tagged w/ Drug Addiction
“Fjögur Píanó” is a thoughtful, haunting short film/music video created by Israeli director Alma Har’el, set to music by the acclaimed Icelandic band Sigur Rós. The band recently asked a dozen filmmakers to each choose a song from its new album, “Valtari.” Given complete creative freedom, filmmaker Alma Har’el produced a seven-minute video that at first appears to be more of a dream sequence than a narrative. “Fjögur Píanó” is a wordless song comprised of four piano pieces that features actor Shia LaBeouf and actress Denna Thomsen in a stormy relationship, caught up in a destructive spiral, possibly revolving around mind-controlled drug addiction, lovesick co-dependence and sordid sexuality mixed with dominance and violence.
It is evident throughout the film that the couple is very confused, not in control of their destiny and hopelessly trapped in a state of virtual imprisonment. Much of the film’s symbolism hints at the concept of Monarch Mind Control. Monarch Mind Control is named after the Monarch butterfly, a genetically programmed insect that begins its life as a worm (representing undeveloped potential) and, after a period of cocooning (biological programming), is reborn as a beautiful butterfly (the Monarch slave).
From this perspective, “Fjögur Píanó” can be viewed as a dark commentary on a world of increasingly abusive totalitarian domination. Every aspect of Shia and Denna’s lives is manipulated by outside forces. Their living environment is controlled and modified by their handlers: they are drugged, blindfolded and forcibly taken on weird, dissociative trips. Attempts to break free from the cruel domination are useless. The couple is utterly powerless when confronted by the world around them, and in the end the only thing Shia can do is cut another bloody tally mark into Denna’s back.
This piece includes photographs and the darkly haunting short film/music video.
http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/fjogur-piano-mind-controlled-slavery-addiction-drugs-and-violent-sex/“Fjögur Píanó” is a thoughtful, haunting short... more
Some things just never change.
A seven minute video compilation of Rush Limbaugh's deranged attacks on Sandra Fluke.
"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it".
This simple quote by the Italian Philosopher George Santayana, represents the most fundamental truth regarding the progress we -as individuals, as a Country, and as a Planet- make. Essentially: learn from the mistakes and successes of the past, and act and/or adjust accordingly.
http://veracitystew.com/2012/02/13/embracing-the-truth-about-whitney-houston/"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it". This... more
Los Angeles Times...
Public viewing scheduled for Etta James
January 25, 2012
A public viewing will be held Friday in Inglewood for R&B great Etta James, who died last week at the age of 73, a family representative said.
The viewing will be from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Manchester Chapel at Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary, 3801 W. Manchester Blvd.
The Rev. Al Sharpton will lead a private memorial service for the singer Saturday.
The New York Times...
Etta James, Powerful Voice Behind ‘At Last,’ Dies at 73
Etta James in the studio in Chicago with the Chess Records founder Phil Chess, left, and the producer Ralph Bass in 1960.
By PETER KEEPNEWS
Published: January 20, 2012
Etta James, whose powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last,” died Friday morning in Riverside, Calif. She was 73.
Her manager, Lupe De Leon, said that the cause was complications of leukemia. Ms. James, who died at Riverside Community Hospital, had been undergoing treatment for some time for a number of conditions, including leukemia and dementia. She also lived in Riverside.
Ms. James was not easy to pigeonhole. She is most often referred to as a rhythm and blues singer, and that is how she made her name in the 1950s with records like “Good Rockin’ Daddy.” She is in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame.
She was also comfortable, and convincing, singing pop standards, as she did in 1961 with “At Last,” which was written in 1941 and originally recorded by Glenn Miller’s orchestra. And among her four Grammy Awards (including a lifetime-achievement honor in 2003) was one for best jazz vocal performance, which she won in 1995 for the album “Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday.”
Regardless of how she was categorized, she was admired. Expressing a common sentiment, Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote in 1990 that she had “one of the great voices in American popular music, with a huge range, a multiplicity of tones and vast reserves of volume.”
For all her accomplishments, Ms. James had an up-and-down career, partly because of changing audience tastes but largely because of drug problems. She developed a heroin habit in the 1960s; after she overcame it in the 1970s, she began using cocaine. She candidly described her struggles with addiction and her many trips to rehab in her autobiography, “Rage to Survive,” written with David Ritz (1995).
Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles on Jan. 25, 1938. Her mother, Dorothy Hawkins, was 14 at the time; her father was long gone, and Ms. James never knew for sure who he was, although she recalled her mother telling her that he was the celebrated pool player Rudolf Wanderone, better known as Minnesota Fats. She was reared by foster parents and moved to San Francisco with her mother when she was 12.
She began singing at the St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles at 5 and turned to secular music as a teenager, forming a vocal group with two friends. She was 15 when she made her first record, “Roll With Me Henry,” which set her own lyrics to the tune of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters’ recent hit “Work With Me Annie.” When some disc jockeys complained that the title was too suggestive, the name was changed to “The Wallflower,” although the record itself was not.
“The Wallflower” rose to No. 2 on the rhythm-and-blues charts in 1954. As was often the case in those days with records by black performers, a toned-down version was soon recorded by a white singer and found a wider audience: Georgia Gibbs’s version, with the title and lyric changed to “Dance With Me, Henry,” was a No. 1 pop hit in 1955. (Its success was not entirely bad news for Ms. James. She shared the songwriting royalties with Mr. Ballard and the bandleader and talent scout Johnny Otis, who had arranged for her recording session. (Mr. Otis died on Tuesday.)
In 1960 Ms. James was signed by Chess Records, the Chicago label that was home to Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and other leading lights of black music. She quickly had a string of hits, including “All I Could Do Was Cry,” “Trust in Me” and “At Last,” which established her as Chess’s first major female star.
She remained with Chess well into the 1970s, reappearing on the charts after a long absence in 1967 with the funky and high-spirited “Tell Mama.” In the late ’70s and early ’80s she was an opening act for the Rolling Stones.
After decades of touring, recording for various labels and drifting in and out of the public eye, Ms. James found herself in the news in 2009 after Beyoncé Knowles recorded a version of “At Last” closely modeled on hers. (Ms. Knowles played Ms. James in the 2008 movie “Cadillac Records,” a fictionalized account of the rise and fall of Chess.) Ms. Knowles also performed “At Last” at an inaugural ball for President Obama in Washington.
When the movie was released, Ms. James had kind words for Ms. Knowles’s portrayal. But in February 2009, referring specifically to the Washington performance, she told an audience, “I can’t stand Beyoncé,” and threatened to “whip” the younger singer for singing “At Last.” She later said she had been joking, but she did add that she wished she had been invited to sing the song herself for the new president.
Ms. James’s survivors include her husband of 42 years, Artis Mills; two sons, Donto and Sametto James; and four grandchildren.
Though her life had its share of troubles to the end — her husband and sons were locked in a long-running battle over control of her estate, which was resolved in her husband’s favor only weeks before her death — Ms. James said she wanted her music to transcend unhappiness rather than reflect it.
“A lot of people think the blues is depressing,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 1992, “but that’s not the blues I’m singing. When I’m singing blues, I’m singing life. People that can’t stand to listen to the blues, they’ve got to be phonies.”
.Los Angeles Times... . Public viewing scheduled for Etta James January... more
As Amy Winehouse was laid to rest on Tuesday in a private ceremony held at Edgwarebury Cemetery in North London and rumors circulate as to the cause of her death, the official word won’t be known for weeks due to an inconclusive autopsy report.As Amy Winehouse was laid to rest on Tuesday in a private ceremony held at Edgwarebury... more
Amy Winehouse, 27, has been found dead at her home, police have confirmed to the Associated Press. A cause of death and other details have yet to be revealed. Last month, Winehouse called off all of the remaining dates on her European tour.
That announcement came a day after the singer canceled dates in Athens and Istanbul following a disastrous performance in Belgrade, Serbia.
“Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen,” Winehouse representative Chris Goodman told the Associated Press at the time. There was no mention of why Winehouse was in the state she was in during the Belgrade show.
Much of her Belgrade performance, which started an hour late, was caught on video. Winehouse stumbled about the stage and only intermittently sang her songs. The crowd roundly booed Winehouse, and a local newspaper referred to the concert as “the worst in the history of Belgrade.”
Only a few weeks before hitting the road, Winehouse spent two weeks at London’s Priory Clinic, though it was never made clear what she was being treated for.Amy Winehouse, 27, has been found dead at her home, police have confirmed to the... more
Poet Gil Scott-Heron dies
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 27, 2011 11:34 p.m. EDT
PROGENITOR OF HIP-HOP, GODFATHER OF RAP
Gil Scott-Heron was known for his poetry and soul works in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He was known for his poetry and soul works in the late 1960s and early 1970s
After a 13-year hiatus from making music, Scott-Heron put out a new album last year
(CNN) -- Gil Scott-Heron, a poet and musician best known for the song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," died Friday, his publicist at XL Recordings said.
