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UPDATE: 100+ Overdose on Synthetic Marijuana in Texas in 5 Days

pt_1543_1964_oK2 is a synthetic marijuana that is often sold as herbal incense or potpourri. It contains man-made chemicals that claim to mimic the primary active ingredient in cannabis.

DALLAS — In a span of just five days, almost 120 people in Dallas and Austin overdosed on K2, a synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

Police sources confirmed to News 8 that the overdoses in both cities are likely related, and the drug originated with a Dallas supplier.

Stacey Davis, director of prevention programs for the Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse in Dallas, said while K2 use is not the rise, users jump on new trends for suppliers or new batches.

“What ends up happening is the media or the community doesn’t catch wind of it until, unfortunately, when something bad happens,” Davis said.

Users smoke K2, and while it’s supposed to mimic marijuana, it can have wide-ranging effects on the body. The patients in Dallas were so sick they had to be sedated.

synthetic-marijuana

Toxicology tests will tell for sure if all the overdoses came from the same batch. Police are also investigating whether the K2 was laced with another drug.

K2 is difficult to regulate because manufacturers switch up the ingredients frequently. Read the rest of this entry »

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BREAKING: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Takes Leave Of Absence As New Crack Video Emerges

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A second video obtained by The Globe and Mail shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking what’s described as crack-cocaine by a self-professed drug dealer in his sister’s basement early Saturday morning.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The mayor’s decision came shortly after The Globe and Mail reportedly viewed a new video of Ford smoking what’s described as crack-cocaine, and the Toronto Sunobtained a new audio recording of Ford swearing in a bar.

“I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I have made while under the influence,” Ford said in a statement late Wednesday night.
Read the rest of this entry »


‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ Cure for Love: Should We Take Anti-Love Drugs?

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Breaking up is hard to do. If drugs could ease the pain, when should we use them, asks neuro-ethicist Brian D. Earp

mg22129564.700-1_300For your research, how do you define love?

We tend to think of love as a phenomenon grounded in ancient neurochemical systems that evolved for our ancestors’ reproductive needs. There is more to our experience of love than brain chemistry, of course, but those brain-level phenomena play a central role.

The idea of love as a drug is a cliché, but does it have any characteristics of addiction?

Recent brain studies show extensive parallels between the effects of certain addictive drugs and experiences of being in love. Both activate the brain’s reward system, can overwhelm us so that we forget about other things and can inspire withdrawal when they are no longer available. It seems it isn’t just a cliché that love is like a drug: in terms of effects on the brain, they may be neurochemically equivalent.

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You have written about the possibility of using “anti-love biotechnology” as a treatment. When would it be warranted?

The idea of treating someone for an addiction to a bad relationship is something to be very cautious Lacuna Incorporatedabout. So we end up stacking the cards in favour of autonomy – the voluntary use of any “anti-love” intervention.

You can imagine a situation in which a person’s experience of love is so profoundly harmful, yet so irresistible, that it undermines their ability to think rationally for themselves. In a case of domestic abuse, that can be life-threatening. But even then, we wouldn’t recommend forcing drug-based treatment on someone against their will: non-biochemical interventions should be tried first.

So when would this type of treatment be ideal?

Some people in dangerous relationships know they need to get out, and even want to, but are unable to break their emotional attachment. If, for example, a woman in an abusive relationship could access medication that would help her break ties with her abuser, then, assuming it was safe and effective, we think she could be justified in taking it.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Culture of Heroin Addiction

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Over at NRO, reflecting on Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s deadly overdose, Kevin D. Williamson explores the shallow romanticism of opiate culture:

Glamour Junkies

… Every few years I read about how heroin is making a comeback or about how there’s a new surge of heroin addiction, but I am skeptical. Heroin never makes a comeback, because heroin never goes away…

“The belief that there exists some kind of deep and invisible connection between artistic creativity and addiction (or mental illness) is one of the most destructive and most stupid of our contemporary myths.”

hoff-narrow-drker...taking heroin is, at least in part, an act of cultural affiliation. Connoisseurs of the poppy will go on and on about Great Junkies in History — William S. Burroughs, Sid and Nancy, Billie Holiday — though all in all I’d say that heroin addicts are less tedious on the subject of heroin than potheads are on the subject of pot. They do seem to have a particular fascination with the jargon of heroin, as though every conversation is taking place in 1970…

