Exeter Union High School in California is reeling from a drug sting in which an undercover police officer arrested 12 students—after posing as a student there for eight months. The 22-year-old officer, who was known as "Johnny Ramirez" on campus, attended classes and completed tests and homework assignments like any other student. He also used his assumed identity to witness and carry out the purchase of drugs like marijuana and cocaine. Only the Interim Principal, the school superintendent and one other administrator were aware of the his real identity. Eighteen-year-old Eli Perkins, the alleged ringleader of the drug deals, was arrested at his home; the school was put on a 90-minute lockdown while another 11 students were cuffed. "We made the campus safer today," says Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush. "And for those who think they got away with something, I hope they rethink their behavior." The arrested students face possible suspension and expulsion on charges of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy and accessory. The officer was recruited only after parents complained to police about drugs on campus. But some students feel violated by the nature of the sting, with at least one teenager saying he thought the undercover cop was a friend. The arrests coincided with the release of 21 Jump Street, a movie about two undercover police officers who embed themselves at a high school.
Children whose mothers used methamphetamine during pregnancy are at higher risk of behavioral problems, according to new research. A study published in Pediatrics journal finds “worrisome” behavioral differences—like anxiety, depression and moodiness—in the offspring of meth-using moms. Brown University researchers built on an earlier study of 330 children from regions where meth use is prominent—such as the Midwest and West—that were tracked between the ages of three and five. More mothers who gave birth in Los Angeles, Honolulu, Des Moines and Tulsa, Oklahoma were then recruited; they were asked about their meth use during pregnancy, and their newborns were drug tested. By the age of three, meth users’ children scored slightly higher for depression, moodiness and anxiety. This was still the case by the time the kids turned five; the older children were also more likely to exhibit aggression, and issues similar to ADHD. “The research is among ‘groundbreaking’ studies examining effects of substance abuse during pregnancy,” says Joseph Frascella, head of the behavioral division at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “But because the study is a first, the results should be viewed cautiously and need to be repeated.” Over half of the mothers who used meth during pregnancy also used it after their child was born.
- New Wrinkle in Pot Debate: Stoned Driving [AP]
- In Afghan Killings Case, Questions Over Alcohol [AP]
- Kony Creator Jason Russell Under Stress But Not on Drugs, Family Says [LA Times]
- Paul Carr: How I Stopped Drowning in Drink [Wall Street Journal]
- Woman Rises From Homeless Crack Addiction to Serve Others [Austin Statesman]
- Colombia Captures Drug Sub Pioneer [Fox News]
- Tiger Woods: No Sex With Porn Stars Unless He Loves Them, Says Coach's Book [RadarOnline]
Mexican authorities have just revealed that Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman—the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel and perhaps the world's most wanted drug lord—narrowly escaped capture last month with the unintentional aid of a prostitute. She was brought to a rented house where he was staying in Los Cabos, Baja California—but Guzman apparently decided to postpone the encounter on account of her menstruation and cut his stay short. Had he stayed there as planned, authorities claim, he would have been captured. The chance to take down a man believed to have a security detail of 300 men and several helicopters doesn't come often. But would capturing Guzman have any impact on Mexican drug violence? US General Charles Jacoby, the head of the US Northern Command, thinks not. “The decapitation strategy—they’ve been successful at that. Twenty-two out of the top 37 trafficking figures that the Mexican government has gone after have been taken off the board,” he says. “But it has not had an appreciable effect—an appreciable, positive effect.” Worse, a surge of violence tends to follow whenever a cartel leader is toppled—before someone else steps up to take his place. Even Guzman himself, who is President Felipe Calderon's prize target this election season, has several well-known kingpins lined up to take over should he be captured or killed.
Abused children face a higher risk of becoming alcoholics later in life, confirms a new study just released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Childhood trauma, which can include physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect, has long been considered a risk factor for alcohol addiction. But this study asserts just how powerful an influence it could be. Researchers surveyed 196 people who were undergoing treatment for alcohol dependence. They found that about one quarter of the men and one third of the women reported a history of childhood physical abuse. In addition, a startling 49% of the women had been sexually abused during their youth, along with 12% of the men. Comparatively, a recent national survey among the general population found that about 8% faced physical abuse as children, and 6% experienced sexual abuse during childhood. Childhood abuse also leads to increased risks of suicide and several psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The proportion of alcoholics abused as children might jump significantly if emotional abuse and neglect were included. But as clinical director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse Markus Heilig notes, "Because emotional abuse is difficult to define, and is greatly under-reported compared to physical and sexual abuse, true rates of emotional abuse are unknown." The new study's findings underline the importance of trauma assessment in understanding and treating alcohol addictions.
In one of the most stomach-churning cases to feature on TLC’s My Strange Addiction, a cancer-stricken woman has sadly become dependent on drinking and bathing in her own urine. On the season finale this weekend, 53-year-old Carrie will discuss her habit. "I like warm pee. It's comforting," she says. "The first time I drank my urine, I didn't throw up and it wasn't horrible. So I thought, 'You know what? I can do this.'" She adds, "My urine does smell, depending on what I eat. Today it tastes a whole lot different than it did four years ago." Besides drinking her pee, Carrie puts her urine in her eyes, rubs it on her skin, and even brushes her teeth with it. She credits her habits with helping to keep her cancer at bay, and has been drinking up to 80 ounces of urine a day for the past four years. "There are certain things I don't like to eat anymore, because they don't taste good recycled," she says. "I love, love, love asparagus. I won't eat it anymore. It makes the urine taste … oooh, really bad." But her daughter worries about the prospect of her mom's habit doing more harm to her health than good, since urine is your body’s way of recycling waste. Viewers can find out on Sunday, 10 pm EST whether Carrie gets the help she needs.