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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Guts to Glory

3/23/12 12:00pm

The Fix TV: Kristen Johnston Reads From "Guts"

By The Fix staff

Sexual Healing

3/23/12 11:39am

Safe Compulsive Sex? There's An App For That.


I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

There are already apps that help the sexually adventurous hook up (here's lookin' at you, Grindr), but now there's an app that can help keep those hook-ups safe. With Chec-Mate (available for both iPhones and Androids), sex addicts or anyone acting with sexual compulsivity can verify, share or exchange information about their and their prospective partner's STDs. While the app wasn't designed with sex addicts in mind, the creators are happy to help addicts make wiser choices and avoid unnecessarily spreading sexually transmitted diseases. "While we don't intend the Chec-mate app to be used as an excuse for unprotected sex or multiple sexual partners, we know that people who suffer from sexual addiction are at more risk and we believe it could lessen their risk," says Eli Dancy, the CEO of STFree Certifications, Inc—the company that created the app. "Although there are never any guarantees when it comes to screening a partner and alternative methods of protection should always be used, we believe that Chec-Mate gives people an advantage." Maybe Grindr and Chec-Mate can offer a package deal?

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By Anna David

And Now We Know

3/23/12 9:25am

Whitney Houston Drowned, Cocaine Was a Factor


The Greatest Singer of All

Whitney Houston died from accidental drowning, but use of cocaine and heart disease played a part in her death, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. The much anticipated autopsy results were released on Thursday evening after long speculation of what caused the late singer's death on February 11th. The toxicology results also indicated the 48-year-old singer had Xanax, marijuana, the allergy medication Benadryl, and the muscle relaxant Flexeril in her system, as well as a buildup of plaque in her arteries that is common among drug users. "We feel that the cocaine coupled with the heart disease complicated her condition," said chief investigator Craig Harvey. "Chances are if she did not have pre-existing heart disease and cocaine use, she might not have drowned."

Heart complications from cocaine use is something that has been researched and published by Dr. Richard A. Lange and Dr. L. David Hillis of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “Cocaine induces an increase in the three major determinants of the myocardial oxygen demand: the heart rate, the systemic arterial pressure, and left ventricular contractility,” they wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. “The risk for heart attack is increased by a factor of 24 during the 60 minutes after the use of cocaine in persons who are otherwise at relatively low risk.” In summary, a hit of cocaine generate abnormal heart rhythms which can result in unexpected cardiac death, and long-term use of the drug can damage the blood vessels around the heart, which then leads to hardening of the arteries.

Houston’s family and friends are saddened and surprised by the toxicology results, especially since they believed she was not using drugs before her death, “I don’t think drugs was an issue for her before her death. I don’t know what happened that day,” Patricia Houston, the Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager, said in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey. The exact amount of cocaine in Houston’s system has not been made known, but a final autopsy report is said to be released in two weeks.

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By Valerie Tejeda


3/23/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: March 23, 2012


The 20 lb. pomeranian had a BAC of 0.348,
just shy of the lethal 0.4 BAC... for humans.
Photo via

By Bryan Le


3/22/12 4:33pm

Could You Choose Between Alcohol and the Internet?


The survey revealed powerful, potent figures
you can probably smell from the next room.
Photo via

What would you give up if it meant you could keep checking Facebook or googling your name? Driving? Alcohol? Sex? The Boston Consulting Group decided to find out just how web-dependent people are, surveying 1,000 people from every G-20 country and asking what “lifestyle habit” they would be willing to give up for a year if it meant they could keep the Internet. Turns out almost 75% of Americans claim they would kick chocolate, alcohol or coffee for unfettered access to their precious wideband portal. And 21% say they'd give up sex, but that number should probably go up to 28% to account for the 7% who would quit bathing. Most other countries hold the internet at the same priority level as Americans, with a couple surprising exceptions: Japanese are twice as likely to give up sex as Americans—a whopping 56%; Brazilians, on the other hand, are only half as likely as Americans to do the same. The BCG has revealed just how much the world wants to stay online, which poses an interesting philosophical question for each of us to ask ourselves about our priorities: is showering really worth it?

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By Bryan Le

Don't cry for her

3/22/12 1:55pm

Pregnant English Drug Mule Avoids Prison


Lucy Wright became a drug mule to alleviate her debts.

Pregnant drug mule Lucy Wright has won a legal battle in London's High Court that allows her to avoid extradition to Argentina, where she'd have to serve a 16-year sentence for smuggling. The grounds of the ruling? She would likely face inhuman treatment in the South American country's jails. The victory reverses a previous extradition order by Home Secretary Theresa May and could potentially worsen already strained relations between Argentina and the UK. “The uncontradicted evidence shows a disturbing pattern of cruel, inhuman treatment being suffered by female prisoners and especially foreign ones in Argentina," said judges Sir John Thomas and Justice Silber in their ruling. “So it is very likely that the appellant would be subjected to this treatment in the absence of any adequate redress available to her.” Wright was arrested at Buenos Aires airport in 2007 trying to smuggle 14 pounds of cocaine in her luggage. Once she was bailed out after a night in Argentine jail, Wright reached Brazil and told the British Consulate she lost her passport. She obtained a new one from them and ultimately made it back to England, where she was promptly arrested. Wright was a former nursing student in London when she became addicted to crack cocaine following the breakdown of a relationship and a bout of depression. She will likely face trial on importation of drugs charges in an English court.

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By McCarton Ackerman


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