Born in 1949, Scott-Heron was known for his poetry and soul works in the late 1960s and early 1970s, according to his official website.
His early albums, "Pieces of a Man" and "Winter in America," has been credited with influencing other musical genres like hip hop.
After a 13-year hiatus from making music, Scott-Heron put out a new album last year called "I'm New Here."
Poet, musician Gil Scott-Heron dies
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 28, 2011 1:43 a.m. EDT
NEW: Gil Scott-Heron is best known for the 1970 song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
NEW: Scott-Heron's music has been sampled by hip hop stars, including Kanye West and Common
NEW: In 2008, Scott-Heron told a reporter he had contracted HIV
After a 13-year hiatus from making music, Scott-Heron put out a new album last year
(CNN) -- Gil Scott-Heron, dubbed the "godfather of rap" for his mix of poetry and music, died Friday in New York, his publicist at XL Recordings said. He was 62.
It was not immediately known what killed Scott-Heron, who was best known for the 1970 song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," a politically and socially charged song that examined the African American condition in America at the time. The song was banned by some radio stations.
Scott-Heron died at 4 p.m. at a New York hospital, said Lisa Gottheil, his publicist at XL Recordings.
Scott-Heron defined the genre, long-time friend and former bandmate Charlie Saunders told CNN. Saunders worked on Scott-Heron's 1970 debut album "Small Talk At 125th & Lenox."
Saunders, a percussionist, said the last time he saw Scott-Heron was about two years ago when he needed a place to stay.
"He came by our house to get himself together. He spent 4 to 5 days and then moved on," Saunders said.
Much of Scott-Heron's poetry and music reflected his struggles with drugs and alcohol.
Born in 1949, Scott-Heron first gained fame for his poetry and spoken word performances in the late 1960s. By the mid-1970s, he had published two books of poetry and recorded four albums, including "Small Talk At 125th & Lenox."
His early albums, "Pieces of a Man" and "Winter in America," have been credited with influencing other musical genres, such as hip hop. But it was the song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" that put Scott-Heron on the musical map.
His music has been sampled by everyone from Kanye West, who sampled "Comment #1" for his 2010 song "Who Will Save America," to Common's sample of "No Knock" on his 2008 hit "Universal Mind Control."
After a 13-year hiatus from making music, Scott-Heron put out a new album last year called "I'm New Here."
In a 2008 interview with New York magazine, Scott-Heron revealed he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, after years of batting drug and alcohol addictions. In 2001 and 2007, he was jailed on drug charges.
CNN's Denise Quan and Greg Morrison contributed to this report.Poet Gil Scott-Heron dies By the CNN Wire Staff May 27, 2011 11:34 p.m. EDT... more
Is Smoking Pot still Fun? Has smoking weed become too expensive? Has it become an inconvenience? Has it caused you negative consequences? If the answer is not to most of these question, I suggest you read the, Are you using or abusing Marijuana? article, at http://www.addictsnotanonymous.com/2011/05/are-you-using-or-abusing-marijuana.html on the Addicts Not Anonymous blog.Is Smoking Pot still Fun? Has smoking weed become too expensive? Has it become an... more
In "Gateway to Heroin," Mariana van Zeller investigates how and why OxyContin has fueled a new heroin epidemic in and around Boston.
"Gateway to Heroin" premieres Monday, June 20 at 9/8c on Current TV.
"Vanguard" is Current TV's no-limits documentary series whose award-winning correspondents put themselves in extraordinary situations to immerse viewers in global issues that have a large social significance. Unlike sound-bite driven reporting, the show's correspondents, Adam Yamaguchi, Christof Putzel and Mariana van Zeller, serve as trusted guides who take viewers on in-depth real life adventures in pursuit of some of the world's most important stories.
For more, go to http://current.com/vanguard.
