Every 30 years in addiction treatment we experience these gigantic steps forward. … And the ten stages may well be it.

Every 30 years or so we experience these gigantic steps forward. … And the ten stages may well be it.

The Ten Stages acknowledges that We are all unique perfect children within carrying a full range of unique gifts to offer.

The Ten Stages acknowledges that We are all unique perfect children within carrying a full range of unique gifts to offer. And what makes us unique is our constructed journey in adulthood, for no two people have traveled the same path; no two people have experienced the exact same obstacles or advantages. No two people have traveled in the exact same direction at the exact same time in their lives. And no two people have the exact same perspective or interpretation of their life or their journey.
Each child within has their own unique gifts to offer, but sometimes we do not value our gifts and therefore we do not develop our gifts to their full potential, or at all. That is where self-love comes in. Self-love helps us to believe in ourselves and encourage ourselves to re-discover the perfect version of ourselves that is locked inside ourselves. And when we do, that is when we re-discover our greatest potential and have our greatest gifts to offer.
Our gifts are unique because they reflect our individual unique perfect life journey. And our life journey affects what we have to offer and how we present those gifts to others. Each person offers a unique combination of skill, confidence, energy, groundedness, creativity, thoughtfulness, maturity, playfulness, talent, openness, knowledge, focus, experience, patience, friendliness, kindness, understanding, acceptance, reliability, gentleness, strength, motivation, commitment, sincerity, honesty, insight and compassion.
Not everyone will respond to the gifts that we have to offer because different children have learned to respond to different parental messages. That is why it is good to be perfectly unique!

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich says reading an interview in which Noel talked about quitting drugs is what made him give up taking cocaine.

Ulrich says in the interview with the mrror that he was using cocaine up to around ten years ago but, when reading about Gallagher's own experiences with the drug, decided he wanted to stop."I loved the social elements of cocaine. I loved the danger of it," he said. "Then, about 10 years ago, I read an interview with Noel Gallagher, in which he said, 'I just stopped doing cocaine'. I thought that was really cool. It felt so fresh, so honest, so pure - I love that side of him. I've never had an addictive personality, so I woke up one day and said, 'Enough'."In fact, Ulrich says he only began taking cocaine in order to be able to drink more with his bandmates. "In the early days, I'd always get drunk way faster than the other guys," said Ulrich. "I realised that if there was a little bit of cocaine involved I could stay up longer, instead of ending up face down in the corner, passed out three hours before the party ended."

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings, officials said on Saturday. Officers arrested the 40-year-old, whose real name is reportedly Hernan Alonso Villa, in the eastern seaside city of Alicante on Friday, according to a police statement. He is considered ‘the top leader of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado, a Colombian criminal organisation accused of 400 killings as well as drug-trafficking, extorsion and forced displacements of Colombian citizens’, it said. ‘He is one of the criminals most wanted by the Colombian authorities. He had more than 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the United States and Holland,’ the statement said. Spanish officers arrested him under a Colombian extradition warrant for charges including alleged homicide and arms offences. He was carrying 40,000 euros ($54,000) in cash when he was caught, the statement said. Authorities say the ‘Oficina’ gang dates back to the 1980s when it carried out killings for the now-dismantled Medellin Cartel. Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal narcotics into Europe and Colombia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cocaine. Colombia produced 290 tonnes of cocaine in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Scientists Have Discovered Why Marijuana Makes You Paranoid

Your weed-induced paranoia is a real thing.

A new study has found that weed can make actually you paranoid, confirming the findings of investigations dating back to the 1930s, as well as anyone who has ever smoked weed and then ridden the subway. However, researchers found that it's not the weed that directly causes panic, but rather that it makes you more vulnerable to the onset of panic. The study: Oxford University researchers administered intravenous injections to 121 participants who had all recently experienced paranoia. Two thirds received a dose of THC and the remaining third received a placebo.

The participants were then placed in a real-life situation — the hospital cafeteria — and a calm situation depicted in a virtual reality headset. Half of the real THC group felt elevated levels of anxiety and panic in both settings. In the placebo group, only a third felt such effects. Being high makes people more prone to becoming paranoid, but as the lead researcher puts it, "More importantly, it shines a light on the way our mind encourages paranoia. Paranoia is likely to occur when we are worried, think negatively about ourselves, and experience unsettling changes in our perceptions." When one is high, the changes in perception can lead to a state of disorientation, opening the way to panic and paranoid thoughts. If one feels self-conscious or anxious prior to getting high, then the high will make paranoia more likely to occur.

Clarifying the lore. It's common knowledge that the high from cannabis can generate some level of paranoia in some people, and consuming too much at once can lead to a panic episode. This study demonstrates that those feelings are a direct reaction to the unexpected nature of altered perception, and that a person manifests their own paranoia due to a state of disorientation. The report says that, in a normal state, "Many people have a few paranoid ideas, and a few people have many." Based on your existing vulnerability to paranoia, being high can exacerbate your tendency to feeling paranoid. A number of studies on cannabis over the past few decades cite paranoia as a side effect, including studies of its psychiatric effects, its dangers, and its medical uses, but none of them have discovered how much our own state of mind plays a part. Now we can confirm that if you smoke weed and start getting paranoid, it may well be your own state of mind.

Can Alcohol Kill You?—Let’s Count the Ways

According to the World Health organisation, alcohol kills more than 3 million people worldwide each year, which translates to one person every 10 seconds. That’s more than the amount of people lost to AIDS, tuberculosis, and violence. The statistic includes alcohol-related driving fatalities, violence, and health issues arising from excessive alcohol consumption. Because alcohol is legal in most countries, and because—especially in the US and western culture in general—it is promoted in advertising and glamorised in film, its dangers are often minimised or disregarded by young people, and the warnings about problem-drinking and its consequences are viewed as the admonitions of uptight grownups. Unfortunately, the facts support the admonitions. So, how can alcohol kill you?

Here are a few ways it can—and does—end lives: Drunk driving accounted for ten thousand deaths in 2010—that was over thirty percent of all traffic fatalities. Acute alcohol poisoning kills over one thousand people each year. Nearly sixteen thousand people died in 2010 from alcohol-induced liver disease. Over fifty percent of people who die in fires have high blood-alcohol levels. One quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol related. Unintentional injuries related to alcohol consumption cause over eighteen hundred deaths each year among college students. Health problems, including increased likelihood of stroke, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, oesophageal cancer, and compromised immune system can lead, if untreated, to premature death. Alcohol in combination with other drugs, especially pain medications, tranquillisers, and sleep medications, can cause death by slowing down respiration as well as by causing the aspiration of vomit. The simple fact is that alcohol impairs judgment, cognition, inhibitions regarding excessive risk-taking and acting out of aggressive tendencies, and other faculties that reduce the likelihood of accident or death. If alcohol consumption becomes regular, increases over time, or increases in amount, or if consequences of drinking are accumulating, treatment is indicated, because yes, alcohol can kill you. 

