Former multiple boxing champ Oscar De la Hoya—who came clean about his alcohol and cocaine addictions, cross-dressing and infidelities earlier this year—apparently took his cocaine in an unusual way. Angelica Marie Cecora, a model and one-time confidante of Oscar De la Hoya, tells the NY Post, "He indicated he wanted [the powder administered rectally]." This followed some "cocaine-fueled confessions" during what the Post terms a "kinky romp" at New York's Ritz Carlton Hotel. Cecora, who has filed suit against De la Hoya alleging he forced himself on her and another woman last March, says she felt victimized by the Golden Boy. “He took advantage of me. I wanted to stop him from doing this to other people.” Most experienced drug users would attest that the backdoor isn't the standard orifice for using blow. But some, like De la Hoya and Stevie Nicks, whose decades-old urban legend of butt-blow abuse persists to this day, may buck the trend.
An Australian man with a passing resemblance to Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan spent three days in jail last year after Aussie border agents accused him of smuggling 1.6 kg of liquid ecstasy into the country—cunningly disguised in bottles of Pantene Pro V shampoo and conditioner. Actually, the bottles really did contain innocent hair product. Now, after 17 months of legal battles, Neil Parry has been awarded $100,000 in damages for the false arrest—most of which will simply cover his legal costs. Australian authorities sheepishly confess that they bungled the shampoo analysis, which they originally said tested positive for MDMA, the active compound in ecstasy. "Mistakes were made during the presumptive testing of Mr. Parry's goods," (under)states an official, who claims that new procedures have since been introduced. Ecstasy isn't known for being ingested through the scalp. Parry's boat was searched during the investigation, as were the homes of two of his friends. Procter & Gamble, makers of the Pro V hair care line, declined to comment.
Some sons of cocaine-addicted rats who dislike the drug could change the way we understand genetic inheritance. “Epigenetics" was a buzzword at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in DC last week; it's a new avenue of study, examining environmental influences that can turn genes on or off in an immediately heritable way. A paper on the epigenetics of cocaine addiction in rats seized the attention of the world’s top brain scientists. The study found that “cocaine-induced changes in the brain can be inherited by sons from their fathers,” says co-author Chris Pierce, of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Let's think about that: in biology class, we were taught to scoff at Lysenkoism—a discredited Soviet approach to genetics that insisted on the heritability of acquired characteristics. But neuroscientists are now saying, Not so fast. Not only were certain changes in gene expression in the brain heritable in the cocaine-addicted rats, but the results of those changes were utterly unexpected. The sons of the addicted male rats didn’t like coke much at all. They were more resistant to the reward effects of the drug, and so less likely to become addicted. The implications are complex and mind-boggling. Researchers must now confront the notion that lasting brain changes caused by drug or alcohol addiction might represent heritable risks—or epigenetic benefits—to their kids. Says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Maybe we can learn to silence certain genes during pregnancy that would help protect against addiction.”
- Drinking Age Law Impacts Adult Women's Suicide Risk [USA Today]
- Teen Accused of Watching Friend OD on Heroin, Calling 911 the Next Morning [LAist.com]
- Oklahoma State Trooper Shoots and Kills Drunk Driving Suspect [KOCO Oklahoma City]
- Sunday Alcohol Sales Start in Some Georgia Cities [Anderson Independent Mail]
- Florida Cop Charged With Buying Oxy on Duty [Miami Herald]
- Natalie Wood Death Investigation Captain: I Was Really Drunk [TMZ]
- In Baltimore, Mapping the World of Addiction [NPR]
- Video: Reporter Hallucinates After Eating "World's Hottest" Chilli [Nine MSN]
Brett Butler, the former star of popular '90s sitcom Grace Under Fire and a self-described addict, has finally hit rock bottom after a long string of disasters, which began with the cancellation of her show in 1998. She now lives in a homeless shelter. Butler—whose TV persona, Grace, was a recovering alcoholic herself—has battled substance abuse problems for over a decade. After losing her hit series and attending a bunch of "great white hope" rehabs without success, Butler moved from her Los Angeles mansion to a Georgia farm, where her addiction to prescription drugs spiraled out of control. "I did everything but crack and needles pretty much," she says. "I had a variety of things given to me by doctor, and other things.” Butler claims she's now sober and primed for a comeback; a reality TV show about her creepy psychic abilities is currently in development.
A funny Seattle Times piece details ex-prosecutor John McKay’s futile attempt to convince a room full of police chiefs that marijuana prohibition's failure. There are few less-likely pot advocates than John McKay. Appointed by George W. Bush, he was Seattle's top federal prosecutor for five years, filing charges against so-called "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery, and famously leading a case on helicopter smuggling of British Columbian grass. McKay said in his speech that he doesn’t smoke pot, and "doesn't like people very much who smoke pot." But he's still joined a long line of people who've spent years fighting the drug war, only to denounce it on leaving office. Few serving politicians or police chiefs have the guts to speak out. The assembled cops predictably voted against endorsing I-502—a measure heading to the legislature or to voters next year, that would legalize, tax and regulate small marijuana sales in Washington State.
The Seattle Times’ rendering of police attitudes is droll. Describing the reaction as “one of frowns beneath mustaches,” the piece gives us some choice quotes. Reacting to McKay’s statement that "Our criminalization of marijuana for the last 70 years as a vehicle to reduce its use is a failure," Police Chief Ed Holmes wondered why we'd want to legalize a substance whose “only use” is for “impairment.” "With marijuana, there's only one reason you smoke it,” said Holmes, to widespread guffaws. “It's not like it tastes good. You don't smoke it with your burger." Another cop, asking to remain anonymous—presumably so nobody will surprise him with a “Father of the Year” award—boasted of having his own son arrested for pot use. Claiming the kid's now “straightened out,” he added, "I thank goodness it carries the stigma of having to be arrested." Gee, thanks dad!
Despite such attitudes, I-502 has already collected more than 230,000 signatures and will likely qualify for the November 2012 ballot. Based on state Liquor Control Board estimates, I-502's acceptance would make weed a top-five agricultural product in Washington, smoked by 10% of adults, grossing nearly $582 million and generating $215 million in taxes a year. Almost two-thirds of this money would be earmarked for research and addiction prevention. But try selling that to the cops.