High Society Mini-site to accompany an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection on the history and culture of mind-altering drugs. Includes image galleries, essays and a quiz.
Meet the Ethical Placebo: "A provocative new study called 'Placebos Without Deception,' published on PLoS One today, threatens to make humble sugar pills something they’ve rarely had a chance to be in the history of medicine: a respectable, ethically sound treatment for disease that has been vetted in controlled trials." [Via]
Our Meth House. Jenn Friberg and Rob Quigley bought a home in Bristol, PA. What they didn't know is that it been used as a meth house. Too bad they didn't read How to avoid buying a meth house first.
The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine, an act that an Army public health physician called "pharmacologic waterboarding". The US military administered the drug despite Pentagon knowledge that mefloquine caused severe neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety. The drug was used on the prisoners whether they had malaria or not. [more inside]
The Boston Globe displays some pretty spectacular pictures of the drug war in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There's not a whole ton of context available within the article, but the pictures speak for themselves.
Cocaine - how it's made, how it moves, and who might be cutting it with a deadly cattle-deworming drug, a follow up to the mystery of the tainted cocaine.
Mr. Llewellyn [ . . . ] boasts that his safety testing method is foolproof: He and several colleagues sit in a room and take a new product "almost to overdose levels" to see what happens. "We'll all sit with a pen and a pad, some good music on, and one person who's straight who's watching everything," he says. [more inside]
US Charity offers UK drug addicts £200 to be sterilised, according to a BBC report to be shown this evening, Project Prevention, which pays $300 in the US, "seeks to reduce the burden of this social problem on taxpayers, trim down social worker caseloads, and alleviate from our clients the burden of having children that will potentially be taken away."
Andrew Fraser was a successful Victorian barrister until he was jailed for drug trafficking. The investigation against him was led by Detective Sergeant Malcolm Rosenes, but before Fraser entered prison Rosenes was charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy, for which he himself was later imprisoned. In an unlikely twist, Rosenes later approached Fraser to write an account of police corruption in Victoria. The book has been withdrawn from sale in Victoria, allegedly because it identifies informers and a "protected witness", but the publishers say that the material is old news that is publicly available (pdf), while Fraser suggests that the government wishes to avoid any embarrassment immediately before a State election.
Jillian Lauren recently wrote a book about her experiences as a harem girl in Brunei. LA Weekly also went in-depth into her story.> [more inside]
Chantix (aka Champix) is a drug developed to help people quit smoking. It works by binding nicotine receptors in the brain. It has side effects -- nausea, gas, suicidal ideation, and strange dreams. "Strange dreams"? Yep, it's right there in the official side-effects from Pfizer (17.13). Here's a strange dream. Here's another. Here's some more. [more inside]
While most of the attention in the war on drugs has been focused on Mexico of late, the opium trade in Afghanistan is still alive. Though perhaps not as well this year, as Tajikistan reports far less opium crossing the border, attributed to more use within Afghanistan as well as an unexplained poppy blight. With yields dropping and prices rising, US-backed efforts to encourage farmers to grow alternate crops (previously) may be derailed, despite a trade agreement with Pakistan which promises to open the country's borders to more trade in legitimate consumer goods with India. Meanwhile, people are looking into ways to turn the poppy fields into biofuels.
This November, California citizens will decide whether or not to legalize the possession, buying and selling of, and recreational use of marijuana. Early polls concerning proposition 19, also known as the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010", reveal a slight majority for legalization, as well as an interesting case of status quo bias. (Previously) [more inside]
In a pilot Phase II study of PTSD sufferers with a median of 19 years since diagnosis, MDMA-assisted therapy resulted in 10 out of 12 patients no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria. [more inside]
Is laundering Mexican drug cartel money too big too fail? Wachovia/Wells Fargo are discovered to be laundering many many billions of dollars. As in $380,000,000,000. Charles Bowden, in a recent interview with Amy Goodman, discusses the everyday reality of what life is like in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, and his most recent non-fiction account of the "Global Economy's New Killing Fields", in the just published book Murder City. Meanwhile, the drug violence now involves car bombs in Ciudad Juarez, the city across the border with El Paso. Guns go out of America, and drugs come in. [more inside]
Homemade submarines up the drug smuggling ante - CNN recaps a Vice story from 2009 where reporters toured a narco-sub seizure facility in Colombia [full video - 27:48]. [more inside]
Billy Ray Bates, in his words, was "an average player who can do fantastic things. After flaming out in the NBA, he became a legend in Phillippine Basketball Association.> [more inside]
In 20 Years ... Upload a photo of yourself and the site produces a predictive illustration of what you'll look like in 20 or 30 years. And as an added bonus, you can toggle whether you're a drug addict or not. [more inside]
An article in the June issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society of the Biological Sciences finds that "differences in reproductive strategies are driving individuals' different views on recreational drugs": namely, that views on sexual promiscuity are more closely related to views on recreational drug use than religion, political affiliation or other predictors. The study suggests attitudes against recreational drug use are an evolutionary attempt to promote reproductive stability.
