A pair of trekkies set their faces to stun when they were stopped and searched by Illinois cops on their warp drive home from a Star Trek convention last December. Officer Reichert pulled over Terrance Huff and John Seaton for an "inappropriate lane change,” but soon let Huff off with a warning, returned his ID and shook his hand. It seemed like end of the episode. But Reichert wasn't done: “Let me ask you a question real quick: When I went up to talk to your partner he seemed really apprehensive and really nervous,” he says in newly-released dash-cam footage. “Is there any reason for that at all?” The trekkies, keen to avoid trouble, let him take a narcotics dog around for a sniff, leading to a search after the dog "smelled drugs"—which Reichert didn't find. Some civil rights attorneys say this search violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. They add that—far from Reichert boldly going where no officer has gone before—such coerced searches happen often. "When we saw the Huff video in our office, we just laughed," says Madison Country public defender John Rekowski. "Not because it wasn't outrageous. But because it's the kind of thing we see all the time. The stop for a so-called 'inappropriate lane change,' the games they play in the questioning, the claims about nervousness or inappropriate behavior that can't really be contradicted. It's all routine."
The grunge era is famed for stars who didn't survive. The documentary Hit So Hard tells the story of one who did—but only just. Drummer Patty Schemel joined Hole after auditioning in 1992—leaving a steady job at Microsoft, to her mother's horror—and stayed with the band until 1998. During that time she took a Hi-8 camera with her on tours, and into the house she briefly shared with Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, who became a good friend. It's this footage, giving backstage insight into a circle hooked on drugs including meth and heroin, that forms the film—as well as interviews with Schemel and music industry friends, family, Courtney Love and other band members.
Schemel, who comes across as funny and likeable, started using alcohol and drugs from age 12, while experiencing the difficulties of growing up as a lesbian in a small town. By 1994 she was "strung out" on heroin; Cobain's suicide that April prompted the first of her 11 rehab stints. As soon as she emerged that June, Hole's bassist Kristen Pfaff suffered a fatal OD. Subsequent wild tours exacerbated Schemel's substance problems. But it was after being cut from the recording of the Celebrity Skin album in 1997, her work rejected by a ruthless producer, that she hit rock bottom and "went to crack and heroin island for a long time." She lived on the streets once her money ran out, stealing and even selling her body to score. Her eventual recovery—she's now six years clean—was aided by the Musicians' Assistance Program. These days she runs a dog daycare business in LA, where she lives with her wife and daughter, and also works to inspire more young girls to be drummers. Hit So Hard is directed by P. David Ebersole and hits theaters from April 13.
The Situation is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Sources close to MTV and 495 Productions, which produce Jersey Shore, have reported that show producers sat The Sitch down during the majority of the seasons to address concerns about his excessive drinking. During season two he was told that his drinking was making it difficult to shoot the show, but after their words fell on deaf ears, he was threatened with being axed from the show during seasons three and four. But now that the TV star is in rehab for his addiction to prescription medication and starting to sober up completely, he may find his new healthy lifestyle even more of a detriment to his career. Producers are reportedly looking for ways to phase him out of the show completely in season six by adding new castmates. MTV released a statement insisting that "there are no plans to replace the cast of Jersey Shore," but The Situation may be well-advised to look for another career where GTL is part of the job description.
More than 15% of teenagers meet the criteria for substance abuse by the time they're 18, according to researchers. The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, surveyed 10,123 US teens between 13 to 18 years old. The results showed that four of five teenagers have tried alcohol and over 15% were abusing booze. Regarding drugs, 60% admit they have had the opportunity to use illicit substances such as painkillers, tranquilizers, cocaine, stimulants, and marijuana—16% of teens qualify as drug abusers. "It's in adolescence that the onset of substance abuse disorders occurs for most individuals," says Joel Swendsen, lead research author and director of research at the National Center of Scientific Research in Bordeaux, France. "That's where the roots take place." Many health professionals are alarmed by the survey’s results, especially due to the fact the teens brains are still in development: "The reason we worry about it is that the earlier they use these substances the earlier they become addicted to it," says Susan Foster, vice president and director of policy research and analysis at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York. "There's really a type of rewiring that goes on with continued use than can result in an increased interest in using and an inability to stop using.”
After the launch of a $54 million graphic ad campaign by the CDC, calls to a “quit smoking” hotline more than doubled last week. According to federal health officials, 1-800-QUIT-NOW received the highest call volume in 72 years, with over 33,000 calls last week—more than double the 14,500 calls they received the week before. In addition to the call line, clicks to www.smokefree.gov went from around 20,000 to around 66,000, which is the most traffic the website has ever seen. “This is just a rough indicator, but it's a very encouraging one," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. "This means tens of thousands of people are seeing the ads and thinking of quitting and trying to quit.” The 12 week ad campaign—kicked off by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 19—was more visually shocking than past advertisements, featuring people whose smoking resulted in laryngectomy, paralysis, lost limbs, and heart surgery. The campaign has been praised by anti-smoking advocates who believe the shocking images may jolt people into thinking about the long-term dangers of smoking. An analysis will be conducted once the campaign ends to asses how many people ultimately quit smoking after viewing the graphic advertisements.
- Drug Kingpin Arellano Felix Gets 25-year Term [Associated Press]
- Seeking Help But Finding a Scam in Sober Homes [Boston Globe]
- Teen Girls And Binge Drinking: Younger Girls Feel Pressure To Drink Excessively [Huffington Post]
- Woman Arrested for Stashing Drugs Inside a Fake Pregnancy Bump [UK Mirror]
- The Situation: MTV Warned Him for Years to Stop Being a Drunk Mess [TMZ]
- Colin Farrell Opens Up About Being Sober for Seven Years [OK Magazine]