Prostitute Injected Google Exec With Heroin, Left Him to Die on Yacht

More than seven months after a Silicon Valley executive was found dead on his yacht of an apparent overdose, police said they have uncovered new video evidence that reveals he may have been murdered. Alix Tichelman, 26, who police describe as a high-end call girl, is believed to be the woman in the video injecting Forrest Hayes, 51, with heroin during a date together last November, according to Santa Cruz police. It was initially thought that Hayes, who had worked at Apple and was employed by Google at the time of his death, died of an overdose on his yacht, "The Escape." A Woman Found Out a Serial Killer Once Lived in Her Home From Watching TV The newly uncovered surveillance video shows a woman, who Santa Cruz police say is Tichelman, administering the drugs and never trying to help Hayes or to call authorities when it was clear something had gone terribly wrong, Deputy Chief Steve Clark said. "She was so callous that in gathering her things, she was literally stepping over the body and at one point stepped over the body to grab a glass of wine and finish the glass of wine," Clark told ABC's San Francisco owned station KGO-TV. Police said the woman believed to be Tichelman even drew the blinds to the bedroom on the 50-foot yacht before leaving. Investigators took Tichelman's fingerprints from the wine glass, according to KGO-TV. Posing as a potential client, police said they met up with Tichelman to a hotel on July 4 and arrested her on suspicion of second-degree murder, destruction of evidence and transporting and providing narcotics. It was unclear if Tichelman has hired an attorney. An obituary posted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel describes Hayes as a husband and father to five children. "More than anything else he enjoyed spending time with his family at home and on his boat," the obituary said. "His brilliant mind, contagious smile, and warm embrace will be missed and cherished in memories by his friends and family."

We could wipe memories of drug addicts, says top Cambridge neuroscientist

Substance abusers could have their memories of drug addiction wiped in a bid to stop them using illegal narcotics, an award-winning neuroscientist has said. According to new research by Cambridge University’s Professor Barry Everitt: disrupting the memory pathways of drug users could weaken powerful “compel” cravings, reduce “drug seeking behaviour” and open a new field of addiction therapy. Professor Everitt, who is this year’s joint winner of the prestigious Fondation (CORR) Ipsen Neuronal Plasticity Prize, told this week’s Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) how his research in rodents had found that targeting “memory plasticity” in rats was able to reduce the impact of maladaptive drug memories.

He added that this knowledge could offer a radical new method of treatment of drug addiction in humans, where researchers have already established that the path to addiction operates by shifting behavioural control from one area of the brain to another. This process sees drug use go from a voluntary act to a goal directed one, before finally becoming an compulsive act. It was this process that Professor Everitt's research is trying to “prevent” by targeting “maladaptive drug-related memories” to “prevent them from triggering drug-taking and replaces”. In humans this could potentially be done by blocking brain chemicals. “It's the emotional intrusiveness of drug and fear memoirs that can be diminished, rather than an individual's episodic memory that they did in the past take drugs or had a traumatic experience,” he told The Independent. “Conscious remembering is intact after consolidation blockade, but the emotional arousal [that] leads to drug seeking or distressing feelings of fear that are diminished.”

His research group discovered that when drug memories are reactivated by retrieval in the brain, they enter a pliable and unstable state. By putting rats in this state Professor Everitt was able to prevent memory reconsolidation by blocking brain chemicals or inactivating key genes. In one study, the team diminished drug seeking behaviours by obstructing a brain chemical receptor linked to learning and memory, thus erasing memories, while in another study it found they could weaken drug use memories by altering a particular gene in the amygdala, a brain area processing emotional memory. “Of course, inactivating genes in the brain is not feasible in humans,” the professor told FENS. “So we’re directing our research to better identify the underlying brain mechanisms of memory reconsolidation.” He added: “We specifically examined how we could target these maladaptive drug-related memories, and prevent them from triggering drug-taking and relapse.”

If you can't beat them, lead them! British diplomat advocates legalizing heroin

The former British ambassador to Afghanistan has said the war on drugs has essentially been lost, and appealed to take the illegal trade out of the shadow and put it under strict governmental control “to limit the demand.” Sir William Patey, a British career diplomat and former UK ambassador to Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and finally to Afghanistan, has recognized defeat in the fight against drugs in an article written exclusively for the Guardian. Patey called on the British government to face the truth and legalize the drug trade, and take the supply of illegal opium and its derivatives under full control. “In short, the war on drugs has failed in Afghanistan,” declared the British diplomat, calling the failure “predictable and inevitable.”

Understand the inherently peaceful presence of Awareness the art of Living in the NOW

Understand the inherently peaceful presence of Awareness the art of Living in the NOW, and see that this peace is not dependent upon the condition of the mind, body or world, just as a screen is not dependent on the quality of the words or images that appear on it.

The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues

There are many biological factors that are involved with the addicted brain. "The addicted brain is distinctly different from the nonaddicted brain, as manifested by changes in brain metabolic activity, receptor availability, gene expression, and responsiveness to environmental cues" (2) In the brain, there are many changes that take place when drugs enter a person's blood stream. The pathway in the brain that the drugs take is first to the ventral tegmentum to the nucleus accumbens, and the drugs also go to the limbic system and the orbitofrontal cortex, which is called the mesolimbic reward system. The activation of this reward system seems to be the common element in what hooks drug users on drugs (2).

Drugs seem to cause surges in dopamine neurotransmitters and other pleasure brain messengers. However, the brain quickly adapts and these circuits desensitize, which allows for withdrawal symptoms to occur (3). Drug addiction works on some of the same neurobiological mechanisms that aid in learning and memories (3). "This new view of dopamine as an aid to learning rather than a pleasure mediator may help explain why many addictive drugs, which unleash massive surges of the neurotransmitter in the brain, can drive continued use without producing pleasure-as when cocaine addicts continue to take hits long after the euphoric effects of the drug have worn off or when smokers smoke after cigarettes become distasteful." (4)

Since memory and pleasure zones are intertwined in the brain, many researchers have been using psychological approaches to stop drug use. Many rehabilitation centers have used classical conditioning to rehabilitate drug addicts. They combine exposure to drugs combined with cognitive scripts, like statements how drugs have destroyed a person's life or what can be accomplished without using drugs, according to DeLetis (5). By using classical conditioning, the drugs addicts pair the drugs with negative connotations and properties. "Adverse withdrawal symptoms can function as an instrumental negative reinforcer and can be linked to the opponent process theory of motivation." (6) However, drug addicts may relapse and start using again because of many environmental "cues", which are external forces that are associated with drug use in their lives. When the drugs addicts see these cues, their brain circuitry, especially the orbitofrontal cortex become hyperactive and causes these people to start craving drugs again (2). No matter how successful the rehabilitation treatment is, once those "cues" are around, the drug addicts remember how pleasurable the drugs felt and relapse into drug abuse again.

Through all of the research done about drug addiction and its affects on the brain, one can see how drug addiction is considered a brain disease. Drug addiction is a disabling disease and can ruin a person's life. By taking drugs, a person's brain becomes "rewired" to tolerate high amounts of dopamine neurotransmitters, but once those high amounts of dopamine cease to exist, the person experiences withdrawal symptoms. However, there are ways drug addicts can control their drug intake by using classical conditioning techniques, which allows them to associate drugs with negative attributes.

Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles.

The Serotonin Support Group (SSG)

Is a mutual support group for people who suffer from low Serotonin levels,  wishing to participate in a support group that uses as one method a vitamin supplement as a method of replacement or addition to a diet to help the sufferer.The historical basis of this form of nutritional treatment was discovered and researched by Bill Wilson of Alcoholics Anonymous and it is to promote this Legacy to persons who suffer from low serotonin uptake and depression that the Group was formed.Bill Wilson wished to add a step to the 12 he had produced for AA. We struggle to make that possible and fulfill his promise. Without detracting from the message of recovery in the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. If alcoholics and addictive abusers of other drugs have specific chemical imbalances in the brain, and if these imbalances turn out to be reliable enough and measurable enough in sufficiently large numbers of human addicts, it is natural to wonder whether, eventually, science can find a way to correct them.

