Why Alcoholism Is Worse—and Develops Faster—in Women [Science Daily]
Alcoholism damages the female brain about three times faster than the male brain, according to a large new Swedish study. Women who had been drinking excessively for four years saw the same decrease in the “good mood” neurotransmitter called serotonin as men boozing for twelve. This discovery may help explain why the onset of alcoholism occurs later in women, but its negative effects hit them far earlier.
The New DSM-V: Caffeine Withdrawal In, Legal Problems Out [Medscape]
At last week’s annual meeting of addiction psychiatrists, the decade-in-the-making revision of the DSM-V—the “doctor’s bible” that determines diagnoses, treatments and insurance reimbursements—was the subject of considerable debate. The specialists proposed adding “caffeine withdrawal” to the list of symptoms in the chapter on addiction (which is officially called “substance use disorders”), given the surge in the number of ER visits related to the consumption of energy drinks and other carbonated soft drinks. Other proposed tweaks: adding “cannabis withdrawal,” increasing “tobacco disorder” criteria, including “craving” as a symptom, and removing “legal problems” from the criteria for alcoholism and addiction.
Hepatitis C Exempted from Chimp Research Ban [New York Times]
Last week the U.S. government announced that it will no longer support medical research using chimpanzees because as human’s closest relatives, chimps deserve “special consideration and respect.” Other mammals serve equally well, according to a new study, in all but a few exceptional cases where chimp use will remain necessary. One such case is in the development of a vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus epidemic among people who use needle to shoot heroin and other drugs.
Jay Gray, NBC news correspondent, was arrested last week after reportedly getting soused with Joe Amendola, the lead attorney for Penn State coach and alleged child molestor Jerry Sandusky. A report by TMZ claims that Gray was one of several journalists invited by the press-hungry lawyer to watch a New York Giants football game his home, during which time, sources contend that Gray became thoroughly inebriated. Sometime after midnight a "smashed" T.V. reporter wobbled out of the party and was soon pulled over by PA State Troopers, who arrested him for driving under the influence. Both Amendola and Gray declined comment.
We know changing diapers isn’t the most exciting aspect of parenting. But based on the results of Real Radio Northwest’s investigation of the particles found on the changing mats in the public bathrooms, plenty of parents are livening it with a little Bolivian Marching Powder—at least in Britain. According to the radio station’s study, which examined the changing tables in the bathrooms of shopping centers, hospitals, police stations, courts, churches, supermarkets and department stores in the north west of England, a shocking nine out of 10 of these mats—or 92%—tested positive for traces of cocaine. Whether or not this study is accurate—a bizarre video accompanying the results, which shows a Heidi Fleiss ringer wiping baby changing areas with a white cloth and speaking inaudibly while soft porn type music plays in the background, lends a questionable tone to the entire thing—hasn’t stopped it from being picked up all over the place. Still, as Jezebel points out, money often contains particles of cocaine so all of this doesn’t necessarily mean that moms are blowing rails as they encase their progeny in diapers. While we're not sure this actually qualifies as good news, it is an excellent point.
A 25-year-old California woman was arrested last week at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, after police discovered $640,000 worth of black tar heroin in a false compartment at the bottom of her suitcase. The woman, who has remained anonymous, had allegedly made plans to transport the drugs from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, police acting on a tip apprehender her, and after searching her luggage discovered the stash of dope, weighing 4.4 pounds. She was arrested for drug possession and handed over to DEA custody.
Leaders from several Latin American countries lashed out against the US yesterday, in a formal declaration against the nation’s drug policy. Mexican President Felipe Calderon was joined by President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and others, to voice unified frustration and demand the US legalize drugs if they are unable to curb the appetite of American consumers. “We are next to the largest illegal drug market in the world,” said President Felipe Calderon. “We are living in the same building, and our neighbor is the largest consumer of drugs in the world and everyone wants to sell him drugs through our door and our window.” The anger stems from the enormous social and economic burden placed on Latin countries to stem what they see as an American problem. An estimated 45,000 have been killed in drug related violence in Mexico alone, when added to the astronomical and mounting expense of military and police enforcement, left largely to the transit and production nations, it’s plain to see the root of their frustration. Obama administration officials have said that the frustration is understandable, given that transit countries bare the brunt of combating drug war violence, but claim that the rhetorical attacks are counterproductive. William R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics said of the war on drugs: “I refuse to accept that there has not been progress.”
- Latin American Leaders Demand 'Rethinking' Of US War On Drugs [Washington Post]
- Notorious Boston Crime Figure Matthew Stewart Died of Coke Overdose [Boston.com]
- Oregon Police Arrest Man After Finding Huge Heroin Stash During Traffic Stop [Mail Tribune]
- Drug-Sniffing Dog 'Tebow' Finds Coke in Orlando Airport [USA Today]
- Canadian Lawyer: "Drunk Driving Laws Unconstitutional" [CTV]
- Connecticut Police Seize 700 Marijuana Plants in Busts [WTNH]