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July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015

ALCOHOL – USA
9 Things I Don’t Miss About Alcohol Addiction – BuzzFeed

From being permanently skint to hating yourself, addiction is like living in a house made of poor decisions.

HEROIN / PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Multi-faceted treatment urged for drug addicts – Tribune Live

After 216 days in detox, in-patient treatment and a halfway house, Potts, a certified recovery specialist with the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, said she’ll be nine years clean in September. “I firmly believe in the long-term treatment. I could not stay clean in short-term treatment. I don’t think even 90 days is enough.”

DRUG ADDICTION – USA
SOMC treating drug-addicted babies – Portsmouth Daily Times

13 percent of moms and newborns are testing positive on admission for an illegal substance or a prescription drug that is obtained illegally.

HEROIN – USA
Every Drug Court Should Allow Methadone Treatment – New York Times

WHEN an old offense caught up with 28-year-old Robert Lepolszki last year, he had a full-time job and had kicked heroin. But Frank Gulotta Jr., the Nassau County judge assigned to his case, forced him to end the only treatment that had ever worked: methadone maintenance.

MARIJUANA / HEROIN / PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Umbilical Cord Analysis Helps Doctors Treat Babies Exposed to Drugs in the Womb – Big Think

The American Medical Association estimates that in the U.S., one infant suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome was born every hour in 2009.” By 2013, the numbers had increased 12-fold.

ALCOHOL – USA
John Stamos Now In Rehab For Substance Abuse Treatment – Tech Times

‘Full House’ star John Stamos has been admitted to rehab facility to undergo a residential treatment program following his arrest last month on DUI charges.

ALCOHOL – USA
Survey data aside, abuse of alcohol still a major problem – Yakima Herald

Yakima County is not accustomed to being on the positive side of a public-health statistic, which is where it found itself in a recent survey about alcohol abuse. That’s good news on the surface, but observers say there are plenty of problems buried amid the numbers.

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July 16, 2015

July 16, 2015

HEROIN / PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
For Families Of Heroin Addicts, Comfort Comes In Sharing Their Stories – NPR

At Solace, a support group for family members of those suffering from addiction, many of the attendees have watched a child under 30 die of a fatal drug overdose — heroin, or opioids like Oxycontin or Vicodin that are considered gateway drugs to heroin.

ALCOHOL – USA
Blood-pressure medicine could erase cues for drug, alcohol addiction – Sacramento Bee

Researchers using drug-addicted rats at the University of Texas at Austin say a common blood-pressure medication could help erase the environmental cues that fuel the human urge to use cocaine and alcohol.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
Sounding the alarm as prescription drug abusers turn to heroin – Los Angeles Times

“We are priming people to addiction to heroin with overuse of prescription opiates, which are, after all, essentially the same chemical with the same impact on the brain.” Frieden made his comments as he announced that heroin use had increased 62% and related deaths had nearly quadrupled since 2002.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
Florida’s pain pill addiction crisis shifts to heroin – Palm Beach Post

It’s tragic and frustrating to think that after successfully battling the deadly pill mill industry, Florida now spars with something worse: Heroin.There’s no denying that heroin is in our community, and it’s a growing problem, as the Martin County sheriff and Delray Beach police chief recently warned. Their agencies are coping with a surge in drug overdoses, and discovering drug rings that are run out of legitimate-looking businesses like tire stores.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
Painkiller addictions leading to wave of heroin overdose deaths – Standard-Examiner

Mark Kastleman got a call this week from a 65-year-old woman who started on pain pills for back surgery recovery and now, a year later, has turned to heroin to feed the opiate addiction she developed. Unfortunately, her situation is not unusual.

DRUG / ALCOHOL ADDICTION REHAB – USE
Addiction is not a disease — and we’re treating addicts incorrectly – New York Post

The disease theory has powerful forces behind it, has money behind it. Perhaps most important, it has a comforting thought behind it. Hey, it could happen to anyone. You’re not a morally flawed individual if you catch the flu, are you?