Some sort of neurotransmitter cocktail, maybe.

Or just possibly... a pill?

Bill Wilson is on record for having found a solution in 1960 for treating anxiety and depression using vitamin B-3 therapy and worked tirelessly for eleven years begging for its inclusion into A.A. recovery circles.  His desire was to help alcoholics stay recovered. This means he would have immediately brought this mineral replacement therapy that eliminates alcohol cravings forth without exception. Andrew W. Saul, includes Bill Wilson as an inductee of the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame at the Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 29, 2006 in his induction speech, “…To this day, selective history records A.A.’s 12-Step Program, but has forgotten, or deliberately purged, what Bill wanted to be A.A.’s 13th step – orthomolecular therapy with vitamin B3.”[Lee Brack1]  In February 2009, Orthomolecular Medicine’s founder, Abram Hoffer and Bill Wilson’s good friend, clarified to me over the phone, “..yes, Lee, he wanted to share this information as an added step and talked about it all the time because he felt so strongly about nutrition…”  Abram Hoffer passed away a few months later in May having lived healthy and happily for ninety one and a half years.

The results strongly suggest that the mechanism of depression after alcohol drinking may be related to serotonin.

We examined tryptophan and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) levels in the blood after consumption of alcohol. Forty-five minutes after drinking, whole blood serotonin concentration was significantly reduced, whereas no changes were observed in tryptophan level. The diurnal rhythm of 5-HT in subjects who the day before had drunk alcohol was quite different from the control group, but very similar to that of patients with depression. The results strongly suggest that the mechanism of depression after alcohol drinking may be related to serotonin.


The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels.

The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels. The medicines that raise the level of serotonin in the brain do so by slowing the reabsorbtion of serotonin. The alcohol increases the availible serotonin for a bit and then it drops off quickly, leaving the depressed person feeling worse, and they tend to not take the medicine correctly when they feel badly or are drunk. High serotonin levels do not mean somebody will feel happy or good, It makes it more likely that they won't feel realy bad.

After being on the run for 15 years, an accused cocaine dealer who used to live in Henrico is in custody.


Nickolas Spanos has multiple indictments from the late 1980's and 1990's accusing him of distributing the drug. 

Investigators say Spanos was found in the Philippines.

Prosecutors tell us they are trying to extradite him back to the United States. 

After being on the run for 15 years, an accused cocaine dealer who used to live in Henrico is in custody.

Nickolas Spanos has multiple indictments from the late 1980's and 1990's accusing him of distributing the drug. 

Investigators say Spanos was found in the Philippines.

Prosecutors tell us they are trying to extradite him back to the United States. 

Whether it is a coping mechanism in the face of homophobia or just hectic partying is not clear, but new figures suggest that gay people are seven times more likely to take illegal drugs than the general population

Whether it is a coping mechanism in the face of homophobia or just hectic partying is not clear, but new figures suggest that gay people are seven times more likely to take illegal drugs than the general population, with one in five of those surveyed showing signs of dependency on drugs or alcohol. More than a third of gay, lesbian and bisexual people took at least one illegal drug in the last month, according to the largest study of its kind. Whether drug use is a psychological crutch, a way of integrating into the "scene" or perhaps both, that figure compares to 5 per cent of the wider population who admitted using a drug in the last month in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). Campaigners yesterday described the findings as a "wake-up call", while specialists warned that gay people risk being "excluded" from traditional drug treatment services. The report, conducted by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) and the University of Central Lancashire, who sampled more than 4,000 people over two years, warns that there is "significant problematic substance use among lesbian, gay and bisexual people" and a risk of "substantial hidden harm". The most widely used substances among those surveyed were party drugs such as cannabis and poppers, followed by powder cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and amphetamines. They were 10 times more likely to have used cocaine in the last month than the wider population, and 13 times more likely to have used ketamine. Heroin use was comparable among both populations, but the use of crack cocaine was again higher among the gay community. David Stuart, education, training and outreach manager at London Friend, the UK's only targeted LGBT drug and alcohol service, said feelings of "rejection" and "fear" as well as "shame around sex" could be factors leading to substance abuse. He added that drug services "aren't equipped" to deal with the shifting drug trends, noting that "while government funding is linked to crime prevention and drugs like crack and heroin, less than 2 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people use these drugs." But Kitty Richardson, 25, who runs the Most Cake, a blog for lesbians in London, said: "the scene has a lot to answer for". She added: "People are very quick to label gay people as troubled, or inherently needing those crutches, but all our methods of socialising revolve around drink or drugs. A by-product of that is people can become dependent." The research, carried out at Pride events and through online and postal surveys, canvassed a younger age profile than the CSEW, but LGF's policy and research co-ordinator, Heather Williams, called the figures "striking". She added: "This should be a wake-up call for people working with the community and for policy makers commissioning services at a local and national level." While drug use in the general population tends to decrease with age, the report found almost as many lesbian, gay and bisexual 36- to 40-year-olds were taking drugs as their younger counterparts. 'I was bullied quite badly, and started smoking cannabis at 14' Sarah Graham, 43, is a drug counsellor, living in London. She is also a recovering cocaine user, who at one point was spending £600 a week on drugs and alcohol. The former TV director says the homophobic bullying she experienced at school was a factor in her addiction, which nearly killed her. "I was bullied on a daily basis; it got quite bad, in terms of physical assaults. I didn't feel comfortable being myself and at 14, when I wasn't even out, I started smoking cannabis at the end of the playing fields to numb myself to the reality of day-to-day existence. This led me to taking more serious drugs, like speed and acid, then cocaine. "A lesbian, gay or bisexual person presenting in treatment can have specific traumas, in which workers need to be trained."

long range cartel subs are apparently going all the way from Ecuador to Europe

 long range subs are apparently going all the way from Ecuador to Europe, bypassing the Mexican cartels (who have been fighting each other, in a big way, for the last five years).

Particularly worrisome are these larger subs headed for Europe. Little is known about these, expect that they exist. These subs would be more at risk of being lost because of accident or bad weather than being spotted. European navies (especially Portugal and Spain) and coast guards have been alerted and are looking.

Despite losing nearly a hundred of these vessels to the U.S. and South American naval forces (and dozens more to accidents and bad weather) the drug gangs have apparently concluded that the subs are the cheapest and most reliable way to ship the drugs. It's currently estimated that over 80 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States leaves South America via these submarines or semi-submersible boats.

Most of these craft are still "semi-submersible" type vessels. These are 10-20 meter (31-62 foot) fiberglass boats, powered by a diesel engine, with a very low freeboard and a small "conning tower" providing the crew (of 4-5), and engine, with fresh air and permitting the crew to navigate. A boat of this type was, since they first appeared in the early 1990s, thought to be the only practical kind of submarine for drug smuggling. But in the last decade the drug gangs have developed real submarines, capable of carrying 5-10 tons of cocaine that cost a lot more and don't require a highly trained crew. These subs borrow a lot of technology and ideas from the growing number of recreational submarines being built.

The Colombian security forces and other Latin American navies have been responsible for most of these vessel captures. Usually these boats are sunk by their crews when spotted but the few that were captured intact revealed features like an extensive collection of communications gear, indicating an effort to avoid capture by monitoring many police and military frequencies. The Colombians have captured several of these vessels before they could be launched. In the last few years the Colombians have been collecting a lot of information on those who actually builds these subs for the drug gangs and FARC (leftist rebels that provide security and often transportation for moving cocaine). That includes finding out where the construction takes place.

