In the 1980s, cocaine partied with the coolest and richest artists and stockbrokers in Lower Manhattan and became the subject of fancy Jay McInerney novels. Today, cocaine lives in a dilapidated split level on the outskirts of Naperville and gets hung up on by all its old club friends. This is according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (in so many words), which shows that cocaine abuse decreased 37 percent in the U.S. between 2006 and 2010. More impressively, the number of workplace positive drug tests for cocaine declined 65 percent during the same period. Why has cocaine become so unpopular? The Seattle Post-Intelligencer lists a number of reasons, from diminished availability to the efficacy of prevention programs. Our theory: people heard about levamisole-laced cocaine and its flesh-rotting side effects and decided to abuse other drugs. Anyway, if you need to reach cocaine she's at home listening to old Tears for Fears records and waxing nostalgic.
Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers left fielder also known as the "Hebrew Hammer," was vindicated of his doping charge today; sort of. A confidential source informed TMZ that the positive test for steroid use last week was actually the result of prescribed medication that he was taking to treat a “personal medical issue.” Neither the type of medication nor the ailment have been disclosed, and Braun doesn't say if he knew the medication contained banned substances before he took them. In a text message sent Saturday night Braun proclaimed "I'm innocent", and Creative Artists Agency, which represents Braun, also came to his defense, claiming the positive test involved “highly unusual circumstances”.
Evidently, everyone drinks more during the holidays. However, the reasons men and women drink more are as different as, well, as men and women. One of the most telling (and perhaps least surprising) results of the just-released survey (undertaken by the good folks at Plymouth and Beefeater Gin) is that while women cite "celebrating with friends" as the primary motivating factor for their increased consumption, men mainly attribute family stress. That's not the only point of departure that the survey, which polled 1,000 people, discovered: 30% of men drink hard booze, compared to 9% of women, and three-quarters of the men reported spending over $1000 on booze during the holidays. Startlingly, there is one point on both sexes agree: 70% of all respondents claiming that if given the choice, over the holidays they’d rather cut back on food intake than limit their drinking. Happy new year!
Liberal Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Conservative Washington Post columnist George Will got into a heated exchange over marijuana legalization on ABC’s "This Week with Christiane Amanpour." Responding to Will's assertion that Democrats favor government meddling in American's economic lives, Frank fired back by noting the G.O.P.'s willingness to legislate such individual issues as gay marriage and legalization of pot. “If someone wanted to smoke marijuana, an adult, why do you to make them go to jail?” Frank bellowed, arguing that the position ran counter to Will's avowed libertarian leanings. Withering under the Congressman's barrage, Will responded that he needed more time to learn more about marijuana, and that the drug required further study to determine if it's a 'gateway drug.' “Everything is a gateway drug!,” replied Frank, noting that the issue has been under debate for over a quarter century. "How much time do you need, George? You're on Medicare already!"
Even while New York City is still in the midst of a crippling Adderall shortage, the NYC Health Department announced this morning that the metropolitan area is experiencing record levels of prescription drug overdoses. According to a Health Department spokesman, city emergency room visits associated with OD’s from painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin have climbed 79 percent from 2004 to 2009. Over that same period, abuse of benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax increased 60 percent. The numbers are high, but NYC’s stats are for the most part a fraction of similar ones tallied nationwide. The one exception? Staten Island, where overdoses have increased in the triple digits. Go figure.
- Celebrity Sports Doctor Avoids Jail Time for Smuggling HGH [Daily News]
- Man Busted Shipping Coke in Can of Beans [New Haven Independent]
- State Troopers Discover 159 Pounds of Weed In Van [Boston Herald]
- Meth Addiction in Australia on the Rise [MSN]
- Mississippi Courts Seek to Ease Crack Prison Sentences [Clarion Ledger]