Current Media, the Peabody-and Emmy Award-winning television and online network founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, engages viewers with smart, provocative and timely programming -stories that no one else is telling in ways that no one else is telling them. Current's programming shines a light where others won't dare and boldly explores important subjects -- opening minds, sparking conversations and forming deep connections with its viewers. The channel's audience is comprised of affluent, curious, social and connected adults who crave the kind of entertaining, enlightening, witty and informative programming found on Current's TV and online properties. Current is now available via cable and satellite TV in 75 million households worldwide - 60 million households in the US - through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107); Time Warner ; DirecTV (Channel 358 nationwide); Dish Network (Channel 196 nationwide); Verizon and AT&T. In the UK and Ireland, Current is available on BSkyB (Channel 183) and Virgin Media (Channel 155), and in Italy, Current is available on Sky Italia (Channel 130). Viewers can also find Current online at http://www.current.com.In "Gateway to Heroin," Mariana van Zeller investigates how and why... more
They may be on to something here.
http://www.thehighdefinite.com/2011/01/special-advice/They may be on to something here.... more
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan (CNN) -- In a far flung corner of northern Afghanistan, Aziza reaches into the dark wooden cupboard, rummages around, and pulls out a small lump of something wrapped in plastic.
She unwraps it, breaking off a small chunk as if it were chocolate, and feeds it to four-year-old son, Omaidullah. It's his breakfast -- a lump of pure opium.
"If I don't give him opium he doesn't sleep," she says. "And he doesn't let me work."
Aziza comes from a poor family of carpet weavers in Balkh province. She has no education, no idea of the health risks involved or that opium is addictive.
"We give the children opium whenever they get sick as well," she says, crouching over her loom.
With no real medical care in these parts and the high cost of medicine, all the families out here know is opium.
It's a cycle of addiction passed on through generations.
The adults take opium to work longer hours and ease their pain.
Aziza's elderly mother-in-law, Rozigul, rolls a small ball in her fingers and pops it into her mouth with a small smile before passing a piece over to her sister.
"I had to work and raise the children, so I started using drugs," she says. "We are very poor people, so I used opium. We don't have anything to eat. That is why we have to work and use drugs to keep our kids quiet."
The entire extended family is addicted.
This part of Afghanistan is famous for its carpets. It's so remote there are no real roads. The dirt ones that exist are often blocked by landslides.
The closest government-run drug rehabilitation center is a four-hour drive away. But it has just 20 beds and a handful of staff to deal with the epidemic.
The health dangers from opium
"Opium is nothing new to our villages or districts. It's an old tradition, something of a religion in some areas," said Dr. Mohamed Daoud Rated, coordinator of the center.
"People use opium as drugs or medicine. If a child cries, they give him opium, if they can't sleep, they use opium, if an infant coughs, they give them opium."
The center is running an outreach program to the areas that are most afflicted.
Most Afghans aren't aware of the health risks of opium and only a few are beginning to understand the hazards of addiction.
"I was a child when I started using drugs" 35-year-old Nagibe says.
She says her sister-in-law first gave her some when she was a young teenage bride, just 14 years old. Her children grew up addicts as well.
When her husband died, she remarried.
She said: "My new husband doesn't use drugs, nor does his family. Because of that I was able to come here and get treatment. Now as an adult I understand and I want to leave this all behind."
She has been clean for four months, but every day is a struggle.
Carpet weaver Rozigul, 30, is in the detox program with her three-year-old son Babagildi, his pudgy face covered in blemishes. She started using six years ago.
"When I was pregnant with this baby I was using drugs. So he was born addicted and was always crying. I would try to keep him quiet and make him sleep, so I just kept feeding him opium," she says.
Her addicted mother-in-law shares the bed next to her, curled up in a ball and mumbling to herself.
Three generations from one family, all struggling with a curse that afflicts well over one million Afghans.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/01/20/afghan.opium.kids/index.html?hpt=C1Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan (CNN) -- In a far flung corner of northern Afghanistan,... more
VIA Kevin Drum, Keith O'Brien reports in the Boston Globe on a new study showing positive results from Portugal's nine-year-old experiment in drug decriminalisation. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, rates of hard- and soft-drug usage in Portugal were soaring, along with hepatitis and HIV rates.