Colombian police have arrested dozens of members of gangs that specialized in building submarines and semisubmersible boats. As police suspected, some of those arrested were retired or on active duty with the Colombian Navy (which operates two 1970s era German built Type 209 submarines). These arrests were part of an intense effort to find the people responsible for building subs for cocaine gangs. Find the builders and you stop the building efforts.

Over the last few years the U.S. and Colombia have been desperately seeking the specialists responsible for designing and building these craft. This soon led to identifying and arresting leaders of the sub building groups. The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) helped out, providing many valuable tips.

The submarines that have been captured have, on closer examination, turned out to be more sophisticated than first thought. The outer hulls are made of strong, lightweight Kevlar/carbon fiber that is sturdy enough to keep the sub intact but very difficult to detect with most sensors. The hulls cannot survive deep dives but these boats don't have to go deep to get the job done. The diesel-electric power supply, diving and surfacing system, and navigational systems of captured subs was often in working order. It was believed that some of those who built these boats probably had experience building recreational subs. The sub builders also had impressive knowledge of the latest materials used to build exotic boats. It had already become clear that something extraordinary was happening in these improvised jungle shipyards.

Ecuadoran police found the first real diesel-electric cocaine carrying submarine two years ago. It was nearly completed and ready to go into a nearby river, near the Colombian border, and move out into the Pacific Ocean. The 23.5 meter (73 foot) long, three meter (nine feet) in diameter boat was capable of submerging. The locally built boat had a periscope, conning tower, and was air conditioned. It had commercial fish sonar mounted up front so that it could navigate safely while underwater. There was a toilet on board but no galley (kitchen) or bunks. Submarine experts believed that a five man crew could work shifts to take care of navigation and steering the boat. The boat could submerge to about 16 meters (50 feet). At that depth the batteries and oxygen on board allowed the sub to travel up 38 kilometers in one hour, or at a speed of 9 kilometers an hour for 5-6 hours. This would be sufficient to escape any coastal patrol boats that spotted the sub while it moved along on the surface (its normal travel mode). The boat could also submerge to avoid very bad weather. The sub carried sufficient diesel fuel to make a trip from Ecuador to Mexico. There was a cargo space that could hold up to seven tons of cocaine.

The sub was captured where it was being assembled and a nearby camp for the builders appeared to house about fifty people. A lot of evidence was collected, and apparently the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) used that to develop clues about who was involved. It was the DEA that put together the pieces that led to identifying Meyendorff and locating him in Argentina.

The Ecuadoran boat was the first such sub to be completed but not the first to be attempted. A decade ago Russian naval architects and engineers were discovered among those designing and building a similar, but larger, boat. However, that effort did not last, as the Russian designs were too complex and expensive. It was found easier to build semi-submersible craft. But more and more of these new type subs are being found.

Symptoms of alcohol abuse, not dependence, may better reflect family risk for alcohol use disorders.

Individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) vary widely in their age of onset of use, patterns of drinking, and symptom profiles. AUDs are often 'divided' into two categories: alcohol abuse (AA) and alcohol dependence (AD), with AA perceived as a milder syndrome that might develop into AD over time. A recent study of the clinical features of AUDs, with a focus on family liability, has found that -- contrary to expectations -- AA symptoms better reflect familial risk for AUDs than AD symptoms.

Results will be published in the December 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Researchand are currently available at Early View.

"We decided to look at the clinical features of AA and AD as they correspond to familial liability to AUDs because familial risk of illness has been long used as a major validator of diagnostic approaches in psychiatry," explained Kenneth S. Kendler, professor of psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study. "For example, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-III (DSM-III) criteria, it was assumed the AA and AD represent distinct syndromes. Since then, results have accumulated to suggest that these two categories are very highly correlated and may in fact jointly represent one underlying dimension of risk.

The researchers examined clinical features of AUDs among 1,120 twins from the Virginia Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria for lifetime AUDs. Analysis focused on whether clinical features of AUDs, including individual DSM-IV criteria for AD and AA, predicted risk for AUDs in cotwins and/or parents.

Results indicate that individual DSM-IV criteria for AA and AD differ meaningfully in the degree to which they reflect the individual's familial/genetic liability to AUDs. Importantly, and contrary to expectations, the familial/genetic risk to AUDs was better reflected by symptoms of alcohol abuse and negative psychosocial consequences of AUDs than by early age at onset of drinking, or symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal.

"Symptoms of alcohol abuse do a better job of reflecting the familial risk for AUDs than symptoms of dependence," said Kendler. "This is not what we expected. Clearly the symptoms of alcohol abuse may have more validity than they are commonly given credit for."

The most consistent single predictor of familial risk was AUD-associated legal problems, the researchers noted, one of the negative psychosocial consequences of AUDs, which is the one criterion slated for removal in the impending DSM-5.

"This removal is slated to occur largely through the influence of the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11) which is used worldwide and is itself slated for revision by 2015," explained Kendler. "The DSM-5 authors are concerned that legal standards differ so widely across the world that it would be problematic to use any criteria reflecting legal practices."

Reduced BMD often co-occurs with alcoholism.

Osteoporosis, or reduced bone mineral density (BMD), is defined by an absolute decrease in total bone mass, caused mostly by an imbalance between osteoclastic bone resorption and osteoblastic bone formation. Reduced BMD often co-occurs with alcoholism. A study of the passage of bone formation and resorption in abstinent alcoholics has found that eight weeks of abstinence may be enough to initiate a healthier balance between the two.

Results will be published in the December 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Researchand are currently available at Early View.

"There are many reasons why alcoholics may develop reduced BMD: lack of physical activity, liver disease, and a suspected direct toxic effect of alcohol on bone-building cells," explained Peter Malik, a senior scientist and physician at the Medical University Innsbruck, Austria as well as corresponding author for the study. "A reduced BMD carries an increased risk of fractures with all the consequences; osteoporotic fractures also put an enormous financial burden on health care systems due to high rehabilitation costs."

"This study contributes to our understanding of various deteriorating effects of long-term consumption of high amounts of alcohol on the human body," commented Sergei Mechtcheriakov, associate professor of psychiatry at the Medical University Innsbruck, Austria. "We can see that even bone tissue which is often -- and wrongly -- perceived as inert, can be affected by alcoholism. It would seem that a combination of direct toxic effects of alcohol and its metabolites on bone tissue turnover as well as life style factors, such as low physical activity, may play a significant role."

Malik and his collegues examined BMD in 53 male abstinent patients, 21 to 50 years of age, at an alcohol rehabilitation clinic. Blood work was drawn for various measures at baseline and after eight weeks of treatment. Study authors also used x-rays to determine BMD in the lumbar spine and the proximal right femur, as well as a questionnaire to determine levels of physical activity prior to inpatient treatment.

"We found that BMD is reduced in alcoholic men without liver disease," said Malik. "However, the initial imbalance between bone formation and resorption seems to straighten out during abstinence. This means that an increased fracture risk could be reduced during abstinence if no manifest osteoporosis is already present. In addition, regular physical exercise seems to be 'bone-protective' in alcoholic patients, likely due to the fact that a dynamic strain on bone through physical activity increases the rate of bone formation and resorption, which is good for bone density."

