Addiction




Newsweek magazine just ran a front-cover story asking, “Is the Web driving us mad?” It cites new scientific research to argue that the internet is causing depression, changing our brain structure, and…





LSDScott Hensley reports on NPR:

You might be tempted to chuckle about some Norwegian researchers peering back at experiments done during the ’60s and ’70s with LSD as a treatment for alcoholism.

But don’t.

Their rigorous analysis, combining data from six different studies, concludes that one dose of the hallucinogenic drug might just help.

The past studies randomly assigned patients to get a strong dose of LSD or something else (another drug, such as amphetamine, a low dose of LSD or nothing special). And the results provide evidence for a beneficial effect on abstinence from alcohol.

For what it’s worth, the analysis, just published online by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, was funded by the Research Council of Norway, not exactly a fringe outfit …



Now you might think that’s a crazy headline, but as Frank Bruni points out in the New York Times, “Congress last revised excise taxes on distilled spirits in 1991, [and] the real…




Alva Noe explains at NPR: Addiction has been moralized, medicalized, politicized, and criminalized. And, of course, many of us are addicts, have been addicts or have been close to addicts. Addiction runs…



Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, 1903.

John Stossel writes on Fox Business:

Yesterday ESPN announced they will remove all poker-related programming and advertising (except for this year’s World Series of Poker).

Wimps. And the gambling industry is no better. Industry lobbyist, former senator Al D’Amato, claims “[poker] is a game of skill” and therefore should not be subjected to federal anti-gambling laws. “Regulate it, but don’t ban it,” he says.

Give me a break. The cowardice of business in standing up for free markets never ceases to amaze me.

What wimps! Why don’t they have the courage to say the government has NO business intervening in an activity between consenting adults? I’d hope the poker lobby and the leading sports network would defend the game and its players. Instead they push legal tricks or distance themselves from poker.

The feds accuse the companies of bank fraud and money laundering…



In America we complain that parents keep their kids quiet (and obese) with TV and junk food. That strategy looks remarkably good compared to Afghanistan where overtaxed parents keep their kids quiet (and skinny) with opium. For real — Arwa Damon reports for CNN:

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan — 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.”…


Ibogaine CoverThe Village Voice has an interesting cover story about ibogaine which prompted Jason Parham to observe on the Village Voice blog site:

“Pharmaceutical companies don’t like cures. Really, they don’t — that’s the sad thing. They like treatment. Something for cholesterol or high blood pressure that you take for years and years, every day. That’s where the profit is.”

When we read that, a light went on. The worst thing for a drug company is a pill you take that completely cures you of your ailment with one dose, right? Where’s the money in that?

So, with that in mind, we thought we’d test Kuehne’s theory, and look at the five most profitable drugs in the United States.

Guess what they all have one in common? They never cure you…


And that’s just one of the Internet addictions revealed in a new study, via AFP:

Computer security firm PC Tools late Wednesday released a study showing that nearly a quarter of US residents think it is fine to be “plugged in” to the Internet during sex.

The survey conducted by Harris Interactive also showed that 29 percent of people in the country believe it is not a problem to be connected online during a wedding and the percentage climbed to 41 percent for family dinners.

When it came to protection from computer viruses or other Internet-transmitted woes, people said they would rather change a diaper, be stuck in traffic, visit a dentist or get a colonoscopy than clean machines…