decriminalization or legalization could lose him friends in Washington, and be used to paint him as a radical, he carefully uses the vague wording of “market solutions.” His much-analyzed remark was this: “If [the Americans] are determined and resigned to consume drugs, then they should seek market alternatives in order to cancel the criminals' stratospheric profits, or establish clear points of access [to drugs]. But this situation can't go on.” Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance explained that to speak explicitly about drug legalization would be “essentially like uttering a political heresy.” But it's a heresy that Calderon is willing to utter, subtly—he's an ardent believer in free markets, and sees prohibition as creating a market incentive for cartels that—for them—is worth killing for. His predecessors, Ernesto Zedillo and Vincente Fox, have been vocal proponents of legalization in the years since they left office. But in the past, Calderon has opposed efforts to move toward legalization, such as last year’s ballot measure in California that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Analysts speculate that subsequent violence has caused Calderon to reevaluate his position. In an all-too-familiar scenario, investigators in Veracruz found 35 bodies “with links to organized crimes” in abandoned trucks outside the city yesterday. Many of them showed signs of torture. Over 42,000 people have died in Mexico's drug war since Calderon took office in 2006 and launched an aggressive campaign against the cartels—it's only succeeded in splintering the organizations, precipitating yet more violence.
Movies that show smoking should be re-classified to ban kids under 18 from seeing them, according to a study coming out in next month's Thorax—a British Medical Journal publication. Researchers from Bristol University questioned more than 5,000 English 15-year-olds and found that the more they saw smoking in films, the more likely they were to take up the habit—in fact the scientists found, strikingly, that “viewing smoking in films increases the risk of smoking onset by over 100%.” The correlation was reportedly strong even after adjusting for factors such as peer pressure and parents’ smoking habits. “We saw a linear relationship between adolescent smoking and the number of films they had seen depicting smoking,” said Dr. Andrea Waylen, first author on the study. “More than half of the films shown in the UK that contain smoking are rated UK15 or below, so children and young teenagers are clearly exposed.” Other organizations have joined the call for policy change: “We think films should be reclassified as 18 to protect children and young people from this potentially very hazardous issue,” said Dr. Ailsa Lyons, a public health researcher at the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies. Not everyone agrees. Simon Clark, director of smokers' group Forest, told the BBC: "The idea that films need to be reclassified... is not only patronizing, it is completely unnecessary. Today you would be hard-pressed to find a leading character who smokes... Should government reclassify films that feature fat people as well in case they are bad role models?" But, “It’s children and young people who would be exposed, and people under the age of 18 would still be very likely to start smoking as a result.” said Lyons, who authored a Thorax editorial calling for the British Board of Film Classification to reclassify films showing smoking. “Every day,” it begins, “thousands of children try a cigarette for the first time, a seemingly innocuous step that for many leads to a lifelong and ultimately fatal addiction to smoking.”
Female sex addiction is currently causing ripples in the blogosphere. Following some semi-serious speculation about whether Gwyneth Paltrow might fit this category, a blog item from Canada's Globe and Mail pointed out that while many of us would automatically picture sex addicts as male, a small-but-significant 8-12% of those seeking treatment for this condition are female—a figure that is said to underestimate the extent of problem among women. The Globe and Mail got this number from Robert Weiss, LCSW, who founded the Sexual Recovery Institute and is Director of Sexual Disorders Services at Promises and The Ranch rehabs. Weiss penned his own blog post this week, highlighting how a simple lack of love and affection often turns people to addictive behaviors in order to feel “a part of something.” He points out that the ability to "engage and trust deep attachments" must be learned, and adds that drug abuse and sexual acting out are often "fused in a misguided attempt to meet the simple human needs we all share for connection, desirability, and inclusion." He quotes from a woman in recovery from both drug and sex addictions: “Drugs gave me a sense of connection to people I was using with,” explains the recovering professional. “Having drugs... made me ‘desirable’ to people. I was everybody’s ‘friend’. She describes years of failed therapy, administered by people who took the wrong approach for her: "many clinicians wanted to focus on the drugs themselves and the sexual trauma that I had faced in my younger years. I was faced on my own with the daunting task of sorting through my attachments with role models as far back as 3 to 5-years-old." It wasn't until she worked with a therapist who "focused on my lifelong social anxiety, learned isolation and adult challenges and fears about truly connecting with people, that I was able to evolve into having healthy adult relationships, boundaries and real intimacy.” If, as Weiss says, female sex addicts are less likely than their male counterparts to seek treatment—leaving addiction professionals relatively unfamiliar with this area—it may be that such missed opportunities in therapy are sadly no rare thing.
- Mass. Heroin Overdose Kits Have Saved 1,000 Lives [Boston Globe]
- 79 Arrested in Ohio Meth Bust [Fox News]
- Cities Divided Over Pot Dispensaries[Wall Street Journal]
- Responsible Marketing: Alcohol Brands Given Social Media Guidelines [MediaPost.com]
- Seattle Loves Cheap Vodka [Seattle pi]
- Menthol Heightens Addiction Rates [Yale News]
- Deja Brew? Pa. Man Gets Two DUIs in One Night [CBS News]
- Paris Hilton Off Probation in Vegas Cocaine Case [Us Weekly]
When you're a recovering addict who happens to be very famous, the media's constant suspicions of relapse will always be part of the game. The hoopla around Tom Sizemore's arrest during a "drug-related investigation" yesterday was a whole lot of hot air. The 48-year-old actor, who's currently playing Captain Fryer, the head of Internal Affairs, on the hit CBS show Hawaii 5-0, has had his share of past troubles. But, as he detailed in his interview with The Fix not long ago, Sizemore's been living life on the up-and-up ever since graduating from the first season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and then Sober House. He's now been sober nearly two-and-a-half years—and made it clear to us that he's still clean. He told The Fix that the arrest was "a big foul-up." When someone staying with Sizemore was arrested early Tuesday morning, the police ran a routine check on the Heat star and discovered an outstanding warrant for failing to complete community service—community service that he had in fact already completed. "A paper was misfiled," says Sizemore—who was held for just a few hours before being released. He is currently in Minneapolis promoting his upcoming film, White Knight.