"This study supports the view that recovery treatment programs should contain long-term moderate physical activity regimes," said Mechtcheriakov, "which treatment programs generally do. But the study also suggests that deficits in the musculoskeletal system, such as BMD reduction or muscular atrophy, should be taken into account during the rehabilitation. The study shows that during the first weeks of abstinence the bone metabolism is slowly improving but not fully recovered. Recovery after long-term alcoholism takes months and probably years. We need better understanding of these processes in order to be able to conceive better rehabilitation programs."

Based on these findings, Malik recommended that patients with a longer history of alcohol abuse or dependence undergo dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, a measurement of BMD, especially when other risk factors such as co-medication or smoking are present.

Mechtcheriakov added that even though a full recovery may take months or even years, it is important to remember that it is possible with abstinence.

"This is probably true for many other alcohol-associated diseases," Mechtcheriakov said. "It pays to stop drinking or at least reduce alcohol consumption to the low-risk levels recommended by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. We need a better scientific understanding of the multiple consequences of alcoholism and its associated long-term recovery processes. The latter aspect has been underestimated in alcohol research for decades. This applies also to alcohol-associated neuronal sensibility disorder, motor coordination deficits, muscular atrophy, and bone metabolism. The application of scientifically based methods to support and stimulate long-term recovery processes in post-withdrawal alcoholics can dramatically improve quality of life and rehabilitation success for this large group of patients."

Mr. Nice Guy became the biggest fake pot manufacturer in the US.

There’s an excellent article on the highs and increasing lows of the synthetic marijuana ‘legal high’ industry in the Broward Palm Beach New Times.

The piece is an in-depth account of how a legal high company called Mr. Nice Guy became the biggest fake pot manufacturer in the US.

It describes in detail how the business created and sold the product – only to fall foul of the rush ban on the first wave of synthetic cannabinoids.

The company was eventually raided by the Drugs Enforcement Agency and is waiting for the case to be tried in court. However, it’s still not clear whether they actually broke the law.

They changed their formula a few months before the raid to use two cannabinoids, called UR-144 and 5-fluoro-ur-144, which are not specifically covered by the current ban, so the prosecutors have to argue that they are close enough to the prohibited molecules to be illegal.

A curious point not mentioned in the article is that cannabinoid 5-fluoro-ur-144, also known as XLR-11, had never previously been described in the scientific literature and was first detected in synthetic marijuana.

It is listed by companies that sell research chemicals (for example, here) so you can buy it straight from the commercials labs.

But the data sheet makes it clear that structurally it is “expected to be a cannabinoid” but actually, it has never been tested – nothing is known about its effects or toxicity.

Previously, grey-market labs were picking out legal chemicals confirmed to be cannabinoids from the scientific literature and synthesizing them to sell to legal high manufacturers.

But now, they are pioneering their own molecules, based on nothing but an educated guess on how they might affect the brain, for the next wave of legislation-dodging drugs.

Fake pot smokers are now first-line drug testers for these completely new compounds.

DREAM WARRIOR CHRONICLES : I had taken on the disease concept of Alcholics Anonymous and made my first attempts at the steps.

Middlesbrough Bills  kindness and friendship amazed me.This was a time of uncertainty and was my first tentative steps without alcohol. This was a strange different world that I didn’t fit into. My whole life had been built up around alcohol every minute of every day.The description of myself would always have drink associated to it.My business was alcohol consumption in all its varied forms. I nearly said friends but my associates were drinking partners.Long heavy drinking sessions were my norm, or had been. I longed for the old conviviality of the public house whose smoky atmosphere conjured up feelings of social acceptance, shared secrets and understanding winks. The alternative was meetings and drunkalogs. An acceptance that somehow I had crossed some invisible line. Social invitations started to reappear to drink inducing wine tasteings.New launches of exotic and not so exotic wines,spirits and beers.

The restoration of health the bleeding had stopped and yet the dry heaves returned at the slightest amount of stress. I buried myself into the meetings frightened by the new reality of my situation. I had taken on the disease concept of Alcholics Anonymous and  made my first attempts at the steps. My sponsor had had little experience but freely shared what he had. I understood very little my head was foggy and my reasoning suspect. I reacted with an alcoholic mind to fears,projections of impendin g doom. I worked hard to produce the worst possible outcomes.The meetings were sparsely attended many people relapsed and the resulting deaths,incarcerations proved the adage that alcoholism was progressive.I kept attending meetings as my business life imploded, in my drunkenness I had confided in the wrong people. Thieves had seen the opportunity of a boss who was seldom sober and unresponsable. The unmanageability of a drunken life had spilled into a business life with catastrophic results. Explanations of my behaviour were asked for and then demanded.The blackouts I had so earnestly sort now became liabilities.People appeared to tell of some outrageos episode with someone I could not recollect.I became frightened and confused not understanding that try as I might I had little to no memory of events, the people or the circumstances.

Yet this was sometimes a lie.A brief techicolour flash of a moment when I had come out of a blackout then returned.Flashing headlights angry shouts and then nothing. Flickering firelight in an derelict house. A pool table in an underground cavern.I shuddered at these brief insights into a sots life.Much of this I kept to myself as I tossed in sleepless nights. Tortured by fear and anxiety what would happen to me. What had I become.

The big book of alcoholics anonymous was my constant companion somewhere buried in its pages was an answer but where and how did it apply to me. It told me about the problem , but I was blind to the solution. Yet it gave me some consolation telling me threw its stories that I was not alone. I started to develop a belief in the book. All I could see around me was devastation. Each day brought with a new round of problems which I was ill equipped to deal with. Honesty was starting to glimmer into my life, but the reality of honesty frightened me. Bill had told me to find God.How and where do you find God?

experts believe we can actually become "addicted" to stress.

Stress can be physical,And then there’s the kind that’s in our heads — that OMG I’m so overwhelmed right now feeling. While psychological stress has some definite downsides (chronic freak-outs may increase our risk for cancer and other diseases), take a moment to exhale. In moderate amounts, stress can boost our focus, energy, and even our powers of intuition.

Still, in some cases, stress does more than light a productivity-boosting fire under our butts. Both emotional and physical stress activate our central nervous system, causing a “natural high,” says Concordia University neuroscientist and addiction specialist Jim Pfaus. “By activating our arousal and attention systems,” Pfaus says, “stressors can also wake up the neural circuitry underlying wanting and craving — just like drugs do.”

This may be why, experts believe, some of us come to like stress a little too much.

Type A and Type D personalities — or people prone to competitiveness, anxiety, and depression — may be most likely to get a high from stressful situations, says stress management specialist Debbie Mandel. Stress “addicts,” Mandel says, “may also be using endless to-do lists to avoid less-easy-to-itemize problems — feelings of inadequacy, family conflicts, or other unresolved personal issues.”

Some stress junkies have difficulty listening to others, concentrating, and even sleeping because they can’t put tomorrow’s agenda out of their minds, explains Mandel. Others tend to use exaggerated vocabulary — craaazy busy right now, workload’s insane!! And some begin to feel anxious at the mere thought of slowing down their schedule.

But psychologist and addiction researcher Stanton Peele cautions against labeling anyone a stress addict. “Only when that pursuit of stress has a significant negative impact on your life could it qualify as addiction,” he said, adding that many people are able to effectively manage — and in fact thrive under — high stress conditions. (Think: Olympic athletes or President Obama.)