ALCOHOL REHAB – USA
Addiction is not a disease: How AA and 12-step programs erect barriers while attempting to relieve suffering – Salon

The founders of AA did not see addiction as a disease, exactly, but as a mental and spiritual “malady.” Physical sensitivity to alcohol was initially conceived of as an “allergy,” while the spiritual malady expressed itself in perpetual discomfort with life on life’s terms, an inability to be at peace in the moment.

ALCOHOL ADDICTION – USA
Fruit fly study reveals alcohol addiction ‘gene’ – The Spirits Business

A study on “drunk” fruit flies has helped scientists to identify a “key” gene associated with alcohol consumption in humans.

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July 9, 2015

July 9, 2015

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Advocates push to expand use of medications to treat addiction – USA Today

Medications that treat addiction are a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s plan to combat the opiate epidemic.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
New formula Oxycontin won’t give you a high if crushed, snorted or injected – Health 24

“When the pills are swallowed they are as addictive and dangerous as pure oxycodone.”

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
The OxyContin Clan: The $14 Billion Newcomer to Forbes 2015 List of Richest U.S. Families – Forbes

The richest newcomer to Forbes 2015 list of America’s Richest Families comes in at a stunning $14 billion. How did the Sacklers build the 16th-largest fortune in the country? The short answer: making the most popular and controversial opioid of the 21st century — OxyContin.

ALCOHOL – AUSTRALIA
Alcohol addictions plague Coast workers in high-pressure jobs – Sunshine Coast Daily

When people find the strength and courage to confront alcohol’s crippling effects, their lives can be completely transformed, she said. This was the motivator for her business, which provides discreet help to business people struggling with addiction.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
OxyContin maker bows out of meeting on harder-to-abuse drug – St. Lewis Post-Dispatch

The makers of the potent painkiller OxyContin have pulled out of a federal meeting to review the company’s harder-to-abuse version of the much-debated drug. An executive for Purdue Pharma says the company wants more time to review and analyze its data. As a result, the company has withdrawn its application that was slated to be reviewed before a Food and Drug Administration committee next week.

ALCOHOL / DRUG ADDICTION – USA
Op-Ed: My friend Walter, alcohol and drug addiction and good people lost – Digital Journal

This is a story mostly about Walter R., a fine and amusing man who did his very best to get clean.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Philadelphia Daily News Sam Donnellon column – Go Erie

Playing in pain, accelerating recovery from injuries – these are not just accepted practices among pro players. They are expected practices.

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July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015

DRUG REHAB – UK / SWITZERLAND
George Michael ‘checks into rehab for substance abuse’ – Washington Post

George Michael has reportedly checked into a Swiss rehabilitation center for substance abuse. The 51-year-old star entered the facility because he was smoking as many as 25 joints per day.

DRUG REHAB – DENMARK
Denmark is sending young addicts on Caribbean sailing trips for rehab – Mashable

“The Caribbean might sound like an exotic place to go, but it’s important to stress that we are in no way talking about a holiday,” Flemming Olsen, director of family affairs at Frederikssund council on the island of Zealand, said. “We are doing this so that they can get away from an environment of drug abuse. They are maybe caught up in crime, such as drug-dealing and theft.”

HEROIN – USA
Heroin addiction: Kenton County sees early success moving addicts from jail to rehab – WCPA

A plan to get heroin addicts out of jail and into recovery seems to be working after just a few months. Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders pushed for the HEART program, Heroin Expedited Addiction Recovery Treatment. The idea was to free up space in jail for dangerous criminals while getting drug addicts the treatment they needed.

DRUG REHAB – UK
Why addiction treatment is in need of a fix – The Conversation

Who cares what happens to drug addicts? Perhaps we all should. As well as social problems including family breakdown, homelessness and unemployment, drug use is linked to crime costing the state and individuals an estimated £13.3bn a year in the UK. Because we are citizens and taxpayers, drugs impact us all.

