Is Mexico About to Legalize Drugs?

Is Mexico About to Legalize Drugs? This Week in Addiction and Recovery News

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Mexico’s left-wing President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador is considering the legalization of drugs, Newsweek reported. Obrador hopes to “nullify the vicious warfare that kills tens of thousands of people each year,” the story says, adding that he has given his cabinet freedom to do “whatever is necessary to restore peace” in the country. Incoming Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero revealed at a narcotics-violence seminar that drug legalization is one of the many options Obrador is considering as he heads into office. “He knew perfectly well about my lectures and my articles in the press about the decriminalization of drugs,” Cordero said.“On the subject of decriminalizing drugs, Andres Manuel told me, and I quote: ‘Carte blanche…. Let’s open up the debate.’”

Cory Monteith’s Mom Says Dental Work Triggered Relapse

Five years after Glee star Cory Monteith died from a heroin overdose, his mother has opened up about the reasons why. “Cory had a massive amount of dental work,” Ann McGregor, the actor’s mother, told People in a brand-new interview. “He had little teeth and they were all capped. He had a lot of medication in his system, which was not good for his body coming out of rehab.” She noted that Monteith was in a months-long rehab program in April 2013, just three months before he overdosed.“He didn’t have enough drugs in his system to kill him, but for some reason it did because of his intolerance,” she told People. Monteith was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver in July of 2013. A toxicology report revealed heroin, alcohol, morphine and codeine in his system. “Cory didn’t want to die,” she said, claiming he was ill prepared for stardom and drugs were his way of “checking out.”

Opioid Crackdown Affecting People Who Need The Drugs

As doctors write fewer and fewer prescriptions for opioids, thanks to an ever-worsening epidemic in the US, many people struggling with chronic pain are suffering. In fact, according to a recent story out of Wisconsin, patients who rely on opioids are begging the FDA for more options. “[Patients with chronic pain] feel new government guidelines are actually harming them,” the WTMJ-TV story said. After opioid prescriptions soared between 1999 and 2014, the CDC established strict guidelines in 2016 to help reduce overdoses and curb addiction. Unfortunately, many feel he opioid crackdown is doing more harm than good. Despite the non-opioid treatments outlined in the guidelines, countless patients believe they’re suffering when they don’t have to. “I would rather die,” one patient told WTMJ-TV, following her doctor’s decision to reduce her prescriptions. “That’s just the truth, because it hurts so bad without them.”

Stars Continue to Open Up About Anxiety

Considering that 18% of American adults deal with anxiety and mental health issues, it’s no surprise that many Hollywood stars and entertainment industry figures are among them. What’s surprising, however, is the increasing shift in terms of how many stars are choosing to be transparent about their struggles. “While an omnipresent stigma has kept many famous faces from sharing their mental health struggles, more and more stars have come forward in recent years, with Ryan Reynolds and Carson Daly among the notable names speaking out just in the past few months,” The Hollywood Reporter noted. The trade magazine ran a comprehensive, detailed list of celebrities who have opened up about their troubles, ranging from Kristin Bell (“I had friends and ambition-but for some reason, there was something intangible dragging me down … I knew that help was out there-and to seek it without shame”) to Jesse Eisenberg (“It’s not the worst thing in the world to have those feelings…even though it might feel like the worst thing in the world”).

Artie Lange Says Howard Stern Didn’t “Understand Addiction”

Promoting his new book Wanna Bet?, troubled comedian Artie Lange opened up about how addiction destroyed his relationship with legendary shock jock Howard Stern. During a guest appearance on “The Dopey” podcast, Lange revealed just how unmanageable his life had become in 2009 thanks to cocaine, heroin, pills and booze. Lange’s struggle with substance abuse has been well-documented in the press, ranging from some mildly concerning moments (cancelled stand-up appearances) to downright shocking headlines (his violent suicide attempt in 2010). While his addled on-air appearances eventually led to Lange getting fired from The Howard Stern Show, the comedian suggested he felt worse about the uncomfortable position he’d put Stern in. “Howard did not understand addiction. He gave me the best job ever and he is a genius,” he shared. “I was on the show for over eight years, but towards the end I was a complete addict.” Lange added that Stern offered him endless support, including getting him treatment.

China Authorities Searching Sewage to Track Drug Activity

Police in several China cities are analyzing wastewater to help track illegal drug use, according to a new story in Scientific American. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has already been adopted in other countries, including Belgium, Spain and Germany, but China is among the first to employ it for drug enforcement rather than research. (Most countries use WBE to track the spread of bacteria and viruses.) Li Xiqing, a chemist from Beijing’s Peking University, said the technique has already helped authorities to arrest a drug manufacturer. In fact, he believes many others can follow China’s lead. “The experience and lessons from the application of WBE and its adoption by the Chinese drug police in their daily management will be very relevant for other countries,” Li told Scientific American. Not everyone is embracing the technique with open arms, however. Many American cities may not want their secrets revealed, a recent STAT story indicated. While technology can help “reveal remarkably detailed patterns of drug use” and “transform sewers into public health observatories,” many city officials might be afraid of what it reveals. Given the stigma associated with drug addiction, some cities may view WBE as a threat to their reputation.

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Paul Fuhr is a writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with his family and two cats named Dr. No and Vesper. He's hard at work writing a novel and putting his life back together.