Kelly Osbourne's sobriety has been questioned in recent months after several alleged benders, but the Fashion Police host has revealed that she prefers regular therapy sessions over meds as she struggles with her addiction to pills and her self-confidence issues. "I go to therapy because I don't want to be on medication my entire life," says 27-year-old Osbourne. "There's still a stigma about therapy, but it's helping me put things into perspective and see the things that are superficial and shouldn't be bothering me." Osbourne has denied the recent reports she's fallen off the wagon and claims to have been clean for nearly three years. She's soon to appear alongside Miley Cyrus and Jeremy Piven in the action-comedy So Undercover, which will be released next month.
It's worrying news for anyone going under the knife: surgeons are more likely than the rest of us to struggle with alcohol problems—and all the more so if they are female. Researchers have found that 15% of surgeons have alcohol abuse problems; among the general population, that figure is around 9%. And those surgeons who struggle with alcoholism had a 45% chance of recently making a major medical error. Among those surveyed, 14% of male surgeons and 25% of female surgeons showed signs of alcohol abuse. "Observations from previous studies show that the stress of being a surgeon, and balancing professional and personal obligations, is much more prevalent in female than male surgeons," says Dr. Michael Oreskovich at the University of Washington, who surveyed over 25,000 surgeons during his research. He adds that overall, "The nature of the beast is that the percent of emergencies, the percent of after hours work, and actual scheduled work itself all require an energy and concentration that is really different than a lot of the other specialties." Edward Livingston, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who wasn't involved in the study, agrees: "Surgery is a stressful business. There are people who turn to alcohol to help deal with their stress." And Oreskovich believes that his figures probably underestimate the number of surgeons with alcohol problems, due to the shame and guilt associated with alcoholism in the medical field.
- Painful Cutting Addiction Spreads to Urban Girls [KHou.com]
- Federal Panel Favors Approval for Weight-Loss Drug Qnexa [New York Times]
- One in Five Teens Drives While High [Baltimore Sun]
- Addiction Booming in Baby Boomers [KSDK.com]
- Russia Plans "Dealcoholization of the People" Program [Russia & India Report]
- Addiction Is Not Hopeless [CNN]
- 30 Boston Students Busted at Canadian Border [CBS News]
- Lindsay Lohan in the "Homestretch" of Probation, Judge Says [LA Times]
Legendary singer Chaka Khan has been open about her struggles with addiction, but recently revealed that an early encounter with fellow chanteuse Etta James prevented her from ever injecting drugs. The pair first met in the late 1970s, when Khan went to sign at Warner Bros. Records. "She said to me, 'Whatever you do, if you wanna be in this business…' showing me the tracks on her arm,… 'do not do this,' recalls the 58-year-old Queen of Funk. "I said, 'Oh my God! Don't worry, I won't.' And I didn't. I snorted heroin for a good 10 years and I did cocaine, but I never injected." Khan, who has since sold over eight million albums worldwide, is also now nearly eight years clean. She reached out to both Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse before their untimely drug- and alcohol-related deaths, and has expressed similar concerns for Lindsay Lohan. Recovering heroin addict Etta James passed away last month.
Researchers in Japan have found that a chemical in the region of the brain involved in sensory and reward systems is crucial to how people react to financial losses, which could lead to the possible development of drugs to treat problem gamblers. The experiment, conducted at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, studied 19 people after they gambled and showed that a chemical messenger called norepinephrine, or noradrenaline, is central to the response to losing money. Those with low levels of norepinephrine transporters had higher levels of the chemical in a crucial part of their brain, leading them to be less aroused by losing money and less sensitive to it. Those with higher levels of this chemical suffered from "loss aversion," or a more pronounced reaction to financial losses and gains. "We like to believe we all have free will and make whatever decisions we want to, but this shows it's not so easy," says Julio Licino, editor of Molecular Psychiatry, which published the study. "Many people have a predisposure to make certain kinds of decisions." Alexis Bailey, a lecturer in neuropharmacology at Britain's University of Surrey, says scientists now need to analyze known pathological gamblers to confirm whether they have higher levels of these brain chemical transporters than non-gamblers.
Actress Brooke Mueller has completed a three-month stint in rehab and returned to her Los Angeles home yesterday. The 34-year-old ex-wife of "eccentric" Hollywood addict Charlie Sheen entered the facility after being arrested for assault and cocaine possession in December. While vacationing and partying hard in Aspen, Colorado, she got into an altercation with a woman who alerted police and reported that Mueller had attacked her. Police who searched claim they found cocaine. Mueller is charged with a misdemeanor and a felony and faces up to six years in prison if found guilty. However, she's apparently now focusing on maintaining her sobriety; her reps say she's continuing treatment through an "aggressive" outpatient program that includes the services of a sober companion. Mueller reportedly thanked her ex-husband for caring for their twin sons, Max and Bob, while she was away.