Faced with both a public health crisis and a public relations disaster, Portugal’s elected officials took a bold step. They decided to decriminalize the possession of all illicit drugs—from marijuana to heroin—but continue to impose criminal sanctions on distribution and trafficking. The goal: easing the burden on the nation’s criminal justice system and improving the people’s overall health by treating addiction as an illness, not a crime.But nearly a decade later, there’s evidence that Portugal’s great drug experiment not only didn’t blow up in its face; it may have actually worked. More addicts are in treatment. Drug use among youths has declined in recent years. Life in Casal Ventoso, Lisbon’s troubled neighborhood, has improved. And new research, published in the British Journal of Criminology, documents just how much things have changed in Portugal. Coauthors Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes and Alex Stevens report a 63 percent increase in the number of Portuguese drug users in treatment and, shortly after the reforms took hold, a 499 percent increase in the amount of drugs seized—indications, the authors argue, that police officers, freed up from focusing on small-time possession, have been able to target big-time traffickers while drug addicts, no longer in danger of going to prison, have been able to get the help they need.
Some researchers caution that Portugal's results may be due not so much to tolerance for drug possession as to making more treatment available. But of course these two always go hand in hand, in any harm-reduction strategy for drug use: it's only by decriminalising possession that you get problem users to come in for treatment.
Portugal is far from the only country that's embraced such harm-reduction strategies, and the verdicts everywhere seem to be similar: they may lead to greater usage of soft drugs, they don't seem to lead to significant increases in hard-drug usage, and they significantly reduce the costs of drug addiction to society. That doesn't mean that drug policy disappears from the political agenda in countries that move towards harm reduction. The newspapers in the Netherlands reported today on a very American-seeming scandal: a website set up by an association of heroin users in Amsterdam, intended to provide addicts with advice on health and safe non-infectious usage, could be read as effectively providing how-to advice on how to shoot up, accessible to web surfers of any age. A conservative-leaning Dutch youth expert wants the site to be somehow restricted to those over the age of 12. But it's instructive to read the reaction of a council member from the right-wing, laissez-faire VVD party, which currently leads the Dutch governing coalition:
On the one hand, we must ensure that the lowest possible number of people use that stuff. On the other hand, if they do, they should use clean needles, not borrow them from each other. And they should try to limit the health risks. That's the perspective from which I look at the site.
This is a perfectly rational conservative perspective. And the fact is that Amsterdam's heroin-addict population has been stable or falling for two decades. That's even though, since 2002, the Dutch authorities have been doing something even more radical than Portugal's for heroin users: they've been giving them free heroin, as long as they show up to inject at government-run "safe injection points", under the eyes of police and health staff. Dutch drug researchers now say that the youth population "doesn't relate to hard drugs at all", and that there's no danger that Dutch kids reading the advice site will find heroin use attractive. They're more likely to find it pathetic.
Drug abuse is driven to a significant extent by fashion. If there's one thing government has going for it, it's the ability to make anything unfashionable. This insight into government's jujitsu-like capability to render the cool uncool should be more obvious to conservatives than to liberals. And yet, in America, the very people who are most distrustful of government's ability to do anything right are the ones who are steadfastly opposed to letting the government use its secret power of deadly uncoolness to fight drug abuse. It seems like a huge wasted opportunity.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/01/harm_reductionVIA Kevin Drum, Keith O'Brien reports in the Boston Globe on a new study showing... more
Thanks to Chris W. for sending this along, commenting, “Admit you’ve used illegal drugs? You may be disqualified if Senator Chuck Schumer has his way” (reported by Fox News):
If someone admits to a federal official that he’s used illegal drugs, that information should be sent to the FBI so that person can be disqualified from purchasing a gun, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
Noting that the alleged shooter in the Tucson massacre had admitted to military recruiters that he had used drugs on several occasions, Schumer said he is proposing to the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that the military be required to notify federal officials about such admissions. The New York Democrat said such a process does not require new legislation.
Jared Lee Loughner is charged with five federal counts in the killing of a federal judge and shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The mass shooting January 8 outside a Safeway grocery store resulted in six dead and 13 injured.
A military official told Fox News last week that Loughner was rejected from enlisting in the Army in 2008 because he admitted he had used drugs. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because privacy laws prevent the military from disclosing such information about an individual’s application.
Schumer said if military recruiters or other officials report admissions of drug use to a national database, those individuals could be denied a gun…
http://www.disinfo.com/2011/01/schumer-pushes-for-military-to-report-applicants-drug-use-to-prevent-gun-purchases/Thanks to Chris W. for sending this along, commenting, “Admit you’ve used... more
Behind the scenes look at Near West Theatre's production of "Rent- School Edition"
Produced by Geoff Short
Part 2 Takes a look at the production as rehearsals heat up and Opening Night quickly approaches. We also get a look at some of the things that make Near West Theatre so unique including activities the cast participates in to get a better understanding of the context of "Rent" - like discussion groups with community member effected by addiction and AIDS.
