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7/25/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: July 25, 2012

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NY's very own cannabis van. Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise

Sponsored Post

7/24/12 8:00pm

My 12 Step Store

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For all your 12-step needs

If you‘re sober, or have friends in recovery, chances are that you have already heard of My 12 Step Store: the worlds’ hippest recovery book and gift store. Located in the heart of West Hollywood, we specialize in recovery gifts for all 12-step programs. Whether it’s addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, love, food or co-dependency, we can ship gifts all over the world for you.

Here is where you'll find meeting chips, medallions and jewelry for anyone in recovery, prayer bookmarks as well as "One F*cking Day at a Time" T-shirts and "You’re a F*cking Miracle" greeting cards—and of course the ever-famous "Lindsay Lohan" sober women's underwear!

Legendary rock star Steven Tyler stopped in on his way to perform at the Hollywood Bowl one time and designed a T-shirt that's become a signature postcard of the store: “One Day At A Time.” Other celebrities and shoppers who can be seen visiting the store range from Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, Jamie Lee Curtis and David Arquette to Steve-O from Jackass.

Whether you are famous or infamous, we offer ways to make recovery real and exciting. Anyone’s dreams can be become broken. As our 24-hour lit sign says: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”

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By Sponsored Post

Celebrity Rehab

7/24/12 4:52pm

Mötley Crüe Guitarist Is Sober, "Still an A#%hole"

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Mars is "over the drug thing." Photo via

The members of Mötley Crüe are almost as famous for their wild antics as they are for their music—but even "the World's Most Notorious Rock Band" may be sobering up these days. Mick Mars, the group's 61-year-old guitar player, says he, like bassist Nikki Sixx before him, gave up partying so he can continue playing. "I don't smoke. I don't drink. I don't have many vices, except playing my guitar too much," he says. "I guess I'm kind of a boring guy these days. But that's how I'm gonna keep going with Mötley Crüe as long as I can." The heavy metal band, hailing from Los Angeles, has sold more than 80 million album copies worldwide, including 25 million in the US. But various of its members have struggled with alcoholism and addictions to drugs such as cocaine and heroin, and Mars says he battled a prescription drug addiction in addition to a bad booze habit. But now, "there's one thing that's really different for me...being sober," he says. Fans may wonder how the Crüe will change with a sober guitarist in their midst, but Mars says things will only improve. "It's really helped. The playing is better. The songs are better," he says. "There are some people who drink their whole lives. But thankfully, I was just like, 'Ah, I'm over this shit. Over the drug thing. Over the booze thing. Over this other thing.' It's great to be clear-headed, instead of just sitting around going, 'Huh?' like a dummy." One thing, at least, has not changed: "I'm still no gentleman," he says. "I'm still as big an asshole as ever. Lewd and aggressive."

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By Chrisanne Grise

Technology Addiction

7/24/12 2:59pm

"Device Addiction" Hounds Silicon Valley

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Valley of the Devices Photo via

Even those who manufacture the machines are not immune to the siren song of technological "devices." In Silicon Valley, device addiction is becoming a concern among employers at some of the world's biggest tech companies. Despite the fact that most of the companies in the area profit from people spending more time online, many tech executives are beginning to examine their role in the increasing problem of technology dependence and its potentially harmful impact on productivity and personal interactions. “We’re done with this honeymoon phase and now we’re in this phase that says, ‘Wow, what have we done?’” says Soren Gordhamer, who organizes Wisdom 2.0, an annual conference he started in 2010 about the pursuit of balance in the digital age. “It doesn’t mean what we’ve done is bad. There’s no blame. But there is a turning of the page.”

"Internet use disorder" will be included in the appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders next year, but it has yet to be deemed an official condition. Some companies are beginning to take action to prevent "device addiction" among their own employees. Google, for example, started a company-wide “mindfulness” movement to teach employees self-awareness and to improve their ability to focus. Many employees aren't even aware that the devices they use have addictive properties. “It’s this basic cultural recognition that people have a pathological relationship with their devices,” says Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist who lectures about the science of self-control at the Stanford School of Medicine. “People feel not just addicted, but trapped.” McGonigal also believes that interactive gadgets could create a persistent sense of emergency by setting off stress systems in the brain. However, some higher-ups in Silicon Valley companies claim there's very little they can do to prevent the issue. “The responsibility we have is to put the most powerful capability into the world,” says Scott Kriens, chairman of Juniper Networks. “We do it with eyes wide open that some harm will be done. Someone might say, ‘Why not do so in a way that causes no harm?’ That’s naïve. The alternative is to put less powerful capability in people’s hands and that’s a bad trade-off.”

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By McCarton Ackerman

Drug Babies

7/24/12 2:45pm

Florida Sees Surge in Addicted Newborns

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Withdrawal is cause for tears. Photo via

Florida has been cracking down hard on prescription pill mills over the last year or so, but the number of babies born with addictions is still six-times higher than it was in 2004. In 2011, more than 2,000 newborns—that's 14% of all babies born at St. Joseph's Hospital for Women in Tampa—were diagnosed with drug withdrawal syndrome, narcotic exposure, or both, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The situation is not much better in the rest of the country, as a recent national study found that one baby is born every hour with symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Symptoms include excessive crying, itching, an inability to be consoled, diarrhea and a lack of appetite. The problem has become so extreme that a statewide Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns Task Force has been formed to fight the trend. "When we're talking about solutions and what we need to do, we need to think big," says David Wilkins, secretary of the Department of Children and Families and a task force member. "The cost of what this is doing is enormous." The difficulty in tackling the problem of prescription pill addiction among pregnant women is exacerbated by the fact that many doctors legitimately prescribe painkillers to pregnant women suffering from acute pain. It can also raise a slew of moral issues, with the state of Alabama going so far as to prosecute mothers whose babies are born addicted.

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By Chrisanne Grise

Pot Shots

7/24/12 1:35pm

Lebanon's Pot Farmers Fight the Government

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These farmers will not be messed with.
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Marijuana farmers in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley wielded weapons much stronger than pitchforks when government security forces threatened to destroy their crops on Monday. The government sent tractors and armored vehicles to flatten the illegal cannabis crops, but farmers retaliated with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars—ultimately forcing security forces to back down. There was an exchange of fire but no casualties were reported, although two security vehicles were bombarded with bullets. The Lebanese government has often tried to wipe out cannabis farms, but the farmers—many of whom rely on the lucrative crop to support their impoverished communities—are known to respond with aggressive defense tactics, most likely backed by well-funded drug traffickers. During Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, Bekaa Valley produced up to 1,000 tons of cannabis and 50 tons of opium (used to make heroin) annually, but was ultimately eradicated under a UN program in 1993. Since that effort, the valley has re-emerged—but the government will not give the growers a free pass, and are rumored to be regrouping and organizing a new plan to take down the crops.

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By Gabrielle Wuhl

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