- Top Colombian Drug Lord Killed By Police [Daily Mail]
- Marijuana May Drive Brain To Psychosis [MyHealthNews]
- Vancouver Provides Free Crack Pipes To Addicts [Fox News]
- Toxic Alcohol "Kills 17" in India [BBC]
- Following Trend, Tennessee Reduces Terms For Crack Offenders [The Tennessean]
- Anti Drug Campaign DARE Losing Steam In Florida [Sun Sentinel]
- As Nation's Drunkest City, Boston Sees Traumatic Brain Injury As Public Health Crisis [The Atlantic]
- Adderall Drought Persists Into New Year [Reuters]
- Drugs Seizures In Afghanistan Undercut Taliban Insurgents [AFP]
- Happy Hour To Be Banned In Utah [Fox]
- Meth Users More Likely To Try Suicide [US News]
- New Years Eve In UK: Typical Widespread Drunkenness [Daily Mail]
Gwyneth Paltrow’s online newsletter, Goop, takes on hangovers today for its New Year's Eve edition. Seeking advice on how to combat all those impending hangovers around the world, Paltrow hit the streets to find her fans' top suggested cures. These include a canned herbal "elixir" called "Mercy"—a brand for which she just happens to be the principal investor. In addition to her personal product plug, her extensive list contains a wealth of other questionable remedies such as milk thistle, amino acids, hydrotherapy, aspirin, Alka-Seltzer, steam rooms, eating, drinking water and—you guessed it—"hair of the dog." For this, she offers the recipe for her signature vodka-based cocktail, with the filthy-sounding name, "The Red Snapper." Fine effort from Gwyneth, but medical experts rushed to debunk many of her tips. The only "cure" for a hangover that doctors universally accept is preemptive: not drinking excessively.
A driver who was allegedly so drunk that he didn't realize his car had burst into flames was saved by a fearless police officer yesterday morning. Alan Edward Blake, 32, was found sitting in his parked Pontiac Bonneville in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 4:18 am. Smoke was billowing from the engine and sleepless neighbors said it had been revving for an hour. Veteran cop Eric Hornbacher approached and ordered him out, before memorably exclaiming: “Turn around and look. Your car is burning. Are you that drunk that you did not realize your car was on fire and that you were sitting in a burning car?” Police believe Blake fell asleep with his foot on the gas, causing the engine to race and catch fire. He spent the night in jail and faces a DUI charge. His lucky escape is a timely warning, as ER doctors brace themselves for the inevitable human cost of widespread drunk driving this New Year's Eve.
United Sates troops are increasingly abusing easily accessible synthetic drugs, such as "Spice." The synthetic marijuana substance—which despite recent federal bans is still commonly sold online—has become the drug of choice for many troops, because until recently it remained legal and undetectable in urine tests. Two years ago only 29 Marines and sailors were investigated for using "spice"; this past year the number topped 700. The Air Force also found 497 airmen guilty of using it, up from 380 the year before. Those caught may be discharged. Spice, often advertised thinly disguised as herbal incense, contains inactive ingredients like herbs or flowers, laced with synthetic chemicals designed to replicate the high of THC. These chemicals can be up to 200 times as potent as those found in pot. Drug tests may be thwarted, as no two batches of ingredients are alike, keeping military officials on their toes. So far only five of the two hundred chemicals used in spice are banned and tested for by the armed services. With new varieties being created daily, there’s no telling how the US will respond or keep up.
National Geographic’s riveting show Drugs Inc. enters its second season on January 1. It’s a must-see for anyone with an interest in this vital issue. The show intimately documents various aspects of the global illegal drug trade, delving into the lives and activities of nefarious criminal figures, and the day-to-day operations of the drug business—sometimes at great peril. A clip from Episode One (below) shows an anxiety-inducing interview with a posse of heavily armed Peruvian cocaine producers, operating out of a makeshift jungle kitchen. One of the cooks, “Diego,” explains the simple procedure for creating cocaine from coco leaves and lets the crew film as he rolls up pound-sized balls of batter-like raw cocaine with his bare hands. The episode follows the coke on its journey from Peru into the US, where it ultimately ends up as crack, sold by a dealer who goes by the name of “Mista.” This season is packed with such mind-altering content, and airs Sundays at 8 pm ET/PT.