RENT - SCHOOL EDITION
Near West Theatre -www.nearwesttheatre.org
Directed by Bob Navis,Jr.
Choreographed by Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek
Asst. Music Direction by Jordan Cooper
July 23, 24, 29, 30, 31,August 6, 7 & 8
Thurs., Fri. & Sat. @ 7:30 pm, Sun. @ 3:00 pm
Tickets: $8 Adults, $6 Children (12 & under)
St. Patrick's Club Building
3606 Bridge Ave.- 3rd Fl.Behind the scenes look at Near West Theatre's production of "Rent- School... more
In this episode of Vanguard, correspondent Kaj Larsen investigates the alarming rise in the number of soldiers who have been traumatized by war and are now accused of bringing the violence home. Of the more than 2 million men and women who have served in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as many as a third of them may now have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. A growing number of these vets are being charged with violent crimes, and Kaj travels to prisons and mental health facilities in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon to hear their stories.
"Vanguard" is a no-limits documentary series whose award-winning correspondents put themselves in extraordinary situations to immerse viewers in global issues that have a large social significance. Unlike sound-bite driven reporting, the show's correspondents, Adam Yamaguchi, Kaj Larsen, Christof Putzel and Mariana van Zeller, serve as trusted guides who take viewers on in-depth real life adventures in pursuit of some of the world's most important stories.
For more, go to http://current.com/vanguard.In this episode of Vanguard, correspondent Kaj Larsen investigates the alarming rise... more
Addictions are scary things as consider how they can ruin one’s physical strength, immunity, and cause many health problems. They are by far the most compulsive and chronic habits which we engage in; unhealthy behavioural acts that can aggravate many crimes, suicides or even other social problems.Addictions are scary things as consider how they can ruin one’s physical... more
These drugs are so dangerous that most doctors wouldn’t want to take them for the sake of their health due to their adverse side effects. If your doctor hesitates to take these medications so should you, and you should give serious consider to the consequences of taking any of these drugs.These drugs are so dangerous that most doctors wouldn’t want to take them for... more
American Dropout: A Day in the Life
“The relative decline of American education is untenable for our economy, unsustainable for our democracy, and unacceptable for our children. We cannot afford to let it continue.” Barack Obama
Wilmington is a city in North Carolina, United States. Just before 2 a.m. on Thursday, 3rd June, 2010, detectives were following a 2005 Dodge Durango carrying three men from Philadelphia International Airport to Wilmington when the driver, Marquis Lopez, realized he was being followed and sped off.
Delaware State Police stopped the car after a chase, took three men into custody and called a drug-sniffing dog. A subsequent search of the truck revealed a hidden compartment containing a loaded Glock .40 caliber handgun and 19,500 bags of heroin — each containing 0.025 grams of the drug, police said.
The heroin — estimated to weigh a total of 487.5 grams, or nearly 1.1 pounds — had an estimated street value of $195,000. No bail was set for Lopez, who was turned over to the DEA for federal charges; his passengers — Keenan Wallace, and David Flowers, were charged with trafficking heroin and possession with intent to deliver heroin and conspiracy. They were taken to Howard Young Prison in lieu of $550,000 and $266,000 bail respectively.
They contribute to an alarming statistic. The total incarcerated population in America equaled 2,424,279 inmates at year end 2008.
The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world; 756 per 100,000 of the national population, followed by Russia – 629, Rwanda – 604.
Who typically contributes to these figures?
Read full story at Heroin and Cornflakes....http://arch1design.com/blog/?p=8239American Dropout: A Day in the Life “The relative decline of American... more
"Anatomy of an Epidemic": The hidden damage of psychiatric drugs
An award-winning science reporter looks at the history of mental illness in America -- with disturbing results
In the past few months, the perennial controversy over psychiatric drug use has been growing considerably more heated. A January study showed a negligible difference between antidepressants and placebos in treating all but the severest cases of depression. The study became the subject of a Newsweek cover story, and the value of psychiatric drugs has recently been debated in the pages of the New Yorker, the New York Times and Salon. Many doctors and patients fiercely defend psychiatric drugs and their ability to improve lives. But others claim their popularity is a warning sign of a dangerously over-medicated culture.