 Study: Stress Shrinks the Brain and Lowers Our Ability to Cope with Adversity

For budding stress “addicts” or for those who just, well, feel overwhelmed, here are some tips to dial down that anxiety:

  • Seek professional help if you’re verging on burnout. (Not only can hashing it out with a therapist take a load off your mind. Some studies suggest it also boosts physical fitness.)
  • Do something creative. Mandel recommends carving out a once-weekly time not to think about tomorrow’s agenda by painting, cooking, writing, dancing, or anything else that’ll take you off the clock temporarily.
  • Take it outside. Numerous studies show spending time in nature improves general well-being, lowers anxiety, stress and depression, and even boosts self-confidence. Especially for women. (As it turns out, most addiction recovery centers offer outdoor-immersion programs.)
  • Calm down quickly. If you really don’t have time for any of the above, these 40 tricks to chill take five minutes or less.

Some of us may seek out stress a bit more excessively than others and struggle to just relax. It takes skill to handle hectic agendas and long lists of responsibilities — without losing sleep or feeling frazzled. So try these tips and try not to freak out.

Worried that you or someone you know seeks out stress a little too much? Think stress addiction is a myth? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

For those red wine drinkers who’ve been feeling morally superior about all the health benefits of the relaxing glass or two sipped during dinner, there’s some bad news on the horizon.

 Turns out, those glasses of wine would be a lot healthier if they were non-alcoholic, a new study shows.  Spanish researchers led by Gemma Chiva-Blanch of the University of Barcelona found that non-alcoholic red wine reduced blood pressure in men at high risk for heart disease better than standard red wine or gin, according to the study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation Research. Although the reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was modest, decreases of just 4 and 2 mm Hg have been associated with a 14 to 20 percent reduction in heart disease and stroke, the researchers pointed out. “The daily consumption of dealcoholized red wine could be useful for the prevention of low to moderate hypertension,” they concluded.  Although there have been many studies on the impact of moderate drinking on health, the findings have been mixed, with some studies showing a benefit and others suggesting none. The new study found that 3 ounces of gin a day had no impact on blood pressure, while consumption of regular red wine led to a small, but not statistically significant, improvement. The new study suggests that if you’re going to have a drink, red wine would be the healthiest choice, said Dr. Kelly Anne Spratt, a heart disease prevention specialist and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Still, Spratt said, “while there are those of us in cardiology who believe in the benefits of red wine, we want to be wary. We’re not going like gangbusters recommending people go out and start drinking. There are a lot of problems associated with drinking, like weight gain, cardiomyopathy, alcoholism, an increased breast cancer risk in women who consume two or more drinks a day.” Chiva-Blanch and her colleagues suspect that blood pressure improvements were due to the impact of polyphenols, a red wine component, on nitric oxide. The theory is that nitric oxide molecules help blood vessels relax, which allows better flow and more blood to reach the heart and other organs. For the new study, Chiva-Blanch and her colleagues followed 67 men with diabetes or three or more cardiovascular risk factors. During the study, the men were all required to consume the same foods along with one of three drinks: 10 ounces of red wine, 10 ounces of non-alcoholic red wine or 3 ounces of gin. During the 12 week study, the men tried each diet/beverage combination for four weeks at a time. The researchers determined that the standard red wine and its nonalcoholic counterpart contained equal amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant which has been shown to decrease blood pressure. Men who drank regular red wine saw minor reductions in blood pressure – too small, in fact, to be statistically significant. Those who drank gin with their meals saw no change in blood pressure. But men who drank non-alcoholic red wine saw a blood pressure decrease of about 6 mm Hg in systolic and 2 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. Chiva-Blanch and her colleagues concluded that their findings show that the alcohol in red wine actually weakens its ability to lower blood pressure.

pornography addiction, phone sex, or online affairs or the more overt behaviors like exhibitionism, prostitutes, strip clubs or massage parlors

pornography addiction, phone  sex, or online affairs or the more overt behaviors like exhibitionism, prostitutes, strip clubs or massage parlors, there is no way you are going to see yourself as “enabling” such behavior.

You are probably going to feel justifiably shocked and victimized. There is no way you would want to  make it easier for the addict to act out sexually.  Who would want their partner to betray their trust, waste time and money and maybe bring home a disease?


The original meaning of “enabling”

In the drug and alcohol addiction field there was the stereotype of the “alcoholic wife” who “enabled” her husband’s alcoholism by taking over for him when he could not function, calling in sick for him when he was hung over, and otherwise cleaning up after the him. In other words giving “help” that perpetuates the problem by rescuing the addict and thereby protecting him or her from the need to confront the consequences.

How can you enable something you don’t know exists?

Most sex addicts have a secret, compartmentalized sex life.  The partners and spouses of the addict are unaware that the addict is leading a double life until something makes them suspicious or they stumble on some damning evidence.  Furthermore, most partners’ first instinct to be trusting and supportive and even if the relationship is going badly.

One could argue that the partner should have suspected that there was something wrong and that they were wearing blinders, but sex addicts are very good at covering their tracks.  Alcoholics and drug addicts most often show some pretty overt signs of the problem, whereas sex addicts may not.

Being an unwitting accomplice 

The most likely way in which you can enable your partner’s sex addiction is without your knowing it.  This is not your fault.  It happens all the time.  The addict may be relatively free to carry on his or her addictive sexual behavior due to circumstances in the relationship that you did not seek out.

For example, each of you may be very involved in career, work or children.  This is a good thing, but it can mean that you have less time together and that you fall into a kind of routine in which your life together is more of a partnership and there is not so much time for being alone together and building intimacy. This very common situation leaves the sex addict a lot of opportunity to pursue his or her addiction.  It works for the addict.

Alternatively, you and or your partner are involved in a complicated web of drama and resulting interpersonal chaos.  This can be a leftover from past involvements, emotional turmoil involving family and friends, or other drama that you can’t really seem to do anything about.  This atmosphere of drama and intrigue can also make it easier for a sex addict’s secret behavior to go unnoticed.

How you can get cast in  a “supporting” role

If you are in a relationship with a sex addict they were either already acting out sexually before the relationship or they had long-standing problems around attachment and intimacy that were the basis for the addiction to emerge.  This means that they would gravitate toward a partner and a style of relationship that would be compatible with a secret sexual life.

Your sex addict partner probably genuinely loves you, but as depressing as it may be to think of it this way, he or she was unconsciously drawn to you partly because of the ways in which your life situation, work style or interpersonal style could potentially leave room for and even “justify” the addiction.

It will be part of sex addiction recovery at some point for both addict and partner to examine and understand all the dynamics of the relationship that supported the addiction and to do so without assigning blame.

Dream Warriors Testament the sensational serialised Addiction Journal

Dream Warriors Testament:PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM 

Dream Warriors testament, Arriving at a time in my life after thirty years of not drinking to leave an honest account of what it was like, my experience the good and the bad, the addictions of which alcohol was but one, the spiritual experiences and the formation of my personal program.The founding of Narcotics Anonymous in Spain.The trails and tribulations of the battles and failures with the ego.Many people need to remain anonymous within my journal and many may see there rolls differently.The writing is by a dyslexic this is not an excuse but a fact.Without the help of AA,NA,CA,ALANON,OA,SA and CODA this story would have not been possible.Many Angels have appeared in my life and I acknowledge you all.My sponsor and authentic founder of NA Spain remains my confident and long term friend.This person without any thought of reward spent endless time supporting me threw the early years of recovery  and whom I will be eternally grateful.