DRUG /ALCOHOL ADDICTION – UK
Who Killed Amy Winehouse? – The Daily Beast

Why wasn’t she helped? Why did she die? The whole world knew what was going on. How could we have let her? Who killed Amy Winehouse?

DRUG /ALCOHOL ADDICTION – USA
Addiction Is Not a Brain Disease, and That’s Good News – Huffington Post

In a recent article in HuffPost, Nora Volkow argued that addiction is a brain disease. She has been making this point forcefully for years, based on evidence that brain structure and function change with addiction, presumably as a consequence of drug use. The disease model is enormously influential. And, as the director of NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and a renowned neuroscientist herself, Dr. Volkow is one of its most powerful advocates. Yet not everyone agrees with her.

DRUG TREATMENT – USA
Narcan is helping reduce overdose deaths in Hennepin County. Why isn’t it used more widely? – MinnPost

Remember that scene in “Pulp Fiction” when John Travolta saves Uma Thurman from a heroin overdose by plunging an adrenaline-filled hypodermic needle into her heart? In the movie Uma pops up and presumably goes on to enjoy many more years of barefooted dancing. But that could never happen in real life, right?

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June 25, 2015

June 25, 2015

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Film explores teen prescription drug abuse with message for parents – La Jolla Light

“If Only,” a film about prescription drug abuse in young people, chronicles what producers call “a parent’s worst nightmare.” It follows the lives of two high school students experimenting with painkillers and other pills.

ALCOHOL – UK
Pete Townshend opens up about past alcohol abuse – Fox News

The Who legend Pete Townshend described his past alcohol abuse and how the “ridiculous job” of being a rock star fuels addiction before a starry crowd including Joan Jett and Bruce Springsteen at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit.

DRUG ADDICTION / DRUG REHAB – USA
John Moffitt un-retires, but will Seattle Seahawks snag him? – isportsweb.com

In March 2014 Moffitt was arrested and charged with assault and possession of marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. “I have never been so proud of a guy I’ve trained than I am of John Moffitt. Retired two years ago (because) he knew he had drug issues, took time to go to rehab, clean up his life, beat his demons and he has taken his life back!”

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
How Much?! Global Prescription Drug Sales Forecast to Reach $987B by 2020 – Wall Street Journal

After a few up and down years, global prescription drug sales appear poised to take off and grow 4.8% annually over the next five years, reaching $987 billion by 2020.

DRUG REHAB – USA
Area police chiefs endorse governor’s proposal to treat drug addiction as disease – The Sun Chronicle

The program, which emphasizes help over handcuffs for offenders seeking to break the grip of opioid drugs, is increasingly being sought out by families of addicts for help in getting loved ones into recovery programs. Seekonk Police Chief Craig Mace said it is important to look at all aspects of fighting addiction. “Treatment is so important,” he said. “It’s not a guarantee, but it’s a first step.”

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
Rural U.S. Struggles to Combat IV Drug Abuse – Wall Street Journal

Abuse of opioid painkillers and heroin in rural areas and small cities is causing hepatitis C and HIV to spread in regions where they were uncommon two decades ago. New hepatitis C infections nationwide rose 150% between 2010 and 2013, with the largest increases in rural areas.

DRUG ADDICTION – USA
Addiction at heart of Baltimore’s woes – Baltimore Sun

In Baltimore, addiction takes a lot of people’s dreams away from them. Not only does an addict hurt himself but he hurts the people around him. We need to raise awareness of this problem and create opportunities for people to rehabilitate. Parents are struggling and communities need to find out who they are and how they might be helped.

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June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015

DRUG TREATMENT – USA
On Its First Day, A Slow Start For Gloucester’s Drug Treatment ‘Angel Program’-WBUR

Gloucester police have officially started a program to help deal with the opioid epidemic. Instead of arresting drug users, police will help them get into treatment. But on Monday — the first day of the program — no one came to police looking for help — and there are some who question whether anyone will.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
Gloucester Police: 17 People Have So Far Sought Opioid Addiction Treatment In New Program – WBUR

Gloucester police Chief Leonard Campanello said that 17 people abusing opioids like heroin, morphine and oxycodone have so far taken up the department’s offer to turn over their drugs and paraphernalia without fear of arrest – as long as they agree to enter treatment on the spot.