[See also: 50 Bags of Heroin: More Details Emerge on Drug Death of Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman]

I always have a sneaking suspicioun that I could talk people out of deciding to become junkies if only I could get them to read a couple of good books composed with such literary skill as to illuminate the fact that Burroughs was a poseur and a hack. The belief that there exists some kind of deep and invisible connection between artistic creativity and addiction (or mental illness) is one of the most destructive and most stupid of our contemporary myths. I’d blame Thomas De Quincey, author of the 19th-century tell-all Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, if I thought anybody still read him.

Read the rest of this entry »


Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Deadly Brand of Heroin: ‘Ace of Spades’

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Photo: Graham MacIndoe

Was this the brand? Photo: Graham MacIndoe

Emphasis mine…from New York Post:

…Cops found five empty glassine envelopes in a garbage can, two more under the bed and one on a table in the apartment, where Hoffman — who has repeatedly struggled with substance abuse — was living recently, sources said.

[See also: [VIDEO] Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Heroin-inecting Scene from “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007)]

Cops also found a charred spoon in the kitchen sink, sources say.

“He was shooting up in the bathroom,” a law-enforcement source said.

The envelopes were marked “Ace of Spades,” which sources said is a brand of heroin that hasn’t been seen on the streets since around 2008 in Brooklyn.

 [See Glamour Junkies: The Culture of Heroin Addiction]

There was no note, and Hoffman’s death is believed to be accidental…

I’m pretty sure Ace of Spades HQ has no connection to the brand. But I had a mental image of an envelope with that logo on it (shown below) as the last thing the actor saw before he perished, of an overdose.

ace-banner

Speaking of Ace

Ace of Spades HQ has a discussion archived here.

Does the MacInoe photo, shown here represent the Brooklyn heroin baggie type similar to the one found in Hoffman’s Greenwich Village apartment? It’s unclear, but certainly possible. The photographer was also a consumer (addict) he has an interesting photo essay here:

“The images in this series are of heroin baggies collected years ago during a period of addiction. I became intrigued by the typography and design of the glassine envelopes used to package dope, stamped with references to popular culture like Twilight, Crooklyn and New Jack City. Dealers branded and marketed their product like entrepreneurs in any business, pairing names like Dead Medicine with a skull and crossbones to appeal to risk-takers, or an airplane labeled First Class to give the illusion of grandeur…

Read the rest of this entry »


New Zealand Anti-Drug-Driving Ad Goes Viral

This ad, featuring three spot-on Māori kids bragging about whose dad is the best “blazed” driver, was declared an “instant Advertising Hall of Fame Drugs PSA classic” by advertising blog Copyranter.

Made for the New Zealand Transport Agency by Oscar-nominated director Taika Waititi, “Blazed – Drug-Driving in Aotearoa” (Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand) has been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube since it was first posted, on September 13.

TIME.com  [New Zealand Herald]


BREAKING SUPER-BAD: Cupcakes Topped with ‘Blue Meth’ Freaks Out People in Glasgow

Breaking Bad-inspired cupcakes topped with candy made to look like the blue meth made by the show's Walter White

Breaking Bad-inspired cupcakes topped with candy made to look like the blue meth made by the show’s Walter White

While Walter White cooks meth on Breaking Bad, the Riverhill Coffee Bar in Glasgow, Scotland has been cooking up a heap of trouble.

Late last week, the shop’s chef made three batches of Breaking Bad-inspired cupcakes topped with cracked blue sugar, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the blue crystal meth that White (played by Bryan Cranston) cooks up on the wildly popular AMC series. Now a local anti-drug group and at least one Glasgow-based politician are arguing that selling the blue candy-topped treats is tantamount to glamorizing drugs and that the bakery is being insensitive to the plight of families affected by drug use. “The cafe might try to pass it off as a joke, but I don’t think it’s funny,” Green Party city center counselor Nina Baker told the Evening Times. Christine Duncan, chief executive of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, told the Times: “The glamorising of drugs is completely distasteful.”

Source: TIME.com


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