Mike Starr of Alice in Chains Dies of Drug Overdose

This week another rock star lost his battle with addiction.   Mike Starr, former bass player for Seattle-based Alice in Chains, was found dead in his Salt Lake City apartment.  Starr, who was 44, is reported to have mixed Methadone and anxiety medication just hours before his death.

MikeStarrODIn 2009, Mike Starr’s struggle with heroin addiction had taken place in the public eye on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.  Many people have questioned the effectiveness of the reality-show format used by Celebrity Rehab since addiction therapy is most often a private matter between the addicted person and his or her therapist.  Airing group therapy sessions on television adds another layer of complication to what is already a challenging process.

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Buju Banton – Facing 15 Years

– Update in June 2011 – Buju was sentenced to 10 years which he will be serving near Miami – ed.

Grammy award winning Buju Banton faces 15 years in prison after he was found guilty for cocaine drug charges.

Mark Anthony Myrie is 37 and is much better known as Buju Banton – a Grammy award winner for best reggae album of the year, entitled “Before the Dawn.”

Banton was arrested December 10, 2009, in his Florida home. He is being charged with:

– conspiracy to obtain with intent to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine

– possessing a firearm during the commissions of the drug trafficking crime using communication facilities during the commissions of the drug trafficking

According to a report given by the DEA, Banton and two other individuals Ian Thomas and James Mack, were video taped in an undercover operation in Sarasota Florida on December 8, 2009. The recording revealed that the three were attempting to buy five kilos of cocaine for distribution. In the audio recording Banton asks government informant Alexander Johnson, “Do you have any contacts where I can get cocaine?”

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weGrow: Californias Wall Mart of Weed

California’s legalization of marijuana for medical purposes has led to a number of strange stories, but perhaps none is stranger than this week’s grand opening of a “Wal-Mart of Weed” in the state capital.  The term “Wal-Mart of Weed” is the nickname for a new Sacramento retail store called weGrow, a 10,000-square-foot hydroponic gardening superstore that focuses on one crop – marijuana.

walmart of weed

Catering to Marijuana Farmers

Unlike other hydroponic stores that avoid any mention of marijuana, weGrow is immersed in pot culture.  It doesn’t sell marijuana, but it provides all the equipment that an aspiring marijuana farmer needs.  It purports to be in business for the 200,000 California residents who have obtained a prescription for legal medical marijuana.  Once a customer has shown a doctor’s prescription for marijuana, weGrow employees will offer advice on grow lights, nutrients and plant cultivation.  The store also offers online training at its University of Cannabis.

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Tell Us Something New About Relapses!

As the proverb says, it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow somebody some good. The Charlie Sheen debacle has been a media bonanza of headline-grabbing among every imaginable form of video, on-line, and print sources – each trying to outdo the other in sensationalism.charlie sheen

Tongues are wagging about porn stars, drugs, and hardcore partying, sometimes at the expense of Sheen’s privacy.

Weeding through the Hollywood hype, at least we find that many issues about addiction and recovery are sharing the spotlight along with Sheen’s wild behavior.

For example, CNN.com reported on 3 February 2011 that addiction is a disease characterized by a strong relapse potential. That noise you hear in the background is thousands of recovering addicts screaming, “Ya THINK? Tell us something we don’t know!”

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Marijuana: A Chronic History Documentary Part II

Read Part I about the History Channel Documentary: Marijuana – A Chronic History

Take The Marijuana Quiz

Marijuana History

The History Channel documentary then chronicles the history of marijuana in the world and in the U.S. It has long been used for medicinal, utilitarian, and recreational purposes.

anslingerAncient cultures used it to treat malaria and rheumatism. China was the exported the plant to Europe wehre it was greatly celebrated.

Then, according to Melissa Etheridge, “it came to America 300 years ago   with settlers.”

In Virginia the there were laws were created by the King of England who fined people that grew the more profitable tobacco instead of hemp for England.

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Marijuana: A Chronic History Documentary Part I

history channel marijuanaIf you took the marijuana quiz based on the History Channel documenatry “Marijuana: A Chronic History,” then you may be surprised to see that the answer to all the questions was “true.”

This may seem unbelievable, but the history of marijuana becoming  a “schedule 1 drug” in the United States is long and convoluted. The substance has been used medicinally and for other practical purposes for thousands of years.

This History Channel documentary used footage from many other previously documentaries and some new information to explore the phenomenon of Marijuana’s legalization and effect on society in the United States.

The show starts out in the emerald triangle Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties.  The weather is good, the land is hilly and remote, and the social/law enforcement climate have allowed an entire illegal industry to develop since the 1960’s.

Marijuana cultivation started primarily outdoors but has since moved indoors. Growers have become educated and business savvy. Also, as we will see later, there are some interlopers from south of the border in this area.

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Marijuana A Chronic History: Quiz

True or False
1. Marijuana is  America’s # 1 cash crop  bigger – than corn bigger than tobacco True or Falsemarijuana quiz

2. Marijuana has been around since the founding of America True or False

3. Marijuana is not fully legal in any country in the world True or False

4. Washington and Jefferson grew marijuana on their farms True or False

5. The Declaration of Independence was written on marijuana (hemp) True or False

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Healthcare Workers Stealing Drugs From Patients for Themselves

A police officer who has suffered a back injury begins to rely on Fun_on_TV-But_not_in_real_lifeprescription pain killers to get through the day.  When his doctor will no longer refill his prescription, he talks a nurse into supplying him with stolen pain pills.  This scenario from the hit cable television drama Southland reflects an everyday reality – many healthcare workers are diverting pain medication.   Since most medical facilities store controlled drugs in locked cabinets, one of the most unfortunate aspects of drug diversion by healthcare workers is that medication is often stolen directly from patients.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency regulates the distribution of controlled substances in hospitals and medical centers.  The majority of healthcare workers adhere to the DEA’s regulations, but some divert and abuse prescription drugs to relieve stress, reduce anxiety or improve work performance.  What begins as self-medication can lead to a cycle of drug abuse and addiction.

Other healthcare workers divert prescription drugs to supply friends or family members or sell them for a profit.

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The Circle of Family Addiction – Genetics, Environment, and Resiliency

Substance abuse is a complex disorder that has many causes. One of the biggest influences is the family. Scientific research shows that both genetics and the home environment can create a circle of family addiction, with one generation passing on addiction to the next.familyaddiction

The Genetic Factor

By studying the rate of alcoholism among adoptees whose biological parents were alcoholic, researchers have found that the children of alcoholics are 2 to 9 times more likely to become alcoholics. The abuse of cocaine, opiates, stimulants and sedatives follow this same pattern. According to the Genetic Science Center at the University of Utah, there is no single gene that is responsible for addiction. Instead, vulnerability to addiction is caused by many interacting genes.

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