DRUG TREATMENT – USA
Citing Reagan, Christie touts drug treatment as 2016 issue – NJ.com

Asked by one of the counselors how, given the hodge-podge of state criminal drug laws, America might ever produce a cohesive national drug policy, Christie suggested it would be his preference to encourage states to switch from incarceration to treatment in the same way he had done in New Jersey.

ALCOHOL TREATMENT – USA
RIA receives $3 million to study tailored alcohol treatment methods – University of Buffalo News

A “one-size-fits-all” approach to alcohol treatment is not the best strategy, according to University at Buffalo addiction experts, who have received a $3 million grant to explore whether treatments tailored to a person’s behavior before seeking help will result in better treatment outcomes.

METHADONE – USA
Prisoners forced off methadone less likely to return to treatment – Reuters

“When people have opioid dependence, physiologically, they develop tolerance and have to keep taking a higher and higher dose,” to avoid withdrawal, Rich told Reuters Health by phone. Withdrawal from heroin is painful and “diabolical,” he said, and drives people to do desperate things. Withdrawal from methadone is more prolonged and less intense, but still painful.

METHAMPHETAMINE – USA
J. Paul Getty’s Grandson Died Of Ulcers Caused By Methamphetamine – Contact Music

Andrew Getty was found dead in the bathroom of his Los Angeles home in March (15), and officials representing the L.A. County Coroner have revealed his cause of death is a gastrointestinal haemorrhage. Autopsy results revealed that the ulcers were caused by a toxic level of methamphetamine.

ALCOHOL / DRUG ADDICTION – UK
‘Why did nobody stop it?': Director Asif Kapadia on Amy Winehouse documentary – Hit Fix

When I think of Winehouse’s death I’ve felt complicit in the obsessive nature of celebrity, pecking at low-hanging fruit, or using reductionist language in discussing entertainers who are struggling with their very humanity.

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June 11, 2015

June 11, 2015

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Opioid crisis: What is an opioid? How are the drugs used? – Mass Live

While talk of an addiction crisis in the country is becoming more common, many people may not know what drugs are involved.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Painkillers resist abuse, but experts still worry – Worcester Telegram

Anthony DiTullio would pop a painkiller in his mouth but not just swallow it, as intended. He would chew it for 30 minutes, grinding through its protective coating and waxy unpleasantness, because the only pain he was treating was addiction.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
While some see promise in drug, others see peril – Taos News

Last week, The Taos News reported on the case of a now 3-year-old Questa boy who suffered severe brain damage after overdosing on what police say was a Suboxone tablet illicitly obtained by his father. Though an unusually dramatic case, the toddler’s story is just one example of what many see as the perils underlying a drug also considered a great hope for those struggling with opiate addiction.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN
Overdose increase brings call for more teachers, police – Eagle-Tribune

City leaders said they were aware Haverhill has a problem with overdoses from heroin and other drugs, but statistics showing the number of overdoses across the community is driving the point home. The numbers have some city councilors calling for Haverhill to hire more drug abuse educators and counselors for schools, and also more police officers.

ALCOHOL – USA
Charles Kennedy died of a ‘major haemorrhage’ caused by his alcohol addiction – Business Insider

Charles Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat Party leader, died at his home in Scotland on Tuesday, after suffering from a “major haemorrhage” caused by his alcohol addiction.

ALCOHOL – UK
Athlete who overcame alcohol addiction and colon cancer shares story in new book – KCTV Kansas City

Teri Griege beat colon cancer, is a recovering alcoholic and she is “powered by hope.” She’s a warrior, has always been an athlete and, at the age of 48, she completed an Ironman competition, which involves swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and then running a marathon.

