Addiction News | Drug Abuse & Alcohol – The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Celebrity Busts

8/08/12 11:52am

Randy Travis Arrested, Drunk, Again

Image: 

Texans: stay off the roads. Photo via

Country superstar Randy Travis has been arrested for driving drunk—his second drunkenness bust this year—after crashing his car in Texas late last night. Officers reportedly found Travis cut, bruised and for some reason completely in the nude. He'd reportedly gotten into a fight with his girlfriend earlier. Sources tell TMZ that the "No Holdin' Back" singer refused to take a breathalyzer test, so cops ultimately drew blood to test his BAC. They also charged him with "retaliation and obstruction"—a felony—for verbally threatening a police officer during the bust. The six-time Grammy-winner was last arrested just six months ago, also in Texas, when he was cuffed for public drunkenness outside of a baptist church after "an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl." At the time of that arrest, officers described Travis as "cooperative but smelling of booze"—but it doesn't sound like he was so obliging last night. After February's drunken incident, Travis stated: "I'm committed to being responsible and accountable, and apologize for my actions." It remains to be seen whether he'll top that this time around.

Add a Comment  

By Gabrielle Wuhl

Bath Salts

8/08/12 10:51am

Cuomo Cracks Down on Bath Salt "Poison"

Image: 

"Poison that is being distributed and sold."
Photo via

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking a stand against synthetic drugs: the state Department of Health has made it a crime to possess synthetic drugs such as bath salts and synthetic marijuana, and it's also now illegal for stores to carry them under any name. “We’re talking about poison," says Cuomo. "This is poison that is being distributed and sold.” Individuals can be charged with possession of an illicit substance and face fines up to $500 and up to 15 days in jail, while stores attempting to sell them face up to $2,000 per violation. "It will give us some teeth to go in and take the product off the shelf and issue at least appearance tickets,” says Joseph D’Amico, superintendent of State Police. “And it gives the Department of Health the opportunity to follow up with these locations with civil proceedings.” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued 16 head shops last month for mislabeling substances such as synthetic marijuana and bath salts in an alleged attempt to evade federal and state laws. Bath salt-related emergency room visits in upstate New York have soared from 39 last year to 191 so far in 2012, with 120 coming in June and July. According to the state Poison Control Center, there were 20 calls concerning synthetic marijuana poisonings in 2010, compared to 291 in 2011 and 321 through the first six months of this year.

Add a Comment  

By McCarton Ackerman

Headlines

8/08/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: August 8, 2012

Image: 

Is Abraham still using? Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise

Medical Marijuana

8/07/12 5:00pm

Is Pot a Safer Alternative to Painkillers?

Image: 

Is pot the "exit drug"? Photo via

Marijuana may be an effective treatment for chronic pain and a safer alternative than pharmaceutical painkillers, according to new research from the Centre for Addictions Research at the University of Victoria. Researcher Phillippe Lucas reviewed numerous studies carried out from 1975 onwards, in which patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain were treated with a combination of cannabis and opiates. He writes in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, “Research suggests that when used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids can lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, which may in turn result in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side effects) by patients in a clinical setting.” Lucas says this would not only have a positive impact on pain levels and quality of life for paitients, but also help reduce the soaring painkiller addiction rates in both the US and Canada. He even believes marijuana could help treat other addictions to stimulants and alcohol, and could therefore help reduce alcohol-related problems like drunk driving and domestic violence.

“So what we’re really talking about in a nutshell," Lucas tells The Fix, "is cannabis as an exit drug to addiction, rather than a gateway drug as it is often suggested it might be. Overall, the more doctors know about the medical use of cannabis, the better potential health outcomes for the patients.”

Of course, other studies have shown that marijuana has its own negative side effects—one just out says pot can cause long-term anxiety in people who smoke it as teenagers, for example. But Lucas says society needs to fully evaluate its prejudices towards marijuana: “As a society, we’re going up against 70 years of reinforcement that this substance is altogether negative... That prevents us from looking at this substance and all its potential benefits," he argues. “I think the current harms of prohibition, particularly cannabis prohibition, far outweigh any potential harm from the individuals and society that legalizing cannabis may have. If we were to discover cannabis in this day and age in a jungle in South America, I think we would consider it almost as a miracle drug.”  