73 dead in Kingston, Jamaica after four days of fighting resulting from the search for alleged drug dealer Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. He remains at large. [more inside]
Plummeting Marijuana prices cause panic in CA. In 1983, the Reagan administration launched a massive air and ground campaign to eradicate pot and lock up growers in northern California. Charley Custer, a writer and community activist, had just arrived to Humboldt County from Chicago. With the Reagan crackdown, Custer recalls, wholesale prices shot up — to as high as $5,000 a pound. That sudden and ironic windfall for those growers willing to risk prison time transformed the community.... Prices are now much less than $2,000 a pound, according to interviews with more than a dozen growers and dealers. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman says some growers can't get rid of their processed pot at any price.
Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade discuss the impact of drugs (both prescribed and recreational) on their lives.
London hosts "Last Night of Mephedrone" party [FB link] Today a UK-wide ban on the drug Mephedrone, otherwise known as Meow Meow, becomes law, meaning a potential five year prison term for those caught possessing the substance. But several police forces are saying that they will operate a week-long amnesty while others are saying they will target dealers rather than seeking out users. London's biggest meph-heads are gathering tomorrow night to use up their stash in one final blowout, and according to them a "Central London club has offered us their venue for free and is even supplying Philip Starck brushed aluminium tables and Tiffany silver keyfobs from which to do our bumps of Meph". Apparently "one of the biggest DJs on the M-CAT scene is doing a set of specially sped-up meph sounds for at least 16 hours" and they're inviting requests - from "Love Cats" to "Stray Cat Strut".
Cary Grant was the first mainstream celebrity to espouse the virtues of psychedelic drugs. (previously)
Streets of Plenty is a documentary set in Vancouver's DTES of Corey Ogilvie's 31 day homelessness experiment whose thesis wasn't resolved until the 26th (and last) day. [more inside]
It may increase schadenfreude. It's an assistant to abortifacients and it's produced by stimulating the nipples. Got a clogged lizard? Your mom used it to turn off your brain for your own good. In women, it peaks at orgasm, but in men, it might be elevated throughout sex without peaking. And what do you mean "social" monogamy!? Is it the love 'em and leave 'em hormone?? Well, it's NOT Vasopressin For Her, contrary to what some people think. Is it an impedance to feminism? Could it be the key to treating Autism? Ism... ism... jism? YEP. It's in the jism! Its synthesis was the end of A Trail of Sulfa Research, and its master was awarded the Nobel Prize. (Chemistry, not Peace.) You can scent your loveletters with it, but sorry, peaches... you can't huff a good cuddle, but you might like to huff while you cuddle. Previously.
[NSFW] • Concrete TV -- bringing you an audiovisual mashup of pornography, drugs, violence, rock'n'roll, the 1980's, and humor** -- via NYC Public Access Channel 67, Friday nights at 1:30 AM.
Swansea Love Story [Flash video, six parts, occasional NSFW, shows drug use], a documentary in VBS’ Rule Britannia series, follows young heroin users in the South Wales city, looking at their family life, daily routines and some of the changes in the community around them. Interview with film-maker Andy Capper; something on director Leo Leigh; brief write-up here, slightly longer review here.
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
Nathan Avon "Bodie" Barksdale is a real life Baltimore gangster upon whom the character from "The Wire" was based. Now, Nathan Barksdale has a chance to tell his side of the story in this upcoming documentary. [more inside]
A medical marijuana provider in California is mounting a novel defense after his marijuana farm was raided by Federal agents. [more inside]
Saving Mexico "To weaken the cartels, some argue the U.S. should legalize marijuana, let cocaine pass through the Caribbean and take the profit motive out of the drug trade."
"I knew I could be arrested, even die, because with these things you expect everything. But at that moment I was so desperate about the money, and to do something for my life." [more inside]
You’re going to hire people to guard your sh*t, but you’re not going to give them health care. Vice has a long spoiler- and profanity-laden interview with The Wire creator David Simon, running the gamut from backstage Wire details to the media's obsession with "the Dickensian aspect" to his next series (set in New Orleans) to Joe Lieberman to this fight he almost got in at a concert one time. Via /Film.
Prescription painkillers kill more people than heroin, AIDS or H1N1.
Mark McGwire was one of the most feared sluggers in the game during his career. In 1998, the home run chase between McGwire and Sammy Sosa helped baseball recover from the 1994 strike. But, when a reporter found a bottle containing andro in McGwire's locker, some chinks in his armor began to emerge. [more inside]
"Professor David Nutt, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, attacked the decision to make cannabis a class B drug, claiming ecstasy, LSD and cannabis are less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol. [more inside]
Inscentinel uses trained bees to sniff out drugs, explosives, and spoiled food.