Category Archives: Drugs

‘I’m a pot evangelist’: meet America's dope queens

As more US states legalise marijuana, more women are stepping up to meet the need for weed. Meet the entrepreneurs cutting through the stigma

Like most other American industries, marijuana has traditionally been dominated by men. Overwhelmingly they grew it, they dealt it and they smoked it. Hopes that the legal marijuana industry would be more egalitarian than others have largely deflated. According to a 2017 survey, women hold 27% of executive positions in cannabis, only slightly more than in the country at large. Nevertheless, the plant’s status as a quasi-legal drug has created an opportunity for women to forge groundbreaking careers.

Cannabis businesses are obsessed with tearing down the stigma that continues to dog the plant. Many of the most ambitious companies want to make inroads with affluent adults and parents who don’t use, or no longer use, cannabis; if the prevailing stereotype is that weed is a drug used by low-achieving men, the thinking is that women will be better at getting their husbands and boyfriends to use pot.

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Source: gad

Meet the Sacklers: the family feuding over blame for the opioid crisis

Philanthropic heirs to OxyContin fortune have a ‘moral duty to help make this right’ says the widow of one of Purdue Pharma’s founders

The Sackler Drug Rehab Facility, unlike the prestigious Sackler art galleries of New York and London does not exist. Yet.

If lawyers have their way, however, or public opinion pricks a few consciences, it may soon.

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Source: gad

Dream catchers, succulents and joints: a visit to an LA cannabis shop

Catering to wealthy people, today’s dispensaries aim to present the drug as part of a healthy lifestyle

On one wall of 99 High Tide Collective in Malibu, mosses and succulents are nestled in a frame of locally procured driftwood. Native American dream catchers dripping with feathers and sea shells hang from the pot dispensary’s ceilings. Vases of white lilies perfume the air. In a side room, visitors can lie on a heated crystal blanket and receive reiki, sound treatments and other ministrations.

Related: Marijuana: is it time to stop using a word with racist roots?

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Source: gad

Could ketamine help treat alcohol dependence?

Current treatments for alcohol dependence often fail. So researchers are investigating more unusual interventions

January 2018 has come to an end and with it the month that people increasingly use to abstain from alcohol. It is still unknown whether Dry January has a lasting effect on drinking behaviours, and people with an alcohol dependency problem should always seek support from their GP before going through detox. Nonetheless, Dry January undoubtedly drives a critical conversation about alcohol use and provides an opportunity for us to reconsider our relationship with alcohol (one of the main goals of the charity Alcohol Concern, who support the challenge).

While overall alcohol consumption in the UK is falling, alcohol abuse still represents the fifth biggest risk factor for illness, death and disability across all ages. With current treatments often failing to prevent relapse in the long term, researchers are investigating the possibility of using ketamine combined with psychological therapy to help people stay dry, and not just for January. Despite its often cited use as a recreational drug and “horse-tranquilizer” ketamine is also the most widely used anaesthetic in humans. Administered appropriately in a controlled and safe medical environment, ketamine may also have benefits in the treatment of drug problems.

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Source: gad

Natural painkiller nasal spray could replace addictive opioids, trial indicates

Risk of overdose could be far lower, say researchers, as fundraising for human clinical trials begins

A nasal spray that delivers a natural painkiller to the brain could transform the lives of patients by replacing the dangerous and addictive prescription opioids that have wreaked havoc in the US and claimed the lives of thousands of people.

Scientists at University College London found they could alleviate pain in animals with a nasal spray that delivered millions of soluble nanoparticles filled with a natural opioid directly into the brain. In lab tests, the animals showed no signs of becoming tolerant to the compound’s pain-relieving effects, meaning the risk of overdose should be far lower.

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Source: gad

Trafficked, beaten, enslaved: the life of a Vietnamese cannabis farmer

At 10, ‘Stephen’ was taken from Hanoi to London and then spent four years tending plants for a brutal drug gang. Now awaiting news of an appeal against deportation, he recalls his horrific experience – and his lucky escape

Anyone who thinks the business of cannabis cultivation in the UK is a friendly, hippyish occupation, imbued with wholesome organic principles, needs to reflect on the experience of Stephen, a vulnerable Vietnamese orphan who was 10 when he was trafficked to the UK to work as an enslaved cannabis farmer.

Stephen arrived in Britain in the back of a freezer lorry, after a long journey on foot and in trucks from Hanoi, where he had been destitute and homeless. In Britain, he was locked up alone in a series of terraced houses that had been converted into cannabis farms, and forced over the course of four years to work as a cannabis gardener by the Vietnamese gang that had smuggled him here.

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Source: gad

Which city in the world has the cheapest cannabis – and the most expensive?

A new survey of the cost of buying marijuana in 120 cities around the world suggests it is most expensive in Asia – but not necessarily cheaper in those cities where it is legal

The highly variable cost of cannabis in cities around the globe indicates that prices do not necessarily come down with increased consumption – or even legality, according to a new survey.

The 2018 Cannabis Price Index, compiled by Seedo, an automatic cultivator device company based in Tel Aviv, claims to give the going rate for cannabis in 120 cities, ranging from £22.86 (US £32.66) per gram in Tokyo to less than £1 ($1.34) in Quito.

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Source: gad

​‘I overdosed, but survived​'​ – artist Nan Goldin​ takes on the billionaire family behind OxyContin

The photographer became a heroin addict after getting hooked on the prescription opioid. Now clean, she is waging war on the art philanthropists who have profited from the crisis

Nan Goldin lights a cigarette and takes a puff. “My dealer came here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I was one of his best customers.” She giggles sarcastically. “He texted me when I was in rehab saying he was having a sale.” He had dropped his price for heroin from $30 to $25 a tablet in the hope of luring her back. She has since deleted his number from her phone and has been out of rehab and drug-free for 10 months.

“I almost didn’t leave this house for three years,” she says. Goldin looks around the living room in her elegant Brooklyn apartment, her work dotted around the walls and Larry the stuffed coyote fixed in a permanent howl by the window.

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Source: gad

Up to a million Britons use steroids for looks not sport

Health warnings as image culture drives usage of performance-enhancing drugs

Up to 1 million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to change the way they look, public health experts and doctors have said.

This ranges from teenagers seeking the perfect physique to elderly men hoping to hang on to youthful looks.

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Source: gad

‘I think I’ll be on a dose for ever’: steroid users on the quest for perfection

The archetype of an IPED user is changing. We speak to the new breed seeking the body beautiful

John eased his bulky frame into a chair at the Lower Dock Street clinic in Newport, south Wales and reeled off a dizzying list of substances he injects or swallows as he seeks the perfect, honed physique.

“I take all sorts,” he said. “Testosterone, trenbolone, Equipoise, Dianabol, Halotestin, hCG, Arimidex, Nolvadex, clenbuterol. It’s not cheap – I spend more than £200 a month.”

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Source: gad