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June 4, 2015

June 4, 2015

HEROIN – USA
Heroin tops list of Lebanon County’s drug-rehab cases – LD News

“Some of the things I want to make this board of commissioners aware of,” Jim Donmoyer, executive director of the Lebanon County Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, said, “everybody talks about and hears about the heroin epidemic. It is here in Lebanon County.”

COCAINE / XANAX – USA
Kylie Jenner Drug Use: Teen Reportedly Headed To Rehab For Cocaine And Xanax Addiction – Inquisitr

Rumors are swirling once again about Kylie Jenner’s wild behavior. A new report is claiming that the 17-year-old is “out of control” and is being forced to rehab against her will. It sounds like there’s more going on with Kylie than fans know about.

DRUG REHAB – USA
Denise Hansen: Drug rehab needs to be addressed – Salem News

I am writing this letter because I want to let everyone know how I feel about heroin addiction and what they never did to help my son. As you said in the article about my son (”Shane Hansen of Peabody gets 10 years in gun, heroin cases,” April 13), having this addiction way back when he overdosed on Nov. 3, 2003, my son was 19 years old. In June, he will be 30 years old.

DRUG / ALCOHOL ADDICTION RECOVERY – USA
A Choice for Recovering Addicts: Relapse or Homelessness – New York Times

After a lifetime of abusing drugs, Horace Bush decided at age 62 that getting clean had become a matter of life or death. So Mr. Bush, a homeless man who still tucked in his T-shirts and ironed his jeans, moved to a flophouse in Brooklyn that was supposed to help people like him, cramming into a bedroom the size of a parking space with three other men.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Opioid crisis: Seeds of addiction started with efforts to fight pain – Massachusetts Live

The seeds to the growing opioid crisis, which killed 17,000 nationally last year according to federal figures, were sown in 1986 when the World Health Organization identified “inadequate treatment for pain a serious public health concern” and encouraged physicians to prescribe opioid analgesics for cancer patients.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
The deadly pills-to-heroin pipeline: Inside the growing scourge devastating Alabama communities – Alabama News

Over the past few years, as many doctors went from prescribing strong opioid pain medications like oxycodone – the opiate that OxyContin pills release over the course of 12 hours – almost exclusively to hospitalized terminal cancer patients to handing it out for afflictions as minor as backaches or even bad cold symptoms, an increasing number of Americans developed addictions to opiates. The situation is particularly acute in Alabama

ALCOHOL – UK
‘I would buy whisky after the school run': Mother who turned to drink after losing her baby to cot death reveals 14-year addiction that saw her sons almost taken into care – Daily Mail

Sophie found herself buying two bottles of brandy every morning, whilst Alex was downing eight cans of lager each day. She says: ‘I was a secret drinker. I would drop AJ at school and then go straight to the off-licence to buy brandy. ‘I’d hide vodka and brandy all round the house. I couldn’t even do the supermarket shop unless I was steaming drunk. But she has now been sober for over two years.

ALCOHOL UK
Drinking wine at home is putting thousands more women in hospital – Daily Mail

Women drinking at home are fueling the nation’s chronic problem with alcohol, experts warned. Hospital admissions directly linked to alcohol grew three times quicker among women than among men last year.

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May 28, 2015

May 28, 2015

MEDICAL MARIJUANA – USA
House slams brakes on medical marijuana – Standard Speaker

The speaker’s power to assign a bill to a committee usually doesn’t get much attention until it happens to a bill like this. “We’ve got to be real careful we don’t have unintended consequences that are harmful,” Baker said. “I’m open to discussion, but it’s got to have the approval of the medical professionals.”

MARIJUANA – USA
Pot used to be pretty harmless, but it’s plenty dangerous today – Pittsburg Post Gazette

Even those who didn’t smoke pot knew plenty of people who did and didn’t see much harm in it. We rightfully mocked vilifications of marijuana … It’s up to 10 times stronger than in the ’60s and ’70s and powerfully addictive

ADDICTION TREATMENT – USA
Addiction treatment hard to find, even as overdose deaths soar – USA Today

“I tried to get help so many times growing up,” said McCrorken, of New Haven, Conn. “Getting into detox was always difficult because there were never any beds available and they would put you on a waiting list. If I had to wait, without a doubt, I was getting high,” he says.