The timing of Robert Whitaker’s "Anatomy of an Epidemic," a comprehensive and highly readable history of psychiatry in the United States, couldn’t be better. An acclaimed mental health journalist and winner of a George Polk Award for his reporting on the psychiatric field, Whitaker draws on 50 years of literature and in-person interviews with patients to answer a simple question: If "wonder drugs" like Prozac are really helping people, why has the number of Americans on government disability due to mental illness skyrocketed from 1.25 million in 1987 to over 4 million today?
"Anatomy of an Epidemic" is the first book to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients treated with psychiatric drugs, and Whitaker finds that, overall, the drugs may be doing more harm than good. Adhering to studies published in prominent medical journals, he argues that, over time, patients with schizophrenia do better off medication than on it. Children who take stimulants for ADHD, he writes, are more likely to suffer from mania and bipolar disorder than those who go unmedicated. Intended to challenge the conventional wisdom about psychiatric drugs, "Anatomy" is sure to provoke a hot-tempered response, especially from those inside the psychiatric community.
Salon spoke with Robert Whitaker over the phone about the reasons behind the pharmaceutical revolution, how "anxiety" became rebranded as "depression," and what he thinks psychiatrists are hiding from the American public.
Psychiatric drug use is a notoriously tough subject for writers, because of all the contradictory research. Why wade into it?
In 1998, I was writing a series for the Boston Globe on abuse of psychiatric patients in research settings. I came across the World Health Organization’s outcomes study for schizophrenia patients, and found that outcomes were better for poor countries of the world -- like India, Colombia, Nigeria -- than for the rich countries. And I was startled to find that only a small percentage of patients in those countries were medicated. I also discovered that the number of people on disability for mental illness in this country has tripled over the last 20 years.
If our psychiatric drugs are effective at preventing mental illness, I thought, why are we getting so many people unable to work? I felt we needed to look at long-term outcomes and ask: What does the evidence show? Are we improving long-term outcomes or not?
But you claim in the book that psychiatrists have long known that these drugs can cause harm.
In the late 1970s, Jonathan Cole -- the father of American psychopharmacology -- wrote a paper called "Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?" that signaled that antipsychotics weren't the lifesaving drugs that people had hoped. In it, he reviewed all of the long-term harm the drugs could cause and observed that studies had shown that at least 50 percent of all schizophrenia patients could fare well without the drugs. He wrote, "Every schizophrenic outpatient maintained on antipsychotic medication should have the benefit of an adequate trial without drugs." This would save many from the dangers of tardive dyskinesia -- involuntary body movements -- as well as the financial and social burdens of prolonged drug therapy. The title of the paper poignantly sums up the awful long-term paradox.
Why didn't this change people's minds about psychiatric drugs?
Psychiatry essentially shut off any further public discussion of this sort. And there’s a reason for this. In the 1970s, psychiatry felt that it was in a fight for its survival. Its two prominent classes of drugs -- antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines like Valium -- were coming to be seen as problematic and even harmful, and sales of these drugs declined. At the same time, there’d been an explosion in the number of counselors and psychologists offering other forms of non-drug therapy.
Psychiatry saw itself in competition for patients with these other therapists, and in the late 1970s, the field realized that its advantage in the marketplace was its prescribing powers. Thus the field consciously sought to tell a public story that would support the use of its medications, and embraced the "medical model" of psychiatric disorders. This took off with the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III in 1980, which introduced many new classes of “treatable” disorders.
In a recent New Yorker article, Louis Menand suggested that anxiety drugs were rebranded as antidepressants in the '80s, because anxiety drugs had acquired a bad name. Is that really true?
Depression and anxiety are pretty closely linked. Before benzodiapenes came out, the discomfort that younger people and working people felt was seen as anxiety, by and large. Depression was seen as less common, a disease among the middle-aged and older. It was this deep thing, where people are putting their heads in their hands and can’t move. But when the benzodiazepines were proven to be addictive and harmful, the pharmaceutical companies said, in essence, "We have this market of people who feel discomfort in their lives, which we used to call anxiety. If we can rebrand it as depression, then we can bring a new antidepressant to market." It was a reconceptualization of discomfort, and it opened up the giant market for antidepressants as we see today.
Read the rest of this article: http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2010/04/27/interview_whitaker_anatomy_of_an_epidemic"Anatomy of an Epidemic": The hidden damage of psychiatric drugs An... more