- Betty White: Drug Jokes Are Off-Limits [The Huffington Post]
At the age of 90, Betty White has built an incredible career as one of the industry’s top comediennes, tackling frequently bawdy subject matter—but there’s one topic she won’t touch in her comedy. “I won't have anything to do with drugs,” she explains. “I don't find them funny, I don't find them cute, I don't find them to laugh at. I've seen too many people get in trouble with them, so I draw the line at that kind of thing.”
As if Orlando Bloom didn’t have enough to contend with as a target in the notorious drug-fueled Hollywood “bling ring,” the heartthrob recently found himself in another messy situation: a naked man screaming about being high on drugs was arrested in front of his home in the Hollywood hills. Next time, it might behoove the gentleman to pick a lower-profile neighborhood to go streaking in.
After a highly publicized series of legal battles, Teen Mom star Amber Portwood is finally in the big house: she checked into an Indiana prison early Thursday morning to begin serving out her 5-year sentence, which she chose over treatment, despite having several chances to complete a drug court. We’re hoping that prison turns out to be preferable to the alternative—but this reality star could well be in for a brutal reality check.
- Demi Moore’s Daughters Worry for Her Sobriety [RadarOnline]
Demi Moore’s stint in rehab may have done good things for her public image, but those closest to her—her daughters Rumer, Scout, and Talullah—remain concerned for her health. RadarOnline reports that the girls are “worried about everything she is doing lately and they’re getting mad at her. Demi has been doing things that make them worry that maybe she isn’t staying sober and they’re not happy about her behavior.” Rehab as a PR stunt rather than an earnest attempt at sobriety? That would be a first.
- Ying Yang Twins Rapper Arrested for DUI [The Houston Chronicle]
Rapper De’Angelo Holmes, one-half of the hip-hop duo Ying Yang Twins (who memorably announced, “We finta go to the club and get crunk with Britney, hey!” on Britney Spears’ 2003 album In the Zone), is facing DUI and child endangerment charges stemming from an arrest in Georgia last week, where he failed a field sobriety test after being pulled over with his two young children in the car. Yikes. Maybe a little less “getting crunk in the club” and a little more “parenting” would be advisable going forward.
Since losing his 14-year-old daughter Mariah in a drunk driving accident five years ago, Leo McCarthy has taken an unusual step to protect other Montana teens: paying them to stay safe. At his daughter's memorial service, he promised her peers: "If you stick with me for four years, don't use alcohol, don't use illicit drugs but give back to your community, work with your parents and talk to your parents, I'll be there with a bunch of other people to give you money." He's kept his word by setting up a scholarship fund called "Mariah's Challenge." To be eligible, teens must sign a pledge to not drink until they're 21, and never to get in a car with a drunk driver. "I wanted to give them encouragement and to tell them that...you can be better and always be greater in the situation," says McCarthy. So far, over 140 high-school grads have received $1,000 scholarships from private donations after signing up. About 8,000 teens in the community have accepted the challenge—as well as an increasing number of adults, who've taken the pledge as a show of support. Drinking and driving is a huge problem in Montana; the state regularly ranks in the top five per capita for drunk-driving deaths. "Montana finally has had enough," says the state's attorney general Steve Bullock. "We're addressing [the issue] both through law enforcement, through legislation and through awareness. One of the great things about Mariah's Challenge is changing people's behavior and the positive awareness of it."
Some people chew gum while they're quitting smoking, but Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson has taken to chewing on toothpicks while he kicks the habit. And Pattinson says that even though he's only just quit smoking, his fans have already picked up on his new "hobby"—and given him more toothpicks than he knows what to do with. "I've been chewing these fucking toothpicks all the time," he complains. "Someone noticed in Cannes and literally the next day in Lisbon, then in Paris and in Berlin there were about 20 people on the red carpet giving me huge amounts of toothpicks. Thousands of them." But for the 26-year-old Twilight actor's legions of swooning admirers, there could be other, scarier ways to catch his attention as he kick-starts his healthy new lifestyle. "There was this one girl waiting outside my apartment every day for about three weeks," he relates. "There was one day when I was just so chronically bored I said to her, 'Do you want to just go to dinner or something? No one else wants to hang out with me.' Her parents had a restaurant, she took me there and I complained about everything in my life for about two hours, then she gave me the bill to pay and was never back outside my apartment ever again." That took care of her bad habit.
Painkiller abuse on campus is increasingly linked with depression and suicide risk among college students, a new study reveals. Western Illinois University Department of Health Sciences Assistant Professor Amanda Divin and her colleague Keith Zullig surveyed 26,600 randomly-selected college students from 40 US campuses. They found that 13% of the students who used non-medical prescription drugs also had feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts, and that female students were particularly vulnerable. The study—which will be published in the Addictive Behaviors journal in August—suggests that students may be self-medicating distress caused by study pressures or new-found independence with painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin. “I first got into taking painkillers after I got depressed when I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with my life and felt like I had no direction,” one female college student tells The Fix. “Those pills were the only thing that got me through some hard times, and they were very easy to find.”
“I saw many of my friends taking painkillers like me, and I’ll be honest, those were some dark times,” she continues. “I think that if depression and things like that were more openly talked about, it could help students seek help instead of taking drugs.” Many college campuses do offer counseling for depression, and some are even starting to offer rehabilitation and “sober houses” for addicts. But despite such resources, many students continue to self-medicate."Considering how common prescription sharing is on college campuses and the prevalence of mental health issues during the college years, more investigation in this area is definitely warranted," says Divin. "Our study is just one of the many first steps in exploring the relationship between non-medical prescription drug use and mental health." Our student source is now in better shape: “I’m glad I’m not taking Vicodin every day to deal with my depression like I used to,” she says. “Now, I’m on antidepressants...but I know many other students that aren’t that should be.”
- Mexico Drug Violence Shows Decline [The Wall Street Journal]
- NY Senate Proposes to Ban Welfare Spending on Bad Habits [The Huffington Post]
- Tobacco, Alcohol and … Seaweed? Three Innovative Methods for Producing Biofuels [Think Progress]
- NC Students Say Pot Is Easier to Get Than Booze [Officer]
- Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson Have Quit Smoking [Sugar Scape]
- Matthew Perry's Struggle to Find Work and Stay Sober [The Independent]
- Drunk Man with Kitten Calls 911 After Strip Club Denies Him Entry [Reuters]
No cubicle can contain free spirit/drug addict/beauty blogger and part-time vampire Cat Marnell. The health and beauty columnist for the website xoJane.com and self-professed drug addict has left her job, reportedly over her refusal to get clean. Marnell has written openly about her drug use in her blog for the magazine, while garnering a community of loyal followers who relish her unique mix of confessional ramblings and beauty tips. She was recently profiled by New York Magazine, defending her druggy lifestyle the day before her employers ordered her to rehab. According to sources, Marnell has continued to take drugs—even showing up to work high. “I’m always on drugs,” she tells the NY Post in an email. “Look, I couldn’t spend another summer meeting deadlines behind a computer at night when I could be on the rooftop of Le Bain looking for shooting stars and smoking angel dust with my friends and writing a book, which is what I’m doing next." Marnell seems optimistic and unflagging about her career change, claiming nine-to-fives are no place for junkies. "Drug addicts undeniably bring editorial black magic to the table like nobody else, but obviously we make the worst staffers. [...] We can fake it [for a time] ...before we turn into coddled emotional vampire nightmares.”