Now cast your mind back thirty years.A hopeless drunk is staggering our of a nightclub set in an area known as over the border in a North East English town. The street lights  shimmering off the tarmac rushed towards me as I crumpled into unconsciosness My semicomatse head bouncing off the granite curbstones feeling like a gentle caress. Blackout, oblivion was where my advanced alcoholism always took me. The promise of a wonderous adventure filled illusions had long since disappeared.The idea that I could handle alcohol or drugs had seemed irrelevant the inevitability of my condition overcame me I dimmely felt hands rifleing threw my pockets. Hopelessly drunk I was incapable of doing anything even my bodily functions now took care of themselves. Death, whatever that was, would have been welcomed as yet another phase of insane bingeing ran its course.By know I was starting to understand that once I drank I had no control over the outcome.All the excuses had been used up and I was in utter bewilderment as to why my longtime friend alcohol had turned on me.Where had my friends disappeared to and the conviviality of there happy company.

The answer crashed into my befuddled brain I had used up all there excuses as well as mine and had become the unfunny court jester who continuosly embarrassed them with drunken brawling heaping abuse onto those closest to me as the full reality of my condition became apparent to them all.The witty raconteaur had become the stinking drunk,bloated vomiting and unfunny.In reality I sorted out dark places where people like me sort the company of like minded others.The illegal blues clubs and shebeens the drinking dens for prostitutes and criminals.I could not resist the call to visit once I had, had that first drink.It did not matter what it was for I had long since recognised that if it was a weak shandy or a double whisky the results would be exactly the same.It came as no surprise to be lying in the gutter blacked out.

What did come as a surprise was to be sitting in the back of a taxicab.What had happened had I met with a good Samaritan for they where a rareity in this area of dockland.I was over the years after this to try many times to attempt to rationalise this answer out. Had some golden lady of the night rescued me doubtful but possible or a kindly taxi driver even more improbable.Yet here I was being dropped off outside my front door in a small suburban village.My eyes fearfully scanned the street for what had become the inevitable results of my binges a police car.I thanked the taxi driver and searched for my keys.No police car but now the guilt and remorse the terrible psychical withdrawal from alcohol gripped my being. I must have another drink as my skin started crawling and the stomach wrenching vomit reflex took hold.

It was at this time I recognised that all the lights were on yet there was no one in the house.I stopped I glanced at the red flock wallpaper with the glistening remains of the whisky glass catching the evidential reflection of the lights.Yes this was the right house.There was the drinks cupboard it was open nothing remained. Panic,fear my head whirled a neon red sign shown in my head NO DRINK.No drink nothing.I heard a car drive up my car, my wife.I needed to get what was left of the brain into gear.I wracked my brain for a solution something that would work something that would give one more drink anything.She was on the path give me an idea any idea nothing. The withdrawls were kicking in the shakeing was starting with the first tremors my fingers twitched as the withdrawls started.Its just a hangover.You used the magic word that would start the withdrawl HANGOVER. I didn’t do hangovers anymore I just got sick very sick very quickly.How the hell was I to get a drink I must have a drink.I needed a solution fast any solution.

Like alcohol and drug addiction, Internet obsession is also real.

Like alcohol and drug addiction, Internet obsession is also real. It does affect poorly the lives of internet addicts and their families by becoming the reason for divorce, job loss, declining productivity at work, failure in school, and, in extreme cases, criminal behavior. Reached at the level of epidemic in the United States, this problem continues to grow as more households and business firms go on-line.

Today, we have brought forth a list of Books that will help netizens to act against Internet Addiction. Inspiring and informative, these books are a useful resource for those who are at initial stage of the addiction as well as a helpful ‘web rehab’ for those who are already entangled in the same.

Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap – Video gaming and Internet surfing are the top sources of entertainment for tens of millions of North Americans today. With the growing trend of these high-tech activities, more and more people are becoming obsessed with video games and the internet, isolating themselves, turning their backs on reality, ignoring family and friends, and losing sleep and even their jobs. In this groundbreaking book, recovering video game addict Kevin Roberts uses extensive scientific and social research, complemented by his and others’ personal stories, to give compulsive gamers and surfers, and their family and friends – a step-by-step guidelines for recovery.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains – In this book, Nicholas Carr has discussed in detail on the topic “As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?” He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought, but, in stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.

Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction–and a Winning Strategy for Recovery – Seeing the speedily growing mouth of the Internet addiction, author Kimberly Young chronicles in this book the results of her three-year study of Internet abuse. Often using the words of the Internet addicts, she presents the stories of dozens of lives that were shattered by an overwhelming compulsion to surf the Net, play MUD games, or chat with distant and invisible neighbors in the timeless limbo of cyberspace. She has also offered in the book a questionnaire to help Net users determine whether they are addicts, and discusses concrete steps to help problem users regulate Internet usage and devise a more balanced place for it in their daily lives.

Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment – In this book, Kimberly Young discusses on the problems such as online gaming compulsion, cybersex addiction, and gambling addiction. Providing an integrated and current overview of the different types of Internet addiction, this book asserts that an extensive attention to deal with adolescents is essential, given the rapid rise in media and technology use by both Net Generation young adults and iGeneration teenagers. This book not only help us in evaluating Internet Addiction but also offers guidelines for proper treatment.

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior – As Internet usage has exploded in recent years, so has the prevalence of compulsive online sexual behavior, a problem first addressed five years ago by Patrick Carnes and coauthors in the first edition of this book. Updated with the latest information, trends, and developments, the second edition equips readers with specific strategies for recognizing and changing compulsive sexual behaviors. Personal stories reveal how distressed life can become for online sex addicts with the issues like divorce, career loss, and financial ruin. Invariably, the authors set forth in this book a path for breaking free from compulsive online sexual behavior and sustaining lifelong recovery.

A recent study suggests that cannabis use causes lower IQ in under 18s. It also lowers acknowledgement of alternative explanations

Cannabis reduces IQ (and appreciation of context)

Man smoking cannabis

Just because those who smoked cannabis as teenagers had lower IQs as adults doesn't mean cannabis causes lower IQs. Photograph: Rex

I tried cannabis once. I've never been keen on smoking or illicit drug use, but I was at a party and a bit drunk at the time, my inhibitions were lowered. Someone offered me a drag/toke/puff (delete as appropriate) on a joint/spliff/reefer (again, delete as appropriate), so I thought, why not?

Why is 'why not?' always assumed to be a rhetorical question? I remember being unnerved by the feeling that I was slowly sinking into a chair, then laughed myself hoarse because I saw another friend walk through a door (said friend was gay, and he 'came out' of the other room... it seemed hilarious at the time). I ended the evening face down on the bathroom floor. I wasn't sick or anything, I just found the cool tiles immensely soothing, so stayed there for about 90 minutes.

The above experience(s), coupled with the fact that I don't like feeling as if I've been breathing through a Volvo's exhaust pipe all night, meant that cannabis wasn't really for me. But that's not to say that I condemn others who indulge in it. Some of the smartest and most talented people I know are regular cannabis users, and have been for years.

But this personal observation seemingly runs contrary to a new study recently published that suggests that young cannabis users run the risk of a lower IQ. In what is an impressively long-term cohort study, it was found that "those who started using cannabis below the age of 18 - while their brains were still developing - suffered a drop in IQ".

It does sound like an impressive study, and any study maintained over 2 decades deserves kudos for that alone. But as always, a news story written for the general public is going to leave out some important scientific points, as well as potentially raising some issues.