4 comments | Add a Comment  

By Chrisanne Grise

Mass Murder

8/07/12 3:58pm

Sikh Massacre Shooter Had a Drinking Problem

Image: 

Page at a white power concert

Wade Michael Page, the white supremacist who burst into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on Sunday and killed six worshippers before being shot dead by a police officer, reportedly battled an alcohol problem that led to his 2006 discharge from the Army, a DWI and the loss of a job at a trucking company in 2010.

The mass-murderer, who was described by his step-mother today as a "gentle" person, was a prominent figure in local white power rock scene. He was also struggling financially, and faced home foreclosure. During an interview last night with CNN's Piers Morgan, one of Page's self-described "close friends" described him as "a very kind, very smart individual—loved his friends. One of those guys with a soft spot," but that he was also “the loner type of person. Even in a group of people, he would be off alone.” According to the friend, Page was awaiting the "holy war."

Page served in the Army from 1992 to 1998, and worked as a technician on missile systems, and later as a psychological operations specialist. He was discharged by what Army officials describe as a “pattern of misconduct” linked to being intoxicated on duty. The following year, Wade was arrested in Colorado on DWI charges. He later took a job at an Iowa-based trucking company, which he managed to hold onto for four years—until he was pulled over in North Carolina and cited for driving while impaired by alcohol or “some other chemical substance,” according to the Washington Post.

1 comment | Add a Comment  

By Mike Guy

drugs online

8/07/12 3:10pm

Silk Road Goes From Strength to Strength

Image: 

A package from Silk Road. Photo via

Silk Road is essentially the Amazon.com of drugs and paraphernalia—and one and a half years since it began, business seems to be booming. A recent study of the anonymous black marketplace found that the site makes an estimated $22 million in annual sales, and its operators now generate more than $6,000 a day in commissions for themselves—up from $2,500 a day in February. And the total number of sellers has climbed from around 300 to over 550 in the last six months. The site uses shadowy techniques to hide its location, making it pretty much impossible to identify customers or track their movements. But despite—or perhaps partly because of—this elusiveness, customers have a high level of satisfaction, with 97.8% giving positive reviews. “On a site like Silk Road, where…most of the goods sold are illicit, one would expect a certain amount of deception to occur,” says Nicolas Christin, a Carnegie Mellon computer security professor who conducted the study. “Indeed, a buyer choosing, for instance, to purchase heroin from an anonymous seller would have very little recourse if the goods promised are not delivered. Surprisingly, though, most transactions on Silk Road seem to generate excellent feedback from buyers.” Purchases are made with “Bitcoin,” an Internet-only currency that bypasses the traditional banking system, further reducing detectability.

Silk Road isn't for luddites: some technical know-how is required to get on the site. But despite this, and not despite not advertising at all, it has managed to generate roughly as much revenue as illegal online pharmacies that use spam emails to lure in customers. “If you imagine them selling paperclips and buttons, they’re a stable business that’s growing without advertising or being in the news, just by word of mouth,” says Christin. He cautions that his study only examined a six month period, and that the highly volatile Bitcoin has increased nearly 70% in value over that time period. But however you crunch them, “It’s very bursty and spikey, but overall the numbers are moving up,” says Christin. “It’s a stable marketplace, and overall it’s growing steadily.”

Add a Comment  

By Chrisanne Grise

Pages

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
the fix tv
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

Addiction News

Alcohol and Drug Abuse News Articles

For the latest addiction news, bookmark This Just In. From legal matters and celebrity troubles to addiction studies and recovery stories, this section features the hottest topics in alcohol and drug abuse news. We sort out the sometimes overwhelming world of addiction-related news and opinion and bring it to you conveniently in one place in an easy to understand format. News Junkie? Get a weekly hit of our top addiction news stories by signing up for The Fix newsletter.