Category Archives: Drugs

Narcopisos: Spain's 'drug flats' give focus for fight against heroin threat

Neighbourhood groups want more action from police and politicians to shut down apartments

The heroin dealers of El Raval do not discriminate and nor does their product.

“We’ve seen executives in suits and ties arrive by taxi at six in the morning, couples, pregnant women, people with every type of disability, teenagers,” says Carlos, a resident of the central Barcelona district.

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Source: gad

How did 18th century’s literary women relieve domestic distress? With opiates

It wasn’t just men such as Coleridge and De Quincey who took drugs, study of Mary Robinson and Harriet Martineau reveals

The fantastical poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the scandalous journal of “opium eater” Thomas De Quincey notoriously celebrate the influence of opium. Now, beyond Coleridge’s “caverns measureless to man” and De Quincey’s nightmarish visions, a new academic study is to reveal that many of the female stars of the British literary scene of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were equally dependent on the drug.

“While men like De Quincey and Coleridge were among the first to write openly about opium’s creative effects and so are seen as the originators of the tradition of British drug literature, contemporary women writers tended instead to view it as a comfort, a way of coping with the demands of artistic life,” said Dr Joseph Crawford, a senior lecturer at Exeter University, whose paper is due to be published as part of research titled Psychopharmacology and British Literature.

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Source: gad

Is cannabis the answer to older people’s booze problems? | Stephanie Theobald

Baby boomers and Generation X-ers, take note: mindful drinking is not the only solution to mindless drinking

I heard some gossip recently about a sixtysomething Madonna-era DJ who had to be sectioned by his PR last summer at a music festival because he’d taken so many drugs. Also whooping it up at that festival was a former pop star “completely off his nana” on booze. Which may sound funny, but his friends were seriously worried because it keeps happening and it’s not pretty.

Related: Behind closed doors, the hidden problem of baby-boomer addiction | Tony Rao

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Antihistamines linked to fertility problems in men

Animal studies suggest the anti-allergy drugs may affect the production of male sexual hormones

Common allergy drugs have been linked to fertility problems in men.

Antihistamines are often used to relieve symptoms of allergies such as hay fever, hives, conjunctivitis and reactions to insect bites or stings and are available either over-the-counter or on prescription.

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Source: gad

Opioid crisis: overdoses increased by a third across US in 14 months, says CDC

Results show opioid overdoses increasing across all regions and in most states, for most men and women and most age groups

Opioid overdoses increased by roughly 30% across the US in just 14 months between 2016 and 2017, according to a new report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC called the data a “wake up call to the fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic”. It recorded 142,000 overdoses in US hospital emergency departments between July 2016 and September 2017.

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Source: gad

Mexico police charged with using death squad tactics on drug suspects

Veracruz police picked up youths and turned them over to specialized interrogation and torture squads, according to indictment

Police in Mexico’s corruption-plagued state of Veracruz set up units that used death squad-style tactics to abduct, kill and dispose of at least 15 people who they suspected of being drug cartel informers and drug runners, according to charges filed by state prosecutors.

The allegations filed against the former top police commanders in Veracruz show all the signs of the human rights abuses of Mexico’s notorious anti-guerrilla counterinsurgency campaigns of the 1960s and 70s.

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Bobby Klein's best photograph: Jim Morrison has a beer for breakfast

‘Lucky U was Jim’s favourite place to have breakfast. He ordered a beer and a chilli soup to line his stomach. He could sink six beers in an hour’

I was the first official photographer of the Doors, and this shot was taken early on. It was 1967 and we were heading to Venice Beach to take some publicity shots but got hungry, so Jim recommended stopping off at Lucky U Cafe, his favourite place in Los Angeles to grab breakfast. It was a tiny Mexican restaurant owned by a Chinese man, pretty much just a counter with no tables. Jim ordered a beer and a menudo – a beef and chilli soup – to line his stomach. It wasn’t uncommon to see him sink six beers in an hour.

I’ve always enjoyed shooting people when they’re eating because it creates an intimacy. So I got behind the counter and started snapping away. Jim was beautiful. He looked like Michelangelo’s David. He was checking me out: “Who the hell is this guy?” He didn’t suffer fools, and this was early on in our relationship. There’s an intensity in his eyes: he was totally serious about being seen as a credible poet.

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'I was high as hell': Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, attacks prescription of OxyContin

The musician wrote about his drug addiction in Time magazine, and argued ‘it’s hard to beat temptation’ when doctors prescribe opioids

Flea, the bassist in Red Hot Chili Peppers, has laid bare his struggles with addiction, including with the controversial prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Flea, born Michael Balzary, wrote the revelations in an opinion piece for Time magazine called The Temptation of Drugs is a Bitch. In it he says he started smoking weed aged 11, before he “proceeded to snort, shoot, pop, smoke, drop and dragon chase my way through my teens and 20s.” He added that he had some “close calls” with death as a result of his drug-taking, which he “cut out forever” in 1993, aged 30.

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Source: gad

Antidepressants work, but there is a better way to break the cycle of harm | Mike Shooter

Pills may help adults, but most depression has its roots in our early years, and listening to children could stop it before it begins

Sian was just 14, brought by her misery to the edge of self-harm, when I met her in a cafe at the top end of one of the old mining valleys. Neutral ground. She told me about her rugby-playing older brother and her bright little sister who had lots of pets and wanted to be a vet. She felt that her parents doted on them and that there could be no room in anyone’s heart for her. She told me about her only friend, who had been killed in a road accident just as they went up to big school. About the recent death of her grandmother, who had been the only person she could confide in. And about the GP who had said she was depressed and given her a course of pills.

I thought about Sian again this week. The newspaper headlines across the world were welcoming a major study that confirmed the value of antidepressant medication in the treatment of depression in adults. And so did I. Depression was validated at long last as an illness every bit as serious as physical conditions, that could cause untold human suffering and economic devastation, but could be helped with a course of antidepressant pills.

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Source: gad

Five ways to avoid becoming a victim of prescription drugs errors

A study has revealed that mistakes in the writing or dispensing of medicine can cost up to 22,000 people their lives every year. Here’s how to avoid being one of them

Up to 22,000 people could be dying in England every year as a result of mistakes in the writing or dispensing of prescriptions, according to new research. In a speech last week, the health and social services secretary, Jeremy Hunt, demanded fresh measures to tackle the problem, which was identified in a government study carried out at York, Manchester and Sheffield universities.

Related: Hunt to crack down on NHS drug errors linked to up to 22,000 deaths

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Source: gad