Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales believe they've created the first ever product to help people kick cannabis addiction. Their drug—a mouth spray called Sativex—contains two of the main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). “The smoked cannabis available on the market had almost all the CBD taken out of it, which is almost considered the ‘good’ cannaboid, while THC is associated with getting stoned," says Jan Copeland, who is leading the study through the university’s National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre. "[Sativex] returns CBD to the compound, and in treating symptoms of withdrawal it can dampen down the effects of THC on the patients’ receptor systems without them getting stoned.” The university has been authorized to use the mouth spray and is currently administering it in low doses every six hours in a monitored environment. Copeland says the most common withdrawal symptoms are disrupted sleep, "difficulty functioning" and anger. According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse, 9% of marijuana users ultimately become addicted.
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Iran’s Border Guard Units announced yesterday that they seized over 50 tons of various narcotics across their borders during the final nine months of 2011 (March 21-December 21). The figure is an 18% increase on the same period last year. “Iran’s controlling measures and investment in borders have led to the seizure of 85 percent of the drugs at the borders’ zero point before entering the country,” says Ali Moayyedi, Iran’s Law Enforcement Police General. Iran borders with seven other countries, as well as the Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea and Sea of Oman. But officials say that 95% of the drugs entering the country come from Afghanistan. Since the 2001 US-led invasion of the country, Afghanistan has become the world’s biggest opium and drug producer, with major routes leading into Europe. According to the UN, opium production in Afghanistan has surged from 185 tons per year under the Taliban to 3,400 tons, peaking at 8,200 tons in 2007. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, 3,700 Iranian police have been killed in the fight against narcotics.
A new non-profit website called Feed The Right Wolf promises free help for people seeking treatment for a porn or sex addiction. It offers written recovery courses—available through PDF or e-mail—to train addicts to better control their urges and impulses, and to give them the tools to heal relationships that may have been damaged due to their behaviors. "I created the recovery course from my own personal experience, so I know exactly what our potential clients are going through," says founder Alex Wolf, a self-professed pornography addict. "It's written in plain English, making it easier to understand and follow." According to the National Association of Sexual Addiction Problems, approximately 6% of Americans—that's 14 million people—are sexual addicts. It's also been reported by Family Safe Media that porn accounts for 1.3 million websites and 260 million pages on the internet. The porn industry rakes in $13 billion annually in the US and $97 billion worldwide.
Would you take a drug that could keep you sober no matter how much you drink? Recently, an extract that's been used to treat hangovers for hundreds of years in China has shown some promise; drawn from hovenia dulcis, an oriental raisin tree, it proved after a series of trials to keep rats from getting intoxicated—even after they were injected with high amounts of alcohol. The active ingredient (dihydromyricetin or DHM) keeps your brain sober no matter how much alcohol is in your blood, which could remove the motivation to drink. David Nutt of Imperial College London, a former top UK government adviser, says:"This supports other data that GABA receptors are key in the actions of alcohol and that targeting this interaction is a viable approach to reducing alcohol intake. Let's hope it's safe to use in humans." But some experts fear that a “sober pill” could actually encourage more drinking, since people wouldn't fear the consequences of getting drunk. DHM will soon be tested on humans, and researchers hope to focus on problem drinkers in particular.
A 50-pound cocaine haul was discovered today, hidden within the doors of a late model BMW during a routine border inspection in San Diego.US Border Protection issued a statement confirming the arrest of the driver, a 47-year-old Mexican national. Border agents noticed the suspect acting nervously as he tried to cross into the US, and deployed drug-sniffer dogs to take a whiff of the 2006 Beamer. After they confirmed an illicit scent, the car was dismantled. The coke found is said to be worth $471,000.