Firstly, as is often said, correlation does not imply causation. Just because those who smoked cannabis as teenagers were recorded as having lower IQs, doesn't automatically mean that cannabis intakecauses lower IQ. Measuring IQ is often a slippery subject, let alone working out what sort of things affect it. For example, as bizarre as it may seem, height is apparently positively correlated with IQ. That is, taller people seem to be more intelligent, according to IQ tests. Why is this? It's uncertain. You may think it's a bit contrived to use height as an example in a discussion about cannabis. But then, cannabis is typically smoked. And what stunts your growth…?

Studies of large populations are tricky, it's practically impossible to rule out ALL variables that affect a typical human. Some large studies have revealed a link between cannabis use and psychiatric disorders likepsychosis and schizophrenia. It's still uncertain as to how this might occur. It's logical to assume that regular intake of mind-altering chemicals will alter your mind for the worse, eventually. But it may be possible that people prone to or suffering from these psychiatric disorders are self-medicating, using the effects of the drugs to alleviate the symptoms of the psychiatric illness. It becomes a question of what came first; the schizophrenic chicken or the constantly-stoned egg?

The study is undoubtedly a good one and will produce a lot of interesting analysis and discussion for years to come. On the down side, it's likely that this finding has already been stripped of any meaningful scientific context by anti-drug campaigners and politicians looking to score easy points.

Defending drugs is rarely a good move politically, and anti-drug legislation often occurs without the support of scientific evidence. Contrastingly, any scientific finding that suggests drug use may have detrimental effects is seized upon and often exaggerated, sometimes toludicrous extents. And you know there'll soon be leaflets going around schools that explicitly state that cannabis makes you stupid.

Warning those at a vulnerable age about the potential dangers of drugs is, undoubtedly, a wise thing to do. But the way drugs are oftenportrayed as nothing but harmful and damaging is quite disconcerting; it suggests that taking drugs is akin to trying to increase the speed of your computer by pouring coffee over the motherboard; you're going to experience a lot of new sights, sounds and smells, but cause irreversible damage in the process.

That's not how it works. Many drugs are effective because they work on systems in the brain that are already there. Opiates like heroin work onopiate receptors, cocaine affects the dopamine system (amongst others). The brain and body have evolved over millions of years to recognise and utilise these chemicals, and drugs typically work because they are analogous to the substances that occur naturally in our bodies. E.g. cannabis works because the brain has endogenous cannabinoids.

Our own internal, natural cannabinoids seem to have a variety of functions, from memory processing, pain relief to reproduction. The full extent and role of our cannabinoid system is still being researched, but one interesting theory I heard as a student is that cannabinoids are crucial for babies to survive the birthing process. Think about it. Cannabis relaxes you, relieves pain and gives you 'The Munchies' (an often amusing phenomenon, I once saw 5 stoned guys get through a crate of 20 year old army surplus tinned steak, which looked and smelled just like dog food, only somehow worse). When you're born, your universe has suddenly gone from a warm, dark sac to this bright airy void with these strange giant creatures fondling you. And you've just been bodily squeezed through a very narrow space. Also, you have to start eating on your own now, but you've never done that and haven't the cognitive or physical capacity to be instructed. This should be too traumatic an experience for a fragile human to endure, unless they were flooded with a chemical which makes you chilled out, limits pain and makes you want to eat copiously without knowing why.

An interesting theory, and one that produces an amusing contradiction in that cannabis is supposedly dangerous for under-18s but crucial for new-borns. But although there is some data to suggest that cannabinoids are important for babies and development, I can't find any mention of the 'crucial for the birth process' theory anywhere.

Maybe I should keep looking, but thinking back, it does have the weird-but-logical quality of the sort of idea someone with neurological knowledge would come up with while, ironically, severely stoned. Maybe I came up with it myself at that party?

It's important to keep in mind the scientific context of drug use. Many drugs can be damaging, but then, the majority of recreational drugs were introduced for their medical applications. It's not always a clearcut case of "drugs = bad thing", there are numerous other variables to consider. And taking drugs isn't like throwing a wrench into the workings of the brain, but more like adjusting the settings of it. This can be just as damaging in many cases, but it's not a simple black-and-white matter as is often implied. Telling teenagers that drugs will definitely damage could backfire if they take them anyway and find out that this isn't the case. As I mentioned previously, it's unwise to patronise teenagers in this way, they recognise when they're being screwed over. They're not stupid.

That is, apparently, unless they regularly smoke cannabis. But in that case, your anti-drug message has clearly already failed, so you might as well move on.

US court blocks graphic cigarette warnings

The US government cannot force tobacco firms to put large graphic health warnings on cigarette packages, an appeals court in Washington has ruled.

It said the government's plan undermined free speech in America.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had wanted to put nine pictures of dead and diseased smokers to convey the dangers of cigarettes.

But tobacco firms had argued that the images went beyond factual information and into anti-smoking advocacy.

The ruling comes as a number of other countries have ordered similar pictures to be placed on all cigarette packets.

Australia has gone a step further, banning even tobacco company logos from the cartons.

'Significant vindication'

The US Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier lower court ruling in a 2-1 decision.

It said the case raised "novel questions about the scope of the government's authority to force the manufacturer of a product to go beyond making purely factual and accurate commercial disclosures and undermine its own economic interest".

The court said that in this case it was "by making every single pack of cigarettes in the country a mini billboard for the government's anti-smoking message".

It added that the FDA "has not provided a shred of evidence" that the images would directly advance its policy aimed at reducing the number of smokers in America.

The verdict was welcomed by tobacco companies, with Lorrilard Tobacco's describing it as "a significant vindication of First Amendment principles".

The FDA has so far made no public comment on whether it intends to appeal against the ruling in the US Supreme Court.

Researchers completing a new study on alcohol consumption have discovered that college-age students who binge drink are happier than those who don't.


Those who engaged in binge drinking tend to belong to so-called high-status groups: wealthy, white, male and active in fraternity life. And those who did not belong to the high-status groups could achieve similar levels of social acceptance through the act of binge drinking. In fact, the study results suggest that students engaged in the heavy drinking practice to elevate their social status amongst peers rather than to alleviate depression or anxiety.

"The present study offers another insight into the nature of a seemingly intractable social problem," the study released on Monday reads. "It is our hope that by drawing attention to the important social motivations underlying binge drinking, institutional administrators and public health professionals will be able to design and implement programs for students that take into account the full range of reasons that students binge drink."

The Washington Post reports that the study's co-author and Colgate University associate professor Carolyn Hsu presented some of the findings during the American Sociological Association gathering in Denver last week.

Interestingly, the study results compiled from surveying 1,600 college students also continues to support past evidence suggesting that binge drinking leads to a number of problems affecting the mind and body, including alcoholism, violence, poor grades and risky sexual behavior.

"I would guess it has to do with feeling like you belong and whether or not you're doing what a 'real' college student does," Hsu told LiveScience. "It seems to be more about certain groups getting to define what that looks like."

Binge drinking was defined as consuming more than four drinks in one occasion for women and more than five drinks for men. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they had engaged in the practice, compared with 36 percent who said they had not.

Those statistics differ from similar evidence gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's statistics measure binge drinking in the same quantity but limit the consumption period to two hours or fewer. Its results also found that the majority of binge drinkers (70 percent) were over the age of 26. The CDC has also found that 90 percent of alcohol consumed by people under the age of 21 is done in the form of binge drinking, compared with 75 percent among all U.S. adults.