ADDICTION TREATMENT – USA
Drug to treat addiction is too often addicting – Lexington Herald-Leader

A recent Herald-Leader editorial supported using Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) to treat opiate addiction. The editorial claims that with more taxpayer-funded Suboxone, opiate abuse and overdoses will decrease. Unfortunately, recent history demonstrates otherwise.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Doctors and pharmacists work to flag painkiller addicts – WMC Action News

Prescription drug problems are widespread. Dozens of illegal back-door deals were shut down in raids by federal agents Wednesday. But some folks are getting their drugs legally. This addiction can start at the doctor’s office and spiral out of control. “I had a patient who basically was prostituting his mother for oxycontin,” said Dr. John North.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Painkiller addiction spawns hepatitis threat – Star Tribune

The blood-borne virus, on the decline nationally until a few years ago, is rising rapidly among adolescents and young adults, especially in white, rural communities. Those are the same areas where an epidemic of prescription opioid deaths first showed up over a decade ago, followed by a wave of heroin deaths.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Is Health Care Creating An Opioid Addiction? – Civil Beat

A nurse’s sister’s overdose death changes her perspective on painkiller addiction, which the Centers for Disease Control calls a national epidemic.

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May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS / HEROIN – USA
Doctors say treating babies born to addicted mothers expensive, painful – WMUR

“These babies are not happy. They are very irritable, so the littlest of noises disrupts them. Their intestines are overactive. They throw up. They have diarrhea. They sweat.”

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – CANADA
Federal government reversing its decision to allow generic OxyContin as addictions surge – National Post

The federal health minister said she is going to introduce legislation that will reverse the decision taken by her government to allow generic drugmakers to produce their own version of the powerful painkiller, OxyContin. The government is acting to combat the “silent killer” of prescription drug addiction.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – USA
Critics: Mistake to allow addicts to sue for damages in WV – State Journal

Critics fear a recent West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decision allowing individuals who admit to illegal acts to sue for damages is going to “open up a pandora’s box” in the Mountain State. “This case says that even if you are a pill-seeking drug felon … the pharmacy and doctor who prescribe to you, even if you have a prior addiction or criminal issues, are now civilly liable for damages,” noted one observer who chose not to be identified. “Essentially, it rewards criminal behavior.”

MARIJUANA – USA
The Side Effects Of Marijuana In The Brain: Some Regions Become More Impaired Than Others – Medical Daily

THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, attaches to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Several areas of the brain have high densities of these receptors, which helps explain the different effects of the drug.

SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA – USA
Synthetic ‘marijuana’ isn’t pot, isn’t safe = Washington Times

This past month, there was again a dramatic spike in emergency room visits in several states. Marketed under the names Spice, Smacked, K2, and Black Mamba — to name a few — synthetic marijuana is not the “safe” alternative to plant-grown marijuana that it is made out to be.

MARIJUANA – USA
Supreme Court prods Obama administration in Colorado marijuana dispute – Christian Science Monitor

Nebraska and Oklahoma say marijuana laws in neighboring Colorado are causing harm to their states and want the US Supreme Court to intervene. On Monday, court showed interest in the case by asking the Obama administration for a brief.

ALCOHOL – USA
Learn to Recognize the Signs of an Alcohol Problem – Consumer Health Day

To help people identify when drinking becomes a problem, Dr. William Jacobs, chief of addiction medicine at Georgia Regents University’s Medical College of Georgia, outlined five major signs of alcohol abuse or dependence.

METHAMPHETAMINE – Australia
Crystal meth addict ‘gouged out his eyes and ate them’ while high on drug, Australian MP claims – Independent

An Australian MP shocked hundreds gathered at an anti-drugs summit by describing an incident where a young man gouged his own eyes out and ate them while high on methamphetamines.

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